Trine: Enchanted Edition PS4 Review
Publisher: Frozenbyte Developer: Frozenbyte Genre: Platformer Players: 1-3 Age Rating: 12+
Other console/handheld formats: Wii U
Developer Frozenbyte has invested a lot of time and money into the Trine series, with two games released in a number of forms across various formats, and there’s also a third game on the way to the PC. Trine: Enchanted Edition is a remake of the very first game, and makes use of the Trine 2 engine, running at 60fps, with 1080p and 3D support.
Trine certainly is a very enchanting game. Taking its inspiration from medieval fantasy, the colourful and magical visuals are sure to be striking to many. The art style is absolutely gorgeous, and the Enchanted Edition has the kind of visuals that are warm and inviting, instantly taking you into its world with open arms. The gentle melodies in the game are also very enchanting, adding to the magic of the games universe.
There’s certainly nothing unique about the story though, and it does nothing overly interesting with its standard fantasy theme. Still, at least it’s kept to a minimum and is also told nicely enough with its narration, which makes the game feel like the fairytale that Frozenbyte obviously wanted it to be.
For those unaware, Trine is a 2.5d puzzle platformer with co-op for up to three players. This Enchanted Edition also adds in online co-op, meaning that the multiplayer is no longer limited to local play. The game also features three characters – Pontius the knight, Zoya the thief and Amadeus the wizard – and you make use of their unique abilities to solve puzzles and help guide the characters through the levels.
The knight has a sword and a shield. The shield can be used to block and reflect enemy attacks as well as flurries of fireballs, and a gravity move that allows for the shield to manipulate items is added later. The thief, on the other hand, has a bow and arrow as well as a grappling hook. The bow and arrow is obviously useful for attacking enemies from a distance, and the grappling hook is able to attach to wooden objects, allowing the thief to swing to places that perhaps the other characters aren’t able to reach. Finally, the wizard is able to conjure up objects such as boxes and planks to climb on, and is able to levitate as well as move certain objects in the world. Compared to the other characters, the wizard initially looked useless in a fight to me, but I soon learnt that conjured objects can be used in various ways against the enemies, and sweeping them off ledges with, say, dragging a box into them is a guilty pleasure. Combining the strengths of the characters is an absolute joy, particularly in co-op play.
If you are playing on your own, you are able to switch characters, although, as mentioned above, Trine is best experienced in co-op play with two others. This is where the most fun is to be had, as working together to triumph against the physics-based puzzles is a very satisfying thing indeed. Speaking of which, the puzzles have various solutions, and it’s interesting to see what different things can be done in order to overcome them, but there’s nothing overly tricky here. There are still many traps and contraptions to face, including rotating platforms, spikes embedded in the ground and spike balls that drop from the ceiling from a trap door, possibly crushing you to death or destroying the ground you are walking on, creating a steep and fatal drop for you to avoid. And even though you are supposed to be working together, it can also be rather amusing when you accidentally kill one of your comrades with, for example, levitating a box with the wizard and then carelessly knocking another character off a ledge to their doom. The death physics of the characters and enemies can also be highly comical, even if it may not be intentionally so.
Throughout each level you are able to find coloured potions. Blue potions earn you more mana and red ones instantly give you extra health. Picking up green potions, on the other hand, earns you experience, and once you have 50 experience points, you are then able to upgrade each character, allowing, say, the wizard to conjure up more of a particular object at one time or for the thief to fire more arrows at once.
You’ll also come across checkpoints in each level, and not only do you start from these when all of the characters have died, but getting to one, whether it’s a previously visited checkpoint or a fresh one, will allow surviving characters to bring back other characters that have died. Checkpoints also earn you extra health and mana.
There are 15 levels across the rather brief six hours or so that the game lasts, but one of the biggest flaws is that, while the game does have some lovely and artistic level design with its dark forests, fiery pits and mystical caves, some of the environments can look rather samey, and this gave me the feeling of repetition from time to time. With mostly skeletons and spiders, enemies aren’t particularly varied either, and even the boss fights don’t offer much in the way of a challenge, being very easy to defeat.
Trine: Enchanted Edition is a fantastic remake of what is already a mostly brilliant co-op game set in a spellbinding universe. The game may be a little lacking in variation in terms of some of the environments and enemies, and is rather brief in its play time, but it’s still a memorable adventure with tons of gameplay possibilities, and one that is best enjoyed in co-op play.