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Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review (PS4): The Best Yet

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is the aptly named fourth instalment in the beloved Trine series. With the knowledge of hindsight and the innovations of current technology under review, the developers have every reason to make Trine 4 an instant classic.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review (PS4): The Best Yet

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is the aptly named fourth instalment in the beloved Trine series. Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief all return as they band together on another kingdom-saving quest through fantastical fairytale landscapes teeming with danger. It is up to this unlikely band of heroes to save the world from the Nightmare Prince’s shadows. Trine 4: The Nightmare Price is available for purchase on PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The version of Trine 4 played for the purposes of this review was on the PlayStation 4. 

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is available for purchase for £24.99 from the PSN store. 

Graphics

Trine 4 ditches the 3D style and reverts back to 2.5D. Let me just say this, Trine 4 represents a triumphant return to what made the first two games so enjoyable. Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thiefall return to the series’ best instalment to date. By taking advantage of the technology of the current generation of consoles, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince truly is a gorgeous game. The colour palette itself is filled with vibrant colours that goes a long way in bring this fantastical world to life.

Trine 4 benefits from being developed on the latest systems from the ground-up. The jump in visual quality is immediately noticeable. Whilst the previous Trine games have been praised for their visuals, Trine 4 really does raise the bar. The Nightmare Prince truly feels like a fairy-tale storybook come to life. And that perhaps is what is most impressive from a technical standpoint. Since the game is not seemingly technically demanding, it shows that the developers really put their energy into making Trine 4 the most beautiful game it could be. 

Story

Once again, the story really does not matter here and really just serves as a backdrop to bring these four unlikely heroes together. Our protagonists are enjoying their time off from hero-work when once again they are called up to help save the kingdom. In Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince the dreams, and the nightmares (hence the title), of the Kingdom’s Prince are coming to life and manifesting in the kingdom, wrecking havoc. It must be pointed out however that the story really does not serve as much more than a way of bringing these unlikely band of characters together.

Platforming in Trine 4

Platforming in Trine 4

The familiar camaraderie makes a return between our band of unlikely heroes, Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief. The heroes are just that – familiar. It really is just more of the same and I feel like by the fourth instalment, this does get a bit tired. We have seen all of it before – the characters do not drastically change and feel overplayed. If Trine 5 is being developed as we speak then it might be interesting to see a new group of characters with new skills and new chemistry. 

Gameplay

In terms of game mechanics, what we get with Trine 4 is more of an evolution rather than a revolution. The same core mechanics are continued with some minor upgrades. Amadeus can wield magic to his will; moving objects with nothing more than his telekinetic powers. Zoya makes use of her weapons, doubling up her bow as a grappling hook. Pontius has a shield that blocks projectiles but can also use his…well… his weight to stomp through weak floors. Individually, no one character is too complex but the fun comes with the combination in which you can make us of all three heroes’ abilities. 

Combat in Trine 4

Combat in Trine 4

Coming from Trine 3 and the scaled back gameplay elements found in that game, the evolved gameplay in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince was refreshing to say the least. The Nightmare Prince doesn’t stray too far from the formula we have come to expect. Trine 4 is at its best when you are solving puzzles to progress through its levels. These are certainly the most creative yet in the series and provides a lot of the fun you will experience in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

Co-op

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince launches with a fully fledged multiplayer mode. This co-op mode allows you to play with up to four players in online or offline co-op. What is maybe most impressive about the co-op mode was this is not tacked on at all. The single player mode can be completed without using every character but the co-op mode demands… just that…co-operation. The co-op mode was a ton of fun to run through with a friend or two. It feels like Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince was designed from the ground up for co-op.

With unique abilities for our three heroes, Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight, you and your co-op buddies can co-ordinate all these unique abilities to work in cohesion. This requires collective thinking and planning in order to solve the puzzles in front of your team. You get the same challenge playing singleplayer of course, but sharing this with your friends makes the experience a ton more fun. 

Trine 4 gameplay

Trine 4 gameplay

The co-op mode was flawless and was how I decided to play the entirety of the campaign. The game is not overly long or tedious which is a good thing as it means you won’t have too arrange too many sessions with your co-op buddy. The servers were excellent in the online co-op and even offline co-op mode was flawless too. Again, the developers did a great job with the co-op mode in Trine 4 so if you can play through with a friend I highly recommend doing so. 

Audio

One of the best features of Trine 4 is perhaps the relaxation it evokes. From the serene menu music to the fantastical light soundtrack, Trine 4 is a very peaceful and relaxing experience. Again, whilst there are difficulty options, the game never gets too difficult. The puzzles and the combat alike are fairly straightforward. The main pull then is the gorgeous visual environments, the charming band of unlikely heroes, and the relaxation. An issue arises over these simple puzzles which can become repetitive. There is not much out-of-box thinking required to solve these puzzles so there is an issue of them becoming mundane.

Summary
All in all, Trine 4 is an amalgamation of what made the previous games so great, especially the first two. It's not a revolution, even from the first game that came out 10 years ago, but it certainly is an evolution. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince evolves the visuals, sound, and game mechanics whilst staying true to what made the originals so enjoyable. After the disappointment that was Trine 3, The Nightmare Prince proves to be a real return to form.
Good
  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Returns to 2.5D
  • Creative puzzles
  • Co-op works flawlessly
Bad
  • Lacklustre story
  • Characters feel a bit tired
8
Great

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