Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Silicon Knights
Release Date: 08/19/2008
Available Exclusively On
What do you do with one of the most infamously bad games of the seventh generation consoles? Well, you play it of course! Why would play such a masochistic game? For curiosities sake which is why most people play terrible games anyways. Too Human is a hack and slash-style game comprised of Norse mythology and mostly a lot of problems.
You play as the Norse god Baldur whose purpose in this game is completely unclear as the story is lost, pointless, and full of so many plot holes I lost count. Something about trying to find out about the death of his wife and the Aesir trying to kill Loki and they literally never explain why. With the game only having four chapters and 6 hours long there’s not enough time to establish a good story and characters. Now, before I go on a long rant about what’s bad about this game, as there’s more bad than good, let’s at least talk about what actually is good. For starters, the combat system is an interesting idea with the right analog stick being used for attacks kind of like a twin-stick shooter, the issue with this is you have to rely on a completely brain-dead camera with presets that never really work. It’s unresponsive, and sluggish, and the number of combo attacks can be counted on one hand. Aerial combat is out of the question as timing pop-ups is nearly impossible, but that’s still not the worst problem. Gun combat works well enough and you have to rely on it quite a bit because the melee combat is mostly broken, but more on that later still.
There is a lot of loot in this game and some of it is quite good as well as blueprints you can pick up to create the most powerful armor in the game. Each armor piece has a unique look and that was at least nice, but it’s lost in the pile of crap this game has. Let’s also talk about these Cyberspace sections that are 100% completely useless and have no meaning in the game. You will find a well here and there that connects you to a vibrant and foilage-lush “cyberspace” which is used for only one purpose and that’s to waste your time. In these tiny rooms, all you do is push open a door or lift something to open up something in the “real world”. Why bother? Why can’t I just do it in the real world? Cyberspace is also never explained as to why it even exists or its purpose. Sometimes the cyberspace would only hold a treasure spire that had health orbs. All of that for just a couple of health obs. It’s one of the most pointless features in a game I have ever seen.
Let’s get back to combat. I can’t think of any more positive things for this game. While a right stick-oriented combat system could work it just doesn’t here. The fundamentals of hack and slash Diablo-style combat are just completely broken. Outside of the easiest enemies that die in one hit you can never get your combat momentum up enough to make large combos. Anything above those one-hit enemies requires a dozen hits for starters all the way up to enemies that require parts of their bodies to be targeted and taken down. This becomes a problem when you’re swarmed with enemies with zero hit feedback and you have to take each one down one at a time. You could pop them all up into the air, but taking them down this way takes forever as air combat is practically useless as explained earlier. Sometimes the animations don’t connect, sometimes Baldur just stands in one spot spinning his weapon around despite me telling him to move. This leads to the largest issue of the entire game, death after death. I died 127 times in 6 hours and this causes a long death animation to play out in which a Valkyrie comes down from the sky and picks you up…just to restart in the same spot, but nothing else resets. What’s the point of death then? I died on the final boss maybe 30+ times and each time I went through a 30-45 second death animation just to spawn in the same spot. It’s absolutely frustrating and has no purpose.
When it comes to leveling up and upgrading that’s also pointless. You get skill points to spend, but the tree is so useless and poorly designed that you must unlock a previous item before getting to the next. It’s just one line straight down and you can’t skip around really. Each skill can hold 10 points and it needs 5 before moving on to the next one. I only got to level 27 before the game ended so there’s not enough time to unlock all the skills. No matter how much I leveled up or how good my armor or weapons were I took the same amount of damage and dealt the same amount of damage. Never did I surpass a certain enemy and only take 2 hits instead of 7 after acquiring a much more powerful weapon. Enemies level up with you so that the same enemy from level 2 takes the same amount of hits at level 20. Speaking of enemies they are repetitive, dull, brainless, and repeat hundreds of times ad nauseum. It’s a bore-fest.
To wrap all of this up, the entire game is just broken, frustrating, and boring. The audio constantly cuts out and the death animation song bit gets stuck through the whole game. During the final boss fight, I had zero audio except Baldur’s grunts and that death song repeating randomly and cutting out. The level design is abysmal at best with bland generic corridors literally copied and pasted through a level. There’s no variation or break in the patterns. Bosses are laughably easy or frustratingly difficult such as the last boss in the game. 90 minutes to kill her just because of how little my level 27 hammer did against her. I literally shaved pixels off with each hit and it’s broken up into four stages. Even if you exclude the 10 minutes worth of death animations, it still takes way too long because of the poor difficulty balancing. Let’s also not forget the awful characters, poor dialog, and a story that makes about as much sense as a car with square wheels.
Even the game runs poorly with massive frame drops in the menus no less, and muddy textures. There’s hardly anything redeeming about this game except that you can play co-op and share the misery with a friend. Too Human died for a good reason and remains my least favorite Xbox 360 exclusive to date. Do yourself a favor and play something much better.