I never really got into any of the Trials games. I’ve played them occasionally at events over the years but haven’t sat down for a long period of time with one of them. Although after a few hours with the latest game in the series Trials Rising, I now know what I’ve been missing out on – a whole lot of fun.
Developed by RedLynx, the Trials series is an arcade racer based on the motorcycle trials sport where competitors ride through an obstacle course designed to test the skill of the rider. However, in the Trials universe it doesn’t take itself that seriously and everything is cranked way over the top. As a newcomer the game does a decent job at introducing some simple mechanics about how to control your rider, and how you should approach certain obstacles in the game. This is all thanks to the in-game tutorial called the University of Trials, where an Australian content creator named Professor FatShady has joined the development team to help create all the tutorials.
At its simplest form you have an acceleration, brake, and movement controls for the bike. Once you’ve learned the basics you can jump into your first track put everything to practice. Each track is split up into checkpoints, so if you do screw up and fall over you’ll quickly be back at the last checkpoint you hit and ready to go again. This whole process is extremely quick so you don’t feel any disconnect from the game as you’re playing, the same for being able to reset the track entirely from the start – it’s basically instantaneous.
Your goal is to try and finish as quickly as possible, where you’ll earn medals to level up your profile and unlock other tracks across the world map. The levels themselves each have their own distinct appearance. You’ll race at a variety of locations like a construction site, an aircraft carrier, an amusement park, or one of my favourites that I played was a Hollywood film set. The tracks also scale in difficulty and some of the later ones will further test your skills as you continue to learn how to handle the bike.
Along with other tracks you’ll also be able to unlock different bikes that have their own benefits and drawbacks, as well as cosmetic items which can be used to customise the look of your ride and character. One of the new bikes being thrown into the mix in Trials Rising is the tandem bike. This is a hilarious bike which requires two people to ride on it at the same time. Both players control all aspects of the bike so they’ll have to work together to race through the tracks or end up crashing in spectacular fashion. The addition of this is brilliant and one which is sure to be a lot of fun as a party game.
While there seems to be plenty of replay value in the main race path which the game has to offer, the editor which comes with Trials Rising will allow players to create their own tracks and share them with the rest of the world. This editor is the same one which the developers use to design their tracks in the game. You have a selection of over 8,000 objects to choose from which are in this game as well as the other various Trials titles from over the years, so there is a lot of power here at the hands of those wanting to produce their own stuff.
While the majority of the time I spent playing with the game was on the PlayStation 4, a Nintendo Switch version is also coming out at the same time which I had the chance to check out. Although it isn’t graphically as impress as the PlayStation 4 counterpart, it still looks decent and plays well. It would also make for a great portable game as the tracks are quite short and can be played in small bursts if you’re out and about with a Switch.
Trials Rising surprised me a lot. It seems simple at first but as you progress through it offers some challenging tracks that aren’t frustratingly annoying. Instead it’s an enormous amount of fun all of the way through. Trials Rising is undoubtedly a game to keep an eye out for, try not to miss it like all those times that I did.
Trials Rising will launch on 26 February 2019 for Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.