Trials Fusion Review: What Is It?
Trials Fusion is the fifth entry (third to most people) in the popular platform racing franchise, and the first to come to PlayStation. It’s known for its ridiculous tracks, challenging objectives, and has likely been attributed to spurts of controller sales at retailers when a new game hits. Fusion comes in two packages: a standalone download or a download/retail that includes the game’s season pass.
What’s Good About It?
Many associate the word challenge with Trials. Fortunately, it has nothing to do with a learning curve, just perseverance. Early on you might feel that Trials has lost its touch, but as you progress to the harder stages, and the eventual Platinum medal unlocks, you find yourself back to the same, good ol’ Trials you knew before.
The Career mode spans eight separate event tickets, the last of which you unlock upon completion of the game. Each event ticket spans six to eight different trials, most of which consist of you completing the track as fast as you can, with as few faults as possible. Some tickets will offer Skill Game or FMX events, which require you to pull off a set of stunts, or unique objectives. The stunts, new to Trials, are controlled by the right analog stick, and take some time to memorize. You will likely pull off the same stunt over and over, despite different motions used on the right analog stick. Some events require certain FMX stunts.
Each event sports a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum medals. Platinum medals are unlocked after the completion of the seventh event ticket, and these are the medals that will seem impossible to earn. No matter how good your Gold runs may be, chances are, the Platinum medal objective will throw you for a loop. It isn’t Trials without insane requirements.
One of the more time consuming aspects of the Career will be the side challenges that come with most of the events. These challenges include finding secret areas, pulling off certain stunts at certain times, no fault runs, amongst others. It’s just another feature to give you the urge to slam down your controller in frustration. I hope you have insurance on that DualShock 4.
Want to chat with friends in parties so you can scream out your frustration with others? Get yourself a good PS4 gaming headset and you can do just that.
If you grow tired, or frustrated from the Career events, you can hop onto Track Central – which is home to nearly 5,000 custom made tracks as of this review’s post date. Track Central is where you can create and/or race customized tracks from within the Trials community, including tracks made by the developers themselves. After racing each custom track, you can rate it a thumbs up / down, to let others know if its worth their time. There are some truly unique tracks on there. The creativity is just as amazing as in games like LittleBigPlanet.
What’s Bad About It?
Trials Fusion will likely not win over anyone who has disliked the past two Trials games (HD, Evolution). It does feel like the same game you’ve played before, which for some isn’t a bad thing. One of my biggest gripes, if not the only biggest gripe I have with it, is the soundtrack. I cannot emphasize enough on how repetitive it is. You will grow tired of it within the first hour of playing, and you will all likely boot up your own music. Whether you do it from an outside device, or within the PS4 via Music Unlimited (subscription required), this game is BYOM (aka Bring Your Own Music).
Multiplayer is limited to local support only, so those looking to compete with online friends are out of luck here. The Ubisoft servers have not been the most reliable either, causing some to fight to get into the (always wonderful) Uplay service, though an online connection is not required to play Career mode.
The bike selection is relatively small, with only six bikes to choose from (including a 4-wheel ATV). Many events will only allow a certain bike, but this is not a major issue considering the low number of bikes in the first place. Upgrades are available for a few of them. The last bike you unlock is somewhat of a letdown, but does carry a unique twist to it.
Need to be comforted as you rage in Trials? Be sure to get yourself one of the best PS4 gaming chairs possible to keep your body at ease while you’re under immense stress.
Is It Worth My Time?
Trials Fusion is the same game you’ve played before. Take that however you want. I don’t consider it a bad thing, but you might feel a bit underwhelmed coming from Evolution before it. You can buy the digital only version for fairly cheap, or go in for the game + season pass from either PSN, or at retail. The season pass promises one year of additional content, which includes six pieces of DLC. Depending on the content, the asking price for the pass isn’t too bad. I opted to hold off.
The amount of challenges, and the insane requirements for the Platinum medals make up the bulk of the replay value in Fusion. A seasoned veteran may get the Golds quicker than amateurs, or casual players like myself, but even they will face some obstacles along the way.
For its debut on PlayStation, Trials Fusion helps clear out the bitter taste that games like Urban Trial Freestyle left for PS3 fans. While I have played through UTF, and enjoyed it, Trials is clearly the superior platform racer.
There is no Platinum trophy for Fusion.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation Portable
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Developer: Redlynx with Ubisoft