Ever since it was released on the Xbox 360 arcade in 2009, I've been in love with the physics-based racing series, Trials. At face value, it seems to be a very simple game but it gets more and more difficult as the game progresses. Balancing the bike by shifting weight and knowing when to use the brake and accelerator to make sure to get up ramps and loops was a great way to pass the time and break up the monotony of playing shooters and sports games. In 2012, Ubisoft introduced Trials Evolution with a new online multiplayer feature, which pretty much made the game since it can get difficult to get folks in the same room to play a game in this day and age.
This April, Ubisoft has once again changed the way I look at the franchise by introducing Trials Frontier, the mobile version of the game which I've talked about before. It really translates well to mobile platforms — currently only iOS and Android — since all you need is four buttons to play the game. The next big announcement was Trials Fusion for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC which will take the franchise to a whole other level. It gives you access to ATVs for the first time, amazingly intricate maps, a track creator, an improved version of the download hub from Trials Evolution, “ghost” multiplayer to race against friends while they’re offline and more unlockables if you played Frontier mobile and Fusion on your home console or PC.
The career mode in Trials Fusion includes 8 events which is composed of 8 separate trials in each event, including a training program that teaches you advanced maneuvers like bunny hops and doing tricks with the FMX stick, a feature new to these games. Each trial in an event will also have different objectives you can complete for more points like finding a secret passage or doing a certain amount of flips. Some are much more difficult like the “Unyielding” challenges which demands you to complete a trial without ever making your rider lean for balance. FMX tricks are pretty easy to do by pushing the right stick in whatever direction you want giving you another challenge to the game. Instead of just doing speed trials and trying not to crash and fault your rider, you’ll also end up paying attention to how many points you’re racking up in a trial. Definitely takes me back to the days of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater on my Playstation.
As far as customization goes, it’s what you’d expect. You can pick different clothes, helmets, bikes, and all terrain vehicles for your rider. Of course, every race has leaderboards, so after you complete a trial you can see where you placed on a global scale as well as among your friends who also play. There are also “ghost” riders of any of your friends who have completed the trial as well as a “ghost” of your last run. The “ghost” is really only a translucent helmet and a name letting you know where they were — or where you were last run — when completing they did the trial, basically replaying their movements. With this feature, it’s easy to see how you are doing in relation to a friend. I would’ve liked to see the full body of the “ghost” racer so you could see how they moved through the course and what tricks they did, almost like the Drivatars in Forza 5, but just the floating helmet was still enough of a kick in the ass to get me trying to out-pace my friends.
Multiplayer is only local, for now. Ubisoft says that online multiplayer will be coming in a couple months. As for now, there can be 4 people on a console where players can choose to do one race, or a series of races on different maps with other customizable options. I noticed that, unlike in career mode, when a player crashes they’re automatically sent to the next checkpoint where that rider cannot move until the racer who did not crash gets to said checkpoint. This becomes a problem if the rider who did not crash is in the air while crossing the checkpoint because the racer on the ground, who is frozen at the checkpoint, can simply accelerate as the racer in the air passes the checkpoint which gives the racer on the ground a marked head start. This flaw has the potential to be used as a form of cheating, both locally and online, with online being the bigger problem. Hopefully the issue is addressed before the multiplayer comes online. It would be easy to manipulate the outcome of a race if racers can just crash to get to the next checkpoint and beat people with continual head starts.
With tons of single-player races and challenges with multiplayer gameplay, the ability to have endless new tracks with the robust track creator, an improved download hub, and new features yet to be discussed like “Pyrosequencing”, not to mention the price of the digital copy being half that of the physical copy, Trials Fusion is a great addition to the platform-racing franchise and a terrific addition to your next-gen console or PC library.
I’d highly recommend purchasing this game ASAP.