Publisher: Atlus (Last-gen Console version), Nintendo (Wii U Version)
Release Date: December 7th, 2011
Available on: Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360
Reviewer’s note: I played this game on the Playstation 4. There may be differences between versions.
The original Trine was a really neat 2D platformer that had three characters working together to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and stop an undead threat. It was fun game that managed to bring in a following and did well enough for itself, and got some attention for just being damn pretty. Trine 2 doesn’t do anything extremely different from Trine, but rather goes to to just be more Trine. Honestly? That’s not a bad thing.
Trine 2 takes place some time after the original game. The wizard Amedeus, the thief Zoya, and the knight Pontius are once again drawn together by the Trine to help with a quest they are not entirely sure of. Pretty early in they discover a castle overran by goblins and two princesses trying to find each other. Assuming defeating the goblins is what the Trine’s task is for them, they set off to do exactly that. The plot is a little stronger than the original Trine’s, with each character actually getting some form of development. It’s not a master work, but at the very least it’s enough to carry the game and to make you care about the characters.
Trine 2’s basic gamepaly simply has you getting from one end of the level to the other. You can either play the game alone and simply use the bumpers to instantly switch between characters, or play co-op with up to three other players. Each of the three characters brings their own unique gameplay to the table. Amedeus can create boxes and planks for people to jump on, and use telekinesis to move objects around. Zoya has a grappling hook and can shoot arrows at distant targets, and later use the arrows to freeze sections of water. Finally Pontius can smash through weak objects and use his shield to block or redirect streams of fire or water. You’ll be taking these three through 13 levels that last about 45 minutes each, with a few shorter than that. Overall, Trine 2 is in about the 8 – 10 hour range depending on how fast you solve some puzzles and how many collectables you bother going for.
Utilizing all three characters is necessary to complete levels. The game has a lot of physics puzzles that require one of the characters to start a chain of events that another can either take advantage of or finish. You may need to create blocks with Amedeus so you can jump from them and reach a grapple point for Zoya to get. Or you may have to have Pontius break open a wall so you can start a flow of water that you can then redirect by using Amedeus to put other objects in its way. Figuring out how to solve these puzzles, or just finding hilarious ways to break them, is a good chunk of the game. Trine 2 uses an interesting physics engine as you can often accidentally BS your way through puzzles. I’ve watched my characters bounce from platforms that there should have been no way for them to do so, and yet the physics engine screwed up and let them make a hilarious jump. Sometimes it can be frustrating too, like when a plank of wood decides to fling up and out of the carefully selected place you put it into, but more often than not it’s funny. You’ll also be doing this to reach potions, and every 50 potions you collect gets you a skill point. Funny enough the potions are effected by physics too. This can either be good (one point I used a log to just push a potion off a ledge rather than taking the complicated jumping puzzle to reach it) or bad (The amount of times I lost potions to bottomless pits is pretty high). Each character has a small personal skill tree that gives them a few new ways to either fight enemies or get about the environment. It’s shallow, but serviceable enough for the game.
There is some combat in Trine 2, but it’s mostly on the lighter and simpler side. I only really noticed three different types of enemies and they were basically “A goblin that takes 3 hits to kill” “A goblin that takes 5 hits to kill” and “A goblin with a bow and arrow.” Most times I got into combat it would basically just mean switching to Pontius and smacking square until everyone nearby is dead, then sometimes switching to Zoya to pick off any archers. Amedeus can’t really fight back directly, but he can use telekentics to pick up enemies and throw them into any nearby environmental hazards if needed or drop crates on their heads, which can be funny but not quite useful when you get swarmed by enemies. Occasionally you’ll also fight a boss fight, but the majority of these bosses proceed the same way: stand on one side, wait for boss to swing and get get stuck on side, jump over and hit boss until he frees himself. Rinse and repeat. In fact, the only boss that breaks that pattern is the last boss.
Despite repetitive boss fights and occasionally frustrating physics puzzles, Trine 2 is a lot of fun. The 2D platforming and puzzles manage to make up for the game’s shortcomings without too much of a problem. It combines these things with a beautiful world that makes Trine 2 worth checking out for anyone interested in these types of games.