Troll and I: PS4 Review
Developed by Spiral House
It had such potential, but, unfortunately, Troll and I never quite reaches the heights it's aspiring to, thanks to a muddied combat system and graphics that don't give the game the best look.
Loosely, the story concentrates on Otto, a boy who's separated from his mother after tragedy hits their village. Forced out into the wilderlands and to fend for himself, Otto finds he's ultimately not alone with the discovery of a friendly Troll.
The pair team up and have to perform a series of quests and missions, guaranteed to showcase the co-operative bond and capabilities of the game.
However, what it actually offers is simply a case of switching between the two once they've teamed up to perform limited moves.
With his Derek Zoolander clipped way of talking, Otto's not the most verbose of characters and his penchant for muttering a limited amount of catchphrases soon grinds gears than inspires wanting to spend more time with him.
Equally, with the troll looking reminiscent of a dread-locked ET, the characterisation doesn't perform very strongly in this piece, which is a real shame.
Limited moves for both, along with crafting, make Troll and I feel like a budget game rather than a big scale adventure with heart and soul that was initially promised in the trailer.
It doesn't help that graphically the game looks like something from the PS2 era and the baddies look unfinished in their design. But it's frustrating in the extreme as there's clearly a great adventure to be had here, with this sub-par rip off of the buddy dynamic not really cutting it from the get-go.
Early scenes see you having to duck and dive, hunt and trace around, but the game's difficulty curve throws a substantial spanner into the works with moves you make not being recognised. That further exacerbates frustration as the game seems intent on ensuring repetition of mistakes despite you trying all different ways to achieve your goal.
Crafting brings a bit of an edge, but there's little else to collect in the world, other than weapons which perform adequately, but not sensationally.
It's a shame as there are some moments that really hang together for Troll and I - its adherence to the folklore and friendship aspect of the game makes its premise eminently playable and there's pain to be felt when either side of this buddy-friendship is hurt.
But ultimately, Troll and I's frustrations and sub-par rendering make it feel like a head-smashing experience and an exercise in what could have been.