The Trials series is one of pure addiction and unrivaled skill, ridiculous obstacle ridden playgrounds and death defying leaps into the unknown, countless bails and bone-breaking falls. It’s one of teeth grinding frustration and controller hurling fury. So fans may be pleased to hear that much hasn’t changed for Trials Fusion – the now third entry in the downloadable series (forth if you count Frontier on iOS).
As with previous Trials titles, Fusion sees you taking control of a rider and his motorcycle (or BMX and quad bike) and navigating a series of 2D tracks – the only manoeuvres you have at your disposal are revving the throttle, hitting the brakes, leaning your rider forward or back and performing stunts and tricks (more on that later). Using this foundation of simple and extremely responsive controls you’re at first guided through a series of relatively simple track layouts that offer plenty of straightaways and forgiving ramps that allow you to get a feel for the handling and the game’s physics.
As you progress through the game’s linear campaign, gradually the ramps start to become steeper, the leaps more daring and the obstacles more complicated to navigate. It’s at this point where learning to control your bike’s throttle and rider’s balance is essential to victory. No more can you simply hold down the gas the whole distance. Suddenly every lean and bunny hop matters and needs to be perfectly executed. Sadly there seem to be fewer stages than Evolution included here with well over half offering little challenge for returning veterans making it easy to feel a little short changed.
A new addition this time around are the level specific missions. Every regular stage in the game sports three unique objectives that could range from simple things such as running over flowers or finding hidden areas to much tougher tasks like never letting your front wheel touch certain parts of the track or never leaning at all. They’re challenging and often fun giving you extra incentive to return back to previous stages.
Also littered sporadically across the campaign’s eight brackets are the returning skill games. Taking a break from the usual getting point to point in one piece idea, these unique slices of randomness see you performing odd tasks like bailing as far as you can in the game’s equivalent of a long jump contest, climbing up an increasingly tougher series of obstacles or getting as far as you can with leaning completely disabled. While a nice distraction, unfortunately they lack the craziness that featured in the original two games. Skiing on land and keeping balanced on a giant rolling ball were fantastically silly and here sadly things feel very restrained.
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