I’m not quite ready to give a definitive verdict on Trials Fusion just yet, due to time constraints. But I can’t stop playing it. That should tell you something.
Trials Fusion: On the plus side
Disclaimer: This isn’t a full review of Trials Fusion, because other commitments and review code timing means I’ve only had a limited period of playtime in single player only. Now, on with the show…
Playing Trials games is, in many ways, an expression of masochism. I’ve never been part of the crowd that adores the Dark Souls games and their deep addictive difficulty, but Trials had me hooked from day one, due to the same deep dark masochistic difficulty traits. There’s just something compelling about being given a task, all the tools you need to resolve it and trying repeatedly until you get it right. And then trying again, because a silver medal is better than a bronze one.
It’s the only way to make sense of this deliberately brutal and punishing, highly focused and honed motorcross/stunt/puzzle experience, because it’s not as though the gameplay unfolds alongside some grand plot as you play.
Admittedly in the case of Trials Fusion there is the semblance of plot, along with “funny” robotic voiceovers, but that’s not the real reason why I’m a hopeless Trials addict.
I don’t even want to think about the number of hours I’ve put into the previous Trials games. My addiction even extended to the IAP-heavy Trials Frontier, a game I’m still playing, but admittedly not actually paying for.
Trials Frontier is really only the gateway drug to the full Trials experience, and this year’s hit of heavy biking action comes in the form of Trials Fusion, a semi-futuristic racer that keeps most of the same stunt/race/time trial action of previous games and gives it all a lick of 1080p paint, depending on the platform you’re playing it on.
I’ve been playing through the PS4 version, where 1080p is very much in full effect. There’s a lot of background detail making up each Trials level, and while they don’t ostensibly change the gameplay, there are some backdrops that are genuinely breathtaking.
Sure, I’m probably screaming while trying to perform multiple flips and not crash on my head as they whizz past — I did mention the heavy masochism, right? — but it’s nice to have a game that can look this good to play on next generation machines.
The really good news so far for Trials Fusion is that, for the most part, it’s taken the old adage about things not being broken not requiring technical support and run with it. If you’ve played and enjoyed previous Trials games, you’ll enjoy this one, because underneath the fancy paint and the stunts, Trials Fusion is still Trials through and through.
You’ll crash early on, and often while you learn track layouts, then gradually proceed to mastering the exact layout and where to place your wheels for optimal times. For the first time in a Trials game there are more than two wheels at play in some levels, with Quad Bikes making an appearance.
I was somewhat concerned by their inclusion, simply because they seemed like a frill that wasn’t needed, but the reality — at least so far — is that they’re a nice change of pace. Because they’re genuinely four wheel drive, they use a different riding line to the bikes, which opens up the possibility for different race experiences and times to beat because you don’t, for example, drop them on their back wheels to get the most speed when coming out of a jump.
Next Page: Trials Fusion: On the minus side