It’s been almost 3 years, since Trials HD was released on Xbox Live Arcade to near universal praise. It was addicting, it was frustrating, it was good times. So now, several years later developer Redlynx brings us a new game in the series. How does it stack up? Well, we’ve played it, and we’ve got the verdict!
Audio & Visual
Let’s get this out of the way. What can we say? Trials games are in essence, very simple games. Visually, the games are nothing special, but neither are lacking. There are definitely a few sequences where explosions and fireworks and lighting come into play though, and I must say, the game is beautiful to look at them. It certainly gives your stunts and tricks visual flair.
What’s more important though is that the game has no graphical issues that affect gameplay. In a game like this, where every minor move is critical, and where things can get really busy on screen, you’ll be happy to know the visuals are as smooth as butter. So gameplay will never suffer from visual slowdown or glitches. As for the audio, it’s mostly hard rock/metal and to be honest, rather forgettable. Not much else to say on it.
Trials is at it’s core, a physics based game. And as far as that core goes, the game hasn’t changed. If you’ve played Trials HD, the formula here will be really familiar. If you haven’t, then it’s rather simple. You move forward, jumping over ramps and obstacles. By accelerating and decelerating your dirt bike, and leaning forward and back on the seat you adjust balance so you can jump higher, land better, lever over obstacles, and perform stunts. It sounds deceptively simply, but it takes a bit of getting used to.
The progression of the game has been changed up slightly, requiring that you earn licenses to proceed onto harder difficulties. Each license also grants you a better bike, which to perform better on the more difficult levels you unlock. Each level has XP associated with it, and you get a certain amount depending on whether you get Bronze, Silver, or Gold for a level. This can leave you stranded a bit later as you won’t be able to progress in the game until you go back and master some of the earlier levels to get Gold.
One thing that remains is that the levels get more and more complex with absurd obstacles and crazier stunts. The difficulty ramps up about halfway through the game, and it can become really frustrating. If you’re not a patient person, Trials never has been and never will be for you. You can beat a lot of levels by pressing B to return to a checkpoint, and retrying until you make it. However, if you want to get Gold, you’re going to need to get through the levels perfectly from beginning to end. Luckily, you can restart quickly and easily at anytime by pressing the start button.
Aside from this, Trials includes some very cool little side games for you to enjoy, much like the original. Including things like launching your character off of his bike and flapping to see how long you can make him fly with pieces of wood strapped to his arms. Or seeing how far you can get in a level with only acceleration and deceleration.
However, what makes this game one of the more unique entries in the Xbox Live Arcade libraries, is a fully featured level editor. That means making and sharing maps with the community, complete with a built in marketplace for finding and downloading new maps. It adds endless replay ability to the title, and for those who have the patience to build the maps, practically a whole extra game.
In the end, Trials Evolution is just another iteration of its predecessor. That’s not really a bad thing though. Everything that made the original Trials so great is still just as great here. It’s worth picking up, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes their games excruciatingly hard.