Trine harkens back to classic team-based gameplay magnificently
I recently had the chance to sit down and play through Trine with my friend Matt. We played on the PC, an Xbox 360 controller in my hand, and a keyboard at his. Let me tell you, it was a great experience. Trine is a game much like The Lost Vikings in that they give you three different characters to control. You can play single player, or you can have one or two more guys join in for co-op action. It's also a lot like LittleBigPlanet in terms of how the platforming feels, which I think is a good thing... Not to mention the difficulty of the platforming feels very old-school, and in fact, me and Matt spent an hour trying to master the final level.
The story is pretty generic, and at times, me and Matt were both jokingly comparing it to Lord of the Rings. However, it still gets the job done and gives you an excuse to go through the levels, not to mention it does flesh out the characters probobly the best I've seen any platformer do before. Even if they are just generic stereotypical characters.
However, let's not just sit here and compare it to other game and movies... Trine has some individuality as well. First and foremost, this is probobly the best looking side-scrolling game I've ever seen. A lot of developers try to bring things into 3D while keeping the 2D gameplay roots, but they usually end up creating some uninspiring visuals. Trine Proves you can do both, and do both well.
But enough about graphics, let's talk about gameplay. Each character plays differently, and has their own unique abilities, and you can switch between them at will. Not only that, but each character has their own little skill tree, much like
Diablo. The size of the tree complements the length of the game, and you're not left feeling you missed anything by the end.
Let's go over each characters specific abilities now... The Barbarian can do various sword attacks, and also gets some charge moves, this is your main melee combat guy. The Thief has arrows, and also a grappling hook which is useful for getting places other characters can't reach. The wizard can draw lines and shapes to make various platforms, as well as move them around, and other objects in the world, simply by clicking and dragging, in fact he can't attack at all, in order to kill an enemy, you have to drop something on their head. On the controller it's made slightly more difficult using the stick and the A-button, making the keyboard the ideal way to use the wizard. All of the other characters seem to play better on a controller, however, making it kind of confusing what platform they were focusing on.
This didn't turn out to be too much of an issue, since Matt tended to stick with the barbarian or the thief, and I stuck with the wizard or the barbarian mostly. In fact, the character switching in two players lends itself to the puzzle solving as well, and you can solve puzzles differently than you would have to in single player. I think this works to the game's benefit and makes you want to go through the game multiple times with multiple players.
Overall, Trine is a fun charming little game with some old-school difficulty to it, and some cool new features that I haven't seen before, such as the wizard's box drawing abilities. The execution is solid, and while the story leaves something to be desired, I still had lots of fun with it and it's definitely worth checking out for anybody who enjoys platformers or action RPGs.
I give Trine a 4 out of 5.