Trials Evolution is the sequel to the popular Trials HD. Essentially it’s a simple concept, a motorbike stunt game that uses exaggerated physics and complex courses to challenge your thumb and finger coordination. Each course is a wild ride that rewards you for speed and punishes you for mistakes.
The rewards come in the form of medals that unlock harder levels, but more importantly, the sheer crazy joy of lading that massive jump perfectly lining yourself up for the next obstacle.
The game is split into several different sections, each proceeded with a license trial, that teaches you new tricks and unlock a new bike. Each section is of course more difficult than that previous, and before long the game starts to get real difficult. The addictive quality of the game will make you push on, challenging yourself to complete just one more level.
Then you get to the point where you don’t have enough medals to unlock the next license, so you’ll have to go back to previous sections and try and upgrade the bronze medal to a silver or gold. With a faster bike and well honed skills you’re surprise yourself at how these earlier levels no seem a lot tamer.
Eventually you’ll get to the level where you can’t make it over the first obstacle, even after 50 or even a 100 tries. The game begins to get maddeningly frustrating. But the game has worked so well, and given so much fun up to this point that you’re willing to keep trying, until you make it past that obstacle onto the next. If fact you’re so drawn into the world of Trials Evolution, that you’ll be so determined to finish the level that you won’t give you. You may realise you’ll never get anything more that a bronze medal, but there’ noting that’s going to stop you from getting the bronze.
And if that just sounds like Trials HD to you, well it is. And it’s not. Where Trials HD had you competing over levels all pretty much in the same warehouse, Trials Evolution takes you outside where no too levels are the same in look or approach. The levels twist and turn and the scenery is amazing and sometimes interactive.
There’s even levels that pay tribute to other popular XBox Live Arcade games such as Limbo.
As much as the basic game is worth the price on it’s own, Trails Evolution does have some less than stellar features added to it. The main one being the ability to unlock gear that you can spend your earnings on. Clothes and motorbike parts are available if you have the money – the problem is that these add-on parts don;t do anything but change the look slightly. No performance bonus, nothing. There is nothing compelling you to spend the money you earn, because it really adds nothing to the game.
The second thing that’s been added on is multiplayer. I wasn’t sure that this would really work, and quite possibly I’m not alone, because the times I have tried to find some online races, I’ve been unable to. This could of course be due to my geographical location or the weird times I play.
But these are minor issues that don’t affect the core game. One thing I haven’t tried yet, but is bound to extend the life of Trials Evolution is the custom track editor. Once enough crazy people have mastered this, there could be an almost unlimited supply of new user created challenges to embrace.
As for me, I’m still happy trying to get those last few medals so I can unlock what is bound to be an insanely hard final area.