In the Trine Ultimate Collection, Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief are an unlikely band of heroes working in unison. Their shared quest is to come to learn more about the mysterious artefact called Trine. The concept is deliberately archetypal because it just works. The unlikely nature of these characters grouping up is exactly what makes the humour hit so well. What comes out of Trine Ultimate Collection‘s archetypal backstory is even more impressive to review; a charming and beautifully designed platform puzzler.
Having played the four games in the Trine series, it is like a fairytale storybook come to life. Environments pop with rich vibrant colours and marvellously fitting aesthetic. Trine does not set its heights too high but does keep you wanting to return to see more of the unlikely band of heroes as they traverse through this beautiful world.
Trine Ultimate Collection is available right now for £39.99 from the PSN store.
Trine: Enhanced Edition
First up, naturally, is the game that started it all: Trine. In fact, it is the enhanced edition of the first Trine game which means it is merely a more spruced up version of the original game which released back in 2009. When the King of a fantastical kingdom died, and three unlikely heroes were banded together by the mysterious artefact called Trine, it became their quest to fight back against the undead. With their souls bound together, the three must work together to overcome puzzles and the undead blocking their path.
You need not tread the path alone however. Trine Enchanted Edition now comes with online co-op so you can team up with your friends on this adventure. If you do not have friends to play with then no bother as online lobbies will still grant the ability to play online. These lobbies can be filtered by level, difficulty and/or latency which means you can customise your online experience to your liking.
The puzzles are not exactly difficult but due to the need to use all three characters and their unique abilities, it is not mindless either. The combat also is not very difficult but is enjoyable thanks to the variety of fighting styles available due to being able to switch characters on the fly. Graphically, the game is as charming and ethereal as ever. However, it has not aged the best but cannot be judged too harshly for that fact since it is ten years old now. By the end of the game the Kingdom is restored and peace has returned.
It was no surprise following the success of Trine that a sequel would release. As was the case with Trine 2 which released just two years after the first game. The Kingdom has enjoyed years of peace but that time has come to an end. Once again, the artefact known as Trine calls upon our three unlikely heroes to band together once again. Really, Trine 2 is just more of the same.
That being said, the biggest improvement comes in the visual department. Trine 2 is a real feast for the eyes. The vibrant and richly detailed level design really is a joy to adventure through. Whilst the mechanics do not evolve a whole lot from the first game, the evolution in aesthetics is immediately noticeable. The puzzles are still enjoyable but again it is our unlikely band of heroes that is the main pull. Again, the story is archetypal and merely only serves as a backdrop to bring our heroes together.
When playing single-player, the player once again takes control of one of the three heroes at a time as you traverse through multiple levels. This again is where Trine provides somewhat of a challenge as you must acutely be aware when to use each character and manipulate their unique abilities. The core game elements remain mostly unchanged from the first game. Again, online co-op has been added to Trine 2 which makes for a fun experience as you and your friends orchestrate each unique skill to advance through various levels.
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
Trine 3 almost seemed an inevitability following the success of the first two games. Once again, we join our unlikely band of heroes; Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief on yet another adventure. Again, the story serves very little purpose and in fact, even takes a further step back in Trine 3. Noticeably, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is a very short game with the story lasting around five hours or so. Just as the story seems to be picking up, the game ends on a sudden cliffhanger which served as nothing more than a disappointing end.
If you have ever heard the saying don’t fix what isn’t broken, well, the developers forgot that old adage when it came to Trine 3. You see, with Trine 3, the game took a game-changing step to transition from 2.5D to a fully 3D game. It is not a complete failure -- the game retains the same charming characters and you cannot blame the developers for wanting to breathe new life into the series. The gameplay itself is relatively unchanged from the previous entries into the series but the change to 3D does present new challenges.
Ultimately, the switch to 3D proves to be an underwhelming one. The environments lack the same vibrancy and detail of the earlier games. In 3D form the game feels noticeably simplistic. The camera and depth perception issues prove to be minor frustrations that take away from the joy of the previous games. It is safe to say, in hindsight, the developers took a risk by switching up the formula and for that they can be commended, even if it did not come off successfully.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is the fourth instalment in the Trine series available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It is the fourth instalment of Trine series and features a return of the series’ three protagonists and medieval fantasy location. You can read KeenGamer’s full review of Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince by clicking on this link.