PAX East 2014: Breaking (More) Bones With Trials Fusion

Happy Trials Fusion week everyone. With the new title now available across the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, I figured what better time to tell you all about my time with the hard as nails dirt bike game? The entire game was open to me this past weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo and here are some thoughts based on that experience.

Honestly, if you’ve ever played this series before, there’s not much new to report on in terms of gameplay. Fusion is like putting on a great fitting outfit, it’s comfortable and familiar. Don’t get me wrong here, that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s still that physics based time trial racer and it’ll still prove to be hard as nails as the difficulty creeps up on you. You’re still going to be hitting checkpoints, nailing difficult jumps, and trying to set the fastest time on a course with as few faults as possible.

This time around though, Trials does have a few new things to show you however.


The biggest change is the look. Since it’s hitting “next-gen” systems these days, it’s easily the best looking Trials game to date. The colors are vivid and pop off the screen and the clarity on display is impressive. The game is also set in this futuristic and high tech world which allows RedLynx to introduce new ideas as well. For example, one level I played was being built as I was riding through it which was thrilling and scary as sometimes it looked as though you’re not going to land on anything. The new theme works really well in the scope of the game.

The other big addition this time around is a trick system which RedLynx refers to as “FMX” or Freestyle Motocross. These moves can be performed at anytime with the right stick or during special FMX events where the goal is to make it to the end of the level and accumulate points for doing stunts. In retrospect, I should have probably run through the tutorial but headstrong and full of pride, I decided to start with a medium FMX track. Unlike most traditional BMX style games, when using the right stick to perform a trick, the rider kind of ragdolls almost, so you’re not going to see some perfect looking “can-cans” or “cliffhanger” style moves. It’s almost comical and maybe a bit clunky in how it performs but overall I did enjoy this new aspect to the game. I’d highly recommend starting off with the FMX tutorial however to full understand how the system works. Don’t follow my lead here.

Quad bikes/ATVs are another new addition to the game and while I was not able to try them out, I did watch someone else use one and it looks to be another strong addition if not a little odd looking considering it takes up way more of the screen than a dirt bike.

In the end, if you’re a fan of the franchise already, I see no reason why you should avoid Trials Fusion. It looks to have another great campaign taking you through each difficulty level with heaps of tracks and things to do along with staying true to the addictive gameplay from past games. With more multiplayer and a more robust track creator shipping as well, Fusion looks to be one of, if not the strongest entry in the series yet.

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