With video games, nostalgia can be a challenging affair. Oftentimes, the over-the-top epic from yesteryear just falls flat, which is specifically why Trine is so refreshing. It’s not a masterful remake of an old 16-bit staple, but it certainly plays like one. It’s very much inspired by old-school platforming titles, albeit designed with more contemporary hardware in mind. What sets it apart is its presentation quality and the fact that it’s a brand new IP. Contained within is a solid storyline that’s somewhat tongue in cheek, and a strong gameplay experience.
Frozenbyte is somewhat of a newcomer to the PlayStation Network, with Trine being their third game so far. The title is a bit of a departure, as their first two titles were first-person shooters. Though Trine is a platformer at its core, it has various puzzles and enough tricks to make it stand out from the bullet-ridden games that normally dominate the sales charts.
Deep inside the Astral Academy lies a strange and powerful ancient object that an opportunistic thief sets off to take. It’s strangely beautiful, and she can’t take her hands off of it. Soon after, a would be magician shows up, followed by a brave yet untested knight. All of them are transfixed by the item and unable to tear themselves away. Before they know it, the trio is fused into one, with the ability to switch back and forth between each individual. Their quest to break this curse leads them over a dozen areas filled with undead adversaries, traps, and all sorts of nasty bits.
Trine is a back-to-basics adventure game based on co-operative game mechanics, via the three in one main character. The Knight or the Thief will get the most use, depending on whether enemies require ranged or close attacks. The magician is the puzzle solver, providing safe passage through many of the areas along the quest.
What the magician lacks in lightning and fireballs, he makes up for with platforming tools. He has the ability to conjure boxes and platforms of various sizes out of thin air. And, if I dare say it, some of the puzzle elements have a feel that’s very reminiscent of LitteBigPlanet. The thief’s bow is quite vicious once you power her up, as she can eventually shoot up to four arrows at once. The warrior comes stocked with a sword and a shield with a hammer becoming available later.
Each level contains little green potions that earn you experience points. In addition to the usual XP system, there are a multitude of powerups. Some are class restricted, while others are not. Multi-usage even comes into play, such as a powerup that can give the archer an additional arrow, but the mage more platforms. It can be tricky getting all of the necessary items and experience for your characters, but it’s well worth the effort. The puzzles can be forgiving in terms of how you complete them, but can still end up being quite tricky. There is not much enemy variety, but fights can be a challenge if not approached in the correct manner.
The audio portion of Trine is a tad lacking. Some of the fighting just didn’t feel as epic as it could have if the soundtrack was more dramatic. Fighting is very simplistic, especially during the early portion of the game before the introduction of power-ups. The game does pick up in the later chapters, and makes use of each of the characters unique abilities with greater complexities. Thankfuly local co-op is supported to assist with some of the more difficult areas.
Trine comes complete with a full roster of trophies, including the highly coveted Platinum. It’s a fun romp for anyone who enjoys a good side scrolling adventure game, and will take several hours to unlock all of the cleverly hidden items.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
A great mix of old school side scrolling and new play mechanics
Local co-op is a nice bonus