Originally released a year ago, Frozenbyte’s Trine 2: Director’s Cut is the enhanced release exclusively for the Wii U that includes all DLC, compatibility with the new Wii U GamePad as well as Wii control peripherals and various new multiplayer modes.

I was very excited to try this version of Trine 2 on the Wii U mainly because of the control scheme and the chance to see how it plays with the GamePad. However while the controls are a strong feature of this release, I wasn't prepared for how absolutely gorgeous this game now looks. But first, the story!

The great thing about this game is that even if you haven’t played the first Trine, you can easily pick up the as it eases you into the gameplay whilst introducing you about the 3 main characters.

PhotobucketThe story revolves around the mystery of a powerful artifact called “The Trine” that beckons the call of 3 unlikely heroes: Amadeus, a not so powerful cowardly but wise wizard who is caring for his family, Zoya a sly but good hearted robin-hood like female thief and Pontius, a fat thick headed yet courageous knight who enjoys sword fighting and saving maidens!

The flow of the plot is introduced chapter by chapter in a book format being read by a narrator. I really enjoyed the overall feeling that what I was playing was basically an animated fantasy story book – it has a magic that is very hard to capture without feeling forced, too “kiddyish” or dark and depressing. Trine 2: Director’s Cut succeeds in recreating a “classic” feel of fantasy throughout its story whilst maintaining a level of modernism with its comedic parody of the characters and the fantastical grandeur of enemies and situations the 3 heroes find themselves faced with.

Gameplay wise, Trine 2 is deceiving at first, coming across as “just a platform game”. It is in fact very puzzle heavy in nature and forces the player (or players if you play co-op) to strategize as to how they overcome the environment to progress the level further.

At many points you will come up against obstacles that will completely stump you and you'll have to utilize the skills of each member of your party. Amadeus the Wizard can conjure magical boxes and levitate certain objects to your advantage. Zoya the Thief can grapple hook across certain gaps and fire arrows over long distances. Pontius can shield projectiles away and use his sword to slay enemies or his trusty hammer to bash down weak stoned walls.

PhotobucketTogether, this team creates a fantastic dynamic to overcome the many challenges you face in the game. What I absolutely love about the puzzles is there are in many instances no set way to finish the puzzle and times when you can complete a puzzle just using your own “DIY” initiative by utilizing your character’s assets in making a solution for yourself.

The puzzles become more fun to complete with a co-op partner. The game allows up to 3 players to co-operatively complete the game together and the dynamic of playing as a team and relying on each other’s skills becomes extremely crucial – It really is satisfying when you are shouting commands between your friends and completing puzzles together (or failing them, which always causes a laugh!), Trine 2: Director’s Cut really promotes a fantastic team atmosphere in its co-op play and an interesting dynamic diversity in figuring out the puzzles together as a team.

The only critique I would have on the gameplay is that it's not a game I could recommend to anyone who isn’t an “experienced gamer”. You need to be extremely dexterous and your perception needs to be quite high to stay on your toes during the trials and tribulations that meet you along the way. For example. the double jump element of latching onto a ledge feels very “floaty” and a lot of inexperienced gamers I feel will struggle with this (even I had trouble as a relatively experienced gamer!) I also feel a lot of people will struggle the with the character switch element when they are suddenly attacked by enemies – it's a singular button on your GamePad that cycles through your characters and I feel it can be confusing when you need to quickly switch to a certain character. It's all too easy to panic when under attack. However it's a very minor and possibly moot point that completely varies from person to person, overall as a system, I feel it works.

The game also features a pretty interesting RPG element. Throughout the game you can collect magical “bottles” or “orbs” that will level you up and give you points to spend on any of your characters once you've collected 50. Each skill you spend the point on will give you different abilities such as Ice Arrows or conjuring more boxes at one time. It’s a fantastic feature that I hope to see in other Trine games.

Now the most amazing element of this game is how it looks. Graphically this game is mouth wateringly gorgeous. It’s absolutely wonderful in every respect to seehow this game looks on the Wii U, portraying strong contrasts of colours, beautiful animations, with lush vegetation, mysterious fantastical caverns and other wondrous feasts for the eyes. This is the most gorgeous version of this game I have ever seen. Every part of the map is unique, extremely detailed and beautifully crafted. I have never said, “Wow” as much as I have playing this game just on the basis of how it looks.

PhotobucketTo back up the wonderful graphics and gameplay, Trine 2: Director’s Cut also features a fantastic musical score that really sets the fantasy/medieval tone whilst staying relatively light hearted. The voice acting is also very well done, rendering the characters very believable and an enjoyment to listen to when they give their two cents on their situation.

Players mainly use the Wii U GamePad, which means that just like Super Mario Bros. U, you can play the game in its entirety on the GamePad itself, so somebody can watch the TV whilst you play the game.

My only criticism here with the control structure is the same issue I have with Super Mario Bros. U. The game doesn’t feature the use of the Wii U GamePad Pro controller. This controller would have been absolutely perfect for this game and its pretty sad to see it unused. Maybe we shall see a patch for it in a future date?

Outside of the main single player campaign, Frozenbyte have promised a “Magic Mayhem” mode that will be released in the future, along with some sort of Miiverse interaction with the game and more platforming level expansions. This version of the game, as I said before, contains all the DLC that amasses to roughly 20+ levels to play through - for the money the developers ask for, its great value overall for what you get.

In conclusion, Trine 2: Director’s Cut is extremely satisfying on many levels. It is a game that doesn’t just look stunning but is also an absolute feast for your brain. It in many ways for me is like a Mario game for adults, including difficult gameplay with puzzles that will have your brain racing a mile a minute to complete them. It's set the bar high for what future platform games should be like. Everything about this game just works perfectly and looks gorgeous to boot. I readily await and welcome any future sequels from this game’s series with open arms.