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Trine review

Trine review


Publisher Nobilis Developer Frozenbyte Release Date Out now Price £16.99 Players 1-3 Genre Platform/Puzzle

Three is the magic number
Not since Studio Liverpool’s WipEout HD assaulted our eyes in all its 1080p retina-scorching have we been so impressed with the look of a PSN game. Intricately detailed, with gameplay that’s ever bit as exquisite as its lush visuals, Trine is one of the cleverest PlayStation Network titles that we’ve played for some time. While it’s not without its faults, it’s nevertheless an essential and truly entertaining platformer.
Trine’s beautifully narrated story focuses on three unique characters that are bound by fate after their souls are linked together. As well as being a fairly interesting idea for a story, it also makes for an intriguing adventure as you must use the key skills of each character in order to successfully negotiate each of Trine’s gorgeously constructed stages.
The thief can use her grappling hook to swing from anything made of wood and fire at enemies from a distance with her bow, while the warrior is equipped with a sword and shield that enables him to effortlessly dispatch most foes and protect himself from falling rubble, fireballs or anything else that’s thrown at him. Last of all is the wizard, and while he lacks the ability to physically fight foes – he’s constantly jibed by his companions about his inability to throw a fireball – his ability to create and levitate a variety of objects makes him essential to the team.
Trine’s success comes from drawing these three unlikely characters together and using their combined skills – which can be upgraded as experience is earned – in a refreshing way. This is in part due to the superb physics engine that enables you to manipulate the mesmerising environments in a whole variety of different ways.
Initially you’ll be simply using the wizard to create blocks in order to reach otherwise inaccessible ledges, or putting the thief’s grappling skills to good use to negotiate huge chasms, but as Trine continues you will have to rapidly change characters – simply done with a quick tap of either L1 or L2– and pull off several feats at once in order to solve the many puzzles that are constantly thrown at you. It’s even better when played with a friend, although a third player gets stuck with the non-combative wizard.
Fortunately, Trine’s well-balanced and responsive controls means that whether you’re playing on your own or with a friend, character swapping never becomes as issue – unlike the PC version – this is handy as you’ll soon be required to use plenty of the old grey matter in order to complete some of the later stages. Even though there’s a fair amount of puzzling in Trine, the solid combat offered by the warrior and thief never outstays its welcome and proves to be another essential asset to one of PSN’s most inventive games.
For all its graphical splendour and clever little tricks, Trine isn’t without its faults. The difficulty gets absolutely ridiculous about two-thirds of the way in, while puzzles in the later levels lack the imagination of those you’ve already encountered. Combat can also get quickly monotonous, with yawnsome and overly simplistic boss battles that quickly begin to grate. That aside, Trine remains an utterly charming and compelling PSN release that no PS3 owner should miss out on.
Darran Jones

Dull bosses and an insanely frustrating difficulty spike tarnish the experience slightly, but Trine remains one of the most inventive games on Sony’s PlayStation Network. 85%

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