Release Date: April 16th, 2014
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox One], Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC
Rated: E10+ for Ages 10 and Up
The Trials series is a motocross racing game that uses physics to offer a fun, but challenging gameplay. Trials is another series that for one reason or another has eluded me, but now I finally got to test the latest title and all I have to say is that I’m hooked. Trials Fusion has kept to the series’ roots, but why fix what isn’t broken? It’s just as fun and people who are looking for more Trials mayhem will feel right at home.
For anyone just now jumping into the Trials bandwagon, it’s one of those “easy to play, hard to master” games where anyone can pick a controller and have a blast, but for perfectionist, you’ll need to hone your skills. Career Mode features 8 events, each with numerous tracks that get progressively harder as you advance to the next course. Completing these courses will earn you experience and a medal depending on how quickly you finish; a progression system will track your rank and medals, which will unlock more events and outfits for your character.
Early tracks will ease players into the controls, which are very easy to comprehend – RT to accelerate, LT to brake, and the left stick to lean. Later tracks will have you perform more advanced maneuvers like the Bunny Hop that allows your bike to gain some air when trying to clear a gap. Things become quite difficult quickly and you must prepare to crash multiple times during a run, thankfully the inclusion of a quick checkpoint reset makes these death races much more forgiving. Players going for that perfect run or a gold medal will make use of the quick course reset which places you at the beginning of the track with the timer back at zero.
Creative players who like to imagine up monstrous tracks that will crush the spirits of all who dare attempt it will find plenty of tools to help make their unholy visions possible. All user created content can be found in Track Central where you can test out, rate, and favorite other’s custom courses, plus with a steadily rising number of tracks being made, there is always a new race to try out.
Trials Fusion really wants players to know that this game is set in the future; even the main menu’s theme song says “welcome to the future”! But everything has a nice slick look to it, from the title screen to the environments. And just to give it that extra push there is not one, but two A.I.s that can be heard throughout Career Mode. Cindy is a nice nod to her other artificial counterpart, GLaDOS, but is much less judgmental and cynical.
Trials Fusion offers plenty for its price of admission; from a challenging Career Mode, to a robust creation tools, to thousands of player-made tracks, there is always something to do. This is an example of how to make a game fun, using a simple, intuitive control scheme, and base addictive gameplay around it. Seeing how popular the previous iterations in the Trials series are, after getting to play Fusion for myself, I can now see why.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5