08th Aug2019

‘Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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The third title in the long-running Medieval-ish Trine series sees the game make the transition from 2D to 3D, a bold leap that it tackles with grace, resulting in a game that reminded me somewhat of the time I spent with Mario Odyssey last year. This is a good thing.

For those unfamiliar with the Trine games, the player takes alternate control (in multiplayer mode, each character is onscreen at once) of the three main protagonists, Zoya the Thief, Amadeus the Wizard and Pontius the Knight. Each has their own abilities with Zoya having the ability to use her grappling hook to reach / move distant objects as well as strike targets with her bow, Amadeus with the ability to create and command boxes and finally Pontius who can glide to distant areas with his ‘kite’ shield (geddit?) and has a ground-pound attack that comes in handy in surprisingly various situations.

What I liked most about Trine 3 was how fluid and puzzle-based it was. Enemies exist mainly for a touch of variety and the bosses require flitting between the characters’ skills to take down, meaning exploration and advancement are the main focus here. The levels are unlocked when a certain amount of ‘Trineangles’ are collected, aside from the main plot which takes you through some very visually pleasing and varied environments, there are also side-quests which focus on one character and feel like bonus stages, netting you more precious Trineangles to proceed through the game’s gentle tale.

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Completed areas can be re-visited as there are often side paths and hidden sections containing stashes of collectibles but, as the game is separated into ‘areas’, when you dive to a certain spot to pick up a few extra Trineangles, you can quit out of the level back to the over world map to proceed, meaning that you don’t need to re-grind entire levels, just sections of them (it clearly shows where you have missed a lot of pick-ups on the map) which is a really nice touch and keeps the game feeling fresh and pacey.

Being a newcomer to the Trine series, I didn’t know what to expect but I completely adored the Medieval Fantasy setting and the fluidity of the movement in the game. Puzzles were physical and satisfying and I like the interplay and different styles of each character from Zoya’s snarky remarks to Pontius’ random little stumbles as he pegs it around in his cumbersome armour. The story doesn’t require intimate knowledge of the preceding games and has a real sense of joy about it as the story unfolds through the (admittedly occasionally glitchy) scenes. It’s clear that the visuals have been toned down slightly for the Switch but the game was smooth and that’s really what counts here, in this particular genre.

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The ability to play the game both on and off-line with up to three players also caters for a lot of multi-player action styles and this is a game that I would happily re-visit as just making your way around the world and that ‘AHA!’ sense of satisfaction as you make your way past a particularly fiendish puzzle stays throughout your journey. At a running time of around five-six hours, Trine 3 is a great adventure on the Switch. I look forward to the fourth entry in the series already.

Right, I’m off to rescue some sheep.

Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is available on the Nintendo eShop now. Trine 4 will be coming in Fall 2019, returning back to the roots of 2.5D gameplay seen in the first two Trine games.

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