4cr Plays – Trine 2: Director’s Cut
If you want to play a great game with physics-based puzzles and action, Trine 2: Director’s Cut is for you.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut has been released as part of the launch lineup for the Wii U eshop and it brings something old, something new, and something borrowed to a very nice upgrade that proves to be the definitive version of the game. If you have played Trine 2 before you will find several tweaks and improvements which have been made to the game. All the patches from the PC version have been implemented on Wii U, including the Goblin Menace DLC which is now part of the initial download instead of aftermarket DLC (which explains why the file is close to 2 GB in size).
Why is this a Director’s Cut? Because it has all the content and improvements that Frozenbyte envisioned for this entry in the series, and then some. You not only get all 13 levels from the original adventure, you also get the extra 6 levels from Goblin Menace as well as a Wii U exclusive level that you can’t play anywhere else. This additional content is why the game is available for $19.99 in the Wii U eshop. In my estimation it is worth every penny since you’ll get over 15 hours of fun out of your purchase (and 199 Digital Deluxe Promotion points for those that bought the Black Wii U Deluxe!).
The adventurers in Trine 2 are a diverse bunch, and each one brings a unique set of skills to make the most of in order to survive until the end of the game. First up is Amadeus the Wizard who can conjure boxes and planks out of thin air so that you can cross chasms and climb to higher ground. Next we have Pontius the Knight, a warrior who is a trusty main attacker and defender with his classic but trustworthy sword and shield combo. Finally, there is Zoya the thief, a nimble archer who can disappear into thin air or use a grappling hook to to quickly travel around each level.
In single player, you can switch between all 3 characters at any time which makes for some very interesting puzzle solving since the game has a different flow when played by yourself. In multiplayer (either locally or online) someone could control Amadeus to create a stack of boxes so that Zoya can get higher in order for her to grapple to a higher ledge, all while Pontius is fighting some goblins who are out to get our group of adventurers. When doing this in single player mode, you may have to use Zoya’s ice arrows to freeze the goblins in place, switch to Amadeus to create the stack of boxes, then use Pontius’ hammer to shatter the goblins before changing back to Zoya to carry on with your quest.
Another great thing about Trine 2 is that there is always more than one solution to each puzzle. To cross a chasm you could use Amadeus to place a plank and a box over the edge on the other side, then have Pontius use his charge skill to gain a speed boost that will let him jump over to the plank on the other side. Or you could upgrade Amadeus’ skills to unlock the magnetize skill, apply it to the plank, have it stick to that metal block on the cliff, and then magnetize another plank, and then another, so that you can calmly walk to the other side. Or you could use Zoya to swing to the other side by gaining enough momentum while swinging and hoping that she can hit the side of the cliff in order for her to do a second wall jump (a skill all the characters can use).
In terms of each character’s skills and how upgrades work, at first, each one has a limited skill set that can be improved by doing some adventuring to gain experience points. Most experience points will come from experience vials and power-ups which can be found all over the levels (and sometimes hidden where you can’t see them at first). You also get experience from defeating goblins and other enemies. For every 50 experience points, you will level up and gain one Skill point you can use to upgrade the skills of one of your adventurers. For example, Amadeus can conjure one box at first, but you can upgrade his skill so that he can conjure up to 4 boxes at a time, or mix things up and unlock the Plank skill so that you can conjure both planks and boxes. Zoya has regular arrows at first, but you can get ice arrows, fire arrows or explosive arrows, along with a very useful skill that creates a time vacuum that makes time pass slowly inside of its bubble. Pontius can unlock his charge skill (which I’ve mentioned before), a skill that allows him to use his shield as a kite in order to slowly glide down from high ledges, or one which allows him to throw his mighty hammer farther. The best part of the skill system is that you can re-spec the distribution of the skill points at any time without a penalty. This means you can mix and match skills to specific situations or puzzles and then re-spec them for general gameplay, all in a few seconds. On the WiiU there are also extra skills available from the start in Trine 2: Director’s Cut which were introduced as a part of the Goblin Menace extra content.
The Goblin Menace add on picks up right after you complete the main game, and the story “brings back” the heroes and sets them on a new adventure to rescue poor Margaret, Amadeus’ wife. As the name tells us, Goblins are out for revenge after what happened in the main story of Trine 2, but I’m not going to go into any more detail since I don’t want to spoil things. The Goblin Menace adds 6 new levels, 6 new skills, and a great display of how good graphics can look on the Wii U. From a sprawling desert to snowy peaks and everything in between, the Goblin Menace levels really make the game shine. This pack adds roughly 3-5 hours worth of content on top of the main game, as well as new enemies and puzzles to solve. In all, it is a welcome addition to Trine 2 and it is something that Wii U owners will enjoy until the end.
Finally, The Dwarven Caverns is a level that was designed exclusively for the Wii U, and it presents you with some very hard puzzles in the conext of a short side journey. It should take about 15-30 minutes to complete this level, and you’ll have a lot of fun during this wild ride, if you can unlock it. Unlike The Goblin Menace, The Dwarven Caverns is a secret level that must be earned before you can play it. In order to gain access, you must find missing map pieces that are secured inside of six hidden treasure chests scattered all over the levels from The Goblin Menace. If you thought that the treasure chests in the regular Trine 2 levels were hidden, just wait until you try and find the ones in The Goblin Menace! The first one is a freebie since it is out in the open during the first level, but you have to work for the rest.
You can play either on the big screen or on the Wii U Gamepad and the image is mirrored on both without a hit to the frame rate or the graphic quality. You can even use the touchscreen to swap between characters, or to activate the skills of each adventurer. I actually ended up playing more than half of the game on the Wii U Game Pad because it felt like a new experience, especially since I had already played Trine 2 before. Perhaps this is why it took me 15 1/2 hours to complete all 20 levels, but I also had a lot of fun using the new skills to solve old puzzles.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut is indeed the best, and most feature-packed version of the game. Your $19.99 purchase will provide you with 20 levels to explore, hundreds of puzzles to solve, several secrets to find, and one of the best looking games on Wii U.