The Trials games have been very successful since their debut on PC in 2000, but the franchise really took off with the release of Trials HD exclusively on Xbox 360 in 2009. The games are bike (and now ATV) puzzle platformers that require you to guide your rider to the finish line in the quickest time while riding over obstacles and attempting not to crash along the way. I remember the initial game coming out of nowhere to become one of Xbox Live Arcade’s best releases.
Trials Evolution followed Trials HD in 2012 for Xbox 360 and Windows machines and did even better yet. Developer RedLynx had a hit on their hands and it was only a matter of time before the game went multiplatform and got a disc release. With Trials Fusion RedLynx has blown out the Trials formula and debuted the game on the PlayStation platform while also offering a disc to those who’d rather own a hard copy. The question is, does the game warrant the $40 price tag (on disc/comes with the season pass, $20 for the digital version without the season pass) or is it just more of the same? The answer is really a bit of both, and depends on your love for the series.
Trials Fusion offers a good deal more content than the previous games, but it’s the quality that has me on board. Starting the game up you’re greeted by a (sometimes cluttered) menu that offers your basic gameplay options. You can start your career, download and create tracks, and play multiplayer (coming post-launch). You also have the ability to customize your rider and your bike with a set number of options (Costumes for the player, colors and upgrades for the bikes/ATV). Jumping into the career mode you have a series of events each containing a handful of races and a few mini games. This set-up is very similar to old Trials games, but the quality improvement comes down to the individual tracks. Each track in an event is themed to that event, but every track is completely different in regards to layout and things happening to the track/in the background. You go through various environments and futuristic (and sometimes Portal-y) worlds during the campaign and every single track is different and fun. From tracks that have pieces that move into place as you’re racing to tracks that have dynamic backdrops, RedLynx has done a great job at making each race feel unique and challenging. As you beat races in the career mode you gain money towards buying items and upgrades and medals towards unlocking the next event in the career. You also unlock bikes for hitting certain levels as you progress. There’s a lot do, and it takes work to perfect each race and get the gold medal.
The other modes within the game are just as fun and detailed as career. The create-a-track feature is fantastic and allows you to design and post your own creations to the browser in-game. You can then download and rate others’ tracks and you even level up based on how you do on created tracks (this level is separate from your career level). Multiplayer is coming post-launch, right now it’s just a greyed out option on the main menu. The only thing I was a bit disappointed with in Trials Fusion was the fact that there are only six unlockable vehicles and only a few clothing sets. That says a lot, I guess, about the game and gameplay itself.
Overall Trials Fusion is an extremely well-made game that is worth the money if you’re a huge Trials fan. If you’re not a huge fan but still enjoy the games I’d go for the $20 download version and not the $40 disc version that comes with the season pass. This game is one of the titles I’ve enjoyed the most so far on the new systems and seems to run great on whichever platform you decide to purchase it for (Xbox One is at 900p and PS4 at 1080p for resolution, but both versions look great). If you’re down for more Trials (and the rage that comes with narrowly missing the gold medal) go grab the game, you won’t be disappointed!