Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: RedLynx Ltd. Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Racing Platform Played: Xbox One
I’ve always been a fan of the simple to learn, hard to master formula in gaming no matter the genre, which is why I adore the Trials series.
The entire premise of the game has players taking control of a motorcyclist – who’s either the bravest daredevil in the world or the biggest fool – undertaking all sorts of crazy tracks racers in real life would wet their pants at. Using physics, which blurs the line between realistic and a fallacy, players control their racer by leaning them with the left stick to perform the perfect landing time after time to proceed to the finishing line.
Trials Fusion, the first title in the series to release on next gen platforms, is no different in these aspects, as the game defines trial and error efforts for the perfectionists out there.
If you have played any past entries, you know what to expect here. In the single player career, players begin with easy tracks and progress to nearly impossible courses. No matter the difficulty, every track always ends in the hilariously inevitable demise of the racer whether it’s tons – literally – of weight crushing the poor guy or massive explosions.
Adding to the hilarity is the newly implemented trick system. By simply pointing the right stick in any direction, the racer will perform a number of tricks on the bike while in mid-air. These make for some great game types, allowing you to show off your true skills with a scoring system. Be wary though, as performing these tricks can drastically change how you will land, making it a challenge to nail the perfect landing.
As you play more and more tracks, you will earn medals, which grants access to more tracks. The higher the medal earned, the more cash will be unlocked as well, allowing the purchase of customizations for the game’s six bikes and the racer himself.
While the progression of difficulty is still miles better when compared to Trials HD, newcomers may get slightly frustrated. As someone more experienced with the series, I was admittedly having a few harsh times with some of the medium and a few easy-ranked tracks – not that I’m an Evil Knievel to the series. Strangely, Fusion’s predecessor, Trials Evolution, pulled this off better. A little practice will take players a long way, but it also has the chance of turning fresh faces away.
This isn’t where the steps back from Evolution end, however.
The most notable absent features from Fusion are certain multiplayer components, particularly no online races and the inability to create multiplayer tracks in the game’s track creator.
According to an article from Yahoo!, Fusion will not only not include the online multiplayer portion for months, but it won’t be the typical race-to-the-finish type. While I can appreciate RedLynx trying something different, not having a multiplayer at launch combined with the lack of a basic, albeit fun, multiplayer mode takes away from the Trials experience, especially when it was featured in the previous title and such a blast to play.
Aside these odd shortcomings, Fusion is loads of fun to play. Contributing to these entertaining factors is the local multiplayer, the tracks created by the community, particularly the skill games, and the track creator itself.
The track creator will overwhelm you at first with its slew of options and settings, but it’s because of these bountiful features that players are able to accomplish much with such creative freedom. In return, it allows the community of fellow Trials-nites to not only create original content, but breathe extended life into the game. RedLynx’s YouTube channel even has tutorials to give you a jump start in creating tracks.
Want to create a skill game where you simply launch the racer off his bike to land him in a small target thousands of yards away? Has an all-invisible track always been your transparent dream to race on? Who cares about gravity? These options and much, much more are at your disposal, and it’s always exciting to see what new, crazy ideas people have conjured with each passing week.
Assisting in the fantastic user-created tracks are the visuals Fusion offers. For a downloadable title at a fraction of the price of full retail retail titles, it looks gorgeous on the Xbox One. There are occasional and noticeable issues with textures loading, which is strange for game on a next-gen console to have, but it does not hinder the game in any way.
It’s been a while since I’ve played a game where they’ve taken some major steps back from its predecessor. Fusion strangely lacks a traditional online multiplayer and will continue to after launch. To top off this rotten part of the cake, there are no options to create tracks for local multiplayer either, giving local players limited options. Still, if you’re looking for a Trials game on next-gen system, and for the first time on a PlayStation platform, Fusion will not steer you wrong, especially when you have friends over for local multiplayer (it’s even more fun to laugh at one another when they attempt a trick and fail horribly). Its zany physics, trial-and-error gameplay and the wealth of options you are given to both create and download user-generated tracks make this an entry to the series worth checking out, especially with its aesthetic eye candy.
+ Typical Trials game: Fun
+ Track creator’s options
+ Tracks and skill games created by the community
+ Gorgeous visuals for downloadable title
+ Local multiplayer is awesome with group of friends, but…
– Has no online multiplayer or options to create local multiplayer tracks
– Some texture loading issues
– Difficulty progression may slightly frustrate newcomers
The Score: 7.9
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, entertainment editor and copy editor for the Pine Log at Stephen F. Austin State University, news editor for Worlds Factory and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates, watch his awesometacular YouTube videos, and view his LinkedIn profile.