Review: Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
Format: PSN (5.5 GB)
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Modus Games LLC
Developer: Frozenbyte
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 12
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

My family, excluding the wife because they only allowed three players, loved playing the Trine series. I also adored the 3D in all three games and considered it some of the best. It was to cheers of joy when I showed them my latest review and we instantly grabbed some controllers. They were even happier when I signed the wife in, as this one supports four players.

Gameplay:
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince starts off in a similar way to all the previous games. It introduces the story and each one of the characters, in turn, allowing the players to learn or reacquaint themselves with the controls. Each character has a particular set of upgradeable skills that need to be mastered in order to solve the numerous puzzles in this beautiful 2.5D world.

I’m not going to go into the story as I never like to spoil things, but I will mention that it feels a little more grown-up, and if my girls were younger I’m sure a few moments would have scared them. If you are worried about this, then I would suggest playing the introductory cutscene, as that’ll give a good impression of what’s to come.

Depending on the difficulty and options selected, everyone can be the same character and can switch at will to the others. This means it can get a little confusing at times, as the different colored costumes and names above the player don’t always stand out enough. Because of this, we have sometimes plummeted to our death or been scorched by some nasty green fire.

Death isn’t permanent, and so long as there is at least one character alive on the screen, the others will return after a few moments. Being left behind or going off-screen for too long also results in death. This isn’t a bad thing as it means the weaker or younger player can always play along and spawns back with the group.

The puzzles have a nice learning curve, and some don’t even need to be tackled in the intended way. The secret areas and items can be more difficult to reach, with some really inventive and rewarding solutions.

Each time I load the game with the family signed in, controllers in hand, my youngest daughter always manages to become the first character and is the only one who can activate the pause menu when pressing the Options button. Everyone else just leaves or returns to the game when pressing the button.

After a few sessions, I figured out the little monkey is always the first one to move and for some strange reason becomes the first player. Sadly only the first signed-in player gets Trophies, which doesn’t seem fair when my family has played alongside me the entire time. The Platinum isn’t too hard to achieve, but does require every collectible and Experience Potion to be found, which can be done on any difficulty level.

Just like the previous games, new abilities are unlocked for each of the three characters as the story progresses. These can also be upgraded with the Experience Potions. They aren’t set in stone and can be switched at any time, which is nice as I can’t stand the bouncy balls. You’ll see.

There were two instances of the fighting areas not fading away and so we had to restart from a previous savepoint. It only meant a quick fight, which my kids really enjoy anyway.

Visuals:
Frozenbyte are masters in this department, with stunning environments and Terry Pratchett-esque characters that look better than ever. I loved that all of the older games are compatible with 3D televisions and it was some of the best I’ve seen. Sadly, and expectedly, this iteration is not compatible.

I’m continually moaned at because I’m holding up the family, because I keep stopping and admiring the scene. It isn’t my fault each area looks like a high-quality piece of fantasy art. I’ve had a tough time whittling down the screenshots for this review, as there are just too many greats, a sign of a good looking game.

One thing that did baffle me is the sticky snow. It’s generally used as a gameplay mechanic to affix the Wizard’s metal conjurings, like the plank or box. What is strange is why it’s sticky?

Audio:
The music and voices in Trine 4 are a great continuation of the series and I feel right at home listening to the enchanting notes. The narration is good too, although I have noticed some overlap if I skip the level introduction.

There is also a strange buzz when playing online. It happens occasionally when a player enters or exits the game, so isn’t a major concern. Now that I mention it, I should talk about the quality when playing online.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game can be played locally in co-op, or online, and even a combination of the two. Each online game I have played worked well, with only one or two tiny oddities, nothing that was a detriment to the gameplay. Obviously it would be better with friends, family, and people willing to communicate, but I managed to get through the first few levels without any problems, although the people I played with did seem to know the mechanics of the game.

Conclusion:
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a great continuation of a fantastic series. It doesn’t require players to know anything about the previous games and gives enough time for new players to learn the mechanics that have barely changed since the first outing.

The graphics are superb and the story isn’t bad either. But, what really sells this game are the puzzles and sense of achievement that a group of players gets when they solve a tricky problem or better yet, figure out a sneaky way around it.

It isn’t perfect, but nothing spoils the experience and fun to be had, especially when playing with friends or family. It is possible to play through this one on your own but it just isn’t as much fun. I love that four people can play together now because the wife felt left out of the previous games.

Score:

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

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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