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Too Human

Author: Daniel Pearse
Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Xbox 360

Highly anticipated role-playing actioner Too Human is, rather disappointingly, a decidedly mixed bag of tricks; its shimmering veneer trying (but failing) to mask a story that’s not especially interesting, and gameplay that tends to gnaw away at your nerves thanks to its proliferation of flaws. If the game didn’t contain such undeniable promise, it probably wouldn’t bug you nearly as much as it does; as it stands, it’s an exercise in what might have been.

You control the cybernetically enhanced Baldur, a champion who’s been sent on a mission to lead a squadron on a hunt for the malevolent robo-rascal GRNDL-1. You’re immediately charged with selecting his combat class, obviously based around what gives you you’re particular kicks: Berserker (melee), Combat (weapons), Champion (a little of both) and Defender (healing).

Getting to GRNDL-1 is, naturally, easier said than done; not only is your path beset by all manner of nasties intent on your destruction, but dispatching them is an absolute bitch thanks to an AI camera system that seldom yields to your will, and a combat system that’s highly questionable.

While not the headache-inducing pain that the camera is, the combat controls were feverishly debated pre-release for good reason. In Too Human it’s the right stick that controls Baldur’s attacks – a fine idea, but one that’s rather clunky in execution. Particularly when you want to target a foe, and despite your best efforts can never get the game to see eye-to-eye with you on who you should be attacking.

Being frustrated has, at least, never looked so good. The enemies are towering brutes that look genuinely intimidating, while the cut sequences are sumptuous pieces of cinematic splendour. But when the gameplay itself is so lacking, sheen is sadly irrelevant.

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