Despite being the newest console on the block, the Wii U’s best looking game is a downloadable game that has been ported from the other consoles. The ridiculously good-looking Trine 2 and its vibrant and lurid landscapes has found a definitive console version on the Wii U with Trine 2: Director’s Cut.
Trine 2 is a puzzle platform sequel to the critically acclaimed Trine. While the game came out for PC and consoles earlier last year it’s been updated and re-released for the Wii U. Much like in the first game, you take control of three characters; Zoya the thief, the wizard Amadeus and Pontius.
Each of them offers a distinct play style with the wizard able to conjure boxes and planks from thin air, Zora can fire arrows and swing from the ceiling and Pontius has been built for battle.
These disparate game styles work well together, with each character’s skill set complementing the others’. Each character works best in specific scenarios, for instance Pontius is the best in brawls, but the characters are well balanced enough so that even the weak Amadeus can handle himself in battle.
Most of the puzzles have been built well around this concept, with an intended path that may require a specific character but can also be passed through smart use of different characters. Early puzzles are intuitive and help you get a grip on each of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
However, as more gameplay mechanics are introduced the game struggles to teach the player how they work. While this does provide some brilliant eureka moments and it’s nice to see a game that doesn’t spell everything out, there could be a bit of improvement in level design to help you figure things outs.
It also doesn’t help that, although most of the game’s puzzles can be completed with any of the three characters, Amadeus is by far the most useful. Half the puzzles can be ignored completely by just creating a pile of boxes and planks and skipping over them. It’s good to be afforded such freedom to approach puzzles in a variety of ways but it also eliminates the need to learn new mechanics when the create boxes technique works almost all the time.
To really enjoy the game you need to regulate how you play it and actually attempt to complete the puzzles the ‘correct’ way. If you don’t then the 12-15 hours of gameplay gets repetitive quickly. The only breaks you’ll have from box stacking are the bosses, or more accurately the boss in a variety of different colours. It’s clear that Frozenbyte spent all their time creating the puzzles and neglected the actual enemies in the game.
Enemies do become more varied in the Goblin Menace DLC that comes bundled with the Director’s Cut. There is also a much greater variation in environments that show off the full beauty of the graphics than in the main game. Sadly, you have to play through the entire main game before you can play the Goblin Menace levels. So if you’ve already completed it on another console then you’ll have to do it all again.
The Wii U version does offer up some decent reasons to do this though. First off it’s the best looking of all the console versions (but isn’t quite up to the standard it can reach on PCs). Trine 2 on the Wii U handles anti-aliasing much better than the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions and little touches like the improved physics on the PC version have finally made it into a console release.
Another plus point the Wii U version has is the control scheme. There are a variety of ways you can play the game; with the gamepad, with a Wii controller and nunchuk or with the Wii U pro controller. The gamepad’s control scheme utilises both the touch screen and button inputs. With all actions mapped to both touch controls and to individual buttons. Each have their strengths and weaknesses but it’s most effective to use a combination of the two styles. Things like firing Zora’s arrows or conjuring boxes are much more natural with the touchscreen whereas battling enemies and precision platforming requires the use of the buttons.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut for the Wii U is the definitive version of Trine 2, offering not only a better looking game but also more intuitive controls and the Goblin Menace DLC included. It might not be worth a buy if you’ve already played the game but if you haven’t or if you’re looking to pad out your Wii U library then Trine 2 is definitely worth its price.
Verdict – On Target
Platforms Available – Wii U
Platform Reviewed – Wii U
Review based on copy supplied by Frozenbyte. Please read this post for more on our scoring policy.