Review: Trine 2: Complete Story (PS4)

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Title: Trine 2: Complete Story
Format: PlayStation Network Download (2.5 GB)
Release Date: November 15, 2014
Publisher: Frozenbyte
Developer: Frozenbyte
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €19.99 (EU), £13.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 12
Trine 2: Complete Story is also available on PC, Mac, Linux, and Android.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Trine 2: The Complete Story is a side scrolling adventure across a varied and beautiful world where you take control of three very different characters. A sorcerer, knight, and thief become unlikely allies in a quest that sees them journey across a treacherous goblin filled world with many puzzles to solve and enemies to fight forcing you to use the three character’s abilities and skills together. You can play this game alone switching between the three characters or have two other players join you at any time in your adventure.

Amadeus the sorcerer can summon magical boxes and platforms to allow the characters to reach otherwise inaccessible areas or even block projectiles. After upgrading the sorcerer’s skills he will be able to trap goblins in cages and levitate many monsters. This character becomes the most useful at solving puzzles but has to stay back during enemy encounters.

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Pontius the knight can block projectiles and attacks with his shield and eventually carry a devastating two-handed hammer and even use his upgraded shield to float further and gently across large gaps. He is also strong enough to support the weight of the other characters walking on his shield if held above his head. The knight is the strongest character and best used to attack enemies at close range.

… Trine 2 is a great family game …
Zoya the thief is quick, agile, and can grapple onto many structures and swing across very large areas. She also has a trusty bow and arrow that is excellent at long-range combat and knocking objects off ledges. Her upgraded abilities are very handy at traversing the environment and making the game not only easier but at times, quite funny.

Every puzzle in Trine 2 can be completed with only one player being able to instantly switch between the three characters but it obviously becomes easier with friends and/or family playing with you. The story itself is a nice one with an interesting twist near the end which I won’t spoil. It’s told as if reading from an old story book and each chapter is a new level. You’ll encounter numerous puzzles and obstacles within each level, but only a few will be taxing and demand some thought. If you’ve upgraded the characters enough you can almost cheat the game and skip some puzzles if you have enough skill and timing. This game also begs for the inquisitive type as exploration can uncover secret areas and hidden chests with really nice extras like paintings, poems and even pieces of a map that unlock a secret level.

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You can change the difficulty at any time and also change the amount of time before a hint will be given. There is a hardcore mode for the experienced players looking for a challenge. The girls and I played the entire game on the normal difficulty and didn’t need any help from the hints, so Trine 2 is a great family game which are sadly few and far between nowadays.

As the game relies heavily on realistic physics there were one or two occasions where something went wrong with a puzzle and we had to load the level again or one of us became trapped and had to drop out of the game but easily returned moments later next to the main player.

… giving the impression that something is coming out of the screen …
Visuals:
Trine 2 is a beautiful game with a bright and rich colourful palette that fills such splendid levels with every area our heroes stumble into looking like a work of art. The attention to detail and care that’s been put into the artistry of this game is one to admire and cherish. Warm rays of an evening sun wash over the cities and forests leaving a soft gentle glow on everything they touch. Some fireflies dance around the light of a torch hanging from a moss-covered tree. Birds glide on the placid breeze and flowers and leaves sway back and forth as if being rocked into a peaceful slumber. All of that is just in the interactive title screen that you characters can jump and play around in. The game itself is even better.

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The very best way to play this game is on a stereoscopic 3D TV. Trine 2 has become my first choice when showing off anything in 3D as it’s easily the best use of the technology and makes the game even better to play. Sharp blades swing back and forth and look so realistic they could cut if you got too close to the screen. Vines and branches seem to protrude from the screen and enemies even appear in the foreground and jump into the level. Trine 2 isn’t just great at giving the impression that something is coming out of the screen as there is also an excellent sense of depth that gives the illusion of being able to reach far back into the television itself. Water seems to fill the sections in a realistic and believable way and I’m not just referring to the buoyancy and movement of objects within it, but the way in which it seems to actually have mass. It isn’t like looking at a picture of water but water itself.

Early on in the game you’ll encounter a gigantic snail blocking your path. Solving a simple puzzle will cause a rather large lettuce to quickly grow in the background. This entices your Gastropod obstruction to move out-of-the-way and grab some lunch. This little scene looks good on a normal television but with 3D it becomes a marvel and utterly stunning accomplishment. It doesn’t end there as every section seems to look just as good as that one, if not better.

… subtle and effective sound effects …
You can adjust the degree of separation with the stereoscopic 3D in the visual settings but I found the standard setting to be perfect for my viewing enjoyment. I can happily report that this is the only game I have played from beginning to end in 3D and loved every minute. The relaxed way in which you play allows the game to really show off this technology and didn’t cause any strain on my eyes.

Frozenbyte makes use of an excellent physics engine that allows for realistic limbs and impact dynamics, fluid water movement, and object weight. It combines perfectly with the brilliant character animations and look of the enchanting levels. Lighting, particle, smoke, and fog effects add to the visual delight.

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Audio:
The soundtrack contains a perfectly fitting twenty-seven track musical score by Ari Pulkkinen that wouldn’t feel out-of-place in the latest Hobbit films along with excellent voice acting across the board that accompanies subtle and effective sound effects. I did find that the Speech slider needed increasing in the Audio menu, where you can also adjust the master, music, and even ambience. Better still, in the language menu you can opt to have subtitles and display them in a few different languages. You can also change the audio language if you prefer to hear the speech in your native tongue, as long as it’s either Deutsch, François, Español or my favourite and the only one I understand, English.

… an amusing and pleasantly relaxing game …
Online/Multiplayer:
I had a brilliant time playing this with my girls as it supports up to three players. We played locally in the same room, each with our own controller but you can also host a public or private game, just play with friends, or jump straight in with a quick join option. Each online game I played worked wonderfully without any lag.

Trine 2: Complete Story_20150505115319 Trine 2: Complete Story_20150503091859

Trine 2 supports voice chat but sadly, just like almost every other game, no one was talking. This can be an amusing and pleasantly relaxing game to play with some friends online but I much preferred playing with my two girls in the same room and on the same screen. It makes it easier to explain things and for you all to solve the puzzles together.

Conclusion:
Trine 2 is the best showcase for stereoscopic 3D I have ever seen and an enjoyable platforming adventure for the entire family to cherish. A nice and entertaining story guides the three characters across some wonderfully enchanting levels with spectacular graphics. One or two annoying puzzles slightly hinder what is otherwise a perfect and outstandingly beautiful game.

Score:
9.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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