The Trials series continues to delight with Rising and it generally expands the scope of the franchise in a number of ways. It's the core type of experience you recall from past entries, just larger and wilder. Taking a step back from the future, and moving aside from the mythical thrills of the Blood Dragon you'll now go global. It's a step down from insanity, and works well as being slightly more grounded. Well, as grounded as this series could get.
You're working in various leagues that span a series of tracks across the globe. You'll aim to collect gold medals for points, and to level in order to unlock stadium events. The stadium competitions take multiple Trials to win and then you're able to progress to another league. There are various contracts to achieve, special competitor setups and many extra missions to tackle in unique ways. There's a nice sense of variation between regions and difficulties scale over time. I did find it a bit tiring midway through as you'll need to replay a fair bit in order to progress.
An extension of content comes in the form of the track editor area. You're able to build incredible levels with over eight thousand options taken from the entire franchise. The things people will create are limitless, and from past experience it's going to be grand. I played this pre-launch, so the maps weren't anything spectacular though the tools feel endless here. You're able to play the best of what people create in Track Central. You'll see a wide range of options, and then vote on them once you're done playing.
You can play the game with eight players online, or locally as well with four players. There's a party mode, or various leaderboard options when you compete online across a series of tracks. If that's not enough, they have this hilarious two person bike called the Tandem. This should be a neat mix-up.
You can't escape loot crates these days, you'll get them like candy in this as you level and complete tasks. You'll get a selection of stickers, or outfit options with each pack opened. This leads into full customization as you tweak every part of your bike, or your rider. You can adjust colors, tweak designs and throw stickers all over the place. There are many things to unlock as you continue to open creates and progress. Change how you look, select various animations for when you're finished levels and just go wild with your presentation in this.
Trials Rising looks mostly stellar, the visuals are excellent and the Xbox One X enhancement is appreciated. The bikes are sharp, and the explosions are wild. The game is shown from unique side perspectives as you bike along determined paths to reach the end as fast as you can. It's about skill, and speed as you face some wild challenges. There are however fair checkpoints, and the difficulties change over time as you progress through content. You need to be careful in hitting those checkpoints, as it does add time to your score.
Faster times will grant better medals, therefore allowing you to level faster and to unlock additional content. The game handles quite well, and there are a few bikes to master. These offer various challenges of their own, and you'll need to get used to how they handle. Moving past regular play, they also have certain skill levels where you complete silly tasks such as launching your rider down a hill to ragdoll into explosive barrels. The environments in Trials Rising vary greatly, offering unique spots that match hot points across the world. You'll be blasting through castles in Europe, conquering steep hills in Asia or visiting large scale monuments. It's really neat.
Trials Rising is an awesome entry in the series that takes content from the past and expands upon it in many ways. There's just a ton of things to do, activities to conquer and ways to play. While you should get more than enough out of the global leagues, the Track Central will offer almost unlimited levels for you to battle through. The editor system feels refined, offering thousands upon thousands of items to build with. There will be some seriously awesome tracks created by the community to always keep this experience fresh.
With just a pile of regions and historic objects this is going to present so much to do. The multiplayer elements are a blast, for local or online play. The customization elements are fun, I'm not a huge fan of the loot crate setup though understand its purpose. There are acorn microtransactions, but these at launch are just purely cosmetic. The game really is as fun, or hardcore as you want it to be. I just have a great time with this series, and Rising is so much fun to play.
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Trials Rising Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft