+ The physics engine in this game has the perfect balance of realism with an arcade-like edge.
+ Trials matches excellent refreshed visuals with the classic 2.5D look to make another classis.
+ Trials is crammed with hundreds of levels offering a decent amount of content for the player.
+ Community created levels add endless hours of fun on top of the offline single-player content.
- The limited bike and rider customisation is disappointing and feels like a half-♥♥♥♥♥ new feature.
- Gamers who aren't all that big on community content might get bored of the basic content.
The Trials series roots lie in online flash games from the early 2000's and saying that Trials has come a long way since is an understatement. Returning with the most fun and content packed game of the series yet, Trials Evolution is easily one of the best arcade games of 2013 as RedLynx do a near perfect job of continuing their massively beloved arcade series that is Trials.
In typical arcade-like fashion, there is zero story within this game. You quite simply play as a male extreme biker, traversing across hundreds of obstacle courses, gathering medals to unlock higher tier licenses which allow you to attempt tougher challenges. The gameplay path has been nicely set out so that both new and old players of trials will enjoy playing whist experiencing the well balanced difficulty increase curve from the start thanks to the variety of tournaments and challenges available, leaving noone being untested or overchallenged from the off.
The game developers, RedLynx, have remained true at heart and worked well in retaining the fun, arcade style to the game which made the Trials franchise as popular as it is today. The control system for Trials is simple enough; you tilt your bike based on the rider's weight distribution across the motorbike and then accelerate and brake depending on how you want to traverse the hundreds of courses available within Trials. While this makes the game very easy to navigate; it is the timing and speed at which you need to overcome certain obstacles which throws off players, and with difficulties increasing to just short of impossible at some points, you can find yourself being really tested as you reach your 100th attempt of the same course you've been stuck on for the past hour. That being said, due to the tutorial like nature of the first few levels within trials as well as the license challenges throughout giving you more and more advance technique tips during the playthrough, you can quite easily come to terms with passing obstacles which look impossible in real life even with a simple little manouvre of the bike. Arcade style gameplay doesn't really come any better than this, and you're guaranteed to be hooked right from the off.
The gameplay within Trials relies heavily on the fantastic (and believe it or not free) Bullet Physics Library engine which powers the game. Whilst the game is simple in that it has only 2D directional flow of play, the environment around you is 3D complete with explosions, collisions and destruction; all of which have a very realistic feel and look about them. Visually, Trials hits the spot. The 2.5D (mixture of 2D gameplay but with 3D surroundings) look to the game is used perfectly to achieve and immensely fun arcade game but with an incredible realistic look. The audio is matched brilliantly to the extreme style of the game, with the suprisingly good soundtrack and hilarious ingame voice acting being performed by none other than Brandon DiCamillio and Rake Yohn from the stunt performing CKY crew and Jackass group.
It has to be said though, that RedLynx do a brilliant job of preventing Trials from getting repetitive. If you get tired of trying to complete one track that you're stuck on - it doesn't matter - there are loads of other tracks you can attempt to overcome to progress through the game and in several different challenge styles. Tournaments and time trials are the standard competitions during the game, yet there are other very quirky challenges thrown into the mix to take you away from the grind of sitting and knocking out track after track. From flying through firey rings to hovering alien spaceships, there is a hell of a lot of variety for things to do in the very arcade like challenges to experience within Trials. And if those weren't enough for you, the level editor allows anyone connected to internet to create and upload their own races, challenges or experiences for everyone to enjoy.
The one thing that Trials does fall down on though, is the customisation aspect that already exists in the game. Though this isn't really a big deal in the arcade game genre, if you're going to put this into your game then you need to get it right. There is a distinct lack of bikes within the game, along with a real lack customisability to them. Even though the option does exist to customise them quite thoroughly, I was left ver confused when there were empty lists where it options should have been plenty to fit new parts and get new paintworks on my bike.
Trials sets a standard for this generation of arcade style games. Although there are certain aspects to the modern requirements from this game missing; with its fast-paced gameplay, impressively realistic 2.5D visuals and its addictive quality, RedLynx open up the arcade genre to a new level of brilliance, showing other developers how to make a modern day arcade-style video games.
For more gaming reviews as well as news, guides and articles - check out London Lions Gaming