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Trine 2 3D Review

 
 
 
 
Trine 2 is the sequel to the popular title from Frozenbyte. The game is best described as a side-scrolling platform/puzzle game, but that moniker somewhat dilutes the originality of the game. Frozenbyte has managed to hit pretty much every major platform with this release from the Xbox 360 and PS3, to Windows, OSX and even Linux PCs. Today we will be taking a closer look at the Windows version specifically...in 3D!
 
 
Although the game is light on story, there are some brief interludes which move the progression along. At the start of the game we are shown Amadeus the wizard, who is called upon to save the kingdom once more. To be honest, I've never played the original game but I doubt that would affect my enjoyment of this title considering the story takes a backseat to the game play. The wizard is then joined by Pontius, a knight, and finally by a female thief named Zoya before they embark on their mission. After a short tutorial segment you are thrown into the game and off to your adventure.
 
 
In Trine 2 you are able to switch between each of the three characters at will, and you will do this often as each one provides unique abilities necessary to progress. For example, the wizard can conjure up boxes and also levitate objects. The knight can fight enemies with his sword and shield, while the thief can climb up on ledges with a grappling hook device.  In addition, each character's abilities can be leveled-up as you gain points throughout the game. This is not as advanced as a full-on role-playing game, but does add an element of strategy to the title.
 
 
The graphics in this game are really something to see, and is a great example of art direction trumping raw computing power. While the title does not need a super-computer to run, what the developers have accomplished with limited power is quite a feat. There is just an impeccable attention to detail that is not usually seen in games today. Each scene displays a rich landscape, with bright colorful palettes and detailed set-pieces setting a distinct mood. Just the style of the art alone makes this game stand out from the pack, and fans of fantasy games will surely appreciate it. Though even if you don't consider yourself a fantasy buff, there is enough fun in the game to pull you into the action.
 
 
The wizard Amadeus cannot attack so he is most useful when solving puzzles. The other two characters are your fighters.  The knight has a sword and a hammer (both of which can be upgraded) and he is the strongest in the game. The thief has a bow and arrow (also upgradable), which helps for subduing enemies on hard to reach places. For the most part you are just fighting goblins, but they throw in bosses every now and again. Even so, this is not an action game really, but there are enough fight sequences to break up the game play.
 
What makes Trine 2 really exciting are the physics because most of the puzzles in the game are physics-based and are pretty innovative in that respect. When the game begins, most of the puzzles are pretty simple, moving boxes around, building bridges, and things like that.  As you get further though, they get more advanced and you will need to do things like prop a log up which siphons water from a waterfall, which then lands on a magic spot on the ground causing a plant to glow allowing you to jump to a new area. Sounds complicated, I know, but it actually ends up being pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it.
 
 
What's really innovative about it is that the answer to each puzzle is not scripted. This is real physics at work. There are usually at least two or more different ways to handle each puzzle. It really amazed me reading some of the walk-throughs for this (yes, I did cheat a bit, some of the puzzles can be difficult) because they would list completely different solutions to puzzles I'd completed myself. Though you do have a limited amount of abilities, you are free to use them how you see fit and I don't think this is something many other games have accomplished. In this respect, the game is actually pretty successful at blazing a new trail in a gaming world that's largely restricted to “cookie-cutter” sequels in tried-and-true genres. Certainly the game play alone warrants a look if you want to try something different.
 
Now!  I know this is what you are waiting for: how does it look in 3D?  I will just cut to the chase with one word: Amazing!
 
 
SYSTEM Specs:
 
AMD 1090T 3.2Ghz
Patriot DDR3 1333Ghz RAM
Windows 7 64 Bit
Samsung S23A750D 23" Monitor
Catalyst 12.7 Beta
 
Maingear X-Cube
Intel Core I7 Processor 2.66GHZ
6GB RAM
GTX 580, GTX 275 (PhysX)
Windows 7 64 Bit
NVIDIA 304.79 Beta Stereo Driver
ASUS VG278 27" 3D Display
 
This game needs to be seen to be believed. The best part is that the developers went the extra mile and included native stereoscopic support for a variety of setups. Those options include Nvidia 3D Vision, AMD HD3D, side-by-side, interlaced, checkerboard, and more. Not since James Cameron's Avatar : The Game have we seen such a great effort done to provide native stereo 3D support in a title. Not only that, but there is also a great amount of customization provided to tweak the 3D effect to your liking. Frozenbyte has spared no expense at providing one of best 3D implementations to date.
 
 
Unlike some other developers who shall remain nameless, Frozenbyte really allows gamers to dial in the 3D the way they want, with generously long sliding bars for separation and convergence which reach way further than normally seen. It really has raised the bar as to what to expect from a 3D game, and sets a great example for others to follow. I should hope that other developers will take a look at Trine 2 before they decide to add native stereo support into their own titles. The settings that worked best for me are shown throughout the review, but feel free to adjust to your own liking.
 
 
There is a remaining bug where the separation seems to shimmer in and out as your characters move.  Even though it's easy to ignore, this isn't an auto-convergence functionality on the game's part, and it should get fixed.
 
 
 
System Specs:
AMD 1090T 3.2Ghz
Patriot DDR3 1333Ghz RAM
Windows 7 64 Bit
Samsung S23A750D 23" Monitor
Catalyst 12.7 Beta
 
Although the game does provide native support, there may be some cases where you would want to utilize a 3rd party driver for 3D. In that event you will be happy to hear that the DDD TriDef driver does provide a profile for Trine 2. While the experience is not as flawless as the native rendering, it still looks pretty good.
 
 
The main issue with DDD is its inconsistent shadows.  Sometimes they are in mono, other times they are rendered a little differently in each eye.  There aren't any game settings available to turn the shadows off, so there will be some discomfort if you focus on this component of the game. Thankfully not every scene in Trine 2 has these problems, but many do.  Interestingly enough, even though Trine 2's 3D output is handled differently with the DDD drivers, it too suffers from the shimmering separation in the game - even after auto-convergence is turned off.  It's a bug that's easy to ignore, but it is an interesting finding.
 
 
Despite these issues, the game remains very playable with DDD, though it's not the full experience you will get with the native rendering modes.
 
 
What the developers at Frozenbyte have accomplished cannot be understated. Trine 2 is not only one of the best 3D games to date, but probably the most visually arresting title I've ever played. Once you put on those 3D glasses you are literally transported into another space and time, a time when magic was real and goblins roamed the earth. As a 3D gamer, you owe it to yourself to experience this title.  Believe me!
 
 
I've played dozens of games in stereoscopic 3D, and Trine 2 seriously blew me away like never before. It actually reminded me of how amazing games used to look back when I got my first set of 3D specs. Yes, it's that good! For the cheap price they are asking, it's well worth it for a 10 hour adventure. This is also great material to show friends when they ask you to see your 3D setup. No question about it, this game is what 3D is all about. There's nothing more I can say, so go buy it now!

Game Play
9/10
 
Sound
7/10
 
Presentation
9/10
 
Immersive Nature
9.5/10
 
How Memorable Is This Game
9/10
 
 
 
AMD HD3D Overall Rating
8.83/10
 
NVIDIA Overall Rating
8.83/10
 
DDD Overall Rating
8.66/10