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Trine 2 Review

Great visual design is matched with smooth platforming, combat and puzzles

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Trine 2 is a visually impressive platformer developed by Frozenbyte. The original was released in 2009 and praised for its art design. Like the first game, the sequel revolves around a device known as the Trine. This device binds three characters and takes them on an epic journey through a fantasy realm. The core gameplay is 2D platforming mixed with puzzles and the occasional war against hostile creatures. Throughout the game you will encounter goblins, spiders, portals and plants that grow before your eyes. The minimal story focuses on the tale of two sisters, one is mysteriously absent. The three characters must work together to find out what happened to her.

Trine 2
Be prepared for amazing visuals... and huge snails

The synergy between the three characters is good with each having individual strengths. Strengths range from speed of movement, better combat skills or the ability to manipulate the world from afar. Assuming none of your trio has perished you can quickly switch to any of them with a single button. Zoya, a female thief, can disappear briefly or swing above dangers using her rope arrow. Pontius, a knight in shining armor, wields his sword and shield to cut foes down. Amadeus, a wizard, conjures boxes and can levitate foes as he pleases.

The three characters have upgrades that can be changed at any time. Zoya can shoot frost arrows that slow and eventually freeze enemies. Pontius can throw his hammer to knock down objects in the distance. Amadeus can conjure planks and lift goblins into the air before dropping them onto spikes. These upgrades are unlocked after collecting enough vials of experience hidden throughout the levels. When you are not jumping about or trying to move to the next area you’ll likely engage in combat.

The combat has more variety in the sequel with different types of foes that navigate the world more effectively. Goblins are the main enemies but you’ll fight against trolls and spiders along with a few others. Difficult combat areas have special orbs close by. Passing over one of these orbs will restore all your characters to full health. Despite some tricky foes, the combat is easy and brief which ensures it doesn’t hinder the flow. Even puzzles are quick to solve with good variety.

Trine 2
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

The puzzles are sometimes designed to be completed one way. You may need to use the hammer to smash a bunch of loose rocks. Swinging through the air and latching onto wooden platforms is best tasked to Zoya with her rope arrow. Not to say there aren’t other ways to pass sections, you can stand on two boxes and use magic to float over crevasses if you’d prefer the easy way out. Portals even appear in Trine 2, transferring player and objects with their momentum. Fun puzzles involving water physics and steam pipes are new for the sequel.

Steam pipes can be removed and reconnected to alter the flow of steam in an area. Steam placed underneath cauldrons can produce bubbles or vile creatures depending on the brew cooking. It can also be injected into the murky swamp water to produce an endless supply of bubbles allowing safe passage to the ground above. Later, these pipes will be used to power devices as you connect several in a specific order. It is unfortunate that players cannot move around these pipes, a problem with the two dimensional platforming.

Water physics in Trine 2 can be used to grow plants in specific areas. You might use a shield or a plank to direct the flow of water. Hollowed out tree stumps can carry water short distances. The water is later replaced with deadly acid, which can be redirected in the same way. Walking over the acid is dangerous but Pontius has a shield capable of rejecting this toxic liquid. This water is a neat new tool to play with but it also looks great.

Trine 2
Getting two portals stuck together doesn't help the situation

The exquisite visual splendour of Trine 2 is not to be understated. Like the original it is one of the major reasons for its success. Although the platforming is two dimensional the world is fully 3D. Each screen can be valued like a painting with the finest of details. The rich atmosphere is created in murky swamps, ice caves and within a spooky tree house. Consistency of design shines through each level and across the entire game. You’ll probably stop just to absorb the view although there isn’t much idle time during co-op games.

The co-op elements of the sequel are great fun despite challenges with latency. Each player can assume one character or all players can play as any character in the unlimited mode. The standard mode focuses on teamwork and it can be comical to watch others perish. Depending on connections, fighting AI creatures can be rather clumsy and moving players on boxes isn’t always accurate. During one game, two players managed to get portals stuck together. Despite minor issues it’s still incredibly easy to keep playing co-op for many hours.

Trine 2 is a solid yet simple platformer that succeeds in bringing players into a rich fantasy world. It doesn’t change the mechanics of the original but it adds enough new things for players to learn and enjoy. The beautiful, saturated environments represent some of the best art design for any game released this year. The sequel is slightly longer than the original and players should be able to complete it in around 6 hours. Extra hours can be found hunting experience vials or playing the amusing co-op with friends. As the sequel is cheaper than the original, there is little reason not to buy Trine 2.

Our ratings for Trine 2 on PC out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)
Presentation
88
Incredible art design which is consistent throughout. Each scene is a pleasure to experience and all locations are rich with atmosphere
Gameplay
82
The platforming, puzzles and combat are evenly spread. The strengths of each character is used well to progress though each delightful level
Single Player
78
Brief slices of story are told in each level, perhaps a little light on the conversation between characters
Multiplayer
90
Co-op can be a lot of fun and it doesn't feel like a chore to replay levels. High latency between players can produce some strange problems
Performance
(Show PC Specs)
CPU: AMD Phenom II 955 @ 3.2GHz
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
RAM: 4GB DDR3
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
PC Specs

90
Runs really well on high settings with plenty of frames left over. The visual package certainly is impressive given the performance
Overall
84
Trine 2 features amazing art design compliments the platforming, puzzles and combat. The enjoyable campaign is enhanced by fun co-op.
Comments
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#1 Jan 8, 2012 03:46:25 (Jan 8, 2012 03:46)

FiverBeyond
Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one. Enjoyed the first one, and have been waiting on the second for a while now.
Trine 2
Trine 2 box art Platform:
PC
Our Review of Trine 2
84%
Great
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Trine 2 is ranked #219 out of 1978 total reviewed games. It is ranked #32 out of 104 games reviewed in 2011.
219. Trine 2
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Screenshots

Trine 2
16 images added Jan 7, 2012 07:23
Videos
Trine 2 Teaser Trailer
Posted: Jun 20, 2010 03:43
Trine 2 - Alluring Adventure
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 21:40
Trine 2 - Co-op Adventure Trailer
Posted: Aug 21, 2011 15:28
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