‘Too Human 2′ & ’3,’ ‘Eternal Darkness 2′ Among Silicon Knights Cancellation Graveyard

Dec 12, 2012 by  

Too Human 2 3 In Development

Though once a rising star in game development with coveted connections to publishers like Nintendo, Konami and Microsoft, Denis Dyack’s studio Silicon Knights entered a downward spiral after releasing 2008′s heavily hyped Too Human to disappointing sales and reviews. Save for 2011′s near-insufferable X:Men Destiny, the Ontario-based studio has been eerily dormant over the last several years, only cropping up in the headlines when a court defeat nixed its rights to Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 this May, and when a report surfaced in October claiming that it had shriveled to an employee size of less than five.

Many would call those last legs. And while Silicon struggles to stay standing, one member of the NeoGAF community, Mama Robotnik, has posted a massive complication — it might be the largest posting we’ve ever seen on the site — of publicly available images and news items documenting its rise and demise.

Fully digesting Mama Robtnik’s piece is literally a day project, but perhaps most noticeably she unearthed screens and concept designs for Silicon Knights games that never made it out of production. Among them: Too Human: Rise of the Giants (aka Too Human 2), Too Human 3Eternal Darkness 2, a survival horror project for Sega entitled The Box (which became The Ritualyst after Silicon changed partners to THQ), and a 1996 project with Crystal Dynamics named Shifter.

Too Human 2 (Rise of the Giants) & Too Human 3

Too Human 2 Screen Concept

Too Human 2 3 Concept Art

Too Human Trilogy Screen Concept

Eternal Darkness 2

Silicon Knights Eternal Darkness 2

Eternal Darkness 2 Concepts

Eternal Darkness 2 Characters Silicon Kinghts

The Box (later known as The Ritualyst)

The Box Too Human Silicon Knights

The Box Silicon Knights Development

The Box Screenshot Silicon Knights

Shifter

Shifter Silicon Knights Development

Each of the cancelled games — and there are more: Legacy of Kain (Saturn), Kain 2, The Pillars of Nosgarth, Too Human (PSX), Too Human (Saturn) Eternal Darkness (N64), Too Human (Gamecube), King’s Quest, The Crucible, The Sandman, Siren in the Maelstrom — serves as a sad memento to what Silicon Knights could have been: a developing powerhouse with prosperous ties to some of today’s biggest studios and publishers. Now, though — despite Dyack vowing to finish the Too Human trilogy back in 2011 — we may never see the outfit produce another title. Their staff is diminished, their agenda blank, their only industry ties the millions in debt they owe to companies like Epic Games.

And it’s too bad for Too Human. The game possessed an alluring Norse-mythology, action-RPG concept but buried itself in broken and repetitive gameplay. According to the details Mama Robotnik posted Rise of the Giants was, in its preliminary design stage, a revenge tale, and we were hoping the series would earn another shot at redemption.

Ranters, Silicon Knights’s downfall appears a fait accompli, but which of their now-canned games would you have wanted to see come to light?

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Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: NeoGAF

20 Comments

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  1. too human of course

  2. I thought Too Human was a pretty cool game. I think they could’ve done some great things with a sequel. Too bad for the developers.

  3. My understanding is that Dyack was a major dick, though maybe that was brought on by the company’s dire straits. But of course the attitude that he supposedly had definitely ain’t no way to get your employees to do good work. And even before SK got into trouble, he obviously mismanaged some stuff. Probably better off if they’d stuck with Nintendo.

  4. Too Human had one of the coolest concepts I’ve ever seen, and was possibly the worst game I’ve ever played.

  5. If there ever was a game that absolutely deserved a sequel, it would be Eternal Darkness. How is it that the founder of his own game developing studio would be the one that drove it into the ground by willingly making bad choices?
    The sad thing is, unless another publisher or even Nintendo decides to step in and save Eternal Darkness, it will never get the sequel it deserves, and that is a tragedy for this gaming generation.

  6. Shifter was sold to Eidos and was redesigned, integrated into the LoK universe and rebranded as Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. The Legacy of Kain series, originally co-developed by SK, went on to make Eidos a small fortune.

    Too Human was a cool concept but sadly its finished state was just a polished turd.

    I like SK and hope they can come up with a franchise that saves them and hopefully they won’t sell it for immediate capitol like Shifter..

  7. I’m actually really upset that that cancelled the Too Human trilogy in my opinion it had a lot of potential I still enjoy playing the first one shame i wont be taking giants out anytime soon.

  8. EPIC should buy and take all rights and use as tax rite off. Finish T.H. and other games that will easly make profits.

    • Good idea! Not sure I’d wanna see Epic do Eternal Darkness II, but they could probably do a good job with Too Human.

  9. Too human does need another shot someone should publish Too Human 2 they would be surprized on the out come it gets. Everone i played with would spread the word and they all are wanting a more out of this game.

  10. I would’ve loved to have seen among the cancelled ones stated above, it would be Eternal Darkness 2. I am a huge fan of the game and of Lovecraft inspired works. It would be a personal tragedy if I never see a sequel that Eternal Darkness deserves. I hope and pray that another gaming company would step up to salvage it because it would be a shame if it just goes to development hell without any hopes of being saved and I’m sure a lot of people, fans of the game, would like to see the sequel see the light of day.

  11. I actually loved Too Human. Most of people I know either loved it, or hated it though. Would have liked to see if they could fix some of issues in new one.

  12. Too bad. I loved Too Human. The other titles sound interesting too.

  13. I really liked Too Human, i was hoping to play the whole Trilogy.

  14. I would love to see the story of Too Human unfold! Since SK is in debt to Epic, they should sell rights and the sequels to Epic. Epic will make it a lot better and maybe create a killer multiplayer mode for Too Human! Of course re-ignite the franchise on a whole new level with their Unreal engine!

  15. Too human was a game that had such a gripping story that I’d still play it even with the crappy gameplay most games ppl buy now don’t have any where near that feel.. Me as a gamer and tester feel that if silicon knights put the time in making the last two I’d help them for …. FREE … Any true fan of a game would I know there are tons of ppl who feel the same as me it’s just ashame that the possible good games trilogy’s or series get cut for games that blow!!!

  16. WE WANT MORE TOO HUMAN!!!!!!!

  17. Too human 2 naturally,, epic armor what?! That game was great,,, plz will some developer pick this game up….. Its just not rite that we cant have a sequel…

  18. dammit was really hoping for too human 2 the first game want the best but I liked it all the same

  19. The issue with Too Human was that it got stuck in development hell. The game kept being cancelled and reintroduced that most of the original ideas and concepts of the game felt dated. Add in that the death sequence was annoying it isn’t a surprise many people didn’t like it. I personally really enjoyed it. I wanted to see what Too Human 2 would bring but it seems this game has gone the same route as Baldur’s Gate: Dark alliance 3 – just not going to happen.

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