Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy has finally launched on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. This is, of course, the fifth game in the popular puzzle-platformer series, which has managed to conquer the hearts of millions of gamers all around the world (except for the third entry, but we don’t walk about that one!).
After the fourth game brought the series back to form, how will this chapter try to improve its already great formula? Let’s find out in our review!
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is set after the events of the fourth game. As always, the story isn’t the most important part of the game, so newcomers won’t feel out of place by starting with this entry in the series.
We found the same three protagonists: Amadeus the magician, Zoya the thief, and Pontius the knight. Each has his unique abilities, which are used for platform traversal, puzzle solutions, and combat. They are going to face a new threat in the same medieval fantasy world, and while the story is nothing to write home about, there surely are some gorgeous settings to behold.
One of the key features of the Trine series has always been multiplayer, and you can play with your friends this time around as well, even in couch co-op, something that is sorely missed in too many modern games.
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy sees the protagonists going on with their lives until something unexpected happens and brings the heroes together one more time. This is the usual premise for almost every game in the series, and this entry makes no exception.
While it’s true that the story has never been the main focus of the franchise, we do have to admit that the game’s narrative has improved with time. Each entry provides a more fleshed-out world, and thanks to stellar performances by the voice cast the protagonists are vibrant with life.
This time, the plot sees a new, mysterious antagonist(s?) who is plotting to ruin the heroes’ reputation in the kingdom as a first step to taking control of their world.
We don’t want to spoil story content, so we’ll leave it up to you to find out what’s happening. What we will say is that, while the story in itself is pleasant to follow, it surely is nothing to write home about, and there are a few questionable narrative choices here and there.
For example, it’s very difficult to believe that the people in the kingdom are ready to turn their backs so fast on the heroes after they’ve saved the world four times in the span of a few years.
However, this is mostly nitpicking, and it’s far from being a deal-breaker.
Trine 5 plays exactly as its immediate predecessor, which played exactly like the first two entries in the series. The game is a 2.5D puzzle platformer where you need to traverse levels riddled with obstacles and, of course, puzzles.
You can swap between the three main characters at any given time (except for their introduction stages, where you only have one character available), and each one has some unique abilities. Amadeus can use his magic to move objects and create stuff, Zoya can use her arrows to hit distant things, and Pontius can use his sword and shield to interact with his surroundings.
These abilities are equally useful both for puzzles and for combat, just like in previous games. What’s new in Trine 5 is that each character has been given new abilities, which you will need to master to make it through the adventure. For example, Amadeus can now meddle with gravity, while Pontius has some throwing swords that can be used as platforms for jumping as well. Combat has also been improved as well, with the introduction of multi-phase boss fights.
In short, Trine 5 masters the series’ formula and makes this the best outing so far in terms of gameplay. However, there are still some things that could’ve been handled a little bit better, most notably the combat.
While it’s true that this game has indeed improved combat from the series’ previous outings, it still feels like this part of the game remains undercooked. Despite efforts to improve Amadeus and Zoya’s abilities, they feel like a slog to use in combat, and Pontius remains the only obvious choice when fighting is needed.
We hope that future installments will manage to bring a better balance for the playable characters so that the player isn’t forced to swap to Pontiuns every time there’s a fight going on.
As a final note, not everyone will like how Trine 5 sticks closely to the series’ classic formula. It doesn’t feel old yet, mostly because this series is so unique that you won’t find anything quite like it out there, but we do hope that the developer team will bring some changes before the tale starts to get old.
Visuals are where Trine 5 has made the biggest jump in quality. This is the best-looking game in the series, by far. Even if it doesn’t use PlayStation 5’s hardware to its full potential, both because of the size of the studio and the fact that it’s a cross-generation title, the game still looks incredibly good. The game shows off many gorgeous locations from the very beginning, and it only improves from there.
Moreover, there were no performance issues on our PlayStation 5 version. The game plays magnificently well and there are no hiccups whatsoever. We gave the PlayStation 4 version a brief trial and it seems to run just as smoothly, so old-generation players won’t feel like they’re being left behind.
Trine 5’s soundtrack is, once again, excellent. It brings some vibrant, medieval fantasy tunes that will stick in your head for long after you’ve finished the game, just as the previous installments of the series did. The best part about the sound in Trine 5 has to be the main cast’s performance, though. Amadeus, Zoya, and Pontius are all brought to life with stellar performances, which make them stand out even if the writing isn’t the strongest part of the game.
Trine 5 consists of 20 levels, that you can play in single-player or in multiplayer. In every level, there’s a set amount of experience bottles to be found, so you may go back and replay a stage just to make sure you got everything from there. There are also some collectibles here and there, but they’re not a great focus for the game.
That being said, replayability mostly depends on where you’re able to find new people to play the game with. Facing the adventure a second time with a different group of friends is pretty fun, but if you’re playing alone or with the same group of people every time, there’s little to no reason to boot up the game again once you’ve collected the few collectibles to be found in the adventure.
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is easily the best game in the series. It’s not because it does something different than its predecessors or because it introduces a revolutionary game mechanic. It simply brings the Trine formula close to perfection, much more than any other installment before. If you’re a fan of the series, you will love this new chapter in the trio’s adventures; if you’re a newcomer, this is a great place to start, as you will get Trine in its very best shape.
- The Trine formula in its best shape
- Georgeous presentation, both in visuals and audio departments
- Very fun, especially in multiplayer
- Some will find that it sticks to closesly to the series’ formula
- Combat is still somewhat lackluster