Frozenbyte’s Trine 2 was released along side the Wii U about 2 months ago as a downloadable title. Like many launch titles, Trine 2 is not a Wii U exclusive and November 18th was not the initial release. In-fact the original game was released on other consoles almost a year before that. With that said Trine 2: Director’s Cut does add plenty of content that may warrant a purchase on the Wii U over any other console iteration.
Trine 2 sets out to do something different than the traditional platformer by focusing on complete physics based gameplay. Whether you’re conjuring up boxes or planks with Amadeus, swinging from platform to platform with Zoya, or slaying goblins with Pontius everything will be based on timing and physics. Be that as it may, this style of gameplay is not for everyone; when physics are the core component of a game the player has to stop and think about how to execute the next action instead of rapidly running and jumping through each level. That’s not something most people are used to when playing a platformer. Trine 2 also revolves around puzzles and combat with elements of progression like an rpg. This is what makes Trine 2 unique, it combines several genres into one super-platformer and does it well.
One of the greater apects of Trine 2 would be the ability to solve puzzles in your own way. Instead of jumping and hooking onto platforms with Zoya, the thief, you could simply have Amadeus build a bridge with magic. Granted there will be segments in the game where a certain character has to be used in order to progress, you will often be able to choose your own method for solving an obstacle. Trine 2 does this without making the difficulty too easy from level to level.
The main storyline consists of about 13 levels, but Trine 2 has 20 levels with the last 7 added for the Wii U. That is a lot more content than you think, each level can be quite lengthy depending on your puzzle solving skills and the game gets harder as you go. Before every level a narrator explains a bit about the story, which admittedly isn’t very complicated. However a simple story does not mean poorly done, it’s absolutely enchanting and often times humorous. While the storyline is not a vital part of Trine 2 the narration does add a bit of character to the game in a fun storybook way.
Another fun aspect of Trine 2 is the multiplayer. Up to three people can play corresponding to the three main characters in the game. This is done well when playing local multiplayer and adds some much needed replay value. Where it fails is the online co-op, Trine 2 is one of the very rare games that absolutely need communication when playing together.
Somehow Frozenbyte did not include voice chat capabilities at all, making it impossible to assist your fellow journeymen in complicated puzzles. One could take the initiative and go ahead eventually pulling the player to your location however, a certain character is occasionally needed to continue. You might know what to do but if he’s playing Pontius and doesn’t understand how to break that stone wall and refuses to switch characters then you’re stuck until he figures it out. It’s great for the developers to include online multiplayer but without voice chat it ends up being an almost useless feature.
Trine 2 has some amazing voice acting especially when considering the game’s price. The narration is well done and the characters voice actors all fit within their respective roles. The main characters also don’t take themselves too seriously as Trine 2 is filled with friendly insult humor. From the loading screen to a goblin ambush music in Trine 2 is delightful and sets to the tone for every environment.
The controls for Trine 2 work well with the gamepad. One could play with the touchscreen or without the touchscreen entirely; although using the touchscreen greatly enhances the experience on a physics based game such as this. In multiplayer, the other players can use the wiimote-nunchuck combination which feels natural for this game. The main menu is simple with a nice background though the buttons could use a little more polish.
Button art will be the only thing you find in Trine 2 short of astounding. Every piece of artwork is pleasant to the eye as the environments are rich and filled with color. The characters are all well designed with fluid animations and some of the larger enemies are fascinating. One could argue that Trine 2 is the best looking Wii U launch title, not necessarily by graphical prowess, but in pure artwork. Regardless, Trine 2 is a pretty game that will make you want to constantly share screenshots with everyone on Miiverse.
Simply put, Frozenbyte puts some big name developers to shame when it comes to making a competent port. Trine 2: Director’s Cut adds more features, superior touch screen controls, and loads more content than any other console version available. The artwork will pleasantly surprise you and force you to look up at your tv constantly. While some features such as online co-op could have been improved upon, you will not regret this awesome physics based adventure that you should have spent a lot more money on.
- Amazing artwork
- Intuitive controls
- Great voice acting
- Challenging physics based gameplay
- Lots of exclusive content
- Tedious online co-op
- Slow storyline development
Final score: 9.0/10
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TAGS: digital download, Frozenbyte, trine 2, wii u eshop