Author: Sean Ridgeley, Chris Ledenican
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/trine_2/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Trine 2 is a puzzle-filled platformer, and the sequel to 2009's sleeper hit Trine. As with that one, you traverse fantasy landscapes with the combined abilities of a conjuring wizard, a tough as nails knight, and a bow-slinging thief.
The scope of the gameplay is pretty much as before, though this time you're given a little bit more flexibility with skill trees (complete with new skills like time manipulation), and new enemies (like the flamesword-wielding guy who tosses out waves of flames at you) spice things up a bit.
It's been noted physics are improved and more solutions for puzzles are available this time around, though it's nothing noticeable. Essentially, you get more puzzle solving, platforming, and basic combat.
The puzzles are well-crafted as ever, excepting one near the end I nearly gave up on completely after countless tries, and only really ended up succeeding because of what felt like hacking.
There are some major upsides, namely to co-op (which features the same levels as single player, sadly). If you want to go at it with friends locally, there's support for both gamepads and multiple keyboards and mice. No friends available? Hit up online co-op, which features basic filters and voice chat. Funnily enough, co-op has an option for any player to pick any character, so if you're feeling particularly ridiculous, you can practically float through many of the levels using a heap of metal plans conjured by your team of wizards, for one example.
Trine 2 isn't a lengthy game by any means: you should be able to blast through it in a weekend, at least if playing it co-op. If you're the type to complete games 100%, stats are tracked per level, and you can go back to any one to uncover its secrets and maximize your experience, which should extend play time quite a bit.
Obvious improvements can be found in the graphics, particularly when the big bad bosses come 'round; it's to the point where half the time you feel like you're staring at desktop wallpaper. The art style is just as important, though, so it's pleasing to find the extremely saturated look suits it well.
Developer Frozenbyte has taken care with the PC version, here, so mouse and keyboard feel natural, and even superior to the gamepad, at least when it comes to directing spells and attacks and such. Graphics options in the launcher are mostly delegated to the all-encompassing 'Detail' setting -- if you want to get more advanced, you'll have to poke around with .ini files.
Anti-aliasing is the other notable setting, as it includes four options: one for FXAA which has almost no hit to performance or blurriness, and three which combine different levels of supersampling with FXAA. Supersampling renders the game at a much higher resolution then scales it down to fit your resolution, resulting in improved quality, though here the difference is relatively minor. Still, it's an appreciated option for those with high-end gear.
Performance with detail maxed and FXAA only enabled or disabled is a stable 80-90fps at 1680x1050 resolution on a 1055t CPU, 6950 2GB GPU, and 8GB 1333mhz DDR3 RAM; with FXAA enabled and SSAA set at 2x, it runs a pretty steady 60fps.
To test 3D Vision, a Nvidia GTX560 Ti graphics card was paired with an Intel 2600K at 1080p. With this setup, the game ran at a smooth 70FPS at maximum settings prior to enabling 3D Vision. Once 3D Vision was enabled, the frame rate hovered at around 30FPS -- a typical performance impact.
While Trine 2 is at its core a 2D side scroller, it is also optimized to support stereoscopic 3D technology. Under 3D Vision 2, Trine 2 divides the environment into three separate layers: the background, main playfield, and the foreground. Of the three, the main playfield is where the majority of 3D effects occur. Here you can see increased depth in the environment, which makes it appear larger. The foreground and background, meanwhile, work to separate the visuals further.
(3D Vision hardware is required to view this screenshot properly)
3D Vision in Trine 2 enhances the in-game eye candy and adds more depth to the visuals while staying true to the 2D side scrolling format. However, the effect is relatively minor -- some of the objects in the background are flat, and nothing really jumps out of the screen. Suffice it to say, I never really find myself saying "Wow!" while using it.
Trine 2 is an excellent bit of fun recommendable to adults and younger gamers alike. The sad part is for most who played Trine, it'll feel like more of the same but with prettier graphics and partners to play with -- more in-depth RPG elements, fully-rendered cutscenes instead of the same old still animated ones, and semi-3D gameplay could've went a long way.
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