A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trials Rising is a racing arcade game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players have to ride a dirt bike through a series of complex, hazard-filled obstacle courses that can result in the biker being electrocuted, crushed, run over, sent flying by explosions, or falling great distances. But while the character does scream in pain, the game's visuals are cartoony, without any blood or gore. Players can dress their character in just their underwear, but the underwear is sporty instead of sexy. Trials Rising has no nudity, use of drugs or alcohol, or cursing, save for what you might yell yourself when you fail to make it through a course over repeated attempts. The game is the latest in a long-running arcade racing series, and expansion packs featuring new tracks and other items have been announced.
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What's it about?
In TRIALS RISING, you have to ride your dirt bike through a series of sadistic obstacle courses designed with your death in mind. There's no story to the game, so your motivation is left unsaid. Instead, you have to make your way through a track so that you can unlock the next one, while also competing against ghostly images of friends that have completed the same track at faster times. Successfully completing these levels will provide you with access to new bikes and outfits as well.
Is it any good?
Like previous ones in the series, this arcade biking game once again provides a fun, if sadistic, challenge for those who understand the importance of trial and error. In Trials Rising, you ride a dirt bike through an obstacle course that's clearly been designed by a maniac who doesn't just want you to fail, but die trying. That's why you have to navigate a series of jumps, loop the loops, collapsing ramps, exploding barrels, and other hazards. Not only does this require split-second timing, but players also have to determine how much gas to give their bike, as well as whether to lean forward or lean back, or sit center mass, to keep it from flipping over. It's a good thing this game has intuitive controls that, well, don't make it easy, but at least they're not against you too.
As for what's new in this sequel, Trials Rising adds a mode in which you and a friend sitting on the same couch each control only half of a bike. This adds yet another level of challenge, though also a level of frustration if you and your partner aren't in sync. Not that it's necessary, as Trials Rising is plenty challenging already, with the new courses being as clever and outlandish as the ones in previous games -- doubly so if you forget that one is in a Hollywood movie set and "Oh, no! The aliens are attacking!" All of which is why Trials Rising, like the previous games in this series, is as good a test of reflexes as riding a dirt bike through the apocalypse.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Trials Rising affected by the cartoonish crashes in the gameplay? Would the impact be more intense if the violence was more realistic?
Do the crashes in Trials Rising make you want to wear a helmet when you ride your bike? Do you think you should wear more pads or less when riding your bike, and why?
Trials Rising requires you to play parts of some courses over and over until you get through. When is it important to keep trying until you get it right, and when is it important to know when to quit?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: March 15, 2019
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence
- Last updated: April 13, 2020
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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.