After the success of Trials HD in 2009 the series is back, this time as Trials Evolution with the sole intention of destroying your controllers. This sequel doesn't hold back on any of the difficulty from the first game but still manages to provides the same amount of fun, if not more, just as long as you're willing to keep playing.
If you're unfamiliar with the first Trials and have managed to stay away from Red Baron on iOS or even the flash game they’re both based on theres isn’t too much to learn at first. You're tasked with taking a motocross rider from the beginning of a stage to the end with the right trigger used to accelerate and the left as your brakes/reverse while the left stick adjusts the angle of your bike. Trials’ physics system is your only enemy in this game, while moving through each level you need to adjust your bike’s angle accordingly to properly land and not crash.
While riding over hills, jumping over gaps and whatever else is thrown in your path, you have to try to get to the finish line as fast as you can with as few crashes possible. Higher scores will get you higher ranking medals with each being worth a certain number of points. Once you've gathered enough points you'll qualify for a new license that once obtained will get you a new bike and more stages to repeat the process. And unless you're some kind of amazing human being you'll need to go back to previous stages with your new bike to improve your scores to get a better medal equalling more points. The process is simple but addicting as you’ll sometimes be only a few seconds or one crash from getting the next medal.
Knowing that you will probably be repeating stages often whether it is from the last checkpoint or the very beginning of the level, you only have to press the ‘B’ or ‘Back’ button and in no less than a second or two you ready to try again.
After completing a stage you’ll gain in-game money with the amount earned based off of how well you do. The money can only be used for cosmetic changes for both your character and nearly every section of your bike, from its tires to the handlebars. The only way to get a better bike is by earning higher level licenses which is disappointing.
Tracks in Trials Evolution are all over the map, from dirt roads, to factories, forests and even a couple themed after other games. The graphics are nothing to look twice at but the 3D models mixed with the 2D areas have a nice look and go well together. Though there were more than enough times where there would be a lower ceiling that you will never see coming until it’s too late. Just a minor gripe that didn’t affect my overall experience with the game but can feel a little unfair.
While you're playing through the game you will also have to deal with the game's soundtrack which is filled with some of the worst rap rock music that I have ever heard in my life. If that kind of music is something you enjoy maybe you won’t mind it but for the rest of us, be happy you have the option to turn it off in the games settings.
Multiplayer makes its way into Evolution with four players being able to jump into a single level and race to the finish trying to get the fastest time and least amount of crashes. The rounds can be played both online and off with your opponents appearing as ghosts figures. The mode is a nice idea but doesn’t feel completely necessary. The game also includes leaderboards that keeps track of your high scores as well as your friends for each level similar to SSX’s RiderNet and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit’s AutoLog.
Even with its difficulty Trials Evolution is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone. You’re eased into it from the beginning but it won’t be long until you’re tossing your controller across the room. Though I’m sure you’ll be quick to pick it back up to try again until you get the score you want no matter how long it takes.
This review is based on a downloadable copy of the 360 version of Trials Evolution.