Human Element – What we know so far (Part 2)

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What we know about Human Element

In Part 1 I introduced some of the basic infos that we already know about Human Element. This part of the series will go deeper into how gameplay will be like and why this ‘game’ will questions your morals unlike most other games.

How will the OUYA fit in all of this?

Before getting to the new infos, let’s remember that Robotoki makes us wait for Human Element until Q4/2015. Unbelievable, right?

Since 2015 is a looooooong time to wait for this cool game, Robert Bowling (CEO of Robotoki) has made an exclusivity agreement with the guys over at our most favorite gaming console – OUYA.

Robotoki will be releasing episodes of Human Element that will take place some time before the ‘big’ Human Element’s story.

For instance one of these OUYA exclusive episodes will take place one day after the outbreak and might focus on you having to build a shelter and fortify your new castle. The next episode could take place a couple of months or even years after the outbreak and you will play with the same character in a different environment that might concentrate on fighting other survivors.

I think this is very intriguing and will give us a very good impression of what the final product will be like after its completion.

What will the gameplay be like?

This obviously differs from device to device and only very few infos have leaked so far. No videos or even screenshots have been released and all the info came from Robert Bowling directly in several interviews.

In one of these interviews Mr. Bowling stated that the entire world will be one big sandbox. So if your unfriendly neighbor down the street takes some supplies and hordes them for himself you won’t find supplies at the same spot he found it. You’d either have to barter or trade with him or just take it by force (brute force is always my favorite option).

Then again you might need his help in the future if your character is dumb as a potato and he used to be a rocket scientist. He could show you how to better use your brute force to build better fortifications. Every action will have a reaction and you should carefully weight your decisions before playing a crazy maverick.

That’s also one of the biggest strengths of Human Element. It’s not your regular “slay everyone” type of zombie game. You have to be smart about your decisions. Let’s just look at the difficulty levels.

You won’t have the standard choice between Easy, Normal and Hard gameplay. Your options will be more like “Loner”, “Duo” or “Single parent with child”. While it will be significantly easier to play as a loner to just find resources for yourself, it will be a little bit harder to find resources for two adults. The hardest part will be surviving with a helpless kid and finding resources for two.

Sure, it might be easy to be a gunslinger and confront everyone you see when you’ve got nobody to take care off. When you’re traveling with a kid you might want to avoid confrontation as those situations can get really messy when your kid is captured or murdered.

Teamwork will be integral in Human Element

As I mentioned in the first article you can combine forces with other players to have strength in numbers.

Robotoki has said that you will be able to create alliances between players of different devices. AS I’m writing this, the alliances will consist of only up to 5 people that can benefit from each other. (This could change, however)

If you find more than 5 people, alliances can combine to communities of like-minded people that can give you and your fortifications additional stat benefits.

Yet, the idea of teamwork goes even further than just better stats. All resources and items are finite and trade between one another is highly encouraged.

This finite supply of goods will surely bring the dark side out of us humans.

What if there’s this one guy in your area who’s hoarding a resource like medicine that everyone needs to survive. This guy suddenly becomes the most powerful person around and can build his own cartel. Will it be like in almost every apocalyptic scenario in which there’s this one crazy boss who rules everyone? Will we ‘normal folks’ finally revolt and kill him and his minions?

I say the time has come to revolt! Down with the 1% and their endless supplies of medicine!

The moral aspect of Human Element

That is also the part where the moral aspect of Human Element comes into play. Will you do everything to survive or will you still have your morals left?

I admit that I usually play this 100% white Jedi-type character but maybe being this Evil Overlord could be quite tempting for a change. 😉

Kill everyone who doesn’t abide by my laws actually sounds quite … um… I better won’t continue here. Maybe the FBI is watching. 😛

Why is Human Element the way it is?

Ok the first part about multi-platform gaming and device should be pretty clear by now but Robert Bowling also explained why his personal experiences in private life have had an impact on how you and I will play HE.

Robert apparently is just like most of us folks – or at least most of us apocalypse loving nerds. In his early twenties he was talking to his friends about what he would do if the zombie apocalypse finally hit. He explained that he wanted to run around and fight zombies and other scavengers for the last remaining resources. (HELL YEAH)

However, his outlook on the apocalypse slightly changed when his daughter was born.

” Once I had a family, I thought back to my plan and none of it was relevant anymore. I realized that all the decisions I was prepared to make in my 21 year old zombie apocalypse scenario no longer applied to me… I’d be avoiding confrontations. I’d want to rebuild some semblance of society. I’d want to be focused on fortification. I’d want to be moving only at night so we didn’t have to come across people. My strategy had changed. When I realized how drastically my plan and my outlook on survival and what survival actually means changed based on my individual scenario, that’s when I started getting excited about all the different possibilities you could go with that sort of premise.”

On an interesting side note, Robert originally intended to write a book called: “The Parents’ Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse”. He also shared an interesting little advice that basically blew my entire survival plan out of the window….

“When a tragic event strikes, get out of the city as fast as you can. Resist your first instinct to go to a weapons store to get a gun, since probably somebody has had that idea before and is now waiting for unsuspecting victims.”

So much for my water-proof plan! I guess my Swiss Army Knife will have to do for now.


All in all Human Element promises to be one of the greatest games that has ever been played by the human population.

The multi-platform features are nothing short of spectacular if they really work the way as promised.

I’ve been burned so many times by games it is really hard to trust someone again but I feel like Robotoki could be the company that finally deserves my trust.

The features and possibilities are so daring that no major studio or publisher would take the risk, which is why I think this game can actually be really great. Without the pressure from outside forces Robotoki has the opportunity to maintain the rough edges that make Human Element extremely appealing.

I never consider playing the bad guys just because being bad is cool. However, I imagine Human Element will show you your dark side and how easily your morals can be bought for that little extra cash.

Let’s hope you’re as enthusiastic about this promising game from this very young game development studio and let’s hope Robotoki will never turn into one of those big corporations that would sell your soul for a little extra cash.

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