mikeinsc's Too Human (Xbox 360) review

That Long...For This?

After what can generously be described as a "troubled development", Silicon Knights epic Too Human finally got launched. This game has apparently cost Dennis Dyack his, you know, sanity and all --- so was his sacrifice worth it?

Well, in terms of just gameplay, yeah. It's an easy-to-pick up and challenging as heck Diablo-style dungeon loot hack-and-slash affair. There is a wealth of customization options. The right stick offense works pretty well. There are the occasional issues with targeting, but that is the case with games with regular offensive controls, so it's not like it's a unique problem to this particular control set-up.

You fight in four rather large areas with a collection of NPC allies that are beyond useless. Now, keep in mind, there are points where it's scripted for only you to make it, so even if you babysit then, they will die at a certain point. You don't get much time to rest as the game unleashes an absurd number of enemies to fight, so your hands will be forever full.

Now, the story is crap. Idiotic crap, to boot. A weird attempted amalgamation of Norse mythology that just didn't click. The game plays as if this is a story you're already quite familiar with --- it'd be as if Star Wars STARTED with Empire Strikes Back. And while the worlds are large, they also have a very similar feel to them. No matter where you are, you end up in a large metallic dungeon.

The enemies also, while numerous, are just the same thing. You have a few main types --- cannon fodder, the elemental enemies, the ones who can lob missiles at you, the leaders, and the trolls. And you'll fight THOUSANDS of these and the lack of any significant changes from one group to the next (undead enemies and goblin enemies don't look or act very differently) makes it all seem to be such a waste o' time. The bosses, while suitably massive, also tend to be BORING. Most bosses are killed by circle strafing with guns that don't seem to do any damage. 20 minute long fights are not rarities.

Another problem is that there is so much loot than none of it seems special. You can get "epic" drops occasionally, but you get hundreds of drops every single level. It's hard to really get used to a weapon because you, inevitably, get a better one a few minutes later. And getting the best charms to enhance your weapons is pure luck --- I got to level 50 and never found a single one, in spite of getting everything I possibly could.

The game is fun to play, but the problems are so glaring that is makes one actually wish they held it back a bit longer. I know the whole "ten years in development" thing, but the game just feels rushed. Changing engines a lot will do that, I suppose.

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