Platforms: PS3, PSVita
Release Date: 20/02/13
Urban Trials Freestyle Review
If you’re looking for a Trials style game to play and you don’t own a Xbox 360, there aren’t many options. Fortunately, Urban Trials Freestyle looks to bring a similar experience to the PS3, and mostly succeeds.
The fundamentals of the Trials experience are fully realized in Urban Trials Freestyle. You make your way through obstacle courses full of hazards, jumps, and precarious balancing points. Handling in the game is spot on and just as skill-based as in Trials Evolution. Crazy explosions are present as well.
The major changes Urban Trials Freestyle brings to the table come in the form of challenges built into the courses themselves. There are a handful of different objectives: precise aim, longest jump, highest jump, speed check, and flipometer. Most of these are self-explanatory and are fun to accomplish. This is where the game differentiates itself the most from Trials Evo. The meat of the gameplay in the latter is mostly about just getting through the courses, Urban Trials Freestyle on the other hand makes the courses easily passable and takes a more score-based approach. In fact, this scoring system is tied to the overall progession of the game. You have to hit certain score targets on each of the stages to unlock the others. You are never really forced to grind out the maximum number of stars for each course to continue progressing, though you will have to go back and at least two-star most of them. I enjoyed this take on the Trials formula – it feels like it is a real iteration upon the somewhat small genre.
It’s not without its faults though. Multiplayer is nowhere to be seen and the game feels a little short for the asking price, though there are online/friend leader boards so you can keep trying to get better scores on tracks. There’s no track editor either – this will definitely put a dent into the longevity of the game as Trials Evo has a rather healthy ecosystem of user made tracks that vary from interesting to completely batshit insane. There’s a shallow customization option both for how your rider looks and how your bike performs. I use the term customization loosely on the bike part of the sentence. You can adjust what kind of tires, frame, and engine your bike uses. But, in the long run it doesn’t really matter because you should just buy all of the best stuff and end up with the same bike that everyone else uses. Urban Trials Freestyle could have been better served using the system in Trials Evo and having a handful of different bikes that perform differently based on your own play style.
Despite these few drawbacks I would recommend UTF if you have a PS3, but no Xbox 360 or PC – it’s really the only way you’re going to get this type of game and it’s worth the price of admission. It’s a slightly different spin on the formula, just don’t expect it to be as polished as Trials Evo.
- Less frustrating than Trials Evolution
- Decent replayability if you get into it
- Maybe a little sparse on content for asking price
- Not as polished as competing games