By Kieron Gillen on September 30th, 2008 at 2:15 pm.
There’s been some complaints that games writing is lacking hard-hitting investigative journalism. With the news that PC Zone’s forthcoming 200th issue will be the first public unveiling of Deus Ex 3, I saw the opportunity to change all that. I know where PC Zone’s London office is. I’m a skilled veteran of many immersive sims. And I have a trenchcoat and can easily buy a pair of shades.
I can break into PC Zone’s office and steal their assets!
So I gave it a shot.
That’s me up in Baker Street, outside the Future London Offices. You’ll see more of the trench-coat. I have pockets full of gizmos and a pair of five-quid early-nineties guitarist-in-bad-industrial-band shades. And I have a plan. Or several plans anyway, most of which are bad plans, but that’s not the point. This is Deus Ex – the multiple routes are the important thing. It doesn’t matter if any of them are any good.
Anyway, here’s me posturing some more…
First step was to circle the building, looking for a back exit or some manner of man-size vent I could crawl through. I know how it works. But it appears that the architect of Future London didn’t go to the Ion Storm Crawling-Only-Please school of building design. I have to take a more brute force approach.
I hang around outside, pretending to use my
phone datalink, watching people leave the building and go for a smoke. One of my plans involves striking up a conversation with one of them, and then just breezing on through. Problem being, the smokers look like the sort of people who’d shy (or run) away if I started to talk. And it appears any of my games journalist comrades in the building don’t smoke, probably worried about losing that 1HP from every pack.
So I go to Plan B. I wander inside, have a quick chat to the lady behind the desk (I take the “I’m trying to break in – don’t mind me approach”), realise I can’t just sign in the guest book as there is no guest book (JC DENTON, clearly) and sidle my way up to the main door. I find something that’s terribly familiar blocking my way.
I know what to do here.
The Door remains closed. Whoever designed this building hasn’t a bloody clue. I resort to the brute force multitool method, a little dispirited that I have to use my resources already.
Which doesn’t work either. Being JC Denton is harder than you may have expect. Maybe I set my life to realistic or something.
Not being dispirited however. I have one ace in the hole. In the true Deus Ex fashion, I can bring someone inside my conspiracy. I call my Deep Throat inside the building.
He’s looking out for trouble with his eagle-eyes here. Note his slightly stiff and unconvincing animation, which is very Deus Ex. We try and have a Deus Ex style conversation, but neither of us can remember enough quotes from Anarchist philosophers, so we just give up. He opens the door, allowing me to creep into the main Future offices. Safe at a distance I hide, starting to scope out the Zone office…
Worth apologising at this point – as the action hots up, the photography gets worse. I haven’t time stay still when my life is on the line. You do understand, yeah? Anyway – I’m crouching behind some of Official X360 Magazine’s office dividers, looking down the office at Zone. That’s Editor Will Porter’s head you can see back there.
At which point I start to crawl across the office floor, probably virtually invisible. I’d imagine.
I manage to get to the other side of the PC Zone office, where Disc Editor Ed Zitron is normally sitting. From there, you can crouch up and take photo of Mr Porter’s Computer.
I’m within one and a half metres of the world’s first Deus Ex 3 shots. I trust that those in the DX community with those photo-analytic tools they use in Bladerunner will use enhancement software to change the angle to the other side and allow us to examine it. That’ll be well fancy.
But I couldn’t trust that. I had to be sure. I had to get shots of the screen itself. As the glance from Will in the above photo suggests, I’ve somehow been spotted. I needed to move fast. So run-mode engaged, I pop around the other side of the screen.
I take the photo!
Too late. Alas, far, far too late.
At which point the vengeful PC Zone staff are upon me.
“Can you confirm that Deus Ex 3 a prequel?”
“Will we see a repeat of the arguably console-compromised design choices of Invisible War?”
“What Russian philosophers are being explored this time?”
“How many levels are there?”
“What’s the Quicksave key?”
I begin to suspect the only answers that’ll be forthcoming will be expressed in the international language of hurting. I’ve got the message and, health-bar plumetting, I have to leave.
I’ll add that since engaging in my break-in on Friday, it’s come to light that Zone members Blyth, Porter and Sefton are to leave the magazine to follow outside interests. Which, as far as I can ascertain, is corporate-coded speech for them being executed due to this disastrous security breach. I regret nothing. Today, we kneel only to Truth.
I’d try again, as I think I’ve learned a lot by my failure, and think it’ll be easier with all the staff dead, but the issue’s out on October 9th and there’s not enough time to get some better Biomods installed.
I’m sorry, guys.