Thunderbolt logo

Trials Evolution: The best of Track Central, 12/08/12

It’s been three months since RedLynx’s seminal sequel Trials Evolution graced Xbox Live Arcade. Its predecessor Trials HD was a masterclass in engineering and execution. Thanks to a perfect physics system and some cracking track design, it was loved by gamers the world over. One shortfall that all can agree on, however, was the lack of a public track sharing option with regards to the track editor. You could create the best course since sliced bread, but only your eight Trials HD owning friends would be able to play it. Ten fantastic user tracks featured in the second piece of DLC available, demonstrating the editor’s potential, but what about the thousands of other tracks made? This lack of public sharing would often deter users from going full throttle with their creations.

Redlynx saw the error of their ways (or perhaps now had the resources and budget) when developing the sequel, and created Track Central, a place where gamers could download and play the latest levels created by the public. Over 100,000 tracks have now been made, and Track Central’s sorting options make it easier than ever to find a few gems. Here are five of the best Trials Evolution trials tracks I’ve played so far, as well as a nifty supercross offering.

Stargate HR-1 // HanfRay

Difficulty: Easy

My all-time favourite user-created track so far, HanfRay’s immaculate interpretation of the popular Stargate sci-fi franchise is second to none. Admittedly I’ve never watched the series before, but I was blown away regardless. ‘Stargates’ are placed throughout the track, transporting you between planets. One moment the whole track will be exploding around you while spaceships fly above and below your bike, and the next you’ll be riding through a lush jungle full of poisonous fungi and bubbling lakes. Excitement of the unknown rushes through you before entering each puddling portal and the transformation is handled with a suitably sci-fi warp effect. It’s a very cinematic track with immense visuals. Check it out.

screenshot

Pandora final v. // Schnee Henri

Difficulty: Medium

Inspired by the vast world of Pandora as seen in the Avatar film, Schnee Henri’s track is a wonderful adventure through a beautiful land. Gushing waterfalls fill turquoise pools, while vibrant plant life grows from age-old rock formations. It’s not completely paradise however, as a few swinging traps and rolling boulders like to remind you. Later on in the track you leave stable ground in favour of floating islands. Scorpion gunships populate the sky, and help make the James Cameron adaption complete. Check it out.

screenshot

Rainbow Road // LatChoX

Difficulty: Medium

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a Mario Kart tribute. Instead, LatChoX has created a slick track that is both relaxing and engaging. The track is symbolic of a paint factory, creating strips of rainbow goodness. Layers switch and shift, and the track is home to half-pipes of colour and wavy dips and drops. A delightfully sinister twist in the latter half of the track cements it as both a fantastic original design and a Trials Evolution classic. Check it out.

screenshot

The Titanic // ArikoAssassin

Difficulty: Hard

Before playing The Titanic, you can guess what kind of track to expect. ArikoAssassin’s creation delivers on all fronts and exceeds expectations. Starting far belowdecks in storage, you soon make it through the engine room. Meanwhile, water explodes through pipes and cascades down walls. Often it’s a race against time as rooms fill up and you accelerate up broken sheet metal and wooden platforms. Just before you break through to the berths and sleeping quarters, the ship lists heavily, creating a steep incline. It’s a fight against gravity as you smash through glass out into the sea air. Small slopes appear as mountains as you try to scale the giant beast. Once finished, you’ll feel satisfied in having tamed the mighty Titanic, a challenging course with lots of variety. Check it out.

screenshot

Alien Fixed // Savage Chair

Difficulty: Medium

Savage Chair’s track is over two months old now, but is still raking in the high ratings, and deservedly so. Replicating events from Ridley Scott’s Alien, the story is executed solidly, and is told with charm. The track opens with you on board the Nostromo, floating perilously through space toward an unknown planet. After entering the planet and getting decontaminated, you ride through cargo vents, visit the barracks, and face-off with the Queen herself, in all her sticky black glory. Subtle lighting effects and use of shadow help make the track feel atmospheric, and an explosive finale marks a fitting end to this great track. Check it out.

screenshot

Nightmare B4 Xmas // Doctor EDD

Difficulty: Medium

One of the best supercross user-levels available, Doctor EDD’s Nightmare B4 Xmas track is visually stunning, and a lot of fun, setting you up for some classic multiplayer races. The black and white colour palette is beautiful. A full moon steals the limelight in the background, piercing the dark sky with its radiance, while Jack Skellington stands atop Spiral Hill, undoubtedly singing his heart out. Twisted metal and curved cobblestone bridges litter the track, with lanterns and wooden crosses everywhere. Large shadows cover the surrounding ash stained earth, and smoke emanates from the deepest holes. The attractive artwork does well to disguise a multitude of ramps and inclines and jumps and obstacles, which makes this track a true stunner to race through with your friends. Check it out.

screenshot

In my next article, I’ll be exploring Storcken’s Atlantiz, Walton’s ocean, as well as getting lost in DrittesAuge’s Neosphere.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @_Frey.

Gentle persuasion

Think you can do better? Write for us.