First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Simply put, Trine is a sexy looking game. The graphics are lush with detail and colour in all of the game's environments that include glowing forests, fiery castles, and gloomy caves.
- Stellar graphics, challenging puzzles, distinct character classes and abilities, fairytale storytelling
- High price for little replay value, wizard's magic can be touchy when drawing objects, funky physics
Trine is a high-production benchmark for downloadable games. Unfortunately it's a bit overpriced on the PC, so you might want to keep your eyes peeled for the PlayStation 3 version, which is cheaper.
Trine is a physics-based side-scrolling platformer where you control three distinct characters -- thief, warrior, and wizard. Each character has a simple set of abilities that help you progress through environmental puzzles like plank jumping, box stacking, and Tarzan rope-swinging situations. The physics are realistic enough to have you believe that wood reacts like it should as do heavy objects made of metal or rock. The physics can be a little finicky at times and unexpectedly lead to some frustrating deaths.
The three characters are what makes Trine an addicting experience. They each play completely unique and you can switch between each character at any time. Like characters from a Lord of the Rings novel, the thief is your ranged fighter and fastest character. Her weapon is the bow and arrow, which can be upgraded to multishot and fire arrows. She's the only character with a grappling hook that's used to hook and swing from overhanging wooden objects. The warrior is your basic fighter. He carries a sword and shield to combat the undead and is strong enough to lift and throw objects, which you'll find a rather useless skill. The wizard is most unique in that he is a non-combat character that conjures objects into the world to assist in difficult puzzle situations. The wizard can move objects with telekinesis and conjure boxes, planks, and floating platforms.
You'll find the beginning of the game to be quite simple as most puzzles can be traversed with even the warrior. By the end of the game, however, you'll be hard pressed to progress if the wizard is dead. This gets a little frustrating in the later lava levels when you absolutely need the wizard to create a box or floating platform for the thief to swing from.
For the role-playing fans, the character inventory system and skill tree are straight out of a Blizzard game. Each character has three skills that can be upgraded via skill points. For example, the wizard's box skill can be upgraded to sustain multiple boxes in the world at a time, the same goes for the number of planks. The warrior's damage is increased with each additional skill, eventually upgrading to a fire sword that deals fire damage. Skill points are awarded when you collect 50 green experience potions from defeating enemies and exploring hard to reach areas of the world.
The inventory system enables you to equip and swap around various amulets that add to your character's abilities or enhance damage effects to your weapons, such as poison or fire. But you'll have to find the amulets first. They are hidden in chests throughout the levels, and you'll want to find as many as you can. So don't go charging through the game like Rambo or you might miss out on valuable skill upgrades.
Looking Good for Downloadable
Simply put, Trine is a sexy looking game. The graphics are lush with detail and colour in all of the game's environments that include glowing forests, fiery castles, and gloomy caves. Skeleton minions attack with swords, shields, and heavy armour until your final blow crumples their feeble bodies into piles of bone and steel. The fairytale look will capture you immediately and keep you playing for a good few levels at the least to see what's coming next.
As for the controls, you need only move your character left or right and to jump. Your character's different abilities are mapped to the left and right mouse buttons and all work really well except for one: the game has difficulty recognising the difference between drawing a square and triangle. This is an issue with the wizard where drawing a square creates a box and drawing a triangle conjures a floating platform. If you accidentally add the smallest additional vertices to a triangle you will summon a box instead, which happens often and at the worst times. This gets infuriating when there are hordes of skeletons on your butt and you just want to escape.
Trine and Hold Out for PS3
In closing, Trine is an excellent downloadable game that will take you roughly four to five hours to complete. The graphics are amazing, the three characters are fun to play, and the fairytale story is cute. You might even be curious enough to finish the game and see what happens to the three hard-luck heroes. Our final suggestion, however, is to hold out for the PlayStation 3 version, which is cheaper.
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