Trials Rising Review
Reviewed by @spitfire_spud
Eat dirt and taste victory! That is slogan that RedLynx have gone with and it works with all the crashes you will have. It’s been quite a while since we last jumped into a Trials game with Trials Fusion being the last title back in 2014. It kept us entertained until we heard about Trials Rising, but does it give the fans enough to warrant a new game?
When Trials HD first showed up on the Xbox 360 in 2009, I thought it was a nice game, but could never get the hang of it and found it a bit infuriating. This prompted me to drop the game and not really bother with it. Then Trials Evolution came out in 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade and I thought I would have another crack at it and since then, I’ve not looked back! The Trials games are an all-out fun fest with their creative tracks and how they are built around the world they inhabit and how fiendishly hard they gradually become has you progress through the game and we riders had to contend with fictitious worlds and backdrops.
However, this is not the case with Trials Rising and thankfully we now have some real-world settings to ride and crash about in. While the core game mechanics have not changed and the developers seems to have gone for a “if it’s not broke, why fix it” approach, they are some noticeable tweaks that they have done in terms of how well your rider and bike move on screen. This is most definitely due to the improvements made from the current gen of consoles/PC. Controlling your bike to navigate the tracks are just as enjoyable as you remember, but feel even more responsive as ever, with you scaling up the ramps of wood and steel to avoiding the many obstacles that are both dangerous and hilarious at the same time.
Where you start to notice a big difference in Trials Rising is how crazy some of the tracks are and how well their thought-out and designed. Some of these tracks will see you tearing through a movie set, going from the parking lot to an all-out space battle with some aliens. Another track sees you landing in a large barrel of tomatoes in Italy during a festival of sorts, while another track has you jumping across the Grand Canyon. It’s here where you see a noticeable difference in terms of variety of the tracks compared to previous titles. With Trials Rising using real world locations, we get to enjoy even more tracks that are more over the top than ever before. From scaling Mount Everest to dropping in to France and the Eiffel Tower. Each track you ride along is beautiful rendered and the colours are vibrant and really pop on screen, with crazy background activities you’ll spot from the corner of your eye as you try to focus on the finish line.
If you have never played a Trials games, then Trials Rising is a great place to start. Rising gives you a well-tuned tutorial in the University of Trials that helps you understand the mechanics and gives you pointers on how to improve your overall game. It works well for newcomers to the franchise and returning players too for those of you that need to freshen up on your skills. The controls are simple to use and difficult to master, but there is a nice mix to the learning curve. You are never thrown straight in at the deep end and all you need is the right amount of persistence and patience. Controlling your rider and bike is straight-forward, with the only controls to get to grips with are your gas, brake and how to position yourself on the bike. That’s it, nothing more is needed, and it works.
Once you have a grip on the controls and you know what you are doing, its time to race and compete. You start each race off with the objective to win and further your career through-out the world and competing on each of the tracks around the world. Each race sees you competing against other riders as you try to reach the finish line first. Most of the races will see you race against your competitors’ ghosts, but then there are the duel races where you get to see them face to face and race them side by side. Each race you compete in will have contracts and these contracts have added objectives to completed to grab bonuses.
Then you get the crazy Skill Games that are on offer, like driving off explosive barrels to travel as far as you can or launch yourself towards a basketball to drop it into the net. Each one of these games has their own crazy twist on the game and are a lot of fun. If you like to take a break from racing and crashing, there is a level editor that features obstacles and environmental objects from previous titles as well as the current one. The editor lets you create some top-level tracks of your own if you have the patience to tinker about with it. If you are like me and prefer to leave that to the creative minds of the Trials community, you can drop along to Track Central and try out tracks that others have share online.
As you progress through your Trials career you can experience which in turn unlocks more tracks for you to race in and so the level of difficulty increases. Each time you level up you’re also awarded a gear crate which contains cosmetic items like new helmets, shirts and animations for your rider to perform after a win or loss. There is not much to write home about these crates as most of them I found to be lacklustre or uninteresting.
Now that you have tackled the tutorials, the racing and skill games that Trials Rising has to offer, its time to take your experience online and race against the rest of the world. In multiplayer mode is where you race in real time against other players (or their ghosts) as you try to get to the finish line first in Trials. There are also the duel races held in stadiums like that in your Career mode. At the start of each race you get to vote for a track of your choosing from the three that are on offer, whichever track gets the most votes are the one you all race on.
The one negative aspect of multiplayer that I don’t like is that while there is a Global multiplayer that you can match up with random racers, the Private multiplayer remains locked. This option won’t be available until Spring 2019 which like Fusion when that first was released, lacked the option as well. It’s a shame as there are a lot of fans out there would have loved this option to be available at launch. I would have thought that maybe delaying the game a couple of weeks in order to have this option available upon launch would have been a better option. The only option to play with friends is that you jump into Global multiplayer at the same time and hopefully you match up in the same lobby.
There is one moment of madness though and this comes in the shape of the Tandem bike! This lets two riders climb on board and try to control it together. You must coordinate your movements and try to make it to the end without killing one another.
If there was one issue that I have with Trials Rising if any (besides the Private multiplayer being locked!), is that the progression system feels a little thin. While you are having fun blasting across the tracks on offer and either acing each track or smashing your face against a cliff, its progression system is something that could have received a little bit more attention. Sometimes the flow of progression moves along smoothly at the start, but as you start to reach the higher levels, if feels more of a grind in order to grab those extra XP points for the loot that is on offer. The XP earned seems to drop off the more you level up and this should not be the case. Yes, it should be tougher to level up to the top, but you should also be awarded more XP than when you what you were earning on the lower levels. Like I said, it’s a small issue, but one nonetheless and the developers probably could have left it out all together and awarded us for passing each stage on the map. For me though, Trials was always about achieving those perfect runs and beating friends and other gamers with the fastest times.
Trials Rising is what Trials fans have been waiting for, with even more crazier tracks than before! The controls are top notch and handle as you would expect. The visuals are vibrant and colourful with a soundtrack that matches its looks. Even though the Private multiplayer is locked at present, you still can’t knock it. Trials Rising is a blast from the start and a MUST for anyone who likes their over the top thrills that can end in bone crunching crashes!
GoG Rating: 9/10