The goal of a great Trials game is to induce as much rage as any given human can take while still forcing said flesh bag to internalize it as every single fault is their own; too bad this update, as it comes very close to failing to be called a true sequel, takes entirely too long to reach that point and when it finally does there was only a sheer cliff of difficulty instead any form of ramp to ease players into the experience. What it does have, in spades, is new ideas and modes that almost fundamentally change some of the concepts of what made the series; most of which are presented with mixed success.
Personally have been a huge fan of the franchise since Trials 2 on steam back in 2008 and have happily never managed to fully finish one of the games due to their ever increasing and punishing difficulty—also because I value what little sanity I have left. The core difference between those games and this was the steady incline to the levels of insanity needed in the latter levels, this one seems to want to dump you face first into the deep end but can only get its jollies at this point by stringing out five series of courses designed to be lullingly easy—or they just rely strongly on the new stunt system that is broken at worst and hopefully gone by the next game at best.
The entire system seems to want the player to position the bike in certain ways with the left analog stick and then tell the avatar what to do with the right. In theory this sounds insane and busted the same way the basic control system for the Trials series should, the execution on it sadly comes out more like using a cattle prod to move a corpse into the least helpful position for later CSI teams. Depending on how you count this is the fourth or fifth game, so the team should be congratulated for trying something different—just don’t include it next year.
When I used to explain Trials to friends I would say the phrase “Trials doesn’t care!” a bunch during the conversation because it was a hardcore game that came out when the industry was becoming more and more focused on the casual, it seemed to be above all the microtransactions and season passes that every other game had. When I explain this iteration to them I am probably going to use the phrasing, “Because of course it does,” as it seems that even reality can catch up with the most stubborn of us and force people to pay the cost of a game for an unspecified amount of content at some point in the undisclosed future, because profit I guess. It isn’t that Trials Fusion is a bad game, or that I am even that disappointed on the whole with it, it is just the legacy that it has behind it has always hinted that it can and should be so much more.