Trine 2 is an overload of color; it is the definition of high saturation. Take LIMBO, picture the opposite in terms of color; voilà, welcome to Trine 2. The visuals are extremely vibrant, always beautiful, and I never got bored thanks to a nice degree of variety. The environmental change between levels and the detail within delighted my senses—well, just the one sense—and tops many retail games in its downloadable frame. I could go on and on about the loving way Trine 2 stabbed my eyes with millions of little pixels, but there is, surprisingly, more than just graphical splendor when it comes to Trine 2.
If you played the original Trine, guess what, Trine 2 is more of the same; however, if you're new to the series, Trine 2 is a puzzle-platformer with occasional bits of action. The hook is the ability to switch between three different characters on the fly at any time, all of who have their own specific abilities. The mage, Amadeus, can conjure up boxes (or platforms with an upgrade) to reach new areas or manipulate the environment; the thief, Zoya, has a bow and can use a grappling hook to traverse to new heights, literally; and the knight, Pontius, can use his might to fight for what's right as he smites foes until they die—he can also open up blocked pathways with his big ol' hammer.
These unique abilities are used to solve puzzles in a variety of ways—many puzzles can be solved in more than one way—as well as give a reason to use all three characters. The three character system works extremely well—switching is done by pushing either bumper—and allowed me to change up my play style every now and again, instead of being stuck to one character from the start. That said, I did focus on one character—I have always been a mage man myself—and there is even an achievement for playing an entire level as just one character; however, I found the sweet spot to be a mixture of all three, if a bit one-sided.
For the most part, Trine 2 controls rather well on a controller despite being one of those rare, better with a mouse and keyboard games. The platforming and jumping are great, the bits of action are solid and never frustrating, and the moments needing precision are forgiving. My only real complaint control-wise is that all three characters feel the same. The mage in his robe, the knight in his heavy armor, and the thief in her light armor all jump the same height and are equally agile in general. I may have been more frustrated had it been different, but there's just something weird about seeing a bulky knight move as easily as a tiny, slender thief.
The game is extremely meaty for a downloadable title, featuring online and offline co-op which is fun but definitely not made for playing with strangers, and a rather lengthy campaign; I probably spent about ten hours during my initial solo playthrough and never found any part to be too difficult. There's plenty of reason to replay a level—collectables, experience points, and the simple joy of trying to solve a puzzle in a different way—and the achievements, if you care, reward experimentation over sheer progress. There is a story and it's fairly basic, but I didn't find it particularly engrossing and thankfully it's easy to skip. Trine 2 is an excellent game, especially at the price point, and at a time when the majority of big games have all been released, it's nice to end the year with a pleasant surprise.