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Microsoft Game Studios  
Too Human
From: Microsoft Game Studios
For: Xbox 360
Genre: Action, RPG
ESRB Rating: Teen (13+)
Too Human
Ten years coming, plagued with delays, a terabyte of hate and hype on interweb message boards, one very public lawsuit and two opposing executive windbags postulating on the wherefore of it all, Too Human for Xbox 360 is finally here. If only they'd waited a bit more.
Posted August 22, 2008
An elaborate blend of Norse mythology and dues ex machina speculative science / plot contrivance -- think The Terminator meets Eric the Viking without the funny -- Too Human suffers from it's own premise: It's commendably but unattainably ambitious.

Out of the gate, it certainly looks the part of a new generation of new-generation console games: great gobs of glorious graphical goodness. A clever, dual thumstick control scheme, meanwhile, seems at once simple to use yet elaborate in its effectiveness.

But that's all for naught as the game itself doesn't manage to rise above typical action/RPG (role-playing game) hybrid gameplay made famous -- and done better -- by the likes of Diablo or Dungeon Siege.

It's all pick-your-class (healer, thug, sniper, etc.), collect-your-baubles, level-up-your-character, buff-up-your-weapons, power-up-your-powerfulness, hope against hope that some health will appear... On and on it goes, interspersed with way too many visits to maps and inventory that demand a photographic memory and a PhD in encryted spreadsheet management, oft pockmarked by a beautiful respawn cinematic involving a lovely-looking Valkyrie who takes her sweet time resurrecting you, like 20 seconds, and can't be skipped. Every. Single. Time. You. Die.

Following the action, the camera work ranges from questionable to hopeless -- occasionally surprising you by being serviceable -- while the dialogue and overall narrative come off as the rough draft that never made it to the script-polishing phase of game development.

Still, Too Human is, at least, really fun and a wonder to behold when there is actual action to be had. A seemingly merciless number of foes dispatched with lethal elegance thanks to the handy point-and-slay thumbstick mechanic invoking inhuman feats of hack, slash, shoot, scoot and sizzle brutality, all swathed in truly awe-inspiring graphics of grandeur.

Too bad there's all that aimless RPG wandering, head-scratching plot points, micro-managerial guesswork on Excel-charts-from-hell, oblivious cinematography, languid resurrections... too bad Too Human's developers were only human.

    Too Human TIP: Too Human is too cheeky: There's an Achievement for dying 100 times. Do the math and that's some 33.33 minutes of simply watching that Valkyrie come swooping down and eventually resurrecting you.

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Bang for your buck:
Excellent Rental 
Ok New Purchase 
Good Pre-played 
Great Bargain-bin Buy 

Score:  3.5  (out of 5)