It's been almost 5 years since the previous Trials game released so let's see what RedLynx has been up to.
I've been playing and thoroughly enjoying the Trials series ever since Trials HD on Xbox 360. Since then, the franchise has improved with better visuals, huge licensed music soundtracks, and crazier tracks to master. For better and worse, Trials Rising is merely the next logical step forward. Thankfully, controlling your dirt bike to scale steep ramps, land without wiping out, and navigate past ridiculous scenarios is as enjoyable as ever. Sure, the core gameplay is ultimately nothing more than familiar with no new added mechanics to set it apart from previous games but it's still a blast to rip through elaborate tracks at high speeds only to watch your rider meet their demise in a clever way at the goal. Plus, seeing your times gradually get milliseconds shaved off upon each attempt is rewarding stuff as always.
Of course, Trials Rising features an array of crazy stages to master. Some examples include racing through a movie set with constantly changing scenery, trying not to fall off a construction site, watching tomatoes splatter on the screen as you land in a giant bucket full of the delicious vegetable, and balancing on hot air balloons. In addition to the stages, there are also a bunch of super-fun mini-games to master that involve feats such as bouncing your rider off of explosives or ejecting them so they can dunk a basketball. On top of all this, you can play cooperatively with a friend via the Tandem bike, play competitively in online Global Multiplayer, compete against friends in Party Mode, and create and share tracks. In other words, there's a lot of content to enjoy in Trials Rising.
One of the best aspects of Trials Rising is how well-implemented its learning curve is. Although the Trials series has always excelled at easing players into increasingly tricky situations, Trials Rising goes above and beyond by allowing you to tackle whichever unlocked mission you want next, learn the ropes in Trials University, and even watch replays from the leaderboards so you can see how the best players in the world whip through the tracks. I'm sure even those who consider themselves awesome at Trials can learn a lot.
As you play through the challenges that Trials Rising has to offer, you'll level up and unlock a collection of customization parts for your rider and your bike via gear crates (or loot boxes if you prefer). To be honest, I didn't care much for this aspect at all. It takes forever to open a gear box and after amassing a couple dozen of them, I found myself rapidly tapping triangle to just get them over with. Afterwards, I figured I'd see what I got and everything was just cosmetic items that have no affect on the actual gameplay. So, I dressed my rider up as Super Dave Osborne in memory of the legendary Bob Einstein and that was good enough.
Before I wrap this up, I should mention that Trials Rising has some pretty embarrassing performance issues. Often, I'd be playing through a track only for the visuals to stop abruptly for a second or 2. Once, it happened for so long that I thought my PlayStation 4 froze. Needless to say, this is enough to completely mess up your concentration and timing but thankfully, it doesn't happen constantly. I'd guess that I experienced these performance problems about a few dozen times throughout which is still far too many.
Long-time Trials fans will find a familiar yet enjoyable game in Rising. It may feature a wealth of content and many truly memorable moments but it still doesn't quite feel like a huge step up for the series.
- + Awesome classic Trials gameplay
- + Loads of stages to master, modes to play, and even mini-games to enjoy
- + Well-implemented learning curve
- - Core gameplay doesn't do anything new
- - Performance issues on certain tracks can easily mess up your timing
- - Customization is purely cosmetic