From the Finnish indie developer Frozenbyte comes an action platformer that feels kind of like a modern-day update to such classic games as the original Prince of Persia, The Lost Vikings, and Ghosts 'n Goblins. Before we even started the game, we were taken away by Trine's beautiful, dreamlike visuals and soothing music, which prepared us for the storybook adventure that was about to take place. Things only got better as we were introduced to a fantasy kingdom that had fallen under dark times. The first few moments of Trine are like listening to an audio book and flipping through the colorful pages of a hand-painted picture book while a narrator introduces you to the story's three main characters.
The calming voice of the narrator tells you what's happening as you learn how to control your character. You're first introduced to a beautiful young woman who is a thief with an eye set on a treasure chest in the shrine. The controls are simple; you use the WASD keys to move and the spacebar to jump. You can direct our young thief to shoot arrows with the left mouse button and fire a grappling hook with the right mouse button to swing over gaps. Once she reaches the shrine and has her hand on the treasure, the scene switches to Amadeus the Wizard, at which point we learn that he is a man more concerned with wooing women than learning how to be a proper wizard. He also heads toward the shrine, finds himself awestruck by the lovely lady, and touches the hand and object that she is holding.
Once again, the scene switches to a knight in a full set of armor, clanking through a cellar. He has sworn an oath to himself to protect the shrine, and so he heads in that direction to see what is happening. You can guess by now that something is really odd about the treasure, and as soon as the knight puts his hand on it, the three of them are transported to another area in which your adventure truly starts.
You will play as Pontius the Knight, Zoya the Thief, and Amadeus the Wizard, brought together by a mysterious object called the Trine. Your souls are bound by the Trine, so if you're playing in single-player mode, you switch characters at any given time. Thankfully, they each have a unique skill set, so you'll find yourself swapping quite often, using Zoya's grappling hook to swing across chasms and Pontius' blade to vanquish the undead. Amadeus, the womanizing coward who doesn't quite know his spells, does have a few tricks up his sleeves. He can create boxes out of thin air as well as levitate objects, which will come in handy when you're faced with a platforming puzzle. The two levels didn't take long to get through, but we were impressed by the tight controls and gorgeous environments. Whether you're above ground and swinging over rickety bridges or dodging traps underground, there's a soft glow to the areas that makes them very pleasing to look at. Although the gameplay doesn't feel new, everything from the voice acting, music, level design, and overall aesthetic is extremely well done, even in this preview build.
By the time the game ships, there are going to be 15 levels that will take roughly 8-10 hours to complete. You can also play cooperatively with up to three players, who can jump in and out at their convenience. As time goes on, your characters will gain new abilities as well as weapons that you can upgrade by collecting experience points. If you find it too easy or hard, there are three difficulty settings to select.
We look forward to exploring more levels in Trine and tackling the physics puzzles with our curious group of adventurers. Trine will be available on the PC and PlayStation 3 at the end of June in Europe and later in the year for North America.