In short

Trials Evolution is everything a sequel should be – it builds on the winning formula that won fans over in the first place and offers so much more. The formula is a simple one at first glance, a dirt-bike platforming arcade title that uses power and balancing physics in an absolutely flawless manner, but from there it delivers some of the most addictive pick-up-and-play gameplay you are likely to find. Trials Evolution improves on every aspect that it could or needed to without veering from what was so great from the previous game.

Developer: RedLynx
Publisher: Ubisoft
Distributor: Microsoft South Africa
For fans of: The previous title, dirt-bikes
Reviewed on: Xbox Live Arcade
Also available on: NA
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9.5/10

The winning formula

RedLynx got the formula spot on with Trials HD and so did not need to fiddle with the overall control mechanics. It was and is a formula that will challenge you while being simple in theory. It’s all about balance, leaning forwards and backwards, keeping the bike stable while dealing with linear levels in a platforming way. Trials Evolution uses the same mechanics and so the developers could focus on everything else with the package.

‘Evolution’ is the word

Trials Evolution is far from a lazy sequel, it’s a true ‘evolution’ in every aspect. To introduce you to the new skills needed to clear the levels you are about to face, you now have slick tutorials you will need to pass as you learn the new skills. I found the levels less frustrating this time despite the game being a little more difficult or ‘evolved’ thanks to proper tutorials. Everything is more rounded off or complete in Evolution.

The levels are even more outrageous and brilliantly designed than with the previous title. The levels were already pretty spectacular before and are even more elaborate in Evolution. There’s bigger jumps, bigger falls, crazier loops, more outrageous lifts and trickier obstacles. The new levels also look more 3-dimensional now as the courses change direction slightly, as opposed to just going from left to right. You still do not need to steer but the design creates the illusion of riding in a more 3-dimensional manner.

More is more

Trials Evolution not only features 60 singleplayer courses for you to work through, but now there is even a multiplayer and some min-games to further your experience. The singleplayer levels pits you against times set by people from your friends list. So you can race against times against their times as you are tacking the level. This gives you the sense of competing versus your mates without being in the same lobby.

The new multiplayer modes are pretty good but I still had the most fun chasing times my friends-list set. Up to four player lobbies can race against ghost riders or compete in more basic races with more simple levels. You can now even compete in online tournaments adding to the packages’ longevity. If this wasn’t already enough, RedLynx included a comprehensive level editing suite with endless possibilities for user-generated content which can then be taken online.

More classy 

You immediately see the improved presentation in the menus. And once you are in the games, the sub-menus carry on with the improved new look. I don’t remember being able to buy new gear in the first title, but now you can style out your rider from with new gear you can purchase with your winnings. The levels looks better than before, more dynamic and detailed than before and I seem to think there is more variation in your surroundings. The game looks (because it is) more big budget now, rather than an indie creation.

Closing comments

Trials Evolution ‘evolved’ wonderfully from where it was born, but fortunately the important bits that made the franchise a success have not been messed with. Trials Evolution just refined the package offerings and added what the series needed to keep players playing this time as opposed to putting it away once you’ve won all the medals.

Trials Evolution is one the easiest Xbox Live Arcade titles to recommend to anyone that would enjoy a dirt-bike game. It also demonstrates how some Arcade games can steal the spotlight from some of the big brand retail titles out there.

Zombiegamer rating:



Read about our ratings here.

*Note from Microsoft*

Don’t forget the XBLA buyer incentive: purchase any one of these four (4) Arcade Next games: Trials Evolution, Bloodforge, Fable Heroes, or Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, and receive 400 promotional Microsoft Points!  Limit one (1) per account.  To qualify, you must purchase one of the four (4) games from Xbox LIVE Arcade using your Xbox LIVE account, between April 18, 2012 and May 15, 2012.  Promotional Microsoft Points will be deposited into your account within four to six weeks, and must be used by 12/30/2012. Offer is non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and cannot be combined with any other rebate or offer.