Trinity Fusion is an upcoming rogue-lite action platformer from Angry Mob Games that I was able to play at PAX East 2023. After a 45-minute session, I felt the hooks of the genre’s live-die-repeat loop stronger than most of its contemporaries, even something like Dead Cells. Beyond that, the in universe justification for the game’s character swapping mechanic hasn’t left my mind and I’m eager to see more.
Trinity Fusion starts a run with the player able to select one of three characters who are all alternate dimension variants of the same individual. Each has their own starting weapons and abilities that you can swap out as you progress a run. Upon selection of your character, they begin in a biome distinct to the reality they originate from. For example, the more rudimentary version of your multiversal self begins in a stage that is mostly rock and naturally occurring platforms. On the flip side, the more complex Devil May Cry inspired warrior found in another variant finds her home in a futuristic neon cityscape.
Immediately, whoever you choose to play as the game feels tight and responsive as I would hope from a game where the slightest mistake could mean the end of a long play session. Each character has their own unique character ability mapped to the left trigger whether it's a drone you can control the position of to then warp to, allowing access to hard-to-reach places, or a grappling hook to close the gap between enemies.
The twist of Trinity Fusion is the latter half of its name. As you progress a run, you’ll find stations where, upon reaching them, you’re given the choice to continue exploring your current map as one of the other two versions of yourself, or become a fish out of water and warp whichever version of yourself you’ve been building up on this run to one of the other two biomes. And in my time playing, Angry Mob Games Community Manager Craig Hauser teased a convergence of these different realities as players progress further through the game.
This ability to change things up so drastically mid-run allows for an immediately satisfying feeling of progression in a single session, as you’re able to explore a whole new region before reaching a boss or major milestone. While some may find that overwhelming, it was welcome for testing out the quirks of each version of myself and finding my preferences when it came to weapons and abilities. Weapons can vary from short-range dual-wielding axes to long-range sniper rifles. Beyond that, there are nuances to how a bow feels compared to a sniper or a pistol. There’s a large amount of variety in play style between all three characters and what kit you’re granted on a run that I was only able to see a fraction of.
One highlight that was exclusive to this build of the demo was a late-game enemy called a “Corrector”. This functioned as a pursuer enemy that upon engaging with, follows you until you kill it. The trick is, you need to kill it twice. The shift in strategy of managing health and resources to deal with the corrector mid-exploration was engaging and one of my favorite encounters in the demo. If this is any indication of what's in store late game, fans of action combat where you have to keep more than just your combos front of mind to find success will be pleased.
For fans of the genre, Trinity Fusion is off to a promising start that can only improve once the title launches into early access on April 13th. If you’re new to roguelites but are a fan of something like Metroid Dread, you may find enough of a reason to experiment in a new genre. The art direction and speed of play are evocative of the latest in Samus Aran's 2D adventures and were able to get me invested in a genre that doesn't always hit for me. Visually and mechanically, the hooks of the world and loop are already present and I’m eager to see how it evolves.
Trinity Fusion was previewed at PAX East 2023.