Trials HD Preview (Xbox 360)

As the "HD" subtitle might suggest, Trials HD is not a brand new IP. Rather, it's an update to an under-appreciated PC series that will be making its way to consoles for the first time on August 12.

What Trials games have historically offered is the opportunity to strap on a helmet, step on a motorbike and become a virtual Evel Knievel.

Trials HD looks to continue that tradition by giving riders the chance to tackle obstacle courses full of explosive stunts and and deadly jumps, the full depth of which can be explored on developer Red Lynx's forums.

For your quick fix of info, here are the hot topics of conversation leading up to the game's August 12 release.

What's Hot

Custom content is finally coming to the Trials series
Source: redlynxtrials.com

Track Editor

When I favorably reviewed Trials 2: Second Edition in January, my main complaint with the game was its lack of customizable content.

Thanks to the addition of a full-blown track editor in Trials HD, custom content is now only a button press away.

As shown off in the game's first trailer, players will be able to select from a large variety of pieces and then decide where or how to manipulate them inside a course.

Upon completion players can post their custom tracks online, where they can be streamed or downloaded by friends.

HD Face Lift

Trials 2: Second Edition was by no means a bad looking game on the PC, but the work that has been done to upgrade the graphic engine for the Xbox 360 is truly phenomenal.

The main beneficiaries seem to be the engine's lighting and visual effects, which really get a chance to shine in the dark and shadowy warehouses that make up most of the game's environments.

Red Lynx has noted that its staff and budget for Trials HD is twice as big as it was for Trials 2: Second Edition, and the graphics are but one area where the extra resources seem to have paid off.

What's Not

They sure look pretty, but the jury's still out on the game's added pyrotechnics
Source: redlynxtrials.com

Such a Thing as Too Many Explosions?

If there's one thing that a Trials vet can take away from the three trailers released thus far, it's that explosions are going to be all over the place in Trials HD.

The red explosive barrels that have been added to the game's environments appear to cause havoc for bikes, bridges, scaffolding or pretty much anything in the environment that's combustible.

But fans have to wonder: Will the added pyrotechnics be a case of explosion overkill, or will they simply add to the game's daredevil appeal?


A major part of the appeal in previous Trials games has been their bone-crunching difficulty.

But while the old-school, trial-and-error gameplay sits just fine with hardcore PC gamers, one has to wonder if Red Lynx might be toying with the game's difficulty level before the game makes its console debut.

While we can only speculate at this point (we will know for sure next week), it's hard not to think that Red Lynx might dial down the difficulty for an Xbox 360 audience -- console gamers and PC gamers are just different beasts in certain regards.

What To Make of It All

For a series that started out as a free flash game and later evolved into a $20 release on the PC's digital download market, the $15 asking price of Trials HD seems more than deserved for what looks to be the best entry in this motorcycle daredevil series.

As a Red Lynx developer suggests, "The quality [should] be remembered well after the price is forgotten."

Make sure to check out Trials HD when it debuts August 12, exclusively on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.

Trials HD Videos
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