Game crossovers are nothing new yet this one sure is unexpected. Was combining Trials gameplay with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon's world a good idea? Warm up your hot tub time machine and get ready to revisit the '80s and see for yourself.
If you've played 2013's Far Cry 3 spin-off Blood Dragon then you know what to expect when it comes to Trials of the Blood Dragon's presentation. You take turns playing as Rex Power Colt's son and daughter in an insane '80s action movie world. Everything from the posters hanging in the hub, VHS effects, neon colours, and clothing styles will remind you of the era when hair bands and cocaine reigned supreme. Thankfully, the soundtrack by Power Glove (who also scored Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon) elevates the '80s atmosphere to new heights. The visuals aren't as impressive as the gorgeous environments in Trials Fusion but there are a handful of moments that look fantastic such as when you soar above a brightly lit city at night and witness massive explosions. Overall, Trials of the Blood Dragon does a great job of retaining what made the original Blood Dragon stand out while applying it to a new gameplay style.
Speaking of gameplay, anyone who has played a Trials game will be able to jump in with no instruction. The tricky motorcycle platforming that defines the series remains fully intact yet there's much more to it this time around. You'll find yourself traversing buildings on foot, shooting enemies, solving simple puzzles, swinging from the ceiling, flying around with a jetpack, controlling an RC car, driving a futuristic tank, and being the ball in a giant game of pinball. The variety of gameplay segments is nothing short of impressive. By the time you're done the campaign, you won't believe everything you went through along the way. After all is said and done, Trials of the Blood Dragon's ever-changing gameplay will undoubtedly hold your attention throughout the entire journey.
An aspect of Trials of the Blood Dragon that I found to be simply phenomenal is its use of action sequences. You'll experience so many mind-blowing things such as riding on a series of rockets soaring above a chasm, avoiding an enormous monstrous creature (that you later get to briefly control), and... did I mention explosions? All of these segments seem like they're lifted straight out of the best classic action films and they're great fun to play through. It's one of those games that people will gladly watch you play.
Although Trials of the Blood Dragon sounds pretty cool so far, it suffers from some major issues that hold it back from being a great game. First of all, the platforming parts where you run around, jump, and shoot things are unbelievably lame. Unfortunately, there are many portions that feature this gameplay style. Jumping is way too floaty and awkward, exchanging gunfire doesn't feel satisfying in the slightest, and enemy artificial intelligence is almost non-existent. If the campaign was only composed of these parts then this would be one of the worst games that I've ever played but thankfully the classic Trials gameplay saves it.
Finally, there's very little to do. The campaign only contains 27 stages that you can complete in one or two sittings. Once you've finished it then all that's left is replaying stages to beat your previous high scores. You can also find a few hidden secrets but that won't take long. Why they didn't include any additional modes is beyond me because the little amount of content here simply doesn't cut it.
Trials of the Blood Dragon may be a rather disappointing experiment but there's still a lot of fun to be had in its relentlessly unhinged world. My recommendation: fans of either Trials or Blood Dragon should at least pick it up when it's on sale.
- + Over-the-top '80s presentation is great
- + Action sequences are simply awesome
- + Gameplay variety keeps the campaign fresh and exciting from start to finish
- - Platforming segments are incredibly lame
- - Short on content with only 27 stages
- - Lack of additional modes limits replay value to just mastering the stages