The single player campaign is quite expansive, and you’ll surely play most of the tracks multiple times to get your best possible time. Connect to Xbox Live and there’s even more incentive to replay single player events as you see times set by your buddies on the friends leaderboard. One major area of improvement in Evolution is the variety in environments. While earlier you were confined to the same depressing industrial setting, this game mixes things up, with tracks featuring backdrops like canyons, forests, and even some suspended high in the sky. There are scripted set pieces thrown into some tracks as well.
This probably won't end well
The single player events are great, but Trial Evolution is at its best in multiplayer. You can play offline or online multiplayer with up to four players, and the great thing here is that even in offline mode, there’s no split-screen; all players appear on screen at all times. You can play through single player events online, where your opponents show up as ghosts, but the main draw is supercross. Each player is given his own lane on the track, a la Excitebike, so there’s no contact between players, and it’s just a matter of who’s the quickest to the finish line. As in single player, there are frequent checkpoints for players who fall too far behind to respawn.
A platformer is only as good as its levels, and developer RedLynx has outdone itself with some truly stunning tracks. But they didn’t stop at that. All the tools they used to make the tracks have also been given to the players via Trials Evolution’s comprehensive track editor, allowing users to create virtually any type of track and share it with the world. Everything from the environment, to the player perspective, to the set pieces and obstacles can be fine-tuned. In fact, the creation tools are so powerful that you can create levels from different game genres entirely. Already there are some great levels available to play, including tracks based on Inception and Limbo. There’s even an FPS level, complete with explosions and set pieces. The Track Central section provides a near limitless supply of user tracks with the ability to search for tracks based on your criteria. If you’d just like to sample some of the best tracks, you can head straight to those handpicked by RedLynx.
Long way down
Trials Evolution’s biggest success is its ability to make something so complex and difficult so accessible and fun. This is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, but RedLynx has designed it in a way that even through countless retires on its trickiest tracks, the game always makes you want to do better. It is a game you will want to play again and again even if you never venture online to try the user created tracks or play multiplayer. This is what replay value is all about.