Trinity Fusion preview: "Still some life in the roguelite genre"
Roguelite games are a dime a dozen these days. Ever since the success of Hades, it seems everyone wants to take a stab at the genre, and while some don’t necessarily hit the mark, others manage to infuse some interesting mechanics into the genre.
It can be hard to find something new and interesting to incorporate but after spending a few hours with Trinity Fusion, it’s clear there’s still some life in the roguelite genre. While it may not have established itself as a must-play title yet (we've spent some time with the game's demo ahead of time), its ideas manage to elevate higher than others in the genre.
Want to check it out? The game's demo is live as part of Steam's Next Fest.
Three is a magic number
One of the key elements that Trinity Fusion has that separates it from the rest is the ability to play as three distinct characters. You play as Maya, who is able to control three parallel versions of herself.
Each time you die, instead of simply starting again on another run, you begin with another character. You rotate between them all, each one having its own playstyle and powers to use.
This flexibility gives each run a breath of fresh air, whilst also keeping you on your toes. One minute you’ll be beating down enemies with your trusty sword, the next you’ll be swinging your twin blades and throwing them toward faraway foes.
The combat is punchy, no matter what weapon you use, meaning no one character feels weaker than the others. As with any other roguelite, you’ll find new weapons and upgrades as you wander through each biome, each offering you more ways to alter your playstyle further.
As much as it is a combat-based experience, it also leans heavily into platforming. When you’re not fighting for your life, you’ll be jumping, sliding, and navigating your way through tricky obstacles. It feels great to play and also ends up adding more variety to each run.
Not quite the looker
Unfortunately, the world design of each biome feels very bland. It’s clear Trinity Fusion is going for a desolate look in its art style but everything has a sickly grey overtone to everything. Every area feels blocky in its design too, with each tunnel, path, and secret passage feeling very basic in its design.
It feels great to play but after seeing the same dull backdrop again and again, it can be a bit of an eye-sore. It’s hard to judge the full game, however, based on the biomes we visited during our runs, it felt very similar and blended into one.
When you die, you return to a hub space where you can upgrade, speak to characters, and gain more story nuggets. It works similarly to other games post-Hades, where the story evolves the more times you die, but again, its design is a little lacklustre.
Set on three circular rings, you’ll find yourself literally running around in circles to speak to people and upgrade your character. While these mechanics aren’t exactly hard to use, and generally help in the grand scheme of things, it always feels like a bit of a chore to manoeuvre.
Despite any reservations about the art style and level design, it’s clear developer Angry Mob Games knows what they’re doing in the gameplay department.
The incremental upgrades felt meaningful and perfectly complimented the fast-paced combat that has you on the edge of your seat in each encounter. Throwing in further mechanics such as timing perfect evades and using unique skills, Trinity Fusion has more of an identity than other roguelites in the genre.
The story may not be the most captivating in the early moments, and the biomes leave little to be desired, however, we left our time with Trinity Fusion fairly hopeful it could be something worthwhile checking out in an ever-expanding genre.