Developer Frozenbyte’s physic-based puzzle platformer continues to evolve from one platform to another. About a year ago, Trine 2: Director’s Cut launched on Nintendo Wii U with features that took advantage of its Gamepad. It was a step in the right direction as most Wii U games completely ignored the Gamepad’s touchscreen functionality. Like the Wii U release of Trine 2, Developer Frozenbyte has taken a bold step forward with Trine 2: Complete Story by utilizing the DualShock 4′s touch pad.
The Playstation 4 release of Trine 2 includes a slight increase in difficulty and more enemies to battle, but the core gameplay mechanics have remained the same. The single-player campaign outlines the adventures of Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief and Pontius the Knight as they assist the Crown Princess Rosabel to help rid her kingdom of evil.
The Complete Story also includes the ‘Goblin Menace’ expansion and the ‘Dwarven Caverns’ level that was previously available only in the Wii U version. The Goblin Menace Expansion extends the original game by adding a new story, six additional levels and several new skills that enhance the current characters. The puzzles in this expansion are based on light, water, low gravity and magnetic elements, adding a refreshing twist to Trine 2′s large stable of puzzles.
The gameplay relies on the strengths of each hero to overcome the various physic-based puzzles you will encounter. Amadeus the Wizard possesses the ability to conjure cog-wheel boxes and planks that can be used as platforms or ramming devices; Zoya the Thief can use her grappling hook to reach areas that are otherwise impossible to explore; and Pontius the Warrior is the battle-ready character of the group as he can attack enemies with his sword, use his shield to block projectiles and smash through barricades with his two-handed hammer.
As mentioned earlier, the gameplay hasn’t changed much since the Wii U release of Director’s Cut. As you explore the world of Trine, you will encounter shimmering purple vials that can help enhance your characters. When you collect fifty of these vials, you will earn a Skill Point that can be spent inside a Skill Tree. This Skill Tree system is divided between all three characters with seven skills assigned to each. The first two skills in the tree must be unlocked before the more powerful ones can be accessed. If you find that you should have spent a skill point on a different character, there is an option to ‘Reset All’ your skill points. You will have to endure the process of spending all your Skill Points again, but it’s better than being forced to accept a possible mistake.
The Checkpoint system still saves the game and resurrects dead characters, but what it doesn’t do is restore your characters to full health like it did in previous installments. The days of sneaking back to the checkpoint to fully restore your group’s health during a boss battle are gone. Your characters will still be healed if they return to a checkpoint, but only a fraction of their health will be restored.
Complete Story supports the Dual Shock 4′s Touch Pad as mentioned earlier. When playing as Amadeus the Wizard, the player can conjure a box by simply holding down R2, drawing an outline on the Dual Shock 4′s Touch Pad, and then releasing the R2 button.
To levitate the conjured object, the player must hold their finger on the R2 button while they drag their finger across the Touch Pad. This process works relatively well for most the game, but there are times when the Touch Pad overcompensates for ‘quick’ finger movements by sending the object to the opposite side of the playfield. It’s a lesson that must be learned rather early on if you plan on using the Touch Pad controls successfully.
The same method is used for moving environmental objects such as wooden planks and plants. These objects can be held with the R2 button and then moved by dragging your finger across the Touch Pad in the desired direction. Again, the controls only work as well as you allow them to. Gamers with ‘twitchy’ fingers will find the experience rather frustrating as plants and other objects will respond erratically to finger rapid swipes. Basically, you must use the Touch Pad the way you would a computer mouse.
If the Touch Pad proves to be too difficult (and it can have its moments), you can always use the right Analog Stick in its place to draw on-screen objects and levitate items in the environment. The only issue with this option is how clunky the controls feel when you try to draw something. This doesn’t make or break the experience, but it can cause some frustration.
Trine 2: Complete Story runs at a smooth 60fps in 1080p without any performance loss. The level of detail is staggering for an indie release as rocks contain deep cracks, wooden poles show surface erosion and pools of water slosh around from being disturbed. To say this is the best looking version of Trine 2 would be an understatement.
With that said, it all boils down to one question – should you purchase the Playstation 4 version of Trine 2? There is enough content in this release to make Trine 2: Complete Story worth your while. The Touch Pad controls and the included expansion packs make this version a must-have for any Playstation 4 gamer.
Platform: Playstation 4 (Available on PSN)
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
|Gorgeous graphics that look incredible in 1080p, while running at a solid 60fps.|
|A cinematic soundtrack creates a compelling atmosphere during the adventure.|
|Challenging puzzles that require the player to 'think outside the box'(no pun intended).|
|Trine 2: Complete Story for Playstation 4 is the definitive version to own, whether you have played previous versions or not.|