When it comes to Trials Fusion, publisher Ubisoft has been pretty upfront about their plans for downloadable content. Before the game was even available, a deluxe digital edition and retail edition were announced to include a season pass consisting of six content packs, which were planned for incremental release between launch and April of 2015. The first of those content packages — Riders of the Rustlands — is now available, meaning that the time has come for some Trials Fusion players to find out what they paid for, and for other budding stunt drivers to decide if the add-on content will be worth checking out.
From the moment you begin Riders of the Rustlands, you’ll quickly remember the presentation difference between the majority of user-created levels and what is routinely accomplished by the game’s developers. I was initially concerned about the rust theme becoming too repetitious before long, but I was happy to learn that there are variations on the arid locations, such as snow and toxic waste. Moreover, these additional levels also include new art assets and music.
As far as difficulty goes, these tracks are very much on the challenging end of the spectrum, with not a lot of content for average players. Even the hard levels have some considerably difficult sections. If you still struggle with the final chapters of the game – -before the extreme levels — this DLC is probably not for you. Skilled players will find more to enjoy here, but those who are good enough to breeze through extreme levels will find the experience considerably short-lived. This add-on will appeal most to players who are quite good at the game, but not too good.
Easily the harshest criticism I have for Riders of the Rustlands comes from the amount of content it provides. In fact, five dollars gets you ten levels. When it comes to standard Trials levels, there are three medium, two hard, and one expert, for a total of six tracks. There is also a new FMX trick event track, and an additional timed skill game that does a nice job of showcasing the physics elements of Trials. The remaining two tracks are new Supercross events devoted to local multiplayer.
Now, let’s compare this to the last DLC pack for Trials Evolution, the previous game in the series. That add-on consisted of thirty-five tracks, twenty of which were standard, ten dedicated to skill games while also including five Supercross tracks. Most importantly, this DLC was also priced at five dollars. With these numbers in mind, it’s hard not to feel a little short-changed by Trials Fusion‘s DLC.
As you might expect, I’m not the first person to question the amount of content provided by Riders of the Rustlands. There being two sides to every story, you should probably know that the developer has defended the amount of content by focusing on the three optional objectives found in each standard level. They’re a part of the Trials Fusion track design, and the DLC is no exception. While it’s true that including those optional objectives is more work for the developers and undoubtedly provides more value for players — specifically work and value that didn’t exist for each level of the previous game’s DLC — I personally disagree that it adds enough value to justify such a large drop in the amount of tracks.
So, should you buy it? To answer that question, I’d suggest going back to the base game, and playing through the Expert’s Club level set again. If you think $5 for a set of levels like that is a fair price, then go for it. If you think $20 for six of those level sets is a good investment, go for the season pass instead. And if you own the disc version of Trials Fusion, you already own the season pass, so get to downloading.
If this review has perhaps put you off the idea of picking up the DLC, there’s one final element to the equation that just might change your mind. Each DLC pack comes with new level editor pieces, and if you’ve seen Track Central recently, you already know that DLC required levels are already being released. In spite of the lackluster value provided by Riders of the Rustlands‘ levels themselves, if you’re still playing new user tracks on a regular basis, that $20 season pass is probably going to be worth picking up at some point. If you’re still on the fence, maybe wait and see how that promised online multiplayer update turns out.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which was provided to us.
Consistent with We Got This Covered’s policy on not reviewing unfinished games, the score provided reflects only the five dollar Riders of the Rustlands add-on, and should not be considered an overall rating for the season pass.
Trials: Fusion Riders of the Rustlands offers some expertly crafted and considerably challenging levels, but it's hard not to be disappointed with the amount of content when compared to its predecessor's offerings at the same price point.