Since the developers of the brutal top-down shooter Shadowgrounds set about creating a cute fairy platformer about the journey of three brave heroes, a lot of water has flowed. I already spoke about the misadventures of the Trine series in a recent preview of the fourth part , but now the game is in full release. And this is great: because of the troubles that the series hit after the release of the last chapter, the sequel might not have happened at all. But Frozenbyte , fortunately, found the strength to work again on the adventures of an inseparable trinity.
If you’ve played the previous Trine at least once, then you will feel at home here. As in the good old days, the wizard Amadeus will pull the adventure out of a cozy house, the knight Pontius will distract him from exploits, and the thief Zoya from dubious cases. The most controversial developments of Trine 3, like the third dimension, were sent to the closet: now the heroes again travel through the fabulous two-dimensional world. In addition, we again have a system of experience and a tree of character development, so that we seemed to be back in a long-forgotten house.
But the developers did not completely get rid of their own heritage, but, on the contrary, carefully wove it into the already well-functioning mechanics. For example, a thief can again tightly tie a couple of objects with a rope, only now the characters have also learned to walk along the laid cableway. In addition, Zoya received a completely new toy: a rope that lifts interactive objects into the air like stone blocks. Thanks to additional abilities, the girl has become more useful for solving puzzles, and now the tasks themselves are much more diverse. The knight and the wizard received similar gifts: Amadeus again learned to call a variety of platforms, and the knight got the opportunity to create a projection of his shield from afar.
The talents of the characters are interesting in themselves, but much more important is another: they are surprisingly harmoniously combined from the beginning to the very end of the game. Here is a typical example of the puzzle from Trine 4. The team needs to direct several streams of light to one stone. To do this, Pontius must redirect one of the rays to the target in person, reflecting it with a polished shield and the other with a magical projection. But to install it is not so simple – for this the knight needs to stand on a solid surface, and to the beam – this is bad luck – you will not be able to jump even from the boxes dumped into the pile. It is solved this way: Amadeus creates a pair of cubes, the thief first ties them with a strong rope, and then launches a magic rope under the ceiling. Then the knight climbs onto the lowest box, sets the shield projection at the right angle, gets down,
In short, due to the variability of the skills of the characters, Trine 4 turned out to be unexpectedly deeper than, say, the first part. There are many things to think about, and one of the boss fights, entirely consisting of puzzles, makes you grind your teeth in thought.
Finally, another Trine 4 merit in its levels. They differ in considerable, by the standards of the series, dimensions and good dynamics: the game alternates complex puzzles in a timely manner with simple ones, then replaces them with a short but vibrant battle and again throws the player a difficult task.
Many locations are pleased with the new abilities of the characters or the reasons to look in a new way at the already tested. Among the snow-capped mountains, the trinity will fight with a storm, from which it is convenient to hide behind a magic bar, in the swamp it will encounter electric generators that instantly charge metal platforms with current, a pair of ordinary pillars of light using a special stone can be focused into a single incinerating beam, and in a fairy-tale castle from the world of nightmares heroes will meet platform portals along the way. This abundance is enough not to get bored at least until the end of the first passage.
Perhaps the only significant problem of the game is that some abilities do not go into business infrequently: in battles you can win without problems even without the knight’s sword of lightning, but I did not find the use of Amadeus’s rubber ball. And the battles were not as good as the puzzles. Opponents are too similar to each other, and the collisions themselves are incredibly simple (however, some boss fights are quite inventive and also reveal the character’s abilities well)
Trine 4 still pleases with its fabulous charm – thanks to the Frozenbyte artists who seemed to have reached the peak of form. A garden of a saddened badger in the middle of a bright summer forest, snow-capped mountain peaks and a castle of nightmares can be taken apart for desktop wallpaper. Only the addiction of developers to close-ups in cutscenes, where all the weaknesses of the engine, like the skin of characters resembling plasticine, become much more noticeable, can hinder admiring the beauties of the world.
The music didn’t let us down either: Ari Pulkkinen’s fantasy motifs may not strike my memory too much, but they fit perfectly into the game. But the story, although not bad, in comparison with other advantages of Trine 4 will fade somewhat. For a couple of evenings that will go to the passage, the company of an inseparable trinity is unlikely to get bored, but the skirmishes of the heroes about what to fear, what to fight with and how to deal with the main villain, Prince Selius, can become boring. The plot has one predictable twist and a bit of character disclosure, but this is where its merits end – however, as well as its flaws.
Finally, Trine 4 has one more strong point: cooperative mode. The series has always been good entertainment for three people, and four can simultaneously play the new part at once. There are no restrictions on the number of characters of the same type in this mode, so a company of four wizards or thieves is a completely normal picture.
In the new franchise game, the developers almost perfectly played the already familiar game: Trine 4 turned out to be as classic as possible. What the series was good, performed even better than before, and there are very few shortcomings. Perhaps the only catch is that the series again lacks new ideas, but not the essence. The main thing is that Frozenbyte created a smart and beautiful game. And with innovation, you can wait until the next part – if the developers take up it.