Trine 2 Review
Trine, the co-op, side-scrolling puzzle adventure game that met with modest successes in 2009, is back with its sequel, Trine 2, on the Xbox 360. The word “trine” means “a group of three” and this is what you will get from the game. First appearing for Windows and PlayStation, the sequel from Finland-based Frozenbyte now comes for nearly all the major gaming consoles and online networks. It reanimates the medieval fantasy world and brings back the same three heroes at your beck and call from the first game – a wizard capable of conjuring up platforms and blocks, a knight who wields sword, shield and hammer, and a thief who wields a grappling hook and a bow. The player face different challenges for example slaying goblins, overcoming obstacles and solving puzzles.
The Good News about Trine 2
What stands out immediately is its gorgeous 3D landscapes, from caves, and beaches to verdant forests. The rich detailing and superb lighting effects are a visual feasts that make Trine 2 what I would considered one of, if not the most, beautifully rendered video games to date – at least on the Xbox 360.
If you have played the first Trine, the sequel is familiar territory. Players harness the skills of three heroes; Amadeus the wizard, Pontius the knight, and Zoya the thief, to get through each game level. Just like the first, there’s the mystical “Trine” that has bound these three heroes into a common entity, allowing the player to control one hero at a time and switch to any of the others if necessary. Each hero possesses unique abilities and a mix of these is needed to complete each level. You play best with two other friends in a 3-player cooperative mode so that all three heroes get to work concurrently for optimum results.
One of the nice things about Trine 2 is your flexibility to assume which hero to play on single player mode. This is the kind of gaming fun I like about Trine 2. You may want to be Pontius when slaying some goblins, be Zoya when grappling to a platform or be Amadeus when magically moving a block towards a flame source. The game is not only visually appealing but is a cerebral workout that allows you to think how to overcome problems with the three powers at your disposal, giving the game a tactical twist as well. You can use the Wizard’s magic to grow plants to serve as ladder when reaching heights or be the acrobatic thief when jumping through cliffs, gorges and platforms. It’s all up to your tactical imagination.
The Not So Good News about Trine 2
Trine 2 would do better with an improved in-game help or instructions especially when faced with some tricky situations that seem impossible to get through. In addition, a few fights with some boss characters offered little challenge compared to crossing a yawning chasm. You only need to whack the weak spots to fell the beast.
The Bottom Line
If only for its superbly dazzling 3D visuals, Trine 2 is worth being part of your gaming collection for 2012. But aesthetics besides, it’s a great puzzle and platforming game that will surely delight fans of the genre. Gameplay is simple and while it is not as riveting as most other adventure games out there, Trine 2 goes back to the basics of what video gaming is about – having fun. It offers an open-ended gameplay that, with its three heroes at your disposal, allows you to solve problems on your own or with two others in a cooperative mode. If you want your kids to learn about teamwork, this has to be the best learning tool that gets them to have fun on the side.