A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Trials Fusion is a fun motorcycle racing game that stands out from the crowd with its social options as well as creative opportunities. Riders do frequently crash in a very painful-looking fashion; The game never implies that they're seriously injured (they immediately respawn after perilous drops and crushing collisions), but that may simply end up convincing young and impressionable players that the risks of real-world motorcycle driving aren't as great as they really are. This important concern aside, the game offers a positive social gaming experience thanks to its enjoyable local four-player competitive mode. Plus, a deep and empowering track editor allows kids to explore and express their digital creativity creating their own tracks.
What's it about?
Building on the mammoth success of its predecessors, TRIALS FUSION puts you in control of motorcycle riders traversing extraordinarily dangerous courses. Players work through a campaign of around 60 progressively difficult tracks in which they'll cross lethal gaps while performing outrageous stunts, earning medals, cash, and experience along the way. While the courses appear in three dimensions, the action is limited to just two, which means steering isn’t a factor. All players need do is adjust throttle and brakes, control how much their rider leans forward or back to shift his weight, and -- new in this edition -- perform mid-air tricks by manipulating the right control stick. Outside of the campaign kids can play in local (and, coming soon, online) multiplayer competitions. They can also create and share their own tracks using a robust course editing module that's essentially a full-fledged game design tool with a user-friendly interface.
Is it any good?
Trials Fusion isn't quite a complete game at launch, since it's missing some key bits slated for later introduction (including online tournaments). But what's here is still pretty impressive. The campaign takes hours to work through and will help players hone their riding skills. Local four-player multiplayer events, meanwhile, make for a fun and addictive social gaming experience. Plus, the game looks absolutely gorgeous on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, making full use of these advanced consoles' processing power.
But the real appeal for many will be the empowering track editor, which allows players to create tracks every bit as complex, challenging, and enjoyable as those created by the game's originators. Even if you don't want to take the time to build your own courses, you can still download and enjoy an almost limited supply of user-generated tracks created by the game's community. Nearly a million tracks were crafted by users for Trials Evolution, and it's safe to say a similar number of player-made will eventually be designed for this iteration. That means avid fans will never run out of fresh tracks to challenge their virtual motorbike driving skills.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of racing games on young drivers. How might these games impact the real-world road habits of people just learning to drive?
Families can talk about social gaming. What's different about playing games with friends compared to watching TV or a movie with your buddies? When playing games with friends do you prefer it if they're in the same room or online?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Subjects: Science: momentum, motion, physics
Hobbies: building, sports
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Communication: friendship building, listening
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid (If you buy the game in a store rather than download it online it costs $39.99 and comes with a season's pass providing access to six planned expansions.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: April 15, 2014
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and trucks
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Language, Mild Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.