GDC: Too Human • Page 2

Vikings in space.

Then there's the Berserker, who's best at churning through enemies with melee combat. And finally the Defender is the tank; he has the best armour and can take a tremendous amount of damage. "He can't get knocked down by missiles, and when you play the game you'll appreciate that means he can really stand his ground."

Robo cops

Dyack's showing off the Champion in this demo. He leads an army of troopers into a great stone fortress. Turns out it's populated by hundreds of homicidal robots, so it's time to see the combat system in action. You can see why comparisons with Devil May Cry have been drawn before now.

The hero, Baldur, moves with lighting swiftness. He switches constantly between a giant sword which leaves a flashy blue trail in its wake and a pair of laser guns. He can jump high into the air and hover momentarily. He can zip across the floor without even lifting his feet, like some kind of Nordic Michael Jackson. From space.

Although they're off-screen for most of the action, you can still hear the other troopers making the kind of comments you'd expect to hear in a blockbuster action movie: "Today is a good day to die" et cetera. But some of the quotes have a twist in-keeping with the game's setting: "Why in Odin's name are we here?", "If we get out of this alive, I'm going to buy more mead than even you can drink." The juxtaposition is funny more than anything else, and somewhat jarring.

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Much more impressive than those Honda ones who can't even walk up stairs properly.

The robots dispatched, there's a break in the action and Dyack takes the opportunity to present the science bit. "Too Human is being rendered in true 720, we're not scaling it. We're running four-times anti-aliasing, eight lights per character. Atmospheric scattering. We can have a ton of enemies on screen - there are times when there's over 50 to 70." In this particular demo, however, there don't seem to be more than 30 max present at any one time.

Then there's the camera. "The philosophy in Too Human is, the player does not have to control it," says Dyack. "We really feel that both controlling the camera and gameplay adds a layer of complexity that makes it more difficult for gamers."

So if you walk past a pair of characters having a conversation, the camera will automatically change perspective and you'll be able to hear what's going on. We're also promised parts of the game will look like cut-scenes, but will be fully interactive. "We really feel videogames are the eighth art form, and by combining interactivity and gameplay into the cinematics we feel we're doing something special."

Green and pleasant land

Here's another cut-scene; a flashback this time, revealing more about why Baldur is fighting the robots. Then it's back to the future, where he fights some more robots. This time that includes a robot boss with a hammer on the end of one arm. Baldur leaps on its shoulders and plunges his sword into the enemy's weak spot for massive damage.

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Look out, it's a valkyrie! From space!

Now Dyack's showing off a whole new part of the game - "Cyberspace. It's an articifial construct where the player can explore and find different artefacts in the real world." There's no combat in Cyberspace, so it's likely to provide a welcome break from all the robot killing. It's rather peaceful, too, as the landscape is organic - it's all green fields and flowering trees rather than stone statues and nanotechnology.

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