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Trine 2 Review (PC)

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Posted Wed, Dec 14, 2011 by Stow

 

The second iteration of Trine has a lot of live up to.  Taking control of a team of characters, you explore areas to the fullest, pummel foes, and solve devious puzzles…and while it’s more of the same, enough has changed to the gameplay formula to make Trine 2 a wonderful success and a joy to play for platformer and puzzle fan alike.

Cautions

Mild animated violence is about all you have to worry about, and it can be easy to miss because you’ll be distracted by the other beautiful things going on at the same time.

Gameplay

95Outstanding

With one character on screen at any given time and the ability to switch instantly on the fly, it becomes quickly apparent that you need to master the classes and use the right one for each situation

  • The Warrior pummels down obstacles with a mighty hammer, and soaks up damage or deflects projectiles with sword and shield.  He can take the most hits of the three, so when the bad guys show up, chances are you’re going to deliver swift justice with steel.
  • The Thief is your ranged specialist, with the ability to charge a bow and fire in any direction at any given time.  Proper aim can hit enemies behind obstacles, and her arrows can be enchanted to explode or freeze targets.  Stealth is a temporary solution to dealing with enemies as well.  Most of the time your Thief will be swinging from the air, Bionic Commando style
  • The Wizard is mostly harmless, but handles two important duties—the creation of boxes to serve as stepping stones or weights, and the levitation and manipulation of objects or boxes.  Use of these is almost always going to be necessary to reach some of the more difficult to grab items.

The action is all side scrolling, with a lot of neat camera work to create illusions of entering caves and diving into oceans.  As is necessary of a good 2D platformer, the controls are perfect.  Everything in Trine 2 functions wonderfully with or without a gamepad.  You don’t have to fight with the game in order to make the perfect jump or grapple.

Levels are filled with little experience orbs that can either be in simple jumping range, or require some devious thought and deft fingers to make happen.  Lots of these are nothing more than coins of sorts to ensure you’re going in the right direction, but occasionally you’ll strike gold in an unexpected place, and it might take you 15 minutes to reach it!

While the combat isn't deep, you can't exactly mash.  Sometimes it pays to defend!

You level up with said experience to acquire new skills for combat, and to a lesser extent, mobility.  Some of the skills can affect your ability to move, but none are required to beat the game so unless you’re a hardcore completionist, you can do what you think it is cool your first time around and have fun with it.  Some though, such as the ability to summon multiple objects at once, make your life a whole lot easier at times and can turn difficult jumps into cakewalks.

The combat is nothing special, with the occasional boss being more thought-oriented than hack and slash.  You can die, but there are checkpoints everywhere and there’s no penalty for doing so.  You are much more likely to die from missed jumps or fire-spewing obstacles than the occasional orc or goblin.

There are almost always multiple ways to go about clearing a puzzle or stage, and if you’re a fan of one character over the others, you can find a way to make it work sometimes as the Thief without having to rely on the Wizard or dim Warrior for instance.  It’s all about trial and error, and you’ll have fun both in success and failure. 

Graphics

95Outstanding

 

With soft lighting effects, bright colors, and detailed environments, I really have nothing to complain about in the graphics of the game.  Enemies are well animated and have personality, flowers grow with a style that reminds me of Yoshi’s Island, and even something simple like a leaf platform will crumple and move according to objects or characters placed on it.  Diving underwater is a treat, with quite possibly the most detailed and rich experience that makes me wish these guys were handed the Ecco license and told to run wild.

Whoops, I might be showing my age there…

Sound

87Very GoodWith a traditional narrator, and characters all casted perfectly, the voice work shines through during the rare cutscene and typical dungeon crawling. The environment makes itself known as well with rushing water, angry bees, and gouts of fire all supported by stellar effects. The score is a solid one, becoming more upbeat when enemies approach, but it won’t be something you hum on your way to work, or curse when you can’t focus on how the hell to get past a locked door.

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