Troll and I is a very impressive action adventure game from Spiral House. With elements from many popular franchises and very heartwarming characters, Troll and I deserves a chance to be played by every gamer.
Game: Troll and I
Developer: Spiral House
Publisher: Maximum Games
Platforms: PlayStation®4 (Reviewed) / Xbox One / Digital PC / Nintendo Switch (Release date to be determined.)
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Troll and Otto are the two main characters in Troll and I. Otto is the protagonist, a teenage boy that had to flee his home due to brutal hunters. When he was out collecting some meat for his family one day, a group of hunters began setting fire to his home in the forest. Whilst running for his life, he comes across Troll, something that he got taught as being just a myth.
Troll is a big, loveable creature that is, mainly, fighting for survival. He keeps to himself most of the time, and only gets himself into danger when necessary. I was blown away by how well designed and created Troll was. Troll is being hunted by a wealthy businessman, who wants this myth dead or alive. He decides to pay a hunter to do the dirty work for him, eventually leading Otto into Troll.
Troll and Otto begin their journey together just looking for a way out. On their way, they find many enemies and puzzles that lie in their path. To complete these puzzles, the two must work together and use each other’s skills. Otto is small, nimble and can move around different scenarios with ease. Troll, however, is big, robust and is there to defend Otto from enemies.
An example of when the two combine their skills to solve a problem is quite early on in the story. Otto is having to make his way along some tall stones until he finds that he can no longer make the jump. In this case, the player had to find a wing from a crashed plane. The player then switches to Troll and uses his strength to hold the wing up as a platform for Otto to walk across.
The way that Otto goes around different circumstances feels, to me, a lot like those of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted Series. There are times where you have to slide down some gravel, you have to run away from fire whilst dodging objects, scaling walls by using rock climbing skills and more. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, as I am a massive fan of the Uncharted Series. Also, I love how Spiral House have put their own twist on this style and really made it a good experience for the player.
In combat, the two characters vary quite a lot, too. With Otto, you have to be very quick on your feet, making quick decisions. You have to decide whether to choose a spear or a different long ranged weapon you crafted earlier or to go in and mash the close ranged attack button. When up against certain enemies, you will have the option to defend against their attacks, if your reactions are quick enough. If done correctly, this will give you enough time to make your move, striking the enemy down.
If you decide to go into combat as Troll, things are different. Troll can suck up a lot more damage than Otto, making him great to attack against large groups of enemies. Troll has two attacks. 1: Punch or quick on a single target. This is very effective against heavier enemies. 2: Sweep away the enemies. Troll can swoop his arm around, knocking over all of the enemies in his path. This is an excellent choice if you’re struggling against a large group.
When playing as Otto, you can craft new weapons to either help you win battles with the enemy or to help you complete certain puzzles. Do obtain the materials needed to craft these weapons, you can either scavenge around different locations and hope to find them, or hope that you come across a plant or something along those lines that will gift you with that material. I found that the frequency of the materials compared to how many you need to craft something is very well balanced. Obviously, the stuff that is more powerful is harder to obtain, more it is not impossible either.
As Troll, you can upgrade you different magical powers as you go along. I found that the standard healing one was the most effective after a couple of upgrades, but you should try them all out for yourself and see how you feel.
Overall, the combat in Troll and I is great, with only minor drawbacks.
In Troll and I, there are many collectibles to keep you busy. These are often in plain site, but I found I missed a few due to me focusing on the main task at hand. I think this kind of collectible is good. Not too hard, but not too easy. Also, once you collect all of them, you are granted with a nice trophy/achievement!
I really found myself falling in love with Troll. This kept me coming back to the game to see what would happen next. I think that the main reason for this being is that Spiral House, the developers, really worked well on getting trolls facial emotions excellent. You can really feel a strong bond between Troll and Otto, again down to the facial expressions. The devs really hit the nail on the head with this.
However, it is not all good in terms of facial expressions. Characters seem very expressionless throughout cutscenes, and it is quite annoying. To see how well they did it for Troll and Otto in-game just frustrates me during the cutscenes. I don’t see how this managed to happen, but it is upsetting, to say the least.
In one word, the camera angles in this game are very frustrating. Playing as Troll in an area with loads of trees/tall rocks is a very bad idea. The camera just moves to become really close to Troll, making it impossible to see anything at all. This function is infuriating when trying to complete a puzzle as Troll. I really hope that the devs decide to change this with a patch.
The settings in which Troll and Otto adventure around are all vastly different, but all very well polished. Whether it be in the snow or in a jungle with a crashed plane, each setting has its own good and bad points. I really like what Maximum Games and Spiral House did with the setting, but I feel the graphics let them down slightly on the PlayStation 4.
You can play Troll and I in complete cooperative split screen multiplayer. Taking into consideration the type of game and also the characters in the game, it just seems fit to have this function. I only got a chance to play split screen for s short amount of time, but I found that that experience was a good, enjoyable one.
The amount of gameplay in Troll and I is actually very impressive. Considering that Spiral House are not a huge developer, Troll and I provides the player with a whole lot of content. I have played Troll and I for a good couple of hours and I can’t really see an end at the moment.
I don’t want to give too much away about the story, purely for spoilers, so I have left the launch trailer below to give you a little bit more of an insight:
Thinking about the size of the development company also has to come into mind when you’re thinking about graphics. Troll and I looks great, but not if you compare it to some others. I reviewed this game on PlayStation 4, so my views are only based off of that version, but the experience may differ if you’re playing on a different console. I found that, even though the game looked nice, it didn’t feel like a game on a next-gen console. All of the right ingredients were there, such as wind making objects move and things like that, but it just wasn’t polished as nicely I was hoping for.
Troll and I, for the most part, runs at a smooth framerate, dipping here and there in certain intense scenes. Again, this experience could differ for everyone else, so do not be put off by this matter.
Troll and I is great fun to play and should be enjoyed by every gamer out there. Troll is really heartwarming and will keep bringing you back for more. Spiral House and Maximum Games have done a really good job with this one. Be sure to add it to your cart when it releases on March 21st for most platforms.