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Sharpless avatar 4:18 PM on 07.14.2008  (server time)
Demo Impressions: Too Human

As someone who has been rolling his eyes every time Dennis Dyack opens his mouth, I felt like I needed to give the Too Human demo a try, and subsequently ramble about it in a c-blog. If there's one thing that turns me off, it's genuine, serious pretentiousness, which the Too Human team seems to have in droves. Does Too Human appear to be everything that they've talked it up to being? If it is, does that excuse the pretension? Hit the jump to find- Oh. Uh, nevermind. Just keep scrolling down. Random thoughts. Go.

My first impression: "Man, this doesn't look that great, for ten years of development." The cutscenes tended to chug a bit. Not very smooth. Also, is this a cutscene demo? I felt like there were too many cutscenes, which should have been replaced with more varied gameplay. And the story that those cutscenes relayed... Did it seem slightly incomprehensible to anyone else? I mean, I get that I'm apparently the Norse god Baldur, and there's some carnivorous machines out there, but I didn't feel like I had much in the way of context. Or maybe it's just me. I could easily be mistaken. And perhaps the full game is... fuller.

(Can someone explain to me what the nature-based areas are about, and those women with the purple clothes? I didn't really understand their purpose in the game's world. I probably just missed some of the explanatory dialog. Also, that one snarky Purple Chick was kind of hot... Do I see nipple? 0_o)

Aspects of the graphics and the frequent cutscenes were really my two biggest gripes. But do I have anything good to say? Yeah. The gameplay is pretty nice, if not a bit repetitive. The right-thumbstick-based melee system is surprisingly manageable, as is the gunplay. In fact, I had little trouble picking up most of the combat mechanics, and this is impressive since, as we all know, I'm a retard. I had a lot of fun hacking and shooting through the Too Easy goblins (except for the damned shielded ones). I also really appreciate the whole "Nordic cyberpunk" motif.

Okay, now back to the bad stuff.

It was Nick, I believe, that mentioned the confusing menu system. I kind of agree. It took me a few trips through the menu before I figured everything(?) out. It's a bit clumsy in places, and I would've hoped that they'd have streamline it a bit more, given the development time. It's not game-breaking, just sloppy. In fact, that perfectly describes the entirety of the demo: Playable, not terrible, but kind of sloppy and forgettable.

Now, let's talk about death. When you, or any of your squad mates die, a fairly cool-looking Valkyrie descends from above to take you/them to Valhalla. This is kind of cool, until you have to sit through it every single time you die. It's not a long wait, but one thing I like about games like Halo is the quickness of your respawn. You don't have to sit through a cutscene or a load screen before retrying. The game seems to try very hard to be epic and impressive, and this is a fine example of how it manages to fall on its pretentious face. I did, however, kind of enjoy the fact that, when you respawn, all your prior progress is left intact, including the status of your enemies. I.E. you respawn with full health, but they're still hurting from the damage you previously inflicted. It helps to keep down the repetition and boredom, of which there is much.

The only potentially game-breaking aspect of Too Human (or maybe just its demo?) is how generic and lackluster the whole thing seems. I wasn't particularly impressed with any aspect of the game. I think it was Mxyzptlk who said that it seems like a generic sci-fi action movie mixed with some Norse mythology. In fact, if I didn't know this game's history, I would assume it was just some no-name bargain title. Some of the character models look shoddy (particularly the females, save for a couple of the Purple Chicks), and the dialogue and voice acting tend to be extremely forgettable.

That said, I would have to give the demo a 7.0. I would probably buy this used or cheap, then sell or trade it after a playthrough or two. Maybe the full game is a bit better than the demo. I'll reserve final judgment, but I'm not holding my breath.

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