Hands On: Trials Rising

Hands On: Trials Rising
* PS Nation was invited to an event in San Francisco, California by Ubisoft for a hands-on preview of Trials Rising. Travel was paid for by the studio and the game was played on PlayStation 4 Pro and Nintendo Switch.


Can you believe that the Trials franchise is already ten years old? It’s survived, and thrived, on a basic premise – get that high score and give it “just one more try.”

Trials Rising is the largest Trials game yet. This is to be expected since we are nearing the end of the current generation’s life cycle and developers know how to get the most out of the hardware. The three main features to look forward to with Trials Rising are: community, competition, and creativity.

On the community side of things, you’re always going for high scores against your friends or the entire player base. Tied to that is the competitive aspect of the game. It’s a race, so winning still matters, and beating someone you know matters even more.

For creativity, the track editor has about 8,000 parts to use when making a track in the game. These parts include assets going back over all the Trials games over the years. Nothing was skimped on here, you’ll be using the exact same level editor that the development team used.

Hands On: Trials Rising Hands On: Trials Rising

From a single-player standpoint, the game has a basic career mode with leagues and various challenges. Competing in leagues allows you to earn currency to unlock more tracks and upgrades for your rider and bike. There’s a mix of cosmetics that can be purchased or earned. However, there is no “pay to win” situation with these items.

The core gameplay of Trials Rising is not new or different from what’s come before. You want to finish the race with the best time. Trials Rising is a worldwide game so you’ll be racing in various countries and areas.

Throughout the competition, you’ll gain notoriety and get the attention of sponsors who will give you contracts. Contracts are new to Trials Rising and they’re like an in-game challenge. You need to complete the challenge to unlock items directly from the sponsor or get a bunch of currency to buy new items.

Hands On: Trials Rising

The customization system is crazy deep. You can change almost everything on your rider as well as your bikes. The sticker system is one of the coolest customization features I’ve seen in a long time. You can take a sticker or logo and change the size and angle to your personal liking. The attention to detail is remarkable in terms of the way the logo wraps around the back of the jacket or the curve of the helmet. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that adding custom images will be a feature, so no PS Nation logo helmets.

Multiplayer is where I feel this game shines. Getting a group together to see who can finish first, pull off the most tricks or even just have the coolest crash can provide hours of fun goofing around online. And that’s before you add any modifiers to the race.

For example, you can mess with the gravity to make it stronger or lighter. This gives you the ability to send your rider flying in the air off a little log jump, which is hilarious. You can even modify a race to not allow you to apply the brakes. Trying to control your rider going over the jumps without being able to slow them down is… interesting. This is where heavy replayability comes from.

Trials Rising wasn’t even on my radar during this soon to be very busy first few months of 2019. After getting to play it for a few hours it’s something that could be a great relaxation game or break from some of the intense games coming out this year.

Hands On: Trials Rising Hands On: Trials Rising

I kept laughing at all my crashes which sent my rider flying into walls or exploding barrels. Finishing a race by having to fly into a wrecking ball that knocks you into freshly poured wet concrete, then watching your body sink into the ground and just seeing your outline had me cracking up.

Trials Rising releases on February 26, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, priced at $39.99.

Written by Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt

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