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E3 2011: Trine 2 hands-on preview

Rogues, wizards, and warriors are too often associated with the dungeon crawler. Sure, they make a great team when killing trolls and goblins, but what about those times when they have to get across a giant gap? Or need to get a magical plant to grow so they can get to the top of a tower? Or any number of other physics puzzles? They've got to be able to work together on those too, right? Trine 2 proves that they absolutely can.

At its core, it's a 2D physics puzzle platformer with three characters that you can constantly swap between on the fly to solve the various puzzles strewn about the levels. The rogue has a grappling hook that she can use to swing herself up to higher platforms or pull others down, while the wizard can move objects around or summon new ones, and the warrior just goes ahead and smashes everything in his path. When playing alone, you can switch between the three with a quick button press, allowing you to finish puzzles that your current class can't tackle.

But what fun would a multi-class game be without co-op? We say very little. Taking a page from Little Big Planet's book, you and your crew each choose one of the classes and go tromping through the world of Trine 2, solving puzzles together. Because there's not a singular solution to many of the puzzles, solving them with buddies becomes a fluid affair, with everyone trying different things at once, and oftentimes, succeeding simultaneously. Having a wizard climb a ladder he created up a ledge while the rogue swings across on her grappling hook at the same time shows exactly how you can use the classes' varying abilities to complete the levels. Oh, and the warrior busts through the wall below them. To each his or her own, right?

But when the players work together to get past a particular puzzle, the true joy of Trine 2 starts to show through. At one point in the demo, we had our warrior knock down a wall to unleash a rolling log, which was promptly jumped on by the rogue and picked up by the wizard, who then carried both of them over to the switch, which unlocked the next room. It was all extremely intuitive, with little chatting between the players and a whole bunch of "I wonder if this will work" mutterings. Even if it wasn't pretty, it usually did work, which is a testament to the game's flexible physics.

Really, that's what Trine 2 is all about. Playing with the hugely different ways to take on any given situation is an integral part of the game. Trine 2 excels in accepting many different approaches to each level, and we're intrigued to see the places players are able to take it.

Jun 14, 2011

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E3

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5 comments

  • RonsonPL - June 16, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    @Cazamanga XBLA, PSN, PC, Mac, Linux. That's official. One of Frozenbyte guys on their forum wrote that PS Vita or Wii U version is not planned for now, but if they'll find a way then they'll convert Trine 2 for those. :)
  • Cazamanga - June 15, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    what systems is this coming out for???
  • RonsonPL - June 15, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    Why???? Why play this game and write so little? I hate you! ;) Physics-shmyzix, what about the level design? What about the music? What about the graphics? (is it awesome and why it's a stupid question even to ask? ;) ) Gimme gimme gimme! Surely the number one on my "waiting for..." list.
  • GrandTheftAuto - June 14, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    I loved the first Trine so much! Mostly because it was so original and the soundtrack fitted so good to create the perfect fantasy saga :)
  • Not Snake - June 14, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    So much for living happily ever after... Anyway, I want this. I want it now.

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