Trials Fusion Review
There’s no innovation in Trials Fusion.
Course, it was hard to expect from an inevitable sequel – but really that’s the sticking point for Trials Fusion. Yes it’s great, but it is more of the same.
More of the same might be enough for you, especially if you’re looking for a reroll on that Trials experience but on PS4 or Xbox One instead.
Yet that’s about it. There are some additions, but they don’t add up to much. And really that would be missing the point; Trials is as Trials is, and changing that formula too much would be a bit of a bugger.
Such is the double-edged sword that Trials Fusion suffers from.
That Trials Fusion Experience
Spread across a series of increasingly difficult stages, Trials Fusion is fairly typical. Left to right, sometimes combining a spin.
Obviously it’s not quite as simple as that; if you want to get a gold medal – however easy that may be initially – you’ll still need to learn courses, when to speed up and when to slow down. The usual, you know.
The crux of the game relies on your desire to watch leaderboards, to keep practicing because you know you can shave half a second off your fastest time and – simultaneously – beat your friend’s time too.
If you don’t share that simple joy, Trials Fusion isn’t for you.
There are plenty of stages to churn through, and since the latter part of the game will take a load of practice even just to finish the level – let alone post a competent time – you’ve got a decent amount of hours here.
There are unlockables and customisable outfits and the like too, but most of this is peripheral, really.
Tricking In Trials Fusion
Not every stage is all about the speed and time, though.
Tricking has always been a part of the series, though in many forms it was just about the showboating and never a core focus.
With FMX stages, Trials Fusion tries to make tricks a little more key to the game – though admittedly it’s never really the main event here.
The ability to trick freestyle as part of a traditional Trial been included, but there’s no real benefit to doing so – beyond the aforementioned showboating, of course.
Worse still, the tricking system is awkwardly implemented at best, broken at worst.
The tricks system works on not only the direction you move the right-stick in, but also the position the bike is at in the air. This would be fine, if you wanted to do anything other than Superman, however.
See the problem is either there aren’t enough situations accounted for in the tricking commands, or the mechanics are so precise that it’s impossible to guarantee any success.
Often it’ll revert to Superman as its default trick – and in the score attack stages a trick’s value degrades with each use – or your rider will flail incontrollably, either failing to register a trick happened at all or initiating it right at the last second.
Resulting in an inevitable faceplant, as you might expect.
It’s especially frustrating since there’s no trick guide – at least not an obvious one – so even learning the tricks has to be done ‘in the wild’ as it were, and even then you won’t be sure that the input you used correlates with what the game expects.
Trials Fusion Review
It’s a shame because, done properly, an additional tricking section would add a whole new level to Trials. As it stands, the trick bits just kinda get in the way of why you’re really here: the time trials.
Returning features such as multiplayer and Create mode round out the package as a whole – which isn’t ungenerous – and will bring even more longevity to Trials Fusion.
Especially Create Mode, which is still as confusing as before but nonetheless an absorbing and rewarding feature for those willing to put the hours in to learn the systems (seriously Red Lynx, add a tutorial or something).
It’s more of the same, but then we already told you that. If you quite fancy the idea of returning to Trials then Trials Fusion is as good an excuse as any.
Perhaps it’s not the next-gen experience you’re looking forward to, perhaps it won’t surprise you in anyway but it will, if nothing else, give you the compulsive one-more-try desire the series is renown for.
On the topic of ‘next-gen experiences’, however, it’s worth mentioning that Trials Fusion isn’t exactly a stellar example of gaming’s future – at least graphically.
That’s not to say it’s bad or anything, just that with the emphasis on spectacle here – things are always blowing up in Trials Fusion – you’d probably appreciate it a little more if the visuals compared.
Loading times can be strangely lengthy, too, while retrying longer tracks can result in a good deal of pop-in. All insignificant problems, of course, but worth drawing attention to if you were hoping for something a bit shinier on PS4 or Xbox One.
Version tested: PS4