22 Nov 2011

Prettiness abounds: Trine 2

Excitingly, one of my most anticipated releases this year - Trine 2 - has almost arrived. It's due in December and from the little I've played of it in preview, it seems to be shaping up rather nicely. Of course, it's dazzlingly beautiful - your eyes will undoubtedly have hit the screenshots below before you were even aware of this post's subject matter. You'll also likely have seen demo vids scattered across the internet like pristine jewels on a monumental turd. But the most striking thing I’m finding so far with Trine 2 is how easy it is to slip back into over two years after its predecessor allowed us to swing, shoot, bash and magic our way through such gloriously vivid fantasy stages.

The similarities so far appear to be favourable. Cobbling together your own puzzle solution is still very much the order of the day and the trim, tight co-op mechanics of the original have definitely been maintained, but I haven't yet delved far enough into this world of physics fun to get a good impression of the new additions to play. Certainly the levelling appears to be more sensibly structured than I remember, offering several new abilities split between the three distinct characters (knight/thief/wizard). One unlockable ability allowing the wizard to yoink monsters into the air looks particularly appealing.

But the visuals. Oh, the visuals. Once again Frozenbyte appear to have extracted a fairytale world from the minds of woodland folk. Whether they've achieved this through torture or bribery I guess is their secret, but to be honest I’m fine with waterboarding nymphs and fairies if it produces something this exciting to behold. Water cascades pleasingly off whatever it falls upon. Plants unfurl and flourish, bending with creaking stems as you manipulate them for your own uses. The intricacies of each individual scene are consistently worth stopping and admiring, even if a couple of goblins do happen to be bearing down upon you.

When it comes to combat the controls are as responsive as they ever were. Your options for dealing out death differ with each character. The knight is naturally the toughest with hammer, sword and shield, but if you can find a safe spot to snipe from, the thief with her thwunking arrows is equally satisfying. Early on in the game there's not a great deal more the wizard can do than conjure boxes to drop upon the heads of your enemies but naturally, with levelling, this looks set to change.

All in all this is exciting stuff. Once I've the time to sit down and stomp through the campaign, girlfriend in tow, I'll provide a full write up.

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