etell the Nordic Ragnarok myth in a futuristic setting, leave strong concepts without the gameplay support they deserve: that's Too Human. You play as the god Baldur, fighting to protect the remnants of humanity from the mechanical children of Ymir.
The game is fairly pretty. Character models are highly detailed — among the most detailed characters that you'll in a console title right now. Environments, on the other hand, are another story. While they may look interesting at the onset they quickly get turned out. Textures are flat and boring in many instances. This isn't to say that they're bad; they just aren't interesting or engaging for the player.
Once familiar, combat becomes
a very fast-paced experience.Music is epic and heroic when you hear it — but unfortunately you only hear it in the heat of battle. The rest of the game is spent listening to basic environmental noises like wind, or the hum of machinery, or a crowd. Sound effects are pretty standard fare with nothing of note. Dialogue comes across as a bit forced and as a result there are many painful instances of voice work that are on par with other bad-game dialogue. But then, if you've already bought into the notion of a futuristic Ragnarok tale then I'm sure that the quality of dialogue is of little interest to you.
Too Human starts off with the selection of character class. Players only have five to choose from and Silicon Knights give you a decent variety to decide from — from the well-rounded Champion to more specialized classes like the Defender. Each class has its own specialized skill tree, so players can customize characters to suit their own way of playing. As an added bonus players can quickly redo their skill choices at a small price, allowing for painless experimentation and a way to create skill loadouts to fit a given situation in battle. Very early on in the game the player is given a choice to stay human or become more cybernetic; the onetime tradeoff is that each choice gives you a new skill tree, which allows for more fine-tuning of your character.
While there is a decent amount to customization for your character, combat-wise they all tend to play the same. For some this may be a tad disappointing and in many ways makes the game feel more like a beat-'em-up than an action RPG. Combat's physical mechanics, on the other hand, are truly innovative. Attacks are controlled with the right stick rather than the face-buttons, which instead are used to jump and to active your character's buffs. Admittedly this does take some getting used to, but when you do, combat becomes a fast-paced experience with your character flying between enemies. There are methods of adding some variety to your attacks and while they are useful they may not be easily used in a heated battle.
Onto the bad — first up, the camera. By having combat control dedicated to the right stick the player no longer has control of the camera. Silicon Knights has tried their best to create as smart of a camera as possible. But I found myself on many occasions fighting with the camera to get a better view of the battlefield or where I was going. Inventory is rather clunky and difficult to use because you end up getting a lot of items and equipment from battle. As a half-measure, Silicon Knights threw in an auto-sell feature for certain grades of items.
You only go to four areas:
not much.Another issue is with Too Human's stages. Throughout the adventure you're only going to go to four different areas; this obviously doesn't seem like much. To solve that, the designers decided to pad things out by making the areas massive. Though you can leave a level and reenter beaten areas at any time you wish, stages take a good deal of time to get through and more tedious than they should be.
The delivery of the story was a particular disappointment for me. Silicon Knights are known for presenting elegantly crafted stories and it appears that they've fallen flat this time. The introduction doesn't make much sense, and the most interesting story elements take place in the last half hour of the game. While they make the player eager for the sequel it seems that that's the only reason why the story gets good where it does.
Too Human also has an online co-op function to the game, though I was unfortunately not able to spend enough time with it for a complete opinion. While being able to go through the story with a friend certainly does add to the replay value of the game, the lack of level caps for people joining games is quite a flaw.
Too Human can be a very fun game, but it is the kind of game that is not for everyone. You'll either have a lot of fun with it or hate it with a passion.