Sunday, August 10, 2008

Too Human Demo Impressions

Well, the menus didn't piss me off. Quite the opposite in fact. Too bad I can't say the same about the demo's gameplay itself.

A few coworkers were going on about the Too Human demo, so I decided to download and give it a spin, and there' s a solid hour of my life I'll never get back. Which is too bad as the game's concept has a lot of promise.

Based on the screen shots I'd seen earlier, the concept reminded me a bit of Diablo II, so I had my hopes up, but when it got right down to it, I thought the gameplay, and more specifically the controls, were crap.

Perhaps I'm just being picky, as is often the case, but as I've mentioned somewhere else before: there are so many great games being released these days, that if a demo or rental doesn't impress me and hold my attention right from the get-go, why bother wasting my time on it when I can simply play something that does?

The Too Human demo starts well enough. The menus were awesome, and I was really intrigued by the historical/sci-fi concept of futuristic Nordic soldiers fighting machines, but I really, really hated the controls. Specifically, the damned Right Stick, which is not used to look around like in most games (you need to hold Left Bumper and use the Right Stick to achieve this, but only while out of combat), but instead is used to deploy and swing your melee weapon. Now that's all fine and awesome, but I often found myself attacking enemies I wasn't intending to attack, and hitting other targets than I wanted; the lack of a target lock-on feature really hurt things for me, and the camera control and game's default camera positioning was very poor.

I also found the gameplay got annoyingly repetative, since you'd always be falling back on melee attacks as your firearms weren't of too much use, since most of the enemies were melee enemies. It wouldn't have been as bad could you dispatch the hordes of enemies quickly, but I found most battles took a little while, adding to the tedium.

Graphically, the game looked good, but not ground breaking. The environments were solid, but the character models aren't up to the level seen in Mass Effect, though I didn't notice any texture pop-in. Audio-wise, the music kicked, as did the sound effects, but the voice acting was average.

Other things that irked me was no apparent way to undo Skill Point placements prior to exiting the menu, and no option to confirm your selection. I also really hated it when you died and had to wait for that Valkyre to come down, grab you, fly you away, and then respawn you. Granted, it looked amazing at first, but why the heck can't I skip it? So much pacing is lost!

Had the developers allowed for some controller customization, I might have been able to arrange a set up that I enjoyed, however like most console developers, such basic concepts that have existed in PC games since the early '90's seems beyond them.

Anyway, Too Human is far too imperfect for my refined tastes.

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