Sunday, August 18, 2013

Trine 2 Review

Rock me Amadeus!

  • Developer: Frozenbyte
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: 7 December 2011

If it weren't for Steam Sales I wouldn't be so anxious when viewing my backlog of games – since it is indeed a huge backlog. However, when Trine 2 went on sale and I saw it was selling three-packs, it was an offer too good to refuse. Why would I say that? Well I've been meaning to find a good co-op game for me and my wife to play together; something which had relatively easy controls to use, no RPG-style statistics and preferably puzzles. Trine 2 seemed to tick all of those boxes so I decided to purchase a copy for myself, one for my wife and one for fellow reviewer, Choona as part of the three-pack. After playing through the main campaign and the expansion, Goblin Menace, I've managed to clock over 12 hours and am now ready to review the game.

Plot (2/5)
There isn't really much to say about the story except that three adventurers known as Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Warrior and Zoya the Thief are contacted by a mysterious magical object known as the Trine. The Trine leads these adventurers on a new quest to determine what has corrupted the nearby forest. There is also a Goblin Menace expansion included in the Trine 2 Complete version of the game which is a follow-up to the main story. The Goblin Menace features the party attempting to save Amadeus's wife who has been kidnapped by goblins.

The plot is pretty much told in the manner of a children's fairy tale so the language used is very simple, the tone is quite condescending, and cringe-worthy lines and humour abound.

Gameplay (4/5)
The game is a co-op puzzle platformer where you’re able to control three characters: Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Warrior and Zoya the Thief (the typical three archetypes in any fantasy RPG). Each of the characters have different approaches to solving the numerous puzzles and obstacles that stand in your way – some of them even require cooperation amongst the party members.

Puzzles in the game are generally physics based and most of them are fun to solve. I love it how Amadeus can conjure objects out of thin air so you’re able to create bridges to span chasms or boxes to climb on top on. The other characters have powerful abilities too; Pontius is arguably the best at combating lesser enemies like goblins and can use his shield to deflect incoming projectiles. Zoya is able to use a rope and grapple in order to swing to hard-to-reach places. She is also able to dispatch enemies with a bow and arrow.

At the beginning of the game the characters only have basic skills but as you collect blue elixirs that are dotted around the levels, you'll eventually gain enough to go up in level. When you go up in level you'll have the opportunity to select which skills you want from a skill tree, Diablo-style.

"The game probably has the best graphics I've ever seen in a puzzle platformer. It has exceptional, colourful visuals with awesome lighting effects."

Sound (3/5)
Voice acting is okay but most of it sounds like it belongs in a cartoon or children's show.

Music (4/5)
The game has good music. Nothing memorable but it’s what you'd expect from a magical fantasy adventure.

Graphics (5/5)
The game probably has the best graphics I've ever seen in a puzzle platformer. It has exceptional, colourful visuals with awesome lighting effects. The backgrounds for each level are also terrific giving the illusion of a great expanse.

Replay (2/5)
I'm unlikely to go back and play the game unless another friend wishes to experience the adventure. There are multiple ways to approach puzzles in the game but Trine 2's main narrative is still somewhat linear. There are a lot of achievements to gather, though.

Polish (3/5)
The game is generally well polished except I did encounter a couple of times where the cutscenes simply did not load or an object would become stuck in the terrain meaning you're unable to progress past a certain point. Thankfully, these occurrences are rare.

Score – 7/10

While Trine 2 usually has multiple ways of approaching puzzles, the overall plot is rather linear meaning it doesn't really encourage replays. The plot is also a cringe-worthy children's fairy tale but if you can get past these flaws, you'll find a beautiful and fun puzzle co-op game that is suitable for casual gamers, puzzle fanatics or your kids.

If you want to get the game, you can get it off Steam.

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