E3 2008: Too Human Hands-On Preview

Allow me to be perfectly clear; There is a lot wrong with Too Human; the camera is difficult to control, the graphics are a bit sub-par, the graphical style is way more than sub-par, the animations are of the worst level of quality, the music is generic, and the voice acting is quite bad (though in the videogame business that means it’s pretty average).

However, when playing the game there is an inescapable, pervasive sense of fun that you just can’t put your finger on. Why am I enjoying this so much? I think to understand this I needed to purge myself of two things: my impressions of how good Too Human was based on past previews, and also my preconceived notions of what an action game is in today’s market.

I think that today’s game market has become so flooded with "me too" games trying to be Devil May Cry that we’ve started to assume that is what action games are, and what they will be like. Essentially, Devil May Cry set up a formula, and how well a game succeeds with that formula is how it is judged. Then a game like Too Human comes along and it so completely defies that formula that we assume it has failed. Too Human hasn’t failed. We’ve just been judging it on the wrong scale.


Too Human


On the Devil May Cry scale, Too Human fails miserably. If you go into this expecting a well polished, fast-paced blood bath like Ninja Gaiden II, you are going to be horribly appalled. Maybe on the N64 this could have passed as such, but not today.

Too Human plays more like Diablo 2. This is a group dungeon crawler. I have no doubt that this game was intended from the very beginning to be played with several other people. As such, I’m basing this preview off of a lot of theory and prediction, because my short glimpse at it was only single-player. When played alone, the game is rather lacking, but I really get the feeling that Too Human has a chance to develop a decent online community based on its group dynamics.

All that really remains to be seen is whether or not Silicon Knights will have the content ready to support a community like this. If they can provide levels and dungeons that are very difficult, that can only be accomplished by a full group, and are difficult enough that even the hardcore players struggle with it, then I don’t see any reason why Too Human wouldn’t be able to support a large hardcore community.


Too Human


However, like I said in the beginning: this game has a lot of faults. This is an era of gaming that, by a vast margin, values presentation over gameplay. Because of this, I seriously doubt if the average gamer is going to be able to enjoy this game. This isn’t Gears of War, and isn’t going to knock your socks off with awe-inspiring effects and technical wizardry.

So if that is what you’re looking for in a game, do yourself a favor and don’t go anywhere near Too Human. But if you’re looking for a fun dungeon crawler to play with a couple of friends, this game should be a fantastic choice.


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Author: Andy Groen View all posts by

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