Moving the game beyond the constraints of the original Trine are a number of other new features and improvements that have been woven into the sequel - the fabulous new graphics are just the start.
Mechanically, fluid physics are one of the major additions to the game, mostly appearing in the form of waterfalls, which players must redirect to clear obstacles or grow mystical plants that will allow access to new areas. There's the usual problem with fluid technology in that what is meant to be water seems to look and behave more like oil, but it's an issue we can easily overlook given how much it adds to the game.
The chance to water your plants isn't the only new feature in Trine 2 though; there's also a wealth of new enemies and boss characters who pose more of a threat than the goblins of old. Environmental challenges such as teleporters, floating bubbles of air and plumbing systems that create wind tunnels also push Trine 2 down a more overtly mystical and fanciful path than the first game.
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Further customisation options surround the game too, with a Game+ setting available for those who want to replay again and again with their upgraded protagonists, and an Unlimited Character mode available from the start. This mode is especially interesting for those who want to treat Trine 2's more developed physics sandbox as a creative opportunity, letting you play with any combo of three characters at once.
You'd be amazed what three Wizards can get up to, but it's interesting to note that the Warrior also comes into his own in this mode, proving able to redirect missiles and fireballs with his shield. Essentially useless for anything but combat in the first game, Trine 2's Warrior gets called upon a lot more this time around, though each puzzle can still be theoretically solved by any single character.
Even the narrator, who fell into the background as he guided players through a forgettable story, comes more into the fore this time around, thanks to storybook-styled level introductions. The plot is still something that impatient players can skip over completely, but attentive sorts will be rewarded with a warm fuzzy feeling that arises from a fireside tone, although the attempts at humour sometimes fall flat and the pacing a little off. It's worth listening to the storyline develop, but doing so can sometimes feel like a chore given the pace at which the narrator reads.
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If it seems odd that we haven't raised a single serious weakness of the game yet, by the way, then that might be because it doesn't have one that we can identify. Levels are long, varied, beautiful and interesting; the story is rewarding without being weighed down by pointless cutscenes and the gameplay is intelligent, accessible and bold. It's playable in singleplayer and multiplayer, online or offline and offers a consistently unique and inviting gaming experience. It's also cheaper than a pair of movie tickets.
Trine 2 is a fantastic game, just like its predecessor, and one which we feel we can easily and flatly recommend to gamers of all tastes and ability levels - no matter who you are, you can't help but love Trine 2.