E3 2019: Hands-on with Trine 4: The Nightmare
When Frozenbyte announced that they were making another entry in the Trine series, many were sceptical, when it was announced that the entry would take things back to the 2.5d stylings of the first two games, many were hopeful and at E3 2019, it was playable for the first time, leaving myself excited for it.
The game has the heroes reunited, as they attempt to locate a missing prince and at the same time uncovering what is plaguing the land, while the demo did not show off much of the story, it seems to be an ends to a means and that means is more Trine. The biggest change around now is that the game allows for up to four players, meaning that you and three friends can all play together, however as there are only three characters, the fourth character can be a double of any of them, so you could have two Zoya’s on screen, if that is the way you wanted to go.
In terms of new abilities, all three characters have them, the character though with the most improvement is Pontius, the Knight, he can now use his Shield to reflect spells and other things away from himself. In combat, attacks bounce back as they had always done, but now Pontius can summon a magical copy of his shield, that will remain in the air, exactly where the real shield was at the time of summoning. Magic attacks that hit this will be reflected back, but you and other enemies can walk through it still, but that same skill comes into play outside of combat. Reflecting is something Pontius can do, in order to solve puzzles as well, as there were a host of nature-based puzzles early on.
One such puzzle required water to be directed to a flower, that was across on one side of a gap, the water was on the other, and there was no clear way to have them join up. After using Amadeus to create a square box, which was then shoved into spikes, that were on one wall of the gap, Zoya then shot a rope between the two, creating a bridge for Pontius to stand upon and then with a magic shield directing the water to the gap, Pontius stood on the makeshift bridge and then was able to direct the new flow of water, onto the flower, which in turn bloomed and then opened up a path, allow the adventure to continue.
The game seemed to have a lot more of these kinds of puzzles, that require combinations of character interactions, in order to solve whatever puzzle was blocking the way, but there are still plenty of combat encounters to undertake, as well as some fetch quest moments, the one in the demo had an elderly porcupine lade, requesting that we locate her some seeds as the nightmare creatures that we had been fighting, destroyed her plants, before we arrived. Find them was more of a matter of moving on, though I was able to only able to locate one, before my time with the demo ended.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a true return to form for the series, with the locations being as gorgeous as ever, but now with far more multi-character puzzles to solve. Each of the characters has a boost in abilities, but how they play out over time is something I want to know more of, so if you like the old games, then you will like this one, but if the series is new for you, this seems like a solid point to jump in at.