Following an extended period of silence, new details have finally surfaced regarding the upcoming, open-world survival title Human Element. Being developed at former Infinity Ward lead Robert Bowling’s independent studio Robotoki, the question of which engine would actually be able to power the ambitious project was on many people’s minds. In answer to this, Crytek has officially announced their involvement in the project with a licensing deal for the powerful CryEngine.
Despite the current saturation of the gaming market with open-world survival titles that feature zombies, thanks in part to the immensely successful DayZ, it looks as though Human Element could be the game that manages to push the genre to the next level. Focussing on the state of humanity 35 years after a zombie apocalypse, the game will see players attempting to rebuild some semblance of society rather than turning to ruthless barbarism. This is where the need for a powerful engine comes in.
Robert Bowling plans for the game’s world to change and evolve depending on how players play and make choices. Ever since its initial announcement, the project’s high hopes and scale have been a point of questioning, so it’s understandable to be sceptical of that premise — even with an engine as powerful as the CryEngine backing Bowling’s project. According to Crytek though, “their talent is obvious from the amazing work we’ve seen them producing with CRYENGINE already.”
If positive progress towards the project’s goals is being made, this could be a good sign for Human Element. Included in the announcement of CryEngine’s licensing deal with Robotoki, Bowling was equally positive towards the engine, speaking about some of the more technical aspects that his team will be making use of.
“The ambitious narrative and gameplay of Human Element required an innovative set of features in order to achieve our vision.”
“CRYENGINE is the perfect fit for us because it delivers so many powerful features straight out of the box such as the physical based shading system and the infinite terrain from segmented worlds to create a massive open world experience but still allow the visual fidelity and detail our players expect from a first person experience from our team.”
While it’s no surprise that the developers would be endorsing the engine that they have chosen to use on their latest project, any news is good news when it has been almost two years since the last piece of significant information regarding its progress. With their intentions to support Ouya with a prequel to Human Element, it would not be surprising to begin hearing more about this project in the near future — especially with E3 2014 quickly approaching.
Do you think Human Element will represent enough of a shift to stand out from the countless other undead, open-world survival titles on the market? Is it possible that Bowling and Robotoki are reaching a little too high with the project’s aspirations?
Human Element is slated to launch in late 2015 for PC and next-gen consoles.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.