Trine 2 Review (XBLA)

Game Review: Trine 2
Release: PC Dec 7th, PSN Dec 20, XBLA Dec 21
Genre: Platform/Puzzle
Developer: Frozenbyte/Atlus
Available Platforms: PC/PSN/XBLA
Players: 1-3
MSRP:  $15
ESRB Rating: E10+

Trine 2 is the sequel to the popular PC/PSN game Trine from a couple of years ago. For those who really enjoyed playing Trine, this game builds on that, but multiplies the fun by adding plenty more puzzle dynamics and character abilities that let you progress through the game in your own way.

Let me begin by mentioning the basics of Trine 2. The mysterious Trine pays a visit to your three characters and joins them together in an adventure. Now these aren’t just ordinary characters, as each of them have unique and special abilities that can help you in certain parts of levels. The Warrior of the game, known as Pontius, is the tough guy in the group, mainly used for smashing in rocks, and sometimes even smashing in the face of a goblin. Then you have the athletic Zoya, equipped with a bow and a grapple hook, she is the main character you will use to swing around and navigate the levels. And finally you have Amadeus, the most important part of the team, he can create objects from nothing, whether they are boxes or planks they can be a huge help at getting around the place. Now, you can switch between these characters at any point in the game, but each one has a health bar, so if you die as Zoya, swinging around the environment won’t be as easy and you’ll have to make use of Amadeus’s magical ability to make your way around.

A great example would be a room that has the floor covered with spikes, there’s nothing to grab onto apart from a thin piece of wood swinging from the roof on the opposite side, but unfortunately Zoya’s grapple hook can’t reach it. That’s when Amadeus can be a huge help and create a plank for Zoya to walk across the spikes and be able to grapple up to the ledge. I’m not going to lie and say that the warrior is a great character, although he can be a great character at times, he is also pretty useless when it comes to navigating the environment, and as I really don’t care for the combat in Trine 2 as it’s pretty repetitive apart from the bosses at the end of the levels. I found myself switching to the warrior character less and less as I made my way through the game.

The game has plenty of levels; after grabbing all the collectables needed to upgrade your characters, I reached the end of the first chapter after about an hour, which is a great sign, since the game has several chapters. Once I had finally started spending my skill points on the upgrades, Amadeus gained the ability to summon four different boxes at the same time, which was a huge improvement over the starting ability of just one. As your characters’ skills and abilities start improving, so will the difficulty of the puzzles. I went into Trine 2 under the impression that it wasn’t going to be a difficult game, and about 3 chapters in, I hit the difficulty barrier where each puzzle would be taking me around 10-15 minutes just to figure out which character needed to do what, where and when.

Throughout all the tough puzzles, the breathtaking graphics and environments within Trine 2 would always catch my eye. The lightning effects are unbelievable and the character animations and art stand out in such a unique and deep world. Whether you are in the forest or in a cave, a little beam of light or a drop of water look pristine and pretty darn beautiful. The music in the game adds an ambiance to the environment and this is accompanied by the occasional piece of voice acting.

Trine 2 really does have some great moments. Some of the puzzles and the boss battles really stand out and require you to use the skills you’ve picked up over the course of the game. Although I do feel like the fighting sections in the game are pretty pointless. Every so often when a group of goblins comes out it’s as simple as switching to the warrior and hitting them down. I would have been happy with none of this fighting and just boss battles. The puzzles are enough to keep me busy without having to mess around doing repetitive battles.

Online co-op is great feature in Trine 2 too. You can join up to two people online, with each of them controlling either Amadeus, Zoya or Pontius. While this is a fun feature and great way to play through the story, I would recommend doing it with a friend, as online people tend to find it much more fun to impale themselves on the spikes and not actually solve the puzzle.

Some days I found myself enjoying and flying through the puzzles, and some days I was going completely insane trying to figure out how to get up to the next ledge. This creative and varied level designs makes Trine 2 a game you should check out. The characters themselves are great to control and to make your way through the gorgeous environments in the game is a good enough reward for buying the game.

  • Great looking levels
  • Fun while still difficult puzzles
  • Characters with an extremely wide variety of abilities and upgrades
  • Giant fire-breathing snake, enough said.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

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