Game Review: Too Human: Replace ‘Human’ with ‘Hard’

Too HumanI recently finished “Too Human” for the Xbox 360. This game was way too hard, and while it may have been difficult by design, it wasn’t a satisfying kind of difficult, but a frustrating one.

To help explain, there are series that are difficult on purpose and it works. These are games like “Ninja Gaiden” and “‘Splosion Man”, where your character doesn’t necessarily get any better, but you do. Your skills get better (or not) and you feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish the increasingly difficult stages. Unlike these games, “Too Human” is a level and loot game. You are supposed to level up and find better loot (weapons and armor) to make your character stronger. The whole point of a level and loot game is to be more bad-ass after every fight, either by leveling up or equipping better loot. By the end of the game, you’re mowing down the enemies, and if you’re not, then you can go back through an area and get stronger or find better loot.

Where “Too Human” takes a major misstep is that the enemies get stronger in time with your character. Go up one level and all of the enemies go up one level. Get a better weapon that deals more damage and the enemies start to deal more damage. Equip stronger armor to increase your defense and the enemies increase their defense, as well. It doesn’t matter if you level up and collect awesome loot, because the enemies adjust on the fly to always stay one step ahead of you. All of the fun of leveling up and finding sweet loot goes away when neither do anything for you. Whether you play the game with the best gear or the worst gear, it will be the same level of difficulty. It’s misleading. When a game lets me level up a lot and drowns me in loot, I expect the levels and loot to mean something.

If they had removed the leveling system and all of the loot and just marketed “Too Human” as a challenging fighter like “Ninja Gaiden”, I may have been more forgiving of it. Actually, no, I wouldn’t have. A challenging fighter needs an excellent combat system and camera, because when it’s all about your skill level, the game can’t get in the way. Unfortunately, “Too Human” doesn’t have either of these things going for it. The combat system was always a few seconds behind my button presses. And the camera, which needs to stay fixed during battle because you point the right-stick at the enemy you wish to attack, would always swing wildly around the room to present the most cinematic view of the battle. The two of these together led to me launching combos on empty space where enemies weren’t, either because the combat system was 4 seconds late in executing the move or because the camera spun around to a different angle and the enemy was no longer where my attack was originally aimed.

Even with this game being readily available both new and used for less than $10, I have a hard time recommending it to anyone.

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