Trine 2 Review

Trine 2 is a charming fantasy platformer with dazzling good looks and fun physics puzzles.

by

With the wholesome appeal of a fairy tale, Trine 2 is unapologetically packed with comfortable tropes. Like the first game, it stars a trio of classic fantasy heroes: a merry knight, a sly thief, and a nervy wizard. Their adventure bustles them through ye olde tale of rescue the princess--via enchanted forest and murky cavern, wherein they thrash goblins and giant spiders. But out of that conventional premise, the game conjures a gorgeous and gratifying platform puzzler.

Trine 2's environments could have been lifted off the screen of a latter-day Fantasia. Deep, richly detailed levels pop with lively, luminous color. The forest is home to luscious glowing foliage and glistening colossal snails. Gloomier levels house oversized spiders, animated with skin-crawling authenticity. One level, taking in sunset on a tropical beach, is stop-and-stare beautiful. The hero character models are very slightly less crisp than in the PC version, but that nitpick is dwarfed by the general visual loveliness.

Each hero has a simple, distinct set of powers, and the controls for each are pleasingly intuitive, making smart use of the triggers and right analog stick. The knight has a sword and shield for fighting, as well as a warhammer for smashing obstacles; the thief has a grappling hook, along with a bow and arrow; and the wizard can levitate items and summon boxes or planks from thin air. In single-player mode, only one hero appears onscreen, but you can instantly flip between them to access the powers demanded by the task at hand.

Physics puzzling as the wizard hero.

The wizard's conjuring powers make him the best suited for solving a puzzle on your own. Though the basic platforming is smooth and accessible, with combat that is brisk and straightforward, the heart of the action is physics-based puzzling. At its simplest, this means constructing a ramp from crates, while more complex challenges have you reroute steam jets by hovering segments of pipe into place. In others, you channel water onto the roots of plants that shoot up, magic beanstalk-like, to create leafy new platforms on which to hop. New elements such as movable portals, waterwheels, and lava streams come thick and fast, in addition to memorable one-offs, such as a house-sized frog that lassoes giant fruit with its tongue.

Though many of the puzzles suggest single, efficient solutions right off the bat, some of the best fun is to be had experimenting with the physics and looking for less-obvious solutions. Trine 2's physics engine is robust and fine tuned, and noodling about with it is engrossing in its own right. The game is generously rigged to allow for the guilty pleasure of fudging a solution when the elegant answer is out of reach; teetering structures of magic planks can be used to bypass clever gate mechanisms altogether or the same planks can be jammed gracelessly into the gears.

Trine 2 prefers to keep you moving briskly along to holding you up with a real brainteaser. There's even an optional hint system that kicks in after a few minutes of head scratching. It amounts to a friendly game but not an overly easy one; there are much trickier secrets to be found and collectable experience orbs in hard-to-reach spots, with the latter feeding into a simple set of talent trees. For instance, as you level up, the thief can upgrade to fire or ice arrows, the knight can upgrade to a charging shield bash, and the wizard can learn to materialize more boxes at once.

In local multiplayer, or in the online multiplayer that's new to this sequel, your two co-op companions play the other two characters. This lets you combine powers rather than flit between them, although hero swapping on the fly is also permitted. Combining powers opens up new avenues of sandbox tinkering; the wizard can float other party members on a conjured plank platform or hang a goblin harmlessly in midair for the thief to skewer with arrows. For maximum sandbox tomfoolery, there's also an unlimited mode, in which any combination of hero characters is allowed.

A spot of three-player co-op platforming.

The storybook-style narration is genteel, and the heroes are amiably voiced. The music is rousing, too. Here, as with story and setting, Trine 2 cleaves comfortably to the genre, with all of the cheery piping of a high-class Renaissance fair. If you bypass secrets and ignore experience orbs, you can breeze through a single-player campaign in six hours or so. Although Trine 2 wouldn't outstay its welcome at twice that length, it's no raw deal, given the modest pricing (1200 Microsoft points). This Trine follow-up is a more complete, refined work than its predecessor, and those who didn't catch the original are in for a real treat.

The Good
Gorgeous visuals
Fun, open-ended physics puzzles
Smooth, accessible platforming
Fun co-op, online and off
The Bad
Unremarkable story
8.5
Great
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Discussion

29 comments
SsangyongKYRON
SsangyongKYRON

If you haven't got this one yet, better wait for the next gen edition.

Totally awesome game.

fanirama
fanirama

I bought Trine and Trine 2 on Steam summer sale for $3.74 and I am getting something like 8 hrs entertainment per game.

Compare to BF3 or Call of Duty which gave me 5 hrs entertainment for $60. There is a reason I don't buy those games anymore.

symphony4flamez
symphony4flamez

Absolutely gorgeous eye candy of a game. The gameplay is pretty simple and very basic, aside from a few puzzles that are interesting. The rest are all pretty much conjure two boxes, a plank and done. It's quite a experience though. Imagine A almost equally beautiful much cheaper priced Heavy Rain. Minus the mysterious story. The company for Trine has huge potential if they were to make it a full official game for Trine 3.

michael39238
michael39238

Just finished this one up, it was an eye popping adventure.  Every level full of amazing artwork and fluid animation.  I was really pleased to play a game where I could come up with such a wide variety of physically workable solutions to a challenge, crazy or otherwise.

Shahinkh
Shahinkh

Great graphics and artwork , gameplay not so. Much

G_gglypuff
G_gglypuff

Probably the worst game I've gotten from a digital purchase. It's not even a game, just a gamified toy.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Will have to give it a try, if I can tear myself away from skyrim.

HattoriZangetsu
HattoriZangetsu

I love thedemo of this game. It's in my list for this month

OldGeezer99
OldGeezer99

tried the demo on ps3 and agree, it's a great looking game and fun, very well done, a gem

turok0
turok0

graphics are just perfect. I dont know what's left for the next gen to do

ecurl143
ecurl143

For a side scroller, this totally raises the bar for visuals - it is absolutely beautiful.

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

2 levels to go for me. Awesome game, visuals are jaw dropping. A more complete game than the first and better programmed too (After the patch I had no issues, first one gave me occasional graphics glitches)

Michael-Redd-22
Michael-Redd-22

I wasn't sure about this game, but my friend downloaded it and it was a blast, especially with three people playing. Messing with the physics and finding unique ways to finish puzzles was a lot of fun, and even just messing with the each other using their powers was fun (my friend using the wizard, trying to ride the bubble up to us... yeah, no chance thanks to my brothers arrows with the thief haha).

ycdeo
ycdeo

Games on magical items are always popular! This is just 1 of the better games out there.

Hiliary
Hiliary

Two words come to mind playing this game: Gorgeous and fun. Bravo!!!

HoldenDrover
HoldenDrover

Gorgeous..... reminds me of The Lost Vikings.....meets Fable. Fantastic Game

Dark_Metamorphosis
Dark_Metamorphosis

Been playing this on my PS3 for the past few days. I'd say this is as much a puzzle game as it is a platformer. Physics are very accurate. Graphics are gorgeous as mentioned. The only thing is since I didn't play the first one I find this one takes a little getting used to, especially the fact that you control 3 different characters.

nama84r
nama84r

This is one of the best games of 2011 i played.

Xandoom
Xandoom

I thought this game was pretty fun, and it looks gorgeous. Definitively worth purchasing.

Barighm
Barighm

Platformers, especially for 1200 points, are not my cup of tea BUT I would be remiss to not mention the outstanding and downright gorgeous visuals. I wish more fantasy RPG's looked like this. Realistic graphics is getting boring. Fable sort of does this, but they don't go far enough.

kfjl
kfjl

Really cool game and sooo good looking. It's just as good as Trine 1 if not better. Everyone needs to at least check out the demo even if they haven't played the first one

Krusher26
Krusher26

I'm generally not someone is into wizards, magic and fairy tale settings, but the Trine duo have become two of my favorite games on any system. The puzzles, platforming and action all blend for something that gamers shouldn't pass up, especially for $15 or 1200 Microsoft Points. I have beaten over 150 games on a variety of systems (starting with the NES) and I can honestly say Trine ranks up there with the very best.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

Now I know why Jane Douglas wasn't on the podcast. She's been playing Trine 2 nonstop lol

M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

The first one was amazing. The sequel is even better.

Keithyboy25
Keithyboy25

Not even a game? Are you trolling or what??

Trine 2

  • PlayStation 3
  • PC
  • Xbox 360
  • Macintosh
  • + 3 more
  • Unix/Linux
  • Wii U
  • PlayStation 4
Trine 2 is the sequel to the 2009 downloadable PlayStation 3 and PC action platformer.
ESRB
Everyone 10+
PS3 PC X360 MAC WIIU PS4
Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence
ESRB
Rating Pending
UNIX
Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence
Check out even more info at the Trine 2 Wiki on Giantbomb.com