Two years have passed since RedLynx released their crazy physics-based motocross game Trials Evolution. It managed to improve upon its predecessor, Trials HD, in every area and became one of our favourite games on the Xbox 360. Now RedLynx and Ubisoft are back with the next game in the series – Trials Fusion. We’ve been spending some time with the Xbox One edition to see what’s new.
At its core Trials Fusion is the same game we’ve been enjoying since Trials HD in 2009. It’s a delicious mix of motocross, platforming and physics that result in an incredibly addictive title. The aim is traverse a series of increasingly difficult courses as fast and fault free as possible. Long-time players of the series will feel right at home but there are some new things to learn on the way.
Like the previous games each course has a set of predefined criteria that must be met in order to win medals. This includes par times for gold, silver and bronze as well as a maximum number of faults. It’s possible to restart an attempt at any time or instantly jump back to the previous checkpoint. The quick restarts are one of the main features that make the game so addictive. When things go wrong, and often even before they do, you’ll find yourself instinctively hitting the retry button to go for a perfect run.
The main game is divided up into different groups of courses based on their difficulty. In order to progress you need to pass training exams and obtain the required number of medals to unlock the next area. Unlocking the first few is easy and you don’t need to worry about grabbing the silver and gold medals. However to get to the higher difficulties you can expect to have to go back and replay levels in order to obtain more medals. This is all good practice though as the more you play the better you get.
Fusion brings with it two new elements – challenges and FMX tricks. Each level is assigned 3 different optional challenges of increasing difficulty. Completing them earns you more XP to level up your rider. The main reasons you’ll want to do them though are because they add a lot of replay value to each level and beating them is so incredibly satisfying.
The FMX trick system is unlocked part way into the game and adds the ability to perform stunts by using the right thumbstick. While in the air you can perform all kinds of crazy stunts such as a superman where you leap off the bike and follow by grabbing the seat. The stunts are easy to perform but add an extra level of difficulty. This is especially true if chained together or combined with flips. You also need to be very careful not to be too ambitious if you want to land.
The trick system is fun but you soon forget about it unless you’re tackling an FMX event. Here you need to land as many tricks as you can in order to get the required scores for the medals. You can use tricks on the other tracks but most of the time you’ll be trying to better your times or go for perfect runs and the tricks just get in the way.
Trials Fusion features 6 bikes to unlock and for the first time one of these is a quad. The quad bike is a lot of fun to ride and a nice change. It feels heavy but powerful thanks to the four-wheeled drive. The money you earn allows you to unlock new outfits for your rider and you can also customise your bikes.
There are over 40 courses to keep you busy and completing everything on them is going to take most players an awful long time. The tracks are all well designed and feature the most complex layouts to date. Graphically Fusion is also a step up from Evolution with more detail and plenty of things going on around the courses and in the background.
Multiplayer is limited to four-player local play for now but expect online multiplayer to be added in a future update. The best way to compete against friends is still racing their ghosts and trying to beat each other’s times on the leaderboards.
We had a couple of problems with the game during review. For some reason the Xbox One would occasionally lose sync of the controller forcing us to reconnect. The Ubisoft servers that look after the leaderboards also sometimes seem to be unavailable meaning you have to retry or not post your score. We also found the AI announcers who talk during play became annoying as they say the same things at scripted points in each course.
A powerful track editor is included which will be familiar to fans of Evolution. Building simple tracks in within the reach of all players prepared to put a little effort in. For committed content creators you can head online to watch detailed advanced tutorials on youtube. Tracks can also be shared with the community so if building isn’t your thing then you can find plenty of wonderful creations made by others. At the time of writing there are already over 7,000 tracks available to download and play.
Trials Fusion may bring more of the same but it’s so much fun you won’t care. Incredibly difficult later on but insanely addictive you’ll keep coming back for just one more go. With 6 DLC’s packs on the way over the next 12 months plus the community tracks Fusion will keep you busy until the next instalment in the series.