The journey of Too Human was a long and winding one and one that seems unclear. The game was originally planned as a four-disc Playstation game back in 1999. The game development then shifted to the Gamecube before selling the rights to Microsoft in 2005. There was a huge dispute over the Unreal Engine 3 that was announced to be used exclusively used by Too Human but there was a lot of trouble that led to a lawsuit and eventually Silicon Knights making their own engine for the game. So finally on August 29, 2008 the game was released as an Xbox 360 exclusive. Too Human is the first part of a planned trilogy centered around a futuristic retelling of Norse Mythology. The player take the role of the Norse god Baldur, who unlike the other gods, is less cybernetic making him ‘too human’. The gameplay is a unique take on the loot based hack-n-slash RPG. The uniqueness comes from the melee combat using the right thumbstick instead of a button. This however causes problems because it takes away the camera controls save the left bumper being able to recent the camera. There are also guns in the game which you hold the right trigger and use the right thumbstick to switch targets. Despite the odd and unfamiliar control it works very well and is responsive.
The game has a fun Diablo-like loot system complete with different rarities and set items. There are also runes and charms. Runes are insertable items with different attributes that can be put into armor and weapons with sufficient open slots. Charms are enhancers that have set mini-quests such as killing 30 enemies with a ruiner attack. Ruiners are basically power attacks that require a combo level. The attacks are linked to weapon types so the ruiner a sword is different from a spear. A combo level is just that, a level that is acquired by getting a certain combo. There are 4 combo levels I believe with a 5th being unlocked if you take the Human path in the game. Once you have accumulated a certain number of hits you gain a level then you can use a ruiner attack to kill multiple enemies at once.
Gameplay is fairly smooth with being able to lunge at enemies from a distance and having a sort of ranged melee attack when you push both thumbsticks in the same direction. Also if you push both thumbsticks in the same direction while up close you do a cool combo attack. The ranged attack is pretty basic there’s a main fire and a secondary fire. For assault rifle and laser rifles it’s a grenade but for laser cannon it’s a super charged laser which you can sweep to damage multiple enemies. You can also have dual pistols which instead of using the left trigger for a secondary attack use it for the second pistol. You will encounter many enemies at once most dispatched with one attack but there are more unique enemies that are shielded and have unique elemental abilities. There are also giant trolls that require more strategy to take down and you can perform a cool finishing move on them. The only odd thing about the gameplay is in fact the lack of camera control. Yes you can re-center the camera with LB but that doesn’t do whole lot. The game does have the camera move to face enemies but this doesn’t always happen when you want it to. This could have been solved by adding a control that if LB is held and you move the thumbstick it would rotate the camera instead of attack. There is no penalty to dying with a Valkyrie coming down and lifting you to the sky you just reappear where you died.
The story is fairly decent with the bulk of it focused on Baldur and his revenge for his wife’s murder. There is also some nice cutscenes with a cool one at the beginning where Baldur is tracking the monstrous Grendel. The story is about the Aesir and their struggle against Hel and the growing machine threat. There is then the deeper plot of Loki later on. It is cool how they portray these Norse gods and beasts in a futuristic sense as robots and advanced beings.
The music is very fitting in this mythological setting. Though it is absent in most everywhere besides when in battle and some cutscenes. It does fit though, just as Halo’s iconic and beautiful music fits with mankind’s struggle to survive. There is largely one piece played with some chanting. This is heard mostly during fighting and encounters.
The game does hold a moderate deal of replayability with being able to go back to earlier missions and play through them again. There are also tokens to collect, the games collectables. There is a 2 player coop mode on Xbox live. It is fun of you have a friend that has the game.
The biggest issue with the game isn’t really an issue with this game as much as it is with the trilogy. The game doesn’t really end it has a nice little ‘to be continued ending’ much like Psi-Ops. Psi-Ops is another favorite of mine that was very, very good and well worked out that the bastards at Midway took and just tossed away and left you wanting a sequel but never delivered. Well it seems this is the same way with Too Human. The ending is left for a sequel but it’s been years and not a mention of a sequel to the promised trilogy. There was also to be 2 DLC packs for the game yet none were released. As of now it would seem that the games will not be released and it is a shame because it had potential. Yet we may still hope that someday they will continue the trilogy.