“Breathtaking visuals and stunning landscapes have been a staple of the Trine franchise since the beginning. Trine 3 certainly delivers at least in that regard”
Now, let’s not get too carried away with this one ok?
There has already been heated debate in the past about the migration from 2D to 3D within a running franchise, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power it’s a well-done transition. The simple fact is; it wasn’t needed.
In the previous releases of Frozenbyte’s mystic platformer, the glimmering waters, flickering torches, and ominous backgrounds always created a depth that allowed the player to look far past the immediate action or single layer of gameplay. This has progressed with each release, becoming more refined, adding better lighting, more vibrant settings, while ultimately staying true to the prerequisite features that come as part of playing Trine.
So why are we hearing so much negative feedback about Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power?
That’s simply because the formula that has worked in the past was tweaked in a way that fans of the prior installments might see as muddying the waters. And when doing a direct comparison with the earlier games, it is indeed adding more difficulty due to a sometimes clunky feeling depth to the levels. Basically, Trine has always been about solving puzzles, making it to your next fight, collecting some objects, and so on. So, the problem that some are seeing is that it was an unnecessary change to an already loveable series.
To those people, we say shhhhh.
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is a decent game, not the poo that you may have been told it is. It’s certainly not without its flaws, but let’s give it a bit of love and talk about the things that we think make this game a truly stunning experience.
We follow the same format as the earlier Trine games, taking control of three protagonists, the heroic misfit team of Pontius, Amadeus, and Zoya, who have all been summoned by Trine at pretty inconvenient times. Each of our heroes has a different set of skills, and you’ll need to learn to use them all effectively in order to solve some of the game’s more difficult puzzles.
Pontius, with a bulging ego, and bursting belly (or is it the other way around?), wields his sword and shield while gracefully smashing and slashing his way through any enemies dumb enough to stand in his path.
His skills are perfect for close encounter battles, dealing heaving damage in rapid succession and capable of withstanding massive blows with his shield raised. He is a tough warrior, who is surprisingly light on his toes despite his size.
But, his usefulness with puzzles comes from his ability to glide over great distances with his shield, reaching areas that are seemingly out of reach, or his ability to slam downwards onto triggers or hatches.
Amadeus, the Wizard with a one-trick hat, can conjure up a single large box, and move objects around using his magic.
While not the best in a combat situation, he can smash enemies around a bit with a large boulder, or one of his trusty…boxes. Whisked away during a much-needed beach holiday with his family, Amadeus brings another set of handy skills that will be needed to get your trio through this epic adventure. Mainly, you will find the most use in his ability to rearrange objects to create makeshift stairs or create obstructions that keep levers and doors open.
Zoya, having a bit more of an action-packed day stealing some gem thingy, is also summoned by Trine and sent on the journey.
Armed with a bow, and grappling hook, Zoya can hit targets from range, swing like a ninja to get to high places and bind objects together. This is a new feature to the series and allows you to create ghetto-pulley systems or stop platforms from moving. Her haphazard aiming in 3D means she is less useful in battle than previous Trine titles, but playing with the grapple remains a fun affair.
One of the great things about the Trine series is that in a lot of cases there’s no one right way.
There may be a more obvious solution to a puzzle, but ultimately you can probably solve it in a much faster way. There were times during our playtest where a door was held open by some miracle placement of one of Amadeus’ boxes, seemingly bypassing a very tricky process of sliding triggers around and binding them together.
The writing for Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is lacking in a few regards, but mostly it seems rushed. Not in a way that creates tension to the experience, in fact, the immortality of our heroes takes away any sense of urgency that the story tries to inject. There are a few scenes where are party has a chat, some witty lines scattered in, occasional one-liners from the narrator, and a not so interesting overview.
All up, expect to play for around 4-5 hours to see the story through, with some extra objectives to achieve for those hungry trophy hunters. If you opt to play co-op with a friend, expect to finish the game a bit faster with some of the puzzles being easier with two active players.
There isn’t a lot of re-playability potential, once the game is complete you’re probably happy to be done with it. But don’t fret, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince will be out later this year, and brings the franchise back to the 2.5D awesomeness it’s been known for previously.
If you haven’t played any of the earlier Trine games, you will enjoy getting lost in its atmospheric world, entertaining mechanics and consequence-free gameplay. But, for those who’ve dipped their toes into the pool before, play Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power knowing full well that it plays in a very same same but different manner. If that doesn’t sound like something you can forgive, hold out for Trine 4 later this year.
We loved this game, and are happy to look past its shortfalls to give it a rating of 7/10 on the Loot Reviews Game-o-meter-thing