I’ll admit and say that I was initially intrigued by Troll and I when it was first announced a couple of years back. Since then I’ve seen a few fancy trailers, but more importantly, I’ve played the final product.
And it’s nothing short of awful.
I feel obligated to mention this straightaway: I didn’t finish Troll and I, and I have no intention of going back to it in this lifetime. Why? Because my blood pressure and stress levels are high enough, thank you very much. I only managed to go through the first 4 hours or so before I deleted the game from my console. Personally, I think that’s quite an achievement considering the first 15 minutes were nothing short of frustrating – and that’s me putting it very, very nicely.
The game attempts to tell the story of Otto and his unlikely companion, Troll. Basically, some dude in England wants this Troll, dead or alive, so he’s paying some mercs to hunt it down and bring it to him so he can, I dunno, turn it into a rug? His motivation wasn’t exactly clear. Troll resides in the same European region as Otto, our hippy, dreadlocked hero. When the mercenaries arrive in search of Troll, they destroy Otto’s home and leave his mother surrounded by poorly animated flames licking at her equally poorly animated body.
Here’s the first round of frustration: a section where you must run away from the burning wreckage while trees collapse in front of you. This section, though not very long, was a massive ball-ache. It took me around 25-30 minutes to get past it. The section incorporates quick-time-like promts where you need to press ‘X’ to jump over or slide under the burning logs. One wrong move or a mis-timed button press and you’re dead, instantly. Sounds simple enough, right? WRONG! The game’s camera during this passage felt like it was working against me, not allowing me to line up my run properly. I died. Again. And again. And again. There’s a video down below that’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about.
Then, not a few moments later, Otto is sliding down on his arse, all the while trying to avoid obstacle. You’ll recognise this as a typical video game trope, though what follows is maddeningly uncommon. The game screws you over, again, and again, and again but having piss-poor design that results in you dying ag – you get the bloody point. So my first hour of the game was a test of my patience. An hour that should have been spent introducing me to the characters, the world,, the gameplay and, if it had worked properly, it should have taken less than half that time.
So with the frustrating opening act out of the way, I expected the game to get better. Boy, was I an idiot. After a quick encounter with some nasty monster that had been thrown up by the guts of hell, we’re introduced to the titular Troll who comes to the rescue and saves Otto. Cool, I thought. Now the real fun should start, right? Nope. Nope. Nope.
The next couple of hours were me and troll doing various things like climbing, hunting, crafting, killing enemies – the standard affair that you’d expect, then. But it wasn’t fun. Not even for a moment. Not even in the moments where I was controlling Troll. It was all just very, very mediocre. The game’s frame-rate was constantly throwing me off, resulting in mis-timed throws, jumps and what have you. It’s not like the game is even pumping out top-end graphics. I’d say this is what would pass as mediocre on PS3. Those fancy trailers? They are a world away from the final product.
Controlling Otto and Troll was also a chore. Otto can run, crouch, sneak, and climb, but he doesn’t do any of it convincingly. The animation was just that poor. Playing as Troll wasn’t any better, in fact it was worse. I’d expected that playing as a mythical monster would be fun. I’d get to smash people to bits and generally be a bit of a bad geezer. Instead I was left staring at the back of Troll’s head while he would swing his aping arms in a very unconvincing manner. Then, after the game crashed and restarted my console, I booted back into the game and… Well. Fuck. My save game doesn’t exist and it wants me to start a new game. So I did what any professional in my situation would do and deleted the game, grabbed a beer, sat on my balcony and swore for a little while. Swearing makes thing better, always.
Bottom line is this: the game has a few good ideas, but nothing that hasn’t been done elsewhere and in a better fashion. Crafting? Big bloody deal. Every game has some element of it now, it’s nothing special. Stealth? Why bother when the A.I is piss-poor. Combat? Same, plus shoddy animations. Story? I actually can’t tell you as I didn’t see it through to the end, but what I did see was nothing interesting, nor was it particularly fun to listen to the horribly 2002-era voice acting. I have literally nothing nice to say about this game, and that pisses me off. Unless you really, really, really want to play as a troll, don’t bother. Go and cosplay as one in public, wait for some chavs to beat the shit out of you, and you’ll still have more fun.
Troll and I PS4 Review
Game title: Troll and I - PS4
Game description: Action/Adventure
I've said all I needed to say in the body of the review. There's just not way to summarise my experience with the game other than to say it was total, utter, crap.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella.