Review: Trials Evolution (XBLA)
Title: Trials Evolution
Developer: Red Lynx
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Tagline: Platforming and motorcycles mixed together to test your skills to their limits
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy It Already
The first thing I want to cover in this review is that I’m not very good at Trials. I didn’t play HD when it first arrived on XBLA – though a friend would endlessly showcase his “skills” on the game – so you might ask why am I reviewing the sequel? Well, I got the opportunity to play some multiplayer of the game with some other videogame/media outlets at an event and instantly fell in love with the pick up and play nature of the game and just how competitive it can get. I was hooked and so I pretty much begged for the chance to get my hands on more motorbike madness. I’ve been met with a series of emotions ranging from frustration, suspense and triumph while playing and every moment has been exhilarating!
Trials veterans may find that the game is quite short if you just hit up the Go Race option from the main menu and to be fair, it is pretty short in that respect but replaying the game will be something of a must as time progresses. After a couple of short nights with the game I had already completed three out of four of the license challenges and had started to pick up a whole bunch of skills and gold medals in most tracks I’d completed. What compelled me to continue coming back to the tracks I had already beat was the need to improve my previous time or get a faultless run.
As you finish each track you’ll get a break down of how you’re progressing overall and when new sets of races will unlock. A mini leaderboard of your friends is also displayed to see how you stack up against them and also where you place on the global leaderboards. While racing you’ll also have the names of people from your friends list – and your own personal best in gold – riding along with you to see where you’re standing in real time against their best run. I loved seeing this and found myself getting competitive with these dots flying over the course, I also enjoyed watching friends play as my own dot would rush pass them through some miracle and leave an unobtainable time for them. The only draw back I have from this is not being able to view friends replays so you can see just how they got so fast when finding yourself struggling on courses. A live challenge system would’ve also been a nice addition – sending a message to friends to invite them to beat your time like NFS: Hot Pursuit would have been a nice touch.
Multiplayer does make an actual appearance in this outing, setting up to four players to race on tracks. You earn points based on the position you come in the race and also have them deducted for the faults you make – this balances a risk and reward system as even though you may come first you can still lose if your faults outweigh your haste. I feel it will most appeal to those that gather there friends together and play it all together – however much smack talk this may result in – though the Xbox Live equivalent is still nice to have.
Red Lynx have also done something clever by having all the levels in the career a product of the team using the games level creator – much like LittleBigPlanet or some Halo Reach maps. People with the time and talent to craft tracks will probably be creating some astounding things with it. Even different game types can be created – Red Lynx showcased a First Person Shooter, multiplayer table football and a top down scrolling shooter – and hopefully the community will expand on this and make so much more with it.
Customisation of your rider and bike can also be done, you’ll earn cash in game through completing tracks that can be spent on new clothes. For me this wasn’t a big deal – I changed the colour of my clothes and bike and that’s about it. This might be an area of the game I’ll spend the least of time in but people willing to express themselves may find it a lot of fun.
The scale of this game is huge, both in replay value and the style of the game. Additional bespoke tracks play homage to such games as Limbo, ‘Splosion Man and Portal. Tracks will also intertwine as you race across them and see elements from other levels. Fighter jets, massive loops and even levels in the sky make for some great fun moving away from the original’s warehouse setting. I highly recommend Trials Evolution and will most likely keep coming back to the game over the coming months.
- Challenging but never a drag to replay
- Enjoyable to play with friends together
- Enjoyable to play against friends ghosts
- Issuing challenges in game not included
- Main “Go Race” mode is quite small
- Will eat up a lot of time if you let it
Trials Evolution has got some mild language included in the game and depicts your character breaking bones along with accompanying noises. It will probably be best to keep this amongst the teens and not younger.