Swindon Town were in the Premiership and Ayrton Senna was joining up with the Williams F1 team when work began on Too Human back in 1994. It was a five-disc epic for the forthcoming PlayStation console - but for one reason or another, development has been continuously halted over the last 13 years. And even this Xbox 360 version, which we're informed is finally nearing completion, represents only a third of the final saga. Big old game, eh? It's like Shakespeare busting out of his tomb and declaring "Right. I've had enough of all those dicky little plays. Here's the real deal!" A bit.
And while they may not quite be Shakespeare, Silicon Knights are a developmental studio of doubtless talent, so a project of this size is clearly something to prick up our ears. Which makes it all the more surprising that relatively little is known about the game.
Last year's E3 demo didn't shed much light on the subject either. As we said last issue, the demo simply wasn't ready to be served up onto the plates of the cold, heartless games press. What we saw had murmurs of promise - but it was buried under a landslide of technical problems. In a recent blog post, SK big cheese Denis Dyack likened Too Human's E3 mauling to the pain of sticking your arm in a bucket of ice.
But the good news is that SK have wrenched their arms out of the bucket and flopped them back on their keyboards, spending the last nine months in intensive developmental lockdown. And it seems to have paid dividends; according to Dyack, the new build of Too Human will be playable in just a few short months' time, and it's looking like it'll be well worth the wait.
Well, he would say that, but the new screenshots released rather back up his point. So in anticipation of imminent hands-on impressions, let's reacquaint you with the world of Too Human. A complex plot (drawing from Norse mythology and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, of all people, from whom Too Human gets its name) sees you taking control of Baldur, a cybernetically-enhanced warrior tasked with saving mankind from a race of killer machines. This he does third-person action RPG style, with an innovative control system that allows you to attack in all directions with the right analogue stick, with your 'mannerisms' context-sensitive to where your god is positioned and who's around him.
Intelligent enemies who devise team tactics, coupled with - and this is what's got our mouths a-foaming - four-player online co-op, suggests that there's plenty here to get excited about. Like Take That, this has evolved into something quite different to what it was in 1994, but also like Take That, there's evidence that they're still capable of drumming up interest in 2007. Expect hard, cold facts real soon.