Too Human

Ten years ago, I apologized to Deus Ex. It took me a decade to finish Deus Ex, and I regret taking that long to do so. Last night, I finished Too Human, which took me longer than a decade to finish. There will be no apology to Too Human.

Too Human asks what if Norse mythology but cyborgs? Too Human also asks what if Diablo but made for a controller? The problem is that neither of these are particularly inventive, and they’re badly executed.

I won’t pretend to have a comprehensive list of grievances, because I spent less than 2 hours playing it since the last time I fired it up many years ago. Instead, here’s what I hated about those two hours in bullet form.

  • Every visual in this game wobbles and jitters all over the place, and not in a way that looks deliberate or stylish
  • Combat and abilities are confusing and unintuitive
  • Every level is a series of giant, mostly featureless rooms that sometimes spawn enemies
  • Baldur moves way too slowly through these giant, mostly featureless rooms with no run button
  • Camera controls suck way too much for a Xbox 360 game
  • Inventory management is a hell of identical sounding items, making the only informed decision “is The Number going up?”
  • Every death is followed by an unskippable cutscene as the valkyrie comes to retrieve your corpse – it takes 30 seconds
  • You will die a lot because of the painful combat and lack of healing items
  • The game ends on a cliffhanger for sequels that are obviously never coming

I don’t hate Too Human. This is a game that could be salvaged with a sequel. But that sequel is never coming, so we’re left with what Silicon Knights and Microsoft shoved out the door. It’s free on Xbox marketplace, and that’s a good price. Play it for free. Stop when you get frustrated. Maybe pick it back up in a decade and finish it. You can skip that last suggestion, though, and be no worse for it.

Tattletail

Tattletail is a jump-scare horror game, with a shocking amount of charm. It’s a fairly simple and short Unity game, and it’s not without some bugs, but I enjoyed it.

The plot is the story of a kid who wants to open their presents before Christmas. They find a Tattletail, which is a Furby. But Tattletail needs to be fed, groomed, battery charged, and hates the dark. If any of Tattletail’s needs are not met, Tattletail makes noise, which attracts Mama. Mama eats you.

What results is a fun game of hide-and-seek, while also trying to avoid Mama and keep Tattletail happy. It’s not very long, but it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Mama is a bit frustrating to deal with until you figure out the quirks.

I also ran into a showstopping bug when the game refused to recognize my inputs outside of the opening menus. It turns out that it just didn’t like the Steam overlay. Once I disabled that, it worked just fine.

Tattletail’s a fun little Christmas game.