Trials HD is a platformer -- on wheels. The entire concept of the motocross racer is to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, while avoiding an array of factory themed obstacles (steel beams, barrels, etc). Based on the PC Steam release Trials 2: Second Edition, Trials HD adds a few extras to the original -- along with a few graphical touches (primarily lighting).
In Trials HD players race through a level (presented with 3D graphics on a 2D plane), which range from simple ramps and jumps to large Micro Machines inspired loops and circus style rings of fire. The game is based on weight and propulsion, as the terrain changes under the rubber of your (cosmetically customizable) motorbike, players use the analog stick to adjust the body weight of their racer. Pushing all the way forward (and thus shifting all weight to the front of the bike) and hitting the gas will send your race pro crashing into the ground below. Added to this is the hilarious use of physics during crashes (and the ability to bail off the bike with the press of a button) and sounds, ranging from bone crunching to nervous screaming.
The original fear we had when Trials HD was announced was that movement would lose precision when a console controller translation. While the analog stick was quick to react to subtle movements in our demo, the directional pad seemed to be tweaked as the more precise weight adjuster, and it works. Trials HD also features a robust level editor to create their own tracks (split into a basic "drop in items" editor for newbies and an advanced editor for hardcore) and freely share them with the online community.
PC gamers will explain, Trials 2: Second Edition became an experience that would get under a player's skin. In the classic sense of "one more turn," Trials 2: SE would somehow suck away hours, just so a player could shave split seconds off a level's completion time, to climb the leaderboards. The same will be said about Trials HD.
Trials HD will be made available on the Xbox Live Arcade later this summer.