Trials Rising: PS4/Xbox One/PC/Nintendo Switch, 8/10
The Trials series has always been an exercise in delicate finesse and subtle movements and Trials Rising is certainly no different. At its most fundamental level, the task of navigating a motorbike across a 2D track doesn't appear so deep. After all, you are only afforded a limited range of controls: throttle, brake, lean left and lean right. In reality, these controls are combined to form a dizzyingly deep pool of technical skills you must master in order to traverse the game's more difficult latter levels.
Trials Rising features a lavish spread of over a hundred levels, which are without a doubt some of the more impressive courses seen in the Trials series. The Hollywood level that pops up early on in the game is probably the most visually impressive in the entire series, while many of the levels feature some of the best actual course design in the Trials repertoire.
If any of you remember the humble origins of the Trials series then you will be surprised at how the developers have handled some of the mechanics in this latest Trials release - particularly the progression system. All of the courses in Trials Rising are split between nine main leagues.
Unlocking a new league requires you to beat the previous league's Stadium Finals, a cracking series of three shorter, multi-lane races which bring a novel and refreshing twist to a series often devoid of innovation.
However, you will only unlock these races one you've levelled your XP to the required amount. This doesn't sting so much in the early game, but in the later game it becomes a tedious grinding out of "sponsor" contract challenges. These challenges alone become almost prohibitively difficult, leading to some moments where the value of playing the game was outweighed by how frustratingly difficult these challenges became.
Unsurprisingly, Loot Crates have now made an appearance. Fortunately, Loot Crates only drop cosmetic upgrades such as stickers, clothing and bike pieces, making their presence a great deal less irritating than it could have been.
Between the excellent and surprising addition of the tutorial system, the wealth of customisation options and the ridiculously complex level editor, Trials Rising cannot be faulted on its depth of content. Rising is a brilliant addition to the Trials series. As with the original, it won't be for everyone, but those who will find enjoyment won't be able to put it down.