From the outrageous physics to the head-spinning stunts, the absurd Trials series of motocross daredevilry is unique in so much as a bone-crushing mistake can be as rewarding as a no-fault run. Launching players through a gauntlet of increasingly complex courses, developer RedlLynx has taken a formula as old as videogaming itself and injects it with a knowing sense of preposterousness to match its skill-driven gameplay.
Trials Fusion doesn’t shake up the template, instead it continues to refine it, layering enhanced features and additions, while transporting the action across shimmering sci-fi structures and sun-soaked tropical climes. Rattling across these new locations you’ll have the option of more vehicles, each specially tuned for specific tasks (and a quad-bike that offers nothing but novelty). Balance and precision become paramount to progression and the steeper difficulty curve this time around will test the dexterity of even the most determined Trials buff.
Things are made more challenging by the inclusion of tricks. Using the right thumbstick, players are able to flip the rider and his bike into a series of impressive poses, racking up points for leaderboard dominance in specific modes (while just exercising flair in the bog-standard level types). It lacks the mechanical exactitude given all the moves are mapped to one thumbstick, but it’s a welcome evolution of the core action that feels distinctly Trials.
Fusion delivers a top-to-bottom tuning of its predecessor, making for a bigger, better and more entertaining sequel. It doesn’t innovate as much as it sticks to what it does best: cunning track design, white-knuckle racing and one of the most essential multiplayer experiences around. It’s the last Trials game you’ll ever need to play.
Reviewed by Bryan Murray