TRINE 4: The Nightmare Prince
As I grow older, I have realized that I want more out of my gaming experiences and I don't settle for the same ol’ same ol’ games anymore. The Trine series has been near and dear to my heart for some time, but the changes made in the last installment of the series really didn't sit well with fans. FrozenByte realized that fans did not like the switch to 3D from their famed 2.5D Graphics. With that in mind, they promised to change it back, and make Trine for the best in the series. I'm sure at this point your question is, “Well is it any better?” Yes, yes it is so let's dive in…
A GAME OF MAGICAL PROPORTION
Trine 4 starts by showcasing our heroes Pontius, Amadeus, and Zoya in a few tutorial levels, just as the previous titles. This has always been a great addition to the game for new players, making it very easy to pick the controls and play the game with little knowledge of the game universe. These tutorials also give you a good idea of what is going on with the characters and quickly shows you how to traverse the world. Our three heroes are on a new adventure, searching for Prince Selius aka "The Nightmare Prince", a spoiled young man that takes on more magical responsibilities than he can handle. Though it seems like this might be an easy mission for the trio, they soon find out Selius now has the power to bring Nightmares to life and places bigger challenge on the team's shoulders than ever before.
The overall story in Trine 4 was one of the most enjoyable stories I have played in the series. Not only did I feel it was a more well-rounded experience than the last few games, but I also feel we see the heroes have changed over the years and are now more connected as a family, than ever before. As you go level to level, you can hear Pontius, Amadeus, and Zoya talk about previous adventures they have had during their time as a trio and it really makes you believe in these character’s journey, over the last 10 years.
One of the biggest selling points for the story is the "Nightmare Prince" and his minions that you have to fight. Not only does Selius have the ability of bringing his nightmares to life like Wolves, Hedgehogs, and arrow-wielding Goats.. He can also bring his enemy’s nightmares to life as well, making our heroes face off against enemies and friends from their past.
The Nightmare boss battles are something that really put the game over the top, as well. When fighting the smaller nightmares, purple gas-like platforms pop up making it a bit harder to get to all the enemies...but it was still pretty simple to take them all down. After upgrading Sir Pontius, on most of these nightmare run-ins, I was able to spam the "Jump Slam" move and easily stun them just enough to take them down, quick. Now, the boss battles are something completely different. Some boss battles added puzzles, others you had to fight more than one enemy at a time, and some you had Nightmares the size of a castle, but each battle added something different, making the combat during these segments a bit more enjoyable!
ADVENTURE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
Combat is the same, which isn't bad because it is so easy to pick up. I actually wish more companies would try and simplify controller schemes like FrozenByte has with this series. I played Trine 3 right after launch in 2015, haven't played it since I beat it, and was able to pick up the game and play it like I just beat Trine 3 yesterday. When things like that stick with you over the years, it shows that a team is doing their job properly. Yes, I know Trine 3 was not well received by fans and the game felt a little unfinished...but for a company like FrozenByte to not just apologize, but make possibly the best game they have ever created just to make their fans happy really means a lot to me, as a player.
Trine 4 has done everything better, in every single way! From the combat, story, music, and definitely the graphics I have to say this is the best game in the series. Speaking on graphics, I don't think I have played a game this beautiful since 2018's God of War. Everything about the world is beautiful, from the background scenery within the levels, to the smallest details like foliage, I can say that the development team should be very proud of what they have accomplished in this game.
Lastly, the puzzle system is something that is more improved but that can still be flawed by glitches, especially when playing in co-op and I loved it! When playing with my wife, there would be many times that we would try and complete puzzles, at the same time, many of which we would try to do the same task...which ended in hilarious deaths and crazy, funny glitches. Now, these glitches were not the game’s doing, they were from us pushing the limits in certain areas of the game and we just really loved goofing in the world! There is nothing better than spawning a magical cube, waiting till your co-op partner is just about to land on top, and making it disappear to let them fall to their hilarious death!
Though its predecessor was not what fans wanted, FrozenByte did right by fans and has made the best Trine game in ten years. Everytime I started playing I was smiling ear to ear, I don't know if this is the last time we will see the trio of Pontius, Amadeus, and Zoya but I know I will always remember the adventures that these heroes had. This series has been something truly special to not just me, but my family. Connection with my wife while playing Trine has made for some great memories, especially playing the latest installment in the series. Trine 4 is by far the best in the series and one of the most beautifully fun games of 2019! Thank you FrozenByte for letting us play this magical adventure!