Sunday, August 31, 2008
Too Human's Nothing Special
This was supposed to be the big rpg on the 360 before Fable 2 hits in November. I played the Too Human demo and decided to check out the full version. I kind of wish I hadn't, but hindsight's 20/20. The game isn't bad, but I expected it to be better.
You play as Baldur, son of Odin, and you have to protect humanity from Loki and his robot armies. You have five classes to choose from: Berserker, Champion, Defender, Commando and Bio Engineer. They all have strengths and weaknesses, Champion being the most balanced. If you are an aggressive melee player, you’ll want to choose the Berserker; if you prefer ranged combat, you should go with the Commando. Each class wields a melee and a ranged weapon, but I found myself relying on melee attacks throughout most of the game, no matter which class I played with.
Combat takes place in real time; enemies attack you in hordes, most rushing at you while a few hang back and fire missiles. The fighting is good, but it sometimes feels awkward using the analog sticks. Combat gets repetitive after you’ve found a successful strategy; you rarely have to change because enemies attack you in the same fashion over and over. You get new skills like Spider powers (their name, not mine) and Battle Cry, but nothing makes fighting overly exciting.
If you die, you get rescued by a Valkyrie, and you start at a spot close to where you were killed, with no consequences for dying. When games do this, (see Bad Company) it instantly changes the player’s strategy from “Let me find the most efficient way to win this battle,” to “I’ll take as many of them out as I can, get killed and do the same thing again until I can move on.” If the player isn’t powerful enough to kill those enemies at that point in the game, put less enemies on screen and/or make them less powerful rather than making it impossible to lose.
When you level up, you receive skill points that you can use to raise abilities. This system would work much better if your choices weren’t so limited; you can go down one of three paths on the Skill Tree, each focusing on one particular combat area such as increasing gun abilities or aerial attacks. A few more combat features you could level up would have been nice.
There is a ton of equipment to find in this game, but you are constantly picking up better equipment. You could’ve just bought or crafted—using blueprints and bounty (money)—new weapons or armor and you look in your inventory ten minutes later and see you've picked up a better piece of equipment. After I realized this early on in the game, I didn’t buy equipment the rest of the way and did fine.
For some reason, they decided to put online multiplayer in an rpg; I didn’t get to try it out because I don’t have Xbox Live. Too Human is the first game of a planned trilogy, so Silicon Knights has a few more shots to get things right. Overall, this is a pedestrian sci-fi action rpg and it gets three out of five buttons.
Posted by Anthony Cochran at 2:54 PM