There are very few games that are able to interweave a visual art style with seamless gameplay. I dare to say Trine 2 hits the mark with ease. Trine 2 isn’t as much a sequel as it is a continuation and update to the original Trine. And the original Trine was a spectacle in its own right but Frozenbyte has upped the bar and made Trine 2… well any word other than breathtaking falls short to describe it.
The visual storytelling is wonderfully done and reminiscent of World of Warcraft, that is… if WoW had its art design done by a team of renaissance painters. Frozenbyte also wields a moving soundtrack and sound design that makes the emersion into this magical world all the deeper. All this makes for a very cinematic and gripping experience for the player by tugging on the heartstrings of your inner child. Making you want to believe that a wonderful world like this actually exists somewhere in the universe.
Trine 2 takes you on another whimsical tale with our three heroes, Amadeus the levitating box making wizard, Zoya the agile grappling thief, and Pontius the smash and bash knight. Gameplay is very much the same as the original, with a few minor updates that have been offered in means of graphic design and level design. Also apparently the energy bar from the first Trine is no more.
The biggest update is the online matchmaking and chatting where you can link up with friends to conquer Trine 2’s many physics puzzles. The original Trine had multiplayer as well, but it was well hidden in the menu and was local network only. I didn’t get a chance to try this feature, so if any of you reading this want to give it a whirl please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Trine 2 plays very much the same as the original, as you magically switch between your three characters in a puff of smoke. Using each character’s strength and abilities to solve the many physics challenges and action sequences that make up Trine 2. From conjuring boxes out of thin air to grappling through the terrain with ease to smashing through a wall of stone with your mighty hammer. Not much has changed. And as with the original, you are able to upgrade these abilities as you go.
Frozenbyte tells these stories with superb narration, even when the player gets stuck on a puzzle the gentle prodding of the narrator carries on the story. All this makes for a wonderful whimsical fantasy tale that anyone can appreciate. I had my 10-year cousin Jake try out Trine 2, I didn’t explain anything or prep him. I didn’t know what he would think of it, he normally plays shooters on his Xbox and he gravitates toward Call of Duty. But he loved it, didn’t find it overly cheesy and was able to quickly grasp the gameplay easily. He liked it so much that he would keep asking if he could play it every time he came over.
I also had my girlfriend Bea try out Trine 2 as well. Bea is still pretty new to gaming but she fell in love with it very quickly. There were many “oohs and aah’s” and in particular “ooh pretty!” that came from her mouth. She didn’t care much for the grappling bit and actually refused to use Zoya’s grappling ability. And to my amazement, she was still able to finish many of the puzzles and challenges without it! I guess that’s a testament to the excellent gameplay design by the team at Frozenbyte. Allowing for multiple ways to solve the same challenge, bravo!
I really enjoyed reviewing Trine 2 and I would highly recommend it for its high visuals, amazing sound design and excellent story telling. And while it may not be the most intense or exhilarating of games. It’s a wonderful break away from modern gaming and takes you on a most whimsical of journeys!