Session with Dennis Dyack and Too Human
We were first exposed to Too Human two years ago at E3, where an early build was available to play. Technical issues aside, we were impressed at the potential of the combat system, using the analog sticks to do all the slicing and dicing. The epic story and unique perspective in the universe of Norse mythology left us with a great outlook for this title.
Fast-forward two years. Too Human has since undergone graphical enhancements, camera improvements, and tremendous refinement in its gameplay and role-playing game aspects. Oh how you’ve grown, Too Human! Director Dennis Dyack let us get some valuable hands on time with the two-player co-op mode of Too Human, and answered some pressing questions we had.
It is being compared to the always cherished PC game, Diablo, in its addictive gameplay, and Dyack explained to us that Too Human manages to bring the mouse and keyboard style of play to the 360 platform with the intuitive use of the dual analog sticks. The left stick controls Baldur, the main protagonist, and the right stick controls the direction of melee attack. Right and left triggers activate the guns, but in a game where Baldur moves so swiftly and with tons of moves available, we bet we will be finding a lot more melee players than gunners (though specializing in guns is a route one can take their character).
The combat is frantic, yet approachable, and in many ways, strategic and deep, especially when playing co-op. Air juggling is an important skill to master, and using different weapons properly will ensure that this game avoid being called a button masher. As for looting drops, Too Human takes a modern approach, and allows two players to set looting rules, ensuring the fair distribution of rare and unique drops.
One question we had was whether everyone playing this game would simply end up with the same looking character with the same gear and skills. Critical to the game are the customizations that are available in armor permutations, weapons, and character skill specializations. There are literally hundreds of thousands of weapon combinations that can be customized. In addition, all the classes have undergone tremendous amounts of balancing – so a player specializing in combat with a hammer is just as effective as a player specializing in dual wielding. In other words, there won’t be any single “perfect” combination of weapons/skills/armor.
Another question we raised had to do with the entire mythos of Too Human. Specifically, how does the use of Spiritual Runers (they look like animal spirits that attack enemies) in the game fit into the mythos of technology as the basis of the entire belief system in the game? Dyack insisted that in Norse mythology, each god has an animal representation, but that the Runers are not necessarily “spiritual” entities – so the combat element of Spiritual Runers is absolutely consistent with the story’s premise.
We really miss Diablo, and having played some co-op in Too Human, we think this long-awaited title is going to fit perfectly in that void in our hearts.