Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Location: La Crosse
Wii: 8468 3651 5361 9751
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Silicon Knights
Official Website: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/t/toohuman
Release Date: 08/19/2008
Genre: Sci-Fi Action RPG
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: Teen
An action RPG based on Norse mythology. Too Human is a retelling of classic Norse mythology with a few twists.
You play as Baldur, the youngest son of ODIN and the newest god to join the Aesir. Baldur is one of the favorite gods of the people and because of this, some of the other Aesir gods feel like you might be a bit too human. However, Baldur is the favorite son of ODIN.
During this story your goal is to find out things. Baldur has recently returned to the Aesir and thus he needs to "stretch out his legs" in some combat. He seems to have some slight amnesia so he is also trying to find things about about his past.
The game takes place around Midgard, Asgard, Helheim, and Cyberspace. Many of the areas are made to seem like they are epic in scale and sometimes the areas just seem too large and empty. This isn't so much the case in the areas where there are battles, but Cyberspace seems to be a overly large.
The fighting in this game is different than it is in many games, yet it is still incredibly fun. To attack, you push the RS toward the direction of the enemy and Baldur will fly in that direction knocking enemies in the air and generally just beating the fear of god into anything over there. The melee combat is pretty fun, but would be better if they could add some other buttons into the combos. You can knock enemies up into the air just fine, but trying to do “finisher” attacks and “fierce” attacks uses the same stick motions and therefore ends up being read differently by the game.
One of the more frustrating parts of the game is the ranged combat. Guns are aimed by first firing them and then pushing the right stick towards the enemies. One major problem with gun combat is the aiming isn’t all that intuitive. The are enemies with multiple points that you can shoot at, but if any smaller enemies are near, good luck shooting the larger enemy’s legs out. The lack of a lock-on button can also be problematic as sometimes while shooting you’ll turn around simply because you’re trying to strafe/run to avoid enemies.
Speaking of enemies, many of them look almost exactly the same, and repeatedly bashing 3 different types of enemies can get dull. Usually, there are multiple types of enemies in the same areas, so you need to strategize your attacks if you want to survive.
The class system and the different skill trees are one of the things that make this game really fun to play. For example, if you take a Defender, who has high health and high armor, you can take one of his skill trees and essentially make him a walking tank. Or, if you take a Berserker, the melee combat specialist, you can take a bunch of skills to upgrade speed and upgrade damage based on hit combos, which makes for fast-paced blender action. However, the Bio-Engineer class is virtually useless in solo play since their skills usually revolve around healing or protecting teammates. Each class has different skill trees and also different spider abilities. (The spider is a little robot spider thing that sits on your back and can be activated for a certain time period, but needs to recharge itself and will be unavailable for a while.)
At one point in the game you decide whether you want to be more human and take the more combo-oriented route, or to add cybernetic implants to make you more like the other gods, thus opening up more damage-increasing skills. Both paths have their positive sides and choosing one really depends on how you want to play and what class you are. For example, the human side has access to the most powerful ruiner attacks, which are area of effect attacks that have a large radius. If you play as a human, each class has its own ruiner attack, but if you play as a cybernetic god the ruiner will be based on your weapons.
Too Human also has a respec system which allows you to choose a different skill tree if you don’t like the one you’re currently on.
During gameplay you get a ton of loot drops. These can be weapons, armor, runes, charms, or blueprints, which can be made into a weapon or piece of armor. In the beginning of the game you get a ridiculous amount of loot drops and it can be frustrating. Since you don’t have very good gear right away it’s constantly tempting to stop and check your equipment, which really slows down the pace of the game. But, at higher levels you often get really good armor and weapons that you know won’t be surpassed for a while. Customizing weapons and armor can really be a fun thing, if you like getting a lot of loot drops. Using charms and adding runes to weapons and armor can be incredibly rewarding.
One of the most annoying things in this game was the lack of a run button. If you play the game, you’ll realize that the character is always somewhat run/jogging. However, since the areas are all gigantic and there are many places in the game with no enemies, it sometimes seem that you’re running forever just to explore places. Adding a sprint button really wouldn’t be that big of a pain for the developers and the fact that you move faster when sliding to attack enemies just proves that it wouldn’t take much to program that extra little bit in. When the undead enemies are faster than a god, you need a run button.
Another annoying part is the camera. The camera likes to have a mind of its own and is incredibly hard to control. The only thing that you can really do with the camera during combat is center it behind Baldur. This would be almost adequate if the camera didn’t instantly zoom out some other way simply because of the area you’re in. It’s not the worst camera system ever, but it seems like it has ADD.
One of the best parts of this game is the fact that you can play multiplayer, which offers a chance for you to take team skills to enhance your survivability. But, the fact that you can only play multiplayer online is lame. It would be nice to have some competent back-up with local multiplayer since the AI help you get seems to be worthless, even when fighting alongside other gods.
Also, the death animation of a valkyrie coming down to take you away gets old quickly, and seems to take too long. It could be argued that watching this scene and having to wait through it over and over is the only real penalty for death. Sure, dying degrades your armor and weapons a bit, but you probably won’t die enough before you level up and can use all new weapons and armor.
The graphics for this game are for the most part pretty good, but sometimes look choppy and too rough. The cutscenes are well-done and some of the areas begin to look too repetitive. The overly large areas sometimes seem pointless as there is basically nothing in them.
The sound is for the most part good. However, the constant dialog of your computer teammates often gets repetitive and annoying. During a certain mission the same lines of dialog are repeated over and over at least 5 times, and probably more. It’s disappointing that this happens because some of the dialog is good.
I also got distracted a few times during boss battles since the boss battle music was played over by the sound of me randomly picking up a new semi-good weapon in a loot drop. This gets especially distracting when it happens a bunch of times.
This game is fun for the most part, but has some glaring flaws that should have been picked up some time during its 10 year development. The story is really cool if you’re into mythology tales and, despite what other “professional” reviews said, interested me the whole time I was playing the game.
Still, the game itself is only 8+ hours long, depending on how much exploring you do. Depending on the person this is a good or bad thing. If you like to beat a game and can’t stand to play through story mode again, you might want to look elsewhere. But, if you like to play through a game with one play style then play through with a different one this game is great for that.
Despite my complaints, I wish that I was able to play the game a little bit longer simply to try to find more of the secret areas and try out more fighting styles. Playing this game with a friend is probably the most fun way to experience it, at least after you’ve beaten the story mode going solo.
So, this game is better than a C (average), but not quite a full B.
Overall Score: 7.8/10
Pictures courtesy of GameSpot.com
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Writer, Actor in Flingshot Productions