Monday, 8 October 2012


Trials Evolution DLC – Origin of Pain [400 points]

To be honest, I was more than a little surprised to see paid-for DLC coming out for the excellent Trials Evolution. After all, with thousands of freely downloadable tracks, often by the Red Lynx team themselves, I figured you had as much Trials as you could ever want (or need) right at your fingertips.

So what has Red Lynx given us for our 400 points? Well I am afraid to say, very little actually. There are 36 new trials stages, all taking place on the new Paine Island map. The difficulty curve on these is a lot harsher than on the regular Evolution levels, up there with original Trials HD levels. After the initial handful of fairly straight forward trials you will soon find yourself back in sweaty hands and bulging veins on your forehead mode.
The trials themselves are well designed, and feel polished, though after playing some of the truly creative user maps they seem quite tame design wise. There are some stand out moments to be had though. There is a cool 'Portal' style level with teleporters and crazy gravity, another military level with incoming gunfire and crashing planes, and a very cool 'toy box' level which amps up the creativity slightly.

There are 10 super-cross stages, all of which are fun to play and are nice to see after playing the meagre selection currently available to death. The designs are tight and result in some great races, but they don't seem to make much use of the new items in the DLC, a big oversight if you ask me.

The one new bike on offer, the Gecko 520 is unlocked from the offset, and is a BMX bike. After the initial amusement of seeing your rider franticly pedalling away in mid-air like something from a roadrunner cartoon, you soon realise that the Gecko is an absolute horror to control. Every time you accelerate, even slightly, your wheels slip out as if you have just run over a banana skin. It is very frustrating.

There are some new audio tracks which fit the game nicely, and are less intrusive than some of the games regular songs. Heck, it's just nice to have some variety in the listening experience as you fail over and over again. Some of the tracks are actually very good, the toy box music definitely sounds like Amiga music (a massive Win!), but some are also quite dull (one in particular sounds like an episode of the Charlie Brown and Snoopy cartoon).

So we are left with two very bland and unimaginative skill games (fire bike from cannon, get bike up steep hill), and a load of pointless unlockable 'heads' for your rider and that is about all there is here.
Of course all the new traps, gadgets and environments are all available for use in the editor, so it will be interesting to see what the dedicated fans can come up with. Judged on the amazing creations we have seen so far, made with the standard Evolution, I am certain we will see some pretty spectacular tracks.

I think for huge fans of Trials Evolution this will be a no-brainer, and 400 points is not a lot of money for new content. I just feel the fairly limited amount of content on offer is slightly disappointing. Nothing here blew me away like many of the excellent user maps. It just feels like more of the same, even if that is more polished, well designed tracks to race around. The fairly minimal content and improvements are actually shown up by the very generosity of giving away an editor and tracks for free to begin with.

If you are really into creating your own tracks then I am sure it is worth the price of admission for the new editor features alone. For those of us that are happy playing other people's creations, only time will tell if this is a worthwhile DLC.

For now though I feel that there isn't anything particularly special about Origin of Pain. Certainly nothing you can't garner the same level of entertainment
from, for free, via the download tracks feature. However it is only 400 points, so if you love Trials Evolution, this will give you more entertainment and some cool new features.

The Good:

  • More excellent, well designed courses
  • New and improved environments and items
  • Great, yet fairly unimaginative Supercross tracks for multiplayer
  • New creative possibilities for the track editor

The Bad:

  • Nothing really spectactular on offer
  • You can have as many tracks as you like for free via the in-game 'Get Tracks'


(add 1 point if you create levels using the editor)