Having recently been released on Steam, ‘Urban Trial Freestyle’ is a new motorbiking game brought to us by Redly- I mean Tate Multimedia.
As soon as I looked at the trailer for Urban Trial Freestyle I thought ‘cool! a new Trials game! I wonder how they released it so soon after Trials: Evolution... Wait, is this even Redlynx?’ And the answer to that question is no. Unfortunately, this game has Redlynx written all over it.
Just from the main menu we can see the city is in chaos, with police and news reports being heard in the background about floods, mass looting, and a mysterious biker seen trespassing in hazardous areas. As we find out pretty quickly, the player is this ‘Mysterious Biker’.
At the start you only have access to the two tutorial maps. These maps walk (well, drive) you through the two different type of levels you’ll encounter; Speed and Stunt. In Speed, you have to (as the title suggests) get to the end of the course in the quickest time possible. In Stunt, you have to (surprisingly enough) complete several different stunts to the best of your ability. These stunts vary from Speed Checks to Highest Jumps. The better you do at a stunt, the more points you get for it.
The more points you get, the more stars you unlock. Stars are necessary for unlocking more levels,and this is where my first complaint for the game comes in. At first it’s not a problem but in later levels it becomes a big problem. I would never get under three stars in ranking, if I did I would restart. But even then there would only be about two or three levels per chapter where I would get three stars, however in the later levels I’d be about five stars behind the requirements for the next level, forcing me to play though several older levels to access the newer ones. Almost perfectly. And once I finally unlock that new level, I have to go back again to unlock another eight stars so I can get the level after that one. And so the cycle repeats, and repeats, and repeats.
There are five chapters, each containing eight levels (except the first chapter, which contains ten). Four Speed levels and four Stunt variations of those levels. This offers a nice, long playtime, perhaps longer than it should. At first the levels are fairly simple, but later on, they will require a lot more time and precision to complete each one. Each level only takes about a minute to complete, but there’s all the falls and cock-ups you’ll make in-between you starting the level and actually getting to the end successfully with a good score and enough stars to progress. This increases the time to roughly twenty minutes per level. This may sound good as it increases the life of the game but it gets very tedious and very agitating. I was forced to take periodical breaks whilst playing Urban Trial Freestyle otherwise my keyboard probably would have been found in several pieces scattered down the street.
Throughout the level, you come across little cash bags that can be collected and used. These can be used to either buy clothes to customize your rider or upgrade your bike. Me being, well, me, I decided to use the money I acquired near the start to customise my guy to make him look like a legitimate badass. That cost roughly around two thousand of my money. Then in the second chapter I was struggling to complete the level, like REALLY struggling. Giving up, I decided to go back to the first chapter and re-do some of the levels. During this I managed to gather enough money to buy the second engine upgrade. After buying it I decided to go back to the level I was supposed to be playing and within about 2-3 goes, I aced it. Because I bought all the customisation for my guy I didn’t have enough for the engine upgrade when I needed it, meaning I struggled severely. So make sure not to buy any clothing for you character unless you definitely can spare the two thousand or so needed to get a full set.
Mentioned near the start of the review, this is very similar, if not identical to Redlynx’s iconic Trials series, even down to the name of the actual game. It has a similar art style to Trials, similar level design to Trials and even has the lean mechanic except it’s slightly more dodgy and can be occasionally unresponsive and a lot of the time you spin slower than a wind turbine would in space.
Overall, whilst it is fun at first, it can get extremely frustrating and having to go back to unlock stars can get tedious. Whilst it’s good if you’re new to motorbiking games or if you’re a big fan of them, it ultimately doesn’t offer much at all to those in the middle.