Too Human - Xbox 360

Too Human is an RPG that mixes Norse mythology with a sci-fi take, but can the all action game from Silicon Knights be the blockbuster it’s hoping it will be? We get battling the forces of evil to find out.

The storyline goes something like this: set in the future, or maybe it's the past, we aren't quiet sure, you play Baldur, a cybernetic god sent on a quest to "save humanity at the potential price of sacrificing your own humanity". The storyline, a rather far-fetching and unusual one, gives Silicon Knights all the room it needs to create a game with a strong emphasis on mythology, swords, guns and robots.

Get past the storyline with its different parallel worlds, gods fighting each other and maidens falling at your feet and at the core of Too Human you've got your usual good versus evil romp with you stuck in the middle.

Camped neither in the action or RPG genres, but more a marriage of both, Too Human is neither a turn-based strategy nor will require you to roll a dice and plot your moves. The RPG element instead comes from the class system that it employs and the way you can chose your path throughout the game.

There are number of different classes to choose ranging from nimble and fragile to slow but strong and each has the ability to grow strengths based on the combat they get involved in.

As with most games of this ilk, the more you fight the more skill points you earn and the more you can progress through the game. Each character has the ability to reassign your points earned up to that point (it will cost you a couple of points) and it's a nice touch for those who've spent half the game building up their melee strengths to find that they prefer using a gun.

Fighting can be done in a number of different ways with all the Xbox 360's buttons used to full effect and at any one time you'll have a gun and melee weapon at your disposal.

Too many keys, however, has an affect on the gameplay with the decision being made to not use the right-hand stick for camera movement, but instead to control your melee attacks.
The result is that the controls don’t feel like second nature, as introducing its own array of problems. The first is that you don't really have any control over the camera angles in the game. It's up to the game to decide that for you, which at times is not only frustrating, but also annoying, especially when you don't see the enemy hiding around the corner until it’s too late. You can centre your viewpoint at the press of a button, but it’s yet another button to press.

The second problem it creates is that you soon find yourself attacking the wrong bad guy at the wrong time. This is a problem that is tied to the auto locking system, which lets you attack the next closest enemy that you've got the stick pointing towards.

As you might expect, this gets you into the action far too quickly - the end result normally sees you sliding straight into a pack of marauding robot warriors without any real thought. Within seconds you can then be surrounded wondering how you are going to get out of this fine mess, and unless you've got the help of the gods on your side you'll be lucky if you do. There is no holding back, taking off the enemy one by one, not that we could pull off anyway.

If controls aren't an issue then there is the co-op mode to master that allows you and a mate to take on the forces of evil together. Here you can play together in your own house, or over Xbox Live. Given that there are a number of classes to choose it's disappointing though that it's only two player rather than perhaps four.

Verdict

With plenty of features, skills to learn, and character developments to master, Too Human offers plenty for your late summer Xbox 360 RPG come action gaming.

However a crackpot storyline that we struggled to get into, an almost pointless parallel universe that is offered as a side plot and a confusing control system left us frustrated.

There are some flashes of inspiration here, and plenty that will keep you busy for the next month or so, but for us this is a disappointing if not mediocre effort once you get past the fanfare.


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