Trine 2 Review
A beautiful sequel that shines brilliantly.
Trine may not be a game you may have heard of. In fact, you’d be lucky if you grabbed the game back when it was released in 2009. With a simple side-scrolling mechanic and gorgeous artwork, it amassed quite a fan following – so much so that its sequel Trine 2 has now been released.
Trine 2 picks up with the same three heroes from the first game – a wizard, a thief, and a knight. The three have been summoned together by the magical artifact known as the Trine, and set off to explore a dark force that is invading the nearby forest. The storyline isn’t the strongest factor of the game, but the game’s other shining qualities soon have you glazing over the storyline anyway. Each of the heroes has unique abilities, and you will need to swap between each of them to traverse through the level. The knight can use his sword and shield to quickly tackle and polish off waves of enemies, or can use his hammer to break larger obstacles in your way. The thief can shoot arrows at enemies or use her grappling hook to swing around the level and avoid combat completely. Lastly, the wizard is the only hero with no attack abilities, but can conjure up platforms for characters to stand on, or can levitate objects to solve puzzles. As before, each hero can be upgraded via a simple skills tree – for every 50 experience orbs you collect, you get one skill point to allocate to any of your heroes. The points can be used to summon more objects for the wizard, or upgrade the thief’s arrows to freeze enemies, or grant the knight the ability to produce a shockwave with his hammer.
Investing time into each hero and their abilities is truly the only way to beat many of the game’s nefarious puzzles. They initially are simple to solve with pressing buttons or flipping levers, but soon evolve into more complex ones such as figuring out how to grow a cabbage so a magical snail the size of a house can move away from your path. You can set the game to prompt you with hints after a certain time has passed, but for the most part it’s fun and deliciously frustrating to sit and figure out some of the later puzzles. But if you think that this makes the game inaccessible, then think again – there are often numerous ways to solve or even get around some of the puzzles. In once section where I was getting rather irritated with a door that refused to stay open, I managed to build a rather unstable-looking tower of bricks and conjured items to simply vault over the thing. This encourages gamers to look for alternative and often creative solutions to the puzzles, and it’s incredibly satisfying once you’ve figured out a solution that works.
New in Trine 2 is the multiplayer mode, which allows you to team up with other adventurers to conquer the levels. You can choose to assign one unique hero to each player, or opt to have multiple heroes of the same type playing in the same game. While you can comfortably play through the game on your own, there’s all manner of fun and chaos you can cause when you’ve got other people playing along.
As with the first game, there are two things that truly stand out for me while playing the game. Firstly is the amazing physics engine that was present in the first game as well. Objects balance precariously on ledges, frozen enemies shatter into a million shards when hit, platforms tether dangerously when you walk over them – it’s just an absolute joy to play around with the way objects behave in the environment. The second thing I simply love about this game is its presentation. Every single pixel is alive with color throughout the game, and even items far in the distance move gracefully as you progress. There is also a new ‘depth’ factor that has been introduced, where the camera tilts slightly to focus on new areas of the levels, or where enemies crawl up on the front of the screen before jumping into view for battle. The levels are designed beautifully and meticulously, which helps make the game even more enjoyable. Every petal, spider web, fireball, and arrow has a life of its own, and it really is something that’s hard to write about without seeing for yourself. The game also once again sports a non-intrusive narration and occasional voiceovers from the heroes, coupled with a subtle yet fitting background score that dynamically changes based on what you’re doing or where you are.
Trine 2 is one of those precious games that you can’t help but fall in love with after just a few minutes with it. With some truly amazing level design and art styles, coupled with a simple gameplay mechanic, Trine 2 is a must try for any side-scrolling fans, or really just anyone who wants to have some fun with a rather unique adventure game.