Where 2013 was the Year of Luigi, Ubisoft and RedLynx are hoping that 2014 will be the Year of Trials -- and it's not hard to imagine that being the case.
Following the incredible success of Trials Evolution
in 2012, the Helsinki-based studio is looking to build an even bigger fanbase for the tricky motorcross-wielding franchise later this year, as Trials Fusion
hits PC and consoles, and Trials Frontier
brings the series to mobile.
It's fair to say that the former, Trials Fusion
is the one that most Trials
enthusiasts will be clamoring for. This time around the RedLynx team is introducing a whole new set of rules and challenges, that'll aim to work alongside the Trials
we know and love without messing with the formula too much.
Tero Virtala, managing director of RedLynx, goes through the new features with Gamasutra: A new physics-based FMX tricks system, which allows you to pull off flips and tricks for the first time in a Trials
game; New challenges which provide additional replay value for each time; New vehicles to play around with; And the idea of providing Trials
as a service that will evolve over time with new features, rather than firmly sticking with its original release.
Let's talk about the injection of stunts, then. How exactly is RedLynx adding an entire new and important element to the game, without unbalancing what made the action entertaining in the first place -- the speedrunning?
"We know our fans love the core game mechanic of Trials
and that is something we love too," answers Virtala. "We love and understand and respect it, so we made sure not to break it."
"We integrated FMX tricks into the game into what we think is the smart way for Trials
: by not having it affect the core game mechanic, instead by introducing it as a new game mode. So certain tracks are designated as FMX tracks and you use the FMX motorbike on those tracks, and you are competing on the leaderboard for the highest FMX score."
These special FMX will still feature the tight level design based around precision-perfect landings and balancing, but now players will have an entirely new system to play around with, layered over the top.
"You can pull out an FMX trick on any track," he notes, "but it doesn't impact your best tracks times at all, more likely it will cause you to go slower. So on a non-FMX, normal Trials
track, any FMX trick that you pull will just be to show off really. But in the special FMX track, it is about performing physics based tricks: And in Trials
style, it is the true skill of the players that decide what can be done – and there is no upper limit for the player’s skill development."
"What we are doing in retail is you get the Season Pass in the retail version, which entitles you to all six DLCs coming in the first year."
In another first for the Trials
will be released at retail for Xbox One and PS4 at the same time as digitally. Unsurprisingly, while the digital version will cost $20, retailers were not so keen to stock a new game at such a low price compared to other retail releases.
"Retailers are not highly interested to stock something at either $15 or $20," notes Virtala. "Economically it would be a difficult case for their games' shelf space. So what we are doing in retail -- and by the way you can get the same offer strictly on digital -- is you get the Season Pass in the retail version, which entitles you to all six DLCs coming in the first year."
As for Trials Frontier
, the first free-to-play mobile Trials
games also due for release sometime soon, Virtala says that it was clear to the team how it needed to approach a mobile version of the franchise.
"In the mobile space, the market has developed very strongly towards free-to-play model," he notes. "To be able to attract lot of mobile users to try Trials Frontier
, we saw it important to go for a free-to-play game."
He adds, "We were fully aware that making a free-to-play game around a very skill-based core game mechanics would not be easy. And we have used a lot of time and effort to find the right way, and think in Trials Frontier
we have it."
There are no "pay-to-win" mechanics in Frontier
, claims the MD -- "You can get to the top and stay at the top of the Trials Frontier
leaderboards without ever making an in-app purchase, whether you decide to buy something or not," he says. "But we of course hope people will care enough about the game and get enough enjoyment out of the game to care enough to make an in-app purchase."
has already been soft-launched in Canada and Finland, so you can expect it to hit the App Store proper sometime soon. As for Fusion
Virtala notes that over 650,000 user-created tracks have been made to date for Trials Evolution
. He expects to easily blow past that figure with Fusion