Trine 2 most certainly is. It’s hard not to stop and gaze at the luxuriant green backdrop of a towering forest. Or the huge castles perched upon crumbling cliffs residing before a vibrant orange sunset. If Trine is anything, it’s a masterpiece. But a developer’s greatest skill, one that puts those of a expert painter to shame, is the application of that masterpiece. A developer makes a world come alive, and most importantly, places a real, movable person within it to do what they wish. Trine 2 creates an absolutely staggering visual world. But it’s interactive elements are not pitch-perfect.
Trine 2 Gameplay
Trine 2 is the epitome of fantasy. It’s like someone put J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Pratchet and C.S.Lewis in a room, and sucked out all of their imagination, stirred it in a cauldron (maybe add some Wolfbane), and turned it into this. I think the fact that you play as a wizard, a knight and a thief (archer) all at once just sums up how fantastical this game is. You can switch between all three, with each having their own special abilities. They have remained pretty much the same from the previous Trine, however, there are now some new upgrades for each character.
In this adventure, the three have once again been called upon by the Trine (a magical artefact) to save the kingdom once more. Trine 2’s story is interesting, but lost a little direction in the middle. It’s pretty basic and a little predictable, but the chests and open books you find flesh out the characters a little more. Overall the story definitely takes a backseat in this experience.
Typically, the wizard deals with the puzzles, being able to conjure up planks and blocks out of thin air. The knight deals with the many enemies of the game. Lastly, the thief takes on platforming as she can deploy a grappling hook to latch and swing from wooden platforms.
Out of the three, combat is easily the most satisfying. The game puts more emphasis on using your shield, as attacks cause a lot of damage. Weaving over and between enemies whilst dicing into pieces. Plus, Frozenbyte have listened to complaints about there not being enough variation in enemies in Trine 1, and have increased the types of opponents you will face. There are many variations of goblin (armed with spears, shields, bows, knives and more), lizard mutants that crawl quickly along the ground, crabs and other aggressive creatures. Added elements like being able to pick up enemies, and cause them to attack each other keep combat interesting and enjoyable.
Platforming too has improved. Swinging onto ledges gives you a great sense of freedom, and you no longer slip off platforms as much as you did before.
However, puzzles in Trine 2 are promising, but are not streamlined at all. There are many different ways to get past one stage, none of them seem that well thought out. Instead, completing a puzzle normally turns out to be quite messy and clunky. It’s definitely one of Trine 2’s weakest points.
Trine’s outside environments just look mind-blowing. Hopping over floating coconuts in a sandy nirvana just leaves me speechless. On the other hand, the familiar caves and sewers don’t have quite the same effect. What’s more, it’s easy to appreciate the gloomy atmosphere whilst not actually playing Trine, but when you are, sometimes the dark and moody visuals can leave important gameplay tools hidden in the inky corners of the room. This makes some platforming and puzzle-solving more of a tedious affair.
Trine 2 has also attempted at online multiplayer, but unfortunately it falls somewhat flat on its face. Fighting with an online companion is entertaining, but solving puzzles is much less so. In Classic mode, each player can only be one character (so you can’t have two wizards at the same time). This leaves you with a lot of frustration as you are restricted to only being one character. The poor wizard normally gets the job of creating a plank and floating the other two adventurers to the next stage, to wait till they hit the next checkpoint so he can spawn there. Puzzles are not designed specifically for two or three people, so the multiplayer experience leaves a lot to be desired. In Unlimited mode, you can be all of the characters at any time, but this causes the difficulty to plummet downwards.
I’d recommend playing through the game on your own to get the most out of Trine, and maybe try out the multiplayer for a bit of harmless exploring afterwards.
Trine 2 may not be the next Mario of platforming, or the next Portal 2 of puzzle-solving, but it’s an immersive and magical game that will leave you speechless over and over again.
Price: $14.99 (£14.99)
Description: A Beautiful Puzzle Platformer
Pros: Graphics…, some great set pieces and boss fights, satisfying combat.
Cons: Predictable story, some frustrating puzzles, lacklustre multiplayer.