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Trials HD was a breakout hit of the last generation, with the game going on to sell over a million copies on the Xbox 360 and propelling the franchise into the hands and eyes of gamers everywhere. It wasn't always this way: The original PC releases attained nothing more than cult status, and it wasn't until Microsoft promoted the Xbox 360 version in its first indie promotion that the series reached a mainstream audience. With RedLynx now being picked up by Ubisoft, the series spreads its wings even further with the newest entry, Trials Fusion, releasing on five systems at the same time: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. Trials Fusion marks the first time the series has ever appeared on a Sony console, as well.

 


If you've played a past Trials game, you know what to expect here. The objective is to get from one side of the stage to the other while riding a motorcycle, pulling off various tricks in order to counteract the deadly environment. One stage may task you with using bunny hops to jump over bombs on the side of a mountain, while another track will task you with nailing a perfect landing after a jump that extended hundreds of meters into the air. Beating the track in a limited number of crashes, called faults, and under a certain time limit awards you a medal, ranging from bronze to platinum. Even after obtaining the highest medal, there is always the leaderboard to contend with, where you can put your best time up against players from all over the world. Trials Fusion offers over 50 stages for players to contend with, with some of the harder stages taking hours to complete for a newcomer.

The Trials series is known for its steep difficulty, with many people calling Trials HD one of the hardest games of the previous generation. It's successor, Trials Evolution, made the learning curve a little less steep, but many Trials veterans complained the game was a little too easy. With Trials Fusion, the learning curve is just about perfect. Tutorials nicely lay out how to perform the advanced tricks, with courses slowly progressing from “Wow, this series is supposed to be hard?” to “How am I ever going to beat this?” Few games offer the sense of achievement from beating a level that Trials Fusion offers.


Trials Fusion's new feature is the FMX Trick System, transforming a handful of courses from race-based to trick-based, with medals being awarded on the number of points you rack up while performing tricks. Unfortunately, these courses aren't very fun, and represent the weakest point in the game. Luckily, there aren't many of these courses; it's almost as if the developer realized these courses weren't very fun early on and wisely didn't include a large amount of them.

With something new, we lose something old, and online multiplayer is now missing from the Trials Fusion series. Local multiplayer is still available, but is likely not something you're going to introduce into your weekend gaming sessions with your buddies.

Taking place in the future, Trials Fusion places a much larger emphasis on graphics than any other version of the series. Playing the game on a current generation console provides excellent visuals, a blistering frame rate, and a good amount of detail on every texture. While the last generation versions of the game don't offer the technical flair that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions do, they still get the job done and maintain a consistent framerate.
If you pine for the days when games were about who could nab the high score, Trials Fusion is the game for you. While the game is set in the future, it's mechanics and ideals are solely rooted in the past, making it a great game for anyone who spent hours playing Excitebike on the NES. At only $19.99 for a digital download, Trials Fusion is a better bang for your buck than most games that run triple the price. Highly recommended, unless you're the type of gamer who gets easily frustrated with a high level of challenge.

tags ps4xbox-one

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