I spent some time with “Trials Fusion” this weekend at PAX East, where Creative Director and co-founder of RedLynx Antti Ilvessuo walked me through some of what’s new in this latest “Trials” title (hint: there’s a lot).
The new look and feel is apparent from the title screen, which is simplified to just two main options: Ride and Create. “The first game (‘Trials HD’) was in a warehouse, next (‘Trials Evolution’) was outdoors,” Ilvessuo explained. “This will be the first experience in a new game, and it won’t look like an ‘Evolution’ level. Everything will be shiny and new.”
The way “Trials Fusion” treats your progress is also quite different, which you’ll notice in the post-race screen. Everything you do on the track: career, multiplayer, everything is represented by a total experience level for each track across every mode. You also now have an overall XP level, which supplements the returning, all-important leaderboards. Now you know who has spent the most time on tracks, putting in work to post a fantastic time on a course.
Everything in between the main menu and the post-race is the pure, awesome physics-based gameplay that has made the “Trials” games so fun. “The great thing about physics is you don’t know how it will end until you land,” said Ilvessuo.
This fact is never more apparent than in the new FMX mode, which has players gunning for high scores by pulling risky tricks and successfully landing Tony Hawk-style; you only bank the points if you don’t crash. You’ll have the opportunity to plot out devastating combos in FMX Training, a kind of zero-gravity safe zone where you can toy with the moveset, free of the fear of crashing.
The realistic physics engine means wipeouts are still incredibly fun to watch, and I’d expect Upload Studio to be filled with painful-looking blooper reels in short order.
There’s a lot more “new” in “Trials Fusion” too: 40 new levels, including many aimed at the hardcore audience, more character customization options, unique – and sometimes bizarre – challenges for each track, and a 4-wheeler that handles completely differently than the bikes you’re accustomed to.
RedLynx apparently has much more in the works. “The whole idea of ‘Trials’ is what we call the ‘Minecraft Model’ you buy it once, and you get all the upcoming features for free,” Ilvessuo told me. “You buy the game, you’re buying a ticket. We know what we want to do one year in advance, we’re planning two years in advance. We’re planning online tournaments, teams, and then online multiplayer. Huge stuff is coming.” (Ubisoft clarified that while they will be offering players many upcoming features for free, this does not preclude paid DLC for new tracks and editor mode assets)
So why “Fusion”? “Fusion is the greatest power in the universe,” said Ilvessuo. “Evolution was second.”
“Trials Fusion” is now available for Xbox One and Xbox 360.