A wizard, a thief, and a knight walk into a bar…Typically this is how a bad joke starts, but in this case, it is the start of the best kept secret on Playstation 4. Trine 2: The Complete Story is a co-op, sidescrolling, physics based, puzzle platformer set in a beautiful fairytale world. A world that brilliantly balances puzzle solving, platforming, and combat with the most stunning visuals you will find on the console. The package includes the original Trine 2 game as well as the Goblin Menace Expansion and secret Dwarven Cavern Level.
The adventure follows 3 heroes who have been fused together and sent on a mysterious quest by the mystical artifact known as the Trine. The story unfolds through narrated segments between chapters as well as poems, letters, and documents which act as collectibles along the way. Over the 20 chapter campaign you will visit jaw dropping vistas and environments spanning luscious forests, scorching deserts, snowy mountains, and even the bowels of a giant worm. I enjoyed the narrative and felt the characters were likable and easy to root for. The combat was well paced and at times difficult especially on the higher difficulty levels. I was also pleasantly surprised by the length of the campaign which took me between 15-20 hours to complete. The graphics and art style are incredible and continued to amaze me throughout my entire play through. Trine 2: CS is the most gorgeous game to grace the PS4 and that includes graphical powerhouses like Infamous: Second Son and Killzone Shadowfall. It also offers a stereoscopic 3D option for compatible TV’s that has to be seen to be believed.
To overcome the many physics-based puzzles, environmental hazards, and treacherous enemies you’ll need to utilize each hero’s unique skill set. Amadeus the wizard can use magic to control various objects and conjure boxes and planks to help with tricky platform sections. Zoya the thief can use her grappling hook to latch onto certain surfaces and eliminate enemies with her trusty bow. Pontius the knight can smash through obstacles with his giant hammer and is best in combat utilizing his sword and shield. Most puzzles you encounter will require you to use a combination of the 3 character’s skills to complete. While only one character is playable at a time, you can switch between the characters on the fly with the shoulder button.
Each character has a skill tree that allows you to further their abilities and offer even more ways to solve puzzles. Skill points are earned by collecting blue orbs and magic vials which are scattered strategically throughout each level. One note about the skill tree that I loved was the ability to reset your spent points at any time. This allowed me to experiment with different abilities and encouraged me to try everything each character had to offer. My character of choice was Amadeus the wizard, I loved using his conjuring skill which when leveled up allows you to create up to 4 items on screen at a time. This allowed me to overcome puzzles in unique ways, ways that the developers probably never even dreamed of. This was a huge plus in my eyes and highlighted the well thought out open-ended puzzle designs.
While playing through the solo campaign is a fun and addicting experience, playing with your friends is where this game truly shines. Trine 2:CS supports drop in/out cooperative play both locally and online with up to 3 players. Each player can control one of the three characters but the catch is that all must be unique. This forces your team to communicate and execute effectively in order to progress through each level. Also you can revive fallen comrades at the various checkpoints without having to restart which can alleviate some of those frustrations. I can’t say enough glowing things about my experience with this mode. It offers one of the most rewarding and enjoyable cooperative experiences in gaming and I highly recommend it be experienced this way if you have the option. In fact, I think it is a perfect game to play with a spouse or significant other. One other quick note is about remote play, it plays great on PS Vita as the control scheme doesn’t rely heavily on the L2 and R2 buttons while the R3 and L3 buttons are used sporadically for a few special skills.
I had a blast playing this game! With amazing visuals, fun, addicting gameplay, lengthy campaign mode, online and local co-op, and enough collectibles to keep you coming back. Trine 2: Complete Story is one of the best games the PS4 has to offer and shouldn’t be missed.
*Review based on PS4 version. Also Available on PC