Editorial: Too Human Offers Too Little Too Late

By William Usher 2008-06-20 10:39:31 discussion comments
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I was one of the faithful gamers who really believed in what Denis Dyack and the gang were trying to pull off when Too Human for the Xbox 360 was first announced. As a gamer you pretty much had no choice to get stoked over the news about offline and on-line co-op, multiple classes and an in-depth character upgrade and skill-tree feature. But as time went on the feature list seemed to dwindle and the game itself fell into jeopardy when the lawsuit from Silicon Knights came up against Epic Games.

After the 2006 E3 disaster in which Too Human had an extremely poor showing as a first-party title for the Xbox 360, Silicon Knights started griping about the Unreal Engine 3 technology, or the lack thereof. It was during this time that gamers stopped hearing about progress, functionality or any kind of future prospects for Too Human. The game itself appeared to be put on hold while gamers’ anticipation dwindled and newer, better concepts and games looked to be emerging from around Microsoft’s dying first-party title known as Too Human.

Just this year we’ve been getting more content and feature demonstrations from the folk over at Silicon Knights, but I can’t help but honestly state how trivial and stultified the entire game now seems. The problem is definitely not in the concept or the visual artistry...but it’s all about the execution of the gameplay. The exemplary multiplayer addition to a game that seemed like it would only be a single-player experience was lauded by the gaming community for the feature, but then it became hampered with the now defunct offline co-op, and a nice but anorexic two-player on-line mode. Couple this in with the missing army battles that was promised way back before the Unreal Engine 3 debacle, and measure in no word of vehicles, an innovative but un-cinematic fighting mechanism and daft, if not completely target drone enemy AI, and you have yourself one of the biggest, upcoming disappointments in recent gaming history.

Now there’s nothing final on the game. As you know it’s scheduled for release later this year...well, a few months from now, this August. Maybe Denis and the crew are shaping this beast up for a much better release than what we could be anticipating, or from what we’ve recently seen displayed of the game. I can’t imagine, though, any developer purposefully sabotaging their own project all throughout the course of development, even during the very crucial stage of marketing the game with new trailers and gameplay videos.

Unless something drastic happens – or some kick-butt trailer is released – that puts Too Human back in the triple-A category, it’s a sad but obvious taking that Too Human could be slated for a $49.95 price-tag. But this is nothing new. Over the years the game has slowly been slipping into B-grade territory with lots of developmental hang-ups and hiccups. And with no new gameplay details coming from the Silicon Knights’ studios that indicate otherwise, I think Too Human, when it releases later this summer, will most likely sit among the likes of triple-A titles turned B-grade garbage, Lair and Perfect Dark: Zero to name a few. Hopefully Silicon Knights won't settle with too little for this title that's already too late on delivering the goods.
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