The Xbox 360 exclusive that would become one of Microsoft’s most important trilogies.
The year 2008 brought to Xbox 360 one of the games most anticipated by all users: Too Human. 13 years later, what happened to this title remains an interesting story of what can happen when a complicated development turns into hell for the company that develops it.
Developped by Silicon Knights, those responsible for the incredible exclusives of Nintendo GameCube, Eternal darkness Yes Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Too Human was a third-person action role-playing game set in an adaptation set in a cyberpunk environment, but with the Nordic mythology as a key element. The player assumes the role of Baldur in his fight to save humanity pushed to the brink of extinction, while finding answers to its past. Too Human was conceived as the first installment in an exclusive Xbox 360 trilogy And now it stands not only as an example of the few blunders Microsoft has made in this generation, but also as aOne of the biggest legal battles the video game industry has ever seen.
If we now look back there is elements of Too Human that were ahead of their time. The elements of the RPG were deep for such a game and offer many similarities to those of Destiny and other loot-based progression games. The game also featured a cooperative system interesting, albeit limited, that it allowed a friend to join you no matter how far away you were in the game or how difficult the enemies were. It allowed a new player to level up quickly and fight with you. This is a feature that many games have developed and adopted since then.
To find the answer to what happened So with a game that had such good wickerwork, you have to go back a little bit more, specifically in 1999. Al E3 del 99, to be exact. In fact, that was the year that Too Human was first announced, with a trailer promoting the game. exclusive to the original PlayStation. That same year, however, Nintendo signed a contract with Silicon Knights to create two exclusives for an unforgettable console as it was GameCube. The development of Too human was immediately moved to the new console, but ended up being shelved so the company could focus on Eternal darkness.
Eternal Darkness launched with great commercial and critical success, making everyone see Silicon Knights as the future of Nintendo’s console. They immediately got back to work on their dream of the past, Too Human, with the intention of exploiting this newly acquired new prominence, when Nintendo needed a company they could trust. develop a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. Konami didn’t let any third-party developers get close to the series, so it seems Nintendo had no choice but to use Silicon Knights. However, this would complete the two-game exclusivity deal the company had with Nintendo and they would be free to develop for all consoles after the release of this title.
One more time, Silicon Knights received high praise with the release of Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and found himself in the spotlight of the video game world. However, this is where it all started to fall apart, as around that time (2004) the console landscape was changing drastically. The GameCube was not the success Nintendo expected and Microsoft began to emerge with its large xbox. So, for the next four years, the developer entered a period of dormancy, which also caused the spotlights to disappear, allowing them to review Too Human. However, once again it was a console maker that knocked on the door, like this time Microsoft has said it wants the Too Human Trilogy exclusively on its new Xbox 360
This is where things got tricky, with Silicon Knights decides to sue Epic for not having delivered the engine on time, despite Epic’s insistence the engine arrived as promised. So there was a legal battle that lasted for some time. Too Human went on sale during this time and it was clear that 10 years and two console changes they had not done the game a favor. The story fell short of expectations, it looked like another generation, and its pace couldn’t be kept up at any point. It looked like a game that had been improvised in a much shorter period of time, causing was slaughtered by critics. Microsoft withdrew from the project and Silicon Knights developed other games with its own engine.
However, it does not all end here, because Epic Games pulled an ace out of its sleeve. During the legal battle between the two companies, Epic discovered that the engine of all Silicon Knights games, from Too Human, it was filled with thousands of lines of code from its own Unreal engine. It turns out that Silicon Knights had copied and pasted most of the engine. Epic immediately retaliated and Silicon Knights found itself up against the wall. Admitting that they initially sued Epic to cover up the engine they stole, Epic, of course, won the lawsuit, but the lawsuits against the Silicon games are more interesting. Silicon Knights was ordered to pay $ 9 million in damages Epic and ordered to destroy all unsold copies of games that used their own engines. Too Human and X-Men Destiny are the ones who paid the price. Production has ceased and now the only physical copies of these games that will exist are those in the hands of buyers. However, in 2019 Microsoft surprised locals and outsiders alike by putting the game in the hands of anyone who wanted to download it for free from their website. Likewise, the game is fully available on Xbox One thanks to the backward compatibility system.
After all the work and legal battles, Too Human turned out to be a huge disappointment. The game had serious pacing issues and some levels took over two hours to complete. In addition, it was repetitive and lacked depth in combat. The rewards were inconsistent and a lot of effort was needed to complete an armor set of the highest level. It wasn’t all bad, however, as the combat was fun and deep, especially with melee weapons.
It wouldn’t have taken much for Too Human to be a decent game. If Silicon Knights had waited for the final version of Unreal Engine, I think all of these things could have been done and many more. Instead, Too Human is an example of why sometimes it’s better to spend a little more time on development or make sure that a game you’ve archived for a long time stays on the shelf. . It is also a good example of bad decisions and subterfuge that in the past were common in the industry.