How would you sum up a typical children’s fantasy story? Perhaps words like whimsical, imaginative, and magical come to mind. For some reason, fairy tales have this strange ability to captivate the minds of not just children, but adults as well, because they bring out feelings of wonder and longing for adventure. Trine 2: Complete Story attempts to invoke these feelings with its colourful, detailed graphics, platforming and puzzle-solving gameplay, and a simple story based on classic fantasy lore. However, does the game fall victim to a lack of inspiration, or is it a fun journey with sublime qualities?
Our story begins with a cheerful narrator describing a group of three heroes bound together by a mysterious artifact called the Trine. The trio consists of Amadeus the wizard, Pontius the knight, and Zoya the thief. These characters, with their varying skills and personalities, must answer any call to action that the Trine gives them, and one night they’re summoned out of the blue once more to investigate a nearby forest, rampant with goblins and mysterious water with magical properties. But where did these things come from and why? That is up to the heroes to solve, and it will take them on an expedition of epic proportions.
You will easily realize that the game does not have a complex or original story. It draws themes from classic fantasy tales, but this doesn’t devalue the plot. In fact, it’s quite refreshing amid a slew of dark, serious, and convoluted releases. The story plays out like a fantasy book that you would read to children; it’s innocent, enchanting, well-paced, and actually contains a couple of decent plot twists. The omnipresent narrator, Terry Wilton, also adds a lot to this by summarizing the story and alluding to what’s to come at the end of each chapter as if he were reading a book. He does so with a light-hearted tone and makes humorous comments on the characters’ actions during gameplay, which results in a few smiles, as is the case with the fanciful story in general.
The graphics are surprising as well. For a 2011 game, you may expect this version on the PlayStation 4 to be a minor upgrade compared to its past iterations, but this assumption is erroneous. Running at a smooth 60 frames-per-second in 1080p resolution, the game is incredibly breathtaking to behold with its excellent lighting, rich colours, and sharp textures. This is further bolstered by its immaculate, varied environmental design and scope, which exceeds that of your average puzzle platforming game. Each area looks interesting, and this is especially true with the backdrops and implementation of the 3D graphics. Most platformer games focus on remaining fairly 2D in perspective and ignore reality in terms of how bizarre their levels would look if they were presented from a different view. Trine 2 addresses this problem with backgrounds that showcase mountainous ranges, cascading waterfalls, and dark hallways that look as if you could run towards them. In other words, despite the fact that you can only go left and right, there is a sense of depth, openness, and dimension to the levels and environments that brings them to life. All in all, these things make it a visually striking and awe-inspiring title that few other competitors in its category achieve.
To an extent, the same can be said for the sound effects and music, which also exhibit high quality and creativity. Environments have believable ambience with insects chirping and water flowing in the forest, and wind howling and thunder echoing through the craggy reefs of a stormy beach. Weapons make appropriate clashes, clangs, and pings in battle, and objects react to each other with realistic sounds. There’s nothing to complain about here, and the soundtrack has no downside either. It matches the tone of the game with a full orchestra playing lively, upbeat, fun songs to accompany the gameplay, whether you're solving a puzzle or fighting a group of goblins.
Speaking of the gameplay, it’s enjoyable in various ways, but isn’t necessarily the highlight of the package. Playing as three heroes – which you can switch between in an instant in single player – provides interesting scenarios for puzzle solving, platforming, and combat. The wizard can levitate and create objects; the knight sports a sword, hammer, and shield; and the thief uses a grappling hook in addition to her bow and arrows. You can also use a skill tree to upgrade them with new powers and improved abilities via the acquisition of skill points. Indeed, the characters serve different purposes, and figuring out how to use their unique talents to approach the cleverly designed platforming and puzzle sections results in a challenging, rewarding experience. While the combat itself is solid, though, it’s the weakest part of the gameplay, which – after learning the ropes – becomes simplistic and a little repetitive over time. However, it does attempt to fend off this feeling with smart implementation of the DualShock 4’s touchpad. For example, instead of using the right analog stick to move an object in the air as the wizard, you can instead do this by moving a finger across the touchpad to place the block in its desired location.
Another frustrating aspect is how fiddly the game can be at times. We figured out a few puzzles in an instant, but spent several minutes actually executing them to the title's exacting standards. Jumping can be difficult as well, sometimes requiring the utmost accuracy and precision. Despite this and the middling combat, however, the clever design and well-balanced difficulty of the puzzles and platforming outweigh these minor gripes.
Lastly, while the main story has a substantial length of seven to ten hours, there is good reason to return to the game for more. The DLC 'Goblin Menace' adds another three to four hours of gameplay and is definitely worth your time. It boasts the same high quality as the main campaign in every respect, even exceeding it in terms of more beautiful environments and slightly advanced gameplay. It doesn’t feel like an add-on, but a natural extension of the game. There is a secret level as well called 'The Dwarven Caverns' that’s unlocked once you obtain all of the golden treasure chests. Furthermore, there is also the option to play multiplayer with up to three players online or on the same screen, opening up the opportunity to approach the game in an excitingly different way.
Trine 2: Complete Story is an impressive realisation of a magical and whimsical tale that you can see and play. The plot is innocent fun; the graphics, colourful environments, and audio are unbelievably captivating; and the gameplay, while falling short in minor areas, shines with excellent puzzles and platforming. Simply put, it's an exemplary indie game that has the makings of a blockbuster title – and that is no fairy tale.
I've had this one on steam, but my graphic card refuse to play it. Definitely one I'm looking forward to play some day
Excellent review. I had kind of written this title off after having a personal "meh" reaction to the original Trine, but this kind of makes me wonder if the series is worth revisiting.
Well I know one of the first games to pick up when I get my PS4 on the 3rd.
@divinelite Ha, I can definitely see that happening. Yes, the graphics of this game are just stunning. I honestly can't believe that the developer had the ability and talent to make it look so incredible.
@NintendoNaut Thank you! I unfortunately haven't played the first game, so I really want to check it out now.
@Spidernoir Glad to hear it! If you can, the best way to play would probably be with friends. But even if you play solo, you're still in for an excellent, worthwhile purchase!
@DrJoeystein I have two vga interchangeable on my laptop. My weaker Intel hd can show this game but laggy so unplayable, and the more powerful nvidia g210m can play the game no lag... With chaos pixel all over the screen... So I can't play with either of them sigh
I've tried the first and love it so much btw
Only thing holding me away from it is the $19.99 price. I think I'll try to grab it on sale.
I own Trine 2 on ps3, besides the "dlc" and " Graphics upgrade" I see no reason to buy this. Sure the add on is a nice addition, but tell me this, Why should anyone buy this on ps4 if you have Trine 2 on ps3?
Also where is the DLC for the ps3 version? Even the WiiU has a better version with the DLC added.
Well as far as I can tell, I got the shaft for choosing the ps3 version, and 20$ is a lot to dish out for the ps4 version, infact it's overpriced. So...Pass. This type of s*** makes my nerd rage worse haha.
@divenlite Hopefully you'll be able to play it sometime soon. Do you have a Wii U? From what I've seen and read from other reviewers, the experience is largely the same on this platform. If you can't play on your PC, I'd recommend trying another route to play it if you want. But if you want to wait to play it on your PC (or even the PS4), go for it!
@Visiblemode The price tag is a bit on the high side for this game, but in my opinion, is totally justified due to the quality and decent replay value of the game. However, definitely pick it up if it goes on sale. If it were $10-15, that would be a steal!
@odd69 I don't think there's a reason to purchase this again if you already own it. Unfortunately, Frozenbyte was not able to bring the DLC to the PS3 or Xbox 360 due to the poor sales on those platforms. One of the dev team members said this here (http://frozenbyte.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=14590/).
The Wii U version is the superior version in regard to its extra content. However, it is a bit cheaper on the PS3 ($15), so I don't believe you got the shaft in regard to its price. As for this version being $20, I personally disagree that it's overpriced due to the insane high quality of and content in the game, but I will agree that the price is definitely not cheap (it's just worth it in the end, especially if someone hasn't played the game before). Hope I addressed your questions well enough!
Great review. My friends and I have been playing this when they come over because the multiplayer is just so awesome.
Oh, and the 3D looks absolutely amazing. Easily one of the better 3D conversions I've seen.
@nathanuc1988 Was just going to ask that Been playing GT5 in 3D lately (getting ready for GT6) so Im enjoying my 3D content again. Good to hear this game delivers on that front too.
Got the Ps3 version on my PS+ a while ago, may fire it up later seen as its all I can do lol It does look stunning on the Ps4 though
Your right as far as not getting the shaft on the price! Infact i actually got Trine 2 on sale for 7.49$. I'm not sure if i was a plus subscriber at the time but i think maybe i was. But still i couldn't pass up such a good deal, but unfortunately its still not the complete package like the PS4's. But thanks and when i get get my PS4 you never know, it could go on sale and i could get it at a cheaper price, Hopefully Sony keeps those sales going! Great review by the way, i really need this version.
this game is a testament that 3D isn't dead. It looks amazing, like you said...@nathanuc1988
I've been playing this game with my wife for the past few days. We absolutely love it!! The visuals are gorgeous (pretty colors!), which is always nice and even more important when I play with her.
Also the fact that be both have very unique abilities (she is the rogue, I'm the mage) is awesome because it brings us together in a very deep co-op play instead of just running side by side.
A funny moment was when we were tired and couldn't figured out a puzzle one day. When we came back the day later, we figured out instantly, I guess we were really tired
Belive me, I was playing battlefield 4 and about to go and sleep. Found the demo and figured I should try it for a minute or two. That was until I turned on the 3D!! Wow it looks amazing! That Avatar kinda good, remember the first time you saw it in 3D? This little game is beautiful to play and look at. Try the demo and play in 3D. Can't stress enough...
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