Trine 2 is a beautiful fantasy side scrolling masterpiece that will only leave you begging for more. Why is it a masterpiece, you ask? What exactly is it that makes Trine 2 stand out above the rest of the trove of PC platformer, side scrolling muck? In short, everything. Trine was a huge success. Virtually overnight the small indie studio of Frozenbyte found themselves being begged for a sequel. Well, here it is in all it’s glory. Trine 2 picks up where the last game left off. All of the familiar faces are back – the wizard, the knight and the thief as well as the voice of the stories narrator.
Just like Trine, it’s predecessor, Trine 2 has three playable characters. Players switch between all three during the course of the game. Some puzzles can only be solves with the magic abilities of the wizard. Some gaps can only be crossed by using the grapling abilities of the thief. And sometimes the evil hordes will come, leaving the knight to cut a path through your foes. Get used to playing as all of them, for while some sections of the game can be beaten with a little ingenuity and allow you to play as your favorite character, there are plenty of more that require some quick switching and on your feet thinking.
The ability to switch between characters lends itself well to the new multiplayer mode in Trine 2. Up to three players can play at once as either the wizard, thief or knight. Multiplayer mode requires a good amount of teamwork to beat puzzles and continue forwards on your journey. This can also be very useful having more than one person to think through puzzles and more difficult levels that would normally leave one stumped and scratching their head. If the game does prove too difficult, or if your a seasoned side scroll adventurer that’s looking for more of a challenge, simply go into gameplay options and change the difficulty level. There are three levels in total – easy, medium and hard.
But playing with friends is by no means a must. Trine 2 does what many side scrollers have seemed to forget about in more recent years. The difficulty increases. The puzzles actually make you think of new, clever and creative solutions. There really is a need to improve your playing skills in all levels. And don’t think that you’ll be spending any amount of time button mashing. While there are enemies, they may not always be in locations where charging forward with the knight’s sword raised over his head is going to be much of a solution. The thief’s sniping abilities with the bow and arrow may be called for. And crushing distant enemies with a magically conjured box is always fun.
As beautiful as Trine was, Trine 2 is a graphical masterpiece. It is, perhaps, the most entrancing feature within Trine 2. Unlike many games that try to be as realistic looking as possible, Trine 2 has done a complete reversal and gone the other way. The graphics of Trine 2 are enchanting and magical. It is a beautiful fantasy realm that we are dropped into. All of the magic and charm that is so often associated with fantasy and magic is here in abundant splendor. Giant mushrooms grow out of the forest floor, casting shadows in the moonlight. The enormous pumpkins found in some very talented farmers gardens don’t burst when jumped on but provide excellent trampoline like platforms for jumping. The 3-D, cartoony world is simply beautiful, fun, and magical – the perfect fit for a side scrolling fantasy.
Trine 2 is a great game for all ages. It’s the perfect gaming escape, reminiscent on the bygone days when the side scroller was sill the reigning king of popular video game genres. Pick up a copy from Steam and support Frozenbyte studios, one of the best indie studios out today.