When Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was released a couple of years ago, the game was hailed for its comedic elements, its adherence to '80s movie tropes, its outlandish behaviour and its sense of fun.
Although the game was quite short in nature, it did inspire a huge amount of popular support and goodwill. Two years on, Trials of the Blood Dragon is a similar attempt to use the first game's unique visuals and sense of comedy with an established game. Last time it was Far Cry 3, this time it's motorcross simulator Trials.
The story is, of course, suitably daft. You take on the role of Rex Colt's two children as they're sent on various missions by a Sgt. Slaughter-lookalike (no, really). The game isn't big on plot, instead relying on the garish visuals, pumping synth soundtrack by Power Glove and the outlandish kitsch dialogue from all concerned. If you played Blood Dragon, it's enjoyable to return to that wild, neon-lit, explosion-heavy landscape. RedLynx, who produced the game, really nailed the same campiness as before.
Gameplay-wise, it's much the same as previous iterations of Trials. The game is all about managing the physics of your motorbike; you've got to balance the speed with the terrain, ensuring enough to clear crevasses whilst not overshooting ledges and landing on your face. For a first-timer, it can be tricky to get a hold of and it's entirely possible that you'll give up after a few attempts.
However, if you stick with it, it can be quite satisfying to finally master it and the levels themselves are short enough that the scenery will change up pretty quickly. Trials of the Blood Dragon does, however, suffer from the same faults as the original Blood Dragon - namely that it's far too small to be taken seriously. Just as you find yourself getting to grips with it all, the game is over and you're back to besting your time over the previous courses. There does appear to be a thriving multiplayer community already, so if you're invested in it, you'll have others to play off against in a leaderboard scenario.
Overall, Trials of the Blood Dragon is a neat little game that's all style and little substance. The visuals are impressive and the gameplay is infectious, but there's not enough to warrant an extended investment of time. If you're happy with shelling out for an extended minigame, go for it. Sadly, it looks like we're going to be waiting for Far Cry: Blood Dragon 2 for another while longer.
Publisher / Developer: UbiSoft / RedLynx
Platforms: XboxOne, PlayStation 4, PC