Trials Rising – I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again
PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
God damn… crap… oh Jesus Christ… stay down…hold it…shit… I AM THE GREATEST HUMAN ALIVE
If you hear something similar to this, watch out. You are entering the lair of a Trials Rising player. A place where time stands still, frustrations are vented and getting the perfect run is all that matters. It may take 50 failures, but that one flawless run makes it all worth it. Victories are celebrated, defeats are vocalised. Friends are encouraged to join, to gloat, to crash and competing against others from around the globe becomes an obsession. Trials Rising is a religion, one that welcomes everyone but never lets a single soul go, not that you would want to leave once you are in its grip.
For those few of you out there that aren’t aware of the Trials series, it is a motorbike racing/physics puzzle game that relies on players guiding their bike through courses, crashing as little as possible. That may sound easy but the reality is anything but. Physics and momentum play a huge part in the player’s ability to guide these machines through the delivish courses. Minute adjustments to the speed and balance of the bike are often the difference between a clean run and eating dirt. In Trials Rising this is all remains true, in fact, the core gameplay is essentially the same as the previous games. Wisely, Ubisoft has avoided trying to mix things up and have stayed true to the franchise’s roots, which makes Trials Rising the best game in the series for quite some time.
The Single-player component is set up in a simple manner. Events from around the world pop up, you compete in them. That simple. As you progress and your level gets higher extra challenges are added to the events. No longer is completing the level enough, now you have to complete a certain amount of backflips, beat a certain time or complete the level without falling. These extra challenges can be seemingly impossible but I assure you they aren’t and when you finally conquer one you will want to run around the house yelling with joy as if you had just scored the winning goal in the world cup.
Perhaps the best addition to the franchise is the inclusion of Youtuber Professor Fatshady of the University of Trials. This Australian based Youtube channel has been around forever, helping Trials players around the world improve their skills. Now he is in the game and gives interactive tutorials on how to complete some of the most advanced maneuvers and tricks, helping players get through those super tough levels. I found it such a wonderful resource, even though I have been playing Trials games since the first entry. Clear explanations and demonstrations of the more difficult techniques improved my progression and gave me a much better understanding of how to tackle the later courses. It is a fabulous addition to the title and I applaud Ubisoft for its inclusion.
Graphically the game is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the levels are awe-inspiring and racing through them and a treat for your eyes. A Movie inspired level sees players racing through an alien invasion, A smelting factory level sees players riding over beams with their tyres catching fire and a theme park based course has bikes leaping off the pirate ship onto the rollercoaster tracks. These levels all look great at speed, but when things slow down a few problems show up. I observed a bit of pop-in and some rough textures throughout the game, not enough to really stand out but it was certainly noticeable.
The one real problem I have with the game is the loot boxes. Granted there is nothing in these loot boxes that give an advantage, it is all cosmetic, but they way they are implemented is like a sledgehammer to the face. Not only that, they actually take a while to open because the game has to connect to the Ubisoft servers when you try to open one. There is no reason these items had to be hidden behind random boxes, they could have been in-game unlocks or even purchased with in-game cash. These loot boxes are obnoxious and a stain on an otherwise fantastic game.
Essentially Trials Rising is just more Trials and that is great. It has done away with the gimmicks that had started to appear in the last few entries and has gotten back to the amazing foundation of challenging and addictive physics-based gameplay. If you have never dipped your toes into Trials this is the perfect place to start with the University of Trials making the barrier of entry much more accessible for newbies while improving the advanced skills of returning players. Apart from the tasteless lootboxes, Trials Rising is just about as good as Trials has ever been so it should be a no-brainer for anyone with the slightest interest in the franchise.
Join the Cult of Trials, feel the rush of victory and the agony of defeat. But know once you join, much like Hotel California, you can never leave.