Apparently there’s a bit of controversy surrounding the release of Silicon Knights’ Too Human this week. I haven’t really been up to speed with all of that, but I do wonder about the reviews thus far (Metacritic score 69) having a negative overall tone. Because the around ten hours that I’ve put in have been a good investment.
If you’re going in looking for a science fiction take on Diablo, wading through mobs of monsters and outfitting yourself with ever better kit, looking for killer combinations, this is the game for you. It looks good, it plays good, the biggest problem is lack of variety. There just aren’t enough enemy types or environments, although they’ve put the enemy types to good use, requiring thought.
If you’ve listened to Silicon Knights’ promises of a great story, well, you’ll come away disappointed. There is quite a bit of proper story content, but the delivery isn’t that great and it feels like there are huge chunks missing. What is there, however, is really very good for an action-RPG. The world is a future version of Earth, with mysterious Gods, fashioned after Norse myths, protecting what’s left of humanity, living their lives in a cybernetic illusion to shield themselves from the apocalyptic reality. It’s something new. They reveal things slowly and I find I’m interested in seeing what’s coming next.
Decking out and leveling up your character is really the meat of the gameplay and it’s sufficiently deep. Customizing your equipment, you can find combinations that instantly turn you from a weakling to Death incarnate. It’s rather rewarding.
The gameplay itself is ambitious. It takes its cues as much from Diablo as Devil May Cry, forming a new sort of experience. Your warrior shoots and fights in realtime, launching enemies into the air and sliding from foe to foe in a pinball fashion. It looks rather cool and feels great once you get the hang of it. The gunplay can be a bit on the boring of the safe side, but I don’t know what could be done about that. Close combat requires strategic, tactical and reflexive thought, because different foes demand different approaches. Often you’re being bombarded by missile fire and need to divide your time between shooting down incoming rockets, dodging them and dispatching of a hundred guys in melee, all at once, with some of the enemies exploding or freezing you if you’re not on top of your game. It can be very, very satisfying when you’re in the midst of it.