Trials Evolution is the sequel to 2009’s critically acclaimed 2D physics racer, Trials HD. Of course, veteran gamers will recognise the lean-and-land gameplay from games of yore, including the original title in the Trials series that popped up online in 2000.
The game is available exclusively to Xbox 360 owners via Xbox Live and rarely does a non-retail game steal so much of my time and attention I forget about the full-priced titles I’m playing. I think that this game is a must-have for anyone with an Xbox 360.
Addictive, Physics-Based Lunacy
Trials is a point-to-point motorcycle physics game. The general idea involves navigating obstacles, jumps and some less orthodox obstructions without falling off your bike. The faster you finish, the better your chances of a gold medal – fall off and you’ll have to settle for silver or bronze.
This model incenses you beyond belief to beat each track. Make friends with your controller’s Back button, as this will restart the race – something you’ll be doing a lot. The game manages to intensify this further by showing your friends progress on each track using ghosts, though you can turn this off if it’s too distracting.
Personally I’m not one to incessantly replay tracks for a better time, but Trials has turned me into an animal. I’ve not spent this much time playing an Xbox Live Arcade game since… Trials HD.
You Have a 360
I’ve seen countless comments from PlayStation 3 owners dying to play this game. Unfortunately for them, Trials is published by Microsoft Studios and will never see a release date on Sony’s platform. If you’re one of the lucky millions with a (working) Xbox 360 console then consider yourself privileged.
Xbox Live Gold members can download a demo version free of charge, a trial of Trials if you will. Those of you without Microsoft’s fabled console will have to settle for a PC version of the game instead, though Trials Evolution probably won’t see a release there either.
For a taste of classic Trials action try Trials Legends (free to play on Facebook) or Trials 2: Second Edition (around $10). Both are available for Windows and neither will break the bank. Gamers with an Xbox 360 can download Trials Evolution for 1,200 Microsoft Points (around $15).
Finally, it’s here: 4-player real-time multiplayer Trials! There are a few multiplayer modes included, but by far the most fun you can have with your friends is Supercross mode which gives each rider their own lane. Fall off and you’ll have to restart from the nearest checkpoint, hold it together and you’ll be dancing around the living room.
The action isn’t limited to online play, with full support for offline multiplayer too. This game mode is a little different to the single player game, and while finesse and careful throttle usage will bode well; multiplayer matches are often reduced to full-throttle mayhem.
Once you begin to tire of the included tracks you can spice things up with…
The Best Track Editor. Ever.
Previously, Trials HD shipped with a fairly impressive track editor which provided the right tools and an endless driving line in a warehouse with just about every object, model and effect in the game at your disposal. Trials Evolution doesn’t ship with a track editor. It’s a game editor.
With so many variables, functions, triggers, effects and game modes possible, Trials Evolution’s “Pro Track Editor” feels more like Little Big Planet than it does a racing game. Using this powerful (that’s an understatement) editor you can create entirely new game modes. Developers Red Lynx have already posted a few creations online including a first person shooter and an Angry Birds-style physics puzzler.
No longer are you restricted to a straight line in a warehouse either, Trials Evolution is set in a fully 3D world that allows you to create curves and turns to direct your track through a lush world with town and country based locations. RedLynx have also produced a series of video tutorials available in this handy YouTube playlist to get you started. You can see the first video above.
One major knock-on effect of the awesome track editor is the ability to share your creations, only this time instead of sharing with just your Xbox Live friends you can share to a central database of tracks. This makes downloading and sharing creations a lot easier and more rewarding, with a full rating system and nearly instant downloads to boot.
If you can make it in the track editor, you can share it online. If ever you’re bored of the single player and fancy something a bit different, dip into Track Central and download whatever you like the look off. Even developers Red Lynx are creating and sharing tracks – now that’s proper free DLC!
Rarely does a game come along that I feel the need to celebrate it in such a manner, but Trials Evolution is such a polished production that provides so much bang for your buck that it’s bound to keep you busy for weeks. If you’ve got a bug for physics games, perfecting times or building elaborate tracks then you’ll absolutely love Trials Evolution. Available now, for 1200 Microsoft Points.
Have you played Trials Evolution or Trials HD? What did you think? Have you made any awesome tracks?
Image Credits: Xbox.com
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