Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Trials Rising
Format: PSN (22.84 GB)
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: RedLynx / Ubisoft Kiev
Original MSRP: $24.99 (US) £19.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Loot boxes aren’t going away anytime soon. They’re called Crates in Trials Rising and by the looks of it, they’ve become a big focus of the game.

Gameplay:
Trials Rising is quite simply about balance, timing, and speed. There is no way to scrub or whip or even lose your line for that matter.

Without the fear of straying out of the set path through a myriad of courses, all you have to worry about is not crashing. Sounds easy enough.

You can lean forward and backward or just sit on your ride. This helps with momentum as you try to keep my rear wheel on the ground as much as possible.

Timing comes into play with this too as leaning at the wrong time means you spill too far and fall over the handlebars or topple off the back.

It isn’t always about going as fast as possible because sometimes that’ll mean launching too high and far into the air and generally slamming into something immovable and bone shatteringly painful.

Review: Trials Rising (PS4) Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Instant restarts to the beginning with the press of a button are extremely helpful. Although, a checkpoint restart means some lost time and a strike, depending on the conditions of the Contract. Those Contracts are included as a way of making you come back to courses and approach them differently.

Some Contracts offered by the sponsors require a certain amount of flips or beating a set time with only a limited amount of strikes. The only time a complete course restart goes against you is when facing a Challenger Event. These are just like a regular Contract but with three fails and it disappears.

You’re rewarded with Gear Crates and the rarer Challenger variety if you succeed in the tricky event mentioned above. Most of these contain stickers and can be re-rolled, something you should never do, and I seem to get one after every single track. They’re being forced down my throat like an orderly holding my nose and shoving some unwanted tablets down just to “calm my nerves!”

“But I’ll just stop playing…” I mumble, “I can quit anytime I want…” I splutter as the drool makes its way down my chin. Wondrous and horrific nightmares come into view, sights of pure motocross madness invade my thoughts. Impossible scenarios where Death is just looking on expectantly. But wait, I can stop his boney clasp on my broken body with the press of a button.

What was I writing about? Ah yes, the stickers. You can plaster these on most clothing items and parts of the bike to make your character look unique. Any specific things you want can be purchased with Golden Cogs, Acorns, or a combination of both. The Cogs are accumulated very easily just by playing the game and completing Contracts.

Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Acorns can be found throughout the tracks, hidden away from the standard route and usually requiring some expert skills to acquire. Sadly, the option to purchase them with hard-earned real money from the PlayStation Store is there too. Just to put it in perspective, the most expensive Acorn pack is the same price as the game itself.

Do you need to buy these packs to progress in the game? No, everything so far is purely cosmetic and the two bikes can be obtained with either form of currency.

Will someone want to buy these anyway? Some will, yes. Mainly because the characters are displayed before and after each race, complete with poses and accessories on show. This means there will always be the people who don’t want to wait for the random roll of the Crates in the hope that they get something good, just to show off their digital creation.

Visuals:
I wasn’t a big fan of the last game’s looks but Trials Rising has some great visuals and the best course design without question. Having a world map to place the levels on seems to have given the game more focus. The designers have given each track a localized theme and, for the most part, they’re absurdly brilliant.

I’m not going to spoil any of the locations but suffice to say many are cemented in my mind for being instantly memorable and inventive. Ingenious and wicked by design, with loads going on in the background, it pays to watch some replays and properly take in the surroundings and nuances of the tracks.

Review: Trials Rising (PS4) Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Full-body ghosts are a welcome addition. No longer is it just the helmet indicator. You can now see how your asynchronous opponents manage to get that added speed boost or reach that elusive hard to reach platform.

The level editor mode is daunting for newcomers as the interface isn’t very friendly but it works well enough considering the lack of a keyboard and mouse. Seeing what can be achieved by the community is a testament to the tools on offer.

Audio:
Trials Rising uses a bucket load of licensed music and most of it is good. It plays on a continuous loop, which there is sadly no control over. Some fit really well with the tracks but I can see them becoming annoying after playing this game obsessively.

The sound effects are part of the reason for the laugh-out-loud humor and, eventually, a minor grievance as I have begun to loathe the cries of pain as my female rider breaks a few more bones or explodes thanks to the infamous red barrels.

There is some speech in the tutorials as you are being shown and told what to do before each course. Just don’t expect the announcer to enjoy being skipped. These lessons are valuable should you wish to master the tricky routes and difficult challenges later on in the game.

Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Online/Multiplayer:
Trials Rising needs to be online, it would be a lonely time without it. And, it hardly works without a constant connection. I only found this out when my provider abruptly disconnected my service to upgrade it during a gaming session.

This little addiction came to a short, sharp halt and wouldn’t finish loading the level pins into the world map. I reloaded the game, thinking it was a glitch and found it couldn’t complete the initial load.

I wasn’t happy, not that I couldn’t go without a Trials Rising fix for a few hours, according to the automated voice when I noticed the lack of a connection to the internet. I quickly dismissed the idea of this middle-aged man buying a BMX and going down the skate park. A few more attempts and I got lucky, the game loaded and I had a go at beating one of my tutorial scores.

The gaming gods smiled upon me as I got into a brilliant rhythm and must have easily achieved top marks. Sadly, those very same gods must be laughing at my displeasure as the game failed to display my score and just continued with the painful over-the-line completion skit. I had to reset the game and then gave up as it wouldn’t load again.

So what about when it does work? Well, the asynchronous multiplayer is great and adds to the excitement and drive for the best times. A nice addition is the tandem bike, playable as an option in the main game it allows two local players to ride one bike. My wife and I had a few goes, all ending in disaster but it was enjoyable nevertheless.

Review: Trials Rising (PS4) Review: Trials Rising (PS4)

Conclusion:
Enough with the loot boxes or whatever you want to call them, especially when they mostly contain measly stickers.

I shouldn’t have to be online to play what is effectively a single-player game. I understand it wants to grab and upload the latest times and ghosts but it shouldn’t buckle and lock-up when there is no connectivity.

Aside from that, Trials Rising is a fantastic game, with tons of content. The added ability to play user created tracks will keep you going for ages. The learning curve is just right and the tutorials are easy enough to grasp but difficult to master.

I really enjoy this game, even if it infuriates me. The instant restart means my obsession for perfection has me feeling like Phil Connors. The locations are fantastic and varied, the level design is superb with a dash of sadism. Yet, the eventual accomplishment high is sublime and keeps coming back with every new track and challenge.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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