The sequel to the huge XBLA success story, Trials Evolution comes with a lot of hype. Is it good? Does it surpass its predecessor? Will it make you want to break your controller, TV and burn your house down in exasperation and anger?
Yes, to all three.
At face value, it’s just a simple physics based time trial game; you have to race from start to finish over increasingly difficult obstacles with the least number of faults as quickly as possible to attain bronze, silver or gold. The mechanics of the game are incredibly simple, and a staple of many an online Flash game you’ve all probably played before, but it’s the presentation of this game that sets it apart from the others.
The tracks themselves; rendered in a 2.5D environment all the tracks and locales are glorious to look at if you take the time to. Chances are though, you won’t be. You’ll be too busy screaming at the game and the ridiculous obstacles it has put in your way. At the start the tracks are relatively straightforward and once you’ve figured out how to tackle the things in your way you’ll fly through the level and finish with no faults. But before long the tracks up the difficulty, from beginner through medium, hard and then eventually reaching infuriatingly difficult tracks that’ll have you faulting 100 times on just one section of the track, never mind the whole race (my record for one of the extreme tracks is 289 faults; most of the others I’ve just given up on). However, before that the medium and hard tracks are a lot of fun to play and difficult enough to provide a challenge but not so much that you’ll lose the bap over them.
|This will happen. A lot.|
The game is easily one of the best/worst game for bringing out your competitive streak even before you move on to the multiplayer component. I’ve spent hours (hours) trying to beat my friend’s times so much so that getting gold is not the goal; beating your friend’s time even if it’s just by a few hundredths of a second becomes the main reason to keep plugging away at the single player tracks.
Then, there’s the multiplayer component; easily, the most fun 4 player racing game this side of Mario Kart 64. Over Xbox Live, all 4 players can compete in 4 lane supercross tracks as well as the normal tracks from the main game. Watching your friend crash as you zoom on ahead and hearing their cries over your headset has provided me with some great laughs. It’s one of those great games that you’ll not mind losing because even then it’s still a ridiculous amount of fun.
It’s a short review because there’s not much else I can say, and it’s really a game you have to play yourself to experience the joy and frustration. But the single player is great fun, the multiplayer is fantastic, it looks great, it runs great for the most part (the only problem I’ve noticed is that sometimes when you fault and have to restart a checkpoint the textures take a second or two to load up) and with skill challenges (like seeing how far you can get on a bike with no brakes, or seeing how well you can balance a ball on your bike) and the ability for you to make your own tracks, and download user created tracks for free (some of which are far better than the tracks from the actual developer) this is a game that I’ll be playing for a long long time.