Hands-On Preview: Trials Fusion
While visiting the Ubisoft booth I played a bit of Trials Fusion. For those who don’t know, this is a stunt game where you control bikes and ATV vehicles. Although this is the latest in the Trials series, it’s the first one that I’ve ever played.
This game’s main hook is its stunts. The stages are structured in a way that facilitate being able to do a wide variety of aerial moves since there are no shortages of really long and high ramps. Pulling off stunts is fun but it’s also really hard. Making sure that you position yourself back into a normal driving position before you land is crucial if you don’t want to land face first.
Like the Burnout series, crashing is really fun. Yes, you technically fail when you crash but the way that the characters’ bodies rag doll after they crash was hilarious. While I played the demo I had people watching me who were laughing hysterically. They COULD have been laughing at how bad I was at the game but I’d like to believe that it was because of how funny the spills were.
The stunts themselves mostly involved the driver partially or almost completely getting off their vehicle to perform a pose or moves. All of the moves were handled by moving the right analog stick in multiple directions. Different moves could be combined by changing the stick’s direction even if you are in the middle of a stunt. All of this was actually super easy to pull off but again, the trick came from doing all of the moves before you land.
Bikes and ATVs controlled differently from each other but still retrained that arcade feel. Bikes are a bit harder to control since they are light but because of this, it’s easier to stay up longer in the sky and perform more tricks. ATV are easier to control because of how heavy they are but it is harder to do tricks on them. There were only a few of each available but I didn’t notice too much of a different between individual bikes and ATVs.
I played this game on the Xbox One and the graphics were very impressive. All of the diverse backdrops were nicely rendered. Some of the lighting in certain areas blew me away and distracted me from the game which lead to some of those aforementioned deaths. The environments have no basis in reality, with some having sci-fi elements for example. However, this game is meant to be fun so realism isn’t exactly needed.
The game only moves in one direction but that doesn’t mean that there is only one path to take. On the contrary, there are actually a good amount of divergent paths. Some are harder than others to get to so you’ll need to either build up enough speed to reach some or nudge the left analog stick back or forward to reach others. I replayed some of the same levels just to see some of the different paths available.
This isn’t really related to the demo I played but in the Trials Fusion section of the floor, there were actual bike riders doing stunts just behind the demo stations. They obviously weren’t doing crazy stuff like in the game but it was pretty sweet nonetheless. There was also a contest held at PAX to see who could pull of the craziest stunts.
Trials Fusion is an enjoyable pick up and play type of game. However, I can imagine people playing it a lot in order to unlock more stages and to complete them perfectly with no crashes. This game is a bit of a throwback to the simple yet addictive style of old school gameplay but I think that works to its advantage.