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Troll and I PlayStation 4 Review

Trollolololololol… that’s what I expected to hear after playing this game for an hour. I had seen this sitting on the shelves of my local EB, then on PSN, I figured I was in for an interesting, surprising game. Boy was I unfortunately right in ways I was not hoping for. Troll and I comes, with minimal effort from the people at Maximum Games, with a pricing point of $90 AUS, which I can only suspect includes a god given prayer of recouping the cost of production before people key onto the turd they’ve knowingly lumped onto the world with no remorse.

Gameplay

Where to start, honestly. Can you can put up with a framerate that feels like someone rubbed sand through it? It gets that jarring at times, and if you can, you’re a better man or woman, than I. The combat is standard button mashing fare of no consequence, standard ‘three hit’ fare, that feels as underwhelming as it is repetitive. On the adventure side, it’s a pretty linear puzzle romp as you, Otto, and the Troll roam through the forest and canyons solving puzzles, working your way towards the endgame. Throw in a rudimentary crafting system and you’ve got a game with a semblance of depth, betrayed by its production quality, controls, voice acting, design in general and you’re in for a hell of a time. What I found funny, was the implementation of utterly useless mechanics. You can track animals in the tutorial… a skill that you’ll never ever use again in the game. Mind you, the game implores you to increase his tracking ability skill levels! Why!? And his voice range??? Why??? In all the time I spent playing the game, neither of these were a factor at all. It cannot possibly be due to having Troll react to Otto’s commands from a specific distance, because that happens regardless of where he is. So there’s that theory busted… I really sound like I’m rambling here, I get it, I do. I’m just bewildered at what the hell is going on in this game, as to why it was put out. The price they want, the quality it shows… this is a joke right?

(“Another million if you can guess how we escaped from a PS1 rendered cutscene…”)

Controls

The controls in Troll and I, without a lie are standard third person fare that you’ve come to expect. But with extra sluggishness for all that money you outlaid! Each character plays slightly differently, while Otto is small and more agile, Troll is a big hulking brute who can smash the crap out of things, at least when the camera lets you see what you’re smashing the crap out of. You get to climb platforms, though you’ll wish you didn’t have to. While games such as Uncharted and Assassins Creed II and Black Flag had you aching to climb, Troll and I will just leave you aching each time you realise you have to, not to mention the fact while most games allow on the fly maneuvering during climbing, Troll and I makes you endure entire climbing animations before being able to move at all. If you wonder why that’s annoying? Go on… play it… you’ll see why. I guess my biggest gripe, is nothing here is original, nothing original has been attempted, all the controls feel lifted from other, better games and nothing feels achieved or ‘made its own’. Hell, this concept has been done to death in times gone by, the ‘big partner little partner’ team up style game, and to great effect. Troll and I, it doesn’t even try in this regard.

(“Press O to laugh your ass off at the production design of Troll and I!” he said looking at those differing rock textures…)

Graphics

I’m honestly not sure what Maximum Games was going for with Troll and I, when looking at the games character design it varies between god-awful ugly to fairly well designed. The human design in the game is terrible, with some of the worst looking humans I’ve seen this generation, looking like they came from the ps2 era. However, the monsters occasionally border on inspired? I love the little troll things that are basically a tiny walking head with razor sharp teeth and a Beatles like haircut. They look fantastic, only let down again, by a very plain texture map over the top.

Maximum Games either needs more experience in this area, or someone a bit more competent behind the wheel here, because it isn’t the physical design letting them down, it’s the textures. The trees look ‘tree-y’ enough, the rocks are, well, they look like rocks I guess. But the textures on ALL of these let them down, as when you approach them, they swing wildly between average, to so muddy I would swear I was looking at a riverbank. Your friendly giant Troll though, looks like The Hulk, a Rastafarian Mogwai had a rather interesting night together, and he’s the glorious offspring that ensued. The design is cute enough, looking strange enough to inspire the uncanny in its physical appearance, it’s actually so well done it makes everything else around it NOT well done stand out even more!

(If the Hulk and a Rastafarian Mogwai had a baby together…)

Sound

The voice acting, my ears bled. Holy, freaking cow. You may think this is the worst review I’ve written so far? Maybe it is, but that’s how much I care about Troll and I. I really, intensely disliked it and this carries over into the sound. Most of the sound I’d shove into the ‘functional’ area, where it ‘works’ but it’s nothing impressive. But holy frijoles, when the voice acting kicks in, you’re going to check you’re not watching an adult movie, because we’ve reached a new level of garbage people, this is some of the worst I’ve ever heard in a game. I’ll do you a favour, go to Youtube and look up Tommy Wiseau’s “THE ROOM”, and watch a few clips. This is the level of voice over we’re getting in Troll and I. No joke.

(AAA premium quality right there folks… check it out)

Value

Honestly, and morally I cannot recommend Troll and I at its current pricing point. I’ll never, ever in my life be sorry that I’m pushing people away from a low quality game that feels unfinished, underdeveloped and overpriced. One moment the quality of the production seems bordering on decent, the next you’re back in PS2 territory, thinking you’re playing something from 2001 or 2002. It’s quite jarring to be honest and that feeling never leaves you. The fact Maximum Games has the sheer gall to charge AUS $90 RRP for this in store (Yes, you may get lucky and find it for $69 or something here and there, but we’re talking standard RRP, not what a store may have the ability to discount to here) and on the Sony store is insulting, this is a budget game at best, not a full-blown AAA title. Had it been priced $40-50 AUS, I’d be singing a slightly different tune, but $90? Avoid it. Don’t waste your time.

Conslusion

Avoid it. Don’t buy it. Not at this price, do not support this shoddy sort of development practice and overpricing. Troll and I is an example of everything wrong in the industry today, low quality effort, high expectations and minimal care, where greedy developers put in little effort and expecting maximum recoup on their product. This is a budget title at best that never should have seen this pricing point. While I do understand that they did create a product and have the right to set a pricing point, we as consumers have the right not to be ripped off, and that’s exactly what Maximum Games is trying to do with Troll and I Don’t buy this, not at this price, not for these production values. On its own merits, Troll and I is a well below sub-par game in every respect, coupled with an insulting pricing point that should be called out. Put simply, Troll and I is garbage, pure and simple.

Pro’s:

  • Controlling the main troll is cool to begin with.
  • Some enemy troll designs are cool.

Cons:

  • The joy of controlling the Troll doesn’t last though, as soon frustration sets in…
  • Other enemy troll designs just *suck*
  • The humans look straight out of your worst nightmares.
  • Graphics are last gen, even the gen before.
  • Sound is very average, the voice acting is farcical.
  • Controls are poor.
  • Textures are extremely poor.
  • The price is a joke, an absolute joke.

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