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Thread: Trine

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    Trine

    It seems there is a growing interest in a genre that was becoming abandoned for some time, the 2D platformer.

    Trine plays in a traditional 2D left to right style, plus some movement upwards through levels.

    The first thing that will hit you and keep amazing you is the quality of the graphics. These are simply amazing. The game actually runs in a fully 3D game engine, but fixed in the 2D plane of the gameplay. This enables 3D objects to move within the game world using depth as well as left to right. Things like large swinging blades for example swing in and out of the screen as you try to get past them.

    The quality of the visuals just keeps you looking. Set in a fantasy universe you get to see things like magical glowing mushrooms that seem to emanate from the dark, light sources streaming in through archways or windows, and your character's shadows and lighting changing as you pass it, and the actual level architecture and surroundings are just visually splendid. It is one of the nicest games I've seem.

    The second thing that will amaze you is the physics. The game works loosely on real world physics and gravity, so if you push a box off of a ledge it will fall downwards, bouncing off anything it hits, until it comes to rest. But you can then pick it up again and move it, stack it on other boxes and use it to aid you.

    Or you can push a trap door and it will swing down, but if you get under it you can equally push it up again. This plays a big part in the gameplay as you have to work out how to use the physics to negotiate the levels and reach the other end. So there is a large puzzle element to the gameplay, that is also enhanced by character decision which I will talk about more in a moment.

    Now to the gameplay. As already mentioned the game is set in a magical fantasy relm of RPG style. The king of the kingdom has died and left no air to suceed him, so the relm is thrown into chaos as many knights try to challenge for the thrown. This eventually ends with the undead being unleashed and pooring through the kingdom, so the people abandon the whole kingdom to fall into ruin.

    As you progress through the game it is narrated well, using images and a map, and this works really well to add atmosphere to the game.

    The game begins shortly after the undead have started to poor into the kingdom. You find yourself in control of a female thief and are introduced to her skill set. In addition to jumping and moving she can fire a bow and use a grappling hook. This is a great and fun device as you can latch on to any wooden beam or tree to swing yourself across gaps, or to climb up to higher areas.

    After playing her for a short time she discovers something in the treasure vaults of the castle and becomes stuck. The gameplay then instantly switches you to another character. This time a wizard. He has a completely different set of skills, able to levitate and move objects, which is very useful for the later physics related areas for moving doors, platforms and wheels. You can use his magic to grab hold of any moving part and manipulate it. In addition he gains some other magic skills as you progress, allowing him to conjure boxes and planks out of thin air. Great for reaching high up platforms or spanning large gaps. He doesn't however have any offensive or defensive capabilities, so is quite helpless against enemies. Except you can create boxes above their heads and squash them!

    The wizard finds his way into the same treasure vaults and becomes trapped alongside the thief. You are then instantly switched to a knight. He can block attacks with a shield and kill enemies with a sword. He later also gains the ability to lift and carry objects. He also finds his way into the vaults and gets trapped alongside the other two.

    And this is where the proper game begins. The three characters get combined into an ancient artefact called the Trine. The souls of all three contained within, with their physical beings projected into the real world, so linked together.

    In the game you have control of all three character and can switch between them at any time you wish. This is a great game mechanic as you can utilise their skills to progress. Using the thieves arrows to kill long range enemies and her grappling hook to negotiate out of reach heights or to swing across gaps. The Knight is used to clear the way of enemies, and the wizard to conjure boxes to reach higher platforms and planks to bridge gaps, plus move objects such as swinging platforms to get to out of reach areas, or turn cogs or wheels to make something happen and release a door.

    This works really well and creates a great platforming puzzle experience that makes you think and consider how to progress in each area. The closest to compare this is the old game The Lost Vikings.

    Finally there is a little RPG element to the gameplay. Each character has a health bar and abilities bar. For example when the wizard is using magic this depletes and then when it is empty he can't use magic any longer. This is however one of the few flaws in the game. The Wizard unlike the other two characters doesn't have anything but his magic, so lose that and he becomes a helpless character with no offensive, defensive or other useful abilities.

    Local multiplayer is also included in the game, allowing 3 players to take control and play all three characters at once in the game together. I've not tried this but can imagine it might complicate things and require more thought about how to progress. In single player mode you can just switch character to negotiate a section, or switch to the Knight to kill some enemies, but in multiplayer each has strengths and weaknesses so thought would need to be taken to keep them all together and alive. That is unless you want some fun and trap one of your "friends" and watch them panic. It is a shame it is only local multiplayer and not online though.

    So, if you like platform games, and puzzle games, you should like this. It is visually splendid and worth 10/10 for that aspect of the game.

    Overall I will give it a 9/10 as it isn't quite perfect, but it is great fun and worth playing if you like the genre.
    Last edited by Harrison; 28th July 2009 at 00:25.

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  2. #2
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    That looks really nice, have to give it a closer look tomorrow.

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    Great review.

    The graphics and physics do indeed look gorgeous.

    It kind of reminds me of Little Big Planet playability looking at the vids, but after reading your review I can appreciate the differences.
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    But is this a full priced game or what? And what are the specs?

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    Yes it is a commercial game, which can be downloaded via Steam on the PC, or purchased retail. And soon to be available on PSN for PS3.

    Specs are:

    XP, Vista or Win7.
    2GHz CPU or higher (dual core recommended)
    512MB ram (XP), 1GB (Vista)
    Graphics: Radeon X800 or Geforece 6800 or better
    DirectX 9.0c
    600MB HD space
    Supports Mouse and Keyboard control, plus Xbox 360 wired controllers and other gamepads (I'm playing it using 360 controls and it is nice to play with that setup).

    PC version is 19.99. Don't know about the PSN version yet.

    Official site is http://trine-thegame.com/

    The site has videos and demo downloads available.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    I just played the demo at work, unfortunately it's very slow, tested it on 1280x1024 on core 2 duo, but only have an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE. But the game looks promising.

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    Should run very nicely on your new laptop.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Laptop has a ATI Radeon HD4570 512 MB.

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