Trine is a puzzle/platformer which features some of the bestartistically designed game environments ever seen, and boxes. Yes, you read correctly, “boxes”. I have never played a game that relied so heavily on boxesbefore in my life. Read on to find out more!
If you have ever played a platformer, you will know what toexpect- lots of running and jumping, and solving simple puzzles to get aroundobstacles. While Trine does nothing to revolutionize this, it does manage tocreate a gaming experience above typical cookie-cutter platformers. There is abasic storyline; three different people (a Knight, a Wizard and a Thief) havetheir spirits joined by a mysterious artefact called the Trine. After a bit ofspirit-bonding, they realise that they have all been turned into the sameperson. Throughout the game, you can morph into any one of these characters atany time, depending on your needs. Each character is different; the Knight isthe big bruiser- he can bash skeletons, use a shield to protect himself andpick up objects. The Wizard can move objects with his magic, and create boxes withhis mind. The Thief can jump the highest, use her bow and arrows and swing frompoint to point with a grappling hook.
You will need to use all of the skills at your disposal inorder to be successful. Most puzzles can be manipulated by using only one skillset, but some will require you to use some conjuring from the Wizard, a bit ofheavy lifting from the Knight and some high jumps from the Thief. And while thepuzzles themselves are not particularly difficult, the game constantly throwsundead skeletons at you to keep you moving and on your toes.
This brings me on to a feature of the game that is a bitlacking- combat. While the combat is by no means bad, it is unsatisfying. Thecombat, while smoothly animated, does not have much flow to it and the way youfight is exactly the same every time. It makes you think that this could havebeen a better game if they had done away with the combat all together.Nevertheless, it adds a bit of extra flavour.
Trine is a fantastic looking game. The environment’s arelike something out of a dream. There are lanterns, enchanted forests, spirallyivy shoots and golden rays of light streaming through to light up thebackground. Animations are slippery smooth, and all the actions are realistic. Skeletonscrumble nicely when you destroy them. Also, the frame rate remains completelysmooth throughout. It’s also worth noting that Trine does not require apowerful system to run. Intel graphics won’t suffice, but almost any dedicatedgraphics card should be able to run this game fine. If you want to see all thelittle details in their full glory though, be looking to use a slightly morepowerful computer.
The physics in Trine are something special. There aren’t toomany bits in the game that properly show off the physics in their true glory,but the bits that do are spectacular. Many puzzles will involve you standing onone side of a see-saw, and placing a counterweight on the other side with thehelp of the Wizard’s clever placement of boxes and other objects. Playing withthe physics is a lot of fun in Trine. If you make the Wizard pick up an objectand then drop it, you will see it fall realistically. It is possible to usethis strategy to defeat enemies by dropping rock on their heads! Other timeswhere the physics are well demonstrated are involving large painful lookingswinging objects. Using the wizard, you can hold that giant swinging axe out ofthe way with the Wizard, then switch to the Thief and jump across the chasm. However you decide to mess with the physics though, its always funexperimenting.
There are also options for up to three player co-op. It’s ashame that most users won’t realise though. For some bizarre reason, the optionfor coop play can only be found inside Control Settings. However, those who dofind it and can get a few gamepads hooked up are in for a treat. Themultiplayer is local only, and you can play through hthe whole game. Andbecause everyone has to be a different person, it actually makes the game more difficult.You can’t just use the wizard to counterbalance and then run across; you haveto find new and more interesting ways to get the whole team past the variousobstacles. This adds some longevity to an otherwise short game; one playthrough shouldn’t take longer than 6 hours or so, but there is plenty of reasonto come back again.
All in all, Trine is a great platformer with fantasticvisuals and fun co-op. The combat definitely isn’t this games forte, and thegame is painfully short, but the great physics and unique setting make it aworthwhile purchase and a healthy addition to any PC and PS3 gamer’s collection.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Mind-blowing artistically work and graphics, great use of physics, goodsetting, some replayability, fun co-op play
Short, shallow and unsatisfying combat