[Review] Trine 2


The three main characters in Trine 2 are icons in the gaming industry. They represent to us, gamers, the mysterious dungeons, the prized weapon at the end of a painful quest, and above all, the classic old school RPG that we all adore. However, Trine 2 is NOT an RPG. It’s best described as a side-scrolling action adventure/puzzler/platformer/ … OK, so Trine 2 might not have a definitive nature, or a remarkable story, but I’ll tell you what it does have: lots of charm, sharp controls, and some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen. Surprisingly, that combination works!


The Story

Regardless of the weak story, storytelling in Trine 2 is surprisingly satisfying!

Trine 2 tells the story of 3 companions’ adventure through an ordinary tale to save a princess. The iconic trio (Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief, and Pontius the knight), return to the magical forests to fight goblins and solve more puzzles, while discovering their path and unveiling the secrets of the Trine 2 universe. You will uncover more of the story through poems found in some of the treasure chests distributed evenly through-out the game. While I found the poems a bet helpful to storytelling, I was a bit disappointed after spending a good amount of time reaching my first chest.

You see, the chests in the first Trine were more rewarding, as you can acquire some cool items (armors, weapons …etc) to aid you in your battles. While the story is fairly simple, it has nothing new to offer in general and I found it was merely put for the purpose of transitioning between levels.

The Main Characters

Despite his ongoing research for finally learning the Fireball spell, the Wizard’s talent is for conjuring peculiar boxes, and occasionally even planks. He can also levitate small inanimate objects. Amadeus is married to a lady by the name of Margaret. They have three children, all of whom know the Fireball spell.
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The Knight is an eager champion of the kingdom, the protector of the common man with a great sense of justice. Armed with his sword, his shield and the powerful Storm Hammer, he’s a formidable fighter. Pontius’s great weakness is food. This shows around his waist.
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The Thief makes her way up to rooftops and over walls with her trusty grappling hook. Zoya is not so concerned about family or duty, but she is content to be a hero of the Trine, for she loves adventure. Zoya’s love for treasure, however, often leads her astray.
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The Gameplay

Oh look! ... a dragon!?

While Trine 2 lacks in the story department, it still packs some of the most beautiful visuals and outstanding game mechanics ever created for a platformer. Each of the main characters has a set of unique abilities and you can switch between characters easily during the game by simply pressing the R1, or R2 buttons on your Dualshock 3 controller.

The wizard is the most important character when it comes down to solving puzzles especially if you are running solo. He can create boxes and planks (can be upgraded up to 4 boxes on screen), move certain objects around (including goblins), which was indeed useful and um .. fun, giving the fact that the wizard was proven completely useless during combat in the first game.

The knight is the most useful character during combat, as you can use either your sword and shield or hammer to fight enemies, bash certain walls, and deflect incoming projectiles. As for the thief, well .. I found myself using the thief 50% of the time due to her unique ability of grappling onto wooden surfaces, which was proven useful both in combat and in solving puzzles. The thief can also strike with her icy bow (which can be upgraded to fire arrows), simply by using the right analog stick.

Each of the characters have their own life meter. If a character runs out of life, he will die and you will be forced to switch to one of the other main characters. Life meters will refill instantly once a checkpoint is reached. Throughout your journey, you will also find magical vials. If you collect 50 of these, you will receive a skill point, which can be used to purchase a single upgrade for one of your characters, keeping in mind that some of the upgrades will require more than 1 skill point.

The skill tree in Trine 2

Despite the small improvements made to combat, fighting scenes are barely challenging. The game keeps throwing enemies at you with the intention of slowing your puzzle solving process, which makes it feel a bit forceful, rather boring, and relatively unnecessary. Enemy AI should have been managed differently, with regards to quality over quantity. Although, I have to point out that I’ve enjoyed some of the combat scenery simply based on the smooth responsiveness of the controls.

Trine 2 also offers a unique prospective on the way you approach puzzles, as you are given the complete freedom to use all the tools you have to reach treasure chests, get to higher ground, and/or move to the next stage. Each of the three main characters will offer a different approach. Sometimes you will find yourself using a combination of all three. I’ve also found that some areas are inaccessible without the help of a partner, which will force you to either get online, or call in a friend for help. This makes the whole cooperative experience worth checking and adds a bit of a replay value to the campaign.


New Features

Aside from the upgraded graphics engine, the most distinguished new feature in Trine 2 is the new online cooperative support. You can play with up to 2 other players both locally and/or online. I was able to test this new feature with 3 players online in a quick match. How this works is fairly simple: a player can host a game, keeping in mind that the skill tree (unlockable perks) is based on the hosting player’s progress and only the host can allocate skill points, you assume the role of one of the three main character and if you die, your friends can revive you at the next checkpoint.

Having more than one friend helps A LOT in terms of solving some of the inaccessible puzzles in the singleplayer mode and defeating gigantic bosses. I found it rather entertaining to brainstorm some puzzle solving ideas with people I met online. The game will force you to communicate with your partners rather than just running around and killing stuff. As much as I’ve liked the idea of online co-op, I’ve also found it unequally satisfying, merely for the fact that only the host’s characters will gain experience, rather than you all achieve equal progress.


Final Thoughts

Regardless of the limited story, Trine 2 undeniable charm, soothing soundtrack and outstanding visual design will make for an unforgettable experience through the mind of developer Frozenbyte. The added feature of online co-op brings something extra to the table and defy the way you approach puzzles and fight enemies. If you are looking for a simple entertaining and casual co-op adventure, Trine 2 will deliver.

Review

ProsCons
Outstanding visual design
Online cooperative support
Smooth Controls
Charming appeal
Limited story
Unequally rewarding multiplayer experience
Small replay value
Rating
89%

Trine 2 is developed by Frozenbyte and published by Atlus
Price on PSN is $14.99

This review is based on a copy of the PS3 version of Trine 2 provided by Oly (thanks mate). Also, a demo is currently available on the PlayStation Network, so make sure you check that out.


Written by: Cheeto - News Contributor


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  1. #1 by EdEN on January 26th, 2012 [ 139651 Points ]

    Great review Cheeto! I still need to finish Trine before diving into part 2, but I’ll be sure to buy it. The game looks amazing!

  2. #2 by Jcmdaddy on January 26th, 2012 [ 63362 Points ]

    Good review. I never did play Trine, but I’ve heard good things about it. Perhaps I’ll have to get both and give them a shot sometime soon.

  3. #3 by Cheeto on January 27th, 2012 [ 29099 Points ]

    Thanks guys. If neither of you had a chance to play the first Trine, please do. Its a fantastic adventure. I’d even say that it was more rewarding in every aspect. Its $9.99 on PSN also.

  4. #4 by mowmow on January 27th, 2012 [ 13030 Points ]

    good review. definitely want to pick this one up after i beat trine 1 besides this has coop

  5. #5 by Pedro on January 27th, 2012 [ 39949 Points ]

    So, how’s the story? ;p

    this game really does look good and i like the positives points you’ve singled out, but the multiplayer bit is a real let down… i hate when games do that…

    Enjoyed your editing as well ;p not bad for your first review! Great work.

  6. #6 by EdEN on January 27th, 2012 [ 139651 Points ]

    @Cheeto: I OWN Trine. It’s inside my PS3 HDD. I just haven’t gotten a chance to do a platinum run hehehe.

  7. #7 by wolfkin on January 27th, 2012 [ 6633 Points ]

    oh yeah i got trine on my backlog.. on my steam backlog i think. was it part of any of the humble bundles.. I still have to install all of those now that i have a computer capable of actually playing some of those games.

    I expect any mutiplayer aspects will be a little more active on the PC anyway ^_^

  8. #8 by Sakinah on January 27th, 2012 [ 26489 Points ]

    Only the host character gets exp?? Who came up with that idea??

  9. #9 by Pedro on January 27th, 2012 [ 39949 Points ]

    @Sakinah that is actually not a new (dumb) idea. There are several PSN games that do the same and even some retail games like Dungeon Defenders III had the issue. Personally i think it completely annihilates the reason for playing online.

  10. #10 by EdEN on January 29th, 2012 [ 139651 Points ]

    @Sakinah: My guess is that it would make it harder to keep track of everything in a save file if all gained experience, which could lead to a corrupted save file. Either that, or there’s a dumb “let’s make each one HAVE to play on their own to increase their total gameplay time” reason.

  11. #11 by Cheeto on January 30th, 2012 [ 29099 Points ]

    @Pedro: The story is not as bad as it sounds, clearly we both have seen some bad stuff lol. Its just unremarkable. Thanks mate, I wouldn’t take all the credit for editing, as Jay was generous enough to help out, so shout out to Jay!

    @EdEN: Play the first game buddy, its worth it! Its still looks, and plays, amazing. I can confirm what you’ve written in your last comment, as I’ve read on some forum that there is no other way to do it. so yeah … bummer

  12. #12 by Cheeto on January 30th, 2012 [ 29099 Points ]

    Oh almost forgot, we are featured in Trine’s main page =) Cheers
    http://trine2.com/site/index.php?page=news

  13. #13 by Tosh on January 30th, 2012 [ 1102 Points ]

    Featured on the Trine 2 page is awesome news!

  14. #14 by Pedro on January 30th, 2012 [ 39949 Points ]

    Nice! I’ve seen Trine 2 is on sale on the AppStore.

  15. #15 by Isli on January 30th, 2012 [ 44885 Points ]

    @Cheeto: Pretty cool to be featured there. Reading some of the other reviews, you also have one of the best reviews up there.

  16. #16 by Cheeto on January 30th, 2012 [ 29099 Points ]

    @Isli: thanks mate, we should have played some this weekend. How is Borderland working for you? I am getting back slowly into BF3 lol

  17. #17 by hobbes on October 11th, 2012 [ 30476 Points ]

    easiest plat i’ve gotten by far.


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