Trials Evolution is RedLynx's second release on XBLA and first in many years on PC.
Players take control of a trials rider and attempt to traverse courses in the shortest time and with as few faults (crashes) as possible. The game's sixty tracks included at launch will start at a beginners level and will increase in difficulty through several tiers culminating in extreme tracks. The difficulty curve of Trials HD was a common sour point among critics, including Giant Bomb's own Brad Shoemaker. This was addressed by the team at RedLynx by including more in depth tutorials and license tests which teach the skills necessary to complete the next wave of tracks and skill games. Day and night cycles have been added as well as outdoor environments, both firsts in the Trials series.
Trials Evolutions maintains the leaderboard system from Trials HD in which times on your friends list are reflected in real time as you progress along a track. Traditional ghosts are replaced by having the name of your closest competitor appear on a progress bar, always giving you someone to compete with. Once again Trials Evolution rewards clean runs over fast times. One may have the slowest completion time amongst friends, but will always outrank those with more faults.
The replay feature returns from Trials HD, allowing one to watch the replays of the top 5,000 times on each track. This not only provides a very helpful guide to each track, but due to its high count, allows virtually any player to get at least one replay hosted.
Multiplayer makes a series debut in Trials Evolution. Both local and online play are implemented in this release. Up to four players can play simultaneously on specially designed tracks. The designers have opted for an overall ranking system based on a series of races to determine the winner. In traditional Trials fashion, faultless runs are scored higher than flawed fast times. In multiplayer, this is slightly different because once the lead rider is sufficiently ahead of another, in order to keep all riders on the same screen, the rider who is falling behind will be warped ahead and allowed to continue. This does cause a demerit in score, however. After the final race in a multiplayer series, the scores are tallied and the players ranked appropriately.
In commentaries about the game, Red Lynx has mentioned that curved riding lines will be possible. The developers have stated that bending the riding line will be possible so long as the curve is not too severe. This will allow riders to do spiral courses and even reverse the direction of a course so a player has to conquer previous obstacles backwards.
Physics and Bikes
The physics system has been only slightly modified by the team, and they have stated their desire for players to feel at home with how the tiered bikes handle. They are as follows:
|Phoenix Evo 250cc||6/8||8/8||8/8||8/8|
|Micro Donkey 60cc||6/8||6/8||6/8||8/8|
Customizable bikes are a first for the series. While only cosmetic in nature, players are able to unlock parts and assemble a bike that is unique to them.
Leaderboards have been modified. Racing event scores are totally separately from skill games. This is in response to the community's request for such a distinction.
Skill games return, and will now all feature finishing gates where appropriate. This was implemented due to the controversy surrounding distance challenges from Trials HD. Many players were able to reach the ends of various skill games, such as the wheelie and rolling ball courses. Now, for those who reach the end, time will determine rank, as will race events. Events are broken up by license class and unlocked as players finish more events, games, and tournaments.
|Gas Problem||Your bike is running low on gas! Coast and use as little fuel as possible for as long as you can.||Beginner|
|Freestyler||Skiing! Do flips and don't fall to earn medals.||Easy|
|Icarus Factor||Fly off a launch ramp and flap your wooden wings to get major distance.||Easy|
|S.P.H.E.R.E||Control a metal ball through an obstacle course. Akin to Super Monkey Ball or Marble Madness||Easy|
|UFO||Repeatedly land an Unidentified Flying Object onto six different landing pads.||Medium|
|Balance of Power||You can't lean your bike at all! Use gas and breaks to make it through the course.||Medium|
|Cruise Control||You can lean, but your throttle is maxed and you can't break at all as you make your way through a course.||Medium|
|Ball of Steel||You must balance a metal ball on a rail on top of your bike while going over ramps and inclines.||Hard|
|Mr. Vertigo||Swing from monkey bars as far as possible.||Hard|
|Exploding Man||Like 'Splosion Man, you can blow up three times and regenerate explosions by landing on horizontal surfaces. Don't touch water or other hazards.||Hard|
Track Creation and Sharing
The track editor returns and is much more flexible when compared to Trials HD. Instead of being restricted to a warehouse, editors are able to plant a starting point of a track within an open world environment, which includes a variety of terrain and natural areas alongside enclosed industrial spaces. Every track shipping with the game was created by RedLynx using an identical editor and with an Xbox 360 controller. The flexibility of the editor is on display in footage released to date, showing everything from traditional race tracks, to makeshift first person shooters, marble madness style games, and even top down car racing games.
Track sharing has been overhauled significantly as well. In Trials HD, users were restricted to only being able to share creations with those on one's friends list, and were also restricted to 100 tracks. In Trials Evolution, players are able to create and download one thousand tracks per save device and sharing is open to all. USB sticks will allow users to virtually have no limit to the number of tracks they can have. The developers have shown the new custom track hub and it is seen to have categories for Top Rated, Developers' Choice, and Track of the Month among others.
Trials Evolution was the first XBLA title to contain 400 gamerscore and 20 achievements.
Trials Evolution: Gold Edition once again brings Trials to the PC. The Gold Edition includes the full game of Evolution, as well as all the tracks from Trials HD. The game requires a Uplay account and all online features are accessed through Ubisoft's proprietary platform. The Steam version of Trials Evolution includes the Uplay client.