Why review a game pretty much a year after its original release?
1. The game deserves another look.
2. I found that I have been missing the core of the gameplay and really wanted to complete it again.
3. The missing achievements are within my grasp.
Delete as applicable.
In 2008 I had an on-off relationship with Too Human, I had watched the development with interest, played the demo with some disappointment and all but ignored it until release day. Then some people I knew got excited about it, and their buzz was good. Too Human and developers Silicon Knights promised lots of amazing things and it spent an extensive time in development as a result. So when it finally did arrive the game didn’t deliver the experience that people were expecting, but then how many games do actually deliver in full? Anyway the buzz grabbed my attention, I bagged up some games I didn’t need right now (in retrospect this was incorrect because I have also missed BFBC since that day), raced out to my local EB minutes before closing time and came away with a shiny new Too Human.
I dove straight in and got very frustrated: The camera, the control system, the sometimes overwhelming odds, the rate at which my character was dying, the interface – all the reasons why general reviews rubbished the game.
I persevered: First I had to understand that having chosen a dual-wielding Berserker was not the best choice for a first run through, the controls had to be learnt and strategy needed to be mastered. Going toe to toe with the enemy is not the best way to do that. Dabbling with some other characters opened up the different strategic builds that were on offer.
Then I got ‘it’: We clicked and the world of Too Human seemed to make more sense, combo meters grew, skill trees were respecced and I found myself really enjoying the experience.
Yes the game still had issues, but you grew accustomed to them. Yes there were only 4 linear and not overlong dungeons to trawl, but they were just enough. Yes, there were annoying Boss fights, but they were and are still beatable, and as with any dungeon crawler, just when you think you have seen all the loot a great new item glides into your backpack.
After many runs through the game, creating a couple of decent characters I gave Too Human a short rest and in a rash moment traded it for the new shiny Fifa09. Yet, even though it was no longer in my possession, I found the memory lingered on and I still had the urge to level up my Commando to level 50. I still needed to find some Elite armour, which in turn would probably help me with the ‘unstoppable’ achievements, which I didn’t really care about, but it would be good to know I could manage them.
So here I am today, with another copy of Too Human and safe in the knowledge that like many games of its creed I will keep it for good this time. Knowing that I can enjoy dungeon running for fun whenever I feel like hacking my way through a few hundred creepy alien robot hybrid things in the wee small hours. While also keeping a eye on the interweb for news of a sequel, it was supposed to be the beginning of a trilogy and characters were able to be carried over. Let’s hope Silicon Knights haven’t lost sight of that plan, or maybe even some downloadable content considering that the Live Arcade interface is already there, empty, waiting to be used…
In summary Too Human has its fair share of problems, but it also delivers a decent portion of satisfaction if you hang around long enough to find it.
If you haven’t played it and you see it in a bargain bin, give it a go – you might be surprised, just don’t complain if you start with a Berserker and struggle to stay alive.