Michael Leparc On April 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Trails Fusion fmx_tricks_1_1392978328Playing a Trials game is a lot like learning how to ride a bike, the first several attempts you fail miserably and take one bad spill after another, leaving you to wonder why the hell anyone wants to do this anyway, but when it finally clicks you’re left wondering why you ever hated it. Fusion continues this tradition along much of the same lines, its only fault might be the fact that it doesn’t stray from the track.

As alluded to in the last sentence, not much has changed as far as the basic objective of the game, which is to safely navigate a course on a motorbike from left to right, shifting your weight and adjusting your acceleration to account for the many ramps and obstacles in your path to make sure you land safely. There are 40 courses in the main game, with 4 medals each to earn. The first bronze medal is awarded merely for getting to the finish, while silver and gold require beating the course within a given amount of time and avoiding a certain number of crashes/faults (pressing the B button resets your position to the last checkpoint). Unlocking new courses requires earning a specific number of medals from the courses already available to you, which means that you’ll be replaying them whether you like it or not. If the included courses aren’t enough for you, there’s also a track editor as well as a community section full of uploaded tracks ready to go, with curated weekly picks to boot.

I lied a bit though, as there are a couple changes from previous versions of Trials. First of all is the introduction of FMX system, which despite the fancy name just means you can pull of tricks while in midair by using the right thumbstick. Depending on the position of your bike and which direction you press, your rider will do a different trick. It works alright for the most part except some tricks are a lot more finicky to pull off than others. Along with this new system are some tracks that feature racking up points using it and other objectives like going a certain amount of distance without faulting, so that’s a nice way to mix things up. There’s also the introduction of a 4 wheeled ATV, which is heavier than the bikes obviously, making some things more difficult but some landings a bit more forgiving than the lighter bikes, which can tip over far more easily. On the negative column though, Fusion does not come with online multiplayer, it’s local only, though supposedly it will come back in a patch weeks down the line.
On the XBox One, Trials Fusion sports visuals that aren’t really next gen except in increased resolution and framerate (it should be noted that the game does take advantage of the One controller’s impulse triggers, making it easier to control, however). This is understandable as the game is also available for the PS3 and 360, but it’s a shame that you can still notice some texture pop in at the start of a track, which leads me to believe it’s just a quirk of the engine. As far as the audio goes, you’ve kind of got this GlaDOS thing going on between two AI’s who chime in with advice and warnings about the track, and the music isn’t bad either, though the title song borders on being an annoying earworm.

If you’re a Trials fanatic, there’s almost no reason not to get this one unless you are wedded to online multiplayer. If you haven’t played Trials before, but love a fair challenge, this is also just a fantastic game for you. Personally I’m more partial to the antics of Joe Danger, but there’s something unique about the track design of Trials that makes it an apple to oranges comparison in the end.


As the name implies, it’s a lot of trial and error but it’s a fair and fun challenge. Solid controls. Lots of replay value with user created tracks, but no online multi, yet.


Competent, but not really pushing the envelope for a next gen game.


Decent music and effects, some funny AI voiceovers.


A worthy download title on any system, let alone the Xbox One.

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