E3 2009: Preview: Trine - Preview

By Daniel Share-Strom, June 2, 2009
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Today we had the pleasure of meeting Atlus in a (semi-)private section of their E3 booth.  One of the games they showed us was Trine, a medieval-style puzzle-platformer that was originally coming exclusively to the Playstation Network and PC via Nobilis, Ascaron Entertainment, and developer Frozenbyte.  Atlus has now announced they will be handling the port to Xbox Live Arcade as well.

Fans of Lost Vikings will feel right at home here--each of the three characters plays completely differently, and each has different strenghts and weaknesses when it comes to the puzzles that must be solved and the enemies that must be defeated.  The Wizard is completely defenseless in combat.  However, a simple button press brings up an Okami-style 'paintbrush'.  Drawing a square created a giant box that could be used to hit enemies and create pathways over deadly spikes, while drawing a straight line would create a platform that falls to the ground, and a triangle creates a rotating platform that stays in place.  The warrior is the tank that can fight with the best enemies, while the Archer is the ranged specialist.  The game is playable in three-player coop, with one player as each character, though this is limited to local play only.  When one or two people are playing, a simple button press switches to the next available character.  Similar to LittleBigPlanet, as long as one player survives the obstacles and enemies to reach a checkpoint, any killed players will be revived.  If all players should bite the dust, they will be sent to the beginning.

There are typically multiple ways to complete a given puzzle.  For instance, in one room, there was a large chasm, and a platform near the top of the screen that was far too high to jump to.  As the wizard, our demonstrator used several triangle spells to create steps and got across that way.  Then, to demonstrate,  he used the wizard's magic whip on the bottom of the platform and swung across.  Finally, he took the harder method of putting a row of triangles directly across the chasm.

Trine will release on Playstation Network and PC in July, with the Xbox Live Arcade version following at a later date.

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