If you prefer to watch the review, click here:
Hello beautiful people, Tasi here with Kreenpananas Gaming, and today we’re looking at Trinity Fusion in Early Access, the latest title from Angry Mob Games now available on the Steam and Epic Game Store. Trinity Fusion is an action platformer and in this video, I’ll be covering what you can expect at this stage of its development, in addition to what can look forward to if you decide to pick it up. A couple of housekeeping notes, I purposefully played this game only on the Steam Deck. But for the purposes of this review, you’ll see a combination of PC and Steam Deck gameplay. A special thanks also to EvolvePR for review access. And if you’re new here, and you find this review helpful and entertaining, consider helping me out by subscribing to my YouTube channel and giving it a thumbs up.
Alright, let’s fuse it or lose it!
I’d like to preface this review by saying that I don’t generally gravitate toward action platformers but I’ve enjoyed the handful that I’ve played in the past including Dead Cells, Hades, and of course the classic Metroid. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations because ‘Geez Louise’ the well of Metroidvania games is deep. There’s a dizzying number of Metroidvania games available on the market, and seemingly equal to that are rogue-lite games. All this to say, fans of the genre have no shortage of choices. A cursory glance at the Steam storefront says all I need to know. But I digress.
So what’s Trinity Fusion? Trinity Fusion is if you took the Multiverse concept from the movie Everything Everywhere All At Once and mixed it with the storytelling aspect from Hades where you begin to peel the layers as you progress through the game. And by progress, I mean dying many times. Which I did plenty of. From the website, they state:
“Take control of your parallel selves on a mission to save the dying multiverse in this rogue-lite action platformer. Explore dark, sci-fi worlds and engage in fast-paced, smooth and precise combat.”
I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations going in as I’ve been burned time and time again by early access either because of poorly executed concepts or I had bloated expectations going in, or some combination of the two. This time around, my only hope was that it would run well on the Steam Deck. It sure did. But how well does it do with keeping me coming back?
Trinity Fusion’s core gameplay revolves around three versions of yourself with each of them handling combat and navigation differently. All characters have a basic physical and energy-based attack. In addition, each character also has a specific ability that you uncover as you progress through levels. You navigate and fight your way through a maze filled with baddies and secret passages and along the way you’ll be able to collect supplemental abilities that help shape your combat style. You’ll also be collecting currency which you’ll be able to use to upgrade your base stats which do carry over to the next run. It’s all familiar territory when it comes to Metroidvania and rogue-lite games but where Trinity Fusion switches it up and earns its namesake is how you’re able to fuse your multiverse counterparts into one essentially improving your arsenal. Pretty cool, right?
I like how this mechanic is tied to the core storyline of a fractured multi-verse. You’ll find these fusion portals scattered throughout the various maps and it definitely makes you feel like a badass. The gameplay loop of exploring, cutting down enemies, beating bosses, and upgrading stats, which is the bread and butter of this genre, is really tough to fine-tune. I think Trinity Fusion does a more than OK job with it. If you add that with the drip-fed storyline that you access through dialogue it’s easily the making of something worth experiencing.
The trailer caught my attention because of its combination of environments, characters, fluid action sequences, and story concepts. I was absolutely giddy when I booted the game up on my Steam Deck for the first time and it got right into it without any noticeable hitches. My first impulse was to check out the settings to see what was under the hood. Imagine my surprise when I saw it already had a Steam Deck preset. I later found out that the team at SteamDeckHQ played the game at Pax East and that Angry Mob Games were already taking the steps to ensure that Trinity Fusion was optimized for handheld in Early Access. Without any tinkering, Trinity Fusion ran buttery smooth at 60fps and allowed over two hours of game time before the next recharge.
I enjoyed navigating around the different biomes and reveling in their shared dark Sci-Fi tones. The aesthetic of the map, on the other hand, could use a little more love as it was a bit sparse and lacking in any meaningful visual interest. That being said, I rarely found myself lost as the maps weren’t too large. There’s also a handy teleportation system that proved useful on more than one occasion.
Once you’ve unlocked each of the characters, you’ll also have access to their counterpart’s levels and everything that comes with that including power-ups and enemies. It’s a great way to mix it up and keep things feeling fresh. That’s on top of the variations of maps from the rogue-lite aspect of the game. I do hope they look into adding ways to enhance the readability of texts and icons which are notably small on the Steam Deck. I’d also like the ability to lock button assignments as I found myself on multiple occasions panicking and accidentally rebinding buttons. I also found it tough alternating between the D-Pad and the left thumb stick during the heat of battle. Thankfully the Steam Deck has back grip buttons that can be used as an alternative. I’ve uploaded my layout on the community page if you want to give it a go. Let me know how that works out for you.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t speak briefly about Trinity Fusion’s music and sound design. I played both with and without earplugs and thought it was an excellent auditory experience. There’s the expectant synth-vibe humming in the background that does a good job of not overpowering my senses. The combat sound effects felt crunchy and with tons of impact and whizzbang to keep you swinging. The voice acting felt a little jarring at first but that was mostly because I was trying to get a bearing of the story and it wasn’t helped by the lack of lip-syncing with the character models. I don’t think it hurts the game in any way, but I also don’t think it elevates it past serviceable. Overall I appreciate the effort in adding contextual dialogue as it kept me engaged between rounds.
At the time of this review, Trinity Fusion is still in Early Access with the Devs projecting a full release 12-18 months from now. If you’re like me and like to spread your gaming time among other titles, then this might not be such a big deal. Although I was a bit disappointed the few times I ran across inactive portals leading to content that was not yet available. What is promising, however, is that the feature complete roadmap is available for anyone to check out.
So who is this game for? My experience of Metroidvania titles is admittedly quite shallow which is not to say that I’m easily impressed but I think if you’re someone who either really enjoys Metroidvania games because they offer a return on value for you that no other genre of games does, then supporting these Devs and picking up Trinity Fusion makes a whole lot of sense. Furthermore, if you’re someone who is curious about dipping their toes into the water then the approachable and not overly complex combat mechanics and enemy encounters might be the title to open that door for you.
Overall I feel that this was a successful introduction to Trinity Fusion in its Early Access phase. It has solid bones, a responsive Dev team, a promising roadmap, and the advantage of already feeling great as a handheld gaming experience. I look forward to checking back in a few months to see where they’ve taken the game. I wonder if my multi-verse counterpart is also playing this game. Hm.
If you want to keep talking about this game or want to keep in touch, join us on Guilded, or Discord, links are in the description below. Once again thank you to my Patreon supporters for helping keep the lights on. Want to learn more about how you can contribute? Consider checking out the Patreon page where you’ll find plenty of options to extend your support. See you at the next one! Bye, everyone.
Trinity Fusion in Early Access - $24.99
Developer/Publisher - Angry Mobs Games
Available on Steam and Epic Game Store