The first thing everyone notices about Trine 2 is how pretty it is. Walking around the recent Nintendo press event where I demoed the game, my eyes were constantly drawn to its exotic fantasy landscapes and vivid, lush colors; it’s the prettiest game I’ve seen since Muramasa. For that reason alone, I just had to check it out.
Trine 2 is an action/puzzle side scroller in which the player controls three characters, a wizard, a knight, and a thief equipped with a bow. You control one character at a time; often only one of the trio is able to bypass one of the game’s many obstacles. For example, the thief can grapple certain spots to swing across chasms, while the knight can use a sledgehammer to break through barriers. This is important, because if one character dies you have to manage with the remaining characters until you reach a reviving spot.
During my brief demo I sometimes got confused by the controls, as many buttons work different depending on which character you are using. But my assumption is I would adjust to this after a while.
Sometimes multiple characters can bypass an obstacle. For example, in a puzzle involving a beam of light, the knight can use his shield to redirect the beam, while the wizard can levitate a mirror to do the same thing. The puzzle offered an example of how Trine 2 has added touchscreen support, as I was able to lift the mirror on the touchscreen with my finger. Outside of that, my main use of the touchscreen was simply to select characters. It’s a small thing, but I much preferred it to the PC version (of which I played the demo) in which you have to press the 1, 2, or 3 keys. (You can also use a button to cycle through characters, and I need to learn to not hit that by accident, as it’s very confusing to think you’re controlling a knight and then suddenly realize you’re actually controlling a wizard.)
While the game is very puzzle oriented, there is also some combat. For the most part I just used the knight to take care of enemies, but sometimes I would need to clean up unreachable enemies with the thief’s bow.
From the little I played of Trine 2 I couldn’t say whether I was going to love it or just like it, but it will certainly be one of the most beautiful games to arrive on any console this year. It is a promising game that will help start off the Wii U’s eShop on the right foot when it arrives in November, at or just a little after the Wii U launches.