Too Human

Games that are in development limbo for years and years generally show signs of a troubled gestation period. How does Too Human fare?

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Too Human
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  February 16, 2009

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Key Specs

Number of players: 1
Online play: N
Price: $73

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Games that are in development limbo for years and years generally show signs of a troubled gestation period. These can manifest in the form of unbalanced gameplay, niggling issues and poor controls and after almost 10 years of development, Too Human has for the most part succumbed to its troubled development.

The game is the first of a planned trilogy and combines science-fiction and Norse mythology. Here, the Aesir (Norse Gods) are actually cybernetic-enhanced humans charged with the protection of mankind. In Too Human, the threat to humanity comes from Loki (also a Norse God) who has unleashed an army of machines on the world.

Gamers take on the role of Norse God Baldur who is not quite an equal to the other Aesir in that he is not as cybernetic-enhanced as the others. This is where the game gets its name from as the other Aesir refer to Baldur as ‘too human'. The game consists of a mix of a number of different gameplay types as it combines action, adventure and role-playing along with third-person shooter gunplay.

As an action title, Too Human throws hundreds of baddies your way but ultimately this becomes quite repetitive and boring as you'll find yourself hacking and slashing away - facing more or less the same enemies - until your hands hurt. Since the game isn't particularly easy (unless you're playing on the lowest difficult setting), you'll find Baldur falling in battle more than a few times. And, every time he does, you'll come face-to-face with the game's most annoying aspect; each time Baldur falls, you'll be ‘treated' to an animation of him being carried off into the sky by a Valkyrie. In all the animation takes about 25-seconds and unfortunately, there's no way to skip it. So every time you fall, you have to sit through the animation.

Another annoying issue is the game's third-person combat. Though there's nothing particularly wrong with the third-person view, the mechanics just get in the way. When switching between targets for instance, the targeting system sometimes automatically jump to an enemy that's either too far away or not in your field of view altogether. Moreover, if you are firing at a particular target and kill it, the targeting reticule won't switch to another target but rather will remain on the existing, dead target until you release the trigger.

The good news is that the game's role playing aspects, which let you customise Baldur in terms of his armour and weaponry, is quite comprehensive and gives you a great deal of tweaking flexibility. Too Human also scores high points when it comes to presentation.The sound effects when you're hacking a way at enemies or firing rounds using any one of the game's numerous ranged weapons just fits and is appropriately loud and in your face. The music too fits every scene; tension-building when you're coming up to a horde of enemies and slower-paced and downbeat when it needs to be. Graphically, the game is solid offering diverse environments, decent character animation and the bright visuals you'd expect from a HD game.

For: If you're a fan of role playing games you'll like Too Human's character and weapon customisation. Used right, you can turn Baldur into an unstoppable machine-stomping hero.

Verdict:Although Too Human works on some levels, it is ultimately hard to wholeheartedly recommend because of its annoying game mechanics and rather repetitive gameplay.

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