Published back in April 2023 in Early Access, Trinity Fusion is now reaching its 1.0 full release. Presented as a roguelite hack-n-slash metroidvania, the developers have worked hard these last few months to try and make Trinity Fusion a worthy contender in a market that’s now become saturated. Does the game have enough unique features to stand on its own two multiverse legs? Let’s fuse in and find out.
The story of Trinity Fusion, written by sci-fi author Ada Hoffmann, is all about multiverses with Altara, our protagonist, being connected with a mysterious telepathic being, Maya, who tells her about the world being in danger. But Altara alone can’t save the world, as she will need the help of the other two characters in their own universes. They will have to fuse together and learn to work as a team, or rather as one body, to defeat all the enemies. I wouldn’t say the story is the biggest selling point of Trinity Fusion, mostly because the voice acting is just okay, and with the characters not being lip-synched and standing there like puppets, it all feels a little hollow.
The main selling point of Trinity Fusion is the ability to merge with the other two characters and to learn how to best use their abilities. That is where the “Metroidvania” bit of gameplay comes in, as we will need specific abilities to finish some of the levels. For example, the drone allows us to traverse tiny spaces and teleport to the other side. It happened a couple of times that I lacked the necessary abilities to complete a level and I was forced to restart, but that might have been on me, so not a gameplay problem. Hopefully. After dying we go back to the usual hub where we can spend acquired tokens on new unlocks and character power-ups.
The devs mentioned hack’n’slash before, indeed we will down most enemies using swords, axes and sickles. There is not a huge variety of wacky weapons, they are all pretty standard, but there’s a fair bit of added status effects such as poison and acid. Additionally, we have a special “magic” power that we can hit enemies with and, after merging with another character, we’ll also get a gun or rifle. But both magic and rifles need energy to function, which can be gained by attacking enemies or in specific recharge places. I hope Tesla won’t get mad.
After the first run, we can select the character we want to play with, as that will allow us to explore other levels as well. There is a good variety in the stages, from factories to caves with lava and places suspended in virtual space. It is striking, especially compared to how mostly plain the weapons are. The enemies are mostly of the robot kind, which feels a bit repetitive, but there are a few huge standouts. It feels like different characters also bring higher difficulty. I did keep my runs at the basic level, survivor, as that seems to still bring a fair challenge, but I was barely able to finish the first level with the other characters. On the other hand, the bosses felt a bit too easy, as I vanquished most of them on the first try.
But here comes my issue with Trinity Fusion, the combat feels slightly off. While everything works as it should, complete with a dash and double jump, hitting the enemies doesn’t feel as crunchy and meaty as one should expect. Even compared to similar indie titles such as Oblivion Override, this feels slightly floaty and dealing with airborne enemies can be frustrating. This doesn’t mean that I would call the combat in Trinity Fusion a bad doggo, it feels like the devs have worked on it enough that it feels okay. But since that is the main thing you’ll be spending time on, it is a shame that it doesn’t feel as smooth and silky as, for example, Hades. I realize I’m not doing a good job as a reviewer by not explaining it in full, but melee combat has to be tried to comprehend what’s wrong with it.
I’m a bit torn on the power-up side, as well. Personally, I don’t like the idea of being able to only hold one kind of item at a time; you can have one health item and one power-up, along with two specials. If you find an extra health item, you’ll have to drop (or use) the one you already have. And this happens a lot, like imagine barely surviving a whole arena filled with enemies only to have to ditch your reward because your inventory is smaller than Chris Redfield’s. It feels like the game is not balanced to perhaps give you something that you’re missing, but rather gives you stuff you already have. Again, it feels like a frustrating, arbitrary limitation.
The random boons that you collect are also slightly confusing since many of them are about “this happens when the enemy hits you”, which doesn’t seem to reward playing correctly. But Fusion does have a lot of mechanics that I’m not even going to try and explain in full, since not even the game does a great job in that. For example, sure you can fuse with other characters, but what are you gaining or losing? It’s never made clear. This is one title I would recommend going in with a guide that helps you understand the advanced mechanics of fusion, boons and power-ups in full.
Graphically, Trinity Fusion is quite satisfying. While the style they went for doesn’t fit the nature of the game, which might add to the combat feeling off, it looks great. Even on the Deck with everything on low, it moves smoothly and it is just a good time. In fact, I’d probably recommend playing on the Deck, if you have one. The soundtrack does some cyberpunky synths and rams up when it’s time to do so, while it won’t leave you any memories, it does feel it complements the action in the right way.
Despite my issues, which are personal and not really game-breaking, Trinity Fusion can be recommended. The full 1.0 release comes with tons of content and builds to try out, gorgeous graphics and a satisfying soundtrack. But I do feel like this is not a game for everyone, as it feels a bit like it is a victim of feature creep, with too much stuff added in and not properly explained. I would reckon genre fans will have a good time with it, while newcomers might walk away feeling lost and confused. Still, for the Romanian studio Angry Mob Devs this is a win, well done.
Our Trinity Fusion review was made possible with a key provided by Evolve PR. The game is available on Steam, Epic Game Store and also PlayStation 4 / 5 and Xbox One and Series X | S.
Trinity Fusion: Trinity Fusion is a satisfying roguelite action game with tons of content, gorgeous graphics and a tasty soundtrack. – Damiano Gerli