I know what you’re thinking… “Isn’t that just Minecraft?” and the simple answer is no. Yes, it’s a blocky-looking game where Steve certainly wouldn’t look out of place and there are building capabilities, but other than those two similarities Trove is vastly different.
In Trove you have the freedom to take whatever journey you want. Sure, in the beginning there’s a tutorial that takes you to various worlds showing you the ropes, but once that’s over you’re free to explore the game’s worlds and player created arenas. Whether you want to spend your time mining resources to build your own home, or whether you want to tackle every single dungeon in each realm, you can.
It’s this sheer level of freedom that makes Trove an impressive sandbox RPG in its own right.
Trove has been available on PC for some time and just recently it made its way onto consoles, however before you think that both versions will offer a different experience, Trion Worlds has done a fantastic job at bringing exactly the same features from the PC version to consoles. What’s more, they’ve managed to cram PC controls into a controller in a way that not only feels natural, but almost feels like a better way to play the game.
One thing that I’ve always found about such massive scale RPGs is that you can feel left behind after the game has been running for so long. Having experienced the game a little while after the launch of the beta on consoles, I still felt like I was part of the world, I didn’t feel left behind as players were always congregating in the home area, players were always wandering in and out of realms, and while there’s no core story to the game, you never felt like you were playing catch-up to other players.
Although the game struggles with its social systems, especially on console, you never feel out of place, there’s always someone somewhere tackling the same something, and there’s a sense of camaraderie when you join someone in a dungeon raid, whether they want you there or not. It’s actually interesting that in Trove, when other players come and join the fight, you don’t really care, however if someone were to do the same on a different MMO, you’d likely be told to “piss off”.
Once players have raided their way through an entire world, the fun doesn’t stop there as players can simply swoop through to the Hub World and then go back to the place they came procedurally regenerating the entire world letting them start from the beginning however this time in a different landscape.
Talking of landscape, each world contains several different regions each with their own set of dungeons to explore, all of which are pieced together in a way that you’ll go from defeating giant skeletons, to taking down pirate parrots in the blink of an eye. There’s no logic behind it, but it doesn’t matter, that’s one of the joys of Trove.
While Trove in itself doesn’t seem very unique in both its style and MMO offerings, what’s really intreresting is that the game offers an insane amount of character classes to choose from, all of which can be switched between on the fly. That’s right, you’re no longer tied to a single class, provided you have them unlocked (some of which are held behind a paywall) you can switch from Boomeranger to Pirate Captain in an instant. This allows you to develop tactics on the fly.
In order to keep things level for everyone, levels have been split into three categories. There’s the overall Class Level, which uses a straight forward XP bar to follow how far you’ve progressed with your particular class of choice, then there’s the Mastery Rank, which acts as an overall progression meter, and Power Rank which measures the power of the weaponry and armour you have equipped. While it might seem a little confusing, it allows players to tackle various different aspects of the game further spreading the amount players can actually do in the game.
Then there’s the building. In Trove players can switch into Build Mode allowing them to build and customise their own homes, also known as Cornerstones, which can be placed in among empty plots dotted throughout each world. Aside from the familiar blocks, players can also craft cosmetic items like benches, trophies, and more. As well as this, mining certain resources throughout each world can also be used to level up items. And much like with dungeons, once you’ve mined an area dry, just hop out and back in again for a fresh world.
Overall, Trove is a fantastic game for players to spend their time in. There’s really no pressure to do one thing over another, you can just go where the day takes you. Even if you have only half an hour to burn, Trove will easily fill that gap without leaving you feeling like you need to do more, though that half-an-hour can quickly turn into four hours if you’re not careful.