Indie Review: Trine 2
Trine 2 is the sequel to the original Trine by developers Frozenbyte. The game is a sidescrolling action platformer with RPG and puzzle elements. This may sound odd at first and the combination seemingly ludicrous. But Trine 2 is a fun and rewarding experience.
- Worth The Time?Yes.
- Things LovedThe characters, gameplay, music, fantasy setting and everything about the game.
- Things HatedNothing, I didn't dislike anything about the game.
- RecommendationIf you enjoyed Trine 1, any RPGs, sidescrollers, platformers and puzzle games this is for you. I highly recommend this game.
- Name: Trine 2
- Genre: Sidescroller, Action, Indie
- Players: 1-3
- Multiplayer: Co-op
- Platforms: PSN, XBLA, PC
- Developer: Frozenbyte
- Publisher: Atlus
- Price: R136
- Reviewed On: PC
Before I start this review I just want to point out that I haven’t played the first Trine. So I didn’t know what to expect from Trine 2. Let’s just say I was extremely surprised and the game really is something special in the indie market.
Trine 2 is the sequel to the original Trine by developers Frozenbyte. The game is a sidescrolling action platformer with RPG and puzzle elements. This may sound odd at first and the combination seemingly ludicrous at first. But Trine 2 is a fun and rewarding experience, and as I shall explain offers much diversity for the prospective player. Right off the bat, what I first liked about the game was the limited amount of exposition in the beginning of the game. There was no lengthy explanation about the nature of the world, or typical drawn out cut scene.
Trine 2 from the outset is very sure of itself and the pedigree it has achieved with the first game, which is considered an indie classic by many players. The game establishes the basic premise that there are three heroes: a knight, a wizard and a thief all tasked with a quest, yet unknown, bestowed upon by a mystical flying object called the Trine.
The Trine has bounded the three characters’ souls together and you journey on a quest together as one ‘entity’. As per requirement of the game’s level design and challenging puzzles you have to change between the three characters to pass challenges as they arise be it monsters, physics based puzzles and platforming sections. This means that the developers behind Trine 2 can change up the gameplay and as a result the game never becomes boring and engages you on a number of levels.
Each of the characters has a unique ability which becomes useful in being successful in the number of different levels that become increasingly more difficult as you make your way through the game. Amadeus, the wizard, can levitate and move objects with his magic, and manifest boxes and planks to make your way across perilous sections of a stage. Zoya, the thief, can grapple on to certain surfaces and swing across obstacles, shoot arrows at enemies and is perfect for long range assault. Finally you have Pontius, the knight, the strongest in close-up combat with two weapons at hand: a sword and shield to defend and attack enemies with, and a heavy hammer to bash through stone walls. All of these characters together are necessary for you to make it through the whole of the game.
Each of the characters has an individual life meter and if they die you have to wait for a checkpoint before they can be revived. So Trine 2 forces you to use all the characters equally and this means the gameplay doesn’t become stagnant. At the same time, if you prefer a certain character like the wizard (which I did) you can upgrade his abilities through a skill tree. Levelling up is achieved through the collection of magical vials throughout all the levels in Trine 2. Most of these magical vials are precariously placed within puzzle elements, traps and challenging areas which for me made the reward of levelling up a much sweeter experience.
Nothing is handed out to you on platter. I found this quite refreshing in an age of games where gamers are gratified so easily by games. Sometimes a challenge is great and Trine 2 sets out its challenges with good pace and great flow that doesn’t feel disjointed at all.
I never got a chance to test out the co-operative multiplayer component of the game where you can play with three friends as all three characters. Each player has to pick one of the three characters. No one can be the same as the other. Creating the same dynamic as experienced in the single player.
Visually, this game is a graphics whore’s wet dream exponentially visually pleasing to the degree that I couldn’t believe this was an indie game and shames some of the AAA titles coming out this year. On my mid-spec PC rig the game was running at a steady 50 FPS which is impressive for such a visually stunning game. The visuals bring the fantasy setting, characters and the story alive with feeling. You are drawn into the world. Skyrim does the same thing. However, remember that Trine 2 never had the same budget as Skyrim.
Trine 2 is an unfolding interactive fairy tale with some of the best platforming you’ll play this year. The vibrancy of the colours and the lovable characters made me think of Monkey Island, and the host of older point and click adventure games.
All of the characters are fully realised without the need for lengthy exposition and dialogue. Trine 2 at times feels more like an RPG than a sidescroller. Add to this, an impressive musical score that adds immensely to the flowing game design, and you have one of the best indie games out at the moment. I implore you to play this. Yes, it’s that good. I have nothing negative to point out. I am thoroughly impressed. Play Trine 2 now. The game has since become available on PSN. It’s also available on XBLA and on PC.