Almost Human...

So, the Too Human demo arrived on LIVE earlier this week and although I haven't personally been following its progress as closely as some web-ites have, the noise certain groups have been making about the game made it seem worth checking out. The result has left me somewhat confused.

On paper, Too Human contains many aspects that I love in games. Yet something doesn't quite sit right...

Lets start with the combat. I like hitting things with big swords/axes/hammers. This game deffinately seems to favour this method of melee combat over the guns on offer (seemingly as they appear to do a fraction of the damage and thus take longer to kill the bad guys). The problem lies in that there doesn't seem to be a great deal of control over your melee attacks, simply swing the left stick around and your character zooms from enemy to enemy cutting them down within one or two swipes. The result of this overly simplistic control system is that it gets quite dull quite fast. Wandering through room after (very familiar) room, stopping briefly to wiggle the left stick about gets a bit repetative to say the least.

Then just when I thought the game was getting interesting (when you're attacked by a large beastie that appears from under a pile of rubble wielding a large hammer) it throws another curiosity at me. So, the large hammer wielding creature kills me a couple of times and I resurrect and have another crack at him. The third time I try this, he's no longer there. Gone. Vanished. Scarpered. Is this a bug? Has he been put on the naughty step for killing me too much? Who knows...

The skill tree was something of a puzzler too. When you first level up you have three points to spend, so far so good, lets see what stuff I can start to master. There are three branches to the champion class in the demo, but for some reason you have to put your first six points (i.e. two levels worth) in to the the first talent, sorry skill, before you can even think of adding points to anything else. Why not just unlock the skill tree at level 3, give the player the first skill, three points and the ability to choose what to spend them on. Removing the decision making ability completely for the first couple of levels just seems odd.

Now, cutscenes. You play throught the first couple of rooms in the big ruined temple place you're exploring and then a cutscene kicks in. Without warning you're now back on some kind of base of operations. You walk your character onto a platform which rises up to a sort of floating office for the head boss man. Cue more cutscene. Then your back to your ruins to continue on your way. So hang on... that was a flashback? And this keeps happening at seemingly regular intervals. Cutscene appears, you start to wonder if the missions over or not and are then dumped back to where you were. This is not the type of story telling I think I could withstand over a sustained period of play.

I could ramble on some more about the strage garden cyberspace puzzle solving sections and your seemingly useless (if not slightly humourous) NPC allies. But I'm sure I've wasted anough of your time already.

Even with the above I didn't out and out hate the game, it just seems some of the decisions in making it are a little disjointed with one another. It should be a game I love but the only reason I found myself progressing from room to room, was in the hope that something happened to make me love the game.