Co-op platformer Trine was one of my favourite games of 2009. Judging by the cult following it's developed since then, I'm not alone in my fondness.
Two years later, the game is back for a sequel, one that, on the surface at least, promises to add very little to the formula already laid down by the first game. Who can say whether this makes it worth your time and money? Our guts can, that's who.
Luke Plunkett, who loves Trine 2 more than Trine 1: Oops. Kinda giving the game away there with that opener. Ah well, who needs suspense in an informal appraisal when your heart is so full of love and admiration for the little platformer series that could?
While other games have been technically more impressive in the visuals department in 2011, none for me can match how beautiful Trine 2 looks. It's an over-saturated wonderland that is often the game's fourth character, stopping you dead in your tracks to admire a bleeding sunset or a swinging lantern or the swirling mists of a shimmering, emerald jungle.
Not much has changed, granted, aside from the welcome jump to three-player online co-op. You're still controlling the same three characters who have largely the same toolset at their disposal. You play as one of them (or co-operatively you can team up), and have to juggle who is best for which particular situation or challenge. But the core concept of Trine was never its problem. It was a solid foundation, one that allowed for both freedom and organic puzzle-solving and that helped the game stand out.
Trine's only problem was that first time around it felt a little cheap in places. Not so second time around. There's a level of polish and professionalism to Trine 2 that gives its gameplay the accompaniment it deserves, your globe-trotting tale much better-told, the characters much more elegantly fleshed-out.
Trine 2 has come out at a time of year when it's in danger of being over-looked while people sink hours into Skyrim, Battlefield or Modern Warfare. Which is a shame. Because if you appreciate a little thinking with your platforming and some of the best-looking visuals around, you should be sinking some hours into Trine 2 as well. It's a definite Yes.
Michael Fahey, who often suspects there's a lanky mage and a sultry female rogue lurking inside him: Gorgeous, quirky, inventive, and endlessly entertaining (until the end, of course), the original Trine was very close to being the ultimate realization of how wondrous a 2D platformer could be if a developer put its minds and resources to it. That puts Trine 2 incredibly close to being the ultimate realization of how wondrous a 2D platformer could be with a cherry on top. It's a feast for the eyes, a treat for the brain, and for those of you with two handy friends, a delightful weekend of multiplayer mayhem in the making. Yes.
Brian Ashcraft, who played Trine and liked it okay: Trine 2 is out already, and for some reason, I haven't picked it up. I'm not sure why. The first Trine was a great little game.
Trine 2 looks to be great, too. The trailers and gameplay footage look absolutely stunning. The thing that I can't comment on, because I haven't played it, is the gameplay. But even if the gameplay totally stinks, I probably should buy this anyway—just to look at it. So should you. Yes.
Gut Check is an off-the-cuff impression of what we think of a game: what we'd tell a friend; how we'd respond on Twitter or Facebook or over a beer if someone asked us "Would you buy this game?" Our lead writer, who has played a lot of the game, decides. Other writers chime in for additional points of view.