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Monday, July 12, 2010

PC Game Review - Trine

Trine is a game that came out last summer for the PC and on the PSN last Fall. I picked it up during one of the big Steam sales at the end of last year and never got around to playing it. I decided to give it a try this weekend and to my surprise it's a really good game.

The story isn't really anything to special but it does do a good job of setting up the premise and getting you right into the action. You control three characters, a Wizard, a Thief and a Knight. They've been fused together in a freak accident with the device known as the Trine and you're guiding them along to free themselves from this predicament. Trine is basically a clone of Lost Vikings with three characters you play as and each offers their own abilities to help navigate the levels. The Wizard can summon blocks and planks to build steps and bridges and later on he can create a floating platform to get around on. The Knight is all about combat, sword and shield in hand he's you're go to guy for killing all the enemies in the game. Now the thief is a hybrid she has a grappling hook to swing around on any wooden surface and a bow to shoot the enemies. You'd think you should just use her through the whole game and I made that mistake at times but for the most part I relied on the Wizard for navigation and the Knight for combat. Switching between the three people is easy and I never had a problem doing so in the middle of the action.

Another thing about Trine that really stood out to me were the graphics, this game is just beautiful looking. The colors are bright and the environmental effects such as heat rising from lava are really well done. You feel as though you're really exploring this fantasy world rich with fiction, fiction that just isn't there because it's not really fleshed in the story but still the world is just so well done. The sound is good too, the crunching of the bones of the skeletons as you kill them sounds right and what little music the game has fits in with then overall feel of the fantasy world.

The controls are spot on, using the combo of the mouse and keyboard for a 2D action game just feels right in this game. Keys for moving and changing characters and the mouse is for using the various skills the characters have, be it the Knights attack or summoning with the Wizard. Doing some of the crazier platforming near the end was very fluid and I never felt the controls were working against me. A bright spot for the PC platformer.

Now you'd think I was all about love for Trine but I do have some complaints. One is the checkpoint system. Each level has several checkpoints and they're fairly spaced and all but if you quit out in the middle of a level when you come back to the game you start at the beginning of the level. All XP vials and treasures you've collected are still collected but you still need to go through the level again. It can be a pain to be near the end of a stage quit and have to do the whole thing over again. But I can say none of the levels are so long where anyone shouldn't be able to just sit down finish a level before quiting. Another complaint, the amount of enemies. This game only really has one enemy type with variations on that type. I expected to see a little more variety in the foes and with the graphics being so fantastic I wanted to see the developers imagination go a little crazy and see some more monsters. Finally the game is really easy, but still a lot of fun. None of the puzzles are hard and most navigation can be done with the Wizard summoning a few blocks and jumping on them. With this fact the thief is borderline useless and I feel the game could of been done with just two characters or done the thief in a different way. I don't know exactly what but I think this stuff just takes away from the game.

In the end I thought Trine was a really good game. For 20 bucks you could do a hell of a lot worse. The few short comings I mentioned didn't really take anything away from my enjoyment of Trine but I felt just needed to be mentioned. If you liked Lost Vikings 1 or 2 and want something similar you need to check out Trine. If 20 bucks is to much for you this game goes on sale with almost every Steam sale so wait and grab it for 5 dollars or something around there, but even at 20 bucks it's worth it.

Trine - 8 out of 10

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