By insanejedi 3 Comments
Remember the PS1? Yeah that was a long time ago... Came out in 1994 or 1995 depending on where you live. Too Human was announced for the PS1 back in 1999 and was set to release on 4 CD's a la Final Fantasy style. All we got is this small teaser trailer which we don't know is pre-rendered or was set in real time. All that seems to really remain is this muddy looking trailer with an IGN logo on it. The developers vaguely described it as a game set in the distant future with cybernetic enhancements.
Though things seem to have stopped once Nintendo announced that Silicon Knights was going to be a second party developer for the Gamecube, similar to Insomniac and Sony. So Too Human was technically moved over to the Gamecube, but Silicon knights decided to make other games such as Eternal Darkness, and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. So anything Too Human related basically went silent till 2005 when Silicon Knights decided to buddy up with Microsoft for the Xbox 360.
Things really didn't get going for this game until a whole bunch of terrestial stuff tangentially related to the game started showing up in 2007 and 2008. First it started with Silicon Knights suing Epic Games for selling an unfinished engine of Unreal Engine 3. Granted development of Too Human started with several "beta" versions of the engine, but what was shone at E3 in 2006 was pretty terrible, and journalist knew it.
Bad framerates, skippy animations, and some pretty bad models. All this after Gears of War came out and Silicon Knights basically sitting there going "Why doesn't our game look like that?" and rationalizing that Epic must be withholding instructions on how to use the engine properly. Never the less they decided to modify the engine code so that it would fit their needs better and reasoned that if they modified it enough, it would become their own engine and called it the "Silicon Knights Engine." and would be used for the future squeals in this trilogy. Unsatisfied, Silicon Knights decided to sue Epic Games for supplying them with a bad engine and bad support and service for trying to fix it. Epic then counter sued saying that Silicon Knights can't just use the engine as it pleased without paying them. All of this however didn't affect at least the first game in this series which is Too Human.
But that's not where things really started to go crazy...
It all started when Dennis Dyack the president and developer of Silicon Knights decided to call out on NeoGAF and all the people who think that Too Human was going to be crap to "Stand up and Be Counted!" For being "For" or "against" his game. If the game is crap, he will be tagged by "Owned by the GAF" and if anyone who was against will have "Owned by Too Human". And started to pick a very public fight. He then proceeded afterwards to talk about how video game forum culture is destroying the world and things need to change before we all fall into that abyss and the world ends because of Ragnarok. Okay he didn't really say that but it was close!
"NeoGAF and other forums like this that don't have good management are not only hurting society and hurting the videogame industry, they're in decline, and they need to reform quickly before people stop listening to them.... If the moderators and people who run the site think they aren't doing any damage, they are sorely mistaken, and it's only a matter of time before something bad happens."
So all this led up to the Demo release of the game which actually ended up being the most downloaded demo ever for Xbox Live. Probably in due part of Dyacks public publicity. Lines we're drew on the sand however, the demo received a very mixed result with the audience with basically a 50/50 saying "This game sucks" and "This game is good and/or awesome!". No doubt causing forum wars to erupt and many locked forums abound as name calling bullets were thrown everywhere.
Then the game finally came out, and what did we get? Probably the most divisive and polarizing game since Killer 7, or Vinny and Flower. Scoring 80s on very reputable sites like G4 and GamePro but at the same time scoring 20 on Destructoid. And the entire industry decided to lose any sense of professionalism and resort in name calling each other.
"Listen, it may not be the most innovative game ever. And it may have some serious issues with storytelling and an at times deplorable user interface. And it may even be downright buggy at times; hell, I had to restart an online game four times tonight because of major sound glitches, and because I Superman 64'ed and clipped right through the floor into an infinite black void...
BUT THE GAME IS FUCKING FUN!
Come on major-jaded-gaming-review-sites! Kick back with a buddy, slaughter hordes of enemies while fiending for the next level up in skills or accessories, and let your subwoofer shake the walls off your pad as you hop on the back of giant mechanical beasties and plunge your sword right into their heads. Tell me that's not entertaining! I'm willing to overlook some lackluster boss-battles thus far, and certain sloppy design decisions that lead to needlessly repetitive actions, because the core gameplay makes you feel like an absolute bad ass. And THAT is what this type of game is all about. Bad-assness, and loot. Too Human has both.
This game is not a 5.5, Gamespot. A five point five is a game that boots, has a working title screen and with any luck the pistols go "pew"."
However our guys at Giant Bomb Decided to keep things classy as always.
So this probably produced the best worst moment in video gaming journalism ever. And what was all the point of all this? Well Jeff became Mr. conspiracy theorist and found out that Dennis Dyack is probably a god damn genius.
So 8 years in development and we didn't get such a great game, or even a good game. But we probably got the most memorable moment in the gaming industry.
Next: Duke Nukem: Forever and a Special guest.