Xbox One, PS4, PC
March 24, 2017
Troll and I is a game based around stealth, puzzle solving and, well, overly emotional script dialog. The game starts off with a man hiring a specialized hunter to hunt down and bring him back a Troll, dead or alive, as it turns out they are not just an urban myth. We are then introduced to our protagonist, a young man named Otto, and his mother who live in a village in the mountains. While out hunting for boar, Otto’s village is attacked, and as he tries to escape the mayhem, he encounters the Troll, who later saves his life, and they form a bond and decide to team up together. Though it is not entirely clear on why exactly they are teaming up and where they are headed, it’s a nice quick start into the actual gameplay.
Troll and I is very focused on puzzle solving and platforming, where you have to work with both Otto and Troll to get past various obstacles. Of course, you will also have enemies to fight on your way, whether it be monsters sprouting from the ground or troll hunters with guns. With the character movements being a bit stiff and slow, it can make some of the easier challenges you will come across a lot harder to complete, leading to some frustration, so be warned.
The game doesn’t spend much time teaching you the basics, which is great for the seasoned gamers. Though there is a very real lack of direction or objective, leaving you wandering around looking for things to interact with in order to find out what exactly you’re supposed to be doing.
With Troll and Otto, you are able to switch between both characters to move around, fight or platform with. The Troll deals out heavy slow blows while Otto uses his agility and stealth to his advantage, which encourages you to switch between both characters often and adds a nice bit of variety as combat is very standard.
You can tell games like Tomb Raider and The Last Of Us influenced a lot of aspects within the gameplay mechanics; for example, you are able to craft weapons from materials you find while adventuring, and you can upgrade you stats and abilities in a very similar fashion to a lot of modern titles.
The art style is nice but nothing really stands out aside from the world design and the Troll Doors you encounter, and the animation itself is very sub-par, which was a disappointment to me personally after seeing all the great potential it had from the trailers and gameplay previews. It’s very reminiscent of playing a very good PS2 game. While it may not meet our modern standards, it would have done very well back in the 2000’s. Sound design was also sorely lacking which leaves you with very long moments of silence during tedious tasks, only breaking that silence during cut scenes and battle.
Something I really have to note is within the first 10 minutes of gameplay I encountered my first massive texture error, which just went downhill from there. After spotting the first one it wasn’t long before I started seeing more and more things go wrong, like mountains turning white or hair spinning around in all directions while stationary. For a game to be released with so many problems overall within the first few hours had me really baffled. I spent a good 20 minutes playing with a continuous shaking screen just because I jumped off of something I should have been climbing down. If the game itself wasn’t so endearing I probably would have rage-quit the entire thing after all that.
- Some interesting gameplay moments
- No real plot/gameplay direction
- Confusing script
Glitches aside, I really did enjoy playing Troll and I. It feels like a trip to the past playing old PS2 games in pajama pants after school, although that might not have been the game developers intention. The calm pace and chance to explore add to the experience that is Troll and I, and while it may not be the perfect game most of us wanted, others with a quirkier taste in gaming are sure to enjoy it.