Review: Trine 2 (PC)
After defeating the last boss of Trine 2 you’ll look back on other could be solutions and come to the realization that you might have been doing it wrong. You see, one could easily trudge through Trine 2, but they’d be missing one of the finer points of Trine 2, experimentation. The entire campaign might run you for around 6-8 hours depending on how adept you’re at physics based puzzle solving. Frozenbyte’s addition of online co-op also raises the value of the title if you’re so inclined as opposed to 2009′s Trine which lacked these features. So how does this one stack up?
Games Looks Good Man. Real Good.
Trine 2 is essentially the same game as the terrific Trine, but that much more gorgeous. Aside of from a few new simple powers to level up, the combat remains relatively the same which leaves much to be desired. However, the game looks extremely pretty. Rays of light seem to just penetrate through intricate leaves while the wizard, knight, and thief dance seamlessly across parallax planes. You should in fact take your time to look around in Trine 2. I found myself carelessly walking off giant chasms to my death before I picking my jaw off my keyboard. Artistically, Trine 2 holds a very bright candle next to other technical marvels on PC who often have great artists at their disposal as well.
It’s Time To Choose… Wizard + Box Lift = Profit?
Just as in older Trine, you’ll be able to swap between three characters including Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief, and Pontius the knight, to cross each game level. Amadeus can use magic to grab onto certain objects in the game world, and create boxes and planks to be used to get around; Zoya can strike at objects with her arrows, and grapple onto certain surfaces; and Pontius is strong in combat against foes, can bash apart walls, and deflect projectiles with his shield. Combining these elements are necessary to complete each stage in the game’s world. Exploration is rewarded through experience which allows you to upgrade and augment existing abilities such as allowing the wizard to conjure more boxes (up to 4) or allow the thief to shoot ice arrows. Some abilities are often needed to reach hard to get experience orbs such as more boxes. Alternatively, one could even quickly join a online co-op game to use the abilities of the other two characters.
In hindsight, the puzzles in Trine 2 aren’t that hard, but you’ll often brute force your very own clever strategy of what you “think” is clever. Playing wrong sometimes becomes just as fun as playing right, but can often times quickly turn into spite when playing with 2 other minds online. In my own experience playing with “DyslexicAlucard,” we would use the wizard to box lift ourselves often skipping the “hard parts” of each puzzle, which is great because Frozenbyte’s puzzle design works for almost every situation, but at times makes solving the puzzles a little clunky for other characters. For example, some moving puzzles and hazards have just enough “give” to let your character pass right on by be it enough health to walk right on through acid, fire, or just make a luckily timed physics based platforming jump. It’s hard task to accomplish and I could commend Frozenbyte on this feat alone for making puzzles “work.” There are 13 chapters to complete in Trine 2, but there aren’t more levels in Trine 2 than Trine. However, Frozenbyte made the effort to make levels definitely run longer, which is acceptable because you’re able to save anywhere and pick up where you left off.
The composer of the Angry Birds Theme, Ari Pulkkinen happens to be the composer for Trine 2. The melodies of Trine 2 are very akin to your traditional fantasy soundtrack, but when combined with the sound design and particularly funny voiced lines it makes you believe that you’re playing out your very own fantasy tale read to you as a child. Ah, the days of childhood.
All’s Well That Ends Well
When put together, Trine 2 seems to be dead even on all fronts including platforming, story telling, combat, and rpg elements, but we’ve seen each of these ideas executed better in games focused in two or three of theses areas. Trine 2 on its own has its strengths in visuals and puzzle design. Although the boss fights were very clever by fusing puzzling, platforming, and combat, I often found myself wanting to get through the bulk and get right to the action. The game needed more of this stuff. If you’re looking for some fun online with friends in a less scatterbrained manner then look no further, Trine 2 is your ticket.
- OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3.4 GHZ
- Memory: 8 GB
- Video Card: GeForce 560Ti 1 GB
- Additional: A copy of the game was provided by PR for review.