Too Human Hands-On Preview
Too Human box art
System: X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Silicon Knights 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug.19, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Diablo Too
by Adam Brown

May 19, 2008 - Argueably, not many games out there have had it as rough as Too Human has. When you look at Too Human, you are seeing a game that has spent over ten years in development on three different systems. Not only that but Silicon Knights has been in a lawsuit-inducing conflict with Epic over the Unreal engine that they licensed to finally try to bring the game to life on the Xbox 360. Talk about getting kicked while you're down: Too Human also had a less than stellar showing at E3 2007, dissuading many gamers before they even had a chance to actually play the title. With this ever-growing cloud of doubt, delays, and miserable luck, Too Human finally looks primed to attempt to disprove the naysayers come August 19th

Too Human screenshot

The version of Too Human I had a chance to play at the recent Microsoft Gamer's Day has come leaps and bounds from that ill-fated E3 demo we saw almost a year ago. The game was running stably and had eliminated many of the numerous problems that plagued the previous demo version. Unfortunately, every time Too Human starts to show the slightest glimmer of hope that it will be what fans are expecting something bad tends to happen. The originally "promised" (there is, of course, a debate) four-player co-op play has been changed to only support two-player co-op play instead. Although Silicon Knights' reasoning is sound, that it worked and played better with two instead of four players, I can't help but be disappointed by this news.

While this announcement is upsetting, the rest of the game will continue to be what it was originally intended. This is basically a 3D next-generation version of Diablo coated with Norse mythology and futuristic tech and weaponry. This game will surely elate fans who have been waiting for a game such as this to fill the void left by the large gap between Diablo sequels. There is also a good chance that fans of action RPGs and/or Norse mythology will come along for the ride and enjoy the experience.

Too Human screenshot

You will have five different character classes to choose from, all with varied attributes that suit a variety of play styles. No matter which character you ultimately choose, you will earn experience points while playing that can help you further customize your character's attributes and abilities. The game did seem to feel rather clunky and slow in the beginning, but after some leveling up it began to play much better. Still, fans looking for more Devil May Cry and less Mass Effect type gameplay may be disappointed by the game's somewhat sluggish introductory combat.

Waves of similar looking enemies were constantly attacking me from every angle. By using a good mix of sword and gunplay these foes were easily dispatched in mass quantity. The sheer number of enemies you will face is quite impressive, and there is a decent variety. The potential drawbacks from this are the drop from four to two-player co-op and the overall deserted feel of the rest of the environment. To display that many enemies on-screen at a time is bound to have consequences, and I fear they may not be worth the tradeoff.

Too Human screenshot

Another potentially disastrous compromise this game makes also has an ugly result. Your melee weapon attacks are controlled by the right analog stick. While this does work well for the game's combat, it leaves you fighting the game's awkward camera just as much as its numerous enemies. The extremely cumbersome camera, that would otherwise be manageable with the use of the right analog stick, is instead allowed to run wild. This often results in not really being able to see many of the foes you wish to attack. You will be able to press a button to recenter the camera, but unfortunately this doesn't always help when surrounded by a wave of enemies.

The ability to aim at specific points on your foes is an interesting feature. This actually allows you to be more tactile with your gunplay. During massive battles this feature can be easily ignored, as you are just trying to wipe out massive quantities of enemies. I did, however, fight a larger boss type character later in the demo that really had to be attacked intelligently using this aiming feature. Hopefully this will end up being well-balanced and more useful during group combat when the game finally hits the market.

Fans of Silicon Knights, Diablo, Norse mythology, or just a quality action RPG should check this game out. The game still appears to get a few things wrong but also manages to get many things right. Too Human also seems like a game that may not appeal to all gamers, so you may want to try this game before you run out to purchase it. Although there is supposed to be a demo released for Too Human, Silicon Knights is still keeping the release date for it close to their chest. I just hope it gets released before the game does so anyone planning to pick up the game will have a chance to try it out for themselves, instead of just blindly listening to the plethora of negative press this title has received in the recent past.

By Adam Brown
CCC Game Journalist

Game Features:

  • Thrilling action-RPG gameplay. Unlike some games that may force players to choose between two genres, Too Human combines all the creative economy features and social experiences of a typical RPG, such as collecting loot and leveling up, while maintaining the excitement of an action game. With a wide array of weapons, armors, cybernetic implants, and skills, players have an unprecedented level of customization with their characters.
  • Explosive melee and firearms combat. It will take more than brawn and raw strength to supplant the machine hordes. Using a sophisticated blend of seamless melee and high-tech weapons combat, players have the power to vanquish foes near and far. Witness the fluid grace of heroes and enemies in battle as enacted by the acclaimed motion-capture group Full Action Stunt Team (FAST). Feel each punishing blow through advanced visual effects made possible through the power of Xbox 360.
  • The birth of an icon. Fight as Baldur, a powerful cybernetic god battling his way through enemy armies to become one of gaming's renowned iconic heroes. From weaponry and armor to combat techniques and combos, players can fully customize Baldur to become the best possible hero.
  • Advanced cinematic presentation. Characters and environments come to life with amazing visual fidelity. Experience the full excitement of combat through a dynamically driven presentation system that portrays the combat with cinematic quality. Survive pulse-pounding battles against hordes of on-screen enemies set against the vast landscape of the Too Human world. A sweeping orchestral score sets the mood for heartbreak, anger, and blood lust as each tune encapsulates the gamer within the immersive gaming environment.
  • New level of accessibility through intuitive combat. Perform Baldur's elaborate and complex combat maneuvers, and chain together rapid-fire attacks and combos with ease. Through the use of an intuitive combat system, "Too Human" delivers gameplay that is easy to learn and rewarding to master.
  • Shared experience. Conquer the world of Too Human alone or with friends in advanced, online two-player co-op gameplay through the Xbox LIVE service. Online co-op play requires Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.
  • Modern take on classical Norse mythology. In a world ruined by centuries of war, Too Human chronicles the epic story of Baldur, favored son of Odin and one of a group of humanity's protector, the Aesir. As Baldur, you must destroy the ancient war machines that threaten the world, but to do so you must balance your sense of duty and honor against your lust for revenge - perhaps even sacrificing your humanity in the process.

  • Screenshots / Images
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