December 15, 2023
Angry Mob Games
Angry Mob Games
Trinity Fusion is a fast-paced roguelike hack and slash platformer developed by Angry Mob games. Now having reached its full release atfer several months in Steam Early Access, the delightful and surprisingly deep combat system and fun multiversal concept is enough to keep one engaged for hours, at least until the repetition becomes apparent.
In Trinity Fusion, the three different worlds that make up the multiverse—the Underworld, Overworld and Hyperworld—are falling into chaos. With monsters, rogue machines and antagonistic cyborgs calling themselves the Ewer wreaking havoc, the fate of humanity lies in the hands of a woman called Maya. Maya resides on the core world of Prime, and her multiversal counterparts, who go by Naira, Kera and Altara, reside on the three aforementioned worlds. Using advanced technology to communicate with her counterparts telepathically, Maya and her alternate selves must travel through each world to defeat bosses and realign multiversal Harmonisers to recombine the universes back into a single reality before everything completely collapses.
While the multiverse as a storytelling concept no doubt feels a bit played out at this point, I liked the way it’s utilised in Trinity Fusion. Each of Maya’s counterparts has a different personality which can be delved into by seeing all the different dialogue responses they get when speaking to the NPCs in the hub area. While as a roguelike the plot doesn’t exactly move at a particularly fast pace, I found the setting that Angry Mob Games created to be interesting to explore and enjoyed steadily adding to the collection of lore I was finding through hidden secrets throughout levels.
If Trinity Fusion’s gameplay could be compared to anything, it most closely resembles Motion Twin’s Dead Cells. Similar to that title, Trinity Fusion is a roguelike that sees you take on a succession of procedurally-generated zones and slash through foes with a mixture of melee and ranged weapons and abilities. Where Trinity Fusion differs is that players can pick between Naira, Kera or Altara as their player character, which dictates which area you start in and what abilities you have access to.
Although each character controls more or less the same, they still feel appreciably distinct, with Naira fighting with melee weapons and guns, Kera lacking a double jump or ranged option but having access to a powerful special melee weapon, and Altara controlling similarly to Naira but using ranged elemental powers instead of guns. As you progress, each character unlocks additional movement powers, such as a grappling hook and teleport drone, which unlocks new areas and sets them apart even further. The actual getting around is also made very fluid with an ample number of teleporters placed around each map, making backtracking to missed areas a breeze.
While each character was fun enough to play individually, one feature that I found pretty cool is the ability to fuse two of the women together during a run at certain stations. You could pick which combinations you wanted, too, such as combining Naira and Altara to make the ultimate long-range combatant or fusing Naira and Kera to provide a good mix of tactical options.
While each run starts you off with only two weapons and low base HP, you can upgrade yourself both within the run via short-term Amplifiers, as well as permanent Augments which persist throughout future runs. The Amplifiers in particular are pretty cool and can have effects as varied as doubling one’s HP at the expense of reducing the effectiveness of healing items, improving critical hit chance when attacking foes from behind, or improving your damage output when low on health. Getting three of a certain type of Amplifier provides a fourth one for free, incentivising focusing on a particular playstyle for each run.
There are two different currencies used to purchase the permanent upgrades, and while one of them was fairly plentiful, the other did not drop very often. It doesn’t start off too bad, but many of the very useful Augments, like the one that resurrects you once per run when you run out of HP, can take a punishingly long time to save up for.
The overall goal of Trinity Fusion is to reach the end of each universe and defeat the final boss guarding its Harmoniser. Each of the playable characters starts off in their home universe, however, it is possible to jump universes mid-run via a pocket dimension called the In-Between. Aside from the In-Between having fun optional combat challenges and useful rewards, it also lets you exit it in a different universe. This means that if you are stuck at the final boss of the Underworld and you prefer to play as Overworld native Kera and can’t find a station to fuse with her, you can just start an Overworld run as Kera and then jump to the Underworld via the In-Between and reach the boss that way. I found it to be a fun little optional piece of complexity letting players tailor their runs to their liking to accomplish the game’s objectives.
The runs aren’t especially long, taking around 20-30 minutes to reach each level’s final boss. The slow rate of accrual of some of the permanent upgrade currency can make losses agonising at times. For those looking for a more forgiving playstyle, there is a lower difficulty mode that steadily increases the player’s damage resistance after each death, a mechanic that Hades also made an option, making it possible for almost any player to reach the end credits with enough patience.
Despite the relatively short runs, repetition does start to kick in eventually. Although each biome has some unique enemies, the actual procedurally generated level designs themselves blend together quite quickly. While the random Amplifiers and weapons mix things up somewhat, the game’s incentivising of matching the same couple of Amplifiers for greater rewards encourages using the same or similar loadouts each run. As the game discourages you from experimenting with unconventional Amplifier combinations, they don’t really mix up the gameplay as much as they could.
- Intriguing multiverse setting to explore
- Fast-paced and fluid combat is great fun
- Amplifiers, character fusion and the In-Between provide plenty of options to mix up each run
- Limited level designs leads to repetition setting in before long
- Useful permanent augments feel like they take too long to afford
Trinity Fusion provides a very good time that fans of roguelikes and 2D action games really shouldn’t miss. The game weaves its multiversal mystery throughout your many runs towards the Harmonisers, crafting a fun narrative out of the cast’s repeated jaunts across different realities. The combat and platforming is satisfying and delightful, with chaining together melee attacks, gunplay and air dashes feeling effortless and engaging. As with many roguelikes, the repetition sets in before long, with limited level designs and an Amplifier mechanic that discourages experimentation, but the game is still a blast while it lasts.