Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max
RedLynx / Ubisoft
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Also on: PS4, Xbox 360
Looking back at E3, while we were being bashed over the head with Fallout and Battlefront and something called Horizon Zero Dawn, out of nowhere came a gun-toting cat riding a rainbow-trailed unicorn. The trailer had definitely caught my attention, the possibilities started to run around in my head. So, as you could imagine, I was a bit let down when it only ended up being DLC for a motorcycle riding physics platformer. It was Trials Fusion, a game I played, enjoyed, and reviewed during the early months on the Xbox One … when there wasn’t much to play. I was a bit reluctant to return, as I hadn’t played it in quite a while.
The add-on’s main attraction is “The Awesome Adventure.” Within it, the player travels, as the aforementioned cat, through eight levels, each one crazier than the last. There is also another mode that was added, probably for the more serious Trials players among us—and yes, there is such a thing—called “RedLynx vs. All-Stars.” This set of 22 tracks introduces some of the toughest challenges in the history of this series. I would try a lot of the harder tracks once, cry in a corner, then go back to the unicorn shit.
I wish I would have worked back into it rather than jumping right into the Awesome Level Max content, as it can be a bit difficult as compared to the early base game. Right away, it’s clear that RedLynx isn’t fucking around with Awesome Level Max—which is to say they are only fucking around. The ridiculous levels fly off the handle as players find themselves riding a fantastical steed through space. It all only gets more ridiculous from there, as the player rides through different lands, such as a huge, RPG-inspired level. The whole thing is pretty goofy—the kind of goofy that feels forced—but the basic gameplay is still pure Trials, so it’s still worthwhile to see it through. Though, because they really just seemingly re-skinned motorcycles to be a unicorn, it sort of still controls as a motorcycle. This goes back to the difficulty discussion, because of the odd mix of horse and bike, if the player even slightly messes up the landing, the unicorn doesn’t know what to do and runs on two legs for a while and then just give up and falls. It was all at once hilarious and incredibly frustrating.
The biggest issue I have with Awesome Level Max is an issue I have with DLC in general: Even though at first this looks like a brand new experience, after a few hours it just feels samey. When the consumer is plopping down $10, there is an expectation that they will be treated to something new. The “RedLynx vs. All-Stars” content brings a lot of new tracks, but still didn’t quite do it for me. The pack also introduces quite a few new outfits and heads—again, it didn’t feel like enough. Another ridiculous DLC that this reminds me of was Dead Rising 3’s Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α. That addition felt welcome because it didn’t just change the scenery but introduced a lot of new features to the game.
Picking up Trials again was genuinely enjoyable—it’s still the same slickly presented game of patience and track perfecting that made it a go-to option early on in this console generation. But after a few hours with the new content, it was time to move on. Ultimately, though there was a lot of user created content that I certainly missed, this silly addition addition doesn’t pack enough punch to re-energize this game for me. Which says a lot for a game that features a unicorn-riding cat.