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Trials Evolution: Gold Edition Hands-On Preview

The Trials franchise started back in 2008 on our beloved platform, the PC, with Trials 2: Second Edition (previously it was a browser-based flash game) and the sounds of keyboards being smashed from frustration rang out throughout the lands. However, in 2009, Trials was migrated over to the Xbox 360 with Trials HD and then Trials Evolution and ever since then we have been missing it dearly, but miss no longer PC gamer, it is back and better than ever!

We were lucky enough to be invited to Ubisoft and get a hands-on preview with it and being a fan of the series myself, I was more than happy to take them up on their offer! Upon arriving, I was plopped down in front of a PC, handed a controller and let loose on the game under the watchful eye of the lead level designer, Lee Rowland. If you've ever had your friend watch you play a game, you know you get worse at it. Think about having the creator of the level you're trying to complete silently judging you. I didn't do very well.

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition

Anyway, my skill in the game is not the point of this preview, I could sit here and tell you how bad I am at games until the cows come home but I believe the reason you're here is to hear about the game, so the game I shall tell you about!

For those who aren't seasoned Trials players, Trials is a motocross physics game where players maneuver their bikes over obstacles and jumps to reach checkpoints and complete challenges. When you complete the levels, you gain medals on how well you did. Throw in some explosions, skill games and a dash of rage-quitting and you have your game in a nutshell.

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition (TE:GE) brings together what PC gamers have missed; putting both Trials HD and Trials Evolution together in one, easy to navigate package. At anytime during the game you can switch between the two games without loading screens or opening a new application. Not only this but the medals, riders and motocross bikes are shared between both titles meaning these are no longer two separate games, but one entity.

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition

You start as a humble biker on Trials Evolution, slowly learning the ropes and earning medals. Once you've earned enough medals on the easy tracks, you can move to the medium tracks and then the hard tracks and so on. Trials HD, however, is unlocked a bit down the line (around 50 medals). I presume this is because Trials HD was the harder of the two titles, concentrating more on chance than skill - complete a track 100 times and you're bound to get it right at least once but have no idea how you did it. Once you unlock Trials HD you can switch between both at the click of a button and due to the joint medal system, if you get stuck on Trials Evolution, just jump over to HD for a bit until you have enough medals to continue!

One feature that I really loved about TE:GE is the YouTube functionality. There are plenty of times that I've been playing Trials and done an amazing feat of daredevilry but nobody is around to see it. On the Xbox 360, you had to achieve one of the top 10,000 scores for your replay to be saved to the leaderboards, but now you can simply upload your replay to YouTube! This makes things a lot simpler and easy for users to share their doings in the game.
As for physical changes to the game, there isn't much to talk about. The game is fundamentally the same although it has been optimised for PC play meaning that you can expect to see all the same extras like the in-game track editor, leaderboards and multi-player on this version. The one notable change that I saw was that some backgrounds that would be static in the Xbox version are now moving, such as a traffic scene early on. You'd think that this wouldn't add a whole lot to the game but it adds more to the experience and immersion of the game - to see a car driving in the background as you do a 720 over a jump just makes me smile.

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition

I was quite worried about how the controls would feel because with the Xbox controller, you have a lot more control over your character with the analogue stick. You can move them backwards and forward at every degree available but with a keyboard, there's no varying degree; the key is either pushed or it's not meaning that you go from one extreme to the other quickly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to adapt to this control scheme pretty much instantly but for those who may not adapt, you can also play with an Xbox controller too.

One thing that I would like to see from the game is cross-platform sharing. I would love to be able to dive into the already expansive library of user-created tracks but from what I've heard, this will not be possible. PC tracks will remain on the PC and Xbox on the Xbox. It would also be good to have some cross-platform gaming but I can't see this happening either.

Trials is coming home to the PC in Trials Evolution: Gold Edition and I, for one, am delighted about this. I asked RedLynx what the plans were for Trials but nothing was specified. Maybe this is the start of a beautiful partnership releasing any future games on both platforms? Who knows, only time will tell.

Kaostic | 14th February, 2013
Ewok's picture
Played Trials HD (I think that was the one I played) over at a mates house on his 360. One of those games you sit down for 5 minutes with, the realise 3 hours have passed and you have 8 missed calls from the missus.

Just....one....more.....go....
Kaostic's picture
Exactly what I did when I was at Harris. I bought trials evolution on the 360 and then sat down to play for a few minutes. Before I know it she's asleep behind me and it's 3am.
Dead Alive's picture
I bought Trials 2 a long time back on Steam. It's made me rage a lot. I love it.
Kaostic's picture
Get ready for gold then!

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