As a 2D platformer that went above and beyond gamers' expectations, Trine gets a much deserved remake after five years since its initial release. This version is just as magical as the original and it'll be difficult not to let it captivate you from start to finish.
Trine follows the story of a kingdom whose monarch dies without naming an heir to his thrown. An undead army takes advantage of the resulting instability and attacks the realm forcing all but a few citizens to flee. This is where our three main characters come in. Zoya the thief tries to steal the academy's treasure while Pontius the knight arrives to protect it and Amadeus the wizard just wants to escape. They all meet at the same location where a magical object named Trine binds their souls together. This means that only one can exist at a time while the other two are trapped in the Trine. It's up to them to find a way to break free from the Trine and bring peace to the land. It's an interesting back-story that explains how you can switch between three characters whenever you wish.
Something that Trine has nailed since its debut is its presentation. Every frame is a work of art with beautifully stunning environments such as a graveyard for dragons, caverns made of crystal, dimly lit crypts, twisted forests, abandoned mines, a mushroom village, and a dastardly forge filled with molten metal where the undead army crafts their weapons. Each environment is memorable with its own unique breathtaking atmosphere. Characters are animated suitably as you observe them seamlessly reacting to your every command. An aspect of the graphics that deserves much praise is the eye-popping effects when playing the game in 3D mode on a capable television. It's incredible how detailed and deep each screen appears in 3D as it makes you want to reach in to your television and interact with the live show that's on display. I highly recommend playing through from start to finish in 3D since it is truly astonishing.
The music consists of renaissance-era orchestral pieces that complement the atmosphere very well. A narrator lends his soothing voice to provide exposition between levels and characters express themselves verbally quite often. All of the voice work is well done as it creates an atmosphere initially filled with distrust and eventually portrays a spirit of comradery; all the while an underlying sense of humour adds much levity to the journey. Sound effects as characters use their abilities and battle enemies add a layer of satisfaction to every moment. Overall, the high quality audio matches the amazing visuals beautifully.
Trine is played by running, jumping, and utilizing each character's abilities to battle enemies, solve puzzles, and traverse difficult topography. Pontius is best used to fight foes with his strong melee attacks and large shield. Although fighting the undead is fun, most of the enemies are simply variations of skeletons. Some skeletons use swords while others may target you from a distance by breathing fire or shooting arrows. There are a handful of bosses that don't pose much of a threat but they help to diversify the combat from time to time. Zoya uses her bow for ranged attacks and can grapple to wooden ceilings and swing around. You will probably find yourself using Zoya the most often since her agility makes travelling quite enjoyable. Amadeus has the ability to move certain objects and conjure boxes, planks, and floating platforms to help reach otherwise unreachable areas and solve puzzles. Such puzzles will have you moving objects to stop gears from rotating, fixing collapsed bridges, and balancing systems of weights and pulleys. Although each character has their own unique abilities, controlling them is no problem whatsoever. Most tasks have alternate methods of executing so memorization is not a problem. You will instinctively be able to perform a complicated string of maneuvers effortlessly.
Another area that Trine excels at is level design. Most levels are generally played by progressing from left to right but each level has layers of verticality along with plenty of nooks and crannies that reward you for exploring every inch. As you play, you will realise that each one of the three characters is necessary as the level design forces you to switch between Amadeus' magic, Zoya's agility, and Pontius' strength quite frequently. By the end of each level, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment as you've managed to figure out how to use the characters to overcome every challenge that the level presented to you. You are rewarded heavily for exploring since the collectables provide you experience points that you can use to level-up your characters' abilities. While exploring, you will come across treasure chests that contain upgrades that you can equip on any character you want. As you level-up and find these chests, you will notice improvements that make all of the effort put in to exploration worthwhile.
This version of Trine features online and local multiplayer allowing you and up to two other players to play the game simultaneously. You are able to be the same character as your comrades, so multiplayer is generally the same as single player with the exception of being able to help each other overcome trials as opposed to doing it solo. Playing locally can get frustrating at times since all players need to progress together as the camera doesn't know who to focus on if you and your chums become too separated. This is just a minor annoyance since you will probably be travelling close together anyway. Although the inclusion of multiplayer is a nice option, you will probably prefer to take on this adventure by yourself since the desolate environments feel more authentic while doing so.
Trine is a classic 2D platformer that almost everyone will enjoy. If you've played and delighted in the original then this remake is a great excuse to play through again. If not, then this serves as a great introduction to the breathtakingly beautiful world of Trine.
- + Beautifully rendered sights and sounds with incredibly well implemented 3D effects
- + Level design perfectly complements gameplay
- + Satisfying collectables and level-up system
- - Enemy diversity is lacking