RedLynx’s Trials HD was one of the most successful Xbox Live Arcade games when it was released, so it came as no surprise that millions of copies have been downloaded. When news broke of a sequel, Trials Evolution, the collective excitement of gamers around the world was palpable.
A number of things have been done differently since the days of the first Trials title, and naturally it’s for the best. While the majority of the game is still focussed on completing the single-player challenges, a huge shift has now also focussed on the multiplayer aspect.
In Trials Evolutions, players have to drive a motorbike over, under and through a number of obstacles on a course. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, and there are a variety of tracks that are incredibly difficult. It all comes down to a combination of balance, speed, acceleration and a large dose of patience.
Starting the single player campaign, gamers are shown the basics of how the incredible physics engine works with a series of very easy tracks. From there they steadily become more challenging, culminating in Extreme difficulty.
Users can retry from the tracks’ checkpoints at any time during a race, but it will be clocked at the end – finish the track in the shortest time with the least amount of retries, and a gold coin might just be awarded.
Bronze, Silver and Gold coins are awarded for completion of the tracks in certain time brackets. These coins don’t have actual currency in the title, but the more coins a user collects, the more tracks (and difficulty levels) will be unlocked.
After a level’s completion, a varying sum of money is awarded to the player for certain achievements, which can then be used to buy decals and accessories for the rider and his bike. The accessories for the motorbike don’t influence their performance, as it’s purely aesthetic.
But once again, just as with the first title, the game doesn’t compromise when it comes to delivering action-packed fun. The tracks created by RedLynx vary between being incredible fun to being very difficult, packed with creative ways in keeping the player engaged.
While RedLynx did a stunning job on creating tracks for the title, the real strength lies in the user-generated content. Gamers are able to create and share their own tracks by means of two different track editors – a Lite version and Pro editor.
Both editors are packed with everything a user might need to create awesome tracks, with some users even creating tracks to simulate other popular games such as Angry Birds, Super Meat Boy, Limbo and Portal.
The single-player tracks can easily be completed over a weekend of hard driving, but the user-generated content will keep the title fresh and exciting, with new tracks literally popping up by the minute.
Trails Evolution is one of the best Xbox Live Arcade games to have been released this year, and it will keep on entertaining for a while to come. The graphics aren’t that much different to the first title, but the physics have clearly been given a boost. Some of the tracks now even change direction, which is a nice change. There is really very little that Trials Evolution can be faulted, but if there has to be one aspect, it will be the match-making for multiplayer races. But beside that, it’s a solid title.
Anybody who loves physics-based titles and motocross should definitely make a point of downloading Trails Evolution. The soundtrack is also of high-quality, providing some powerful rock music as users zoom past trees, make incredible jumps and navigate over obstacles.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor