Too Human

Key events

Silicon Knights' appeal against $9.2m Epic judgement fails

But is the company still around to pay damages?

Canadian studio Silicon Knights, developer of Eternal Darkness, Too Human and X-Men Destiny, has suffered another blow with the failure of its appeal against a judgement ordering it to pay Unreal Engine maker Epic Games $9.2 million in damages following a costly legal battle that began in 2005.

Silicon Knights is "very busy" and "definitely alive"

Though declined to say how many people are left or where it's now located.

Eternal Darkness and Too Human developer Silicon Knights is "definitely alive," despite Epic Games' $4.45 million dollar lawsuit against the studio for Unreal Engine 3 licensing fees that resulted in all copies of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny to be recalled.

Silicon Knights' cancelled games laid bare

Silicon Knights' cancelled games laid bare

Too Human 2, 3, Eternal Darkness 2, more.

Silicon Knights' cancelled games have been laid bare as part of a wide-ranging investigation by a member of NeoGAF.

User Mama Robotnik lists all known Silicon Knights games, including those released and unreleased, and unearths screenshots, concept art, renders and videos to showcase them.

Among the listed games is Too Human 2, Too Human 3, Eternal Darkness 2 and a number of aborted games worked on after the release of the first Too Human for Microsoft Game Studios.

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Epic claims victory in Silicon Knights court case

UPDATE: Too Human studio to pay out $4.45 million in damages.

UPDATE: Silicon Knights will have to pay Epic $4.45 million in damages after the jury found in favour of its counter claims. The court ruled that Silicon Knights breached their Unreal license agreement, misappropriated Epic's trade secrets and infringed Epic's copyrights in the Unreal Engine 3 code.

Silicon Knights confirms job lay-offs

Silicon Knights confirms job lay-offs

Blames cancelled Activision project.

Too Human developer Silicon Knights has confirmed reports of a drastic set of redundancies at the studio.

CFO Mike Mays told the Financial Post that it has shed 45 employees, leaving just under 40 staff on the payroll.

Mays cited a cancelled project for Activision as the reason behind the cut-backs.

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Dyack: Apps "eroding" handheld quality

"There are 17,000 fart apps right now."

The swamp of tacky iOS games is "eroding" the overall quality of the entire handheld market, reckons Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack - the App Store is causing "dramatic disruption".

Name of Silicon Knights game leaked

Siren in the Maelstrom, apparently.

Silicon Knights' next game may be very well be called "Siren in the Maelstrom", judging by a press release from Canada Telefilm commenting on projects approved for government aid.

Peter Molyneux picks apart Too Human

"It tried to be something it was not."

Peter Molyneux reckons there was something "slightly off" about Too Human, and says he would have done things differently had he been in charge.

Japanese charts: Afrika riding high

Safari so good for PS3 animal-photo game.

Afrika almost became king of the Japanese chart-jungle this week, but was beaten to the throne by quirky DS music game Rhythm Tengoku Gold (Rhythm Heaven here).

FeatureSilicon Knights' Denis Dyack

Taking on Epic, reviewers and the internet.

The furore surrounding the long-awaited release of Too Human hasn't been pretty, but it has given outspoken Silicon Knights chief Denis Dyack a platform on which to ignite debate on subjects he feels have dogged the title throughout its development.

Dyack

Outspoken Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has claimed he couldn't give two hoots about the criticial response to Too Human, expressing his confidence that gamers will enjoy the Norse action-RPG if they just give it a chance.

"I'm not worried about the critical reception at all," he told Eurogamer, speaking at a press event in London earlier this month.

"Do I think people are going to be critical? Well people already have - people were critical about the game before they'd even played it, so I don't think that's necessarily going to change."

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Too Human

Too Human

Norway Jose.

I think it's only fair to warn you. These are first words I'm typing, but I can already tell from my notes that this is going to be a laundry list of complaints, gripes and grumbles. And that's a shame, because Too Human isn't a terrible game. It's just one of those "could've been" games where potential is squandered in so many areas that it's hard to know where to begin. Suffice to say, most of the game's good points can be summed in one simple sentence: it's a pretty good action game. Not a very good one, and certainly not a great one, but a slightly-above-average entry in the hack'n'slash genre that provides amusement amidst annoyances.

The core concept won't be new to anyone who watched Ulysses 31 in the 1980s. It's ancient mythology rewritten as science fiction, with Norse legends retold as an advanced civilisation where cybernetically-enhanced humans are considered protective gods by the general population. Our hero is Baldur, favoured creation of the AI program ODIN and popular people's champion of Asgard. You can rename him (although everyone still calls him Baldur) and choose one of five classes for him, and each will be familiar to regular RPG players. Berserker is your meaty melee combat specialist while Commando is your choice for firearms and ranged weapons. Champion is the piggy in the middle, averagely proficient at both forms of fighting. Defender is the heavily armoured tank option, with Bio Engineer the surrogate Mage, able to heal himself and others.

Your choice made, you're dropped into the game at the head of Baldur's "wolf pack", a squad of space marine types, and you're set on the trail of the monstrous robot GRNDL-1 (Cyber-Beowulf was too busy). As you stroll through the ruined Hall of Heroes, robot goblins attack and you're introduced to Too Human's curious combat system. Rather than use the face buttons, you direct your melee attacks with the right stick. Move the stick in the direction of an enemy, and Baldur lunges at them. This basic template can be modified by using the left stick in the same direction, making Baldur launch energy projectiles or fly towards enemies depending on how far away they are, while a double directional twitch juggles foes into the air. Successful attacks fill a combo meter, which can be used to deploy Ruiners - radial smart-bomb attacks that vary from weapon to weapon. Ballistic attacks, meanwhile, are carried out by holding down the right trigger, which starts you shooting with your equipped firearm, and then the right stick is once more used to direct your fire.

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Too Human

Swords and Norsery.

It's not really in the room yet, but playing through a near-finished build of Too Human, Diablo III is certainly an elephant on the horizon. Cruising around the universe as a cyberpunk Norse myth splattering tinsel-covered robots with a big blue hammer, something Blizzard's Rob Pardo said the other weekend springs to mind: "If there were a ton of games out in the market that are the isometric action-RPG model, then we probably would have more seriously done a different approach." Too Human is trying to be something like that - a mixture of hackandslash and shooter and customisation-heavy RPG, with an isometric camera among the various automated options - but if this had come out a year ago would Blizzard have looked elsewhere for its next big reveal?

Dyack defends Too Human on forum

May not have thought this through.

Denis Dyack has taken to the Internet to "draw the digital line" under criticism of his forthcoming Xbox 360 game, Too Human.

MS confirms Banjo and Piñata leaks, promises Gears of War 2 reveals

As we all sit around rubbing hoof-shaped marks out of our foreheads, Microsoft has whipped open the stable doors and explained what's going on at its event in San Francisco - confirming names and details for Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Piñata sequels among other things.

Big news first: Cliff Bleszinski will be on hand in San Francisco to show off "dramatic new gameplay elements" in Gears of War 2 using a "campaign sequence from early in the game - where Marcus Fenix and COG forces engage in pulse-pounding firefights between two Derrick transports, fend off vicious Reaver fly-by attacks and rabid Brumaks" ahead of the game's November release on 360. Ellie is currently checking her pencil batteries and sharpening her dictaphone, so expect her report on all that very soon.

What's more, Too Human developer Silicon Knights has announced that the game will be out in the US on 19th August and in Europe on 29th August, giving us the chance to stab futuristic vikings in the face with inadequately researched contextual comments [very post-modern - Ed].

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GDC: Too Human

Vikings in space.

Denis Dyack says he's surprised there's been such a big turnout for his pre-GDC presentation. Indeed, every seat in the room is taken and there are plenty more journalists standing at the back. But is that really so surprising? After all, Too Human is high up on the list of the most interesting titles coming exclusively to Xbox 360 this year - and it's not a long list.

FeatureGC: Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack

On a unified gaming format and why it will happen.

Of all the discussions at the Games Convention Developer's Conference, Denis Dyack's stood out partly because he was making a contentious point rather than a safe one, and partly because of the sheer degree to which his argument inspires discussion. At the time of writing, our write-up of his speech has been met with nearly 250 comments - more than three times as many as Julian Eggebrecht's keynote, which effectively had full-on pornography in it. Dyack believes that a unified gaming platform is inevitable, arguing that the history of commoditisation in other industries guarantees it. We sat down with Dyack, president of Too Human developer Silicon Knights, and put some of your and our queries to him.

Outspoken developer Denis Dyack outlined his vision of a one-console future in a speech at GCDC yesterday, arguing that the history of commoditization in other industries meant the standardisation of gaming hardware was an inevitability - and something we might see as soon as the next cycle of console hardware.

Too Human demo soon - Dyack

Game definitely 2008.

Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has said a demo for 360 exclusive Too Human is in the works and should emerge at some point before the game's release in 2008.

Epic counter-sues Silicon Knights

Handbags. Shiny handbags.

Epic Games is counter-suing Silicon Knights, accusing the Too Human developer of attempting to "take Epic's licensed technology, pay nothing for it, and use it any way it pleases", GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Dyack talks up Too Human

Lots of work being done.

Too Human developer Silicon Knights' outspoken director Denis Dyack has, well, spoken out about a number of things the team has in plan for its upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive.

Too Human no-show explained

Wasn't quite ready for X06.

Silicon Knights president Dennis Dyack has explained why Too Human was absent from Microsoft's recent X06 showcase, despite having been around in playable form at E3 several months earlier.

Too Human rumour scotched

SK denies ditching Unreal tech.

Microsoft has taken the unusual step of publicly denying reports stating that Silicon Knights had abandoned the use of Unreal Engine 3 in its Xbox 360 title Too Human.

Too Human

E3: Too easy, more like.

Microsoft is surely counting its blessings with two former Nintendo-centric developers showing at this years E3. Obviously, Silicon Knights' previous epic Eternal Darkness helped fill a void within the first year of the GameCube lineup, and SK is back again to provide a similar favour for Microsoft. Comparisons between these two games seem natural. Particle effects, colour schemes, and sweeping cinematic in-game camera are emphasised in both games, which creates an auteur atmosphere for players of Too Human and Eternal Darkness.

New Too Human details

New Too Human details

X05: More on futuristic actioner.

Silicon Knights has revealed new details of Too Human, the first instalment in what's billed as a "three part trilogy" (as opposed to a four part trilogy?) of epic action games.

Too Human, you may recall, was long ago announced as being in development for the PlayStation and then the GameCube - but it was finally confirmed as an Xbox 360 exclusive back in May.

The game sees you playing as "Cybernetic God" Baldur, who finds himself tasked with fighting for the whole of humankind after an army of monstrous machines goes on the warpath.

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Too Human: first details

Too Human: first details

"God of War for Xbox 360"?

Following news that Silicon Knights (the developer behind Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes) has signed up to develop Too Human exclusively for the Xbox 360, the first details of the game have emerged.

According to US magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, the game puts you in the role of a god named Balder. We're promised �sweeping, epic battles�, �oceans of organised enemies� and an online two-player co-op mode.

Silicon Knights boldly describes Too Human as �the Xbox 360's God of War�, adding that it's only the first part of a planned trilogy.

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