Being a fan of most racing games, I went into Trailmakers with an optimistic outlook, however, don’t be perceived by the name, Trailmakers is an open world sandbox with both sandbox and an expedition like a career testing your skills in all manner of driving and flying. You are given all kinds of blocks, engines and all other manners of car parts to help build your very own car, the blocks help u shape your car, but it is entirely up to you to build it. There are no schematics or directions to follow to build your car and your free to create your dream car. Also, beware engines are explosive, so any misplaced landings can spell the disaster to your vehicle. Below you can find examples of builds I tried in the first few hours of gameplay.
It is important to collect power cores to increase the power of your vehicles in expedition mode and to progress further as each engine has a power core value you start off with the bulldog engine worth 1 power and can get a dragon core worth 4. Each takes up more space and heavier than others and it is important to balance all the parts out to ensure your ride isn’t too heavy or isn’t weighed down enough causing in sliding out constantly.
Gravity and all manners of realistic mechanics are present in Trailmakers, as by placing some parts in bad places can result in the vehicles doing circles, being too heavy on the back or front and rolling or even having parts too low and brittle that they just fall off through driving or flying. Weight is also a big concern in weight distribution being key to a successful vehicle that is drivable. Later in the expedition based campaign, I was presented to wind mechanics in which to battle the road ahead required making the car streamline with the addition of streamlined blocks you can create all kinds of racing marvels or recreate your own unique F1 style racing vehicles.
So what about the community you may ask, well the community on steam has so many creative ideas available for you, in the way of tried and tested vehicles that you can try and recreate for yourself. Trailmakers offers a customisation based sandbox/racing experience like no other with your imagination being the only restriction to your creations and really allowing players to share their creations with the world.
The most recent mode that was added in March 2018 was the ability to do racing in form of drag, track, rally and air racing which can currently only be done solo or with your friends. Dedicated servers to join randoms are currently unavailable in the game and may never be available in this game. The tracks offered are also only limited to predesigned tracks in the sandbox world and do not allow race creations your own yet, Trailmakers has a lot of potential of what the game can become, but only time can tell on whether the developers can deliver such an experience to the ever-growing community.
My Overall thoughts of Trailmakers is that I can see them creating a lot more content in its early access period and definitely feel more content is needed before it can be a fully enjoyable game for all to enjoy together. It is more of a multiplayer experience than solo to be honest and feel it needs to focus on having dedicated lobbies instead of only allowing friends to join each other via steam as majority of games require these sorts of mechanics in order to find people to play alongside as not everyone that we know has the same tastes as each other resulting in many gamers looking for others to play with.
If you are looking for a creative game to test your brains on this is the game for you to try, however, expect limited content available at your disposal and game modes to play. Trailmakers isn’t one of those games that you could spend hours upon hours on in one session, but more short burst experiences. The game has a lot to offer though, so I can expect they will have lots of ideas and content available as the game edges ever closer to a full release. But like all small games, they need support from us as gamers to give us the experiences we would like to see and sometimes even require leaps of faith in order to give us an amazing game or full short of what the game deserves to become. Trailmakers is only £14.99 and if you have the money, I recommend and seeing for yourself if this game and mechanics is for you.
Release Date: 30th January 2018
Price: £14.99 - Digital
File Size: 5GB
Available on Steam Early Access.
Steam copy provided for review purposes.