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June 17, 2014 / Jett

Trials Fusion Review

Red Lynx’s brand of motorcycle stunt racing is a seemingly bottomless pit of enjoyment. With both Trials HD and Trials Evolution, I spent many hours thrashing through the easy courses, followed by rage-inducing grinds through the tougher ones. The core motorcycle gameplay is so good that you only really need more quality tracks and updated graphics to keep things fresh. Trials Fusion does just that, as it provides a whole new set of tracks to work through, as well as sharp visuals on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game. However, it also introduces some logical new wrinkles to the mix, such as freestyle tricks.

As with other games in the series, Trials Fusion has a number of different tracks for solo riders to take on that escalate in difficulty. What I appreciate about the tracks here is that the easy ones may not be as much of a challenge for veteran drivers, but they’re still a lot of fun to play and master. By beating courses, you’ll earn medals that will be used to unlock more tracks. If you’re able to get to the end, you’ll unlock the extreme courses, which admittedly are too difficult for me. Still, there’s a solid amount of content for you to work through, even if the hardest courses are too much for you.

One of the most compelling aspects of racing through these courses are the fact that your friends’ ghosts race alongside of you. By being able to see a dot of where they are at any given time, there’s incentive to try and beat your friends every time they appear. For me, every time I saw one of my friends’ ghosts appear, I couldn’t leave the track until I managed to beat them. If you want to play against your friends in online  head-to-head competition, you’re out of luck. This was a feature in Trials Evolution that was unfortunately removed. I don’t think it was all that popular, so it probably won’t be missed much. However, for someone who first got into the game thanks to that mode, it makes me a bit sad to see it go.

The game isn’t completely devoid of multiplayer, as there are a handful of local multiplayer maps for use. I never liked these as much in Evolution though, and the same goes for the ones here. Due to players having to share the same screen, track design is very muted in comparison to the main tracks, which makes for an inferior racing experience.

If you’re playing on PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4, the graphics are particularly sharp and detailed here. I really like how the game looks, though there are some weird graphical glitches that occur when you restart. Oftentimes, restarting from the beginning or a checkpoint will expose the game with very blurry textures that right themselves almost immediately afterward. It doesn’t affect the gameplay at all, though it is annoying to see each time it happens.

The biggest change to the game is the inclusion of freestyle tricks. Once you take to the air, you can manipulate both analog stick to pull off specific maneuvers. These look great, but they don’t really add much to the experience. Save for a handful of courses where you’re scored based on the aerial moves you pull off, they’re superfluous in nature. Also, I had a hard time handling my driver to pull off the exact trick I wanted to do, which makes it frustrating during challenges that require you to execute specific moves. It’s a nice-to-have option, but by no means is it a revolutionary inclusion.

Once you’ve worked your way through all of the main content, there’s a section for all of the user-created courses. These vary wildly in quality from great to broken, though there are a number of different tools available to make the filtering process easier. You can also make and share your own tracks, though I didn’t mess with these features at all, as making levels isn’t really my thing.

Trials Fusion is largely more of the same, which is fine by me. With a fresh new set of courses made by Red Linx plus thousands of other user-made tracks, this game will likely satiate your thirst for stunt racing action. The new trick system doesn’t add much and the texture pop-in glitches are annoying, but they do little to bring the overall experience down. If you’ve never experienced a Trials game before, or you’ve raced through hundreds of miles of track, Trials Fusion is definitely something you should experience for yourself.

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