fuzzysquash's Too Human (Xbox 360) review

A mindless hack-n-slash with unwieldy camera and gameplay

Few games in recent memory have been as controversial as the Norse mythology epic from Silicon Knights, "Too Human." Purportedly in conception across multiple platforms for close to a decade, the game generated incredible hype after the first trailer was released.

But upon its first gameplay showing, "Too Human" was universally panned by journalists for its poorly designed camera system and jarring performance issues. Lead designer Dennis Dyack responded by promising that the review community would eat their words when the game released.

Unfortunately, while the performance issues have been largely alleviated, "Too Human" still contains a broken camera system and a hack-and-slash gameplay system that feels clumsy and imprecise. Instead of using buttons, "Too Human" relies upon the right analog stick for melee attacks. While this is a unique setup, it also makes it impossible for the player to learn or execute any precise move set. As a result, combat generally involves rotating the analog stick every which way, hoping that the game's protagonist will react accordingly.

The camera system was another purportedly innovative change promised by Silicon Knights, but the developers' intention to alleviate the player's need to control the camera manually made the game worse, not better. The camera seems to have a mind of its own, spinning this way or that, oftentimes making it impossible to see or aim at your target.

What's more, the game sports eye-numbingly repetitive levels and enemies, making the grind that much more difficult to bear. There were occasions when I got into a good "rhythm" hacking strings of enemies, but these moments were too few and far between.

Visually, "Too Human" isn't easy on the eyes either, with poor textures and character models, and even poorer animation.

"Too Human's" saving grace is its setting and art style, which combines Norse mythology with a cyber-punk aesthetic. The story contains some interesting twists, but It's a tragedy that the dialogue and voice acting were so sub-par.

"Too Human" reaches for the stars, but fails to get the basics right. The game is in some ways innovative, but innovates in the wrong direction. If Silicon Knights makes a sequel (the franchise is planned as a trilogy), they will need to go back to the drawing board.

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