Graphics:
7.5
Gameplay:
8.0
Sound:
7.8
Control:
7.7
Replay Value:
7.9
Overall Rating:
7.6
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Ubisoft
Developer:
RedLynx
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Action/Racing
Release Date:
April 16, 2014


Trials Fusion is zany. You’re not supposed to take it seriously even for one second, which is part of its undeniable charm. There’s something so mesmerizing about flinging yourself haphazardly off outrageous jumps, wondering what new brand of lunacy awaits you around the next corner. It doesn’t have quite enough meat on its bones and there’s not enough direction for the creation tools, but otherwise, this is a damn fun game. The treacherous circuits are begging to be explored and if you fail, you can laugh at your ragdoll body, flopping about like a fish out of water. That’s fun, too.

There’s a cleanliness to these well-designed environments that I really like. Developers have gotten so good at refining a chosen visual palette; this particular atmosphere relies heavily on design and the perception of height and distance. As such, the team puts a ton of effort into focusing on these critical elements, and they do a good job. Sure, you could be all anal and nitpick: “Oh, that texture isn’t so great.” I see no point in doing so, though, because you never pause long enough to focus on a fuzzy texture or isolated batch of less-than-attractive pixels. There aren’t many such examples, anyway.

The sound fits the loopy presentation, as we get a lively, almost irreverent soundtrack that, like the game, doesn’t take itself seriously. The effects range from crisp and intense to hilarious, as cringe-worthy audio often accompanies a gut-wrenching crash. It’s all very lighthearted, though; it’s not like you’re hearing the agonized screams of a dying rider every few minutes. The combination of the effective and diverse soundtrack and the solid effects make for a complete, entertaining technical package. Everything is geared toward the prospect of “fun” and in my eyes, that should be the manifest intent of every video game.

The obstacle course is challenging and at times, totally inexplicable. The jumps are absurd, the drops are oftentimes even more absurd, bumps in the road can send you sprawling, and practice doesn’t always make perfect. There’s no doubt that, especially on the later courses, Trials Fusion can be an immensely frustrating game. The good news is that it doesn’t start out frustrating, as you begin on relatively easy and straightforward courses that allow you to become accustomed to the controls. Those controls are a mite loose for my taste but over time, you’ll soon gain a firm handle on your bike. It’s just a matter of repetition and anticipation.

I really love the exotic albeit fictitious locales; one minute, you’re racing through a forbidding, subzero environment and the next, you’re facing an arid desert landscape. No matter where you go, though, you will always find a bevy of obstacles that require your immediate and unwavering attention. The goal is to complete each course as quickly as possible, which admittedly isn’t my thing. I prefer to take my time and maneuver my bike as I see fit, as I was typically allowed to do in Joe Danger . Here, it’s not all about finding hidden collectibles and performing crazy tricks. No, for the most part, you’re going for speed and accuracy.