Urban Trial Freestyle

Because I'm Freeeeeeee, Freestylin'

Urban Trial Freestyle tears stuff up on our PS3.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: February 19, 2013
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Somewhere out there is a dedicated group of people who spend their waking hours seeing what sorts of obstacles they can ride their motorcycles over without their feet touching the ground. An even smaller group has accepted the challenge of doing that same thing in the confines of the city. Yes, this is the world of trials, and it is not a world I know much about. Ironically, those people probably donít really have the time for replaying levels over and over again to master them in Urban Trial Freestyle, the latest release from Tate Interactive.

Those of you bigamists who spend time on the XBLA have probably heard of the Trials series at some point or another. If you are already into motorcycle tomfoolery than you like know about Joe Danger on the PS3. Well, get ready for a glimpse at what it would be like if the two games had a baby and Trials was the dad and Joe Danger was the mom and the baby looked a lot like his dad but with a few traits that made you see its mother in it. Urban Trial Freestyle isnít recreating anything that could plausibly happen in the real world, but it sure as hell doesnít dip all the way over to the Tony Hawk side of things like Joe Danger either. Instead what you get is a realistic-looking, gritty feeling test of precision that take place over 20 levels designed to push you and your controller to the limits.

The game is based around a 5-star system for each level with an ever increasing total star requirement to unlock later levels. The game is ostensibly broken up into 5 separate environments, although the make little difference other than the look of whatever obstacles you are traversing. Each of the 20 levels tasks you with playing through it twice. One time will be a straight race against the ghost of the fastest rider in the world (or your own if you arenít online) and stars are awarded based on time. The second time through will be the ďstuntĒ run that will task you performing a certain feat 3-5 times a course. You might be timed for your fastest speed at a certain point, tasked with flipping as much as possible off a ramp, jumping as far as possible over a gap or getting as much vertical air as possible off another ramp. Each of these will net you a score that is added to a small time bonus (you have 5 minutes to complete the run) with a penalty taken away each time you fall off the bike. That score of course determines your stars at the end.

As you might imagine given the games pedigree, getting 5 stars on all the challenges will require some incredible precision on the later tracks, where just finding your way over the various obstacles which include ramps, boxes, ladders, staircases and no shortage of cop cars. Yeah, Urban Trial Freestyle is totally counter-culture man! Itís nice that they worked that in as both a plot point and an obstacle though. The levels are quite dynamic, with obstacles being thrown out from the background, explosions opening up new areas and multiple paths through most of the levels. Some of those areas will be inaccessible early on until you upgrade your bike a bit.
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