Trials games were always fun if they focused on its core values, which were the incredibly tight controls. The game was a joy to play especially in a party with friends taking turns, but the origins of the series didn’t offer a good multiplayer mode. As Trials started to grow in popularity, Red Lynx began to experiment a little with the series. Their last effort ventured a little too far away for its roots with a focus on crazy stunts instead of fun, but with Rising, they are back on the right track again.
Trials Rising is the best game to recommend to a newcomer because it is beginner friendly. There is a good tutorial at the start where you learn through the basics. While this is common in most of the Trials games, here it is laid out explicitly and in detail making it easier to grasp the various gameplay concepts. It is not that hard to understand the basic controls but to truly master Trials requires a lot of skill and trial and error.
Trials Rising seems simple when you start with it. You manage a bike in a side-scrolling view where the only control that you have over the bike is acceleration, speed, and balance. You use them in tandem with each other to navigate through some easy to incredibly tough tracks with obstacles that will need dozens of tries to overcome them. Thankfully, a friendly checkpoint system makes it easy to do it. Physics play a major role in how Trials Rising plays out and it is a key part of its level design. The game is bound by a rag-doll physics system that applies to the riders, any objects, or obstacles that you can see on a track.
In Trials Rising, the single-player mode focuses on completing a set of tracks to gain a ranking and get experience points to level up your rider. You start on a world map with various tracks that start first with the beginner challenge including a tutorial and gradually increase their difficulty as you make progress in the story. The issue is that sometimes these tracks are further locked behind a level gate so you will have to end up repeating old tracks to grind and unlock the new ones. If you strive to get the best ranking in each track, then you shouldn’t have any issue here.
Trials Rising is a brutal game in that sense that it absolutely punishes you for even a tiny mistake. This is common with the online multiplayer mode called “Global Multiplayer” accessed from the main menu. While there is a lack of choice and gameplay modes in this multiplayer mode, it is incredibly fun if you can match together with friends. So how do we do it since a private multiplayer is for now unavailable? There is a trick that lets you match with friends by making sure both players are in the matchmaking screen at the same time. That’s how I managed to play most of the Trials multiplayer with a friend.
The multiplayer mode doesn’t really show you the other players and instead, you mostly view them as ghosts. It still achieves the same thing though, but without making you feel like alienated from the others. The matchmaking so far has been fast enough while the net code is not an issue but it can lead to some slight delays/stutters depending on internet connection. The multiplayer mode begins immediately with a matchmaking option limited to 3 matches per round and before the start of a race, the track selection needs votes so the players decide it. This continues until the round ends. At the end of each race, points are given to the player depending on their place in the race.
Trials Rising is not just limited to the online multiplayer, it also offers local multiplayer support. There is a new type of bike available especially for local multiplayer. This is the Tandem Bike in the game letting two different players control the same bike, making it extra challenging to keep balance, acceleration and navigate some of the tougher courses. It is a good experiment and leads to some silly fun, but I don’t think this is how the game is experienced. As an experiment, it works fine but in general, it is a terrible way to play through the various tracks.
Track Editor is back again in Trials Rising but as I completely suck at game design, it is something I didn’t really check out and mess with much. You can enjoy the tracks that other players have created though so this can add a good chunk of replay value aside from the tracks that the developers have created for the game.
There is also a loot box system that rewards customization features like a sticker, logo, biker clothes and accessories, or customization for the bike itself. These are not that in-depth since they serve the purpose of appearance only, so if you are that kind of guy who enjoys changing their rider with the various customization choices, then this might satisfy your wish. Overall though, I didn’t feel like it had that great of an impact in the real game.
Trials Rising Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Experience insane motorcycle racing with the latest entry in the Trials franchise, and get even more with the Trials® Rising Gold Edition, which includes the game, the Expansion Pass, an exclusive sticker book, and four customization packs.
Final Score - 8/10
Trials is not an easy series, and Trials Rising continues the trend of making you as frustrated as possible. It is annoying but also strangely satisfying if you conquer a tough track. The progression system is a little flawed but with the new multiplayer mode, this feels like a complete package.