The long-running “Trials” series is one that virtually trades on insane moments. But “Trials Fusion,” the newest entry in the series, ups the ante with new features, ridiculous new tracks, and some positively bonkers challenges. Here are 11 of our favorite moments of sheer insanity.
Level 2: Turbine Terror. After the sterile environment of Training Program 1, Turbine Terror begins with a segment set in a similar environment. Then the doors open. Beyond those doors is a vast, rich desert vista brimming with activity and destruction — and the first of many really, really big jumps.
Level 11: Shivering Isles. This cute reference to one of the most popular “Oblivion” expansions features a razor-thin pathway that’s disturbingly prone to collapsing behind you. And it ends with your rider plummeting something like 20 stories to his death… accompanied by a helpful voiceover: “Notice to all visitors to this area: Be careful of long drops.”
Level 14: Fusion Factory. Everything on this track is insane. Everything. It begins with a ridiculous launch from the depths of some building’s bowels, and progresses through a warren of constantly appearing, disappearing, and shifting track segments. It’s one of the most flat-out entertaining tracks in “Trials” history.
Level 22: Daredevil Showdown. This is your first chance to really try out the game’s trick model (a first for the series). In doing so, you’ll learn whether you really do suffer from virtual vertigo, how quickly a bike can actually flip, and what actually constitutes a “cringe-worthy” crash.
Level 28: Base Invader. This one bears some resemblances to Fusion Factory, but this time you’re on an ATV — another first for the series. The real insane moment, though, comes right at the end: A dead-end crash is avoided with the help of an enormous fan whirring along in the floor, sending the rider rocketing skyward.
Level 39: Rocky Road. So you’ve been chugging along, earning your Bronzes or Silvers, maybe retrying a section once or twice, and you’re starting to feel like you’ve got a handle on this whole “Trials” thing. Then you hit Rocky Road, and the debut of Hard-rated tracks. And you realize everything up until now has been a slow build to some truly brutal difficulty. You try to land on some of the tiny platforms; you try to grind up near-vertical walls. Then you go and cry.
Level 46: Cave Dweller. Discovering your first secret can happen anywhere, but for us, it was on Cave Dweller. We missed a jump and found ourselves bouncing down into the depths of the earth, only to land on a big red button and check off one of our first Challenges. Once you start to realize how much is buried in this seemingly simple game, finding those secrets can become an addiction.
Level 48: Mind the Gap. The thing about the brutal difficulty introduced with Hard-rated tracks is the fact that nothing ever seems impossible. Incredibly hard, sure. But thanks to the game’s generous use of checkpoints and no apparent limit to retries, it always feels like it’s possible to make progress, even if only a sliver at a time. Mind the Gap is the first track we completed with over 100 faults. Once you finally cross that finish line, it feels good.
Level 54: Eye of the Storm. …And then you unlock the Extreme tracks. Hilariously punishing and to all appearances physically impossible, Eye of the Storm and its Extreme-rated brethren still offer the incremental progress strewn throughout the game. It’s just that actually reaching one tantalizingly close checkpoint after another may take you as long as completing an entire Hard-rated track.
Launching Create Mode. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, you have the opportunity to make your own hilariously punishing tracks. At first glimpse, Create mode appears a little daunting. Then you start messing around with it, and you realize that it’s a lot daunting. That’s because Create is an enormously powerful tool that lets you make your own tracks pretty much from scratch. Just check out some of the amazing creations already available in Track Central!
Discovering Trials Is a Real Thing. Perhaps the most insane element of the “Trials” series is that it’s based on an actual sport wherein riders do absolutely absurd things with motorcycles. “Motorcycle trials” or “observed trials” feature many of the seemingly impossible feats “Fusion” specializes in (especially in Hard and Extreme levels). Here’s just one video of professionals in action; YouTube hosts many more. But please — don’t try this at home.
“Trials Fusion” is available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for $19.99.