mzuckerm's Too Human (Xbox 360) review

Fuck This Game

Throughout this review, I'm going to use the word "game" a lot, but it's not really applicable to what Denis Dyack produced here.  Too Human is really more of a soul-destroying piece of crap in software form, but for ease of reading I'll go with the shorthand. In any event, if you're a fan of shitty games, look no further.  Too Human suffers from the John Romero/Daikatana problem of promising us a tremendous new gameplay experience and then following through with a giant steaming pile.   
 
The development history reads like a warning label.  Seriously, read it.  The game premiered 10 years before its release (shades of Duke Nukem Forever).  It was originally designed for the PlayStation, then the GameCube, then finally the Xbox360.  (In fairness to Silicon Knights, at one point they chose to shelve this game while working on Eternal Darkness, which turned out to be an excellent game.)  They had a terrible showing at E3, and later blamed problems on the producer of the engine they were using (apparently the Unreal Engine works for everyone except Silicon Knights).  And throughout it all, despite evidence mounting to the contrary, Dyack kept claiming the game would be awesome.  It was just surreal watching this develop, like being at a bar with a drunk friend who's talking about some ugly girl he made out with.  He starts out talking about how she's good-looking, and everyone is naturally skeptical, so he starts talking her up more and more, and by the end of the night he's telling everyone he basically banged Megan Fox.
  
It's hard really to know where to begin pointing out the flaws in this game.  The whole thing runs like it was never playtested. The plot is stupid, weapon upgrades are annoying.  I'm a giant loot whore, and even I couldn't get excited about the crap enemies were dropping.  They promise unlimited new weapons, but everything more or less breaks down into just a handful of different types.  There's melee combat too, but it feels really forced.  Monsters have a tendency of being either way too easy or ridiculously hard.  In some levels I just mowed down some enemies, while the next wave would just shrug bullets off.  There is more or less no penalty for dying (except the penalty of watching an unskippable, painfully dull cutscene), so the whole game feels like you've unlocked God mode.  Everywhere you go looks more or less the same (awesome robot future world!), levels are incredibly long and repetitive, and the time you spend back at base largely consists of running across the city a bunch of times, apparently because the developers just wanted to see how much of your time they could waste.  The writers also don't bother to explain why all these Norse deities are cybernetic, or the motivations of the characters.  Maybe they were going for a dark and subtle feel, but it comes across more as stupid and shallow.  In fairness to the game, the cut-scenes are mostly ok, but if I just wanted to watch a bunch of cgi I'd rent that shitty Final Fantasy movie

The pluses are much easier to count.  The one thing I enjoyed in this game was turning it off.  It's so satisfying, it's almost worth playing the game just to experience it once.  Almost.

5 Comments
Posted by ahoodedfigure

And still, you gave it two stars :)

Posted by mzuckerm
@ahoodedfigure: I'm glad someone noticed that.  I thought about giving less, but as bad as Too Human was, there are plenty of much worse games.  I mean, it was more or less playable.  But their refusal to acknowledge that what they produced just wasn't very good is incredibly annoying.
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@mzuckerm: I see.  I'm guessing if anything for me was beneath the kind of contempt I read in this review, I'd pretty much just not review it at all and just make a blog entry about it, or refuse to even mention it.  Sort of like when they pulled down all the statues of Nero and buried them.  But I guess those that choose to ignore history, etc etc.
Posted by mzuckerm
@ahoodedfigure: The world has to know.
Posted by AceBlack19

first off: This was hilarious. 
 
 It echoes many of my frustrations as well. Seriously, that death cut-scene? F that. The Cybernetic Norse thing really ended up putting me off to the whole game. When I saw GRENDL-1 in the first Boss's life bar I almost died laughing for two reasons.
 
1) It was painfully forced. Why can't it just be Grendel? Wasn't techno-babbly enough?
 
2) Beowulf isn't fucking Norse mythology.
 
Well... maybe he is now, actually.

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    Too Human- the game that everybody and nobody wants to play. At once. Paradox? You'd think so, unless you saw the recent turd-flinging contest between developers, media, fans, and random people that was the Too Human release aftermath.Too Human is indeed a strange beast, a game who's development I've followed for several years now. For those of you who don't have much background (how could you not?), Too Human is developed by Silicon Knights, the much-lauded developers of titles such as Eternal ...

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