They were previously ordered to pay Epic $9.2 million
// Chris Carter
If you haven't been following the Silicon Knights vs. Epic Games Saga, it hasn't been pretty. A North Carolina court ordered Silicon Knights to pay Epic Games millions ($4.5m in damages, and $4.7 in court fees), after a faile... read
Nintendo filed a new trademark mentioning "downloadable electronic game software"
// Tony Ponce
Precursor Games, a.k.a. the ghost of Silicon Knights, is still trying to get Shadow of the Eternals off the ground, hoping to attract Kickstarter backers with the promise of David Hayter's gravelly pipes. However you feel tow... read
Shadow of the Eternals developer was immediately terminated [Editor's note: In light of some of the commenters' statements, I have slightly revised some of the wording of the original article so as to tone down my gut reactions. It's a topic I feel very strongly about, hence my respon... read feature
The progress Precursor Games has made toward successfully funding Shadow of the Eternals has not been happening at the kind of rate that inspires much confidence. With two weeks left to go on the Kickstarter front, the studio... read
Dyack creates a 30 minute video asking you to trust him
// Chris Carter
Last year, Kotaku ran an article that blew the downfall of Silicon Knights situation wide open. The article in question is here, titled "What Went Wrong With Silicon Knights' X-Men: Destiny?" In it, Kotaku goes over what the... read
Eternal Darkness studio still hanging on by a thread
// Kyle MacGregor
Silicon Knights claims to be alive and kicking following its legal battles with Epic Games. The Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes developer is in the process of licking its wounds after receiving an order to ... read
The crowdfunding campaign for Shadow of Eternals, the long-awaited spiritual sequel to Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, has begun. The title is being developed by Precursor Games, a new studio formed last year from the as... read
Crowdfunding campaign for Shadow of the Eternals to kick off next week
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: According to IGN, Shadow of the Eternals will consist of twelve episodic releases for Wii U and PC. Precursor Games is seeking $1,500,000 to fund the project.]
More than ten years later, a spiritual successor t... read
Twitter let us know today that Silicon Knights' title Too Human disappeared from the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace today. Actually, everything related is also missing, including the demo, themes, and gamer pics.
Where di... read
Here's today's action-packed Destructoid Show!
Bethesda has released a big ol' video about The Elder Scrolls Online, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is allowing the internet teenagers to livestream their online gun-shooting right f... read
Following Silicon Knights' lost legal battle against Epic Games, it has been revealed (via GAF) that the perpetually unlucky studio has been ordered to recall and destroy all unsold copies of its Unreal 3-coded games.
After a protracted legal battle lasting five years, a North Carolina court has closed the book on a suit brought forth by Silicon Knights against Epic Games, alleging that the developer of Unreal Engine 3 competed unfairly by... read
Not long after David Braben had his semi-annual whinge about used games, Denis Dyack has joined the party and declared that used games will destroy the videogame industry as we know it. Sigh.
"I would argue that used ga... read
Today, Mash Tactics is joining the fight for mutant rights in X-Men: Destiny. Destiny has received some heavy criticism, but surely it has plenty to offer a couple of comic book fans like Carnage and Wesley. Tune in and see w... read
Raccoons are pretty much the best animal ever and it's a shame that so few games feature the little guys. If Tom Nook and Sly Cooper just aren't cutting it for you anymore, former-Silicon Knights producer Erik Peterson's... read
Sep 30 //
X-Men: Destiny (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Silicon KnightsPublisher: ActivisionReleased: September 27, 2011MSRP: $59.99
X-Men: Destiny's first big mis-step is in forcing players to choose between three "original" characters with very limited, linear abilities. Although each playable mutant has a backstory, none of them possess any real personality, and their super powers are restricted to one of four basic types. At various stages of the game, players get a "choice" between one of two new abilities, determined by their main starting power.
There is some basic customization to be had by equipping the "genes" of established X-Men characters. Genes come in three varieties -- Offensive (attack bonuses), Defensive (defense bonuses) or Utility (bonuses to speed, jumping or dodging). For example, equipping Toad's offensive gene causes attacks to become poisonous, while using Juggernaut's utility ability turns dodge maneuvers into powerful attacks that knock opponents back.
In addition to genes, there are also suits to be discovered throughout the adventure, based on Marvel's heroes and villains. These suits are mostly cosmetic changes, but if the player finds and equips all three genes related to the same character, they can unlock an X-Power. This is a powerful, temporary status that grants even more bonuses to attacks.
X-Men: Destiny frames itself as a roleplaying game, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It is, in essence, an incredibly shallow button-masher and nothing else. For a game so focused on player choice, there are very little in the way of tangible options. You don't create your own character, most of the abilities and suits are only slightly varied or cosmetic in nature, and the pathetic narrative choices throughout the game seem to make very little difference to how it's actually played. The game keeps setting you up to choose between Cyclops' X-Men or Magneto's Brotherhood, but your character's attitude remains the same and often runs contrary to your choices, while the missions are essentially unchanged.
There are sidequests that can be undertaken in order to curry favor with a faction, and by sidequest, I mean that you find a character, accept their mission, get whisked away to a small "challenge" arena and have to kill everything until you win. Earning the approval of factions seems to influence nothing. It appears to just be there to look like it does something.
With its half-hearted attempts at dialog trees (although a branch-less trunk would be a more fitting metaphor) and insulting shallow character customization, X-Men: Destiny is a game that is interested only in aesthetically resembling an action-RPG, rather than actually being one. You'll be led to believe that your choices make huge differences, and that the game could open at any second to feel truly sprawling and deep, but it never happens. Characters talk about choices without offering any and speak highly of things to come that never occur.
This might not be so bad if the game was any fun to play, but unfortunately Silicon Knights took the same skin-deep approach to combat as it did to everything else. I'm a fan of hack n' slash gameplay, but Destiny is limited and repetitive to such a degree that it makes Dynasty Warriors look complicated. You fight the same enemies almost from beginning to end, your combos -- such as they are -- rarely evolve and are visually lackluster, and there's barely any player feedback to the attacks. You could close your eyes, smash the controller with your first, and most likely get through huge portions of the game without a care in the world.
This issue is carried over into the bosses, most of which require the same button-mashing approach to defeat. The final boss is amazingly insulting in this regard, since it's nothing more than a repeat of two bosses (and a recurring mook enemy) already during the course of the game, except slightly easier. Larger bosses consist of the same tired, "dodge attack, hit obviously exposed weakpoint" strategy that we've seen a thousand times before, with no attempt to be even faintly clever or surprising.
Unskippable cutscenes and dialog that one is forced to listen to -- even if the player accidentally hits the same dialog option twice -- completes the picture to create one of the biggest wastes of time released in recent memory.
The best that can be said of the game is that it at least works, and features a pleasant variety of X-Men characters, including some of the lesser known ones. There's a huge amount of potential in the character building and it can be quite cool to see what effect the genes have on a character's abilities, but the overwhelming simplicity and repetition kills any lasting excitement that can be had, especially once you realize that the only truly noticeable difference in genes is in determining what color your attacks are.
To cap it all off, X-Men: Destiny is unpleasant to look at. With its washed out colors and empty, grey environments, it resembles a game that would struggle to look decent five years ago. The voice acting is largely terrible, the music completely forgettable, and one has to wonder if anybody on the development team actually cared about what they were building. It looks thrown together, rather than fully developed, cobbled from bits lying around on Silicon Knights' studio floor and given just enough attention to make everything work.
X-Men: Destiny is an ugly, boring, lazy little game. Even if it were free, it would be insulting to have one's time wasted in this way, but the fact it's being sold for sixty dollars rubs salt in the wound. It tries to eke out an existence by pretending to be a far richer and more satisfying game than it is, but the promise of a better experience only serves to hammer home just how bad the final product actually is.
The only purpose Destiny serves is to demonstrate exactly what happens when developers don't care about what they're making. It's an exercise in apathy, and any customer who buys it would be within their rights to feel angry that they paid good money for something that never had any intention of being enjoyable, existing solely to make easy money off a comic book's name.
Comic book videogames have enjoyed varying degrees of quality over the years, but their stock has rarely been higher than now. Batman: Arkham Asylum and the upcoming Batman: Arkham City are critically acclaimed, while Spider-... read feature
Activision is preparing to launch X-Men: Destiny across North America tomorrow, and has released a trailer today! How's that for a wacky coincidence?
If you're not in the know, Destiny is an action/RPG from the fine folks at... read
Silicon Knights have released a behind-the-scenes video of X-Men: Destiny with interview segments featuring Stan Lee. X-Men: Destiny will be the developer's first released game since Too Human back in 2008. It also shows off... read
Jul 21 //
Dale North X-Men Destiny (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)Developer: Silicon KnightsPublisher: ActivisionTo be released: September 27, 2011
There are three new characters in X-Men Destiny, each of which will become official X-Men. I chose to play as Aimi Yoshida. Aimi was smuggled out of Japan on a tanker ship, just as her family was about to be rounded up and put in a mutant containment camp. She arrives in San Francisco where she joins the X-Men. She joins two other selectable characters: Grant and Adrian. Adrian seems a bit more serious, but Grant is just a dumb jock that wants to get down with mutant powers.
Starting out, Aimi was an empty shell, awaiting my input. I chose to give her "density control," which gave this small girl big ol' arms of rock. Suddenly my punches were meaner and more meaningful. Punching the ground actually leaves holes. The power didn't fit her looks (striped leggings!) but I was too busy punching in baddie faces to give it too much thought.
Your player can be further upgraded with X-Genes, which let you equip and upgrade different powers, RPG style. You can actually nab the powers of other X-Men you encounter, letting you evolve in the way you choose. Further character customization happens through decisions presented throughout the game. You'll pick friends and decide alliances as the story progresses.
This particular demo progressed through a series of closed-room enemy clean-ups. Large text reading something like "10 enemies remaining" would appear in the environment, right in your fighting area. These caged brawls weren't that exciting, but maybe that has something to do with how little time was spent showing the game's potential. This demo was closer to a series of interactions with very young-looking X-Men. In that short demo I ran into Toad, Emma Frost, Quicksilver, Iceman, and Cyclops. Each interaction would have them showing me a skill, or fighting alongside me. It seemed more like a taste of what is to come beyond this demo more than anything else.
The fighting itself wasn't particularly engaging. It may just be that this was an early demo, but swarms of enemies kind of hung back waiting for me to attack them. They didn't put up much of a fight, and when they did I used the same basic attack to push back and move on, rarely needing a secondary shock attack to supplement. It's beat-'em-up button mashing for most of the time, which proved to be satisfying, but again, not exactly exciting.
There's a lot of cool ideas from Silicon Knights in this license, but I'm just not seeing them in this demo. Here to hoping we can see more of the potential realized in the future. X-Men Destiny comes out this September for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, so they had better get a move on!
Activision showed off X-Men Destiny last night at a preview event. It's probably the first X-Men game where you'll start out as a total nobody. But what's neat about Silicon Knights' upcoming title is that you have the opportunity to make a nobody a real somebody by shaping their mutant powers and alliances.
Read on for our preview of X-Men Destiny. read feature
Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack has criticized the mobile gaming market, stating that 17,000 "Fart" applications and an average gross of $700 per title could do harm to the game industry as a whole.
“As an example, m... read
Silicon Knights visionary Denis Dyack has criticized social gaming as found on networks like Facebook, accusing the medium of harming traditional games and predicting that the whole concept is going to crash harder than Too H... read
The saga of Too Human, Silicon Knights' Norse-mythology-meets-sci-fi RPG which spent ten years in development hell only to receive a cool reception upon release, may not be over. In a recent interview with IndustryGamers, CEO... read
Considering it's being developed by a well-known developer (Silicon Knights) and is based on a popular comic book franchise, we certainly haven't heard much about X-Men: Destiny. Maybe that's about to change, starting with th... read
The first images of Silicon Knight's upcoming action title, X-Men: Destiny, have leaked onto the Internet by way of a YouTube video. Oh, Internet -- you so crazy!
According to early details of the game, players will choose f... read
Silicon Knights has been very quiet since the release of Too Human, but the studio has reared its head in an upcoming issue of Official Xbox Magazine, bringing some details of its next title, X-Men: Destiny.
Naturally, ... read
X-Men: Destiny was announced earlier this year, and I somehow missed that it was being developed by Too Human and Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights. Well... it is!Not content with all of its big VGA reveals, Spike an... read
Rumors of a Silicon Knights-developed game named The Box have been making the rounds long before Too Human hit the Xbox 360. And there’s no real reason to toss the possibility aside yet, especially in light of the game&... read
Everybody is currently feasting upon cloud computing's nuts at the moment, with services such as OnLive promising a streaming videogame experience that could change the world forever. Dyack is a firm believer in the power of ... read
Silicon Knights, last seem dividing the videogame community over its much-hyped Too Human, have been relatively quiet lately. Until recently, when a potential upcoming title -- Siren in the Maelstrom -- was revealed by Telefi... read
As we discussed last week, genius supercompany Silicon Knights has been looking for a new game to followup the critical acclaim and genre-defining success of Too Human. While it was believed that this meant Too Human 2: Look ... read