A review of Urban Trial Freestyle I wrote for the website www.square-go.com
Video games were once all about cute characters running round in brightly coloured worlds with blue skies listening to incredibly catchy simple tunes. And then things changed and games became gritty and dirty and the music became more raucous with the kind of guitars that appeal to American teenagers. This can all be summed up with one word; extreme. Urban Trial Freestyle is a game that would class itself as extreme.
Well, firstly the game would class itself as a racing game but one with a few wrinkles; the game is played side on with your character riding a motorbike. You simply have to go to the right as fast as possible and get to the finish line which sounds easy but naturally isn’t. There are all manner of obstacles and ramps and jumps in your way that you have to navigate with your bike. By moving the analogue stick left and right you can control the position of your rider: pull back and you start to do a wheelie to get your front wheel up onto stuff, push forward and you can lean the bike on it’s front wheel. The physics of the game is key as you need to use this to keep your rider on his bike because if you fall off it’s back to the start, or a checkpoint if you’re lucky.
So far so Joe Danger (or Trials HD for the Xbox fans out there) so what does Urban Trials do to stand out from the pack?
Not that much to be honest; the style of the game is almost painfully generic with it’s grimy city environments and rocking soundtrack. That’s not to say that it looks bad just awfully grey in places; there’s lots going on in the background with police running about and stuff but it’s something that you’ve seen before.
The game itself plays just fine with the controls bordering on the wrong side of twitchy but never quite going over the edge. The levels are fine with things to collect and do which will keep you going back to get all the stars for each track. You can also upgrade your bike to make it faster and so forth.
Urban Trials also does a good job of bringing in the social side by always making it clear how good/bad you are doing compared to your friends. This is where this kind of game really succeeds; creating that competitive aspect that keeps you playing for an hour or so until you beat you’re friends time for a certain level. The game was reviewed on the PlayStation3 but it is also available for the Vita which is always a good thing.
All of this boils down to a simple point; it’s just not as fun as Joe Danger. Not only did that game get to the PS3 first it also did it with a much more engaging art style that was just better. There isn’t anything wrong with Urban Trials but it feels like a game by numbers; use generic urban city theme, copy over generic rock, plug in style of game from elsewhere and off you go.
It’s a perfect 3 out of 5 game, one to download the demo see if it grabs you but that’s about it.
Three stars out of five