Synyster Graves

Too Human

by on Feb.08, 2012, under Xbox 360

Norse Mythology is one of those things that is thoroughly interesting to read about, well for myself anyways, and a sci-fi game based on Norse legend was always going to capture my interest. Viking was a decent game for action, also based on Norse legend but was more fantasy driven, on face value Too Human looking like the AEsir (Norse Gods) had a head on collision with Tron.

Too Human is a third person action RPG game set in a futuristic backdrop with the AEsir ruling over the humans as a superior cybernetic humans by protecting them from Loki’s army of rampaging machines. You play the role of Baldur, a lesser AEsir commanding the human armies in search of finding and destroying Loki. Baldur however is not as cybernetically enhanced as his other AEsir peers, allowing you to level him up and upgrade his abilities and statistics. You’re sent out on missions from the headquarters of Midgard to stop the machines and save humanity from the brink of nuclear extinction.

Graphically this game is great, but the positives end swiftly there

Graphically this game is great, on par with the recent Final Fantasy games in terms of depth and attention to detail throughout the city scapes and cybernetic caverns, and character animation in cutscenes is like watching a movie. Sadly the praise for this game is totally used up on that. The camera angles are painfully abysmal and attempting to adjust the angle of the game so you can see what you have to face ahead is almost prohibited by the statically obstinate camera which allows you no control over it whatsoever, instead elects to casually flit between certain angles as it sees fit. Dante’s Inferno somehow got away with it because the combat system compensated for it but Too Human can’t even fall back on that.

Which brings me to my next point, as to how terrible the combat system is. It’s clunky and generally unresponsive and while I’m tempted to draw similies with my first girlfriend I’ll just leave as such that that the combat is awful. The right analog stick, which by general convention of third person gaming, controls the camera angle. Fighting enemies off the screen is unacceptable by today’s standard, it was irritating enough in Golden Axe! But thrashing the right analog stick around like you’re trying to massage a hyperactive dog just doesn’t feel natural or organic. You end up button mashing like playing a Dynasty Warriors title with little or no effect. Even on the easiest difficulty they throw a handful of enemies at you and don’t really get a grasp of the combat system, which means you keep dying.

THE most tedious cutscene/death sequence in video games. Why did they leave this in? It's simply awful!

Which brings me to the worst part of the game, and arguably the worst programming decision in video game history. When you die, a cybernetic valkyrie descends from the heavens, picks up your corpse and ascends, presumably, to Valhalla. This whole sequence takes about 30 seconds, of which you are forced to watch because you cannot skip it. Sure you can respawn at the previous checkpoint, but why do you have to watch an overly long and painstaking cutscene in the event that you die? It’s totally stupid, and I don’t think I’ve come across a single gamer who has played this game and says that they actually think that the Valkyrie sequence is a nice touch. In fact all I’ve seen is complaints about that section. Would it be so hard for a patch to be released to allow this part to be skipped?

The RPG element of forging armour and weapons is just arduous. Yes you get a lots of salvage to make weapons, taking a page out of the Red Faction series, but trying to get any decent components to create anything more ominous than a candyfloss pony is a painstaking task. The armour is typical of any RPG, i.e. you pick up better pieces as you progress, unfortunately they’re all wacky colours meaning that the best combination of armour pieces makes you look like you’ve run through a series of cartoon washing lines whilst covered in glue. You look ridiculous and instead of Norse god look to be more like Willy Wonka’s attempt to create a Master Chief Halloween costume.

There is a co-operative mode, which incorporates the drop in, drop out mechanism which, similar to games like Borderlands and Crackdown, does work, but Too Human itself as a game is not good enough to even make a fun multiplayer experience compared to the two aforementioned games. I’ve played this in co-op for about 4 hours and it was slog. When you weren’t watching your co-op partner die repeatedly, invoking that stupid Valkyrie sequence, you were doing the same, all the time desperately trying to actually cause damage to enemy waves, but breaking the R3 stick on your controller repeatedly.

In summation Too Human had the potential of being a very good game, with a robust storyline and brilliant graphics, but is stifled to be complete diarrhoea by being painful to control, frustrating try and view with the statically terrible camera and comes with the worst death sequence in the history of video gaming. Playing it was like self harming on a cybernetic level and I would urge anyone even perusing it in the bargain bin for £5 to just avoid it. It would be more apt if they changed the name of the came from Too Human to Too Rubbish. This game is prize nob nuts!

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