Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll Review
There isn't much to do in this lengthy action role-playing game aside from fight, but at least the fast combat will keep you engaged throughout.
- Intense, challenging combat
- Powerful unlockable abilities
- Thrilling boss fights
- Bold enemy design.
- Nothing to do aside from fight
- Verbose, uninteresting story
- Easy introductory hours last too long.
A trio of would-be heroes enter a clearing in a burned-down forest. They come to a sudden stop, unsheathe their weapons, and take a deep breath. A troll stands before them. He stares down at the miniscule pests who dare enter his home. The guttural roar he unleashes would turn a ghost white, but it's the oversized club in his hands that proves his bite is what you should really fear. It's covered with the remains of the last living things that dared to challenge him. This is an image that has been reproduced in countless games before. Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll has no interest in subverting how this classic battle unfolds, instead ensuring the game's traditional take on hack-and-slash role-playing excels at its most basic elements. There isn't much to this expansive adventure other than unending bouts of combat, and that repetition can make you pine for gameplay diversions and a story that demands your attention. But it's hard to care about much else when you're engaged in mortal combat against another fabled beast. Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll offers such varied and satisfying combat that it's easy to lose dozens of hours while you cleanse the world of evil.
A prophesy has foretold the death of a king. No monarch wants to have a bloody assassination to look forward to in his elder years, so King Balor issues a proclamation to avoid a messy end. You can't escape your own fate, though. Balor's eagerness to squash a seer's vision only makes his enemy that much more determined. You play as his forsaken grandson Areus, who inherits a mighty score to settle. The setup has been done before, and Trinity doesn't offer interesting twists to make this tale compelling. Static dialog screens try to build character and motivation, but there is so much text to read, and so little of it worth paying attention to, that it's hard to care about the events as they're unfolding. After you sink dozens of hours into this tale, you grow to care about the world enough that you at least want to see how things pan out, but story is definitely one of the weakest aspects of this game. The sense of place is also quite dismal. Instead of walking through towns and exploring the world at your leisure, you click on dialog boxes against bland backgrounds in each new city you enter. It's disappointing that this world wasn't given much of a personality, and this lack of attachment makes it difficult to become invested early on in your adventure.
The focus of Trinity has been placed squarely on the combat. As the name implies, you travel with two other soldiers during most of this adventure. Areus is a master swordsman who's equally adept at long-range magical attacks; Dagda is a giant man who specializes in up-close, punching-focused moves; and Selena uses speed to her advantage, dancing around the battlefield while inflicting damage with her razor-sharp daggers. Combat unfolds in real time, and you switch between characters at the push of a button. In addition to a jump, a guard, and a roll, each character has access to three different attacks, and you can chain them together to form deadly combos. If you think the basics sound pedestrian, you're right. Early battles have you mashing on your various attack buttons while mounting minimal defense, and it's easy to turn your mind off while you cut another horde of goblins down to size.
But first impressions prove to be the devil's mistress. Trinity has an enticing rhythm that makes even mundane battles against bats far more engaging than you would imagine. The most pertinent reason for this is the smooth controls. No matter which character you choose, your actions are dished out as soon as you slam on the button. It's the sort of thing that's easy to take for granted, but Trinity demands a high degree of precision if you're going to make it deep in the game, and those exact controls make it not only possible to cut your enemies down to size, but eminently fun as well. What's really impressive is that even though each hero feels unique, it's still easy to jump between them midbattle and continue to heap on the pain. There's an inherent joy in flipping between breathtaking air attacks as Selena and thunderous ground slams as Dagda, and melding these vastly different styles together provides a continuous rush that makes each battle special.
Trinity starts out exceedingly easy. You may go a dozen or more hours before you have to quaff your first health potion, and in that time you feel like a medieval badass as you introduce a host of mythical beasts to your tasty steel. This slow introduction into the game's world does a great job of immersing you in the mechanics so you never feel overwhelmed. There are dozens of different moves to unlock and hundreds of enemies, and figuring out the timing of combat and how to string moves together takes a few hours of happy hunting. Unfortunately, those practice hours drag on for too long, and it can be easy to lose focus after cutting down another siren without breaking a sweat. If you crave challenge, you have to brave many punishment-free hours, so be prepared for an extended tutorial before the training wheels come off. The early hours also suffer from a lack of variety. There are only six or so different locales open, and you repeatedly enter these areas to embark on new quests. Granted, you often explore different sections within these environments, but that's not enough to make these missions feel unique. The early hours of Trinity are easy and repetitive, and though they do a fine job of slowly teaching you the ins and outs of this universe, it takes too long for things to open up.
Eventually, the difficulty ramps up. There is a great mix of docile and nasty creatures throughout most of the adventure that balances the sadistic joy of massacring virtually helpless foes with the champion's thrill of dispatching a worthy opponent. A pack of wolves may emerge from the distance, and you'll belt out a laugh of superiority. It takes only a few fire spells to put these doggies to bed, after all. But when you come closer, you see that a king snail is in their midst, a formidable opponent even alone. It's times like this that Trinity really shines. Lock on to the king snail to make sure he's in your sights at all times, and then set out for the wolves. Get to work killing those pups while keeping out of reach of that surprisingly fast mollusk, and you can build up your combo meter. When you hear the chime notifying you that the meter is full, you rush at that darn snail and unleash a three-pronged attack that stuns it. Diverting your attention between a host of enemies with varying strengths and weaknesses keeps you engaged in battle, and the healthy variety keeps you on your toes.