Trine 2

Trine 2 is a side-scrolling platform and puzzle game which is great playing co-op between the three main characters: Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief and Pontius the knight.

I bought this game on a Humble Indie Bundle but there will always be a chance to grab this game on sale on Steam (not that it’s expensive in the first place). I was instantly amazed by how pretty the game looked.

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This game is even more fun multiplayer. However, two is the maximum amount of people you can invite to your game as there’s three main characters that you all play simultaneously. There can be an issue when a player wants to play Zoya, for example, but someone else is already Zoya. You have to request to swap characters which can be a problem when someone doesn’t want to cooperate.

At the beginning of the game, there is a level for each main character introducing them, each character is summoned by the Trine and they join together on a quest. This is a chance when everyone plays as the same character in multiplayer mode. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to learn the mechanics/abilities of each character and you may discover you have a preference of either Zoya, Amadeus or Pontius.

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You may have your favourite character but each role is needed to get past the levels and there may be alternative ways to get past an obstacles using different characters’ abilities. For example, the wizard can create extra platform boxes, a player can jump on that box platform and the wizard uses his telekenisis powers to fly the player in the air to reach the next area. Or the knight could point his shield in the air, a player can jump on that and, with the knight jumping, the other player can jump even higher to the next area acting as a double jump mechanic. The more players, the more strategic discussion over how to get over obstacles making it more fun. There can be frustrating times when you’re trying to explain your strategy to get past a certain obstacles and someone’s being a bit ditzy or not listening. I was trying to explain to someone “Look, just use your magic to move the pipe where I’m standing, here.”

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After finishing a level/segment of the story, there’s cut-scene that acts a story-telling time. It felt like a nice touch and added some more fantasy to the game. Though it might not be everyone’s cup of tea though, some may feel it’s childish or patronising but I liked it.

There is character advancement in this game. Players can collect magical vials throughout the platform game which look like blue orbs (see image below) and some are found in more hard to reach places to make it more challenging. Every fifty of these vials earn you a skill point. There’s no need to fight over the orbs either as the points are offered to all players. Using skill points, you can cater your characters to the way you play e.g. get frozen arrows for Zoya to slow and even encase enemies in ice (especially those pesky goblins!). If you find Armadeus’ platform boxes you really useful then you can invest your skill points to create up to 4 boxes simultaneously (when you make another box after when you’ve reached your limit, your first box will break).

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The further you advance through the story and platform levels, the more challenging it gets and there are loads more creative ways to get through each obstacle. My favourite were the magical portals which has similar function as in the game, Portal. There would be levers for the portal to control where it goes (left to right & up and down). One obstacle, I needed a boil a cauldron which created bubbles needed to float to a higher platform. I needed to more one portal close to fire and the other portal to the bottom of the cauldron to get it to boil.

In this example below, we need the gas from the air vent to get above a barrier and to the other side. We had to position the left portal directly underneath this air vent and then the air would travel through the right portal. Then we could jump on the second portal, the air coming out air would fly us up and over the barrier.

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So what happens if you die? There are plenty of traps, goblins, booses, fire, etc. Luckily, it’s only game over when all characters fall to 0 HP. If you have under 3 players, the player can just switch to the character that is vacant. In the first image, I was the wizard and died so I switched to the knight since it was just me and another player. To revive characters, there are checkpoints throughout the game and they return when you walk past the sparkly blue orbs.

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The cut-scene artwork was quite a contrast to the vibrant, sparkly visuals in the gameplay but I liked the watercolour look and did bring me back to Neverwinter Nights days. To be honest, I just wanted to get straight back to playing more of the game.

And now I will spam you will all these gorgeous screenshots, don’t forget to click to full view them.

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Final thoughts/summary

I’ve already expressed how much I like the graphics and I hope these screenshots do the game justice by showing how gorgeous the game is. In some scenes, it can be quite blinding especially when the Trine comes flying across the screen but it’s still a very pretty game.

Comparing this game to the other platform games I’ve played (Rayman being my all-time favourite) and unfortunately I didn’t play the first Trine, this game is quite unique in terms of co-operative play and strategy. I feel that the obstacles are more creative and challenging and not just jumping between platforms and dodging things that could hurt you. There is more a combat element compared to other platformer games I’ve played but it doesn’t dominate the gameplay. The game dynamics change as well depending on the skills you advance your character.

However, the game is quite limited in the sense of the game would be more boring playing it single-player and there is a limit of three people playing though it’s not such a big deal as most platform games are up to four players. It all depends on the player’s preferences.

Some may feel that the humor in the scripting is funny, satirical of classic RPGs, childish or somewhat patronising (like the educational kids’ TV channels kind of tone). I personally feel that it was a bit of everything because magic and fantasy does may seem childish to others because it’s all the things we imagined as a child such as dragons and goblins.

And finally, I think Trine 2 is definitely a game that everyone of all ages can enjoy and worth buying and trying out.

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