*Maybe the Troll should’ve stayed under the bridge?*
Name: Troll and I
Developer: Spiral House
Publisher: Maximum Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, NIntendo Switch ( Coming Soon )
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Troll and I is based on Scandinavian folklore and truly had me intrigued at first. A new video game where you can play as the troll beneath the bridge. (ref. Three Billy Goats Gruff )
But has Spiral House done a great job creating a game based on a myth? Let’s find out:
Deep down in the Nordic wilderness, a teenage boy named Otto is forced to flee his home after a group of hunters rip his hometown apart in the search of a mythical creature rumored to inhabit the forest. Otto and his mother gets separated and her condition is unknown to Otto, so his journey back to his village begins. Along the journey he befriends Troll who also got separated from his family. together they embark on a mythical journey plagued with different enemies who are natives to the forest also known as “Ahky”. Including fighting off the Ahkys and finding the way back home, they must run away from the hunters as well. As they have been employed by a man to collect this mystery creature.
The story itself isn’t the main problem with Troll and I, yes the story is pretty basic. A young boy loses his friends and family and got rescued by a Troll. Together they have to fight off evil men and creatures, which results in them becoming friends. But the story is pretty much badly presented to us, cinematics have issues with framerate and visual drops. But the lack of details and production value is clearly visible.
One of the biggest moments in the game, where the troll gets revealed isn’t a “wow factor”, the whole sequence isn’t a surprise and is done in seconds. Every voice actor from NPC’s and even the protagonist Otto sounds bored, monotonic and badly scripted lines. Sometimes it was so bad that I had to calm myself down from either anger or sadness. Because I think I can see what Spiral House have tried to do here, but performance wise is way to bad.
Graphics and Gameplay
Troll and I supports cooperation through the “old way”. Nowadays it’s called couch-play but in my childhood days it was called something easy as “Split Screen” or maybe the nickname
“DO NOT LOOK AT MY SCREEN!”. And it is here where Troll and I shines at its best. Playing locally and cooperating with a friend, figuring out the puzzles and battle through Ahky. One thing I have to mention is Otto and Troll’s haircuts, it is the same!
Maybe it is coincidence or maybe it is just laziness from the developer. Even though it is still funny to look at.
Playing as Otto brings out the crafting and stealth mechanics of the game, Otto can hunt animals, gather different kinds of rocks and berries and more to gain crafting materials for weapons and healing. There is also different skills to upgrade, not as big as an skill tree though. Playing as the Troll might feel like controlling a giant, like you might have done in the PlayStation 2 game “War of the Monsters”, crushing and swiping enemies. Troll also stands to help out Otto in difficult places, either to reach out up to ledges or even Troll has to carry an airplane wing to create a bridge for Otto. There are a few times where the feeling that the need for Troll is there, like when Otto isn’t able to clear out hordes of enemies, clearing out gaps and more. But that is pretty much it, playing as the Troll in split screen requires a lot of patient. As Troll has to wait for Otto to finish up different tasks and levels, so that Troll can continue.
UlvePlay – Troll and I – Split Screen Gameplay + OST Cutscene
The combat system is pretty basic, nothing advanced about it. That might be a good thing, if the game is supposed to be for kids. Easy learned controllers, no fancy combos, crafting system or skill tree. Everything is pretty much basic, but then again. If the game tries to reach out for the hardcore gamer, well then this game is not for you as it is too simplistic.
Had this game only released during the end of PlayStation 2 or the beginning of PlayStation 3 era, could this game be fantastic graphics and visuals. But that is not the case here, the standards for this generation of games are quite different from PS2 / PS3 era. The visuals, animations, acting, game design in general are in low quality. Sometimes the game feels unfinished some places, there is a lot of bugs in the game and texture drop.
Troll and I is a fun action adventure game playing with a friend on split screen, especially if you play with your child. But then again, the game in general has a lot of flaws and feels unfinished, bad voice acting and script keeps the story boring to follow. And that is truly a big bummer, as I was looking forward to this game. The mainstream of hardore gamers won’t probarly want to get this game, but if you are looking for a easy game to play co operatively with your child or others. Well then this game might just be fine to cover those needs.
+ Split Screen Gameplay
+/- Easy to learn, might be too simple for some
– Feels unfinished
– Visuals, textures and animations