Trials Rising Review — The Best Entry in the Series To Date
Trials Rising is the easily the best entry in the popular 2.5D racing series and will keep you occupied for months to come.
Red Lynx, Ubisoft Kiev
PC, Switch, Xbox One
Review copy provided by the publisher
I’ve always loved the Trials series. It’s fun, goofy ragdoll physics combined with the challenging but not disparaging gameplay always makes for a fun time. When I was able to get my hands on an early version of Trials Rising at E3 2018, I noted that all of the above aspects were still present, but I was worried that it wasn’t going to add a lot to the series to change it up. Now that I have gotten my hands on the final version of Trials Rising, I can say that even though it does feel like more of the same, it’s easily the best entry of the series to date.
Trials Rising, like all the other entries in the series, is based on trials motorcycles racing, which sees competitors go through unorthodox tracks and obstacles while trying to crash. The series has always taken this concept a bit further, by pitting players against really goofy and extreme tracks. While real-life trials races generally involve rocks, ramps, levels, and so on, the Trials series will see players riding over and through jet engines, theme parks, air balloons, etc. You name it, Trials probably has it as an obstacle.
“[Trials Rising is] easily the best entry of the series to date.”
Like every other Trials entry, Rising allows players to control their bikes on a 2.5D plane using the right joystick to control the dirt bike’s lean and tilt. Your goal is to get through each track without failing or restarting all while doing impressive tricks. Of course, when you do fail (and you will) it’ll probably be absolutely hilarious thanks to the game’s ragdoll physics. This is part of what makes Trials so great, and while hilarious deaths and defeats aren’t anything new, I have to give credit where credit is due. Some of these wipeouts are pretty hilarious to watch. Whether you’re getting clotheslined by a piece of rebar, or you’re flipping into the ground at high speeds, failing is still funny and hasn’t gotten old, at least to me.
Trials Rising’s gameplay is split into three main components: the single-player contract world, online multiplayer, and user-generated tracks. With the single-player contract world, there’s a bevy of levels to sink your teeth into. I genuinely couldn’t count the number of them as it seemed like I kept unlocking new sections. However, if I had to, I would say there are at least 75 different tracks that all take about 5 minutes each to complete — if you don’t fail, that is. I don’t know how long I spent on one track in particular, I know is I kept wanting to try it over and over and over again until I got it perfect. Trials Rising is a game that makes you want to achieve perfection every time, but it never discourages you. And once you feel what it’s like to finally make that jump that you’ve been missing: pure bliss.
Another cool aspect that’s been a part of the series for a while is that of the user-generated tracks. I dabbled around with these for a bit, but, while it definitely seems easier to create tracks than in previous entry, it’s certainly not my cup of tea. I don’t think I’ll ever be talented enough to use that track editor to its full potential, but if you do, then you’ll have a ton of assets to work with, including some from previous entries. Downloading and playing other player’s tracks, on the other hand, is still as fun as ever. Thanks to the fact that I was playing the game before launch, I quite literally only had a handful of tracks to try. Still, the tracks I did try loaded quickly and were completely playable. User-generated content is always a plus and I’m happy to see it return.
The final main mode that’s in the game is online multiplayer. Unfortunately, since I played through Trials Rising ahead of launch I haven’t been able to try anything from the game’s multiplayer since it wasn’t live yet. That being said, I am looking forward to it and it seems like it should work in generally the same way as previous games.
It is also worth noting that Tandem Bikes are also a part of this game. While I didn’t get to try them due to the said online multiplayer being out of commission, I played with these bikes at E3 and they seem like a lot of fun.
In the cosmetic realm, you can also customize your character’s helmet, clothes, gloves, bikes, wheels, and more just like in Trials Fusion. However, the way in which you unlock many of these cosmetic items is through, you guessed it, loot boxes. Now, I do want to give credit where credit is due: I was able to earn an absolute TON of them just by playing the game. You earn a box every time you level up your character (which happens a lot) as well as in a handful of other instances. I have almost 30 in my inventory right now and I’ve already used a ton of them, so it’s not like you’ll have a difficult time earning them. You can also still earn other customization items through standard gameplay as well. Even though loot boxes are included here, I found their implementation to not be all that egregious.
“…I recommend Trials Rising to pretty much everyone.”
As a last mentionable, I didn’t encounter many during my time in Trials Rising. That being said, every once in a while the framerate would stutter. Not so much that it would make the game unplayable by any stretch, but I still felt it important to address nonetheless. It seems like something that could easily be fixed in a simple patch down the road, so here’s hoping that it gets one soon.
All in all, Trials Rising is easily the best entry of the series to date. If you absolutely hate the previous entries, there’s not much different in Trials Rising that’s going to change your mind. Otherwise, you should absolutely have a blast. I’m anxious to see how much content Ubisoft will add to the game over time, but what’s included already will be sure to keep you occupied for months and months to come. At $24.99, I recommend Trials Rising to pretty much everyone. You’d have to be a real Debbie Downer not to find some enjoyment here.