Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Trine: A Thief, a Wizard, and a Knight walk in the Forest

Trying to think of a description of Trine in one sentence without ruining what Trine is can be hard. The game originally released in 2009, and collecting dust in my library until recently is much more than just a simple descriptor. It is a fairytale. Trine, if I had to describe it, is a sidescrolling game where you fight and solve various puzzles with the combined powers of three different characters. Those character being amorous wizard, rapacious thief, and a knight of simple taste.

The game was developed by Frozenbyte, and those guys show the love for their game even today. Just recently they released a visual upgrade that brought the first game to the standards of Trine II.

The story is fairly simple, and I love it for that. The three heroes all get to the Trine, an ancient and powerful object. All three of them have their own reasons, and their own motivations. The Thief wants riches, wizard wants to learn how to cast a fireball spell, and the knight, like any knight worthy of his title wants to be a hero. As they come together and approach the Trine, their journey begins. In order to undo the spell that befell them, they need to work together and save their kingdom from the rampaging army of undead that appeared out of nowhere. On their journey they discover the source of the evil that attacked their kingdom, and the solution to their own particular problem.

The game is beautiful, and easy to look at. The artstyle is is rich in colours, and easy to look at. Even the dark fiery dungeons full of gears, lava and various water pipes sets the tone for the game with ease. The levels are well thought out, and there is rarely a bump in your journey. Every once and a while the game will require of you a bit of ingenuity, but there is nothing that really stands in your way. The acquisition of various items you can locate in hidden chests, makes the exploration of the level an attractive side quest that you make for yourself. There is no real requirement for you to find all the items, but just by finding few of them, and seeing the effects they have, it might be incentive enough to make you explore the levels in depth.

The enemies have variety, but not to extreme. There are skeletons with swords, skeletons with shields, skeletons that breathe fire, and that is basically it. There are couple of mini bosses that make the levels more interesting but they are easily dealt with after you gain more power. In general, you will use wizard and thief for platforming and reaching all most impossible places. With thief you might decide to deal with enemies, and kite them around, or if you like more hands-on approach you will take the knight and bash their skulls into dust.

Checkpoints are on the right places, and there is rarely if ever a need to replay a large chunk of the level if you happened to be overwhelmed by the enemy, or more often you decided to restart from the last checkpoint because two of the key figures in the next segment died. All three characters have their strengths and weaknesses. Thus, if the knight is all you have, it might happen that you will be unable to progress further, because aside from jumping, the knight cannot do much of actual platforming like the wizard and thief.

I have to mention the controls. The genius that came up with using the mouse deserves some sort of reward. The controls for keyboard and mouse are perfect. They fit, they work, and they do not feel cumbersome or forced on the player. Something that unfortunately cannot be taken for granted these days.

Wizard can create boxes and planks out of thin air. As his power grows so does the number of boxes and planks. Thief can swing about on the rope, and make the jumps that would be impossible for knight or wizard. She can also shoot fiery arrows, and multiple arrows at the same time. I discovered that as levels go, for group of enemies, knight is the best option. One swing with his warhammer and they are gone. While if there is only one and cannot reach you, thief is far better solution. The damage output of the thief, especially late in the game is quite high.

The narrator really helps with bringing the story to player, and bringing the characters closer, by filling in the voids in the adventure the heroes embarked on. The time that would  be otherwise spent looking at an empty screen waiting for level to load is spent listening to the narrator elaborate what the three heroes decided, discovered, and how they felt. It is really entertaining when he "tries" ti impersonate one of the heroes and use their voices to tell the player what was going on behind the screen while we were listening to him, the narrator.

All in all, Trine is a wonderful game worth every cent. Especially now after the visual upgrade it went through. The game was beautiful before, but it is absolutely stunning now.

#Trine #Sidescroller #Action


  1. These games are just great fun. Nice environments and I love the movement... hit me up if your going to try 2 as well, I'll jump in for some mp action

    1. I already did try Trine 2. Currently I am in middle of another playthrough with a friend of mine. It is a great deal of fun, and occasional pain when we try to "accidentally" kill each other. At times we really do go to great lengths in order to see each other die a gruesome death by drowning or fire. I do miss the items though. The art and poems are nice replacements, but I still miss the trinkets.
      I will definitely take you up on the offer though. It could be mighty fun :D


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