Thursday, July 9, 2009

News : Trine Review FOR PC

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it's hard to imagine any beholder finding Trine to be anything but beautiful. Few 2D platformers have been rendered with this kind of visual grace. Elegant backgrounds bring Trine's fairy tale to life: Rays of golden light stream through dreamy forests, giant mushrooms glow as if lit from within, and ivy and brambles climb the walls of crumbling fortresses. This is the kind of world we imagined when we read storybooks and dreamed of far-off kingdoms and enchanted woodlands as children. A narrator intones each chapter in a soothing baritone and a glockenspiel chimes, setting the stage for a dreamy journey through a magical landscape.

The journey is not nearly as resplendent as the paradise crafted around it, but it is fun, assuming you can put up with some idiosyncrasies. Trine is a side-scrolling action platformer that can be played on your own, as well as with one or two friends in local co-op. If you play on your own, switch between three different characters at any given time. Playing as the thief, you shoot arrows and swing about using your grappling hook (always a joy). As the knight, you bash skeletons and bats with your sword, though you won't be limited to just that weapon by the time Trine comes to an end. The wizard is the trickiest of the three. When easing into his velvet boots, you can create boxes and platforms out of thin air and move objects around telekinetically, but you don't have any immediate offensive skills--though it can be great fun to crush enemies by conjuring a box above their heads and letting it fall on them.

When you play on your own, only the character you directly control appears on the screen, and you leap, swing, and float your way from left to right, puzzling over how to get to your destination while bashing on the baddies that would hinder you. You need the abilities of each character to progress; as the thief, the grappling hook comes in mighty handy, while the wizard's conjurations are a real boon. You need the knight from time to time as well, and not always just to slice up skeletons. Often, there are multiple ways to move forward. You may be able to stack some boxes and planks as the wizard to bridge the necessary gaps, but the thief's hook may make swinging across the simpler solution. Either way, the platforming is slick and satisfying. There are obstacles to overcome--spikes, moving platforms, giant swinging axes, and so on--but the platforming isn't very challenging. Nevertheless, great animations and tight controls make jumping and swinging feel silky smooth, whether you are using the mouse and keyboard or a gamepad.

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