Game: Trine 3: Artefacts Of Power
Genre: Action / Adventure
System: Switch, PS4, PC and Xbox One
Developer/ Publisher: Frozenbyte | Frozenbyte
Age Rating: EU: 10+ | USA: E (Everyone)
Price: €19.99| £17.99 | $19.99
Release Date: 29th July 2019
Thanks to Frozenbyte for kindly providing a review code!
Three seasoned heroes are called forth once more as the mysterious Trine causes a disturbance in the world order. Join Zoya, Pontius and Amadeus as new events unfold within this tale of their joint fates.
Artefacts Of Mystery
As someone who hasn’t played a Trine game before, it may have been a little foolhardy to play the third title in the series. Nevertheless I figured diving in headfirst would be an interesting experience. The only challenges I really faced as a newcomer were all in regards to the games lore and storyline￼￼. Trine 3 continues onwards from the previous games and also leads into the next game. That’s not to say I didn’t get an understanding of the characters and the setting, but previous experience of the series definitely would have improved my experience as the narrative progressed through this game, especially due to how short the game is.￼￼
That would be the thing that I feel would have improved this game, for it to have been a little longer.￼￼ By the time I finally got my head around the characters, their relationship, and their bearing on the world around them and involvement in supernatural events. the game was already over and leading into the next one. ￼￼ especially as there are three characters, I feel that neither of them are particularly well elaborated during this game, which again I pin down to the game being part of a larger narrative. ￼ That’s not to say that they are unlikable, it’s that I would’ve liked the game to help me get to know them better even if it meant retracing what they had achieved in previous games. I can respect however that the game is rewarding to fans of the series, rather than newcomers like me.
Sword, Rope & Magic!
Each of the characters have their own unique abilities and can be switched upon on the fly.￼￼ Pontius can attack with his sword, charge enemies, stomp the ground and use his shield to slow his fall. Zoya uses a bow, but also has a rope that can attach to many things, pull them and connect them to other things. Amadeus is a spellcaster who can manipulate certain stage features and summon a box that can also be moved telekinetically. During the entirety of the game there are many puddles whereby each character uses their unique abilities and various creative ways.
However, I found that the majority of the game, especially the main campaign, I tended to favour Pontius who not only could defend himself much better than the others, but simply had better manoeuverability, especially thanks to his glide ability. Perhaps better balancing could have prevented this, but the game does actively encourage you to think of many creative ways to solve each of the puzzles rather than need you to figure out just the one way. ￼
It is a great feature, being able to switch between characters at any time. If you perish as one character, you can instantly switch to another and continue your adventure. If you do so, you are also given the opportunity to revive your deceased character by standing in their aura. This is a reference to the story and how the characters are immortal, I do however feel that it does make a significant dent in the games potential difficulty￼￼. Being able to revive each other an infinite amount of times￼ lessens the impact of the characters struggle. Combined with the fact that characters automatically heal over time, leads me to feel that the game is a little watered-down, especially due to how short it is.￼
Gotta Get Those… Pyramids?
To progress through the game, hidden in each stage are a number of pyramid-like objects for you to collect. If you have a naturally explorative personality, you will be keenly collecting these as you go through each stage. Fear not if you miss any though, as once you clear the stage you can re-enter the stage at any checkpoint and the game will illustrate where there are still pyramids to be collected. ￼￼￼Each new stage will require a certain amount of pyramids to have been collected.
As well as the main campaign, there are a number of smaller stages too which will place you in control of a single one of the characters￼￼ against either a horde of enemies or a puzzle. All of the stages are accessed from a map-like overworld which makes it easy to see where you have progressed in relation to the entire game. ￼Walking up to each stage post will show you how many pyramids there are in each stage and how many you have collected Once you have collected all of them from any one stage, a little flag will appear with a glowing pyramid to show you that you have collected them all.
I am a big fan of the game encouraging you to explore each level to its fullest. The world map is also a neat way for you to quickly move from stage to stage and see what is left to be done.￼￼ The challenge stages were a nice touch, and do help you get to grips with each individual character and their abilities much better than any of the campaign stages.￼ Each also offer a small amount of pyramids if you’re struggling to find them in the main stages, and I’m pretty sure later on in the game it is required for you to have at least played a few of them to progress.
I have decided to make footnotes a regular feature of my reviews. Often I struggle to elaborate on things like audio and graphics thanks to the age we live in where most games either follow the foundations laid out in retro games, or are built on a common engine leading to consistently great graphics.￼￼ Audio as well is rarely stand out, and equally rarely a blemish on a game.￼ Trine 3 is no exception to this for me. I see that they are aiming for a unique art style, I find it a little moody and often dark but can accept that was likely an artistic decision and can respect it to that extent. The music is fine, and I do really like how much voice acting they manage to put in a smaller game, but there was nothing stand out in this department for me again in this game.
Trine 3 is a well made game that was fun to explore.￼￼ I feel like being a newcomer has helped me avoid the prejudice that so many other reviewers have placed on this game in relation to the others from the series. If this is the weak link in the Trine series, then I should certainly put more effort into investing in the others.￼￼
There are shortcomings in the balancing of each character, the middling quality of the story and the brevity of the overall experience. ￼Personally, I also didn’t find myself growing particularly attached to these characters or the setting. ￼But regardless there is plenty to be enjoyed within this game, perhaps I should encourage other newcomers to play this game first too so that they get an appreciation for the rest of the series.￼ Not bad, Trine 3!
Verdict: I like it