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Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Preview

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Hello everyone. Recently I was given a key to a preview of Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, which will release on October 4. Obviously the preview is in a pre-release state so not every feature and system is fully enabled and implemented, but it can still provide a sense of what to expect. The preview itself is comprised of the first six levels of the game, and to be quite honest I think these levels would do a good job packaged together as a demo for the full game. Anyway, below I have my description and thoughts on the preview. Doesn't quite feel enough for a full article, and I am a little wary of taking screenshots and videos to share so far from release, hence why I am putting it all in a forum thread.

These six levels do a very good job introducing us to the three characters, first in one level for the characters individually, and then all three of them together. It starts with Amadeus, the wizard, as he goes to his mailbox that is placed quite a distance away on a snowy mountain. With his box-magic though, he is able to get there and finds a letter waiting for him. Pontius the Knight is next as he explores a cursed manor, where he challenges an undead knight that has been terrorizing the villagers nearby. Armed with his sword and shield, you will learn to attack enemies as well as break through objects and use the shield to solve puzzles. The final character tutorial is for Zoya the Thief and archer that wields her bow and grappling hook to advance. Still a thief even after becoming a hero in the previous games, she is escaping with her latest acquisition.

At the end of their tutorial missions, all three heroes receive letters summoning them to find Prince Selius, who was too eager to develop his magical abilities and has unleashed his own nightmares on the world. The heroes need to find him to save the world once again, but getting to him will require defeating those nightmares and solving dynamic puzzles.

Part of the enjoyment for this game is that between the three characters, you can find multiple solutions to most any problem, and this is clear even in the three levels that have the three in them. Pontius is my favorite for combat, but when it is necessary to switch, Zoya can also be very effective, especially with her elemental arrows. Amadeus is more of a utility character, but even he can help in some fights, with some creative box use. Those boxes and Zoya's grappling hook will be essential to solve many puzzles though, whether it is using a lever to launch yourself or connecting objects together to get a movable platform. Of course, sometimes you can also just place a box in the right place and jump wherever you need, but launching is so much more fun. As you play you earn points for unlocking new skills that may make combat easier and open up more solutions for puzzles.

The gameplay is definitely fun, but it is also the characters that keep you interesting, as these three heroes have their own personalities. Pontius is always ready to charge in and be the hero, while Amadeus worries a bit more and Zoya wants to get the job done. The comments of the narrator are also amusing on their own, with its omniscience and commentary on the heroes., and Prince Selius is clearly going to be an important character in this too. His past is helping to define the present threat, and the way everything has affected him will undoubtedly prove important too.

It can be difficult to judge a game from just a small portion, especially when there is character progression involved, but I am definitely left looking forward to what is coming October 4.

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