Trine 2: Director’s Cut (Wii U) review: A lesson to third party developers
If you haven’t played Trine 2 already and you’ve got Nintendo’s new home console hooked up to your HDTV then you’re in luck. Arguable the best version of Trine 2 is available on the Wii U, with all the DLC from the PC version and some new bells and whistles.
Trine 2 is a solid game filled with physics based puzzles that will wreck your brain with a dash of simple but fun combat. Not to mention the well crafted, devilishly difficult levels that are expertly designed for your platforming pleasure.
You play as three different heroes, a Thief, a Magician and a Warrior. Each of them have their own unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. They fit together as a group because of a mystical artifact called the Trine. If you haven’t played previous games in the serious you won’t be missing out on too much story. All you really need to know about the Trine is that it brings our three heroes together and sometimes gets them out of tight situations.
The Warrior is used almost exclusively for combat and has some awesome abilities should you choose to focus your upgrades on him. He can hover through the air with his shield or gain the use of a flaming sword via these upgrades. The Warrior isn’t used for puzzles often, other than breaking a few walls down occasionally. Despite not being used for puzzles you will spend a great deal of time using the Warrior so it would be wise to upgrade his abilities right away.
The combat refuses to become repetitive despite the game having very few types of enemies. There are large spiders, sword-wielding Goblins, Archer Goblins and red Goblins to fight off as the Warrior. Each requires a bit of a different strategy with the sword-wielding Goblins being the easiest to dismiss. One of the unique things about Trine 2 is that not all enemies require a traditional approach to combat.
The thief can get you out of a pickle in an instant with her stealth ability which turns her invisible. She sports a bow and arrow for long range attacks and a grappling hook for quicker platforming. She moves the quickest out of the three and will probably be used the least in your play through. That said she is a delight to use as you can sneak up on your enemies with her for satisfying surprise kills or bypass tricky sections altogether. Depending on your play style your mileage with the thief will vary.
Next we have the magician. He is a cowardly, comical character who doesn’t have much in the way of actual attacks. You’ll use him almost exclusively to solve the game’s tough physics based puzzles. He can conjure up boxes, planks, and levitate objects at your bidding. Controlling objects is a breeze with the addition of the Wii U Game Pad’s touch screen making it a quicker process than if you were using only the analog sticks.
You will spend at least 50% of the game as the magician due to the game’s wealth of puzzles. Physics based puzzles are littered around the world of Trine 2, each more difficult than the last. Some task you with re-routing the path of water in order to sprout a plant that will take you to higher ground. Other have you carefully avoiding flames while trying to navigate platforms that quickly break.
Puzzles are also varied, changing up the rules with how you beat them each time. Think you can just stand on a box and levitate it towards your goal? That might work for one puzzle but the next one might take away the solid ground you need to create that box and force you to scale a large wall with nothing but water beneath you.
Visually Trine 2 may be the prettiest game on the Wii U right now. The art style would be amazing even if there wasn’t so much detail in character models, lighting, environments, etc. Thankfully each stage is filled with little details, stunning you with how breath-taking each landscape is. It is one of the best looking games on any system right now, and the Wii U version is the superior console version of the game graphically.
You really should be playing Trine 2: Director’s Cut already. It is one of the best platforming games in recent memory and really has no glaring flaw. I suppose it could have been a bit longer as the main campaign is over in about 9 hours. That said I believe most people will take a little bit longer with the main story mode, probably clocking in at least 12 hours.
The Goblin Menance DLC is included and adds a few hours and extra stages to the game. It resumes after the main story of the game and focuses on the Goblins you fight throughout the game. This time they kidnap the magician’s out-spoken, opinionated wife and the three heroes have to rescue here.
The puzzles in this portion of the game ramp up the difficulty a bit and changing the setting up a bit. Goblin Menance also contains a particularly striking landscape in a desert that will make your jaw drop when you see it on your HDTV.
Its remarkable that Frozenbyte is such a smaller studio than those porting multi-platform games like Darksiders 2, 007 Legends, Batman Arkham City to the Wii U yet they outshine those companies despite being smaller. Trine 2: Director’s Cut is how you make a good Wii U version of a multi-platform game. It sports improved graphics that actually take advantage of the Wii U’s added RAM and has great touch screen features. Frozenbyte puts all other third party developers to shame, on the first effort on a new platform no less.
There isn’t a single reason to not play Trine 2: Director’s Cut. The Wii U version has the most impressive graphics of all the console versions. Furthermore it sports touch screen controls that are far more intuitive and easy to use than on any other platform. People can continue to argue whether this version is on par with the PC version, but there is no doubt the Wii U is home to the very best version of Trine 2 on consoles.
(Review copy of the game provided by Joel from Frozenbyte.)
Trine 2 is a stunning, beautiful game with amazing puzzles. This is how you're suppose to do third party Wii U games folks