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Urban Trial Freestyle takes on Trials Evolution on PSN Q1 2013

Martin Bigg On November 27, 2012
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If there's one XBLA title that has surely made PSN-bound players seethe with jealousy, it's Trials Evolution. As frustrating as it is riveting, its utterly addictive mix of biking, platforming and puzzling, not to mention some inspiring, imaginative level design, has kept me hooked.

Plus, one can simply never tire of laughing sadistically as your rider breaks every bone in his virtual body as a result of your incompetence. Only to then smash the controller in frustration as it happens again for the umpteenth time - I still can't face the final torturous level of the Origin of Pain DLC, you know. 

Trials Evolution is without a doubt one of the best downloadable titles available in recent memory, and I can't help but feel for PS3 owners who have been deprived of the experience. It seems, however, that an intriguing alternative is on its way.

Announced as a PlayStation Vita game entitled 'Urban Trials' at Gamescom, a waft of silence has since followed the mystery title that many assumed would be an outright copycat of Trials Evolution.  

This week, the barren Facebook page was suddenly renamed to 'Urban Trial Freestyle', however, along with a teasing screenshot depicting a rider performing a leap of faith from a tall building.

Little information is still known about the game's content, but accessing Urban Trial Freestyle's blog reveals the following description: 

  • Race through a wide range of urban environments in this fresh take on the action bike racer genre.
  • Break the rules of gravity with accessible controls.
  • Discover an engaging gameplay experience that features innovative social elements.

Finally, a brief teaser trailer was also unveiled, which not only announces a release date of Q1 2013, but also notably lists PS3 as a format along with the Vita. Assuming it will be a download-only game, it begs the question of whether or not Urban Trial Freestyle will support Crossplay, allowing you to download either version free of charge after an initial purchase.

There's still no doubting that Urban Trial Freestyle blatantly imitates Trials Evolution's core gameplay, but it seems to be trying to differentiating itself by adopting a grittier tone, depicting the characters as outlaws and placing an emphasis on performing freestyle tricks and evading the cops in urban city environments.

With the bar already set impossibly high by Trials Evolution, it's hard to tell whether or not Urban Trial Freestyle will be a viable alternative to RedLynx's masterpiece, but what little we've seen from the trailer leaves some room for encouragement. 

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Dan Corley Dan Corley
Apparently the beta is locked at 30 fps on PC. I really hope the full PC release is unlocked because 30 fps may be a deal breaker for me. Admittedly though some games are more playable than others at 30 fps, unfortunately didn't get into the beta so I don't know what it plays like.

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