Switch version tested
Rising is the latest game in the long-running Trials series of physics-based racing games developed by Red Lynx. The series started life back in the early 2000s as a browser-based title and has been a letter of love for the developer with each release looking to improve on the last.
I have spent so much time with this series throughout the years I was really excited about another Trials game when it was announced. Everything looked cool but I was still unsure about the new mechanics that Red Lynx were putting in. The reliance on loot boxes to bulk out expanding liveries on the bikes in World Tour Mode could have been a game breaker.
In the first hours of the game loot boxes come thick and fast so progression and unlocks follow that is until about level 30 when their frequency slows down. By that point, you really don’t care about the liveries as you have enough to keep you happy. The gameplay itself hasn’t changed much from the first iteration of Trials, you need to use the physics setup in the world to make your bike go higher, further and faster than your rivals. This is all while having to watch your balance and positioning on the bike and once you have that flow down you can glide through the levels pretty quickly.
With each evolution in the series level design is at the forefront and Rising is no different. They are supreme and with each passing level they become more insane needing precise skills to conquer. I wanted to dislike certain elements of Rising but the more I played it the more pleasure it gave and made me love it even more. Its the simple task of getting through each run and learning just how to get the best time. Finally getting the perfect line through a course is one of the greatest feelings. The soundtrack is fun and the music spurs you through when you need that extra push to reach the finishing line.
I opted for the Gold Edition of the game which came with all the DLC included. I have been working on getting through these additional levels spending upwards of forty hours playing. Not once has it become boring and I’ve always gone back searching for that buttery route. The physics system works perfectly and you really get a sense of the forces in play. If you move position mid-air and land off centre it will more than likely result in a bad landing and you’ll be catapulted off. The animations are wild and, if like me, you will sometimes end up crashing just to watch the character ragdoll off the bike.
It’s not all perfect though as there are a couple of issues. The game suffers from graphical glitches that haven’t seemingly been patched with the most frustrating being falling through the world. Quite a few times to would mean having to shut down the game and start again. The difficulty ramps up a lot after unlocking the pedal-powered BMX and slightly takes away some of the enjoyment from the experience but this is deep into the game at level 42. This biggest grip is with the Switch version is the Joy-cons, the triggers are digital meaning they are either on or off. Trials on traditional consoles works much better due to them having analogue inputs allowing for acceleration and braking to be gradually increased or decreased. This really hampers precise handling of the bikes and often you find yourself having to restart a level to get it finished.
Overall Trials Rising is a superb game that is easy to recommend, although it has issues on the Switch it’s perfect to pick and play in short bursts. I predominantly played on the bus to and from work which actually made the journey fun, something that cannot be said for most time sinkers. This narrowly missed out on the nine out ten slot due to some of the glitches (I don’t know if these appear on the other versions) and the lack of analogue triggers definitely has a negative effect on accelerating and breaking.