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Trials Fusion review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £15.99
inc VAT

Fun, frustrating and addictive, but could do with more variety in level design

Trials Fusion shouldn’t be fun. It has an innate ability to bring out hair-pulling and controller-throwing rage, yet we’re still playing it – hunting for those elusive virtual platinum medals. Fusion is the follow-up to 2012’s Trials Evolution and 2009’s Trials HD, taking the basic formula first seen in early 2000s side-scrolling flash games and updating the visuals for the Xbox One and PS4.

Trials Fusion FMX

Ride fast, jump high, crash painfully

Moving the action to a dystopian future has given developer RedLynx huge scope to create stylistic environments, taking the familiar forest, desert and arctic settings and giving them a space-age makeover with liberal use of neon lights and high-tech background set-pieces. It’s a shame that some of the more Tron-inspired levels are so bland, as the ancient ruins and dense jungles have much more character.

Trials Fusion FMX

Trials Fusion has no qualms about setting you on fire

Fusion is powered by a physics engine which, while completely unrelated to the real-world properties of motorbikes, is incredibly compelling and addictive, as you’re constantly on a knife-edge between control and faceplant. As always, the challenge is getting to the finish line on each course with as few crashes as possible, while also setting a fast time. Checkpoints along the way let you respawn when your talent runs out, and there’s also an instant restart button for perfectionists that are searching for that elusive medal time. Many courses are exercises in precise throttle control and balance, with big jumps followed by steep inclines forcing you to plan ahead, but others prioritise speed and momentum. We would have preferred more fast, flowing courses to break up the more intricate challenges that rely on muscle memory.

Trials Fusion

Steep hills require finesse

Tricks now earn you points in the “FMX” levels, a first for the series, with the right analogue stick controlling your rider’s movements and therefore how your bike rotates in the air. A miss-timed trick could result in a wipeout, but the biggest tricks earn the most points so it’s worth taking a risk. It’s an intricate system which requires a lot of practice, but it’s rewarding when you finally string together a big enough trick combo to earn a medal. There aren’t many FMX levels, however, which doesn’t give you much opportunity to hone your skills.

The desire for more levels is a common theme, although the six planned DLC packs due later this year will probably see to that if you have more money (and patience) to invest.

Trials Fusion loop

The developers got creative with level design

The track creator is another way of boosting the map count. It’s complicated for first time Trials players, but there’s already a small but dedicated community of map makers who produce challenges far beyond those seen in the main campaign, with the best creations available to download through Track Central. Trials Evolution saw mini-games involving bowling balls, rocket ships and even a third-person shooter, so expect to see more of the same as the creators get used to Fusion.

Trials doesn’t need a story; you simply ride as well as you can to rank up and unlock new modifications for your character and bikes. It’s a bit baffling, then, as to why the developers chose to add a semblance of a narrative to Fusion. Thankfully you can turn off these small amounts of dialogue from the start, as they add nothing to the game and become irritating very quickly – especially when you’re playing the same section of a level tens or hundreds of times.

Trials Fusion

Fusion also includes a BMX for the environmentally-conscious

There’s no online multiplayer, but you’ll see your friends’ fastest runs overlaid on your own efforts on the leaderboards to encourage friendly competition. There’s also local, four-player multiplayer with four bikes competing side-by-side.

Trials Fusion is, fittingly, an evolutionary step from Trials Evolution. It’s for the most part the same game with more creative level design and new stunt mechanics. It’s fun, but short: if you’re content with rushing through the doing the bare minimum to unlock the next set of tracks, then you could finish it in a few hours. If, however, you want to score gold or even platinum medals in every level, you’ll get more value for money out of this game than most full-price triple-A releases.



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