Publisher: Atlus Co.
Developer: Frozenbyte, Inc.
Release Date: 12/7/2011
Rating: Everyone 10+
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Trine was a great co-op physics puzzle game, but those puzzles insisted that you manipulated the elements of the game, and exploited abilities to solve these. There’s no set canned solution. You get a puzzle and you can solve it a few different ways, but it takes a lot of tiring experimenting to solve them. Trine 2 continues this, but at least makes the puzzles a little more understandable.
Zoya, Amadeus, and Pontius return as the wizard, thief, and knight to solve these tough puzzles. If you already played Trine, the game is almost the same, but with new levels and puzzles, with slightly refined controls. For people who haven’t, you can go ahead and start here because Trine has a very bare-bones story and is completely forgettable. Zoya has a bow and arrow, Amadeus can conjure up planks and boxes, while Pontius is the fighter. As you solve puzzles you need to find glass bottles and orbs that will help you level up. Most take some thinking to figure out how to get to them, but you honestly don’t need to level up completely because if you hit a puzzle that needs a certain ability, just remove those points from others to do it.
Puzzles consist of tough platforming and being able to use the heroes’ abilities to solve these puzzles. It’s too difficult to explain how the puzzles work, but let’s just say the game is easier in co-op. Manipulating the various levers, pulleys, and platforms requires thinking outside the box. If you have a slippery slope that you can’t jump up what do you do? There’s a ledge overlooking it so you use Amadeus to create a plank at the top then put a box on top of that so it doesn’t slide down. Conjure another plank, and as it slides you jump on it then the other plank to the next section. Puzzles like this are everywhere, but some are just completely difficult due to the mechanics needed to do it, or you can’t figure it out at all.
The combat is usually the only break from this, and it’s just a mouse mash fest. Pontius can use his sword and shield or hammer. Zoya can use her bow to get high-up enemies, but if you die you need to start back at the last checkpoint to revive your heroes and heal. Every so often you find chests that contain poems and paintings, but there’s really no need to get these. You spend so much time trying to just advance in the levels that you’ll pass on trying to find out how to get to orbs and chests.
The visuals are stunning with gorgeous lighting effects and an enchanting art style. This is probably my favorite part of the game because each level is completely different. My biggest gripe is that the game feels too much like the last game with just some minor combat improvements, and the puzzles can be figured out a little easier. The story is complete crap. The Trine makes you follow it so you can save some rival princesses, and that’s about as far as it goes. You beat the end boss and find out what has happened to the good princess.
Overall, Trine 2 is great in co-op, but really tough in single-player. The story sucks, and the puzzles are extremely hard to solve due to the fact that you have to manipulate the hero’s abilities and exploit the physics system. This isn’t fun to me, but some people may like the think-outside-the-box style puzzles. If you were a fan of the last game, come back. If you weren’t a fan you won’t like this much either. New players can jump right in here and enjoy the stunning visuals and tough puzzles.