I got to spend about 4-5 hours with the game yesteday, so I feel like I got a pretty good grasp on what the Too Human expereince is like (not the series, just this release). I wish I had some exciting news for the hopefuls (like me), but most of the reviews you're likely to read are going to be fairly accurate unfortunately.
In short, the game just doesn't deliver and is pretty dull. The overall story is interesting, but the mechanics and theatrics that get us through it arn't well done.
The voice acting varies from laughable to average at best (I still cannot beleive the line "Today is a good day to die" was actually delivered). The animations remind me of the times when I was 6 when me and my buddies would dress up in cardboard boxes to replicate C3PO--yea, it's about that stiff and awkward. There are times during the cutscenes where some characters will be chatting about and they just look like two mannequin proped up on sticks--anamatronic jaws moving, dialog taking place and eyes WIDE open. There was another point in the game where I was in an area thats a main hub for the game with people wlking about and one guy saw me and began to strike up a conversation. Getting bored half way through the (agonizing) conversation I ran away from him and he stood there talking at the area I was standing. No head tracking, no notice of my disappearence. Nothing. I hate to say it because it might sound like I'm slinging mud here, but I'm just being honest--overall it looks amateurish.
The models in particular are fairly unappealing and almost looks like they were ported from a PS2 game. The texture appeal is average to marginal. The frame rate tanks often in cutscenes and at times during gameplay (at one point it almost hit unplayable for me).
The death penalty consists of a 25 second in-game cutscene, accompanied by some Braveheart (movie) background music and a slight "pull back" in game location. There was a point where I was just knee deep in garbage trucks (trolls) and mopeds (goblins) just getting trashed by them, and I ended up dying somewhere around 6-8 times. By the 3rd time I started laughing because it was (attempting to be) so dramatic with the Valkyrie beaming down from the heavens, the Braveheart music playing in the background and all the monsters just standing there watching this take place--it was just so cheesy. Some times the Valkerie's model would warp through a troll as he stood there breathing heavily like he was having an asthma attack. It just didn't feel epic. There was no sorrow felt on my part. It was just...kinda funny. Probably not the emotion Silicon Knights was hoping I would feel.
But it's not all bad. I am enjoying the loot and skill systems for the most part. It's definitely the highlight of the game, but really doesn't compare to the ones in WoW, DII or Titan Quest. It's simple and effective for the most part.
The loot system does have its issues as well. There is no build up to the cool! Sure you start the game with white (average) gear, but 30 seconds in to the game you will have green items, then more green items, and then blue and you're not even level 6 yet. There is just so much of it too take in (not gear in particular, but magical items) that you never really equip anything for longer than 10 minutes (seemingly). Ag ood example is Diablo II or World of Warcraft where there is a wait period for this stuff--it builds up. There is anticipation being built up as you pick up grey (worthless) and white (average, non-magical) items seeing other characters or items in stores. Also, every item you get something that's special (blue and up) has a name like, "War Hammer of the Forgotten Gods that Sooths your Wounds on Tuesday Around 6PM with Custered". Soon your intentory will have all these crazy items with crazy names that just mean nothing!
The backgrounds are pretty well done (at least in the first 1/2 of the game) in most parts but the lack of any exploration means that you'll never really have a reason to venture off and admire some the hidden architecture unless you're really into seeking that stuff out. A good example here would be Zelda. Zelda (usually) rewards you for running around and exploring little areas for hidden chests, pots, bushes to get items. The reward might be minial in some cases, but there is something there. Too Human just feels so empty.
The game is also so linear it's practically painful, and I don't mean that it's painful BECAUSE it's linear--I mean that it almost feels like a slasher on rollerblades. Remember in Diablo II how it was essentially linear but with small random rooms, dungeons and caves thrown in? There you had a choice to take a left instead of a right and seek out that special loot or XP if you so desire. There is nothing even remotely like that here.
The skill tree can be interesting, but it lacks personality. I'm not sure how to articulate this, but the people out there that played Hellgate will probably know what I'm talking about.
I really wanted to like this game because I just love everything that this one is trying to be! The loot, the XP, the leveling up, the environments, the music and the baddies! In the end I think us gamers really just care about the gameplay experience, not about the lawsuits, Dyack's online shenanigans or the game's countless delays--and here it feels like Silicon Knights lost sight of that.
Something cool happened last night...
A buddy of mine wanted to play some coop. I was down for trying it out since I've not done so yet, and really wanted to see what the game was like in that mode. Again, to be clear--I do like the game--but I just am not in love like I had hoped I would be due to its many flaws.
Anyway, as soon as we began chatting on Live something came up on his end and he had to take off. Since I was already in the game, I decided to start up a new game as a Commando.
I fired it up and gave it a good 3 hours of play--and really enjoyed the gameplay of the Commando as oppossed to the Beserker. For me, it just felt much more natural to hold down the LT & RT to fire, moving around with the LS and aim with the RS. Infact, it immediately hit me during the first level in the Hall of Heros. The Beserker class fighting mechanic, for me, just didn't click with the RS analog nature with precision. I undertand that it's really great for some of you, so I dont mean to speak for everyone here--just myself.
Also, I found this in the Ice Fortress!