Review by mewtani

"Too Human, Too Good or Too Bad?"

It's not every-day that we see a Diablo(tm) type, action-rpg on a console. Few games populate this genre, and among those happens to be Silicon Knights latest achievement, Too Human. While the game suffers from a few flaws and inadequacies, it turns out to pull through and instead of suffering stale and bitterness, fun and addiction take over.

Too Human sports five different player classes, each with their unique strengths and weaknesses. The Champion is the all-around class with equalities in all areas, although, again, each class has its own special abilities. The ranged specialist is the Commando, whose weakness is melee combat, but can strengthen allies ranged combat. The melee specialist is the Berserker, who wields dual blades and strengthens allies attack speed and power. The tanking class is the Defender, who can shield his allies as well as take an insurmountable amount of damage. Finally, the healing class of Too Human is the Bio Engineer, who can, of course heal allies as well as eliminate status effects and ailments.

Too Human sports a unique control scheme, unlike many games of its type that have shown up on the console generation. In most games, you find yourself looking around with the right control stick, however, to keep up with the massive amounts of enemies on-screen, you simply rotate the right control stick in the direction you wish to attack. The game, as a result, selects a target based on the direction you are leaning the stick. After you get used to these awkward controls, targeting issues become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, in some instances targeting issues are a major clunker in the game, say, for instance, when dealing with trolls surrounded by goblins. In many instances, I found myself running backwards and re-focusing the camera behind myself just to get my gun to focus on the goblins riding my tail. While this is only a general problem when using the ranged weapons, when you are attempting to destroy a trolls armor, if there are any other enemies near-by, the game occasionally targets them instead, and it becomes increasingly annoying when the game continually makes targeting errors.

The game play itself is quite simple, you play Baldur, a god attempting to protect the humans, as you travel through different zones defeating monsters and acquiring an never-ending supply of upgrades and bounty; the games currency. Even with two player on-line coop, and monsters littering the screen, I have yet to see a hitch or frame rate drop below a constant 60 frames. Everything is impressively smooth. The levels are not randomly generated, however, on non-campaign run-throughs; repeating levels you have previously cleared, the enemy variety you encounter differs. To keep the pace progressing nicely all enemies are tailored to your level. However, when two players are playing together, the enemies are around the level of the highest level player. This is not to say, however, that you cannot have fun playing with someone if your level is not the same as theirs, just make sure you are within ten levels, or things start to get a little hairy. They also increase the amount of enemies that you encounter when playing with another player. There are also cyber wells throughout the game that Baldur must use to open passage-ways that would otherwise be in-accessible. These are implemented excessively well, and the only major issue with this is that when you are on your twentieth play through, you really, really wish you could skip the cut scenes, especially during the online cooperation play.

Graphically, this game exceeds all expectations. Character and creature models, as well as environments are highly detailed and again, with much action on-screen at any one point, whether it be missiles or arrows or a hundred-fold of machines marching your way, again, there is no hitch or lag on the frame rate, something that is stressed very highly in a game that depends on smooth game-play.

Too Human offers a great variety of game play, and mixing up different varieties of character classes during on-line cooperation offers many hours of replay value, and this is a good thing as it will take many hours to acquire all of your elite gear (this is the best gear for your class, which also earns you a nifty achievement if you stomach it out) as well as learn beneficial tricks to dealing with the few problems the game encounters. While the occasional bug or glitch also pollutes the game, in most circumstances these are non-serious and can be corrected when switching rooms. Unfortunately, one of the most annoying aspects is the twenty second wait when you die, which cannot be skipped and fortunately occasionally bugs out and simply brings you back to life immediately, although I have only witnessed this during on-line play.

Ergo, if you are a fan of Diablo or Kingdom Under Fire type games, give Too Human a try, and don't feel bad if you get addicted. While there are some minor gameplay quirks with the targetting system and the occasional bug, Too Human ends up impressing more than it lets down, and as for the story, while forgettable, Silicon Knights did a great job of incorporating mythology with futuristic technology, but in this sort of game, it is unlikely that the story will be the point that causes it to hit or miss.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/29/08

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

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