Trials Fusion Hands-On Review

Trials Fusion: On the minus side

There are some issues with Trials Fusion, and I’d better tackle the one that’ll hit you quite early on.
Trials Fusion uses the same leaning mechanism as previous Trials games on the left stick, but that leaves the right stick doing nothing much. So now it’s a stunt stick, used to fling your racer around in predetermined shapes depending on the direction of the stick and the orientation of the bike.
There’s a learning curve here. That’s to be expected, because Trials games are about learning curves, and in some respects I suppose RedLynx are to be congratulated for doing something different with the Trials experience, but at the same time it’s not an entirely welcome addition.
The inclusion of stunts are, I’m sure, going to be the most divisive thing that Trials Fusion brings to the gameplay experience, especially because part of the single player experience directly revolves around specific “FMX” stunt levels.
As with all things Trials related, simple completion of a track rewards you with a bronze medal, but you’ll have to master a whole new set of skills and — at least from my experience — hope you can pull off the right stunts — to get the precious Gold, and (I’m guessing) Platinums beyond that.

Looks hard enough as is, but Trials Fusion says "Pah!" to that, and demands that you do this while STANDING ON YOUR HEAD.
Looks hard enough as is, but Trials Fusion says “Pah!” to that, and demands that you do this while STANDING ON YOUR HEAD.

The stunts to me, right now, feel like a distraction from the pure Trials experience. I’m hoping that will pass and I’ll learn to like if not love them, but for now they’re not a standout feature because about half the time I feel like I’m failing a stunt due to lack of precision in the controls rather than a lack of accumulated skill.
The stunt hit is going to be doubly painful if you’re not a fan of the Skill games that were in previous Trials games, because they’re now part of the core single player experience, typically as the last level in a set.
Trials Fusion is a good looking game, but I have hit a few odd instances of late draw-in for some art assets, which is jarring in an otherwise highly polished game. The use of a high-tech motif also means that while individual art assets are impressive in themselves, there’s a little less visual variety than in previous games. No dark Limbo inspired levels, or medieval castles to climb — or at least not yet.
Likewise, the “funny” banter of the announcements that run through the game are amusing the first time, but lose their appeal when you’re listening to them for the twentieth time when trying to ace a particular level.
It’s also a totally personal observation, but to date I’ve always played Trials games using the Xbox 360 controller. The switch to the actually excellent PS4 controller was far more brutal than I was expecting.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the controller, but I found myself struggling early on simply because of the difference in stick separation and dead zones. Nothing that couldn’t be worked around, but if you’re a Trials veteran switching to PS4, be ready for this.
Finally, Uplay is present. Nobody’s surprised by that, right?
Next Page: Trials Fusion: Pricing and Early Conclusions

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