Addiction and reward await the bold.
Trials HD is a game that sits the player on a motocross bike and tasks them with one thing; get to the finish line. While this starts off as a very simple task in the early levels, it is not long before the obstacles in your way will have you scratching your head as to how to proceed. As your confidence rises, the objective of the game changes. No longer will one be content with simply finishing the levels. Soon the player will want to cross that checkered strip with no faults and finally beginning to work on chipping down your best times. This is where Trials HD shines.
There is always something pushing you to do better. The best times of those on your friends list will be represented in real time on a progress bar at the top of the screen. You can also see the top one thousand replays on the global leaderboards to find a better line or get tips on getting over a tricky section. RedLynx included such a high amount of replay slots so that arguably any one can find a spot on the board for their favorite level. This will then let your friends be able to see you, not just the world's best.
The bulk of the game is made up of five difficulties of races. Most players will find their first challenge in the third tier which is considered medium. The hard and extreme tracks have sections that will really force you to learn the nuances of control with your weight shifts and analog gas and break. While the controls are simple, there is an extensive depth to them that will take hours to master. You will master them though. As a beacon of hope for some, I personally spent over two hours attempting a single obstacle in the last level Inferno II. Those who have played the level will know the section I speak of. When I finally landed it and completed the track, I never thought I would return. Yet, something drew me back and I was able to repeat my success almost immediately while cutting my faults on that map from more than 200 down to around 60. You do get better at this game as you play, so if you find yourself stuck, go play some earlier levels and try to master them. It will help. Every level has a limit of 500 faults and time limit of 30 minutes.
Below is a successful run of that level. Just keep an eye on the attempts counter in the upper left. (Do not watch if you want to experience this level fresh and want to solve it your own way.)
Inferno II (do not watch if you want to figure it out on your own)
There are an assortment of twelve mini games that task players with a variety of goals. These include everything from an explosive ski jump to a giant pinball machine where you and your bike are the ball. While some might find these a real hook, they proved to be only a small distraction for myself. The real meat of the game is in the conquering of your friend's and your own leaderboard times. The difficulty ranks up to such an extent that on the Extreme levels you will not hardly compete for time, but you will compete to see who can finish with under one hundred faults.
Another area where this game shines is its acceptance of its true nature. As it's title suggests, Trials HD is about trials. Crashing, exploding, and impaling your driver are expected at every turn and RedLynx has included checkpoints after every obstacle. Reseting your bike is as simple as a button press. There are zero load times when reseting or even restarting the entire level, which is done with a separate button. This is necessary as on the later levels, some sections will take hundreds of attempts your first time through.
Capping it off is a robust level editor. The tools allow for some amazing flexibility and creativity. The object limit is set at 1000 objects and there is a density meter that limits the amount of objects presented on screen at any one time. This is to keep the game running at 60 frames per second and also to eliminate load times. Both of these limits are fairly hard to reach even in the most obscure and detailed levels.
Epic Indiana Jones themed level by Walton31
This is where my biggest complaint for the game comes in. You are limited to sharing and downloading new levels with your friends. This is a real shame because the average player will never see some of the real talent that is out there. This is a major flaw in a game that potentially could provide infinite replayability. If you are interested in trading or experiencing some amazing maps or are interested in some very useful tutorials on the level editor, head over to the RedLynx official forums.
This game is a remarkable experience that I see being a regular part of my playlist for some time to come. RedLynx has already stated they are at work on DLC but even as it stands now, this game is well worth the price of admission. Every player owes it to himself to try out the demo. Take a gander and see if it is up your alley.