Troll and I Review

Man meets beast. Man befriends beast. Beast hunted by merciless humans. It’s an age-old adage and one that Spiral House has developed into a new promising action adventure. This time the beast takes form as the mythical Troll. But it turns out the real beast in this game is something else completely.

Troll and I tells the tale of Otto, a young man whose village is in ruins from destruction and fire. In your attempt to flee to safety you encounter the fabled Troll. Long talked about through generations still considered mythical. The problem is, wealthy humans have also discovered that such a being is no longer a myth, and want the troll for their own wealth and greed – dead or alive.

The setting takes us to Scandinavia in the 1950’s. As you form an unlikely bond with the troll, your journey truly begins to find your way back home after the aforementioned disaster. The premise and story show promise, but unfortunately from here on in, it’s going to become a very bumpy ride.

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You start off your adventure learning how to hunt and craft. Simple trees provide arrows for your bow, whilst animals provide a food source. It’s a short and simple introduction before you return to find your village engulfed in flames and the beginnings of a mass forest fire.

Whilst the game controls well, it’s evident there are a few camera issues at times. This is by no means a game breaker, but it doesn’t get the introduction off to a promising start. Taking on the form as action adventure, with puzzle elements, the basic mechanics are there for Troll and I to rival big hitters such as Tomb Raider. However, that’s as far as the game goes in its quest to stand tall in the genre.

Once you are united with the troll, you unlock 2 player co-op allowing for a friend to take control of the almighty troll. Otto has basic attacks against the weird and wonderful foes you’ll encounter along the way, but as you would expect, the troll offers a more powerful arsenal of all out brute force to destroy enemies, albeit at a slower pace.

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Puzzles require to mostly work co-operatively with the troll in order to progress. There’s nothing particularly new or inventive that we haven’t seen in previous games in the genre.  The use of crafting will aid your journey as you explore the wilderness, but again there’s nothing here to innovate on previous works.

Graphically, the game is by no means appealing for a full retail release in this generation. There are moments of wonder, but these are extremely rare. The Xbox 360 would not struggle to have delivered this title. Graphics of course don’t make a game great on its own, but with a slew of game breaking bugs left in the final release, Troll and I doesn’t just become a disappointment to look at, but a frustration to play through.

You could take 10+ hours to get through the story in Troll and I. And whilst there are numerous collectables for the completionists among us, there’s little to keep you coming back. The worst section of the game is the first few segments. The voice acting displayed in the introduction sets the tone for what’s to come. But as you start out hunting, followed by some extremely temperamental quick time events, you’ll more than likely feel Troll and I will not get any better. But equally, it doesn’t get any worse and once you make it to your meeting with the troll, it does pick up somewhat.

There is a lot of potential shown in Troll and I. But with numerous fixes needed, the real beast is indeed the bugs that thwart your journey. It is entirely possible to get past these sections where the title runs more smoothly, but the frustrations that occur during certain areas could be a deal breaker. With a little more time and effort, a greater graphics engine and thought. Troll and I could have been a standout adventure game. Unfortunately, it just fails to justify itself as an essential purchase.

Troll and I is available from the Xbox Store, Priced £39.99

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