Trine is one of those games that you just don’t see coming and never quite understand until you play. The game is a platformer, but it’s not the usual type of platformer in that it has a whole new layer of depth that it brings to the genre. While having that depth certainly makes Trine very interesting and fun for the most part, I still found it to be lacking in some areas.
Trine tells the story of a Wizard, Knight and Thief. These three characters come into contact with the Trine, which is an ancient artifact that fuses the three characters into one body form. After this happens, an undead army awakens, and it’s up to the trio to take out these undead enemies and find out how to reverse the effects of the Trine. While that sounds pretty basic, the story is at least told well by having a narrator during the loading screens.
Having all three characters fused together as one is not just a story element, but it is incorporated into the gameplay nicely as well. Pushing either the R1 or L1 buttons allows you to swap characters, with each having their own unique weapons and powers. The thief can shoot arrows and grappling hook on wooden objects, the knight has a blunt sword and shield, and the wizard can telekinetically manipulate objects. Each one is essential to the completion of the game as every level makes good use of them.
The levels in Trine are pretty nicely designed to make use of each character’s power. The thief can be used to get across seemingly unreachable platforms, the knight is mainly used in combat because he can quickly dispose of any enemies in the path, and the wizard can be used in the most diverse ways. The wizard can manipulate existing boxes or platforms, but more importantly, can create his own. This is where Trine really shines, in its ability to leave a lot of the paths up to the player to decide how to get to the next area. Each of the characters can be leveled up as well, to add abilities and make their current ones more powerful.
Graphically, Trine is very impressive. Each area is nicely lighted and technically pretty. The art style and cinematics are also well done, having a sort of painted on look to everything. While there are certainly prettier games out there, I don’t think anyone is going to accuse Trine of being ugly.
My complaints with Trine are few, but they disappointed me enough to mention. The game isn’t very long, and should only take a few hours to complete for most. For being a $20 game, I expected a little more out of it. The next problem being the bugs that are present. A few times I fell through a floor to my death, and sometimes the jumping didn’t feel as tight as it needed to be. These few problems left me pretty frustrated (especially on the rather hard last level).
In the end, Trine is a very good PSN game. Very few try to innovate on the platforming genre the way Trine does. Throughout the game, it manages to stay interesting with new and unique level designs that take advantage of the game’s characters. While I do have some complaints with it, I can safely say that Trine is the best PSN game I’ve played all year.