I have personally watched a lot of videos of Trials: Evolution because I watch pretty much every video from Hat Films, so when I saw that a similar game was coming to PS3 and Vita I got quite excited to say the least.
At the start of the game you are greeted with an intro which sets the stage for this rider who is being hunted by the police for driving through hazardous places, as well as a lot of destruction. The game never really touches on this again other than a lot of buildings being destroyed and car crashes in the levels, but no explanation as to what is going on.
Urban Trial Freestyle is a motorbike game played on a 2D plane. In the main game there are only two main objectives, time trial and stunt run. In the stunt run you have a set amount of goals in each level, the better you do at them, the more points you get. The types of goals are longest jump, highest jump, get the most flips and landing on a target. All are pretty self-explanatory, and it will take some experimenting to get them right. Unfortunately the game offers no tips to help you if you’re struggling. It is just trial and error in hopes that you will be able to figure it out. Before each stunt you’ll be presented with a billboard showing what the best players score is and their avatar or picture if you are using the Vita. During stunts like longest jump you will be able to see a visual representation of how far that player got as well as your previous attempt.
The game is separated by different groups of levels, each with their own unique style. They are aesthetically pleasing and all come with their own style. Based on the score you earned in the level you will receive up to a five-star ranking which are used to unlock levels. If you’re not the most skilled player then you may run into a roadblock where there aren’t anymore levels to be unlocked, at this point you will have to go back and better your previous scores on levels. This can be a little frustrating as previously mentioned there are no hints. I personally got stuck in the game, I can’t top my previous scores. I would prefer it just let you play the next level after completing the one previous.
Placed throughout the levels are cash bags which can be collected to make improvments to your motorbike or to change your riders appearance. All upgrades come at a cost, if you upgrade your engine which increases speed and acceleration but your handling of the bike will be decreased.
Time trials will have you chasing a ghost of the best player in the world, or it can be changed to the best player on your friends list. Since I have been playing this game before it is released I can’t test it against a friend. I have found the ghost to be a little buggy personally. I found that sometimes I would complete a level with a ghost far in front and get a better time and the reverse has happened to me. If some of your friends are getting the game that I think this could be really fun, I could see myself coming back to it if this were the case.
Once you have completed all the levels in one world you will unlock a challenge, all of them are different. One where you have to use as little petrol as possible and another collecting items throughout the level. I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t put these into the main game rather than as separate challenges as the game is in need of extra modes.
The game looks really good, sometimes too good as your focus can be taken away from timing a jump to the destruction happening behind you. There is quite a bit of screen tearing in the game which to some, can be a bit off-putting but once I got into the game I stopped noticing it as much.
The game’s soundtrack is rather forgettable, I barely noticed it was there. What little voice work is in the game from the characters in levels you’re tearing through, these can be rather annoying and are sometimes repeated throughout different levels. The sounds of the bike seem realistic as far as I can tell but I can’t be 100% sure as I am not a motorbike person.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Urban Trials Freestyle but I can’t help but think it is quite lacking compared to Trials: Evolution. Given that I would probably advise someone to play that if they had an Xbox 360. If you have got friends to play the game against then I think you should pick it up or you’re the type that enjoys a challenge then have at it. The time I spent with it was enjoyable until I was unable to progress any further through the game.
Publisher: Tate Multimedia S.A., Developer: Tate Interactive
Release Date: US: 2/19/13 EU: 2/20/13
Platforms: PS3, Vita & 3DS Digital: Yes
Game Cost: US PS3:$14.99 Vita: $9.99
Rating: ESRB:10+ PEGI:12