Video Games Review – Troll & I (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC 2017)

Troll & I sadly is another blunder of a mess wrapped in the price of a triple A title. It’s upsetting because the concept of Troll and I was a great one and given to a well-received Developer.

The story follows a young Scandinavian boy named Otto who after the shit hits the fan, forms a bond with a giant troll which is also now being pursued by a merciless hunter.

If you didn’t know, Troll and I is Developed by Spiral House Games, the same team who have created some truly unique titles in the past such as Stuntman, Motorstorm and the short-lived Blur racing game. What we get with Troll and I is a straight out of the cave third person action-adventure made for the PlayStation 2 era, no wait, the current generation platforms and PC. The game is set in mostly wide open areas with the same recycled and pixelated foliage every few meters and invisible barriers around every corner.

It’s a gameplay screenshot from the trailer that never shows up in the final product.

After the initial story introduction, you are given the task of using stealth to recover twigs off trees and to hunt down a couple of boars. You move into stealth with the tap of a button and follow the trail towards a spear tree, further holding down another button to watch as a slow bar cuts a branch and then another slow loading bar to craft the spear. Now time to catch the boar, get back into prone position and slowly follow the path the animal leaves. But you can’t see the path without stopping again and entering a Batman Arkham style detective mode, after another loading bar you see the trail of prints the boar leaves and follow them only to lose it two seconds later and once again, are forced into using the clumsy user interface to enter detective mode. When you finally do reach the creature, you must aim at it using a crosshair that constantly shakes and moves from side to side with no interference, making it even harder to aim. Maybe they were going for realism in the way your arm moves in the breeze? Whatever they did it really doesn’t add much to an already terrible control scheme, don’t make the game harder than it needs to be. How did this pass any sort of testing? Did they test it? I wish i was joking, but if you think i am, check out my captured gameplay footage below.

When you have finished the previous mediocre hunting task you see your town burning in the distance and head back home to find everyone running and screaming and you’re then thrown into some terrible quick time dodging events with falling tree branches and flames the size of a cockroach that kill you instantly which also then lead to excruciatingly painful death animations you must endure repeatedly until you get it right.

A few more minutes in and we meet the Troll and learn how to use its abilities which really aren’t much fun and have you blindingly swiping at enemies the troll can’t even reach on the floor due to his size. It honestly creates another broken promise and leaves you swinging wildly until the game lets you kill something accidentally.

The boy then decides everything is cool and to camp out for the night with Troll and find comfort in his arms while you sleep soundly till morning.  Wait a minute, did we forget something? Mum, on fire? Woods and your home burning? No? Trying to get back was priority a few seconds ago, and is now completely forgotten but that’s ok, everything is forgiven because you found a friendly mountain troll to camp out with.

Yes this is a Playstation 4 screenshot!

The voice acting also starts off strong but when we get to hear the boy Otto it goes downhill fast. Some of the sentences literally consist of “blah bler blah bler”. Yes, that was a sentence I pulled directly from the game.

I don’t know what else I can say other than to avoid this with as much will-power as you can muster. Troll and I sadly could have been something great from a once promising developer, what happened here was something a budget title shouldn’t even have to comprehend, broken mechanics and a story that starts out promising but crashes hard within minutes.

Score: 2.0 out of 10
Highlights: Great soundtrack, You can move the characters with your controller
Lowlights: Weak script and voice acting, terrible UI, Awefull Graphics, difficult trial and error quicktime events.
Developer: Spiral House
Publisher: Maximum Games
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch

Reviewed on PlayStation 4.

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