Simple to learn, hard to master: that’s the Trials series in a nutshell.
You’re a man on a motorcycle. Accelerate, brake and lean. Two buttons and a joystick – that’s all there is to it.
But as every Trials fan knows, this simplicity is deceptive.
Things may start gentle enough, but within an hour or two, the devilishly difficult track design and unforgiving physics will have you twisting your controller in rage.
Trials HD punished gamers in 2009, and Trials Evolution took the challenge up a notch in 2012. Now we have Trials Fusion, a futuristic take on the motorbike madness that sticks closely to the formula.
Perhaps a little too closely. While it’s still a lot of fun, the series is beginning to look a little tired.
Despite the pretty new next-gen graphics and addition of a trick system, Fusion doesn’t really do much that Evolution didn’t.
Its tracks aren’t as memorable, and hardcore fans may be miffed that the challenge has, in fact, been dialled down a bit.
Also out this month is Trials Frontier, which brings the series to touch-screen mobile devices.
Set in the Wild West, it features shorter tracks but is still good fun. The controls work well and the graphics are great.
Unfortunately, the experience is undermined by a frustrating free-to-play model. That is, it’s free to download and play the first couple of hours, but you’ll soon need to start buying items and upgrades to continue.
OVERALL: Trials Fusion is heaps of fun, but doesn’t push the series forward in any major way. And Trials Frontier is an admirable experiment undermined by its payment model.
Trials Fusion is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Trials Frontier is available now for iOS and Android.