Trisls Rising, the latest installment in the Trials series, is about insane settings, beautiful environments, and going “braaap” over many an obstacle. Trials Rising doesn’t fail to deliver on any of these, with incredible tracks, stunning locations, and a never-ending slew of fun.
Trials Rising isn’t going to blow you away with incredible detail but the environment settings, especially for the tropical maps, are just incredible. Maps span across jungles, cities, lumber yards, junk yards, etc., and each looks incredible in their own right. Each environment is true to their real-world counterpart (without all the crazy rampable equipment obviously), with vivid colours making up the jungle scenes, and hazy fog over more industrial areas.
Maps that take place at night are also authentically replicated, with fires brightening up some sections, and lighting is surprisingly well placed. This isn’t to say that Trials Rising looks bad, by no means, but don’t expect a God of War aesthetic from Trials.
The gameplay is simply addictive and entertaining. Trials Rising even notes this in one of their loading screens, with the quote: “Just one more time – A Trials player at 2am”. This exemplifies the “one more time” nature of the game, as you know you could probably just move to another track, you will always keep pushing. Extending further, Trials Rising will leave you wanting to play it every single day, as you just keep coming back for more.
The combination of massive air, backflips, frontflips, and the various courses, not to mention each one’s comical ending, make Trials Rising a truly amazing, and fun, experience. Thankfully, Trials doesn’t become repetitive thanks to the addictive gameplay, and each course will feature more than one challenge, called Contracts, which you will need to overcome.
Contracts are part of the single-player experience of Trials Rising, and reward you with coin, experience points, and stickers. Each contract tasks you with completing certain objectives, such as airtime, wheelies, backflips, and frontflips, and the further you advance into the game, the more trying the contracts become. There are also various companies that offer these contracts, called sponsors, which include the likes of Red Bull, KTM, Fox, Ubisoft, and RedLynx. Again, some sponsors call for more technical challenges, whereas others might ask for more fun. The blend of technical and whimsical riding prevents Trials Rising from becoming too easy and repetitive, while ensuring that you still have an absolutely wild time.
The locations included in Trials Rising are incredible and add a massive amount of variety, as you travel the globe. There are more zany courses that Trials Rising takes you on, but then there are the more “dull”, technical courses as well, which we spoke about above. Some of the more iconic locations on offer include the Roman Coliseum, The Eiffel Tower (in-game it is the I-Fell Tower), the Grand Canyon, New York Metropolis, the Pyramids of Giza, as well as Stonehenge. However, locations such as Venice Beach, Scottish Castles, Netherland’s Windmills, and the Spanish Tomato Festival are also included, which are just as amazing to race on.
The campaign is actually rather lengthy, with 30 hours plus of content for you to tackle. Generally, once you unlock a new sponsor, you will be racing on a course you have tackled before, but with different objectives. Also, when you complete a League (there are 9 of them), new courses unlock for you to annihilate. One drawback to Trials Rising is that your fun and progression is abruptly halted, as some races and leagues are locked, forcing you to clean up previous races, which can be a grind, in order to progress. For the most part, it can be fun, but one area where I got really stuck was at a Stadiums Finals, where the AI was next to impossible to beat. I was forced to revisit that same race until I eventually managed to nudge a victory, 4 hours later.
Customisation is a pretty big component of Trials Rising, allowing you to customise almost every aspect of your rider and your bike. Along with your jacket, helmet, pants, shoes, and accessories, you can also customise your tires, rims, body panel, frame, and exhausts. This is not the customisation system in its entirety, but these are just some examples.
Many customisation items could be earned through Gear Crates in-game, but a number of items needed to be purchased with in-game currency. Unfortunately, there are some items that are locked behind Acorns, which you need real-world money to buy.
Customisation also extends to the track editor, where you can build your own track. The customisation options are almost limitless, and you can even download community tracks to play with, as well as upload yours for others to download.
The soundtrack to Trials Rising is so well-put together, that it deserves its own special mention. Typically, racing games offer a “generic” selection of tracks to get you going, get you fuelled up and roaring to go, but they often don’t really hit the mark, as they feel sort-of out of place. However, in Trials Rising, the soundtrack is a great mix between rock, heavy metal, and electronic to cater for any person, and adds to that “one more time” feeling, and is rather reminiscent of Burnout. It's inspiring, is what I am trying to say.
In terms of performance, I never experienced any game crashes, bugs, or any other nefarious anomalies. However, every so often, the game would simply freeze up for about a second, and then carry on, but I wasn’t negatively affected by this, it was more of an annoyance (note: this is referring to single-player content – online may differ). Also, the loading times for textures are slow at times, especially in loading screens both before and after the race, with some arenas taking a while to load in properly as well. However, the loading times between restarts and resets were instantaneous.
Other than that, there were no glitches or game-breaking bugs. The courses were well designed, and although it was a physics-based game, you didn’t need a physics degree to understand it. Trials Rising offers the Trials University for you to hone your skills, as well learn the techniques necessary, but the courses were so well-designed, that nothing felt out of place. Simply, while crazy and maniacal, the courses were still set in the realm of reality, and the game never needed to alter the physics just to make some jumps/ramps work.
Overall, Trials Rising is one of the most fun, addictive, challenging, and complete titles I have played in a while. Trial Rising carries the Trials legacy on with great conviction, and the more people you have around to play with, the better. More than anything, Trials Rising does something that, ultimately, needs to be at the core of every game; it’s fun. It's zany, yet challenging, leaving it as a phenomenal follow-on for the Trails franchise.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
26 February 2019
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