Community Review: Trials Fusion

You've most likely been hammering away at Trials Fusion for about a week now — what are your thoughts so far?

I find it hard to really verbalise my thoughts on this game. It's difficult to judge it in any fair way.

This is mainly because the things that are perfect about Trials Fusion have always been perfect in the series, therefore I take it for granted. The things that irritate me or have disappointed me are new, and therefore those are always the elements of the game I want to discuss.

For that reason I'm going to discuss the elements of the game that I love. I'm going to force myself, because it's only fair.

The controls are perfect. The level design, although less memorable visually when compared to Trials Evolution, are tip top for the most part.

Everything feels fluid and slick. The song ("Welcome to the future... man, machine, the future!") is hilariously perfect in the way that all Trials songs have been. This is a personal thing. I've always had a chuckle at the ludicrous lyrics featured in Trials theme songs.

But the negatives? There are many. This game has issues. Tragically, almost every new element added to the game has issues.

The worst addition is the tricks. They don't feel consistent, it doesn't feel rewarding in the same way that the core of the game does. It feels too random, too generic. It just doesn't work for me, and it goes against what we've learned to love about Trials: pure and simple speed and precision.

This wouldn't be too much of an issue, but RedLynx have gone and shoehorned trick levels into the main game (along with the Skill games) instead of separating them into separate sections. Previous games kept all elements of the game in different boxes, but Trials Fusion doesn't, this means that you have to endure aspects of the game you dislike if you want to 100% complete the main game. I'm not a fan.

And I'm not a fan of the fact that, a week after its release, I'm still having major issues connecting to servers on the Xbox One. I've heard that the PS4 version is more consistent, but I have only been able to register my times on the global leaderboards maybe 5% of the time, meaning that all of my times have basically dissipated into the ether never to be found again.

In a game where 50% of the fun is trying to compete against the floating dots that represent the times of your friends and family, this is a major, major problem. I chose the Xbox One version specifically because I wanted to compete with my brother in Scotland, but neither of us can register our times, so that's not going to happen. It's actually killing my enjoyment of the game. I can't trust the servers to register my best times, so when I actually do achieve something spectacular — a no fault run, a super speedy time — it all feels a little hollow.

So yeah, buy the PC or PS4 version. That's my advice.

How are you finding the game so far? Let us know in the comments below.


    I Have the retail disk version of the game (X1) and haven't experienced the server issue once but I know one of my friends with the digital version has been having the issue. OT ive been enjoying it but don't think its as good as evolution and being forced into the FMX crap is lame

    I'm about 71% through, I like the game but the server issues make it almost not worth playing, I spend more time pressing 'retry server' than I do racing, was a bit disappointed to find online multiplayer not being released for a few more months aswell. I definately think Trials Evolution was better, I'm really not into the futuristic sci-fi look of it, prefer the older dirt/goon graphics. The tricks don't really bother me but it seems like there is hardly any skill games anymore, all standard fare. A mate of mine bought the disc version and said he hasn't had a single server error, all his times have been posting, he is on standard 15mbs ADSL but my 100mbs cable constantly has server errors with digital, not sure how that would make any difference.

    You will be able to log your times on the Xbone version if you hit retry enough times.
    It’s terrible, but even if you have to sit there for 30 minutes (or watch TV while randomly pushing the A button) it’s worth it to get your times recorded, particularly for the harder tracks.
    The game loses plenty if you aren’t competing with others on your friends list! Plus the game stores your own ghost as part of that process so it’s not even as much fun as a single player experience.

    In regards to the music, it’s goddam awful as ever.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked hearing the intentionally stupid trials music when I boot up a Trials game, but then I put a custom soundtrack on before I get stuck-in.
    I know I bitch about it constantly but the lack of custom soundtrack support on the Xbone makes the game unbearable to listen to. The “welcome to the future” song might be passable the first 200 times it repeats itself but it gets really f*cking old after that.
    The fact that MS haven’t added a feature which was day-1 on the original Xbox 5 months after the release of the Xbone makes my blood boil.

    Basically between the lack of custom soundtrack support and f*cked servers the Xbone version is probably worse than the 360 version.

      Wait, what kind of 1998 online system are they using? Times should be stored locally, so when connection appears it syncs all times to server. Bam, server issues don't matter anymore.

        I don't think its a problem with connection, more so Uplay not syncing to the right account or something.

        I have a 100mb Cable connection, couldn't post times to leader boards.

        I spoke with ubisoft support for a week, they gave me all the ports I needed to open including the normal Xbox ports and specific ports for the game itself (there is about 10) I opened everything manually AND I had unlinked my Uplay Account then re linked it, uninstalled the game, then re installed, deleted saved data, hard reset the Xbox, created a new Uplay account......

        Nothing worked!! So I spoke with MS and they gave me a refund within 5 mins. It sucks but even if they released a patch to make it work, Im still completely turned off by the whole thing.

    Welcome to the future. Man, machine, the fusion!
    Welcome to the future. Light-years ahead of Evolution

    Is it though? After playing the PC version for a significant amount of time over the long weekend I don’t like it as much as Evolution.

    My thoughts are pretty similar to yours and the tracks just aren’t as memorable or varied compared to Evolution and I’m not a fan of the whole futuristic sci-fi theme. The opening song is awesomely cheesy but Evolution had more of them, and they were a lot cheesier. The music was so over the top in Evolution that it just fit the game perfectly. In Fusion it just seems like... generic futurey type of stuff.

    After downloading it Thursday night I had some initial connectivity problems with the servers but ever since then it’s been fine and all my times have been recorded (which would suck otherwise!). One of the biggest downsides with Fusion is that it’s multiplatform and it has separate leaderboards. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but one of my favourite aspects of Evolution was competing against 50 or so Kotaku people. Doing my best just to beat the person ahead of me was what motivated me to get better. Now that it’s all broken up, it’s missing that aspect and I can’t compete against a lot of the people who were close to me on the leaderboards (@FatShadylive, @markSerrels ). Thankfully a few other close people got the same version as me (PC) so it’s not too bad.

    The PC version has been fine so far. The beta had a lot of texture pop-in but that seems to have been significantly reduced in the actual launch (yay!). I went through about 8 hours without experiencing a single issue but I’ve since had some slow-down in a certain track and the game has frozen/crashed on me twice.

    There’s not enough variety in skill games (I think there’s a smaller amount too) and most of which have been replaced by terrible FMX tracks/challenges. Yeah, it’s just not something I can get into… Like you said, feels too inconsistent and tacked on for the hell of it.

    It’s still a great game, but it's nowhere near as good as Evolution for me. I’m not sure if it’s easier overall, or I’ve just got better, but I’ve already Platinumed most of the tracks :/

    Still, if you’re new to Trials it’s definitely worth checking out (@mrwaffle !) but I also recommend going back and playing Evolution too (HD will probably feel a bit dated).


    EDIT: Oh and if there's any other PC peeps, feel free to add me. I'm GreenGreenius on Uplay

    Last edited 28/04/14 11:20 am

      At what point do I unlock platinum medals? I beat a couple of your times last night, so I imagine that I'll have a few waiting for me when I do :)

        I think it's when Extreme tracks are unlocked. I made the mistake of playing too early with no one else at the top :P. It means I lost that motivation to beat the name ahead of me (since there were none!), which also means you and @sughly are going to beat me soon >_>

          Yeah, that's why you need the Shady factor. It means that you have to earn that right to be racing with your own ghost only!

            I've been racing against the ghosts of the top 10 people, but they kind of just immediately zoom off so it's kind of pointless :P

          Maaaan, my shoulder button is giving me so much grief. I know with a certainty its the problem - replaying the same track I'll see my own ghost get a way faster start than other times, just from a stand still. *waits impatiently for 360 controller adaptor*

            Is there any controller that works natively with trials fusion on PC? I'm currently using a xpadder/joy2key emulator but it doesn't work properly with analog sticks. It doesn't scale the input up so you get a lot of jerky movement.

        I got it after completing the last hard tracks, but I also golded every track as I went up to that point, so I'm not sure if you just need to finish all the way up to the hard tracks or you need to gold them all up to that point...

          I unlocked the extreme tracks and platinum medals over the weekend, with a few silvers and bronzes in the harder tracks. Seems that you don't need to get gold all the way through.

          I think you need to 110 medals, its the counter that shows up after you finish a track.

      Re: The slowdown

      I’ve had some REALLY bad instances of slowdown and screen tearing on some tracks on the Xbone version.

      One of the 1st tracks in the game seems to be the worst (I haven’t finished them all yet).
      I’m assuming that other people have had similar issues?

      Just added ya man. Might get Fusion when on special for PC, but would like to have a go at ur Evo times. Probably wont even get close

        I assume you have Evo on PC as well? I have Evo on Xbox :(

        But I only found out recently that the Trials HD tracks were remade with Evo's engine so I'll pick up Evo again on PC the next time there's a sale.

    Not happy. I've already been vocal about how splitting the leaderboard across 4 different platforms is rubbish. But I've found enough people to compete with on PC now, so that pain is starting to fade; though I'm disappointed it's not @fatshadylive's platform of choice.

    No, the biggest problem for me is that the PC version is horrible. Reminds me why I love consoles. My video card is decent, but when I started playing the beta I was getting 25-40fps. Got it up to 60fps with some tweaking to triple buffering or whatever... but once the full version released, the problem came back. So now I probably average 30fps. But rather than dropping frames (which would be crap anyway), it slows it down so that 60 frames always equals 1 in-game second. If you get 30fps, it takes two real seconds for one second in-game. Basically means that I'm driving through treacle all the time. Dropping the resolution to 640x480 makes no difference. Everything I read on the support forums involves people telling each other that their video card is crap, but given that it worked at one point, I don't think this it the problem.

    TL;DR: Split leaderboards suck, PC version is unplayable for me. Any ideas on how to solve my PC issues are welcome.

      Has it been consistently happening? It started happening to me out of nowhere for some of the ATV tracks (when it used to be fine). I didn't have any issues with the beta though, but it sucks about your issues :(. It doesn't feel right beating your score when you've got a disadvantage.

        Varies, some levels are worse than others. But it tends to jump up to 40-50fps on the very simple levels (e.g. "Do this trick" one), and way below 30 on some of those busier ones.

      when the framerate drop happens lower your graphics settings will fix it. then can just change it back.

        Does not. I tried playing on 640x480 with lowest settings and it's still rubbish.

          for me it was not the setting that helped but the act of changing it.

      I had really bad framerate issues with the beta. & even lowest setting at lowest resolution didn't help. updating video card drivers seemed to fix it though.

        Bloody PCs. That seems to be the standard answer... because it usually works.

        I did a full system update a couple of weeks ago but I'll see whether there's a newer set available. Can't hurt to try.

          another thing that may or may not be relevant to you, but it seems that SLI / Crossfire is causing a heap of problems. if you've got a dual card setup, might wanna try disabling one.

      I find it ironic that the series entry called 'fusion' is the one that's fragmented the user base this much. True global leaderboards and comparisons across platforms would have been a fantastic feature.

    same as most people..... the issue with not being able to save my times is killing the experience for me./..... having never played any of the previous ones.... except on pc with a keyboard (horrible), im loving the game.

      Duuuude... you need to get a controller. Feathering the throttle is a fundamental part of the game!

        have a controller.... but the game would just not accept it...... or when it did..... it was either on or off anyway, so the value of the controller was negated

          I'm having the same problem. Emulator software only simulate a keypress with joystick, so control is super clunky. Nevertheless, I've managed to get gold metals all the way up to extreme, but still its annoying.

    got to the hard stages and have nearly smashed my controller about a dozen times... holy shit the difficulty ramps up!

    Last edited 28/04/14 11:32 am

    Agree on all points. Also the difficulty curve is not as smooth as previous iterations.
    No server issues for me in pc but get big framerate slowdowns randomly.
    All in all, mostly a fun game but a step back for Trials imo.

    dissipated into the ether never to be found again

    Sounds like this should be a rap lyric.

    The narrative/commentary while playing drives me insane. On the harder tracks when you restart from a checkpoint or the beginning, you have to listen to that chick repeat shit over and over again. Or the announcer on the PA. When you get 100+ faults on a specific track that means 100+ times of hearing crap like "Hi, it's me again - let's have fun today". On top of that, the story/premise is boring and very Portals-esque.
    Add to that the insane server issues and I lost interest in this game after 1 full day play through. I have unlocked most everything but have not completed the extreme tracks just yet.

    I find the track design in relation to scenery is boring as well. The last Trials game was much more creative.

    That said - good game and will be back into it once other features/tracks are released.

      I turned off the commentary after about 20min of playing

        It annoys me because I want to hear it once, but hearing it over and over again gets really annoying.

        That said, turning it on and off again gets annoying too…..

      Couldn't agree more about the commentary. IT really annoyed/disappointed me that I had to turn it off and miss out on it, but it beats the hell out of "The weather today-DING. The weather today-DING. The weather today-DING. The weather today-DING."

    Picked it up on release for PS4, had no problems connecting to servers. Its been my first Trials game, having only played it a few times at friends places... but I played alot of Elastomania back in the day ;)

    Finished all the normal courses last night, getting golds on most but drifted to Silver and Bronze medals on some of the Hard tracks. Completed the first Extreme course last night too, after like 400 retries from the final checkpoint, man, that jump-up, to double bunny hop and then the steep hillclimb must've taken like 300 of those retries! If a bit scared to see the rest of the Extreme tracks!

    I agree, I preferred the look of Evolution over Fusion, its looks clean and slick but just doesn't seem as interesting.

    I've only got 2 other people on my friends list who play, but if anyone wants some easy times to beat, add me on PSN. My ID is grabda

      I'm nMorto_86 and the only people I have on PSN are others from here. My times are pretty average but this is also my first trials so i'm sure I'll improve

    I didn't even know it was an option - thanks.

    Fair points all around tbh. I'm not a fan of the tricks and at this stage, would have much preferred they were outside of the core game and certainly not needed in the core tracks. Also not really a fan of the quad bike simply because it doesn't suit my riding style. Some newer players to the series love it though.

    I'm still very optimistic. This game has 6 DLC packs coming out but more importantly, the devs have been vocal in their support for free updates and tweaks and new additions like the all new multiplayer modes. I'm confident that many of the issues we are experiencing now are going to be sorted out but can understand the frustration with them not being there day 1.

    All in all, I am loving the game. I have played a fair amount of X1, mostly through the tracks on PS4 and then will start working away at PC (I'm coming for you Greenius and Batguy and others im sure). I'm saving the PS4 and PC for some more gameplay videos that im making but should be across all systems.

    If you need any help or want to see how something is done, let me know as my University of Trials channel is posting new videos all the time.

    I still love this game and feel its a great addition to the series. I find that the challenges are fun and some are crazy hard and I've been enjoying working away at them. Extremes are awesome and remember that Track central will soon be filled with great tracks so there is an endless amount of free content too. Perhaps we should find a good track central track and race that each week rather than focus on in game ones??? Who knows. Who wants to organise something like that (not me sadly).

      Shady...... (I can't believe I am saying this....) I will set up a weekly track central "challenge" for Kotaku triallists if we want it, but since Track central is not Cross Platform yet, do we want to start with a Time and Challenges challenge??? We pick a track that has a few nasty little challenges (Such as RedLynx Derby.... what a nasty piece of work that is) and report back with our sucess / inevitable failures.... what do we think????? (Off to play Fusion now....)

      I'd be interested in a Frost Bite tute. I still have no idea how to consistently get over that broken ramp thing early on (after the ramp drop)

        OK man, I'll have a look. I will have MicroShady in about 3 weeks so I'm getting as many of these done as I can now before that whole crazy thing happens.

          Cheers, there's no need to rush it if you don't have the time atm. I'm sure I can figure it out eventually and I'm 100% sure MicroShady is way more important :D

      @fatshadylive With all due respect man, you've been pretty soft on a lot of these new features that other people aren't enjoying in the last few articles about the game, and i'm just finding it hard to take your views on Trials games seriously anymore, would you agree that you've been compromised?
      Paid trips to RedLynx.. and free copies of the game i presume?
      I know you're still a huge fan of the game and i respect your skills at it, don't get me wrong, but you've pretty much been paid off, right?
      I just wonder what you'd have to say about it if you'd had no contact with the developers.
      Not trying to start shit, just wondering how you can fairly critique the game at this stage?

      Last edited 29/04/14 4:05 pm

        Hey, I honestly was just cleaning up old messages and found this comment. I didn't see it when it was posted so sorry for the late reply. It's a fair question that I do think about very often. I have been to the devs offices a few times and other places as well. Sure I've also got free games but I've paid for multiple copies and multiple season passes also. The free games are just so I can have it on all platforms so I can run comps and stuff.

        To address the main point of your comment, I am incredibly biased. Not because I was paid off or anything sinister like that, but just that I am a fanboy and have been for some time. I'm also a fairly optimistic dude so tend to enjoy stuff and forgive things I don't like if the overall game is good. There are rubbish elements of many games but if the whole package is good then I'm happy.

        If people are looking at me for an unbiased objective critique of the game or any game you may have issues. There are countless sites/videos etc that give a great objective opinion and people should use then, rather than a fan site, to make purchasing decisions. I don't like to publically jump on hating or venting or angry bandwagons just because others are doing that. I'm also not a game reviewer and I make content for people who generally have already got the game. I'm also friends now with a number of the dev team so I'm not going to just trash new features. However, as a fan of the series, I am involved with whatever Beta's I can get in on and contribute constructive criticism at every opportunity. I've been lucky to provide detailed feedback to Fusion and Frontier during their lives. Not sure if that made any difference, but if I see something, I call it out.

        Appreciate the feedback though and hope that my comments have addressed some of the concerns. I mention regularly that I am friends with a number of the devs and that I have been to do a few things with Ubi, run comps with them etc. Everything I do, I do because I am passionate about the game and want others to share that enjoyment I have. Focussing on the parts of the game I don't enjoy really doesn't achieve that. As an example, my DLC playthrough videos skip the FMX tracks. I don't enjoy them and I say that. I reserved my opinion for a while though until I saw the whole package.

        To address your final point about how I would discuss this game if I didn't have this relationship, I guess it would be different. I'd probably be like many other people that talk about game design or mechanics or physics etc without really knowing what I was on about. Having been involved in the fringes of the industry have taught me to respect these guys so much and to think about how hard they are working every day to make us happy. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but before I share an opinion, I am thinking about someone I know, sitting at a desk I have seen reading a comment that I know they are reading. I've seen how this affects them. If I am seen as 'soft', you'll see that I am like that will most/all games just because I have got a greater appreciation of the games industry as a whole.

        Any other questions, let me know :) Hope that explains it a little.

    I've really enjoyed Trials Fusion but have found the server issues a little bit irritating. Hopefully they'll nix those issues soon and I'll be much happier. The level design is great and offers a nice progression through each difficulty level. I have, however, found some of the FMX levels a little more frustrating than perhaps I should as I often have difficulties "engaging" a trick.

    Still love the game and glad to see it arrive on the X1.

    I'm on the XB1 version, up to the training stage for the tricks (about 30% through) but decided to go back to the early tracks and start doing challenges and setting decent times before learning anything new. The connection issues are my biggest complaint by a long way, logging a score takes at least three and at most 15-20 attempts. Some nights are better than others but it seems to be getting worse with time. It is severely hampering my enjoyment of the game.

    I like the humour and the hints they drop about the mystery of the world have me hooked but in a game that requires many, many restarts for gold medals and speed runs I don't think it is a good idea to have the announcer give a speech or even worse, have a siren go off, at the start of a level.

    Only if there is a desire for it. While it would be great to just have a friends list that manages it, I still think that we could have some fun around here. Let me know if anything is arranged in TAY and I'll jump in. I'm spread pretty thin but would be good to have something to focus on rather than just playing random stuff across 3 platforms.

    It's great because it's Trials, but things that others have mentioned already like the leaderboards being split across 4 different platforms, the trick stages and the commentary (so annoying) bring it down from being great to being average.

    Overall I'd say that it's good, but Evolution is better.

    I gave up on this game. Way to hard. There is intelligent game play and frustrating gameplay. This game falls into Frustrating gameplay without the fun. Wheeling is impossible to master. Spent 7 hours trying to do on challenge I throw the game into the Digital deletion box for life. I will never support this developer company again.

    This game me a headache and also made me to damn angry I want to kill myself.

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