Too Human

Too Human Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

As the Cybernetic God Baldur, players are thrust into the midst of an ongoing battle that threatens the existence of mankind.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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The first in the Too Human trilogy is here
The first in the Too Human trilogy is here

The first in the Too Human trilogy is here

What to say about Too Human, the first in a planned Xbox 360 exclusive dungeon crawler trilogy? We've finished the single-player campaign, tested all five of the game's classes, dabbled in two-player online co-op and levelled our main 'Champion' class Baldur, the game's cybernetically enhanced protagonist God, past level 30, and we're still not sure what we think about it.

Our conundrum is this: Too Human is rubbish and mysteriously addictive all at the same time. It's not as bad as you might have heard, but nowhere near as good as it should have been. It's a game that had us tearing our hair out in frustration, had us laughing at its technical failings and bemused by its ridiculous plot, and yet we played it obsessively for five days solid, and, during that time, actually enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

Silicon Knights' head honcho, Denis Dyack, doesn't believe a game's development, however arduous, should factor into its review, so we won't mention the fact that Too Human has been in the works for nearly 10 years, has suffered a game engine re-write and generated a ton of negative hype on hardcore forums. Hold on...

Too Human opens with a quote from post-modernist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he doesn't become one himself." Puzzled? Don't be. Set in a Norse mythology-inspired cyber-punk world, the game asks the question: would you sacrifice your humanity in order to save humanity? The problem is Too Human doesn't bother to answer its own question properly.

You play Baldur, the son of Odin and the youngest of the Aesir, a race of cybernetically enhanced humans worshipped as if gods and charged with defending the human race from an army of machines. The story begins with Baldur's rescue from Helheim, a smoke-filled necropolis where the dishonourable dead are sent to rot. We then skip forward nine months to the attack on a bar by a monstrous troll-like machine. A rejuvenated Baldur fends the beast off, dismembering its arm in the process, but not before he witnesses it drink the blood of one of its victims. Back at the Aesir palace, Baldur pleads with Heimdall, the 'watchman' of the Aesir, to allow him to investigate. Heimdall's problem is that the forces of Helheim have declared war on Aesir, breaking a long-standing pact with Midgar, the walled enclave where the last million or so humans reside. But Baldur, being the righteous so and so that he is, convinces his boss to see things his way, and so heads off into the frozen wastes with a few dozen human marines to take it to the machines. Confused? Don't worry, we were too. Too Human's plot, told entirely through around an hour and a half of high quality cut scenes and in-game narration, is bemusing, ill conceived and poorly told.

No matter what class you pick, you'll be playing as cybernetically-enhanced god Baldur.

No matter what class you pick, you'll be playing as cybernetically-enhanced god Baldur.

In reality though Too Human's story takes a back seat to the combat-heavy dungeon crawling. You'll get your first taste of this during the first level, Hall of Heroes, an icy tomb filled with giant stone statues of Norse gods. The game has been compared to Blizzard's massively popular PC game Diablo, and we can see why. You move from room to room clearing out endless streams of mechanised goblins, dark elves and trolls (imagine the troll from the first The Lord of the Rings movie except in robot form) until you reach the end of the level and battle a boss. Too Human follows this dungeon crawler format pretty religiously throughout its four levels, incorporating RPG tech tree based skill spending to keep you occupied as you go.

Your main motivation though is the collection of loot. In fact, for us, that was the only motivation. But that's a strong one for the right kind of gamer. If you've ever spent hours raiding dungeons in World of Warcraft praying for epic drops, you'll know what we mean. Too Human does a great job of getting into your head and forcing you to keep playing in the hope that you'll stumble upon an even better double-handed sword than the one you've currently got equipped, or an even better helmet than the one sitting on your head, or an even better pair of boots than the ones warming your feet. Whenever you land a purple coloured item an epic sounding monk choir 'mmwwhaaaaah' noise blasts from your speakers. Land an orange item and it sounds like Odin himself gets in on the act. Land a red item, the rarest in the game (expect to repeatedly crawl the game's dungeons for at least 20 hours before you see one) and all hell breaks loose. It's probably the coolest thing the game has to offer.

It's a strange thing to get addicted to, especially when you consider that you'll only be able to show your gear off to one player at any one time in the online co-op, not hundreds of jealous virtual avatars in front of the bank in Ironforge. And yet Too Human's addictiveness is unavoidable - a bit like Cherry Coke.

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omg's Avatar
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a truly terrible game, this worthless buggy piece of sh*t was a total waste of time, it was a huge letdown in every way, and failed to entertain me at all
Posted 19:06 on 06 January 2009
Alex's Avatar
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I've read a lot of video game reviews, most of which are garbage, but this review sums Too Human up perfectly.

The game should be garbage, as there is no plot, no cool gameplay, no nothing other than loot. But I can't seem to stop playing it.... at least until I get my epic set. haha. And there is something oddly therapeutic about wading into six million goblins and coming out on the other side unscathed.

Great review. And Too Human is a renter, not a buyer people!
Posted 06:56 on 28 September 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Ransom

This game rocks, has a very deep double skilltree system, loads of stat tweaking via runes and charms, massive loot tables and I've spent over 120 hours dungeon crawling in it. Great care has been taken with the visuals to give you a sense of foreboding (Hall of Heroes), coldness (Ice Forest), immersion (World Serpent) evil (Helheim) and humanity (Aesir). Add to an RPG the novelty of an action-game fighting system which adds both variety and tactics and you've got something that hasn't been seen before on the 360.

This game is fantastic and I'm looking forward to future DLC and the two followups, haven't had so much fun in ages. That's just with one character class, there are four others and each class can be further tweaked to specialise in certain weapon types and fighting styles.

Biggest complaint I see about the game is getting to grips with the controls and having to view multiple death cutscenes because of it. Once you get to grips with the controls you should only be seeing that cutscene once every 3 hours or so, and that's only if you get careless.

More info at and
Posted 02:01 on 14 September 2008
Ransom's Avatar
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This game sucks beyond all measure, as an rpg, a dungeon crawler and anythig else you want it label it as. The visuals remind me of something early playstation 2, defnitiley not 360 worthy. The controls are stupid! The slide feature is a good idea but is poorly executed, the animation the goes along with it is pathetic.
This game sucks i hated the first one and hope they never make the sequels, playing this game made me want to kill myself. I'd be glad to elaborate more on it shortcomings if ayone needs further details.
Posted 23:28 on 13 September 2008
Ben's Avatar
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A game so promising fails to deliver. Tho tbh I see this all the time.
Posted 18:34 on 01 September 2008
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im sick of people saying this game has been in development for 10 years... all that shows is how little about the industry you know and therefor how little weight your opinion holds.... no game is in development for 10 years. The idea was around for 10 years... many games concept began many years before it's actual development. This game had a 3-4 year development time... and it was only that long because they got screwed by epic and their denying SK, among other unnamed developers, the needed patches for the unreal engine that they bought from them to work properly. This ultimately delayed the development for probably a year. The fact is Too Human is the first good game of it's kind... in that it's the first deep RPG and deep Action game play that utilizes an engine that calculates real time collisions instead of purely distance based math (eg. diablo) . The only game that comes to mind that is similar is PSO (phantasy star online). If you compare the two, Too Human is WAY better. Yes it has it's issues but so does every game... GTA4 has just as many problems, but it got a perfect rating from just about everyone. It's because the game play (you know the most important part of a game) was good. Just because you suck at Too Human because it's not another click and watch RPG doesn't mean the game play isn't good, its just complex on both ends of the spectrum... name any other game that does that... and if you can, think about the strides made from that game to this... its larger than any other genre at this time.
Posted 04:34 on 27 August 2008
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FantasyMeister@ cancan

At the bottom right of the inventory screen is your Salvage option, if you've set it to All then everything you pick up will be converted into Bounty instead of going into your inventory. If you set it to None instead you should see a difference.
Posted 07:06 on 26 August 2008
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Ok I have a question
I've been playing for about 9 hours and am a level 22 but I have yet to pick up any items
Not 1
Everything I have I bought
Why can't I pick any up???
Posted 05:54 on 26 August 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ wyp100

Originally Posted by wyp100
Hope this helps! We're in Leipzig atm so I might not be able to answer any questions for a day, but I'll endeavour to do so if there are any more.

Brilliant! Thanks for taking time out from all that beer guzzling and thigh slapping to answer every single one of them!

Seriously, much appreciated, try and get some R&R :)
Posted 22:53 on 19 August 2008
wyp100's Avatar


Right, here goes :)

How carefully hidden are the secret areas?
Very - I found it incredibly difficult to find the game's secret areas. They're well hidden. Some are obvious, especially in the first two levels, but it gets more difficult to hunt them down after that!

How challenging did you find the timed arenas?
It varied. From memory, one, where you have to clear a wave of enemies, then climb a lift, then repeat till you reach a loot fountain, took about 10 minutes. But there are much longer ones. The trick is to keep the health packs till you need them because if you die you're booted out of the timed arena and you've fluffed your chance for that particular run.

Did you meet any elite trolls?
Some are tougher than others but I haven't come across any elite ones. All the trolls, once you take down their main torso armour either with ballistics or melee, can be killed with one hit by pressing A from behind, using the thumb stick to keep your balance as it tries to shake you off then pulling down on the right stick.

How do the enemy formations differ when you go to replay a previous zone 20 levels later?
I didn't notice much difference at all. It's pretty much rush by goblins with rocket goblins and shield goblins at the back, which you need to deal with first. I might notice more though as I go on.

How does the Token system work?
Basically, each level is divided into sections, which grant tokens if you complete them (you can pick which section you want to try from the main hub). If you do a full run you'll collect all the tokens, which make the likelihood that you'll get a red drop from the final boss much higher than it would be otherwise. I know this because Denis Dyack told me himself :)

Did you get any nice weapon procs?
All I got were crits which I noticed because I had the weapon damage counter displayed (at the middle right of the screen, right on the d-pad I think).

How decent is the level 30 epic set?
I've only got two pieces so far so I can't say how decent the whole set is, but what I have is pretty cool. I have the helmet and the shoulders, and I look like an executioner.

How long do you think it'll take to hit level 50?
I'd say about 25 hours will do it, perhaps a tad more. It depends how you play.

What facilities are in the Aesir hub?
It looks nice but it's pretty pointless. There's a weapon store and an armour store - the rest of it is pretty useless. All I used it for were to repair damaged items (items don't break in Too Human). In the single player story mode you'll need to visit other areas to trigger cut scenes. There's also access to Cyberspace from there for when you have all of the Cyberspace powers and want to hunt down rare items. You'll access DLC weapons and armour from the hub.

Did you get a singularity proc or any other special weapons-based moves?
Not really - I was specced so that my Ruiner was weapon based, so it changed depending on what weapon I was using. A bit boring really.

How drastically does the addition of a cannon affect the Commando's gameplay?
A lot. The cannon does wicked damage and is great for taking out the pawns as waves rush you. It's also great for removing armour from trolls without having to get up close and personal.

Hope this helps! We're in Leipzig atm so I might not be able to answer any questions for a day, but I'll endeavour to do so if there are any more.
Posted 22:40 on 19 August 2008
Insightful's Avatar
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The game could be called: Too Sonic or Too Tails
Posted 20:07 on 19 August 2008
Kaluga's Avatar
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The real question has to be, can you play as all of Sonic the Hedgehogs freinds or possibly eggman?
Posted 19:51 on 19 August 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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So a complete let down like hellgate london
Posted 15:52 on 19 August 2008
Kargion's Avatar
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Personally i think it is technically great. The control setup is very different but works very well with this game. Your review was very good too and you score reflects how you feel almost to the tee. I personally feel this game is around an 8-8.5 for me. I love the controls and i love the constant loot. If you don't like a game like that there is no way you would enjoy this game lol
Posted 15:20 on 19 August 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ wyp100

Wes, I've got millions of questions lol. But you don't have to answer them, I can just find out for myself in 10 days when Amazon ship. But just for reference, here are a few off the top of my head, thanks in advance if you get around to any of them but honestly, no need.

How carefully hidden are the secret areas? How challenging did you find the timed arenas? Did you meet any elite trolls? How do the enemy formations differ when you go to replay a previous zone 20 levels later? How does the Token system work? Did you get any nice weapon procs? How decent is the level 30 epic set? How long do you think it'll take to hit level 50? What facilities are in the Aesir hub? Did you get a singularity proc or any other special weapons-based moves? How drastically does the addition of a cannon affect the Commando's gameplay?

Posted 14:44 on 19 August 2008

Game Stats

Too Human
Out of 10
Too Human
  • Unique combat
  • Cool art style
  • Disappointing story
  • Technically poor
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 29/08/2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Silicon Knights
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,309 4
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