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Review

Trine 2: Director's Cut Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • WIIU
Aaron Sampson on Google+

Trine 2: Director's Cut is a visually breathtaking platformer, but unsatisfying puzzles make it less enchanting than it should be.

Trine 2 may appear to be the storybook fantasy world of your dreams. In this stunning landscape, you travel through musty old libraries, encounter moss-covered statues at ancient shrines, and marvel at fog-shrouded hillsides that fill your heart with hopes for grand adventure. Every aspect of the visuals, from the most glorious mountaintop vista to the smallest detail, contributes to the creation of a world that appears to have sprung, fully realized, from someone's vivid imagination. But all is not so wondrous in this breathtaking world. The physics-based puzzles you must frequently fumble with are more like housework than the glorious exploits of wizards and warriors, so while this adventure looks magical, it too often feels mundane.

You play as a trio of characters: the wizard Amadeus, the thief Zoya, and Pontius, the knight whose appetite for adventure is rivaled only by his appetite for food and drink. The characters are established only in broad strokes, and the tale Trine 2 tells is a flimsy one; it's a shame that a world this rich in visual detail doesn't get a story to match.

The three heroes are bound together through the magic of a mysterious artifact called the Trine, the upshot being that you can swap between them instantly. This is essential as you progress through Trine 2's side-scrolling levels, in which you frequently encounter puzzles and obstacles that you can't simply leap over. Amadeus can conjure boxes and planks, and can move and manipulate some objects from a distance, making his skills vital in overcoming most puzzles. Zoya can fire arrows at distant targets and can grapple on to wooden surfaces, letting her swing up and reach areas others can't. Pontius can smash stuff real good with his sword, and that's about it, at least initially. You encounter enough goblins and other nasty creatures that Pontius' skills come in handy, though the combat here is just a shallow and easy diversion that only serves to give your brain a break between puzzles.

Those puzzles are the heart of Trine 2, and though they're dressed up in gorgeous fantasy trappings, trying to devise solutions to them usually feels something like trying to fix a pesky problem around the house with whatever supplies you have laying around. Given the physics-based nature of the puzzles, you can often solve them in a number of ways, which may sound like it opens the door to satisfyingly creative problem-solving. Instead, because solutions don't click satisfyingly into place, you often don't feel like you're really solving anything at all.

Trine 2's dazzling locations will cast a spell on you.

Fumbling with conjured boxes and planks, you may eventually jerry-rig something that lets you climb the ledge you need to climb or water the plant you need to water. But it feels like you've stumbled on a makeshift solution that happens to get the job done, rather than cleverly worked out a challenging conundrum. And because you sometimes need to have things positioned perfectly for a particular solution you have in mind to work, it can be difficult to know if the concept you're working with won't work, or if you're just not executing it well enough. As a result, you can waste a lot of time experimenting with bad ideas, or give up on sound ideas that didn't work because you didn't have all the pieces in exactly the right spot.

Further dampening the pleasure of progressing past Trine 2's puzzles is the game's floaty movement. The buoyant jumps make it feel as if your characters aren’t rooted in the world, and those characters have an odd tendency to sometimes scramble up onto ledges or platforms that seem like they shouldn’t be reachable, so you can sometimes bypass puzzles without coming up with anything resembling a proper solution. The first time it happens, you might think you just got lucky. By the fifth time, you realize that the game’s physics are too easily exploited.

There are potions scattered throughout levels and dropped by defeated monsters that serve as experience points; for every 50 you collect, you earn a skill point you can spend to unlock new abilities for your characters. Zoya can earn explosive arrows, for instance, while Amadeus can become capable of having more items conjured simultaneously, among other things. These upgrades are useful and empowering, and heck, after you’ve unlocked a few of Pontius’ abilities, he actually becomes good for more than just hacking goblins to death.

The goblins bring out the heavy machinery in Goblin Menace.

The Wii U version of Trine 2, dubbed Trine 2: Director's Cut, can be played entirely on the GamePad, and you can use the touchscreen to do things like whip up boxes and planks as the wizard or to aim Zoya's bow. This version also includes the Goblin Menace expansion, which takes you to some memorable new locations that break away from the typical fantasy fare of the core game. You traipse across vast deserts, explore booby-trapped tombs, and even find yourself fighting through a massive creature's innards. Additionally, the goblins--who are a forgettable nuisance in Trine 2 proper--have a number of offensive contraptions in Goblin Menace that makes fighting them more interesting, though hardly more difficult. Unfortunately, you can't skip to the expansion, so if you've played Trine 2 on another platform and were hoping to jump right to the new content, you're out of luck.

Trine 2 supports local and online multiplayer for up to three players. Working with others can make overcoming Trine 2’s puzzles much easier. (For instance, there's no need to devise a way to hold open a gate using boxes and planks so that you can switch to the thief and shoot an arrow at a target therein if there's two of you; simply have Amadeus actively hold the gate open and have Zoya simultaneously shoot the target.) However, the online play here doesn’t support voice chat, making it impossible to coordinate with your partners, which in turn makes it very difficult to actually work together to overcome obstacles. If you've got friends in the room with you, though, you can enjoy making short work of puzzles that take a good deal of finagling when you're on your own.

Trine 2 is elevated by its art design, which is second to none. But as enchanting as its visuals are, they aren’t enough to imbue the game’s puzzles with magic. This is still an adventure worth embarking on just to take in all the stunning sights, but it’s unfortunate that its beauty doesn’t run deeper.

The Good
Astounding art design
Includes the Goblin Menace expansion
Character upgrades provide a pleasing sense of growth and open up new possibilities
The Bad
Often too easy to fumble your way through puzzles
Character physics frequently behave oddly
6.5
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
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Discussion

15 comments
MCSantaBarbara
MCSantaBarbara

Great review. I like how you showed us your process of solving puzzles!

PyreofKoL
PyreofKoL

Just got this for Steam earlier today. It's a lot of fun but I definitely agree with the bullet points in the bad column on the review. This game is essentially a poor man's mash up of Little Big Planet and Portal.

orangetack
orangetack

And what do the non-Nintendo versions get? Oh, an 8.5.

the_necronomico
the_necronomico

Nobody has said that you can play this game on 3D SBS... If you think that this game looks awesome the way it is... You MUST try on a 3D screen, it´s something out of this world and I think that is something that you have to mention in a review... 6.5 pfff jajajaja it´s worth 10 for sure!!!!

Metronoid
Metronoid

Awful review,  its the best and most fun version. You can touch and interact. I give it 9.0

Heirren
Heirren

Saw this on sale for WiiU.  Watched the review.  Open ended puzzles a bad thing?  wtf?  I'm going to go watch another review.  Gamespot needs to shape up.  They need to look at their reviews from a 3rd person perspective.  Some of them are just a complete joke.  This review simply makes absolutely zero sense.

zasxas
zasxas

Why Caroline so bad score?Maybe you don't like Nintendo that's why.I think you should rewrite your review....

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

This is ridiculous! The same game, minus all the extras, got 8.5 in all other platforms. This girl is really nuts to say the least!

MCC1029
MCC1029

Yet another reason why no body goes to GameSpot anymore. This website is a joke. They never cease to amaze me with their bias and ignorant reviews. A 6.5? Really? I'm starting to feel like GameSpot purposely waits until other websites review games so they can score them lower than everyone else, as if it's cool or something. They also seem to have something against Nintendo games. How does the Wii U version get a 6.5 while the other version got an 8.5? It's only the same game, but better! I'm sick of these bias Microsoft fan boys, and this is why I will never trust a GameSpot review again. Go to IGN for your game reviews, people. You won't see them giving such a fantastic game like this a bad review.

DeeMoney19
DeeMoney19

This is possibly the worst review I have ever read. Oh and by the way. This game does support voice chat. You can't even get the information right on it. A 3 year old could have come up with a better review than this dribble I just read.

Heil68
Heil68

Lollz, in coming flurry of flopz XD

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

How bad is she playing this game! Lately it appears that GS employees punish games whenever they suck playing them

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

I've never head anything but praise from critics for both Trine games. Typical jaded Gamespot employee. I don't even read these anymore. I look at The Good and The Bad, and if the review score doesn't match up to those, I know to move on. Hit up metacritic or someplace like that, where there's enough reviews to factor out Gamespot dicking up the average with ignorant scoring system.

copkill
copkill

God, once again, Carolyn's the worst reviewer ever..

AggroSky
AggroSky

Alright, I have been coming to this website since around 2000 when it was still videogames.com. At any rate, in all that time I never saw a reason to sign up and contribute to this community with my opinion (simply because I was content to read what others had to say). That time has officially ended. Carolyn, with all due respect, your review is a travesty. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but what I don't understand is that the other version of the game that Jane Douglas reviewed over a year ago received an 8.5. Why on earth did the Wii-U version of the game receive such a low score? It is the definitive version of the game that comes with the Goblin expansion! The only different between the Wii-U version and any other version is the controls (and considering the fact that you can play with a plethora of different combinations of control schemes on the Wii-U version there should be one that suits pretty much anyone).

 

I am angry and aggravated about this. Not because of your opinion Carolyn, but because you give no explanation as to why the Wii-U version deserves a lower score when it is in essence the exact same game that was released a year ago on different platforms. I am extremely glad that I bought this game before I read this review. My wife and I have enjoyed it immensely since I bought it and if I would have read your review before hand, I may not have purchased it!

 

As I stated before, I have been coming to this website for over 12 years. I have put my faith in Gamespots reviews above any other source for those 12 years. I have disagreed before with certain reviews I've read but never did I feel like Gamespot totally coped out on a review until I read this one. I'm not asking for the score to be changed, I simply would like a paragraph in the review explaining specifically why this version deserves a lower score than the previous ones, other than the fact that you don't care for the game Carolyn. Are there technical limitations? Control issues? Graphics issues? Does it cost too much? What? You can scour the web and not find a negative review of this game. I just hope no one is swayed by Carolyn's review of this game. Ignore the above review and buy this game, now! It is a fantastic game, especially with friends. Have a nice day.

msillenh
msillenh

This is a great game, this review makes no sense what so ever.  People opinions differ blah,blah,blah.  You have to go out of your way to give this a mediocre score.

My review score of your review score 2.5

Deano
Deano

this score is way too low, part of trines fun is that unlike alot of puzzle type games you aren't limited to solving a puzzle only one way but can be creative in how you solve it, that isn't a design flaw.

milannoir
milannoir

Wait a second... So the best version of Trine 2 also gets the worst review? I never cared much for reviews in the first place, but I hadn't noticed how random GS had become in that regard. Good thing I only come here for the news, and the forums...

Gaticus
Gaticus

This is the most shoddy review I have ever read... and I've read a lot of dA.M.N. reviews!!  This game is pretty much the exact same, if not a little bit better on the wii u, as it is on any other platform including the PC.  This review is pitiful as is gamespot in total!!  Farewell to all the people that will hate on me for this comment.  I'm not here to troll just state the truth in my final interaction on this atrocious website!

MadamMim
MadamMim

I thought Trine 2 on PC received a favourable response. What's wrong with this port?

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

Mixed messages.

 

"And because you sometimes need to have things positioned perfectly for a particular solution you have in mind to work, it can be difficult to know if the concept you're working with won't work, or if you're just not executing it well enough. As a result, you can waste a lot of time experimenting with bad ideas, or give up on sound ideas that didn't work because you didn't have all the pieces in exactly the right spot."

 

Isn't that a description of what puzzle-platforming is all about, a mix of logic and dexterity. You aren't suppose to get the instant a-ha gratification of the puzzle genre proper, where once you've solved the puzzle you simply move on to the next puzzle. You also have the challenge of executing the solution you think might be the right one. I get that the reviewer has some problems with the implementation of that action element being too floaty, but given the value, the prettiness, and the at least somewhat satisfying progression (the reviewer spoke of gaining satisfying abilities through collection) I would think the game is at least average, which at this site has been about a 7.0 for many years now.  And to me, and this may sound a little odd, the floaty nature is something which I thought seemed to fit the vibe of the game, it's art direction and magical and not overly serious trappings, as opposed to taking me out of the title it actually contributed to sucking me in.

 

 

constrictor14
constrictor14

Carolyn Petit has no idea what she's talking about.  Please have someone else have a look at the game.  Her review score is way off base and the Metacritic score of 84 bears this fact out. Trine 2 is an excellent party game and features some of the best hot-seat gaming that you can get today.  The visuals are amazing and the puzzles challenging, particularly when you have to help your party members traverse the puzzles too.

BloodMist
BloodMist

I seriously fail to see how physics based puzzles which allow you to solve them in at least hundreds of different ways could be seen as unsatisfying.But that's just me though.

FFCYAN
FFCYAN

This game looks great, I'm going to download it regardless. Platforming and puzzles in a gorgous 2D landscape is right up my alley. I just never seem to agree with Carolyn on her reviews, but that's more or less a matter of personal tastes.

I_are_Cake
I_are_Cake

Trine 2: Director's Cut can now go on my list of games GameSpot has spewed thoughtless venom at. This list just gets bigger & bigger.

 

Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Gravity Rush, Gauntlet Legends, Stonekeep, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, Suikoden, Ultima Online: The Second Age, Ultima Online, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, League of Legends, Doom 64, Mario Kart 64, Mass Effect 3: Leviathan, Quake (N64), Rogue Ops, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PS3), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (GameCube), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (GameCube), PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, ZombiU, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin (PSP), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (PSP), Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Resonance, Knockout Kings 2001, LostWinds, Black Mirror III, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, Disaster: Day of Crisis, Natural Selection 2, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed (Wii U), Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Zone of the Enders HD Collection, Runaway: A Twist of Fate, Doom II (XBLA), RISK: Factions, Earthworm Jim HD, Jet Set Radio HD, Raskulls, Mount & Blade, Star Ocean: First Departure, Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, Cuboid, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Scarface: The World is Yours, Blue Dragon, Advent Rising, Hidden & Dangerous (Dreamcast).... Holy shit, that's quite the list.

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@jrobitaille23 Don't be stupid and nasty. I don't know you since you're an anonymous kid on the internet, but I'm sure it doesn't suit you.

orangetack
orangetack

Worse, the non-nintendo versions got 8.5

cain006
cain006

@MCC1029 It got a different score because a different reviewer reviewed the original version. Haven't played this, but I can guess where she's coming from by playing the first one. The game was ridiculously easy and the only reason to play it was for the visuals.

armodillo17
armodillo17

@DeeMoney19 The review was correct at the time of launch. Voice chat was actually just added with the update today. I came here to post that piece of info for anyone who comes to this review from here on. Also added is support for the Pro controller and slight graphical improvement.

BF210984
BF210984

@AggroSky I too almost didnt buy this game because i read this review. But I did the day it was released in Aus (finally) and all I can say is WOW this game is breathtaking and amazing. Im shocked at this review and hope that know one else overlooked this game due to this review. Pity we will never receive a reply from her answering your valid questions :( 

Rat_King
Rat_King

@AggroSky Gotta agree. Started coming here in 2005, and wow has it changed.

Admittedly I actually normally enjoy Carolyns reviews more than most others, emphasis on more than most others, but this is a damn shame. This is an amazing game. Not to mention it's an amazing INDIE game, with multiplayer, which already has no cred amongst gamers. On top of that it's an amazing INDIE game on WIIU, a brand new system that's struggling with its ports. I thought this one would help out a bit but...maybe not. Kevin VanOrd is the one I'm usually disappointed with. He put's his opinion into a review far more than a review should. Similar to this one. I agree and more than encourage people to have their own opinions and I appreciate reading about them, but it's a review, not an editorial, you need to understand people have different tastes and if you infuse too much of what "you thought" it could ruin another gamer's experience or prevent them from having a great experience at all.

Unfortunate indeed...

NinTendonitis
NinTendonitis

 @Gelugon_baat Nice try, Carolyn. It couldn't be more obvious that you made this account to defend yourself.

Starsailor_IT
Starsailor_IT

@cain006 @MCC1029 thats an excuse. A website about videogames should be consistent between reviews of the same game. 

AggroSky
AggroSky

@Rat_King @AggroSky Well said Rat_King. I couldn't agree more. A review is supposed to help people make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase a game. This review will only confuse people because of the glowing review that this very same website posted a year ago about the exact same game with no distinction of why this version is supposedly "worse." If Carolyn would have made her case as to why the Wii-U version isn't as good as the others (and of course it's just as good if not better in mine and many others opinions) then at least her review would have made more sense. This just reeks of lazy journalism. All it seems to have done is aggravate fans and potentially turn off people who own a Wii-U who might buy this fantastic game. I know that people bitch and complain in the comments section of every review this site posts but I think my argument is valid in this case. I am just so disappointed... 

BF210984
BF210984

 @Gelugon_baat  @I_are_Cake Gelugon_baat, You post on nearly every comment that disagrees with this review! I think its time to stop as you just look like a Carolyn fan boy/girl and its quite sad.

 

Rat_King
Rat_King

@Gelugon_baat Gelugon_baat strikes again.

 At this point I'm pretty sure you purposely just troll review comments and tell people to shut up. 

It's definitely not Carolyn, but it could be KV or TM...

Trine 2 More Info

  • First Released
    • Android
    • Macintosh
    • + 6 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • Unix/Linux
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    Trine 2 is the sequel to the 2009 downloadable PlayStation 3 and PC action platformer.
    8.4
    Average User RatingOut of 935 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Trine 2
    Developed by:
    Frozenbyte, Inc.
    Published by:
    Frozenbyte, Inc., Focus Home Interactive, ATLUS, Nintendo
    Genres:
    Action, Platformer, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    PS3 PC X360 MAC WIIU PS4
    Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence
    Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
    Rating Pending
    UNIX
    Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence