Trine 2 is a charming fantasy platformer with dazzling good looks and fun physics puzzles.
- Gorgeous visuals
- Fun, open-ended physics puzzles
- Smooth, accessible platforming
- Fun co-op, online and off.
- Unremarkable story.
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 or from the pages of a particularly lovely storybook. 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.
Each hero has a simple, distinct set of powers. 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.
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.
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 ($15 or Ģ12). 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.
Really excited for this game. I loved the first one with the narration and beautiful environments. Can't wait to try out the online multiplayer!
The first Trine was brilliant on PS3 where i played it so looking forward to this coming to consoles. Hopefully they will have the 3d options as well.
I bought this on steam... I mean, for $15 bucks, why not? I have to say that this might just be the most beautiful game I have ever seen. The environments are stunning, vibrant, and diverse. The combat system is fun, and more fun with up to 3 people. As an added note... this game is 100% compatible with 3D vision... to the extent of having your convergence, depth, brightness, and even UI depth configurable in game. If you think it looks good.... you should see it in 3D. Breathtaking.
jamesinho, you should check the video twice, 'cause this game has some of the best looking scenarios of this gen. awesome physics, interesting puzzles, cool co-op... can't ask for more!
WOW! This looks pretty good! The animation is slick and the environments look edible. Good review too.
@Nicksonman As in the first game mate you level up. You get your first level up within the first level. Its either tab or i to get into the level up menu, can't remember which off hand
I thought you can only make one create at a time. Then again I'm very early in the game. I'm not sure if this is a bug. Make a crate, stand on it, jump straight up, levitate the create while you're in the air, when you land on the levitated crate, jump again for a higher jump.
i still donīt know if levitating by putting a crate over another crate and hovering the one in the base is a bug or not... But is way overpowered for solving puzzles!
Good fair review Jane. Very good game, breathtakingly beautiful, more so than its predecessor. Story is weak though
Been playing for about 10 mins. Have to give it a break or else my eyes will pop out of my head and do a little dance on my desk.
i wish Jane could have reviewed Zelda: SS, and Tom McShea could have reviewed this. i'd be interested in his opion on all platformers (not to take anything away from Jane's review, which sounds great, but i can't wait to play it myself on 360/ps3)..
I've been more eager about this game than any of the big xmas releases. I absolutely cannot wait to get stuck in.
Great review Jane. Recently picked up Trine on my Mac through Steam, going to have to get Trine 2 on PS3 now!
Surprised there's no mention of the 3-D vision support since it's easily one the best (if not the best) implementations of 3-D in a game to date. I had problems finding my jaw after playing the first level in 3-D.
I love the first game, I'm hoping to get this just as long as I can get a disc version(I just prefer having a real thing not digital / downloaded stuff). Looks brilliant, can't wait.
Good review! The game looks good but it came in a bad time to many great games this season so I'll have to pass.
@amin7224 -- Why yes. This game does what it does better than the things AC: Revelations does. Where Revelations is a step back for the series, Trine 2 is a big improvement. Furthermore, these games are nothing alike. We do not directly compare 2D platformers that cost $15 to big-budget action adventures that cost $60. But I am sure you have played both games, and thus feel confident in your careful and thoughtful evaluation.
Story doesn't have to be spectacular for a game like this. I played the first Trine and it was great, got the platinum and everything. I hope the trophies are just as easy this time around.
@adamosmaki Best u play this now because it's way shorter and then go back to Skyrim, i took a break to play a few shorter games myself ( To The Moon, AC and this), i'll probably get lost in the world of Skyrim near Xmas again. PS. I was checking out the score with Trine 2 minimized :P, i was mid play.