I don’t think I’m exaggerating when saying that Trine 2 is one of the most vibrant and gorgeous side scrollers to date. Developer Frozenbyte has crafted a remarkably diverse and puzzle-rich universe, and with Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power they’re hoping to enrich their world by introducing 3d elements to the level designs. I was initially worried that the change in perspective may compromise the elegance of past entries, but luckily, Trine 3 plays much like its predecessors, and the addition of 3d solely serves to give environments a greater sense of depth and complexity.
Trine 3 is still in Early Access, and currently only offers two story missions, two challenge levels and two experimental levels with crazy contraptions. It’s more than enough content to give early investors a better understanding of what is yet to come. For anyone who enjoyed Frozenbyte’s earlier offerings, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is more of the same side-scrolling goodness, and it’s definitely worth the early purchase.
"For anyone who enjoyed Frozenbyte’s earlier offerings, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is more of the same side-scrolling goodness, and it’s definitely worth the early purchase."
As with previous entries, Trine 3 lets you switch between three protagonists: Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight and Zoya the Thief. Each character has a unique set of abilities that allows them to overcome complex environmental puzzles. The first three levels allow players to control each hero independently in order to learn the characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Amadeus is a wizard who can move objects and cast a magic box for reaching high places. He can’t fight nor jump very far. Zoya is an Assassin’s Creed-inspired acrobat with expert climbing abilities, a bow and arrow for long range attacks and a rope that allows her to swing between wide open spaces. Pontius is great for taking down hordes of enemies. He boasts a powerful sword and a shield that deflects incoming projectiles. He can also glide across great distances using his shield as a parachute.
Tired of having their lives ruled by Trine, our heroes set out to return their powers in order to claim their independence. After Trine accidentally shatters, an ancient evil sorcerer is released, and our heroes have no choice but to track him down. Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power features a unique online and local Co-op system that allows gamers to have two players locally and one online, or vise versa. This is an exemplary feature that more developers need to borrow (ehm, I’m looking at you TT Games). Frozenbyte has also introduced a series of challenge levels that focus on individual character’s abilities. These levels were actually my favorite part of the Early Access demo, as they offered genuinely tough puzzles and creative level layouts.
"Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power features a unique online and local Co-op system that allows gamers to have two players locally and one online, or vise versa."
The story missions are precisely what you’d expect from Trine, which is both a good and bad thing. Switching between characters to solve puzzles hasn’t lost its charm, but the current levels don’t have the predecessor’s wow factor. There’s an unshakable feeling of deja vu, even with the introduction of 3d. Trine 3 has by no means become a third person platformer, but a part of me wishes for more environmental openness. Trine 3 still carries 2-d platforming genes, which makes jumping in some of the 3d areas awkward and imprecise. To be fair, developer Frozenbyte is expanding on what made the first two titles great, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Trine has always been about its puzzle solving, and in that regard, Trine 3 doesn’t disappoint. The levels are cleverly designed and fun to navigate. The fighting is still kept to a minimum, but when you do eventually face foes, using Pontius’ sword to cut through baddies is undoubtedly satisfying.
I’ve encountered several glitches while playing Trine 3, one of which required me to restart an entire level. Halfway through the second stage, you encounter a giant turtle fisherman, and you’re tasked with figuring out how to help the fella catch a fish. Unfortunately, the turtle’s fishing pole was stuck to the ceiling on more than a few occasion, and I was unable to proceed. The error eventually cleared, and I’m sure the QA team is rigorously listening to player feedback, but it’s worth mentioning. There were a few other situations where my character got stuck to an object, and another instance when a piece of a puzzle got stuck in an unreachable corner. These type of bugs are expected at this stage, and they certainly don’t take away from the overall enjoyment.
"Despite its bugs, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is shaping up to be another success. Frozenbyte have proven their genius twice already, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final release."
Trine has always been visually breathtaking, and Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is just as beautiful as you’d expect. The environments radiate with saturated colors and meticulously crafted backgrounds. In a day and age when beige-colored shooters dominate the market, a game like Trine is a breath of fresh air. Animations are equally impressive, and each character controls notably different. The soundtrack is once again composed by the prestigious Ari Pulkkinen, and the voice acting is as superb as ever. When it comes to presentation, very few titles come close to Frozenbyte’s masterful creativity.
Despite its bugs, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is shaping up to be another success. Frozenbyte have proven their genius twice already, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final release. The Trine 3 Early Access can now be purchased via Steam for $19.99. If you’re expecting a lot of content, you may want to wait for another update or two, but the current levels are more than enough to showcase what Frozenbyte has in store for us.
Preview by: Tin Salamunic | Previewed on: PC