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Three Against the World: Trine 2 Review

What is the concept? Recalling the SNES puzzler, The Lost Vikings, Trine 2 tasks players with utilizing the unique skillsets possessed by a trio of protagonists. From Pontius the knight’s competency for breaking foe and fortification with sword or hammer, Zoya the thief’s deadly ranged bow and handy hookshot, to Amadeus the wizard’s summoning and levitation abilities, the title provides players with a comprehensive collection of tools. Success amidst the game’s physics-based conundrums hinges on the creative and collaborative use of each character’s capabilities, as players trek through the game’s sumptuous environments.

Yet, unlike Silicon & Synapse’s beloved console classic, Trine 2’s embeds a salubrious amount of action between its cube conjuring and fulcrum shifting sequences. Both conventional enemies and boss encounters prohibit the title from becoming sterile, with the intermittent influx of goblins helping to provide a varied tempo. Bolstered by an obliging help system (which only kicks in after players have been stuck on the same conundrum for a few minutes) as well as the noncompulsory enhancement of the main characters, Trine 2 furnishes a refreshing amount of flexibility.


Would I enjoy the game?
Although the title’s cerebral challenges and indulging combat may attract the notice of gamers, the game’s visuals will immediately seize the attention of any graphic tart. With vivid backdrops which recall the work of Roger Dean and Boris Vallejo, Trine 2 dazzles gamers with a steady procession of retina-coddling fantasy-themed art. From forts overrun with belligerent flora, castles illuminated by the quixotic radiance of moonlight to behemoth soap bubbles which reflect the environment, the game is unadulterated eye-candy.

What are the game’s strengths? Thankfully, Trine 2’s head scratchers sidestep the single solution puzzles common to the genre. Instead, the game stimulates multiple, organic remedies to problems- such as the insertion of a foreign object to gum up a set of gears. While enemies can be vanquished with the knight’s or thief’s arsenal, Trine 2 also permits players to use environmental objects to bring foes to a satisfying death.


Each hero is able to supplement their abilities after collecting blue vessels which are scattered across the alcoves of each stage, dynamically changing how the game’s puzzle can be solved. Giving Amadeus the ability to invoke a wooden plank allows for the creation of an impromptu bridge capable of granting passage over a precarious chasm. Alternatively, players who have spent their experience points to strengthen Pontius’ with a flaming attack are often still able to clear the gap with some vigilant joystick jockeying. Smartly, players are never locked into skill-tree decisions; a press of the back button allows for a quick redistribution of abilities.

What are the game’s weaknesses? Occasionally, players will engineer a puzzle solution which should abide by the game’s mechanics, but doesn’t. Like any game with a robust physics system, unexpected outcomes can ensure, but they are usually infrequent and humorous enough to sully Trine 2’s blissful vibe. Fortunately, a liberal checkpoint system restores both health and any decreased heroes- prohibiting unnecessary backtracking.


Is it worth the money?
For fifteen dollars, Trine 2 offer an intensely satisfying single-player campaign, as well as online and couch co-op which radically alter the way the game is played. Although separate stages designed to take advantage of the title’s multiplayer possibilities would have been pleasing, as it stands, the game easily warrants its price of admission. Succinct, deftly polished, and visually opulent, Trine 2 exquisitely demonstrates the potential of the downloadable title.


A copy of Trine 2 for the Xbox 360 was provided by the publisher for review.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

33 comments

  1. Play this game with Led Zep in the background. It’s like Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon.

  2. Skyrim talk filled the podcast, Unsuspecting Mage ebook for ads, and now this? You guys are killing me with all the fantasy 😉

  3. Any difference between the two versions, 360 and Ps3 that is?

  4. Please tell me this is in 3D, so I can check it out with my early Christmas present, a LG 55 inch LED.

  5. I really like the first Trine. I think I was most active person in the GAF Trine appreciation thread.

  6. Ive been waiting for this and Torchlight 2. Everything else is fluff.

  7. Wow, this game does look good. Pure eye candy. I wonder who did art for the game?

  8. downloading the demo now. I can tell I’m going to like the game. We’ll see if I like it $15 worth.

  9. Tupac reference in the title? Deagle you surprise me sometimes.

    Good review, which isn’t surprising.

  10. How come sometimes you do this kind of review, other times its more of a straight review?

  11. I guess I need to buy a 1600 point card now. I’m already planning how to spend my Christmas money which doesn’t seem good.

  12. Need I say your review was worlds better than the IGN one? Or does that go without saying.

    • first sentence: “A trine is a group of three.”

      Thanks IGN. I almost expected, “As defined by Dictionary.com…” Deamon can write better and he has in the past. Seems like he rushed through this one.

  13. How does co-op work? Are you stuck with being one of the characters…because sometimes you’ll need one of the abilities. Ok, it’s usually the wizard.

  14. Atlus is on a roll this year. You should have whoever is bringing these games over on the podcast.

  15. The first one was great and usually sequels are even better.

  16. Thanks for the review. With so much coming out this week, I missed hearing about this one.

  17. I have to ask: is it trying?

  18. Just bought the collector’s edition for $24.99 on Steam.

    #NoRegrets

    http://trine2.com/site/#humble

  19. great review.

  20. I picked this up last night. Really fun and amazing looking puzzle game. I didn’t hear a lot of hype for it, so I’m pretty surprised at how good it is.

  21. Why no PS3 demo? WHY?

  22. Bought it after the demo. Really fun. The wizard owns.

  23. Played the first one, and loved it. I’m hoping the second will get a bit of a discount on the Steam sale going on now. Otherwise I’ll just have to bite the bullet and buy it anyway.

  24. Great game. Finished it once and playing through it again.