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Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is a puzzle platformer with stunning 3D environments. New players will enjoy finding the solutions to puzzles by switching between the three playable protagonists. However, fans of the series may get frustrated getting the obligatory collectables in order to progress, rather than leveling abilities, like in Trine 2.

Score 7.6/10

Positives
+ Stunning environments
+ Decent multiplayer options

Negatives
– Fiddly keyboard controls
– Unfinished story
– Collectables required to progress

Platform(s) available: PC, PS4
Platform reviewed: PC

Full Review
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is a fantasy action puzzle platformer by Frozenbyte. Players must traverse the beautiful 3D levels while switching between the three main characters – Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief – making use of their abilities to solve puzzles.

As always, with Trine games, you’re given a treat for the eyes from the moment you boot up the game. Through-out my playthrough I was constantly pausing just to admire the different view points laid out before me. Once I’d adjusted to the splendor, it was clear that the beauty had been enhanced through the addition of 3D environments (a big change from the usual 2.5D in the series so far).

It has to be said, that while the graphics look fantastic, the 3D has caused the puzzles to become a little fiddly at times. While some of these were quite clever – hiding objects around corners, and having to think on a number of layers, I found that in general the use of 3D actually made the puzzles less inventive than in previous titles.

In any case, the story focuses on how our three heroes are tired of being whisked away from their personal lives at any given moment.  They grumble to the Trine of Souls, wishing to no longer have its power, and go back to their everyday lives. On doing so, the Trine breaks, releasing an evil being whom our hero’s must now stop by collecting the three shattered pieces of the Trine. Despite the amount of time taken to setup the villan, the game ends after obtaining one piece. It was really anticlimactic, and I was left feeling pretty disappointed.

Introductory levels with each character allow players to take their time grasping the abilities and controls for each protagonist. Pontius has a sword and shield, a hover jump, dash attack, and stomp. Zoya has a bow and arrow, and grapping hook, which can be used to swing across ledges and tie items together. Finally, Amadeus can use telepathy to move objects and create boxes.

Characters all control well, although players may wish to fiddle with keyboard settings, to get the most comfortable controls (just using a controller solves most problems here). Amadeus is particularly difficult to master due to dealing with the 3D plain – placing boxes exactly where you want can be pretty awkward.

Puzzles were solidly integrated throughout all levels, and moving forwards always required a certain amount of thought (although fans of a real challenge will breeze through, no problem). Some puzzles may be solved with one specific character, while others may need the skills of two. For example, Zoya may be needed to attach a rope to a pulley in order to open a door, so Amadeus can push a box in the way to keep it open. While many of the initial puzzles only have one solution, there are often multiple answers, making for fun replay value and a chance to keep things fresh during multiplayer.

Each level requires a certain amount of collectables (Trineangles) in order to be unlocked, which can get pretty frustrating. On average, the story missions have one-hundred-and-fifty trineangles, with many being hidden, or are a puzzle to reach. Players will naturally find themselves picking up around a hundred or so. Luckily, after one run-through, it is possible to see a list of where collectables are – and choose an area to start from, which significantly reduces the amount of time needed to aimlessly run around the long stages.

There’s both local co-op and online multiplayer, where you can play in a room with friends, or strangers. Players can pick between Unlimited mode, where each player can switch between all three characters, or Classic mode, where player’s must choose a set character that they are then stuck with. Multiplayer handles really well, it’s a lot of fun to solve puzzles together, or find ways to cheat puzzles by having double the abilities (such as two boxes instead of one).

The game also comes with the Trine3Editor, giving creative players a chance to make their own levels and share them with the community. It is, however, unfortunate that the editor comes with no tutorial or help, although Frozenbyte have provided help and advice on their wiki page online.  Opportunity to create levels, and play new ones created by others does help keep the game fresh, and an extra reason to return for those that enjoy the mechanics.

Trine 3 is ultimately more of the same from the other entries in the franchise, but with some of the layers stripped away, and a new coat of 3D paint added over the top. While the collectables in the game are used to unlock new chapters, players may miss the way that they used to be able to upgrade the character’s abilities, such as the wizard being able to create more than one box at a time. Taking away the upgrades feels like a down-grade in the game and fans of the series may feel disappointed with the drop in difficulty that is the result.

Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is a good game by itself, but a disappointing addition to a good franchise. Players who love puzzle platformers and have not tried this series will certainly find enjoyment in the puzzles and collectables. Those returning to the series will appreciate the upgraded graphics, but may mourn the loss of many other features.

This review is based off a review copy of Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power provided by Frozenbyte.

This review was originally part of the GamersFTW site, the servers of which have been taken down. It now appears on GabsTannerReviews out of respect for the developers/publishers that gave me a copy to review. 

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