Review by Generallag

"A game with flaws"

The Lagger Review of: Too Human

For those of you who remember when the Xbox 360 was still young and looking to get her name on the streets she has been trying to get us to believe that Too Human was going to be the next golden chariot of the console prepared to whisk us away to gaming Val Halah. In retrospect though, it was the same pimply-faced lady who thought Kameo was the next Donkey Kong and Enchanted Arms was a well-written RPG with deep, interesting characters which Japanese players would love. So I guess it wasn't too much of a surprise when the golden chariot arrived and was nothing more than a rickety, old cart with one wheel missing prepared to take us 500 ft to your next door neighbors house.

You play the game as a brawny, scarred, thick-head god named Baulder who for no reason is dropped onto a random planet to do some task which apparently was explained in the cut-scenes which most easily skip thinking they are teaser videos rather than part of the story. Before you go on your rampant killing spree though you have to select from a wide range of five classes before you venture out. The classes are your standard fare of healer, ranger, dual-sword-wielding maniac with total disregard to safety. However each class pretty much plays out the same, either you are good with swords or guns and your abilities only slightly differ.

This brings us on the first bump in our many bump ride: The game forces you to switch between the two combat styles many times each battle. There are certain enemies who can only be significantly damaged with swords and some with guns. However there are certain enemies that if you cut with anything short of a dull butter knife they blow up in a fiery explosion worthy of a Hollywood A-list movie and these kamakazi warriors are spewed randomly around in a group of baddies. So as your busily smacking away at some mob who ignores bullets its possible to trigger one of these random annoyances and witness your health bar drop to 0.

Then when you get blown to Val Halah and back by these random annoyances you get to wait a good 15 seconds to watch some armor clad vixen descend and ascend into and out of nothingness. Now with the frequency of death usually pretty high this seems a little exorbitant to me. If there were a medic or a separate healing item that one could use on-the-fly to heal then I could understand and applaud such a mechanic to punish the player for dying. When death IS the primary way of healing though these sequences seem unnecessary, especially since there is no real downfall to dying except for degrading your armor which costs next to nothing to repair.

Another contributor of death in this game is what I like to call “Camera Combat Combo”. You would've figured that Silicon Knights would have known to get a fluid camera somewhere in between concept and final production, but it looks like they were too worried getting the female characters *ahem* features *ahem* the right size to worry too much about that sort of thing. The camera can focus on unimportant elements from time to time, such as snapping to a random location that somehow has some importance or focusing on the missile about to smack me on my lap when theres a monster horde coming right at me. Combine that with an inaccurate combat system which can often lead to you inadvertently smacking one of the previously mentioned random annoyances, and you got a quick way to commit suicide.

As for the story, all I can say is that you can get the same effect from opening a book 2 chapters away from the end and start reading. The characters interact like they have read the script and are now just recording the commentary track, and the only people that make any sense are the random NPC banter from your dead head companions. When you finally get into a decent part of the story the game ends with a cliffhanger, which leaves you asking more questions rather than answering at least some of the previous questions.

This might seem like a random gripe, since anyone with any idea of how to use the Internet to find gaming information knows that Too Human was built to have a sequel. However I was expecting to have at least a bit of closure before the game ended. Its like you realize your on a roller coaster after having the blindfold taken off and before you get to the summit the ride breaks down and now your stuck at the top waiting for the ride to either start back up or wait for the rescue team to get you down.

Aside from the lackluster story and the awkward fighting system, the game does hold some promise. The graphics are gorgeous, although its hard to tell the difference from each level if they didn't force you to go back to town once in a while. The inventory system is reminiscent of Diablo 2's, without the fineness of having to organize items efficiently, and the weapons are varied although lack any major differences other than minor stat changes and different colors.

All in all I think this game is okay, but it rings an all too familiar bell with me. If this game were released when it was in planning it would have been on par with (or at least complained that it was a clone of) Diablo 2. However, with the lack of polish and innovation the game gets placed in the nostalgia drawer next to the Pogs and Pokemon Cards in my mind. So if you want to try this game I recommend you wait until the price drops or it becomes a “Greatest Hit” cause until then Too Human is just not good enough to warrant the price

The graphics are great
Loot system is similar to Diablo 2
Classes varied by skill, somewhat by items

Combat is hit-and-miss with no real control on attacks
Story is lacking, starts at a random point then keeps going
No healing items
Uncooperative camera

Score: 6/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/26/08

Game Release: Too Human (US, 08/19/08)

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