Trials of the Blood Dragon
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|8/10, based on 1 review
|6.0/10 - 4 votes
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Oddly enough, the peak of the 80’s occurred somewhere around 1991 for most of the world. America has moved on since then of course, but there has been a deep-seated connection to this time period ever since. It could’ve been the hair bands, the rise of pop culture, the height of malls and movie theaters, or maybe even the zapping pinks and blues that was worked into every design and advertisement. It is easy to argue that this love of the 80’s still persists today – Trials of the Blood Dragon make this statement easy to prove.
Containing a similar vaporwave, synth feel that’s akin to the eye-catching theme of the Hotline Miami series (and of course Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, its close relative), Trials of the Blood Dragon reimagines the Trials universe in a refreshing manner. It stays true to its previous title Trials Fusion but brings in the outlandish 80’s themes effectively.
Continue the Legacy
The story for Trials of the Blood Dragon picks up after the events of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – you play as the children of the revered Rex Power Colt, Roxanne and Slayter. They’re both more dangerous, tenacious, and clever than their father, making them the perfect candidates to save the world while going to Vietnam War 4. This is a great setup, and there are a lot of exciting moments throughout the campaign that make it stand out. First and foremost, that over the top 80’s theme keeps everything moving at a tight pace. Including such a venerable theme creates a sort of controlled chaos during this adventure that far outpaces the actual narrative, which is both a good and an ‘okay’ thing.
Its only ‘okay’ because this drowns out a lot of the character that makes up Roxanne and Slayter. Beyond being the offspring of the extremely powerful/charismatic Rex, they don’t get a lot of actual development and are static to say the least. The reason that such a dominant theme is effective, however, is that it makes each level intense and satisfying to bound through. On top of that, the music is a boon for those that love vaporwave or synth-inspired tracks for each level. Even if you don’t care for retro-futuristic tunes, they are still composed at a masterful level.
Save the World
Trials of the Blood Dragon is a bit of a hit or miss situation concerning the gameplay. On one hand, it pretty much changes a lot of the mechanics seen in previous Trials games, ignoring a couple of mainstays. This was perhaps the most divisive decision for the community because it completely subverted the expectations of mainline Trials fans, but I found the new level designs to be a welcome change (especially for a title like this).
A good chunk of the game is a 2D racing challenge, like other Trials titles, but there were also sections that put our heroes on foot and with weapons and platforming. These were all steps forward to me, but the controls and physics, when compared to other Trials games, were nothing to speak up about. Controlling vehicles was pretty standard, but the other levels were a bit of a hassle when it came to jetpacks – it was just clunky and not fun to play. Aside from this, I felt the gameplay was smooth and managed to stay true to its predecessors while switching it up.
Trials of the Blood Dragon may not be a typical Trials game, nor is it a perfect spinoff either considering the controls, but it brings a lot of unique ideas with it.
This is highly recommended if you’re into 2D racing, explicit 80’s styling, and chaotically fun experiences in general.
- 80’s theme done to a T
- Intense level design
- Fun departure from traditional series
- Story/characters are ‘okay’ at best
- Controls a bit clunky
- Platforming sections could be a stopping point for many due to difficulty