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Trials Evolution (Xbox 360 Arcade)
Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Available For: Xbox 360
Developer: Red Lynx
Age: 12 (PEGI)
Cost: 1200 Microsoft Points (about £10)
Evolution usually happens slowly over a matter of many years, but in just three years, evolution has worked wonders on Trials. No it hasn't evolved for your motorcycle to include stabilisers, nor has your rider grown gills to help him breathe underwater - it's just bigger, better and so much prettier than ever before.
Its beautiful exterior boasts a motorcycle game with a simple premise - get from one end of the track to the other without falling off your bike. What it's really about however are the physics. Keeping the bike’s trajectory right whilst positioning the rider to get the best balance and aerodynamics is no easy feat. It's infuriatingly fiddly but hellishly fun. Every player is a willing glutton for punishment.
There are plenty of licenses to be gained, tournaments to be entered, medals to be won, and cash to be banked. There’s also plenty of attire and to be purchased with the hard-earned readies.
Motorcycles are awarded through play, and although there aren't many to unlock, each handles radically different. Sometimes it's even best to wait until you've unlocked the best bikes before going back to pick up the gold medals on prior levels.
Competitiveness is a key feature, with not just leaderboards, but ghost riders of your friends alongside your own. It's a great in-game indicator to tell whether you'll smash your mates or not.
The multiplayer experience isn't as good as one could hope for. It's often difficult to get in a game with a friend, and even when you do, things aren't as solid as they should be. Players often find themselves thrown from games before they get a chance to be thrown from their bike. Once properly connected though, two players trying desperately to keep up with each other can generate plenty of excitement, but it's still not a patch on the awesome single player experience.
A track editor is available for budding level designers to come up with their very own death-trap track to put both themselves and their friends through their paces. It's easy to use, intuitive, and will have everybody scrambling to make the best and most challenging tracks possible. The increase in longevity this provides is immense and should keep players busy for hours, days, weeks, months and hopefully even years – up until the point we get Trials Evolution Evolved, or whatever they may call it.
Through the years, many have tried to argue with Darwin's theory of evolution, but there's little argument that Trials has evolved, and even less of an argument that at just 1200 Microsoft Points, it's exceptional value for money.
SCORE: 8 / 10
PROS: Beefed up with extra content and graphical flourish so tasty, it will make you want to lick your screen. The track creation is also rock solid.
CONS: The multiplayer is complete pants at connecting.