drrandle's Too Human (Xbox 360) review

Less Human Than Human

   I don't have a problem with Norse Mythology. I don't have a problem with awesome art design. I don't have a problem with epic soundtracks. And I don't have a problem with Crispin Freeman. So why do I have such a problem with Too Human? In the end: It's worst than the sum of it's parts.
   Don't take that to mean it's bad, it's just not as good as the expectation set by those combined elements.
   In Too Human, you play as Baldur, recently back from the dead, although he has no memory of these events. (What's with amnesiac protagonists book ending this summer? See: Alone in the Dark.) He lives in a time where winter is setting to consume the world, with humanity eking out it's life in a city ravaged by the cold. Said city is overlooked by the Aesir, your lovable god's of Norse Mythology whom have vowed to protect humanity from an overabundant robot army. To be honest, from there, the plot is pretty by the numbers. Hey guess what, spoiler, LOKI IS EVIL! It wouldn't be so bad but the most of the script and acting is pretty high and dry. Only Crispin Freeman really pushes forth a fiery performance with everyone else coming off about as robotic as the enemies you face.
   The gameplay is fine, but not perfect. Imagine trying to take the top-down perspective of Diablo and trying to make it playable with a controller. But instead of moving a cursor around, all you have is direct control of Baldur. What this leads to his you using the right analogue stick to bounce from baddie to baddie, cutting them apart just by holding the stick towards them. It's relatively simple, and so it's not hard for your more typical RPG fan to get into it. The problem is it can get kind of repetitive. Fast. If you're not into MMO's or your typical dungeon crawler, hacking and slashing your way for more fat loot drops might be hard to get accustomed too. At this point I miss the grinding in No More Heroes.
   And it would all be fine, I think, if the game was paced better. There's only 4 real "dungeons" to crawl, and while they look nice thanks to the art design, they take forever to finish. One dungeon can take upwards of 3 or 4 hours, without rest. That is the most exhausting aspect of the game. It's draining. Even No More Heroes breaks up it's grind fest with awesome boss fights. This game just wears on you, hard.
   As I've mentioned, the art design in this game is magnificent. Visually speaking I would easily rank this as one of my favorite games. The design of the characters, the armors, the weapons, every villain, every local... they all pop out. They're all amazing to behold. Unfortunately, the game suffers a terrible framerate lag. Sometimes just running around will drop it, sometimes it's because there's alot of enemies, and (huge pet peeve here) even the cutscenes can suffer horrendously. It really takes you out of the moment when even the cutscenes can't stay at a steady framerate. It's one of the most detrimental attributes in any game, just ask Mass Effect. A wonderful story told through choppy cutscenes.
   The soundtrack is pretty epic, and very enjoyable. That's really all there is to say, except that it's a little jarring to go from your typical fantasy epic to some random guitar riffs. But it's all still good, so whatever.
   In the end, the verdict is simple. This is a good rental, but nothing more. The game takes only roughly 10 hours to play through, and the multi-player would only be worth it for the most absolutely hardcore. If you really like your Diablo type games, then maybe I'd recommend a purchase, but not until the price comes down, at least, to $50.
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