This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer magazine.
Had Tolkien been born 60 years later and grown up in Finland, there's a very high possibility he might have worked on Trine 2: Director's Cut.
Everything about this game is pure high fantasy, from the sniggering goblins rustling through the foreground to the shimmering vistas that make up its staggering backdrops. It's steeped in such lush and vivid detail that you almost wish this was the Middle Earth that Peter Jackson had envisaged for Lord Of The Rings.
The game has a playful approach to platforming and puzzles...
Yet the true beauty of Trine 2 comes from its playful approach to both its platforming and its clever physics puzzles. As our three heroes begin their journey, they're overshadowed by towering mushrooms and mossy boulders that just beg to be rolled or jumped on, but we soon arrive at a scene that requires an altogether more creative kind of problem solving. With a cascade of water flowing the wrong way, we're instructed to use our magician's levitation magic to redirect it so another twisting mushroom can balloon out of the soil and deliver us to our next destination, but we could just have easily built an impromptu staircase out of our magician's conjured blocks and platforms, or used our thief to grapple across instead.
The same kind of creative thinking applied to a fiery death beam we encountered in a dusty, old temple further on. Our first instinct was to levitate a nearby lantern to make it hit a nearby door switch, but we could also have weighed in with our knight's shield to beat back the flames. Just watch out when that lantern starts swinging back into place though, because you might end up burning your magician's backside by accident.
But it's not all about fancy puzzles, as we found even simple tasks like jumping over large pits can inspire moments of revelatory genius. Having lost our grappling thief to a nasty case of mistimed jump syndrome, we thought we were properly done for. But then we remembered our magician could conjure platforms, and with a couple of simple finger swipes on the GamePad, we eventually narrowed the gap with two makeshift bridges and made it across safely with our dignity intact.
It's moments like these that tell us Trine 2 will be one of those games you'll be chatting about with your mates for months to come. Sure, you'll travel the same paths and fight the same enemies, but how you get there will be always be different. And with such intuitive touch controls thrown in too, this is may just be the one platformer to rule them all come launch day.