AMD Radeon HD 2400
Trine was a big downloadable hit when it was first released. It blended a puzzle platformer with RPG controls and had a unique single player-co-op mechanic, that allowed you to switch between different archetypes to progress through the levels. Trine 2 aims to add more to the original formula with the addition of real co-op with up to 2 of your friends. But does it pull it off?
Trine 2, like the first game, revolves around three character archetypes: a wizard, a thief and a warrior. Each brings a different set of abilities to help solve the many obstacles you will face in Trine, be it a physics puzzle, platforming or bashing goblin skulls.
Hey look! A temple in the middle of the forest. What’s the worst that can happen?
The story revolves around the three heroes being summoned by the Trine for another quest. The story is progressed by the all knowing narrator and is told like an old fairy tail, with the narrator reading from a book during load times. While there is more plot development as the game goes on, there really isn’t much to the story besides a way to connect levels together and give context.
The first character, the wizard Amadeus, can conjure boxes and levitate certain objects. This makes him great at physics puzzles when you need to move boxes around or make them to jump higher. The thief Zoya has a ranged attack and a grapple line, allowing her to hook into wooden platforms to hang and swing from. She’s great at platforming and ranged combat. Finally there is the warrior, Pontius, who is the best at combat with his sword for melee attacks and a shield to block projectiles.
As you go through the game you’ll find experience orbs and potions to level up your characters. Each level gives you a skill point which you can invest in one of the three characters to unlock or improve their abilities. The wizard, for example, can learn to conjure a long, flat board while the thief can upgrade her arrows to do more damage.
We just had to go into the bloody temple...
The puzzles often revolve around the game’s physics engine. Some ranging from simple, like stacking boxes to reach a higher platform, to directing water or steam. The game’s puzzles aren’t all that difficult and can be easily solved, though some take a while to complete in some situations where you need to do something precisely. These parts are often a little frustrating due to handling the game as characters may not always move or jump the way you want them to.
The game makes a few slight improvements upon the original, but most are aimed at combat. While things like Pontius’ hammer offer him the ability to break down barriers, it’s main use is for killing stuff. Even then most combat situations come down to frantic clicks until the enemy is dead.
Where the combat does shine through is the few boss battles. You have to maneuver around to hit the boss’ weak spots or to reach checkpoints to revive fallen characters. These offer a fun challenge and fight to the game, but aren’t overly hard to defeat, and are great climaxes to the few levels they are in.
Like the first game, Trine 2 is gorgeous. The levels are full of life and movement. In the background you can see into the forest you're traveling through, a far off castle or town. As you travel through a forest you can see the sun setting in the background as it lights up the sky in warm colours. It is a very good looking game.
I thought there was supposed to be a pot of gold here, not a giant frog!
New to the series is the addition of online co-op. Up to three players can play together, each as one of the characters, to go through the game together and solve its puzzles. Players can switch characters as long as they both agree to the switch. This is where the game is most fun, like all games that offer co-op. Playing with a friend or two helps overcome frustrating moments and you can usually blast through levels more quickly.
Trine 2 improves on the original in almost every way, though most are very small changes and tweaks. Co-op with a friend is a lot of fun and I find it is the best way to play the game.
- Beautiful Visuals: The game is vivid and colourful.
- Unique Experience: There isn’t a game out there quite like it.
- Fun Co-op: It’s always more fun with a friend.
- Easy Puzzles: While easy to figure out, some take a while to execute, so there is some challenge.
- Story: There is a plot to the game, but it really only serves as a way to drive you forward.
- Simple Combat: While not the main focus of the game it is simple and boring.
If ever an indie title was worthy of massive praise, it's Trine 2. Taking the classic platformer formula, Frozenbyte have managed to add in enough of their own charm and original ideas, to make the genre seem fresh again. Switching characters, upgrading skills and acquiring new abilities, all mean that Trine 2 offers a whole lot more than the platformer idea of 'jump across gaps and avoid enemies'.
It's beautiful too. This deserves to be said a thousand words over, but it's true: Trine 2 is a great looking game. Another feature I liked in the PC version was the ability to plug in an Xbox 360 gamepad and play cooperatively on the same monitor. I wish more games focused on things like this. If I had to pinpoint an issue, I felt that the controls were occasionally not as accurate as they could be., Jumping and reaching ledges felt like it was down to luck most of the time, rather than skill. But I digress, Trine 2 isn't about being a traditional platformer. It's about playing as three awesome characters with interesting gameplay, through beautiful levels.
If I had to say only 3 words about Trine 2, it would be “prettiest game ever”. And that would be an understatement. The game is so charming and pretty that you are satisfied just by standing and looking at it. It is so pretty not because of the high polygon count or high resolution textures but because it use of colours. Lots of colours. The said “feature” is quite rare in today's gaming world with lots of brown and muddy games. Trine 2 is like the fantasy world from a book your parents used to read you before going to sleep. And the music only deepens that feeling.
But besides looking and sounding incredibly good it has other features too. It is a game after all and unfortunately not all other elements are as refined as the visuals. The puzzles get a bit repetitive, the platforming can feel imprecise and story is a bit thin. But in most cases the game is pretty solid and feels like a step up to its predecessor. Also the biggest addition this time around is online multiplayer, a thing that was greatly missed in Trine. And it’s great. Playing with friend’s is always fun.