Trials is back, and this time it's... well, not gone in a direction you were likely expecting. It's set in the future.
Gone are the grimy warehouses of old in favour of all sorts of futuristic newfangledness. [i]Retro[/i] futuristic newfangledness, at that. You don't need to look any further than the title screen to get the message that Trials Fusion isn't taking itself too seriously. The music playing sounds like it was produced for Transformers: The Animated Movie then run through 2014 production techniques, while the rider you can see has Iron Man pants on his lower half.
The vision of the future developer RedLynx has gone for is a mix of preposterous gleaming towers, platforms and technology with apparent slapstick carelessness on the part of the people in charge. There's some great level design on show, which city tracks that take you from twilit marinas to rooftop chases across the tops of zeppelins. The wilderness levels are still here, but now they've got retro-futurism mashed in with them as well.
The core game remains basically unchanged. For the most part, you brake, accelerate and lean. As ever, getting your balance right is key to being able to guide your bike across ever-more fiendish platforming levels. Yes, 'ever-more fiendish'. Trials' serious difficulty curve is back with a vengeance, and the game remains extremely rewarding because of it.
Tricks are included, with players now bringing in the right stick to pull off moves like the Superman in the occasional stage. The game is also peppered with skill games that will set you a challenge such as climbing a near-vertical track as far as you can.
Trials Fusion also brings level creation back to the table. Players can build their own courses and get everything in their toolkit that the developers at RedLynx had when they were designing the game. While level building won't be everyone's cup of tea, what it will mean for everyone is a steady stream of weird and wonderful new tracks getting piped to our consoles on a continuous basis.
With the retail edition, players also get the Trials Season Pass, complete with access to a range of post-launch content.