Trials Fusion is the latest installment in what has generally been a game that offers a simple premise but provides a lot of gameplay punch. While there aspects of Fusion that I am greatly impressed with, there are a few things that I am unhappy with.
For those unfamiliar, the Trials games are a very simple premise. You're riding a motorbike (along with other vehicles in Fusion) across a large variety of tracks with physics being the ultimate gameplay component. You have to control the bike properly or you will wipe out.....A LOT!
I've broken this into a simple pros/cons list for anyone that has tl;dr issues :-)
+ Looks fantastic. The colors are rich and have real pop to them. If you can play this in Ultra at the highest resolution you're in for a treat, even at lower resolutions it still is great eye candy
+ Base game course design is interesting for the most part and the futuristic setting adds more than I thought it would.
+ Trick/FX gameplay styles really add to the depth and encourage playing tracks multiple times with both fastest times and trick scores being seperate goals.
+ A ton of community made tracks at your fingertips.
- Pricey DLC with the season pass costing the same price as the base game making MSRP for both base and season pass (a.k.a. Deluxe Edition) just $20 less than a AAA title. There have been two DLC packs released thus far with more to come.
- Some base game courses are much shorter than you'd expect.
- Lacks the challenge at the lower levels that earlier Trials titles brought. Seems watered down for casuals/newcomers in respects. The physics are still brutal depending on course, but definitely easier to get the hang of. ATVs are disgustingly easy.
- Four months after release and online multiplayer is still not in the game, yet is promised by the developer. This is UNACCEPTABLE when being advertised as having multiplayer especially at the cost of the full package. Local multiplayer only at the moment (8/23/14 is the date of this review).
- Tedious unlocking system.
- There seems to be some measure of a "story" mode to the single player game where you're regularly spoken to by a female AI similar to GlaDOS of the Portal games, except the Trials AI lady lacks the wit of that classic character and is generally just grating.
Let me be clear, while my cons are glaring, I do not regret my purchase of this game. I have a real soft spot for this series and have gotten a lot of mileage out of the earlier titles and am going to continue to play this one as it plays well and I can't overstate how great it looks. I was first introduced to Trials when it came out on Xbox 360 Arcade and I put well over 100 hours into that iteration of the game. I hesitated on this new one until I upgraded my hardware and now that I have, I am very glad I waited at least until then. That being said, unless you are like me and a fan of the Trials series and know what you're getting into, do yourself a favor and hold off until this is on sale.
I recommend this with a caveat. Definitely pick it up when on sale, but unless you're really into the series/gameplay style, you're fine waiting.