E3 is not only an event to check out favorites but also a place to discover new things. I happened to take a chance on a demonstration for Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince. Now, I have never played an entry in the Trine series, but I was willing to give it a chance. I am glad I did because the co-op puzzle adventure ended up being a title that greatly piqued my interest.
Learning the ropes of Trine 4 with two cool guys
My appointment with Trine 4 consisted of a gameplay demo played by two developers from Frozenbyte: Kai and Antti. They started off the presentation showing us a lush garden level that our three main heroes traverse. The main characters of Trine 4 are Zoya the Thief, Amadeus the Wizard, and Pontius the Knight. Each adventurer must work in tandem with one another to solve puzzles and progress because they all have unique abilities. Thankfully, they can be swapped between instantaneously with the press of a button.
The importance of cooperation was on display within minutes of the demo’s initiation. For example, at one point our team needed to make a plant grow using an out-of-reach waterfall. Amadeus conjured a box into some spikes on the far end of a wall, Zoya attached her Fairy Rope to the end of it to create a walkway, and Pontius held his shield under the stream to direct the water onto the plant. Puzzles that require all three protagonists such as this one seem to be Trine 4‘s bread and butter.
This isn’t the Trine you know (in a good way)
As Kai and Antti presented more areas, including caves and forest, they mentioned some new enhancements for Trine 4 not previously available in the series. Taking feedback from fans, both Zoya and Amadeus are now much more capable fighters than their prior incarnations. No longer will players have to rely on the brute strength of Pontius to get them out of every battle! In addition, new items like the aforementioned Fairy Rope and Pontius’ Dream Shield (think of it as his own shield’s astral projection) make an appearance and are utilized to conquer clever enigmas.
Trine 4 will also have up to four-player co-op — couch, online, or a combination of the two. The game also contains an Unlimited Mode where gamers can choose any combination of the trio to go exploring; yes, you can have four Amadeus avatars running around together if you so desire. How four wizards will be able to solve the title’s complex paradoxes is beyond me, but hopefully you can swap to the other classes on the fly.
Final questions and thoughts
Our demo ended with a Q&A with the Frozenbyte devs. According to them, Trine 4 is the longest Trine title, clocking in at close to 20 hours of playtime. It also has the most dialogue in the series. The 2D aesthetic chosen for the game is a direct result of the negative reception to the 3D gameplay of Trine 3. There are no DLC plans at the moment and no crossplay will be supported. However, every platform will have the same exact content, so no one has to worry about exclusive missions or items.
I left my viewing session of Trine 4 with an eagerness to try out the series. For starters, the developers were passionate and so happy to show the title, even though they must have been demoing it for days straight. The game was accessible to newcomers, too, with no prior knowledge of the series necessary. Every environment showcased during the gameplay was gorgeous, something I appreciate when I am used to seeing drab FPS games on the daily. Of course, the prospect of working together with my life partner to ponder the title’s myriad mysteries is probably my main draw. As long as we work together harmoniously and don’t send each other to our respective dooms.
Look for Trine 4 sometime this fall for Nintendo Switch. A mega collection of all four games in the series is also en route, though there is no confirmation that it will launch on Switch.
Enthusiasts, are you pumped for Trine 4? Are you a fan of the series? Did my impressions make you want to try them out? Let us know in the comment section. In addition, if you want to see the E3 2019 showcase I did, watch the video below.