Let's get right to it, I am a huge fan of side scrolling games. They remind me of the golden age of games consoles. But, I'll admit, I'm totally new to the Trine franchise. What a pleasant surprise Trine 4 is though. Right from the introduction and tutorial segments, I was hooked in. Trine 4 is, put simply, an immensely fun game to play.
From the get go, there are two different options for playing Trine 4, and both options work in single player and multiplayer. Classic Mode only allows you to choose one character, while in Unlimited Mode every character can be switched through on-the-fly. If you want to tune it a little more, Trine 4 offers both Normal and Easy modes, depending on the level of challenge you're after.
Trine 4 is, at its core, a co-operative side-scrolling physics adventure, one loaded with oodles of puzzles, plenty of jokes, and a joyous fairytale world to explore. The classic trio of characters return - Amadeus the Wizard, Zora the Thief, and Ser Pontius the Knight, each with their own unique abilities to help pick through. You’ll be exploring eerie pumpkin fields, dark forests, magical grottos, and shining frozen lakes.
Along the way you’ll be trying to bridge gaps, pull levels, and even using a grappling hook to send up a temporary tightrope to hobble along. You’ll need a fair bit of ingenuity to get all three players safely to the other side of the screen.
In a really neat touch which I absolutely love, the levels change from single player to multiplayer. Solo play is fairly self explanatory, while the multiplayer versions mean levels can’t be completed if other players don't do their part. Unlimited mode can be played with 4 players, where everyone can pick whatever character they want, while classic has to be played with three and each character can only be picked by one player. It's definitely a lot more enjoyable this way provided your teammates actually do their part and don't leave you stranded, but GD’s own Henry11 stuck with me. This is a nice change from other multiplayer games where not much changes from single to multi and opens the door to multiple potential playthroughs.
A large chunk of side scrolling games don't tend to look particularly pretty, yet the first thing which hits you is just how gorgeous Trine is 4 is to look at. It’s no slouch in terms of demands either. Maxed out, Trine 4 makes full use of the Vega 64 in my system. While hard to believe, it may be one of the most demanding games we’ve yet played. Running antialiasing on high and the textures on full quality as well, Triner 4 is a remarkable feast for the eyes. The vibrant colours; animations which are full of character; it’s eye candy of the highest order and unexpected from a side-scrolling physics-based platformers.
Trine 4 deserves a big shout out for having cut scenes work in ultrawide resolutions rather than defaulting to 16:9, well done for the minority of ultrawide users such as myself. Control wise, I tried both keyboard and mouse, and controller, and found gameplay to be way more precise and polished while using a gamepad.
For our review we took a look at the PC version, of course, although Trine 4 is also available on all major consoles. I would love to see how it runs on the Switch. If anyone has one and intends to pick this up, do let us know in the comments below.
The audio is where this game really shines. From the soundtrack to the sound effects everything is just there. I personally would love to see them release a soundtrack with both FLAC and MP3 tracks. The option for headphone mode is a nice touch, gives the game a bit more immersion and depth. The music is just brilliant, every track matches the scene perfectly and it's a welcome change to most games. From the sound of arrows to the sound of enemies looming when you change scenes is incredibly beautiful. Has the proper balance between mellow and chaotic when need be. It's something I wish big studios paid more attention to.
Overall, Trine 4 is a fantastic, beautiful and extremely enjoyable game to play. Originality may not have been high up on the list of priorities by the time this fourth outing rolled around but everything, from the sumptuous visuals to the audio, everything is tip top. For people who have played previous Trine titles, this one may be the best one yet. It’s a remarkably solid side scrolling title and what seems to be a welcome change from the ill-fated Trine 3.
I didn’t honestly think Trine 4 would enrapture me as much as it has, particularly when tackling the multiplayer. If you’ve played and enjoyed and title in the Trine franchise before, you’re very likely to love this one, so grab a few friends and enjoy.