Trine 3: First Look

Trine 3 released for early access on Steam on April 21st, reporting three times the sales as Trine 2, and overwhelmingly positive reception from the community.

Trine 3 is developed by Frozenbyte and features an appealing blend of a 3-D world space with conventionally isometric platforming and a tripartite character/puzzle layout that continues to expand upon the classic dungeon crawler party system. It’s multiplayer enabled and allows any player to assume a different class at any given moment.

Trine is one of those series that knows how to stick to a formula, and in the case of Frozenbyte, diverging from the rails might not be in their best interest yet; here’s why:

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It stands the test of time that fantastical adventuring, party abstraction, and iteratively epochal storytelling are going to transcend the wide array of media available for many decades to come. Within the last century, Tolkien’s influence spawned a very unique subculture that promotes the hero’s journey, but with strength in numbers being the crutch of choice. It’s the path from point A to B, the adventure between, that tells a story, and the prize at the end of the rope is either a neatly tied knot or a nexus to the grand and enigmatic future awaiting these select heroes.

I’m probably sounding like a looney, but I have a few points to discuss and the aforementioned is my most salient of them all, so please keep that in the back of your head.

In the Trine series you play as three separate characters trying to accomplish various goals, and although I never got to play the first one, I can tell you each installment will stand alone or can equally compound experiences with minimal impact either way.ss_b0f7de6ba6ac2df3b5171a97294f0c668837b1e1.600x338

You platform, solve puzzles, collect treasure, and of course, beat up enemies. It’s fun, to say the least, but I fear the throes of early access have wrenched back the diadem of design, revealing a bleached skeleton.

The game looks fantastically beautiful graphically, a valiant leap ahead of its predecessors and a phenomenal adjustment to the quality bar, but this is an uncooked cake with mesmeric frosting. I had a lot of fun at certain points, but every time I ran into an unpolished area I could feel the variable infatuation with everything else becoming much less impactful. Such is the crux of early access.

In Trine 3 multiple puzzles must be tackled, some more difficult, dextrous, or downright buggy than others, but from what I saw, the prospects of Trine 3‘s layout is a vacuous dungeon-crawler that promotes the erection of futile roadblocks above the smooth weaves of event chains.

For example; you can play as a knight who exercises strength and gliding, a mage who uses telekinesis and summons objects, and a ranger who can swing across various gaps or fire arrows at switches to get the job done. All of the characters are able to wall jump, and given Trine’s particular use of an isometric layout that extends 3-dimensionally down the X and Y axis at various points, there sprouts two options for the player.

One: break the immersion and try to find the sensitive button prompt or try and mill about the screen until something reacts.

Two: power through the puzzle, possibly taking damage or simply wall jumping over it.

ss_9eb183e32d2cdbda30577b44639cef50531b1259.600x338Every time I was faced with a simple contraption it was far more arduous to sit there and meticulously dodge the joysticks like I’m adjusting a stripper’s tassels, and after awhile the mind-numbingly insincere prompts began to wear at my disjointed inputs, such to the point that I would switch to the mage, summon a legion of boxes, and run past whatever obstruction happened to be in my way.

I was incredibly flighty, and perhaps a bit too impatient, but the certainty of the game developers in their “puzzle” to adventure/combat ratio was a bit stilted towards the former, lending no credence to the exceedingly enjoyable aspects of my first look. I loved fighting the very first boss who was intrinsically a pseudo-Colossus-esque boss fight, one which I definitely did not take for granted.

I passed through a sufficient arc in the story and I wasn’t necessarily engrossed, but I wasn’t turned off either. I make it a point to not envelop myself in early access games which are more story-oriented as I don’t want to ruin the full experience which ultimately brings me to my next point.

Alway be frugal, especially in the video game market. This is an industry which is spoken ill of by many and generally does not perceive video games as an art form, and being in its infancy, digital entertainment such as this comes with malleable rules.

I generally don’t approve of early access as they portend a future of empty promises, but when you have a game like Trine 3 that shows incredible potential and rests under the wing of amicable developers, it goes without mentioning that one should invest in a veritably enjoyable experience. And I would wholeheartedly support this notion.ss_0494186641a743e6ef16c5d6a6260b6b47aead95.600x338

However, there is a clause.

Trine 3 is story driven, but also happens to have its fair share of bugs and incongruencies. Personally I would not recommend buying the game until it reaches completion. It’s a great multiplayer experience in itself, but with average mechanics, the only resolve is within the world they have constructed.

My ultimate advice for anyone who wants to act right now is to show interest, and if you have the money, this is a safe buy, but don’t complain about the optimization, bugs, or lack of gameplay options if you buy early access because what the hell are you doing playing through Trine 3 before you can fully embrace the completed game?

I truly wish the developers hadn’t planted their fruits so early as this could have been a much more momentous conjuncture which is why I’m incredibly glad I stopped when I did. I’m expecting a great game, just not until release, and if the developers are as spasmodic in their updates as Trine 3 is in its gameplay, then I call dibs on “Frozenbyt the dust” for their epitaph.

 

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