Reviews

Trials Rising Review: The Same But Still Pretty Fun

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Are you familiar with the Trials Series itself? It’s a franchise of bike driving motorsport games that play as a 2D racer game. That means going from left to right, start to finish. Now how does that work with a racing/vehicular game?

Well, the main emphasis of the Trials games is maintaining the balance on your bike while simultaneously making it till the end of the track.

Why am I telling you this formula for the Trials games and not Trials Rising specifically? Well, that’s because the Trials games have been utilizing the same formula with little to no deterrence at all. This game hasn’t done anything different in that regard.

One thing that the games did do in the past was that they changed the themes and environments. Trials Revolution was set in the dirt bike genre of motorsport. Trials Fusion was then set in a futuristic environment with fancy colors and tech.

What did Trials Rising do differently then? The key defining factor I see is how they brought the community together and enhanced the multiplayer feel of the game. Not only that, they also gave Trials Rising the racing game career treatment.

You know what I’m talking about, it’s something you see in every racer out there. Advancing up the ranks as a professional (biker in this case) by taking up contracts and challenges.

You’ll be coming across contract givers ranging from agents to even famous racers like the RedLynx. The challenges range from time attacks to pulling off flashy acrobatics and other crowd appeasing stunts.

Trials Rising really did step up the game on their personalization though. The game has given users more control over their character than previous installments. Fusion only gave you a few color swaps at most, but Rising lets you change every part of your gear, both rider and bike.

Not only that, but you can also personalize multiplayer traits like their lobby waiting poses, losing animations and victory animations as well. Safe to say I picked the dab winning emote since I’m cringey that way.

Trials Rising also has a community investment in its customization part of gameplay. This essentially means that we’ll never really run out of cosmetics to unlock. Since not only will they keep getting added, you can also contribute to the process.

This leads to a series of pop culture references from other games in Trials Rising, such as Marvel/DC themed helmets or even a SunBro hoodie. Classic shoutout to Solaire of Astora.

Trials Rising itself also is quite in tune with a lot of the memes and pop cultures in our current generation. And I don’t mean the way old people try to appeal to the youth. None of that “WHAT’RE THOSE” B.S from Black Panther.

I mean proper subtle references. Such as the Praise the Sun gesture from Dark Souls being in the game. Or a power up pose dubbed “It’s over 9000” as a classic shoutout to Dragon Ball Z. I can always appreciate a clever reference.

The visuals of the game have been ramped up a bit, what with being next gen and all. The Trials games have never been too graphically intensive and that remains true here. Though I have a GTX 1060 which I ran the game on, so it’s hard to tell how well it would run on say, a laptop. Either way, Ubisoft did a good job of optimizing the game.

The multiplayer in its testing phase wasn’t the most intriguing if I’ll be honest. The way the races work in the game is the ghost mechanic from racing games. You know, the one where the other racers aren’t actually present. Instead, you race against apparitions of them instead.

This makes sense in hindsight for a game like Trials Rising where the racing is done on a 2D track. Since there’s only one track and the inability to turn left and right, the players have to share the track.

To avoid it being a complete demolition derby, the other racers are ghosts. Now while this is smart, it’s also not really fun or immersive. I preferred the local multiplayer from Trials Fusion where you could watch your friends crash and laugh at them. At the same time it led to fun moments of three people failing to bypass a ramp while a fourth just whizzes past them.

One of the career contracts, however, was a stadium race. That race had the very same mechanic that I described above, I sincerely hope that they somehow include that into the multiplayer aspect. Once again, for the immersion.

One new feature I really love in Trials Rising is the Tandem game mode. One that allows for a great couch co-op experience. The game mode involves two of you on the same bike. Meaning two people are now responsible for keeping the bike on its wheels.

This can lead to either good wholesome trust building or even friendship breaking. Fun either way right?

That brings me to another point of appreciation for Trials Rising. They continue to keep couch multiplayer alive. Couch gaming has had a falling out as of late in modern gaming, with everything being online multiplayer now. We have a few exceptions like a Way Out and now Trials Rising. So kudos to you Ubisoft!

Regarding the criticisms I had for the ghost system of the racing, In their defense, I will add that I didn’t play the final version of the multiplayer. That means there’s hope for change in the future, hopefully for the better.

The currency management in the game is pretty fair as well. It’s easy enough to earn in-game coins by doing career events. The reward tier increasing based on the difficulty of the challenge and how well you perform.

The premium currency doesn’t actually get you much. A lot of the items and gear are actually exclusive to the currency you earn in-game through playing. That’s refreshing to see in the usual microtransaction fest that we have in gaming currently.

For those of you that are new to the Trials Series itself, the in-game “university of trials” serves as a great set of tutorials. They aren’t long or draggy, and they’re not too annoyingly divided. Like learning how to accelerate or something.

The leaderboards and in-game badges/leagues and agents you get also add a good sense of progression to the game. You won’t exactly feel like you’re doing nothing, so long as you keep doing well that is. Plus the coins you earned can be used to buy cool cosmetics to look even snappier on the track.

So overall to sum up and conclude this review, I’d say Trials Rising is a pretty fun experience. It’s not really new from the others, and it isn’t the type of game you’d put hours and hours into like Overwatch.

But it’s definitely something you’ll want in your library when you invite your friends over for pizza, drinks and classic couch gaming.