Oftentimes it’s difficult to determine whether a game is a roguelike or a Metroidvania, the key difference being that you start with nothing in a roguelike and build up over consecutive runs with procedurally generated levels. And instead of that, you power up to progress further in one long run through set levels in a Metroidvania. Trinity Fusion definitely falls into the Metroidvania camp with roguelike elements. This early access game interested me because of its bright and vibrant characters hacking and slashing their way through an apocalyptic setting.
You play as one of three characters who are multiversal variants of a girl called Maya trying to save the multiverse from its collapse. The mission is to fuse the prime world and the other three worlds into one world to save what’s left. Think, Secret Wars from Marvel comics, and you’ve got your story. Meanwhile, you’ve got machines and aliens with lots of arms trying to stop you from progressing.
The game works as a 2d side-scrolling platformer with hack-and-slash elements. You start with randomly given weapons and secondary weapons, and you use them until more weapons drop from enemies once you defeat them. Enemies have a health and stagger bar, being unable to act once their stagger bar is filled.
At each level, your gear drop score increases based on how many enemies you defeat, meaning your weapons get stronger and can gain additional effects such as burn, electrocute and chill. If you happen to gain one of these, your weapon will glow in the same color as the augment, and the effect does look quite satisfying.
On top of this, you have modifiers that can affect you in different ways based on money, health regeneration, base damage, and more.
What I would hope for the future is that you may be able to invest the dropped currency in game into a weapon you really like to bring it up to your current power level, as dropping items for new ones can leave you feeling a little disappointed if you liked a particular piece only to find it drastically under-leveled for the part of the game you are on. The characters you play as all have specialization in a skill that occupies your second weapons slot.
For example, your first character Altara uses a mechanical arm to produce elemental and mechanical attacks, while Kera uses 2 handed weapons to perform powerful, focused attacks.
Some attacks can be charged like the Hammer, while some perform a flat attack like the laser beam. Once you progress through the game, you can fuse your characters together, gaining their additional weapon skills and mobility quirks.
Altaras double jump combined with 2 handed weapons can lead to new levels of strategic thinking. Ultimately it gives you far more options in combat, reminding me a little of Megaman powerup states, which this game does share a few similarities with. Enemies generally have really good designs ranging from dive-bombing squids to sword-wielding robots. I found that HP bars generally reflect the sturdiness of your enemies, with flying enemies having less HP and machines having more.
Their patterns mostly stayed the same on multiple runs, and as I progressed, I could memorize what they would be doing and dodge behind them for a clean set of hits. Something I liked was that an enemy with a large separated shield would periodically close it, not allowing you to dodge through him, making any other enemies behind or to the side of him able to hit you without much danger to themselves.
Because this makes you decide on priority targets, I found the experience much more enjoyable. Something I wasn’t happy with, though, is that projectiles can hit you even if the big white “Evade” sign came up to tell me I’d dodged. Perhaps the invincibility window is a little too tight. Level design is fairly simple but has a few tricks to make trips a little less monotonous as you go through it. For example, whichever character you start with, you will begin in their world, Underworld, Overworld, or Hyperworld.
Each level has a randomly selected endpoint to move on and can include elite enemies, stronger types of enemies you’ve already come across with higher HP bars and attack power. These typically drop rare modifiers or weapons. Every so often, you’ll wander into ambushes where seemingly stronger enemies will attack you as a group in an enclosed area.
I gotta say these parts got my adrenaline pumping as not only are you fighting new enemies you won’t know how to counter, but you’re also forced into dodging and weaving through all their projectiles and melee attacks. It’s a good gameplay feature. It reminds me a tiny bit of the monster houses from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.
Also, the map mirrors sometimes. It’s a nice change. But sometimes the backgrounds are amazing, such as in Overworld and its mechanical focus, and then you have Underworld, where the backgrounds seem empty and hazy. While I understand this is by design, maybe in future updates, they could add a few more details.
When it came to sound, I wasn’t really too impressed with what I heard. Again I don’t know whether Underworld is supposed to feel lifeless, but I felt like I was listening to a ten-second loop with brain-piercing mechanical noises in my ear. While it is fitting and adds to the whole lifeless feeling I’m sure they meant to portray, it doesn’t help convey the fast-paced fury of dashing and slashing through enemies, a feeling I would want to feel from this type of game. With Early access titles like this, music is frequently switched out as work progresses, and I’m pretty certain this might be focused on in future builds.
So to finish up, Trinity Fusion has some really interesting features that could make it a real competitor in the field. I’m genuinely looking forward to the full release and seeing what the team over at Angry mob games can do with this solid foundation of a game.