Review by wolverinefan
"Which side will you pick?"
Too Human is brought to us by the fine folks at Silicon Knights. Don't know who they are? They are behind Eternal Darkness and the Metal Gear Solid remake on the Gamecube. Both titles have their own following but wind up being hit or miss with gamers. You'll either love those games or hate them (MGS is due to changes and not quality).
I was very interested in Too Human. Maybe the hype machine got me, who knows. I remember downloading the demo and hearing how bad it was so I never actually played it, figured I'd give it all a fresh chance without reading any more into the game.
Fans of the hack n slash dungeon crawler might feel like rejoicing because it's rare for a console to get one of these. Not sure of the genre? It's like Baulder's Gate on the PS2 or for those PC gamers out there, it's like Diablo.
This means you wander around a dungeon, hit attack over and over, collect their dropped money and items and continue along your way.
Too Human is a promised trilogy (that or I'm getting it confused with all of the other planned trilogies out there). Either way the plot is fairly crappy. You're some cyber god and you have to stop this chick/thing called Hel... Yes, it's that original. What's great is that it involves a ton of Norse mythology. Problem is, if you don't know any or very little the plot, despite being paperthin, just might confused you more than it should.
Playing on-line and not seeing the story progress? Well that's because all story elements have been removed from the co-op experience. This is good and bad. I'd rather it being up to the player to decide how they want to see the story unfold.
Speaking of the on-line play I find it to be the only way to enjoy this game. The single player is boring and hectic all at the same time. By this I mean that it gets tiresome dying a lot. I know, I must suck at the game. However there is no penalty for dying, you respawn either where you died (which can be a problem) or the last checkpoint (which is another problem when it's a two minute empty hall walk.
There are maybe 6 types of enemies in the game. Most are prone to the four different level types. You have the normal drone enemies that fall quickly, a tougher drone that requires a good combo and then you have what one would consider mini-bosses if it weren't for them being every couple of minutes.
Once you learn how to take an enemy down you should progress safely, for a while. The games largest flaw is the equipment system and the leveling system. They go hand in hand actually.
To level up is utterly pointless. The enemies level up with you and the highest level is 50. Once reached it's where equipment will make the game more playable.
That's the other problem though. You need to be a specific level to equip some items. Once that level is reached or passed it doesn't matter. The flaw in this is that the equipment wears out and needs either recharged or switched. You can augment the equipment to suit your playing style but that makes the equipment more worthwhile but a lower level means it becomes outdated quickly.
This means that no matter how good you are at the game, it all boils down to your equipment and god forbid you're in the middle of a boss battle and all of your equipment fails at once. You barely do any damage and I'm not even sure if you can go shopping in the middle of a boss fight.
The co-op experience on-line makes this a little more enjoy. Except we pay for a service where you get kicked for not being a high level or the connect is randomly lost. It also became a problem finding people who actually talked and played. So while you're playing with someone it might as well have been a robot as the other person sat mute.
I did find myself enjoying the game a little more as I played on-line. It wasn't as frustrating and not nearly as boring but there are some other flaws that hinder the experience as a whole. I experienced lag a couple times during more hectic areas and it's something I shouldn't get on a game, while new, that doesn't seem all that popular.
The graphics can also be hit or miss. The first area is one I found to be impressive. The transition between cut scenes and actual game play was smooth and sexy. The robotic creatures looks great and shiny. Things went downhill after that as we ventured into an ice forest, some lab and then a fiery place. Did we run out of original ideas or what?
I even found the sound to be a bit of a let down. The music did nothing for me and think for a game where you wander areas forever there would be a little better music than what we get. The sound effects did nothing for me either and I really can't remember anything about them.
The games largest fall comes from the control setup. Shooting your gun is easy, as is using your special skills. The problem is that the melee combat is put onto the right stick. I works great for the most part, once you spend some time with it but it leaves one major problem. There is no camera control. You can hit the left bumper to center it but I constantly found myself without a good view to the action and then I'd be dead.
The game is rather short as well. It took me 10 hours to beat the game but I replayed the second and third areas 9there's only 4) twice so I'm sure it would have been more like a 7 hour experience. For an action game that's an okay time but not for a rpg.
There isn't even much post game to do but raise your level and get new equipment. No real secrets besides some battle areas. We do get achievements but I got half of those in one play through. The one saving grace is two endings, all determined by your choice before entering the second area.
The one aspect I did love was the tree of skills. Think the Sphere board from Final Fantasy ten but more simple. You have a tree with three paths that ultimately end at the same area. You get some variety here and with each level up you can put 2-3 points toward a skill, which may open up new ones. What you see is what you get though as there are no hidden branches. Upon completion of the first area you make a choice. Once that choice is made you can venture into the second tree by hitting the right trigger, most don't know this thought because the game doesn't offer a tutorial at all and throws the gamer to the wolves. This second tree is smaller but the skills are better. These skills depend on your choice though.
I could sit here and say Too Human is the best dungeon crawler ever but it isn't. It isn't the worst either. Too Human falls into a gray area for me. I'm okay with having played through it once and maybe the word "suffer" pops into my head but I don't think I would ever recommend this game to anyone. It has some flaws but ultimately it does nothing new or interesting for a genre that's kind of meh at the moment. Maybe SK should have spent more time with the game and created more for a player to do so let's hope there is some downloadable content down the road because this is one game that needs it.
Story - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 5/10
Control - 7/10
Game Play - 6/10
Replay value - 5/10
Final Score - 5/10
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 08/25/08
Game Release: Too Human (US, 08/19/08)
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