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Review

Trials Fusion Review

  • Game release: April 15, 2014
  • Reviewed: April 16, 2014
  • XONE
  • PS4
Robert Handlery on Google+

Man, machine, the fusion.

by

"Welcome to the future!" The song that welcomes you into Trials Fusion is so catchy, so sincere, and so cheesy that it wonderfully sets the tone for the insanity that's about to unfold. Like its predecessors, Fusion relishes in the absurd. The writhing body of your fallen rider, the warning of a furry of squirrels from the announcer, and the slapstick deaths that meet you at the finish line all converge to keep your spirits high as you fight through the treacherous, postapocalyptic landscapes. Trials Fusion is another great entry in the series that embraces its comedic and devious nature to create a mesmerizing motorcycle adventure in the land of chaos.

The spirit of Trials is unchanged in this newest iteration. Obstacle courses stretch before you, confining you to a 2D line in which you have little choice but to meet your fate straight on, dead ahead. Your focus is on staying upright. Twist the throttle, lean forward and back, and try not to land wrong after a three-story drop. It's readily apparent that the uncomplicated controls hide the complexity boiling just under the surface. Although the physics aren't realistic, they are consistent. Any bump can send you reeling if you hit it at the wrong angle, so be wary, and don't gun the accelerator on an uphill climb unless you want to end up flat on your back.

Sound intimidating? Don't worry. Fusion eases you into its challenges through tutorials that may make veteran riders yawn but ensure things aren't so scary for novices. Once you come to grips with the handling, perfection is within your grasp in the early going. Beginner, easy, and medium courses test your knowledge of the basic maneuvers through a series of fantastic tracks that spit in the face of those who swear by natural laws. Ramps assemble themselves as you speed toward them in a metallic space station, Cretaceous fog swirls in a swamp, and nuclear silos hint at what has become of this ravaged world.

For half of Fusion, you're on a whirlwind tour of an arctic wilderness, arid deserts, and other locales that encompass your adventure. Speed is your goal. Can you shave seconds off your time? Cross the finish line without crashing? With a little practice, the answer is yes, so you spend hours testing yourself against the best the leaderboards have to offer. Or, at least whatever your friends are up to. Fusion has a single-screen, local multiplayer mode that's a fun diversion for up to four, but the real competition lies in chasing your friends' best times. Markers showing how well they performed dot tracks, so you always know exactly how you stack up, and know that it's only a matter of time before they're looking up at you.

Ramps assemble themselves as you speed toward them, Cretaceous fog swirls in a swamp, and nuclear silos hint at what has become of this ravaged world.

Things shift considerably once you enter the hard tracks. Say goodbye to the breezy, speedy fun that defined your early adventures. Those dreams of chasing down friends or finishing without a single crash have dissipated, and mere survival is your only goal. Fusion lays out checkpoints in such a liberal manner that there are almost too many in the initial courses. But you'll need every one once you enter the later tracks. It's here that you have to urge your bike across a bottomless drop without any momentum to get you moving. Or climb a sheer rock face with a nasty bump waiting for you as you near the top. Every section is so challenging that your resolve is constantly tested. Immediate restarts let you try again and again without any break, but at some point, you may find that you've met your match.

This is not a glitch.

For me, it was toward the end of the hard tracks that I hit both the literal and figurative wall. But instead of putting down the controller for good, I went back to those early courses that I thought I had nailed. It turns out that the hard work it took to get me through the bulk of the adventure improved my abilities, so I shattered my previous times upon revisiting them. There's always a way to land a jump more smoothly, or keep your momentum going even while climbing uphill, and it's immensely satisfying to see just how far you've come from those early hours. Fusion has bikes and clothing to unlock, but it's not the extrinsic rewards that are so compelling. Rather, it's the intrinsic feeling of achieving something real, of overcoming what seemed impossible, and seeing how skilled you've become at such a difficult game.

Fusion isn't just about navigating tricky racetracks. Tricks have now been integrated in the action so you can show a little flair while you're flying off ramps. Just tilt the right stick to imitate superman or a proud hero, and try to hold that pose as long as possible until your wheels hit the road. Pulling off tricks during normal runs spices up the action, though you don't receive any bonuses for being daring. However, there are courses specifically designed for tricks that let you show off your creative side. Ramps upon ramps with speed in mind let you go crazy in midair, and such a goofy diversion offers a great respite from the hard-nosed racing. So blow off some steam before you once again try to best one of those conniving hard courses.

Part of the reason Fusion is so successful is that it gives you ample ways to have fun even when you're struggling to progress. Every track has three challenges to take part in that change things drastically from the standard racing fare. Some of these are tests of skill, such as maneuvering through a track without laying off the accelerator. Other times, you need to put your explorer's hat on. Find every bunch of flowers or the three hidden buttons, and keep your eyes peeled; you'd be surprised how well things are hidden in the linear courses. My favorite challenges were those that I never saw coming. Squaring off against a penguin in a game of tennis? Flipping the screen upside down? Riding a rocket? Fusion is ridiculous, and the challenges bring even more goofiness into the fold.

There's always one person on their back.

The one downside of Fusion lies in its creation tools. Though they are incredibly powerful, they require a lot of effort before you can even begin to craft an interesting track. There are no in-game tutorials to guide you through this tricky process; rather, you're pointed toward a YouTube page, and there's no direct link taking you there. As of this writing, those videos were still not uploaded. Sadly, the tools aren't intuitive, so I struggled to make anything. You're given a map of the entire Fusion world and must lay down a racing line, but gauging the size of obstacles such as rocks and canyons is not easy. Once you have the basic layout, you must fiddle with tons of different options. Laying down roads seems easy enough, right? Even that took a lot more finagling that I expected. And after I was done, my rider would occasionally fall through the environment or clip into rocks. I could see the potential, but without a proper tutorial, I couldn't wrap my head around the obtuse tools.

Of course, if you're not into creating tracks, you won't find any major problems in Trials Fusion, and it's easy to find tracks from other users. This is another expertly designed entry in the enthralling series. Though the core action remains largely unchanged, it's as exciting as it has ever been, thanks in part to the gorgeous visual design that brings each location to life. By injecting so much levity in a game with such a tough exterior, RedLynx has been able to keep the mood light even when you're cursing them for punishing course design. Trials Fusion is a great game that not only tests your skill and patience, but keeps you laughing at the ridiculous scenarios.

The Good
Clever, imaginative course design
Tricks inject even more personality into the action
Great intrinsic rewards as you steadily improve
Bonus challenges give you a good change of pace from the racing
Powerful track editor
The Bad
Unintuitive editor lacks tutorials
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

/ Staff

Tom eventually brute-forced his way to the expert tracks, though may have gotten a little help along the way. His masochistic tendencies bring him toward challenging games, so Trials has been a consistent favorite.

Discussion

136 comments
gruber23
gruber23

I've been playing this all day and it's easily worth £15.99. As soon as I see what type of DLC they bring out I'll probably get the season pass as well. The only downside I've seen is that some things are locked behind uPlay, something I refuse to register with. Saying that, it's only aesthetic things and it doesn't affect the game in any way. It's just an awesome game!

 Steal Someone’s Facebook Username and Password

faizanhd
faizanhd

Light years ahead of everyone else ?

I think not.


andmcq
andmcq

Watch out. This game uses that piece of shit Uplay system.

azim_baluch
azim_baluch

It's a fun game, but way too easy until you get to the last 2 levels.  I'm already 78% complete and only have 6 hours logged with it :(

The DLC makes the price worthwhile though (included season pass with the deluxe edition).  Map editor is fun, but the camera is terrible and makes setting things up rather tricky.

PayneKiller
PayneKiller

Reminds me of a game I got on my phone a couple years ago. how much for this game?

tokyoe
tokyoe

awesome fun game. but you will have to turn down the music. there is only this ONE song.  

DefunktJunk
DefunktJunk

hmm.. Think i just might scoop this one up :]

regnaston
regnaston

Bought it for the XB1 (digital) and it will not connect to the Ubisoft servers. (happening to some people across all platforms).


Called MS and they refunded my money.. I was able to play without leaderboards and friend's as ghosts.. and I think this is about a $10 game (or what I would pay for it)

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

Hmm. Interesting choice on the looping background movie clip. I take it pelvic thrusts are central to the gameplay?

mr_nee
mr_nee

No wonder McShea gives PS relatively low scores, he's a bot.

wa128
wa128

This is on pc too with better graphics...  I wasted cash on my ps4 its catching dust.right now... I find myself only playing pc titles.... Should have upgraded my pc instead

wgerardi
wgerardi

I promise I wont make any Last of Us comments.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

This game got the same score as infamous if I remember right. Yeah lost a lot of respect for their reviewers or least certain ones. Total joke comes to mind.

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

I got this for X1 and theres some screen tearing and texture pop in. Dont remember that happening for previous games on 360.

lazygames
lazygames

Shame the online multiplayer will be delayed by a few months :/

RyogaRod
RyogaRod

Game looks like a lot of fun and I enjoyed the previous ones. I'll be picking this up for sure.

peterhorner1867
peterhorner1867

I stuck my nose up to this game. I shouldn't have done. It's absolutely brilliant fun.

N-bellic
N-bellic

Whenever I see a game from the Trials series, I cant help but think of Elastomania. Good times.

Abruzzii
Abruzzii

Are the controls for PC easy? I played Evolution on console, and with the triggers I was able to push the trottle down 25/50% depending on the obstacles. How does this work on keyboard? Seems like pressing a keyboard key is 100% throttle every time, am I right?

nervedamaged
nervedamaged

2 points knocked off because the creation tools are crap???  Anyways, whatever console you have...BUY THIS GAME!!!!

Slvrshot
Slvrshot

 You've got to be an absolute fanboy to believe the X1 couldn't run this game at 1080p/60. Obviously either Red Lynx was lazy, the game was rushed, or they don't know how to properly code and optimize a game. I'd say its probably all of the above. 


There are a number of graphically superior titles on the X1 that look better than this. Hell we don't even have to use the Forza example. NBA 2K14 which runs 1080p/60fps looks better than this crap. 


We all know the PS4 is more powerful than the X1, but lets not be stupid. The fact that this game was 800p and had to be patched to 900p is alarming. I can't wait til we get out of this launch window. 

Silverline62
Silverline62

The only thing that pisses me off is that they abandoned the great rock tracks and gone for eletronic bullshit music.

wallacom
wallacom

Game is awesome. 9/10. I bought it for PS4 while my friend bought it for x1, and we compared it on one 60" TV. I must say I cant really say there is a difference. unless you sit 2 ft away from the TV.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@wa128  Nice try, this game has no better graphics :)

bluefox755
bluefox755

@wa128  I wouldn't say that, maybe you shoulda waited to buy it, but if you skipped out, you'd miss the inevitable Sony exclusives coming, games that have been consistently amazing for years, only available on playstation. :)

rad8045
rad8045

@Kinguard73 comment makes no sense because both are totally different games. 

d-man
d-man

@Kinguard73  Yeah, it's almost like they are two completely different games that should be judged on their own criteria. Crazy, right

cejay0813
cejay0813

@wallacom  Which is the case for every multiplat game between the two systems. People with both systems know. The fanboys stay deluded however

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@bluefox755 @wa128 Yeah, but equally, by not upgrading he will miss out on the plethora of PC exclusives, including some great ones like Star Citizen, Civ 5: Beyond Earth, Insurgency, and a ton of others. 

Also, as a gamer, always go with the most open platform. Control your gaming experience. 

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

@wEEman33 Must be worse on the X1 because I either never noticed or never had a problem with it on 360. And I notice these things all the time. I'm a PC man :)

Dschadir
Dschadir

As a gamer ... don't restrict yourself to one platform ...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@diego_corleone 

*Pfft* - you have spoken as if you know anything about the Terms of Use.

You don't, really - you just watch; you are the one who would be banned eventually.

Trials Fusion More Info

First Release on Apr 15, 2014
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • + 2 more
  • PlayStation 4
  • PC
Trials Fusion melds the classic, proven Trials formula of simple yet addictive competition with the social and visual breakthroughs of the next generation of gaming.
7.6
Average User RatingOut of 30 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Trials Fusion
Developed by:
RedLynx
Published by:
Ubisoft
Genres:
Arcade, Driving/Racing
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Everyone 10+
All Platforms