Image courtesy of Ubisoft Entertainment
The “Trials” series developed by RedLynx and published by Ubisoft is a set of two-dimensional (2D) motocross stunt/racing/obstacle course games whose most recent entry is “Trials: Rising.”
Following up the previous entry, “Trials: Fusion,” not a lot has changed, if anything at all, but that's largely due to the fact that the series has fallen into the perfect broad formula that works. With the previous games, the play of “Rising” titles is what you might expect from a mobile game, where the only controls are gas, brake, and which direction you shift your bike. Part of the reason for this is because the original “Trials” was a 2000 browser game that played the same way, with its sort of "Tetris" formula of perfect simplicity that, if you were to change anything, it would fail to be the same, or even function at all.
So all “Rising” can really do is try to make the most out of its core formula, and to that end it works well. You can race a series of courses ranging in difficulty up to a rather unforgiving level, and all of them make good use of the game's mechanics and physics, and they all do a good job of maintaining the momentum of it all which helps keep up the catharsis. The settings for the maps are also very imaginative, including an amusement park, an active construction site, and a cargo plane actively flying above Siberia; these set pieces add a lot to the overall enjoyment you get out of a map.
The only problem is, however, all of the previous "Trials" games did the same thing. As previously stated, it's kind of a hard formula to add to, but the most this new game has done is add in the inevitable Ubisoft mandated loot boxes and an arbitrary leveling system. Still, it retains its sublime simplicity in offering basic fun as you race to the finish line whereupon your character drives off a cliff, or into a wall, or has a building drop on their head, or some other silly, violent end.
Final Score: 5/10. It's perfect for what it is, but so are the previous games, and while “Rising” does little too add to a tried-and-true formula, there is still undeniable enjoyment to be had.