It has been two years since Trine 2 hit PC and OS X platforms, and since then it has received a number of enhancements and downloadable content. It was, and still is, a vibrant and well-designed action platformer that involved three lovable characters, each with their own specific motives for why they were on the quest to save the kingdom. By reinventing the world through alluring visuals, adding cooperative play, and now making full use of the PlayStation 4’s powerful hardware, Frozenbyte is bringing their fantasy to everyone they can.
There are three main characters that are available at all times, each one possessing their own unique set of skills. Zoya is a thief who can grapple and shoot arrows, Pontius is a large knight who can wield a shield and sword, and Amadeus is a wizard who can conjure up magic and create items. They’re a strange bunch but they complement each other perfectly, especially when you get into the online side of things. The game is set on a two-dimensional plane where you must move from left to right, solve progression blocking puzzles and defeat evil creatures that lurch around. The puzzles themselves are entertaining and are well paced as it starts off easy and slowly escalate to more challenging, ensuring everyone will become stuck at one point or another. With that said, though, a number of puzzles almost feel as if they’re built strictly for cooperative play. Thankfully, what this allows is for the player to think more strategically when playing solo; even cheating the system at times.
The story itself isn’t necessarily the most important part of the game, only serving as a reason to move forward. Taking place a couple years after the events of the first game, the trio have returned and once again requested to save a kingdom, this time from a horde of conquering goblins. By doing this, players will go through many trials in order to get to their ultimate goal, facing off against many mysterious creatures along their way. This is the complete set PC users received a little while ago, featuring twenty lengthy levels with the downloadable expansion pack ‘Goblin Menace’ and the Dwarven Caverns level included. It is a massive game that helps justifies its twenty dollar price tag.
If you test drove any of the past iterations of Trine 2, then know that not a lot has changed in terms of control. I still believe the Wii U release last year is the best console version of the game, mainly because of its touch functionality that helps the wizard conjure up boxes and platforms, but the PS4 port tries to implement similar techniques with Sony’s technology. The touchpad on the front of the DualShock4 is utilized to perform specific actions per character. This means that Zoya can use her grappling rope, Amadeus can cast magic and Pontius can put up his shield for defense. Unfortunately, this feels like more work than it is helping, with the exception of Zoya, as it requires extra buttons to be pushed on the right-side of the controller, causing more strain than necessary. It just feels unnatural and poorly implemented. Same can be said with Vita’s remote play as the bottom right of the back touchpad works the exact same way.
Unfortunately, the PlayStation 3 version of Trine 2 wasn’t up to snuff when comparing it to its PC counterpart, at least in graphical performance, but with the significantly more powerful hardware, Frozenbyte has been able to bring their fantasy to life in an even more visually compelling way. Trine 2: Complete Story now runs natively at 1080p and at a smooth 60fps, making this the most irresistible version, if players are looking for technological prowess. It certainly helps that the visuals in the game are absolutely gorgeous and fill the screen with a variety of bright and lively colors. While goblins will have a bit of a repetitiveness in their green hides, it’s the beautiful locals and vistas that will drop your jaw to the floor. It certainly helps that most of the inhabitants of the world also have a certain beauty to them as giant frogs and armored dragons have never looked this good. It may be a couple years old, but Trine 2 still looks mighty impressive.
If for some reason you don’t have a PC or a Wii U, then the PlayStation 4 version is going to be the best you can get. There’s a strong variety of unique puzzles, and with the gorgeous world that can be taken-in, Trine 2 ends up being a luscious adventure. If you haven’t had the chance to pick it up on the many platforms it has been released on, then now is the best time. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot here to convince those who have ventured through the journey once already. Even with the stronger graphical performance bringing console players closer to a high-end PC experience, the new touchpad functionality isn’t well utilized. Regardless, Trine 2: Complete Story remains a strong action-platformer capable of wowing newcomers.
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4