Mar 22, 2013

Trials Evolution Gold Edition Review

Lights Off
4 Awesome
Retails for: $19.99
We Recommend: $15.99
  • Developer: Redlynx Ltd, Ubisoft Shanghaï
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Genre: Action, Racing
  • Released: Mar 21, 2013
  • Platform: Windows
  • Reviewed: Windows

RedLynx has supervised Ubisoft Shanghai on PC version of Trials Evolution. The game is a bit more than just a port of the extremely successful and highly rated XBLA version. It actually includes the full game of Trials HD as well, the game that first started infuriating players back in 2009. Some technical issues get in the way and not all the content you expect is present.

Upon starting up Trials Evolution, I was greeted by that horrendous opening track, but I started to grip the controller for the taxing challenges that await me. When choosing Single Player, I was given the choice to play “Crash County” where Evolution takes place or “HD Warehouse” for the XBLA original game. Every track is identical to their console counterpart. However, neither game includes any of the DLC that was made for it. I’m not sure if the DLC will make an appearance as DLC for the PC version, but the absence is hardly noticed when there’s over 120 tracks to choose from.

The Trials in the name refers to the way the game is structured around time trials. You’ll be gradually challenged to manage the weight distribution of your rider on his dirt bike. Lean too far back and you’ll land on your back. Lean too far forward and you’ll flip end-over-end. Luckily, you’ll be able to restart at checkpoints, or restart the entire race at the press of a button. You won’t spend any time sulking in your failures, as you’ll be back on the track so quickly. It’s here you’ll race against the ghost of friends and yourself, to compete for the best times on the track. At the end you’ll be given a medal for your performance. Perfect, fault-less runs are rewarded the most.

As with Trials HD, there is a track editor included with the game that not only allows you to create tracks to play for yourself and local play, but you can then share your tracks to be rated and shared with the whole world. The lite editor can do simple things for those who want to make easy tracks that give you a lot of air, but if you want to create tracks similar to what RedLynx has made, you’ll have to use the full version to place objects and adjust lighting and so on.

Trials Evolution introduced multiplayer to the Trials series. Here you can compete with live opponents via matchmaking. There are multiplayer-only Supercross events that have up to four lanes for you to compete on, and if you reset, you lose a point before crossing the finishing line. During Trials and Hardcore Trials events, everyone is on a single lane, but ghost through each other and compete for the best time. It’s the a great experience to play against live players than just a static ghost from the single player.

The game is not without its technical faults. From the small niggling issues like the mouse cursor resting on top of the screen at all times. Or shadows having horrible aliasing despite having the antialising and high quality shadows turned to “on” in the options menu. The rest of the graphical options such as a higher resolution and the ability to turn on extra foliage and lighting options make the game look much crisper. Even the levels in Trials HD look better than ever when compared.

It’s sad to report that during the outside levels, the game can chunk up and have some terrible lag. I even turned off all options and the same issues persisted. I’m quite certain my PC is above the recommended specifications as well. Hopefully that’ll get patched soon.

My PC Specs:
– Intel Core i7 3770k @ 3.5GHz

Trials Evolution Gold Edition is the perfect game for anyone who hasn’t played either Trials HD or Trials Evolution on XBLA for whatever reason. Those who have played them, are likely to have already played the DLC that was released, which isn’t included here. Save for graphical improvements, there’s nothing new to warrant a second purchase. The technical issues can be resolved in future patches, but be warned they can ruin a perfect run in the game’s current state. That said, Trials Evolution Gold Edition is nothing short of masterful in execution. The track difficulty ramp-up is perfect and a gameplay worth experiencing the tight controls and wacky level design.

A uPlay code was provided by Ubisoft for review purposes