Trials Fusion review: ride along

By Robert Workman, Apr 18, 2014 10:45am PDT

The Trials games have to find the perfect amount of frustration to entice gamers. Levels need to be challenging enough to have gamers say "just one more time," without having them burst a blood vessel. When you finally nail a level, it's incredibly liberating, whetting your appetite for more.

Developer RedLynx captured that sensation with both Trials HD and Trials Evolution. With Trials Fusion, they're able to maintain the status quo. While the game adds a few new features, the latest entry in the series is still all about staying on your wheels and finishing the race.

When you first tackle Fusion, you'll find the opening tracks to be relatively easy, with a few hills to overcome and some tricky landings to endure. However, as you unlock new courses, that difficulty curve eventually begins to settle in, and you'll soon have to work through several restarts and perfect landings to earn the coveted gold medal for each one. It's a challenge that will have you gnashing your teeth at times, but never to the point where you'll quit the game forever.

Adding a layer to the gameplay is a new trick system, introduced after the third tier of levels. Along with flips, this enables your rider to perform other acts of derring-do, mostly to complete pre-set challenges during each race. It takes a little getting used to, but it's a fresh new element that shows forward movement on the developer's part.

The same can't be said for the XP system, however. While it's great to unlock new skins and bikes to add to your collection, their performance stays roughly about the same. Some more innovation would've gone a long way here, like adding specific tricks to certain skins.

At least there's more than enough to keep you busy. Along with multiple single player missions to complete, Trials Fusion comes with a robust community feature, built around "ghost" riders and a track editor. "Ghosts" are automatically captured during runs, showing how you compare with other racers in real time. Meanwhile, track editors let you build your own devious creations, although it'll take a good amount of time to do so. Once finished, you can upload your tracks for others to try out, while also downloading available offerings from both community members and RedLynx/Ubisoft. It's massive, and will keep players coming back for more.

Multiplayer gets the short end of the stick this time around, though. It's still here, but is limited to offline only at the moment. Still, it doesn't hurt to breeze through a few local races, especially if you need a break from that one nefarious level you just can't beat.

As far as presentation goes, Trials Fusion is easily ahead of the pack. The backgrounds are imaginative, ranging from medieval surroundings to high-tech laboratories, where the track is literally built right in front of you as you coast along it. The commentary is interesting to say the least, ranging from quick (albeit useless) tips by a friendly female cohort to bizarre warnings about what's ahead in your current race. It can be hilarious at times, but it almost seems like RedLynx tried a bit too hard in this department. At least there's some personality.

If you managed to endure Trials HD and Trials Evolution and want more where that came from, Trials Fusion will certainly sate your appetite for a next-gen entry. Although the XP system isn't what it could've been, and the new tricks take some getting used to, the community features promise to keep gamers entertained for a long time. [7]


This review is based upon PS4 review code provided by the publisher. Trials Fusion is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360, and will release this summer for PC. The game is rated E10.

Click here to comment...