Platforms PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Developer RedLynx Publisher Ubisoft
Genre Racing Platform Played On Xbox One
Given that the Trials Fusion is the third console entry in the franchise, and Awesome Level Max is the 11th piece of console DLC, most players would assume they have a relatively firm grasp on what to expect from RedLynx when anything Trials related is released. As many discovered from the E3 announcement this year, Awesome Level Max is anything but the standard DLC package, and takes Trials Fusion in a direction players may have expected from a Saints Row game. A fire-breathing unicorn racing through tracks while a pistol-wielding cat rides on its back is far from the traditional Trials fare.
Packaged inside of the DLC are actually two separate bundles of tracks. The first is a series of runs created by developers at RedLynx combined with a set of tracks designed entirely by the community and hand-picked to be included. While user-created tracks have been included in previous Trials DLC, it is still nice to see the developer paying attention to the community and shining a spotlight on some of the best tracks from other gamers. Of course, credit is also given to the creators of the tracks both from the stage selection and loading screens. The second bundle of levels is the actual Awesome Level Max career package offering players a stint as the aforementioned cat riding a unicorn. Unfortunately, the first track where the player takes control of the unicorn is incredibly choppy because the backdrop for the level changes every few seconds and the track does not always line up perfectly with each change, resulting in some frantic tweaks to how your rider is positioned. After this initial bumpy patch though, the levels become as seamless and enjoyable as ever.
The environments vary greatly throughout the DLC, having players race across city skylines, through robotic warehouses, lush forests, outer space with low gravity, and volcanoes. Without a doubt, this variety of landscapes is the DLC’s greatest strength, providing highly detailed tracks which do not resemble ones previously encountered in the game. There is even a boss battle in the finale of the Awesome Level Max career path and while it is not what many would instantly think of when asked to describe a boss battle, it fits perfectly into the mould of the Trials franchise. The one thing that seemed to bog this extra content down was the sudden removal of a motorcycle, as the unicorn controls in a slightly different manner. There is certainly a learning curve associated with the mythical steed and most notably, the spin speed seems different than that of the motorcycles, forcing players to readjust how they steer when coming off of large jumps. Once accustomed to the difference in gameplay, players will discover that the core Trials features are still there and some of the user-generated tracks are more punishing than ones the developers have created.
In addition to extra tracks and a new ride, some extra rider gear and new track editor items were included in the Awesome Level Max package, adding slightly more customization to the title. The rider gear is primarily a few extra helmets, but those keen on building their own tracks will enjoy the new tools available.
Simply completing the included tracks takes very little time so long as you possess the skill and/or patience required to best the “Extreme” tracks, but mastering each of the tracks and completing all of the challenges is where the true test is found in this DLC. There are no challenges associated with the user-created tracks, but simply getting gold on some of them is more than challenging as they expect nothing less than perfection in very minimal amounts of time. While the new apparel for players to choose from is relatively limited, more variety in track editing equipment is always a welcome addition in a game which relies so heavily on community participation, and I eagerly look forward to seeing what the players will do with these new items. The unicorn and cat duo is an amusing change from the standard rider and motorcycle, but it does seem like an incredibly odd fit for the franchise and stands out for better or worse. Those who have found Trials DLC to be a good investment in the past will find Awesome Level Max to be the same, or perhaps even more of a bargain when compared to previous Trials Fusion add-ons, but the casual player who is not willing to invest time to perfect their runs or create tracks will likely find it to be lacking.
- Fantastic selection of new tracks spanning varied environments
- User-created tracks offer true challenge
- The concept of a boss battle has been modified to fit perfectly into the game
- New track editor items offers more creative options
- While amusing at first, the novelty of a unicorn wears off quickly
- First unicorn level has sudden track changes resulting in confusion and frustration
- Limited selection of new rider apparel
The Score: 7.7
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.