If there was one thing wrong with Trials Fusion, it was that there wasn’t enough chances to fall tens of thousands of feet to your death. The fans have spoken: sometimes smashing your 120MPH bike into a brick wall just doesn’t feel dangerous enough. Don’t worry, though, as Ubisoft has heard your cries for a little more distance from the ground, and has fixed that issue with Empire of the Sky. Leave your vertigo behind, because you’ve got a lot to prove – and it’s a long way down if you fall.
The last DLC pack felt underwhelming, because, apart from a new rust-coloured tint covering the entire landscape, it was very much more of the same. Empire of the Sky dodges this bullet by staying true to a much more interesting theme: every level, with only one exception, is built around the idea of verticality. You’ll leap between floating platforms, crashing through a layer of cloud if you mistime your manoeuvres.
Like Riders of the Rustlands, this pack seems to mostly be targeted at the more hardcore fans. Things get difficult quickly, and are near impossible by the last level, which might just be the hardest moment in the notoriously challenging franchise yet. Picture a giant pathway of small platforms bookended by bombs and you’ll have some idea of what you’re up against.
Despite the increase in the quality of the level design, the pack still doesn’t feel especially substantial. The last level aside, you’ll find that you can work through everything else in less than 30 minutes. A perfect run through each stage might take a lot longer depending on your skill level, but actual content is lacking; on top of the classic tracks, the bonus game seems tacked on, while the trick level is pretty much more of the same but in a new environment. They’re not the focus of the pack by any means, but they don’t offer much in the way of distraction either. In short, if you want something a bit bulkier, the same rule applies: for the best Trials add-on experience, wait a few months until all of the content has been deployed.
Things are looking up for Trials players – literally and figuratively. Empire of the Sky is far better than Riders of the Rustlands, and stands out from the base pack as well. Furthermore, RedLynx still has another four DLC drops planned, and this latest offering has us feeling just a little less sceptical about that.