Game Review – Trine 2: Director’s Cut

Jonathan Szafran delivers his verdict on the brand new edition of puzzle-platformer Trine 2, available to download now for the Wii U.

Back in 2009 a unique puzzle-platformer called Trine was released, starring three adventurers on a quest to bring peace to a besieged kingdom. It launched to favorable reviews and sold a little over a million copies, but was then surpassed by sequel Trine 2 last year – which released on various platforms and was a vast improvement on its predecessor.

A year later a special edition of that sequel is now available on the Wii U. And with touchpad controls and special areas developed specifically for Nintendo’s new console, Trine 2: Director’s Cut is one downloadable game that Wii U owners should definitely sit up and take notice of.

Trine 2 looked amazing on other consoles – and was probably the most beautiful side-scrolling adventure this reviewer had ever laid his eyes on – but its jump to Wii U with its added graphical capabilities have certainly made Trine 2 shine even more.

Most astonishing of all is the fact that this game even looks gorgeous on the Wii U’s gamepad. Trine 2′s fantasy world is filled with lush environments boasting everything from moonlit city streets to swamps teeming with gigantic plant life. Every scene shines with rich detail and startling lighting effects. At times you may find yourself putting down the gamepad just to marvel at the gorgeous visuals onscreen.

Those familiar with the original Trine will feel right at home here. The three heroes from the original return: a wizard that can conjure blocks and platforms, a thief with a bow and grappling hook, and a knight with sword, hammer, and shield. They are brought together again to stave off the return of the goblin army – who are under the direction of a mysterious force.

Unlike other puzzle-platformers Trine 2 lets players decide how they want to make it through an area. Using the wizard’s ability to create blocks out of thin air can allow you to block enemy attacks, aid in reaching a higher platform or serve various other uses (which you will want to experiment with). Mixing the wizard’s talent with the thief’s grappling ability will make ease of some difficult situations you face along the way, while the knight is a brute who is there to take on and smash the goblin forces.

With only a basic tutorial at the beginning of the game, getting past some of the puzzles with no knowledge of how they work can be a little frustrating at times, and the in-game hint system can be so vague that it might as well have not been included. Finding the solution to some of the environmental puzzles will take patience and use of all your characters. But hang in there if you get stuck – because the game will reward you for figuring out its difficult puzzles.

Giving the Wii U version of Trine 2 a ‘Director’s Cut’ sub-title is deserved, as it integrates the Goblin Menace DLC right into the download from the eShop. This DLC was previously only available on the PC, and adds new levels and puzzles for the adventurers to tackle.

The gamepad integration is fun, with its various use of touch controls mostly used for the wizard’s abilities to conjure items. What stands out the most is the fact that the game looks so good on the gamepad’s screen it almost becomes distracting, and you my find yourself looking at the gamepad more than the TV screen, and eventually turning the TV off. Players can also use a Wii remote and nunchuck to play the game, which actually gives more precision to the the thief’s arrows and the wizard’s levitation ability.

The online multiplayer worked well for the time I spent with it, and I eventually ended up coordinating with friends so I didn’t have to rely on strangers to make it a worthwhile effort. If a player drops out while you are adventuring in an online session then everyone is kicked back to the menu screen. It’s frustrating when that happens, but it does not take away from the overall experience.

Trine 2 Director’s Cut is a fun, open-ended adventure that is well worth the investment of time and the cost of admission. It throws players into a gorgeous, fantastical world along with three interesting characters, whose talents are needed to overcome the sometimes daunting puzzles that block your path along the way. It’s fun to play alone or with friends, and looks amazing on the Wii U’s gamepad. This is one launch game that should not be overlooked – especially by fans of the puzzle-platformer genre.

FMV Rating: ****

 



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