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Too Human: Demo Impressions

Developer: Silicon Knights | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Genre: Action

Release Date: 08/19/08

Like so many Xbox 360 owners out there, we here at CVG were delighted to hear about the Too Human demo on Xbox LIVE this Monday. A game that was initially slated for release on the Nintendo 64...or was it the PlayStation? Well, no matter, the point is that the game is just about here and we have taken our final look at the game via the same demo that you have likely tried yourself.

First off, when you play the demo, it doesn't feel like you're playing a game that's been in development for ten years. The gameplay was a bit choppy feeling and difficult to control in general. Baldur doesn't quite move as smoothly as you'd expect. The motions feel a little stiff as opposed to the fluid action we had hoped to see. When in combat, you use the right thumbstick to attack enemies with your melee weapon and the triggers to fire your guns. In this regard, the game is somewhat similar to Devil May Cry, but feels less polished than Capcom's action hit.

As you land blows and combos on the enemies, you'll slowly build a combo gauge that allows you to unleash a special ability called the Ruiner that devastates any nearby foes. You can dodge attacks by using the B button to roll out of the way or press A to jump over enemy attacks. Pressing the attack buttons in the air will allow you to fight airborne enemies and juggle them which can make for an amusing holiday.

One aspect that sets this game apart from the typical action number is the RPG style element that was added in. As you fight, you will gain experience and eventually level up. When this happens you are granted a certain amount of points which you can allocate towards various attacks, abilities and attributes by using the game's skill tree. Depending on how you choose to use these skill points, along with the class you decided to run with, will eventually affect the way you play the game.

Of the five total classes that will appear in the final version of the game, only one is playable in the demo: The Champion. The Champion is a smart choice for the demo as it seems to be the most well-rounded of all the classes. The other classes include bioengineer, berserker, defender and commando. In all fairness, I think the Champion would be my pick in the retail version of the game too.

The story of the game revolves around lunatic machines trying to destroy mankind. Baldur is a god who decides to lend a helping hand. I couldn't help but be reminded of The Matrix at times during the cinematic sequences in the game and that's not a bad thing. I found that while the demo is only a small portion of the overall game, the storyline was still intriguing.

Visually I thought the game was looking pretty nice; not spectacular, but certainly passable. The textures in the environments are detailed and the character models are well done. At one point in the demo you are transported to a forest region and the greenery offers a very nice view as well as a welcomed break from the dark colors of the ruins you have been traversing. It would be great if it were easier to take it all in, but the game's camera makes this a task in itself. This, unfortunately, was the biggest problem I experienced in the demo.

The camera can only be freely moved if you're standing still and holding the left bumper in. Then you can use the right stick, which normally performs a melee attack, to look around. Even in this free look mode, the movement is still fairly limited and in combat it gets a bit more frustrating as you can't move the camera at will. You can only hit the left bumper to center the view behind Baldur. Doing so will immediately snap the camera into position and will most likely leave you slightly disoriented every time you do it.

With the game's release date coming up so soon, it is highly unlikely (though not impossible) that the major complaints here will be addressed. However, we will reserve final judgement until we have our hands on an actual release copy. In the meanwhile, grab the demo from the marketplace and try it for yourself! It is actually a pretty long demo with quite a bit of content to run through.

By Ryan Schaefer - 07/16/08
ESRB Details: Blood, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Screenshots for Too Human: Demo Impressions

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