Review by paleselan
"A Magically Wonderful Game"
Trine 2: Director's Cut is a game that makes players feel really good about themselves. In essence, Trine 2 is a puzzle game, with platforming and combat elements mixed in. Players use three different characters to get through the story, each with unique abilities. The thief, Zoya, specializes in platforming and long-ranged attacks. She can grapple onto wooden objects and hit enemies from afar with a bow-and-arrow. The wizard, Armadeus, has the ability to conjure up items and move items present in the environment. He's mainly used for the puzzle segments. The last character is the warrior, Pontius, who has a sword and a hammer used to wreck walls and enemies. He's mainly used for combat. Players can play as any of these three characters at will.
Each character can be incredibly useful depending on which part of the game the player is at. Need to get up higher? Use Armadeus to conjure up a box for you to jump on. Need to latch onto the ceiling? Simply use Zoya's grappling hook. Have some goblins to slay? All you need is Pontius' sword. This premise makes gameplay interesting and engaging. Players are always doing something different and are constantly switching between characters.
Unfortunately, this strategy creates a few problems in terms of pacing. Since platforming and combat doesn't take very long to complete, because players very rarely die, most of the time being spent is trying to figure out a puzzle. This slows the pacing of the game drastically. Maybe the amount of space each section (platforming, combat, puzzle) takes up is equal, but the amount of time each takes up is not. Players will spend much more time trying to figure out a puzzle than slaying goblins. This can be both a good and bad thing. For those looking for a puzzle game, this slower pace could be ideal. But, for those seeking an adventure game with constant action, you might want to look elsewhere.
That being said, the puzzles are incredibly clever. Each puzzle is unique and really tugs at the player's brain. Furthermore, the puzzles are incredibly satisfying to solve. Each puzzle can be solved in a variety of different ways. Therefore, each player will feel like the puzzle solution was tailored to them. Unfortunately, this also means that some puzzles have some pretty obscure solutions. Make sure to have a thinking outside of the box mindset if you decide to pick up this game.
The game itself is gorgeous. I'm still in a state of shock as to how good games look on the Wii U. I've said this before; but I'm incredibly excited to see what Wii U games will look like in the future when the full potential is reached. The environments of Trine 2 are all hand drawn and look stunning. To compliment the environments, the lighting and particle effects look great as well. The developers have even come out to say that the Wii U version of Trine 2 looks better than all the other versions, even the one on the PC. For those looking for the graphically superior version of Trine 2, make sure to pick up the Director's Cut.
Speaking of the Director's Cut; the Wii U version of Trine 2 includes the Goblin Menace expansion pack. This adds seven new levels, one of which is exclusive to Wii U. This brings the total number of levels up to 20. Each level is nothing to scoff at. Levels will take a minimum of 20-30 minutes. If a player is trying to upgrade their characters with new abilities, or trying to find unlockables, the level playtime can easily double. Therefore, while the base game of Trine 2 will take about eight hours to beat, the expansion pack can add another five. And for those completionists out there, be ready to spend upwards of twenty hours with Trine 2: Director's Cut.
Another feature in Trine 2 is both local and online multiplayer. You and up to two others can get together to complete levels. This can be fun when it works. At its best, the multiplayer features collaboration between players sitting in the same room. Together, players can communicate and work together to solve puzzles. Unfortunately, the multiplayer doesn't fare as well online. Finding partners to help in your endeavors is pretty hard, since not many people are actually playing online. Even worse is the fact that microphone functionality has not been patched in yet. As a result, when partners can be found, you can't collaborate with them. This makes it nearly impossible to solve puzzles together. Fortunately, the developers have stated that a patch will be released in December adding voice chat functionality. This will end up being the only way that online multiplayer can actually end up being successful.
On a side note, the gamepad isn't really used in any special ways. This is completely fine for me. Trine 2 is meant to be played by hardcore gamers and I am thankful that the developers didn't force any touch screen gimmicks onto the Wii U version of the game. On the bright side, though, Trine 2 can be completely played off of the television and on the gamepad. This works just as well as playing on the television and I'm happy that the developers included this feature.
Overall, Trine 2 is a great game. Puzzles are entertaining, and the combat and platforming is nice too. Be wary if you're looking for a fast-paced experience, though. Trine 2 is relatively slow-paced, but fun to play nevertheless. The Wii U version of the game is the far superior version to other consoles, with seven extra levels, and as a result should be picked up by almost every Wii U owner.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/03/12
Game Release: Trine 2: Director's Cut (US, 11/18/12)
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