The Trials games have always been about celebrating failure as much as victory, which is why almost every level in Trials Rising (out today) involves some manner of comically violent crash. It’s okay to explode, or fall off a cliff, or be squashed by a falling cartoon piano in pursuit of glory – it’s all part of the learning experience. On that note, Trials Rising might be the best place to start for the physics platformer series, as it includes a series of detailed, narrated tutorials from fan-channel turned official resource University of Trials. Check out the launch trailer below.
From what I played of the open beta last weekend, Rising is more of the same that Redlynx delivered with Evolution and Fusion, but a little more competitive in structure. By default you’ll be racing against other player’s ghost times, and sometimes given a challenge of beating a specific player, with in-game currency (used to unlock more costumes and vinyls) as reward. It feels a little more lively and human, but it’s still primarily a solo game. There’s a few optional multiplayer modes, and a comical tandem bike for two players to crash together, but it’s primarily just about riding from A to B quickly and with a minimum of crashes.
I’m also very happy to report that Trials Rising features cross-platform leaderboards and level sharing. While you can’t play the direct head-to-head multiplayer modes against folks on other systems, everything else – including watching other player’s replays or racing their ghosts – is in. The PC version of Trials Fusion was a bit of a ghost town with only a few thousand user-made levels, but Redlynx patched in cross-platform support and there’s now six digits of maps to pick from. Good, as the series has a famously powerful level editor with a complex scripting system.
It’s a little prettier this time round, though still capped at 60fps to enable the game’s famously deterministic physics. There’s sharper textures and more detailed environment chunks, but the biggest improvement seems to be in the music. Ubisoft have flexed their wallet a little in order to get a bunch of licensed tracks that reminds me of the old Tony Hawks Pro Skater games. Some punk, some rap, some metal – it’s full of energy. It’s also a streamer’s nightmare, so maybe play your own music if you want to share with the world? Still, it’s all familiar, and that’s fine with me.