Too Human has been in development for nearly ten years, and in that time has undergone a great many changes. Itís almost as legendary as the developerís recent commentary about the innovation of the game. However, what Iím about to say probably wonít win me many friends in the camp of Too Human love. But Iím not going to jump right in and decry Dyack at all for what he and his team at Silicon Knights have done.
The story is one that is delivered throughout the game via sparse cut-scenes and doesnít really get going until near the end, and this is a short game at around ten hours of gameplay with some replay, that is apparently the first in a trilogy. You are Baldur, a Viking god, except that Too Human has techo-future-vikings and nano/cybernetic technology. Mankind is at war with machines, which are given names from Norse myth, such as goblins and dark elves (svart alfar). Even Grendel makes an appearance.
Silicon Knights have attempted to be innovative by permitting you to have a modicum of control during certain in-game cut-scenes, for example, an early scene showing a goblinís eye view of Baldur allows you to charge forwards, guns blazing and actually kill the creature as the scene ends. Yet the game doesnít tell you this, you discover this by playing. A bit like the first time a door opens and you wonder why your character hasnít walked into the room and you discover that you have to move him yourself.
The problem with Too Human is that itís trying to be innovative, but it draws from numerous games that have come before it, uses an MMO style loot system and you spend far too much time in the gameís menus. Itís the perfect game for people who loved Diablo and getting tonnes and tonnes of virtual loot. The game features no camera control and it could be described as a 3rd person action/rpg with the emphasis on repetitive action against hordes of monsters that scale to your level and the loot thatís dropped.
Iíll say it here too; you use the right stick for combat!
Gamers who are used to using the right stick for camera control will find they end up attacking at first, it takes some getting used to not having this feature. When youíre finally used to the fact that the right stick attacks with a drawn melee weapon, you press the left and right triggers to use your guns and the right stick is used to aim them in different directions. Itís not a bad system of control; itís just slightly flawed in places. With various movements of the left and right stick you create combos and chain together a series of fairly impressive attacks. By quickly tapping both sticks in the same direction you can perform a finisher, a devastating acrobatic combat move. Add to this the Ruiner, a showy area effect spell like move that kills everything in a certain radius which is triggered by pressing the right bumper when you have enough combo meter to do so.
Yet it lacks the immediacy of the traditional button hammering, often sending you way too far forwards into a mass of enemies that proceed to cut you to ribbons. Itís Ok however, since youíre a god, you can die and wait in an un-skippable in-game cut-scene where a Valkyrie comes and takes you to ValhallaÖor rather they donít, you appear back on the level, back in the fight and sometimes youíre right in trouble since the enemies might have followed you when you tried to run away and conserve your health. The only penalty for dying is that you take some damage to your items, which then need to be repaired by using bounty.