Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Trine 2: Director’s Cut

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageFrozenbyte Software made a name for themselves with the original Trine, providing a unique and inventive puzzle-platform videogame experience that has since been replicated many times, but rarely equalled. Keen to make that mark on brand new hardware the independent studio brings Trine 2 to Wii U in time for launch internationally, but it’s no simple port: this is Trine 2: Director’s Cut.

So after the well received sequel debuted on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, what can we expect from Trine 2: Director’s Cut? Frozenbyte Software have done their best to ensure that Wii U gamers don’t feel as though they’re playingElectronic Theatre Image catch-up nearly a year after the event, with Trine 2: Director’s Cut including the entire original Trine 2 videogame as well as the Goblin Menace expansion, available as downloadable content (DLC) for PC formats, and also a brand new level all of it’s own.

Trine 2: Director’s Cut follows the same pattern as it’s predecessor, providing a 2D platform experience designed for three players, but also enjoyable when playing solo. Three adventurers collaborate to provide players a full skillset: Amadeus the wizard, Pontius the knight, and Zoya the thief. The first advantage players will notice with the Wii U edition of Trine 2: Director’s Cut is the added immediacy of the touchscreen interface: within seconds players are invited to use Amadeus’ magic to lift a boulder out of the way simply by touching it. The impressive design goes yet further than this as only moments later players are informed of the ability to draw boxes on the touchscreen and have them appear in the directly in the videogame by way of some compellinglyElectronic Theatre Image awkward physics puzzles. Whatever these bottles do is not yet known, but you can knock them about and attempt to grab them, increasing the statistic of how many are in your possession: such temptation means it’s highly unlikely that many players will leave the area without even a few minutes of experimentation.

This, in essence, is the beauty of Trine 2: Director’s Cut’s construction. It’s a playground in which many rules are established for the demands of progress, but there is a whole host of others which are there merely to distract the player. Layer upon layer of seemingly inconsequential puzzles and challenges which are just as engrossing as the core taxation, demanding the player invest additional time in areas which lesser videogames would simply offer ground to run over.

As each of the three characters have different abilities each has a different usefulness. In some areas one or two of the characters may be entirely useless, having to wait for their ally to provide a path forward. Thankfully, Frozenbyte SoftwareElectronic Theatre Image has been smart enough to never demand that two characters be used simultaneously to solve a puzzle, leaving a solo player without option for progression; however there are many occasions in which two or even all three characters must be used in conjunction with one another to further the adventure.

The visual quality of Trine 2: Director’s Cut is never less than striking, with a sumptuous amount of colour present in all areas of the simply beautiful world. The animation of the lead characters provides some depth to their individual personalities and the detail in the backgrounds is simply fantastic. You could easily argue that Trine 2: Director’s Cut is one of the finest looking videogames currently available on Wii U – both downloadable Electronic Theatre Imageand disc based – and the sound quality is nearly of the same standard. The score is simple wonderful and the voice acting, for the most part, further personifies the mixture of polygons and textures elegantly.

As far as puzzle-platform videogames go, Trine 2: Director’s Cut remains the leader of the pack. It’s a remarkable combination of vision and creativity, balanced co-operative gameplay yet welcoming single-player action. So very few independent studios manage to achieve the standard of gameplay design and aesthetic quality that Frozenbyte Software seem to take in their stride, and while the launch line-up for Wii U remains fewer in quality productions than most early adopters would like, there’s very little reason not to adopt Trine 2: Director’s Cut’s cerebral design as the antithesis of New Super Mario Bros. U’s immediate dexterity platform challenges.

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