Preview: Hands-on with Trinity Fusion at PAX East 2023

Preview: Hands-on with Trinity Fusion at PAX East 2023

How do you survive when three universes are at war? You get the best hunters in the Multiverse to save them!

Trinity Fusion brings universe-hopping to a whole new concept as we jump, shoot, slide, grapple, and portal our way across unique worlds — taking on incredible enemies along the way.

At our hands-on at PAX East 2023, we came to realize that the new project from Angry Mob Games has a lot going for it. The game takes place across three parallel universes that are slowly spiraling towards destruction. As the nefarious forces in each universe grow even more power hungry, they want their own world to be the last one standing. It’s up to a trio of heroes (split across the multiverse) to prevent that from happening, and that’s the premise that makes things really interesting.

Designed as a 2D platforming roguelike and based roughly on the action of their previous game Brawlout, Trinity has us running around levels in each of the universes picking up loot and items that can help us prevent annihilation. Each level is unique (as is the lead character we controls within); in one, nature has run amok and organic life is terrifyingly power, in another it’s the machines that have gained sentience and AI has taken over, and the third is a sort of mix of the two, with cybernetic enemies utilize insane amounts of power.

Each biome has its own set of traps and obstacles and enemies based on the universe, and each character is properly equipped to take those on. In one we can power slide under enemies that are strong in near-proximity melee attacks, and in another our heroine has the ability to pull enemies toward her with a grappling system. The game gives us main and sub weapons, with the conceit that we need to balance the use of the two. A gauge at the bottom of the screen tells us how much power we have left to use our special ability, and the only way to build that up is to use our main weapons. This is important to leverage, because each enemy has a different weakness that relies on one or the other, or neither, or both. For instance, a bruiser in one of the biomes is equipped with a massive impervious shield that prevents ranged attacks, but up close we can utilize our special ability to make the shield essentially null and void. This prevents the game from becoming a more traditional hack & slash, which here won’t get players very far within a run. We really need to be a bit more methodical in our moves.

During the runs in each biome, which require us to reach a sort of end portal to escape, we can pick up loot, items, and build up enough skill points to let us improve and grow our skills. One of the characters can add a bomb drop to her powerslide, which adds a whole new moveset and combo possibility to the play.

But what would a game about multiverses be without actually being able to move through said worlds? Trinity Fusion goes all in on the idea; at special portals scattered throughout the game, we can swap out characters to play in our current biome or enter their biome instead. This opens up a ton of ways to approach each level. In one section with a huge gap and electrified floor I normally have to wait for a platform-like enemy to glide over so that I can sneakily hitch a ride with that biome’s lead. However, I switched heroes and now I have the grappling hook, so I can grab onto little points and swing across. OR, if I’m daring and have the third heroine warped in, I can try double-jumping across. There are a few of these types of puzzles and obstacles that let us approach the world in unique ways each time.

The game’s aesthetics and style feel as though a lot of time and effort went into their development, and in a conversation with the dev team we find out why. The game’s development kind of started as an exploration of cool enemy designs. After creating buckets of really intriguing beasts, robots, and cyborgs, the dev team were kind of stuck as to how to bring them all together. Then, Marvel’s Into the Spider-verse film hit theaters and everything seemed to click: this is a multiverse, with a unique set of heroes, enemies, and constraints in each one. The worlds aren’t massive, but they’re highly detailed, and the enemies make us stop, pause, and stare for a bit. There are some really neat designs here.

Trinity Fusion goes head first into the idea of multiverses, embracing the concept and its ability to intertwine the threads of an action tapestry, and it letting players weave some of those threads however they want. It’s due to hit Early Access in April.

The game earned a Team Choice Award as one of SideQuesting’s favorite, must-see projects of PAX East 2023.