Trine 2, like its predecessor is a sidescroller that utilizes brain smoking puzzles, wily platforming and intense combat sequences. Once again, the Trine, a mysterious powerful artifact has taken the three heroes, Zoya the Thief, Pontius the Knight, and Amadeus the Wizard on another fantasy book worthy adventure. With an all new engine, the game environments are absolutely gorgeous. Combine that with the platforming, physics-based puzzles and the interesting combat scenarios you know and love from Trine, this game hits all the right notes.
The three heroes each have their own unique talents and throughout the game you will be able level them up by collecting green bottles scattered across the levels to earn skill point; these points will also be paramount in unlocking additional skills that will help immensely in all aspects of the game.
Amadeus has the ability to create boxes that help you solve puzzles and help you get to places you can’t normally reach. As you level him up, he can create new shapes and will be able to conjure more boxes. Zoya has a grappling hook that allows her to get around, making her very mobile and able to cross long gaps if the prerequisites are met. Her bow you can leveled up to freeze enemies or set them on fire. She is a viable alternative fighter should Pontius kick the bucket. Pontius is your combat specialist. He uses a sword and shield as well as, a hammer to rock enemies who dare threaten the trio. As you level him up, you can upgrade his weapons to do additional damage and grants him the ability to charge at opponents.
The meat of the game, the puzzles, are very satisfying. As your progress through a level, you run along across obstacles blocking your path. Some are simple to solve while others will leave your head smoking trying to figure out what in the world you need to do. As I said, the puzzles in Trine are physics based, so there are multiple solutions to a given challenge. For instance, you could use a plank to manipulate water with a block or use Pontius shield to interact with it and direct its flow.
In the single player campaign you can only use one character at a time providing an extra twist when solving puzzles, combating monsters and getting across a level that requires more than one particular hero’s abilities, it provides that extra hint of difficulty.
In multiplayer, problem solving is a bit more flexible. You will work with other players that play as the different heroes allowing you to create new solutions to the puzzles. For instance, if I was trying to open a gate that required some tricky use of Amadeus boxes to keep it open, I could have a friend use Pontius and partially open the gate so he could use his shield to hold it up so we could get through. Solutions like this makes co-op really enjoyable because the experience is very different than problem solving by yourself.
The second slice of the game involves combat. Combat is not the main focus of the game but they built it up really well. To mix it up you come across waves of enemies you will have to deal with; though you can ignore them if you are quick enough. Sometimes they play a part in some of the puzzles you have to solve. In one part of the game, a giant goblin appears, that has the ability to kill you with one hit and you have to maneuver around to get him stuck temporary so you can use a nearby lever to open the gates and bypass him. In multiplayer, you can strategize a bit more. You can have Pontius keep the enemies busy while you have Zoya pick off Archers from a distance and have Amadeus levitate enemies that get to close to Zoya. Overall combat is simple and solid.
Even with the main mechanics of the game revolving around solving puzzles and combat, the atmosphere still needs to be impressive and inspire. The environments of Trine 2 are varied and never fail to impress. Even though the game is a sidescroller each environments offers something unique and always has a three dimension feel. You will find yourself making your way through a forest with fireflies and plants floating in the background, inside a deep dank cave with plenty of spider webs to let you know it is not all sugar and rainbows.
Some of the environments really shine when they introduce weather to the equation. Going through a level during a heavy storm left me gawking at screen. The way they tell the story is also integral to the overall success of the game. In a storybook fashion, a narrator progresses the story between the stages and gives extra insight during certain key moments in the game. The heroes also talk to one another while you go through a stage. The whole feel achieves that fantasy storybook feel the game goes for.
Overall, the game is pretty polished and the only problems I had from a technical standpoint were the jumping mechanics. Double jumping off obstacles felt clunky and took a bit of effort to get it to work as it was intended. The game is beautiful, the puzzles are challenging, the combat provides a nice diversion, and the multiplayer was a nice touch to round out this very well done sequel.
- Very beautiful environments
- The physics based puzzles are challenging
- Combat provides beaks up the puzzle solving nicely
- The storybook narration represents the spirit of the game
- Puzzle solving is the focus of this game and puzzles may not be your thing
- Jumping mechanic is a bit wonky especially using double jump