Trine 3 – Early Access Preview
It was apparent only minutes into Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power that I was not about to be simply going through the same motions that I had become familiar with in previous Trine games. The two preceding games saw mes have experiencing Trine from a strictly two dimensional perspective (to much critical acclaim). Presumably not content to just continue to churn out the same old game repeatedly the developers at Frozenbyte have entered the third dimension with the Trine 3 and, as I come away from having played the first three core missions in the games early access phase I’m pleased to report that in large part it succeeds in making the jump to 3D.
I was given very little plot direction in this early access phase, though the little exposition that takes place reveals that our heroes, the Knight Pontius, Wizard Armadeus and Thief Zoya are again whisked away from their normal lives to assist those defending the Astral Academy from the attack of a large, and apparently fearsome monster. Of course it is the power of the Trine that again binds the three together, allowing only one to exist on the physical plane while the others rest inside of the Trine, awaiting their opportunity to tag in and assist. The game’s writing feels a little so-so thus far but given the very limited slice of game that I played this could stand to improve as we get more time with it.
I previously mentioned that Trine 3 for the very first time in franchise history dips its toes into 3D gameplay, and while the action and platforming feel a little more diverse as a result of this addition, there are some of the finer touches that also strike me as more frustrating than they ought to be. One of my biggest issues with the gameplay in these 3D areas is that when I headed back towards the screen the camera didn’t pan out enough, resulting in a few unfortunate deaths where I strolled right off the edge of the level. A large portion of the play time still sees players traverse 2D environments and these both look and feel like the previous Trine games. There were a few strange physics quirks present that prevented me from feeling completely immersed in the experience, but nor did they leave me feeling completely bemused either. They’re no more than your typical amusing bugs that tend to appear when a game places a heavy emphasis on physics.
Just like the previous games, Trine 3 is bursting with vibrant colour, boasts incredible attention to detail and is about as charming as it gets. Series composer Ari Pulkkinen has returned for this third game and assists in making returning fans feel immediately at home. Catchy tunes along with serene themes make the time fly by, while also making the occasional death hurt that little bit less.
I’m pleased to report that with the game being about 2 weeks from release all bodes quite well for Trine 3, there are some minor gripes surrounding the 3D camerawork and the game’s physics, but all in all, things are shaping up quite nicely. At present Trine 3 is coming to PC, but one can assume that in time we’ll see a multiplatform release in the future too. 3D gameplay opens up new opportunities and I’m quite intrigued to see what the final release brings. Luckily all will be revealed ahead of the games formal release in a little over a week.