Review: Trine 2
I had a great time playing the original Trine alone on my laptop a couple years back when it first released. Despite never touching co-op in the original game I found that Trine was still a really enjoyable game and naturally some excitement carried over for Trine 2. I expected nothing less than a fun little game but instead am left a little soured on things.
Trine 2 doesn’t drastically change much from the original game. You’re still playing as either the wizard, thief or knight and you’re still using each of their abilities to solve physics based puzzles. The wizard can summon objects to help cross gaps or reach higher ledges as well as levitate objects and monsters. The thief can use her grapple hook to latch onto and swing from wooden surfaces and carries a bow which can be used to trigger switches and kill enemies. Finally the knight is good for fighting enemies and using his hammer to break certain walls down. The ability to upgrade abilities is also back and for the most part you’re unlocking the same abilities. Using each of their abilities, whether in single or multiplayer, you’ll solve various puzzles in whichever way that you can to move on throughout each stage. The addition that stands out the most among a lot of minor improvements from the original is the use of water in the game. Various puzzles require that you find a way to get running water to a plant in order to get it to grow and provide platforms to help solve a specific puzzle. I found this to be a really cool puzzle mechanic that unfortunately wasn’t used as often as I’d have liked.
I think my main issue with Trine 2 is that I never actually feel clever while solving any of its puzzles. In single player I often was left feeling like I got lucky in solving a puzzle or as if the way I had solved it was somehow cheating the physics system. At the same time when playing in multiplayer nearly all of the puzzles ended with one player controlling the wizard, levitating the other player to the other side of the puzzle and then switching off until all players had crossed a gap or reached the next ledge. Perhaps it’s a problem that lies within physics puzzles in general but the way most of them are set up in Trine 2 I never felt like I was solving them in a fun/clever way. A lot of times I’d find myself awkwardly jumping up weirdly arranged towers of boxes to reach a ledge or in one case accidentally bouncing across a gap I needed to cross. It’s too bad because I feel like Trine 2 should be a blast (especially in multiplayer) but for whatever reason it just never got its hooks into me.
I feel like I should share two specific experiences that I had playing Trine 2 in single player. Much of the game requires some specific timing and fast reflexes that can get rather frustrating when playing alone. There’s tons of instances in which you need to pull a lever and quickly run across the screen to get through a door before it closes. Too often I felt like this relied on me getting really lucky after a few tries rather than actually having skill. This led to a puzzle that required a rather crazy amount of dexterity and insane timing to get through. I spent about thirty minutes trying to hit the timing of the jump before finally landing it. At another point in the second to last level of the game I got to a point where I needed to jump to a teetering platform and then make the jump to the next ledge. This didn’t seem particularly difficult until I missed the second jump and fell to my death in the lava below. After making my way back to that area I quickly realized that something was terribly wrong. The platform had vanished and there was absolutely no way for my character to make it across. After multiple checkpoint, level and game restarts I found myself stuck. There was no fixing it. I had to bring in a second player and force him to levitate me across the gap in order to complete the stage. This bug is likely not something that many will run into but it was one in a handful of scenarios that I found the game working against me in single player. Something that I just can’t recommend.
There’s a story in Trine 2 that’s present if only to give reason to the events within the game. It’s not wholly original and rather predictable but it’s not really what you’ll come to Trine 2 for and that’s fine. If anything the reason to come to Trine 2 is for just how great the game looks. It’s probably one of the most colorful games I’ve played in a really long time. Each environment you explore is filled to the brim with tons of detail that, instead of just being minor static details, actually move and help to bring the world to life. And the water? Well just have a look. It’s absolutely worthy of being called a beautiful game but unfortunately a beautiful game does not make a fun game.
It’s not something that would have any effect on a review score but I want to point out how Trine 2 handles trophies as I found it to be really cool. Instead of revolving around collectibles and clearing chapters the game features twelve trophies that have you doing random stunts throughout the game. For instance one asks that you shoot three arrows into the air and catch them with the knight’s shield. It encourages a little creativity within the game that I did get some enjoyment out of.
Trine 2 isn’t a bad game at all. If nothing else it’s clear a lot of effort went into making it look really good. Fans of Trine should totally check it out just be sure that you have someone to play with just to save yourself from a lot of frustration.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- They used every color I can think of.
- Each location is heavily detailed and just looks fantastic.
What I Dislike:
- Puzzles typically ask for too much out of one person to make this game viable in single player.
- Clearing a puzzle doesn't feel like I've done something clever. I usually feel like I've cheated the system or got lucky.