E3 2008: Too Human Impressions
07.17.08 - 1:50 PM

Aside from Fable 2, Microsoft was also showing off Too Human on the show floor. Developed by Silicon Knights, Too Human has seen a long and bumpy development cycle, but will finally be seeing release next month on the Xbox 360.

Unlike most of the other demos at the show, we just had free reign in a section of the game with no Microsoft employees showing us through the game. One of the first things that becomes obvious about Too Human is the fact that the control scheme is anything but standard. Players will move with the left analog stick, but melee attacks are executed with the right analog stick. By holding and sliding the right analog stick in different directions, the main character attacks in different directions smoothly. If the analog stick is tapped in different directions, enemies are juggled in the air with somewhat slower attacks.

The short demo I explored had us fighting a great deal of small enemies followed by a short miniboss fight. While I started out as incompetent, dying multiple times - which appeared to have minimal negative effects aside from the loss of some experience - combat became more intuitive as the control scheme became more familiar. After dispatching scores of enemies with our melee weapon, I discovered that I had access to a gun, and took down some enemies at range before a miniboss slammed through a wall to fight me. This particular miniboss's health started to drop easily, the combat none too difficult, until I realized his health wouldn't drop past 1/3 of its total. After beating on him mercilessly for a couple of minutes with no results, I discovered I had a jump button and was able to clamber onto the robot's head and take him down with a massive attack to the skull - or whatever equivalent it is that robots have.

While it controls very much like an action game, Too Human is deeply rooted in the RPG world. Enemies drop loot of different values and types, and players of games like World of Warcraft and Hellgate: London will recognize the game's colored rarity system and assignment of random statistics of items. As well, the game's level-up system is most similar to that of Diablo II, with points being assigned down a branching skill tree. Unlike Blizzard's classic hack-and-slash, players will be able to re-tool their skill trees in Too Human.

While I didn't have a chance to play much more of Too Human, it looks like it will be a worthwhile purchase when it launches next month for Xbox 360.


John McCarroll