Bone-pulverising bike crash 'em up Trials Rising will be free to try next weekend, from Thursday, February 21st to Sunday, February 25th, leading directly into its launch. Presumably to get some new blood on board (if you like past Trials games, this one seems similar), Ubisoft are inviting the great un-mangled public to give their motorcycle platformer a try. Bring a friend, too, for the ridiculous and likely even more lethal tandem bike mode. Below, a trailer showing off some of the things developers Redlynx have planned for the game after its launch on February 26th.
There are few games where I'd just be satisfied with more of the same plus a few extra twists, but I'd be pretty happy if Rising was just a glorified expansion for Trials Fusion. One thing I'm really hoping for here is secrets on par with Fusion - many of its levels had game-changing easter eggs, secret routes, hidden missions or even whole minigames tucked away in strange places. I know I'll never be good enough to take on fan-made 'Ninja' difficulty tracks, but what I can do is poke around in strange corners of levels hoping to find something special. And I did in Fusion. A lot.
I missed out on the closed beta in September, but from what I've seen and heard so far, the focus of Rising seems a little more competitive than its sci-fi predecessor. They really want players racing against ghosts, or playing the more directly competitive modes live. Personally, I've always treated the Trials games as a zen, solitary experience where I'm free to die a thousand times without holding anyone up. Still, if there's enough players to provide some decent lower-bracket competition, I'll give it a spin.
What'll really keep the game running long-term isn't the two planned expansions, but the level editor - as with Fusion, there's nothing you can find in the game that players can't make for themselves. Trials Fusion was a bit of a ghost town on PC until Redlynx patched in cross-platform level sharing, and then everyone had hundreds of thousands of tracks and minigames to play around with. If they can hit those kinds of numbers with Rising again, I can see people still playing it in 2023 or whenever the next game in the series lands.
Trials Rising launches on February 26th for £21/€25/$25, and a bit more for the Gold edition which will eventually include two more expansions full of new tracks and level bits for creators. You can find it on Steam, Humble and the Ubisoft Store. The open beta weekend will be free for everyone, starting on Thursday, February 21st and running nearly up until launch via Uplay.