Combat was no better at addressing this issue; one player matters and the other simply does not. Troll could kill almost any foe within a hit or two while Otto’s weapons were incredibly underpowered (sometimes taking 10 hits to finish off a single enemy). They must also be crafted continuously due to breaking after hitting enemies just a few times. Stealth is set to make up for the disadvantage that Otto has to Troll, with his stealth allowing instant kills, but as previously mentioned, the foes were able to detect me without much warning; even while I was a long way off, moving slowly and hiding in bushes.
Further problems arise once Otto gets into close-ranged combat. Notably, when trying to counter-attacking a foe, the cooldown for the move is too long, so being slightly late will ensure you taking significant damage. This is not to say that Troll is the perfect killing machine and his technical problems are more glaring. His powerful and wide strikes awkwardly miss foes that are hopping around in, what should be, his strike zone. This is made worse by Troll only seeming able to strike in one of four directions, despite foes being able to approach from every angle. This results in the game deciding where the punches are going, regardless if a foe is there or not. Finally, the game introduces the ability for Otto to climb on Troll’s back, but combat here is a sum of all the non-working parts. Troll’s awkward swings and follow-through animations render Otto’s spears hard to use, leaving Otto to constantly craft more, which takes up Troll’s screen and makes it even harder for him to hit something.
Finally, crafting, as mentioned above, can be a struggle. The menus would overlay onto my partner’s screen, which was a minor annoyance during peaceful times but incredibly damaging mid combat. Crafting also requires Otto’s player to hold down a button for a few seconds to make something, which just leads to more time that game menus are atop Troll’s screen. At crafting’s best, Otto is left scavenging for supplies and crafting helpful weapons. Unfortunately, the game’s weapons are also the keys to puzzles, meaning that you must be careful not to run out of required supplies. However, at its worst, crafting becomes semi-transparent screens that block your partner’s screen and time spent holding buttons to complete the crafting instead of minding what was happening, which led to moments of me anxiously watching items be completed while my partner was slowly drained of health.
In a game-breaking bug (pictured above) Otto was placed in the sky, unable to interact with the world, even after loading old saves.
Troll and Otto have an interesting story that I wanted to follow to the end, but I lost interest quickly due to the underdeveloped gameplay and numerous moments where I felt like I was playing alone, even with a partner beside me. Cooperative gameplay is not something that is found frequently in Troll and I, but rather Alternating gameplay, where my partner and I would take turns playing while the other watched. The title borrows a large number of mechanics and ideas from other established games, but fails to make good in any of the ideas it sets out to imitate.
The Co-Op Experience: Players control one of the two main characters, a young boy named Otto and a magical Troll. Both characters are unique and have their own ways of overcoming obstacles.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.