Those crazy Finns are at it again. After literally crashing into Ubisoft's E3 press conference with a motorbike, Redlynx announced Trials Rising for pretty much every single console on the market. We got a chance to play a couple of levels at the convention and it's still the Trials we all know and love. It's all about full throttle biking while balancing your rider to avoid grievous bodily harm. Rising makes the futuristic setting of Fusion yesterday's news, however, and instead opts to take us on a tour around the world. In the demo we played, we got to see real-life locations such as the Eiffel Tower and some radioactive swamplands around Chernobyl.
Don't go expecting any surprising new gameplay mechanics - it's still classic Trials, although the over-the-top tricks from Trials Fusion were not a part of this demo. Redlynx says it's still working on that and, hopefully, the tricks will add more if they indeed are embedded in the game again. The new tracks look amazing though, with fantastic attention to detail and some really cool environmental hazards, such as a train cart that can crush your bike if you're not careful while riding in the mines.
Something we noticed right away was the inclusion of ghosts. Not the supernatural ghoulish kind, but rather the recorded replays of your friends' high scores. In previous entries there have been small dots on the screen representing your friends' progress, but in Rising you can actually see how they balance their bike which might come in handy on difficult levels. And this way it never feels like you're playing alone.
There is multiplayer of course, with eight-player motocross returning and four-player local available in the full game. Another returning feature is rider customisation, which was a big focus in Trials Fusion. Do you prefer having a horse's head over your regular human one? Trials Rising has got you covered, friend! This time you'll also be able to custom tailor your bike and sell the designs on a virtual marketplace for in-game currency. In fact, the map editor is also making another appearance in Rising, and this one is going to be "beefier than ever before with new features and more objects."
However, the coolest new thing in Rising is the tandem motorcycle. Yes, you read that correctly: there's a tandem bike in the game! Two players will have to cooperate on the same bike, with each player controlling 50% of the throttle. Both riders must lean in sync to perform flips and land safely, which basically means that Trials is a co-op experience now. Redlynx is trying its best to make the tandem bike available for every single track in the game, but the studio isn't committing to that idea just yet. They still have some time to figure it out, though, since the game won't be released until the February of next year, but there's no doubt that there's a lot of potential here.
"We had to go back to the roots of Trials," associate producer Julius Fondem told us during E3. "So competition, creativity and community, those three pillars, going to the base of those and pushing them forward more than ever before. So with competition you can race against the ghosts, as previously, but now they're actually physical riders that you can see in the maps and you're never riding alone [...] You have the challengers that are riders that will challenge you on tracks and you'll only have a limited amount of tries to beat them." Fondem also told us how they're adding new features to encourage creativity and community too.
When Trials Fusion was released five years ago, we were actually starting to get tired of the concept, but riding shotgun with a friend in Trials Rising was one of the highlights of E3, and that alone has made us very excited for even more Finnish motocross madness. We'll see you on the slopes online when the beta hits later this autumn.