GDC: Too Human • Page 3

Vikings in space.

We're introduced to the Nairns. Not to be confused with G'Kar's lot, they're "artificial intelligences". They appear as women dressed in hooded purple cloaks, and offer mystical advice. One of them gives Baldur an item that will allow him to enter Cyberspace whenever he feels like it.

Now Dyack's showing off the equipment inventory. The items have names like "Sacred tactical visor of opportunity". and "Wilful convex shoulderpads of growling". You pick up items automatically when enemies drop them as you fight - there are no buttons to push as Dyack is "a big believer in accessibility". You can also use "cybernetic runes" to enhance various weapons and pieces of equipment. There are thousands of them, apparently. As in World of Warcraft, you can collect Epic sets of loot for more combinations.

End game

Dyack rounds off the demo with a bit more fighting - giant robot spiders and goblins - and a couple of cut-scenes. Then it's time for the Q&A and the first question, unsurprisingly, is about when the game will be released. "Soon," says Dyack, "Sorry. It's coming along really well. We're bouncing and tweaking and we're going to be announcing a date as soon as possible." He confirms there will be a demo released on Xbox Live Marketplace. "The timing will be linked to the release of the game."

Afterwards, we get the chance to sit down with Dyack for a one-on-one. He won't talk about the multiplayer modes in Too Human, confirming only that, "You can play co-operatively through the whole game with your friends."


If it was 1994, we'd write 'It's Hammertime!' underneath this picture, and people would think it was fresh and relevant.

Better go for a more general question, then. It's clear fusion is a common theme running through Too Human - it's present in the gameplay, the visuals and the storyline. But isn't juxtaposing elements so boldly a risky business? "I think it's horribly risky, because you often create things people don't know how to describe," he says. "We had some earlier troubles with that with Too Human; people thought it was either a God of War or a Devil May Cry clone.

"Clearly, hopefully after today, it's not. It's a hunter-and-gathering game with deep role-playing elements, but it's also got a lot of action elements and it's all those things woven into one."

Of course, Too Human isn't the first game to combine action gameplay with role-playing. However, Dyack is confident his studio has produced something new and innovative here. "I don't think there have been action-RPGs like this before. I can't think of any that do the same kind of seamless integration we do," he says.

"Take something like Oblivion - you can do spells in real-time and stuff, but it's straightforward calculated statistics. With us, it's third-person, over the shoulder, kinetic, air combat, combinations, juggling - all those things combined with the RPG elements. I haven't seen that before... You can call me out as being wrong, time will tell. It's up to gamers to be the final judge."

With nine years of toil, time and money invested, Dyack must be hoping the jury comes down on his side. At this stage, it's clear he's right in that Too Human isn't just a God of War or Devil May Cry clone. And though it takes elements from World of Warcraft and Diablo, it's no clone of those games either. There are clearly unique, innovative ideas here. Whether they work well together? As Dyack says, time will tell.

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