Trine 2 was originally released on PSN and XBLA back in 2011 and has now found its way onto Nintendo’s newest console under the moniker of Trine 2: Director’s Cut. Along with the new title comes an expansion, a never-before-seen level, and touch controls which take advantage of the Wii U’s tablet screen. Developer Frozenbyte packs a lot of content into this labor of love, but ultimately control issues and a lackluster story hold Trine 2 back from being a memorable journey.
The title continues to follow the story of the original’s three heroes — Zoya, the thief; Amadeus, the wizard; and Pontius, the knight. Each has various, unique abilities which are needed to traverse the treacherous lands and traps that lie ahead. Zoya provides stealth abilities and arrows for long range attacks. Pontius, the bruiser of the group, will hack and slash most enemies to bits. Amadeus can conjure up objects such as boxes or planks that are essential to helping you progress throughout the kingdom.
Initially, you’ll set out on a quest to thwart the goblin menace, but along the way you’ll run into a princess who needs help taking back her castle form the goblin king that’s invaded. As you reach the climax, Trine 2’s story takes an interesting turn. Sadly it’s one that isn’t really explored. When playing Trine 2, I constantly feel like the story is an afterthought, which is a real disappointment considering so much love has been put into the look and feel of the world. The story is by no means bad, but with a little extra TLC Frozenbyte could have provided a satisfying narrative that would’ve better complimented Trine 2’s beautiful world.
What Trine 2 lacks in story, however, it makes up for in production. This is one of the more gorgeous downloadable games I’ve ever seen. Every level is a feast for the eyes. Whether trudging through a swamp, trying to make my way past a giant bullfrog, or sneaking through massive castles filled with alchemy labs, I have frequently paused to take in the beauty of the kingdom that is my playground. The sound design is excellent as well. The music does wonders to add to the storybook feel and sounds of goblin snarls, casting spells and dragon’s breath are all wonderfully executed.
If based on presentation alone Trine 2 would be a must buy. Unfortunately, there are some gameplay elements that can really pull you out of the moment. The most puzzling of these is the jumping mechanic. You’ll be doing a lot of jumping in Trine 2, so it’s frustrating that there is such an issue with being able to consistently control leaps and bounds. It always feels like there is an odd sense of gravity within the world of Trine 2 and often jumps that seem easy prove difficult.