The story of Trinity: Souls of Z'ill O'll-- which I'll shorten to Trinity for the rest of this review-- revolves around Areus, a half-elf who survived at attempt on his life at an early age after a prophecy foretold that he was to kill his grandfather, the Emperor Balor. Areus' father was killed in the attempt on Areus' life, but he, his elven mother, and his adopted brother all survived and lived in seclusion for many years. Areus' destiny brought him to the city of Liberdam, where he became a gladiator under the tutelage of a former fighter named Darqin. As Trinity's story unfolds, Areus becomes an adventurer in order to gain strength and experience, and meets allies and enemies along the way as he becomes hunted by Balor once again and faces his destiny. The story touches on class differences and even racism as half-elves are disliked by humans and elves alike. The story is long-winded at times, and the spoken lines of dialog can be occasionally stiff, but at least there's a unique story to speak of here in Trinity rather than the retold battle stories from Dynasty Warriors.
Trinity attempts to flow like many other action RPGs. Areus and his party visit towns to accept quests, buy and sell items, and talk to various people about what's going on. Quests vary, including escort missions, monster hunts, and finding certain items. Each quest takes Areus and his party to specific areas which are infested with monsters. Dispatching these monsters earns experience and SP. Experience, as with most RPGs, leads to leveling up and increasing character stats. SP is used to power up abilities and magic. Most quests end with some sort of boss encounter, and these can be fairly challenging as timing and the proper usage of elemental attacks come into play. Loot can be obtained from chests, after battles, or can be picked up in specific locations indicated by each area's map. After the quest is completed, Areus reports back to the Adventurer's Guild in the town that he took the quest in and receives more experience points, plus any spoils promised when the quest was taken. Loot can then be sold at shops or equipped by the appropriate party member.
There are times when certain party members are required to solve a puzzle, explore a new area, or execute the right attack strategy. Selene, a vampire-like Darkneith, has excellent aerial abilities and can reach raised platforms and other areas that other characters cannot reach. Dagda, the barbarian-style character of the group, can knock down walls and columns with ease, opening up crucial rooms for exploration or using the environment as a weapon against monsters. Each character has his or her specialized elements. Areus wields fire and ice while Dagda commands earth attacks. Abilities and elemental attacks become very important against stronger monsters and boss characters as some are resistant to melee or sword attacks. This leads to a bit of trial and error, as players will have to shift control from one character to another in order to find and use the proper ability that can break the monster's guard and open it up to a Break state.
Combat, at least initially, feels like a Warriors game. Liberal use of the Attack button hacks away at groups of monsters at a time, and there are usually a lot of them. There isn't a combo meter this time around, and the usual combo chains that usually work for these kinds of games do not work the same in Trinity. The reason for this is because Trinity has three other buttons which can have abilities and/or elemental attacks assigned to them. As players land attacks, a Burst Gauge fills. When full, the Burst Gauge is like a smart bomb which can devastate groups of monsters and give the party of a bit of breathing room. During boss battles, a red circle will appear around a monster when its guard is temporarily down after an attack. Once that circle turns blue after a vicious flurry of attacks or after using the right elemental attack, the party can attack the beast at will to whittle down its energy. When the creature's life force is down to a critical level and Areus has two other adventurers in his party, a finishing move called a Trinity Attack can be used to take down the monster and gain extra experience points and SP.
Repetition is Trinity's biggest obstacle between being an average RPG and being a good one. Quests feel too similar to each other, and returning to the same few areas is redundant. Boss encounters are repeated from time to time, and it feels like there is an endless supply of goblins that never dries up. The combat also has the tendency to devolve into button-mashing sessions, losing any sense of excitement and worth before long. There are moments when new areas open up, when arena battles occur, or when the story eventually advances that can motivate players to keep plodding along... but Trinity inevitably feels more like a trial for the player than it probably does for Areus and his party. Getting to the end of the first chapter alone will prompt many to ask, "That's as far as I've gotten? That's all?" There are many hours of gameplay to be had in Trinity, but it's likely that many won't get much farther before shelving the game for a change of pace. Persistence can be rewarding if players get attached to the storyline, but that's a big if.
Trinity has some nice character and monster designs, and the environments look quite good. There's a graphics filter in place that tries to give the game a unique, painted look; however, it's distracting at times and seems to affect the game's overall frame rate. While slowdown issues are infrequent, they do occur and cinematics tease a smoother frame rate at times that never comes to fruition. Still shots do the visuals more justice than watching Trinity in motion, and that's unfortunate. The sound is a combination of poor voice acting (a staple in Warriors games) and above-average music that tends to repeat quite a bit. The music is a big departure from the guitar-driven rock heard in the Dynasty Warriors games; Trinity's soundtrack is fully orchestrated and reacts to the action on the screen.
Trinity is not a bad game. This may sound like a backhanded compliment, but it's not meant to be taken that way. There are players out there who will enjoy Trinity from start to finish and who likely won't view the repetition in exploration and combat as taxing since it's true that many RPGs can be considered repetitive in some ways. Omega Force has done some nice things here and really seems to have shown that it's capable of creating an experience that differs enough from its Warriors games to be considered its own game. As a first effort, Trinity is a good one; however, in relation to the rest of the Action RPG genre, it is an average game. For its $60 price tag, it's simply not feasible to recommend Trinity as a purchase universally. Give it a try if you're a fan of the Warriors games or of the genre, but be prepared for an experience that may be a bit shallow in spite of the new things brought to the table.