Well, well, well. It’s been a while. See, with Christmas and the New Year, as well as a looming set of exams conspiring to rob me of free time, it’s been several weeks since my last real review hit your screens, but now I’m back and what better way to get back into the spirit of the thing than with a Wii U review – specifically Trine 2: Director’s Cut.
Trine 2 is quite simply one of the most beautiful games ever made. Of course that’s like reviewing television sets as a TV critic – it’s utterly meaningless because it’s only talking about how something is presented rather than the thing itself, which is of course the main event, as it were. Despite this, the lighting effects used in conjunction with the high resolution of the Wii U makes things absolutely gorgeous and are not to be missed. A word of advice though – having a second screen in your hands can be very tempting to look at, but try to resist the urge. The real visual treat is to be had on the TV provided you have a good set and you won’t want to miss out.
The gameplay centres on the use of skill sets of three heroes – Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief, and Pontius the knight, who can use different abilities to puzzle their way through a wide variety of 2.5D worlds to achieve their goal. Zoya can grapple, Pontius can block incoming attacks and brute force his way through obstacles, while Amadeus has one of the more useful and interesting skills – summoning blocks and moving around obstacles that already exist. The combination of these three allows for some clever hidden items as well as providing some very challenging puzzles, none of which I’ll spoil here.
The most obvious change between Trine 2’s Wii U edition and its console and PC stablemates is the inclusion of Wii U GamePad compatability, a welcome change that gives the player a couple of ways to play depending on preference. For instance, most of the game’s major actions like spell casting, archery and shield maneuvers can be performed with the stylus and touchscreen, but if that’s uncomfortable or too unconventional for you then by all means feel free to use the buttons – the lack of any 3D movement means there’s a right analogue stick available for use in such activities as firing arrows in which it excels.
Trine 2’s major success is in being consistently very humourous, the character voices betraying the fact that the game doesn’t really take itself very seriously, but that’s part of its charm. I’ve never gotten on particularly well with fantasy style games that seem to think their epic plot is the one to rule them all, to steal a line from the fantasy plot that might actually be. I think I just find them all faintly ridiculous and while it’s funny at first, playing through it quickly feels like a chore, which is why the humour in Trine 2, by no means laugh-a-minute stuff, is still incredibly refreshing.
The addition of the initially PC-only expansion for free is nice, and while the price tag is slightly high at the moment that’s only because it’s coincided with a massive Trine 2 price cut in the Steam winter sale, so if you’re reading this in months to come or you’re holding off on buying a Wii U until the price comes down or more essential games are released, keep this one on your radar.
Trine 2 is an excellent port of a PC game that manages to retain a great ease of control through its use of the Wii U GamePad. While it’s a little on the expensive side, the relative lack of great boxed games out at the moment means it’s a must-buy if you’re searching for something to put on your Wii U and can’t run or don’t want the PC version. 8/10.