Wot I Think: Deus Ex Human Revolution

By John Walker on August 22nd, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

Actual in-game shot, so it looks decent!

There are very few games that all of us at RPS find ourselves all anticipating so hotly, and this week Deus Ex: Human Revolution is finally with us. Copies should unlock in the US at midnight tonight, while other parts of the world (needlessly) have to wait another four days. Are our anticipations met? I’ve finished the game and will do my best to tell you Wot I Think.

It’s an extraordinary relief. Like that moment when your shoulders finally slide down into the hot bathwater, you physically and mentally relax in the knowledge that you’re back to that place. Remember when first-person games were complex, multifarious, and had a quicksave? Remember Thief, Deus Ex, Bloodlines? It’s that place, that brain-massaging, hair-stroking safe place of excellence that it was getting hard to remember ever really happened.

It’s worth noting at this point that I have no intentions of going into the intricacies of the game’s plot, any of the surprises in place, and I’m even going to avoid getting into too many of the mechanics of how it works. Much is about free exploration of ideas, and making decisions based on the limited information available and your own personal agendas. Saying, “It’s so great that feature X eventually lets you…” or “It’s crap that X never really gets powerful enough” could define how you’ll play, which would be robbing you of what I had when I started. At the same time, it is necessary to critique some aspects of the game that will by necessity count as such mechanical spoilers. I’m aiming to be extremely careful.

A gentle opening sets some agendas. Following your scientist companion through the laboratories of Sarif Industries, you as Adam Jensen (with the face you’re given) begin on rails. You meet people, watch conversations, and get a feel for the place you work in. Before everything around you goes to shit. It’s going to be a game about people, about places, and about conflict.

The central conflict in the second half of the next decade lies between the growing popularity of artificial augmentations for humans, and those who believe in the purity of the human form. A subject that is increasingly becoming relevant to us now, and I think that’s the motivation to have things set so near. Augmentation is already a norm in the game’s setting, years before the events of the original, with rival firms around the world competing for dominance in the field, while those left unaugmented fear for their futures. Why would you hire someone who doesn’t have a bionic arm over someone who does? What good is a photographer that requires cameras and equipment when another person can take the shots simply by blinking? And that fear, the sense of a divide and global societal pressure to artificially improve yourself to maintain advantage, is what DXHR aims to explore.

In effect, what this means is going to various parts of the world and sneaking past/stunning/killing lots of people in large buildings, between chatting with locals in the streets. The towns are amazing. Huge locations, without feeling like unwieldy “open city” zombie towns, packed with shops, alleys, sewers and clubs, peopled by individuals with unique attitudes and voices. Although it can sometimes feel like there’s not much to do, there’s always plenty of places to go, and various routes to take. You’re generally looking for someone who’s mentioned in a current quest, whether the main, or something on the side. However, talk elsewhere and you can hit glass walls. Once off the street, the chances are you’re going to be in an elaborate office complex with an atrium centre, huge laboratories, and private offices upstairs. Which is a great place to be the first… three times? It’s certainly a fair argument that some locations get repetitive.

Let’s stress the ‘great places to be’ part. They really are. This is a game that gets stealth so very, very right that you start to get angry about games you previously thought were fine. Cover drops you seamlessly into third-person, somehow without this ever feeling weird, and neatly hugs the world’s features. Features that don’t, by nature of the environments, feel like they were put there purely in case some invading combatants were in need of cover. Office equipment, doorways, street furniture and supply deliveries all feel like they should be there, which in turn means you get to feel like you’re manipulating the world to your advantage, rather than the other way around.

And locations genuinely do have multiple routes through them. It’s often hard to appreciate quite how much choice you had until you accidentally stumble on something later. For instance, if you find your way into a building by avoiding bribing the person at the entrance, and instead climbing carefully stacked crates and bins to reach an open duct, then crawl your way in through the tunnels to a cleaning supplies closet, you might later on take a wrong turning and find yourself on the roof. A roof you’ll realise has a ladder leading to a gap where you could jump to a nearby residential building, which you could have hacked your way into and climbed within.

In the end your style of play is met not by the world changing to suit you, but by your simply never encountering the options others might have gravitated toward. And the same very much counts for how you go about dealing with enemies.

I completed the game without firing a bullet. Let alone killing anyone. (With a massively exceptional caveat we’ll be coming to very soon.) Using a combination of tranq guns, the tasering stun gun, and most of all, hands-on non-lethal take-downs, I made sure that the available enemies were out of commission, but without any loss of life.

There was a motivation to play this way, although it came from me, rather than the game – the opportunity to play any game without the thoughtless murder of strangers is enormously appealing. But there was also the option, should I have taken it, of just sneaking my way past most of them without conflict at all. However, that’s less fun! (Let alone that if you knock a guard out rather than kill him, and his body is found by another, he can be revived. If they’re all sleeping, no one’s going to be reviving them.) So my particular tastes were carefully met by the game.

Then again, if they’re dead they’re equally not getting back up. And so while an encountered body will raise alarms (which is why it’s best to hide them well), if you’re killing people they’re going to be under-staffed when they all come after you.

Those are the choices you make on your own. But of course there are others that involve other people. Let’s take the first mission as an example, because it suits and doesn’t give away anything once the story has gotten going.

Terrorists have entered a Sarif factory, and workers are being held hostage. However, your main goal is to recover some technology that you don’t want to fall into enemy hands. You can deal with this in a great number of ways.

My first time, I knocked out enemies I encountered until I found those hostages, and I saved the life out of them. Then at the end, when encountering the terrorist leader holding a gun to the head of one of the hostages’ wives, I used my judgement (genuinely my judgment rather than Jenson’s) to talk him into letting her go, but also let him go free. For my own reasons I won’t share.

I could have, however (as I did in a second play), kill every terrorist, then find the hostages and brutally murder each of them, one begging for forgiveness for whatever it was he’d done wrong. Reaching the end I shot the terrorist in the head fast enough that he couldn’t get a shot off to kill the captured lady, then killed both the police officers who showed up, and stabbed the hostage lady to death.

It’s fair to say this rather extreme approach wasn’t quite recognised by the game. The reaction of colleagues after was not to my sociopathy, but rather to my having killed the terrorist so he couldn’t be asked questions. It’s reasonable to expect people not to play this stupidly, but it is a bit of a shame that it’s possible to do, if the game isn’t going to react to it. But the key point here is: it’s possible to do. As would have been never finding the hostages and their getting blown up purely through negligence, getting into a firefight that saw the hostage wife killed, capturing the lead terrorist to be questioned (I’m fascinated to know what is learned by this route), and all sorts of other permutations. And that’s the first mission. Which hopefully goes some way to getting across the point that this game is so much more than most.

Which makes stupid mistakes stand out like throbbing pimples on a beautiful pristine face. And the pimpliest of them all are the boss fights.

Yes, indeed. This most inappropriate of places has boss fights. Which would be ignominious enough if they weren’t incredibly lousy boss fights. Feeling as though they were programmed by another team, from another planet, they absolutely, unequivocally do not fit in this game. They’re the sort of inclusion that you can only think, “I can’t wait until enough time has passed that the developers will feel able to tell the miserable story of why this happened.”

It sucks that they’re there at all, and it sucks more that they’re all so boring and tedious, lacking even the grace of a classic Nintendo boss fight that at least contains a logical path. But what goes so far beyond just sucking is the betrayal they represent. Here all illusion of choice is gone. All playing styles are abandoned. Playing as someone killing no one, learning that the first fight at least, early on in the game, forces me to kill a man almost put me off the game entirely. Despite only using stuns, EMPs and tranqs on him, I was still treated to a cutscene of a man covered in bullet wounds and blood, gasping his last words as he died. And my clear response was: Fuck you.

I didn’t play for two days.

In the end, the only sensible response is to pretend they’re not there. They have so little to do with the game, and their inclusion makes so little sense, that it’s oddly easy to pretend they didn’t happen. Bizarrely their impact on the plot is minimal, and in they end they’re not actually that hard, so really you can switch off, angrily get past, and then carry on playing the splendid Deus Ex game you were enjoying.

Much more interesting is the augmentation system. As I mentioned, I’m not going to go far into this here. But with hard-earned Praxis Points you can unlock new abilities that define how you’ll approach situations depending upon the order in which you unlock them. Focus on hacking skills and you’re obviously going to do better by breaking into terminals and cracking your way past electronic door locks. But if you’ve been beefing up your arms, such that you can punch through fractured walls, you’ll be more likely to create your own pathway. Again, it’s more choice.

And there was mentioned hacking. Oh, poor hacking. Every game that does it thinks the only method is a puzzle minigame, and DXHR is no exception. Although I’d say it’s the best one so far. It’s not interesting enough to explain in words, but it serves its purpose of forcing you to be in a panic to get into a computer before alarms are set off or patrols wander by. It certainly could have been more interesting, but it never offends.

There’s an accusation that can be thrown at some projects that they’re not nearly as clever as they think they are. But DXHR feels like a game that’s not nearly as clever as the people making it obviously are. And again, it’s not a case of unrealised ambition, or reaching too far. It’s a genuine shame that your companions’ feedback based on your playing style all but dries up after the very first mission, and I think that certainly was a needlessly missed opportunity to capture something that made the original DX special. Perhaps there they simply bit off too much. But beyond that, I felt like it was holding back.

I’ve not mentioned the original DX until this point because I find comparisons pretty unhelpful. But it’s hard not to recall a few of the game’s more esoteric highlights. The books in the game, a combination of technical and fiction literature, were compelling and mostly went over my head as I reached to understand. In DXHR they’re almost entirely technical documents on various aspects of augmentations, whether how they actually work, or discussion over the debates related to them. None made me think.

The conversations in DXHR are wonderfully voiced and impressively acted, and generally very well written. But none made me realise how little I knew about a subject, nor challenged my philosophy on a matter. And yet it felt like, from the atmosphere and attitude of so much of the game, that those creating it certainly could have achieved this. Wonderful stories are told just by hacking into people’s emails and following the threads of conversations from multiple angles. This is a smartly made game. But I fear it’s not actually a smart game. And as much as I may be otherwise determined to not let my memories of an eleven year old game determine my experience and opinion of this one, I wasn’t able to shake that desire to be playing a game that was demonstrably far brainier than me.

It looks good enough, but it’s hard not to constantly feel the struggle for polygons as they fought against the archaic tech of the Xbox 360. The PC version is certainly prettier, and the port is sublime – everything is optimised and works exquisitely with mouse and keyboard. But it’s undeniable that the engine looks dated. (Which is perhaps only appropriately in keeping with the series.) While Jenson’s face looks decent, many NPCs look almost unfinished in the fight to save polys. The cities are big and dirty and interesting, but don’t look too closely or you’ll see the 2D cheats, missing textures, and weirdly blocky backgrounds. This is definitely not a case of crying “consolitus!”, because this is one of the most PC games in years. But at the same time it’s a shame that it has been so obviously visually restricted.

Come close to real greatness and your defects are illuminated by the heavenly glow.

What you have here is a compellingly entertaining game, with some of the most rewarding stealth I’ve encountered. And most of all, you have choice. Choice about whether you mow down enemies with a machine gun, or tap them on the shoulders and punch them in the face. Choice about whether you sneak in via the roof, through the sewers, or march boldly in through the front door. Choice about whether you hack, smash or learn passwords through information retrieval. Choice about whether people live or die. So in those tiny moments when the game robs you of choice, it rather offends. But mostly it does not, and it’s a fantastic, elaborate, and so rarely today, long game.

The most interesting parts can’t be discussed here, because they’re yours to discover. And really, discover them you should. Despite its obvious visual console shackles, this is a game that remembers what PC games were once all about, and honours them. It’s a refreshing reminder of what games can be in the current swamp of six-hour follow-em-up shooters, and stands shoulders, chest and waist above. When games get close to the glory of Looking Glass, our expectations can rise extremely high. That Deus Ex: Human Revolution meets so many of them is a remarkable feat.

Deus Ex is released at midnight tonight in the US, and then for reasons beyond explanation, midnight first thing Friday in the UK.

, , , , , .

307 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. D4t4v4mP says:

    Sooo happy that i pre-purchased (even thought i have to wait 4 more days ARGHHHHHH)!

    • Zaboomafoozarg says:

      My version is augmented.

    • xavdeman says:

      Why does it take Steam four days to get the game from the USA to Europe, when Bittorrent does it in an hour? [tl;dr: delayed launches will cost publishers sales].

      On topic: I played through the first mission at Gamescom. The XBOX version definitely doesn’t have quicksave, at leas the demo version I played didn’t, On your way to the mission you get to choose if you want an assault rifle or a revolver and after that if you want to play lethal or nonlethal. So you’re dropped off by a helicopter. I proceeded to shoot everyone in sight. Enemies, friendly SWAT team members. But the game didn’t react. It just ignores your actions. No Lambert to Sam Fisher style “man in ear” disproving of your actions and acting as your conscience.

      This didn’t give me an Alpha Protocol / SC: Double Agent / Fallout (1,2,3,NV)-style feeling of freedom of choice. If the consequences don’t matter it’s not really a choice at all.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It takes longer for the internet to sail over the Atlantic in a commercial trade-vessel than it does in those speedy pirate galleons.

    • goodhegood says:

      Low price, reliable quality, trust shopper’s paradise. Welcome to:
      http://tinyurl.com/3wvabn3

    • CMaster says:

      @Xavdemon

      Different kinds of freedom though. FO’s give you an open world, at least. AP is a really bad example freedom wise though, as there is almost none. In the Fallout series, you can make some impactful decisions long term. However, every single task you take on, every problem you solve or create, you do so in one of a maximum of about three ways that the developers have predetermined. In an immersive sim, the developers ideally build up a semi-real situation (with an eye on how it might be resolved) and let you at it however you want.

    • Magnetude says:

      Xavdeman: The bit you played is half-tutorial mission, it’s much more linear than the rest of the game. Question though – how did you get in to the building?

      Edit: Removed what some may consider very minor spoilers.

    • Danarchist says:

      On the 4 day release delay:

      I work for a big software company and we recently released an updated version of one of our email security products. The release in Europe, Asia, and….Canada? was delayed by two weeks. Normally this isn’t a big issue for us but allot of our customers are international and this caused allot of issues for the early adopters that wanted to deploy it to all there centers internationally at once.
      Since I was so blown away by the delay to Canada (were in the states) I asked my boss. The response I was given was that it was to “Pressure test” our software before it is released into other “less forgiving” markets. Apparently Americans are commonly used at “Post Release beta testers” because we are far more accepting of crap products.
      So if you feel bad about getting to play games later it is just because no one wants to send you partially tested crap…cause you like…dont like that. hehe

    • D4t4v4mP says:

      What made me order is that through the tutorial (hurray for “demo”) i just felt the urge to shoot the kind officer that was briefing me in the face, i then proceeded to take out his squad and every NPC/mob in the level. Dunno why but i felt so… free.

    • Berzee says:

      Danarchist, that’s awesome :D and an enlightening explanation.

    • WildcardUK says:

      @Cmaster

      I get enough ‘impactful’ at work. Don’t start splashing it all over RPS too otherwise the madness will never end and we’ll all be using ‘blue sky thinking’ and taking the ‘helicopter view’! Effective is the word you want.

      /rant

    • Dozer says:

      Danarchist – I’ll be very impressed if Squenix can identify and patch any significant bugs in 4 days…

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Many companies can. Nothing odd in it. Although these patches in most cases include “Day 0 fixes” for bugs that were found after game went gold.

      Teddy Leach – ROTFL. Most epic win ever! ;D ;)

    • Ruffian says:

      rofl, pirate galleons. best quip I’ve heard in a while.

    • AMonkey says:

      Its the publisher that sets the dates not Valve, they can only comply. So blame Square Enix for taking 4 days to get to game to Europe.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week, guys!

    • sg1969 says:

      Well I’m pretty sure the reason why EU (or the UK, at least) gets it 4 days later is simply because games are always released on fridays here. I’m guessing in the US it’s on mondays?
      I guess it kind of makes sense, gives you something to look forward to for the weekend, but also if there’s a huge release people are less likely to miss work the next day due to “sickness”…

  2. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    YAY! and also WOW!

  3. ProfessorBluepad says:

    Cannot wait to play this game, loved the first one, why oh why does it come out later than the almighty Americans? Whyyyyy?

    • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

      I thought RPS had an initiative against these sorts of delays. Who augmented their conscience to stop it?

    • Balobam says:

      It’s all in the tubes, and the interpipes are really long, so it takes a long time to travel through them. Unless you have a 10meg pipe and a 16 core PC, it’ll take a while.

    • RichardFairbrass says:

      Get 2 people to work on downloading it at the same time, makes it even faster.

    • Wozzle says:

      It’s actually to appease the far more fierce, yet subtle, Canadians.

      Fear the red and white tide, friends. Their polar-bear calvary shall blot out the sun.

  4. magnus says:

    I won’t able to play it until the middle of next week, so no spoilers anybody!

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      *SPOILER* Adam Jensen is a sled. *SPOILER*

    • Magnetude says:

      Pritchard is [spoiler]Adam’s cooler, imaginary alter ego[/spoiler]

    • Teddy Leach says:

      DARTH VADER IS HARRY POTTER’S FATHER WHO KILLED DUMBLEDORE WHO STABBED THE TITANIC WHICH SANK ONTO HIS SLED.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      It was set on Earth all along!

    • Eukatheude says:

      Soylent green is made of Adam Jensen.
      Adam Jensen is Keyser Soze.

    • magnus says:

      A sled? ‘Rosebud!’

    • Seb says:

      Adam Jensen believes he is alive, but in fact he has been dead SINCE THE BEGINNING. The Oracle was only telling him what HE wanted to hear.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Jensen is Shodan.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      You’re being mind-controlled the entire time with the codephrase: “desperate”.

    • Kaira- says:

      Jensen has been dead all this time. It was all just a projection in his child’s head, desperate to have a father-figure.

    • JackShandy says:

      Jensen’s arms were behind the conspiracy the whole time. The final boss fight is against your own hands.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      You turn out not to be Jensen at all – but someone who has spent too long playing at their PC and needs to have a wash and see their family.

  5. QualityJeverage says:

    “It’s an extraordinary relief. Like that moment when your shoulders finally slide down into the hot bathwater, you physically and mentally relax in the knowledge that you’re back to that place. Remember when first-person games were complex, multifarious, and had a quicksave? ”

    Can I take this as confirmation that it does have quicksave/quickload functionality? One of my favourite things to do in DX1 was quicksave, try something crazy, and then load. I’d be crushed if I couldn’t do the same in HR.

    • Hyetal says:

      You can quick save all you want.

    • John Walker says:

      Yup, quicksave and quickload are in.

    • jaywalker2309 says:

      @QualityJeverage Yes you can autosave and load :)

    • jaywalker2309 says:

      Heh John beat me to it :)

    • p4warrior says:

      Ever since Call of Duty 2 I’ve been mourning the loss of quicksave. It’s good to see its glorious return.

    • Bilbo says:

      One of the many dewy-eyed nostalgisms in the article, and one I can’t really abide or agree with. Quicksave a) never went away, it’s just missing from a few big releases and the list in the review is deliberately misleading and b) ruins games anyway, particularly roleplaying games, by robbing you of all responsibility for your actions or perception of threat or gravity of situation. But ultimately I guess anyone who feels the way I do about it can simply choose not to use it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Shut up, Bilbo. It’s not “dewy-eyed nostalgia”, you patronising dullard; it’s the ability to save progress and walk off when real life intervenes, and also the aformentioned ability to try some consequence-free larking about.

      I bet you never even tried tidying Manderly’s office with the GEP gun.

    • Bilbo says:

      Hey Phil, how does get fucked sound dude? :D *block* best you can do is point out the mindnumbingly fucking obvious and call me a dullard? epic fail.

      Anyone wanna actually discuss what I said, I promise to treat you better than that, just btw. Trying to fix my “image” and shit. But our boy Phil be straight hatin’

    • Sui42 says:

      Bilbo: I agree with everything you said, including the last part where you say it’s basically your choice whether to actually use quicksave or not :P

      I think it’s nice to have the option to quicksave, and I use it in most games which are, quite frankly, designed with the function in mind. Now, if someone made a game that was designed around the fact that you COULDN’T save – like a high-budget Roguelike – then I’d be excited.

      I did a feature for my student paper that you might be interested in reading. It’s about playing STALKER without the ability to save, ever (so basically having one life):
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ARpa0zjPb0o/S-Ics5P8H-I/AAAAAAAAAEg/Z0K5bSBnE_E/s1600/Stalker+Feature.jpg

      I think I stole the basic idea from someone who did it in Far Cry 2, but it made for a good article (and was actually very fun to do. I’d recommend trying it if you’re a STALKER fan)

    • Bilbo says:

      Good read, thanks. Pretty comprehensive (and by the way very nicely presented, good show). I agree that there’s more/less of a need for quicksaves dependant on design decisions, but that leads me down the path of feeling like maybe quicksave is as much a crutch for the developer as it is for the gamer – there’s less need to structure an experience fairly, organically, and logically if the player is an omnipotent god-made-man who can look as he leaps and then leap again, and quicksave/load is generally every bit that empowering.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Now, if someone made a game that was designed around the fact that you COULDN’T save – like a high-budget Roguelike – then I’d be excited.

      But roguelikes are that game design (and, to be pedantic, allow arbitrary saving; they just don’t let you use saving as “undo”—the real opposite of saving is the checkpoint or the level code). Roguelikes, or at least Nethack, are designed so that the probability of death is proportional to time invested to avoid being frustrated: character generation is instant, so that first-level gnome with a wand of death isn’t hair-pullingly awful. As you start to build up that character and invest time in it, so does your arsenal of tools to help prevent your death grow. And as somewhat of a result, Nethack is prone to complaints (admittedly from a hardcore fanbase) that beyond a certain point it becomes too much of a certainty that you can win.

      In addition, having to restart Nethack isn’t a slog, because it’s all randomly generated; but that puts constraints on what kind of settings and characters and plot you can have. If you want those things, your levels are going to be more static, and you’re going to end up with the problem of the limited-lives weaning-off-the-arcades 16-ish-bit-era, where death means you’ve got to grind through all the same areas again. That’s not fun, and not being fun is a huge problem for a form of entertainment.

    • Sui42 says:

      Bilbo: Thanks, it was a really fun article to do!

      And yeah, I’d agree that quicksave can be a lazy design decision. Some games are genuinely great for not having them. A few weeks ago I found myself staying in a friend’s spare bedroom that happened to have a Gamecube buried under loads of crap, and I booted up Timesplitters 2, an old favorite of mine. One thing I’d really forgotten is how few checkpoints there are. In the first level, which is about 30 minutes long, there’s only one (I think)! But yet the game’s so well balanced that I didn’t feel frustrated dying and trying again; the game demanded absolute mastery from me, and in my intoxicated state (long story) I gladly accepted its challenge. Quicksave would have ruined that experience, as would have lazy game design / unbalanced gameplay.

      I guess the point is that saves / checkpoints are part of the game experience for any individual game, and neither should be taken as a necessity for a game to be good.

      And LionsPhil: I get what you’re saying (I really love roguelikes myself) but I don’t get how any of that prevents a high-budget one from being a possibility. Minecraft’s already a step in that direction, in that it has randomly generated worlds and content. Imagine a game where each time you play, you’re thrust into a fully randomized 3D world (perhaps a level as big as a large Battlefield 2 map) with areas of varying difficulty and loot. There’s maybe three or four ‘quests’ to complete (similar to Skyrim’s proposed quest system), and completing the main quest beats the level. If you die you start a new one. At most you’d spend a few hours on each level. I’d love that game. Too bad nobody will ever make it!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Ah, right; I got an implicit “like a high-budget Roguelike but not” in there (and I guess making it a FPSRPG is somewhat “but not”). It would indeed be a neat thing, and in fact something I’ve idly contemplated before, but I think we’re going to need another Troika-alike team of overambitious and talented crazies to come along before anyone tries it with a chance of pulling it off. The challenges in making something so dynamic look good (i.e. not Oblivion’s dungeons) and generate fun levels, characters, and plots from what is ultimately some kind of template seem huge enough to likely deter many “sane” developers!

      (tl;dr – I agree.)

    • Dozer says:

      *scratches head for a minute

      I see what you did there, @hivemind – not before time either…

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Hey! I remember reading the hard copy of that One Life. Awesome

    • Qeyleb says:

      Sui42: quite enjoyed the read. Did Part 2 ever get posted?

  6. Nighthood says:

    Pretty much as I expected, shame about the boss fights, but I doubt they’ll spoil my experience of the game.

    One question I do have: What’s the quality of the DLC mission? You get it free with the Augmented edition, as far as I know, but I’m not wholly sure what it’s like.

    • xavdeman says:

      I, too, want to know about the Augmented Edition.

    • JimK. says:

      Disappointing. It’s not bad but it’s presented like a whole mission while in truth it’s around 2 rooms big and gives you only 15min of gameplay. Basicly it’s more like a main Quest mission get’s one extra objective instead of the Main story get’s one extra mission.

  7. JagRoss says:

    The one good thing about the delayed UK release is the fact that you can wait for the reviews and still pre-order.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But can we wait for the demo? There’s going to be a demo, right?

      (Anyone saying “BitTorrent” will be frowned at.)

  8. GamerOfFreedom says:

    Can we get some high res screenshots by any chance?

    • xavdeman says:

      1920×1200 please, I want some wallpaper size screenies. PC STYLE! :)

    • LionsPhil says:

      The opening image appears to be the protagonist performing imaginary karioke.

    • Dozer says:

      I was expecting the alt-text to be *cough*

  9. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    All he had to do was compare it (favorably) to Bloodlines.

    What DRM does it use?

  10. Thomas says:

    Deus Ex is released at midnight tonight in the US, and then for reasons beyond explanation, midnight first thing Friday in the UK.

    I finally found out the reason for that as well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes

    Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

    See, 3 workdays for internets to be sent.

  11. Gassalasca says:

    What a sha… no, wait, this is good.

    Yaay!

  12. TsunamiWombat says:

    It’s in italics because it’s VERY IMPORTANT.

    So, i’m going to guess from the article – you liked it, but you wish it was as intellectually challenging as Deus Ex was.

    • Orija says:

      and better acknowledgment/consequences of the choices you make and had better graphics

  13. Vinraith says:

    Good enough for me, thanks John. I haven’t got time for it right now, but it’s on the Xmas list.

  14. povu says:

    5:00 exactly, brilliant! :D

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You realise these are posted far in advance and WordPress just has a feature that allows pieces to be published at a specific date/time, right? :P

    • Koozer says:

      Don’t be silly, John was obviously hovering over his enter key all day to make sure it published at exactly the right time.

  15. Hardtarget says:

    on the one hand, woo unlocks tonight t midnight
    on the other hand, i thought it unlocked at midnight eastern and i’d get 3 hours of solid playtime tonight
    in actually it unlocks at midnight pacific

    :( :( :(

  16. McDan says:

    Shame to hear about the boss fights, but apart from that yay! So much time will be spent on so many playthroughs.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      The description provided makes me think that there was some demand from the publisher to include guaranteed combat. You’d think that anyone who wanted to play the game like Gears of War would just do so, but publishers have proven, time and time again, that they think the only way to create a profitable title is to allow only the lowest-common-denominator approach.

    • JackShandy says:

      Maybe they were just following Deus Ex. There were unavoidable boss-fights you were forced to kill in that, after all – and come to think of it, feedback on the way you completed missions dropped off after the first level. Maybe they emulated it TOO well.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      The ones in Deus Ex were slightly different, because while you were forced to have the characters die, you weren’t assumed by the game to have taken them down lethally, regardless of what you actually did, which seems to be John’s problem.

      Also, while feedback for how you complete missions maybe slows as the game goes on, it doesn’t drop off after the first level. Carter comments on how you handle the castle Clinton assault, and gives you different equipment based on it, and then there’s big fallout over what you decide to do at the airport, though I suppose that’s more a big decision point rather than more nuanced rules of engagement.

    • John P says:

      While you had to kill Anna in DX1, there was at least an alternative method: a kill phrase, which rewarded explorers. It didn’t thrust you into a gun fight with her and she wasn’t a bullet sponge like the bosses in HR seem to be.

    • JackShandy says:

      Yeah, that’s fair. Just having a killphrase would’ve made a would of difference.

      After the first bit the game acts as if everyone you’ve knocked out is dead, though. That’s a massive drop in consequences.

    • Erd says:

      The feedback in Deus Ex drops off when you lose your support team who are entitled to provide feedback. I don’t know thing 1 about the plot of HR, so that may also be the case.

  17. airtekh says:

    I’m so glad they pulled it off and made a good job of it.

    This makes me incredibly hopeful for the next Thief game.

    • Balobam says:

      Me too man, I cannot wait for the next Thief, I just hope it’s not going to take a similar gameplay dive as Hitman appears to have taken, and that it’s going to be just as challenging and rewarding as the earlier ones.

      Despite the criticism the game gets, I really like the 3rd and can only hope for the 4th they mix all the best aspects into one glorious game.

    • db1331 says:

      Deadly Shadows was still a good game. The Shalebridge Cradle level is still one of the best video game levels ever designed. I love the series though and am also eagerly awaiting the 4th installment. I maintain that Thief 2 is the best one.

    • karry says:

      “Deadly Shadows was still a good game”

      Good enough, but couldnt they name it Thief Gaiden or something ? Its too bright and colorful and fantasy-ish, too much sillyness, horrible main plot, and…and a sunrise. A sunrise. In THE City. This is simply unacceptable. A sunrise ! *snort*

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      The second level in Thief 1 was set during daytime.

  18. cjlr says:

    Someone should just outright buy all the rights to Uplink, and use that as the hacking minigame. T’would be ACE.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Someone should just go back to the one-button-and-wait hacking of Deus Ex 1. If it’s going to be a regular occurence, I don’t really want to be playing the same ’80s arcade game over and over and over.

      Also when people claim it’s “dumbing down” we can point at laugh at them because Deus Ex 1 is about the least dumbed-down game that doesn’t keep all its characters on a tiled grid.

  19. CMaster says:

    Is the 360 really limited to only two colours in this day and age?

    Anyway, glad to hear it (mostly) delivers. A bit of a shame about the intelligence aspect though. I was actually hoping from the marketing that it was going to be a more intelligent games than DX. Which sure, was very high-minded – but very in your face about it. Discussions about political systems and transhumanism with bartenders and the like. I’d thought that DXHR might have wrapped these things up more subtly, put them in more appropriate places – but it sounds like in fact they didn’t have quite the nerve or time to do something on the scale of that script

  20. p4warrior says:

    “Despite its obvious visual console shackles, this is a game that remembers what PC games were once all about, and honours them. It’s a refreshing reminder of what games can be, in the current swamp of six-hour follow-em-up shooters, and despite its faults, it stands shoulders, chest and waist above. When games get close to the glory of Looking Glass, our expectations can rise extremely high. That Deus Ex: Human Revolution meets so many of them is a remarkable feat.”

    I teared up a little.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      “they fought against the archaic tech of the Xbox 360.”

      I went completely in the opposite direction with that. It’s curious to me how Mr. Walker could blithely dismiss the obvious flaws in graphical assets without calling “consolitus” and then in the same breath also be disappointed at the games failure to provide reasonable responses to different situations and the inclusion of boss battles all without assigning the same blame. It seems logical to me all the flaws he’s listed fall into the same category.

      It’s one thing to merely have poor graphics, writing or scripting. However it’s another to show you can excel with all three in aces, EXCEPT IF YOU LOOK OVER THERE DON’T LOOK OVER THERE and then it becomes clear that there’s a limitation to the number of assets and the scripted directions you can go. It’s readily apparent that this limitation is the disc size and processing spec of a XBOX, not the skill and imagination of these developers.

      I will play this game, and likely enjoy it. But I will also likely be just as disappointed in the lost potential based on the new ground broken with it’s predecessors and it’s corresponding failure to match or surpass. Much I was with Crysis 2, for the very same limitation.

    • soldant says:

      Incidentally, does this mean that the PC hate is directed primarily at the 360, and less so the PS3? Seems to me whenever someone wants to pick on console tech, it’s the 360 that always gets the hit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      @Soldant

      The PS3 has more power.

  21. Cooper says:

    Any comments on loading times?

    With the -cough- leaked preview -cough- the quicksave function was weclomed, but the loading time for saved games was oddly long.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, good point. The loading times are bloody awful.

    • ZIGS says:

      Oh God, I can’t believe they didn’t improve the loading times. I tried the leaked build and they are HORRENDOUS. I predict people ragequitting every time they die because of the loading times

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Am I the only one who had really snappy loading times?

    • yhalothar says:

      No, I too have an SSD.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Anyone have an opinion on loading times with a conventional hard drive and USB key doing ReadyBoost? Worse or better than TF2, the class-based shooter with integrated tea breaks?

    • EOT says:

      *snort*

  22. Jnx says:

    Thank you once again for a great Wot I Think. I’ve been on the fence about this one, but you washed away my concerns. Off to do some prepurchasing ->

  23. Magnetude says:

    Disappointing as the game’s supposed… inflexibility if you decide to slaughter everyone in the factory is, we must remember that if it weren’t for developers underestimating player stupidity we wouldn’t have “What a shame”.

  24. kyrieee says:

    This was a very good piece, thank you John!
    Can’t wait to play it myself though with now slightly tempered expectations.

  25. magnus says:

    The worst thing about this game is that no matter how good it is there very probably will not be a single game that it will influence, the original only managed one or two.

    • CMaster says:

      Depends how well it sells.
      If it goes big, it might well be a wake up call to THQ and maybe 2K.

    • Balobam says:

      Who knows, maybe Activision will see this as a sign and mix up Call of Du…Ahahaha oh God I could not get through that with a straight face.

      Only 4 and a bit days to go! Eagerly awaiting, whilst slightly confused about the time difference, I could’ve sworn America was about 12 hours behind at best, not 4 days.

    • CMaster says:

      Really, while Activision should be careful to not let CoD get stale (though they won’t be), they’ve got the huge-selling modern-scripted manshoot. The lesson that THQ, 2K and EA need to learn (and to their credit, 2K seem to have gotten this better than the rest) is that you don’t get your own billion-dollar franchise by doing everything the same as the one that already exists.

    • Erd says:

      If Activision didn’t get the message after guitar hero tanked on them then I doubt they ever will.

  26. Sardukar says:

    Now, I wonder what the issues with Deus Ex would have been at the time? Joke AI, ugly combat, the meaninglessses of choice as you feel your options narrowing towards end-game? That other than Paul, no one seems to care if you leave targets alive or dead? The loss of open maps and sidequests in favour of more linear shooter-style maps and missions during the last third?

    I ask this as I finish up DX1 today and compare it with the preview build of DXHR as well as this review. I found the boss fight somewhat silly, but apparently plot-important to Montreal? I’m not attached to non-lethal, ( I find it, too, somewhat silly. None-lethal methods vs people trying to kill you is…very game-ish to me), so killing that boss seemed like something Jensen, under the stress of the moment, would do. Plot-wise.

    Guess we’ll see in a day or less.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      +1 Concur

      (But I am glad John makes demands, because the next installment needs to be even better and John’s unfair comparisons with his *love-tainted wishful memories of DX1:John’s Imagination Edition* will help! )

    • Berzee says:

      [SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED DEUS EX 1]
      [HAHA LIKE THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN]
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Other latin words and such. The funny part about Paul’s “non-violence” is that it isn’t really an objection to killing, it’s just an objection to killing his allies. Once you switch sides he doesn’t care if you take a LAW to the paris police, or anything at all. It’s only Carter who really seems to care about nonviolence in an ideological sense. More latin words are on the way…fake latin words, to be exact. Lorem ipsum zoop a zoop.
      [OK]
      [THE SPOILER IS OVER]

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, Carter is more Paul than Paul. I would say DX1’s very last setting is properly open. And in HR’s slight defence, 1 as designed had a mandatory boss kill in the form of Anna Navarre—it’s just that it a) wasn’t in a blasted cutscene and b) could be a worked around by the fans as a result of that and all the emergent fun the “broken” AI caused.

      That said, ISTR they did claim to design IW with a non-lethal playthrough in mind, so if so it’s a regression there.

  27. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Very glad to hear that the game allows for multiple approaches. However, how forgiving is it for a player who dabbles in a wide variety of skills? I very rarely make a specialist character in my first playthrough of a single-character RPG, if for no other reason than any decent game will make all of its options sound fun and interesting. However, some games *cough*Oblivion*cough* are structured so that you are inordinately punished for sub-optimal builds.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Based on the leak, I’d say the problem with AUGs is that the hard earned practice points don’t yield the same value of results when invested…. for example, there are two equally interesting, fun and substantial Aumentations, however one would swallow 8 praxis points to max out, while the other just 3.

      Also based on the leak – I’d say that the jack of all trades would work more than fine, maybe even I’d say it’s the best approach in the beggining and then specialize later only the most used augs.

    • John P says:

      The problem with the augs is that they’re all so boring. There are three aug upgrades just for increasing your inventory size, for example. Almost a third of all the aug upgrades are dedicated to the hacking minigame (like 16 upgrades for a minigame). Most stealth augs are about ‘improving’ your radar, which kinda sucks because I find stealth more interesting without a radar at all.

      Augmentations should be the opportunity to give players amazing powers that allow them to play creatively. But the augs in HR are almost all dull and lifeless.

    • JackShandy says:

      JohnP how can you even say that? I’m literally goggling here. Consider yourself goggled. The augs that don’t have an immediate awesome impact – jumping over streetlamps, seeing through walls, etc – have a marked difference to how you play the game. The inventory aug lets you be a total video-game character and carry 4 rocket launchers and a bike around on your back; if you don’t shell out for it, you’re going to have to restrict yourself to a small amount of the smallest weapons, and clever-sneak your way around the obstacles that your tiny arse(nal) can’t handle.

  28. Zanchito says:

    “When games get close to the glory of Looking Glass, our expectations can rise extremely high”

    That’s all I need to hear, sir. I skipped the whole article and just read the last paragraph, I want absolutely no spoilers on this probable jewel.

  29. Burning Man says:

    It is good then.

    That is a wonderful thing to hear. I am genuinely happy when effort pays off well.

    Also, that screenshot of the white room looks FANTASTIC. I could play the whole game like that and love it.

  30. Demiath says:

    I’m relieved to hear DX:HR is a good game (not the least because it’s one of the few I’ve ever pre-ordered). That said, I’ve come to realize that smart games in general and the “whole choices & consequences” thing in particular is not and have never been as important to me personally as I once pretended it was (simply because it made me feel more intelligent and sophisticated than I actually am).

    And no matter how a good stealth is implemented in a game, I still hate it with all my heart – which means, among other things, that my current strictly non-violent (second) playthrough of the original Deus Ex is driving me absolutely insane. Still can’t wait for Friday, though…

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I love your post. Yes. I don’t like how pacifistic stealth is robbing me of kills.

      And when John wrote about smart games and changing your philosophy I thought – is there any game that is truly like what John describes ?

    • John P says:

      And when John wrote about smart games and changing your philosophy I thought – is there any game that is truly like what John describes ?

      … Deus Ex?

      I won’t have the same effect on everyone, sure, but there’s no question that DX1 is a smart game, written and designed by people who were widely-read and very thoughtful. HR doesn’t have the same feeling based on the leak, and it sounds like that’s what John found in the full game.

  31. Baconberries says:

    So, italics then, eh? On topic: having missed out on the original, and having a brand new gaming machine on its way this week, this does actual sound far more exciting than I had anticipated.

  32. Lusit says:

    I am so happy.

  33. Scilantius says:

    Hmm, John, you mentioned that it’s a long game,… could we get an estimate as to how long that actually is? How long did it take you to complete it, and how many side-quests did you complete?

    Either way though, thanks for the greatly relieving WIT! Greatly appreciated!

    • Tyshalle says:

      I’m 7 hours in, and I haven’t even started the second real mission. I spent probably 20 minutes in the tutorial, and maybe 2 hours in the first mission. The rest of the time has been spent just exploring the streets of Detroit and taking on side-quests.

  34. AdamK117 says:

    I really liked the intelligent conversation in Deus Ex. When I was younger I didn’t understand them (but wanted to), now I’m older I understand them and appreciate them. Surely it’s a win win to keep that kind of dialogue around (without pitching it TOO high, only took me 10 pages of “Being and Nothingness” to use Satres works as a toilet paper alternarive)

    • Berzee says:

      What I like about Deus Ex’s conversations is that they talk about “lofty” ideas but they don’t usually use “lofty” language…it’s average bums and soldiers and augmented agents who aren’t much into books, having these conversations, and even the philosophers in the story generally don’t waste time on unnecessary polysyllables.

      It’s one of the best tests of whether you actually know what you’re talking about — limit your philosophies to one or two syllable words, and you’ll see if you’re talking sense or nonsense. =)

  35. mindlessrant says:

    My System Shock 2 doesnt have Coca-cola ingame ads :/

  36. mandrill says:

    This? Or food shopping?

  37. mod the world says:

    I skipped the WIT and the comments because of spoilerphobia, someone please just tell me, does John give out a 10/10?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I guess you could boil it down to an 8.5 to 9 out of ten – dependant on how much you value graphics – lower mark if you value them more.

    • Srethron says:

      “I skipped the WIT and the comments because of spoilerphobia, someone please just tell me, does John give out a 10/10?”
      No, but he said it was pretty good. So, you know, 7.5 out of a Half-Life of Hats with a side of scotch.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Sounds like more of a 9.5 out of 10, with a heavy emphasis on “game gets so close to perfection that the flaws are thrown into sharp relief.” But the flaws (no spoilers) are along the lines of “graphics are maybe not great sometimes and I blame the TV toys” and “once in a long while the game forces you to do X, and X is really stupid and doesn’t fit with the game and just blow through it so you can get back to the wonderful, wonderful stuff.”

      So yeah, makes me happy I preordered. Also, I am sorry Squeenix is being stupid about the EU release date. Go play Xenoblade Chronicles or something while you wait.

    • Bilbo says:

      Sounds like he liked it, just not sure why – he makes reference to a few big, self-face-punchingly annoying problems dirtying up the scene, but then kind of washes over them in the summing up, which is odd. But the other reviewers are all doing the same thing, so it’s probably going to be worth the purchase if it sounds like your thing.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Heheh, three different opinions, three different scores – Please RPS, never implement scores – this clearly demonstrates that a solid well written piece of text is the best way to help people understand whether and how much they will enjoy a game – trying to give this a numerical rating is an outdated and quite frankly ridiculously dull idea.

      Maybe if game creators carried a “Michelin Star” type rating with them?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “Please RPS, never implement scores”

      And we never will. It was one of the reasons for creating the site in the first place.

    • mod the world says:

      Thanks guys, it seems DX 3 got a 8.3/10 from John. That means it’s probably good, preordering NOW!
      The lovely thing about rating numbers is that you can see the verdict at one glance. Something i miss at the WITs.

    • edgeblend says:

      “And we never will. It was one of the reasons for creating the site in the first place.”

      See, nine out of ten. They do give scores they’re just very subtle about it.

    • thegooseking says:

      “And we never will. It was one of the reasons for creating the site in the first place.”

      Out of 10.

  38. MaxMcG says:

    Is this the same studio who will be making Thief 4?

    If so, my fondest wish might actually come true.

    • John P says:

      Your fondest wish is for Thief 4 to be a third person line of sight sneaker rather than a rich simulation like the original games?

      I’m just guessing of course. But a designer at this Eidos studio recently called shadow-based stealth systems ‘weird’. And considering Thief is all about hiding in shadows, I’m pretty concerned.

  39. Ultra Superior says:

    So great to read this. I uh… made some opinions based on the leak and in general I felt extremely happy with the game, pre-ordered etc.

    Question: John, did you play it with the Golden Outlines? It could have been switched off in the options in the leak. I played without them, but the real reason was they looked awful – like plush neon tubes. Do they look awful in the final game?

    Also, I don’t think the hatred towards the first bossfight is entirely deserved. I am no friend to cutscenes, but – to be fair

    *SPOILER*

    he kills himself – it is not a kill forced on you, it is his decision, his suicidal attempt at your life, which you escape by jumping off his grenade rigged hug. Also, the fact that you pumped tranqs and electroshocks into his augmented body does not mean he can’t cough blood, I mean, try it on anyone and I’ll guarantee it would do substantial harm… Also, that bossfight can be dealt with in many different ways (environment hazards, stuns, lots of weapons around, and sneaking too!) So I don’t think invoking “super mario” is in place… in this case.

    *END OF SPOILER*

    That said, are you sure there are no killphrases or similar routes?

  40. wodin says:

    As the review went on it started to sound worse and worse….this review has made up my mind now not to bother…

    I suggest people read the whole review and not just the glowing begining.

    Front what I can read from the previous comments it seems many never ead the whole review…

    The game isn’t smart…but the developers where…graphics are OK but not mind blowing…hacking mediocre…stealth superb…choices there but not followed through enough…levels become boring after awhile…
    Thats what I got from the review.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Oh come on, that’s so unbelievably dumb of you.

      Yeah, don’t bother when 11 years after DX there is a first worthy successor.

      Bother when Gears of war 4 get ported or whatever…

    • Imbecile says:

      I think thats perhaps a little bit glass half full. John makes it clear that these flaws only stand out because the rest of the game is so good.

      Also he ends “…a game that remembers what PC games were once all about, and honours them. It’s a refreshing reminder of what games can be in the current swamp of six-hour follow-em-up shooters, and stands shoulders, chest and waist above. When games get close to the glory of Looking Glass, our expectations can rise extremely high. That Deus Ex: Human Revolution meets so many of them is a remarkable feat.”

      That sounds positive overall to me.

    • DK says:

      “Yeah, don’t bother when 11 years after DX there is a first worthy successor. ”
      Yeah of course.
      REJOICE BROTHERS! A DECADE AFTER A BRILLIANT GAME WE NOW FINALLY GET A GAME THAT IS ABOVE AVERAGE BUT STILL FALLS SHORT OF A DECADE OLD GAME!

      Truly we live in a blessed time, when it takes ten years to almost reach a highpoint but still not get there.

    • august says:

      Funny coinciedence, with all the elipses in your post I couldn’t be bothered to finish reading it.

    • JackShandy says:

      Guys I suggest you read the entirety of wodin’s comment next time.

      “The game is…superb… Thats what I got from the review.”

  41. Inglourious Badger says:

    I know there were plenty of criticisms in there, John, but somehow all I read was: BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! Cant wait for 4 days time and hoping Steam actually unlocks on time, no Steam-time nonsense please!

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Steam: Price locally – release Globaly !

      Pay double the price and play the day after. Cheers!

    • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

      I think the Steam rule is: pay more for the same bits and get them later! We gamers are suckers, we’ll buy the games anyway.

      And if some famous PC-centric UK-based web server says it’s fed up with the practice? Oh well, it may launch some initiative but it’ll forget about it quite soon.

    • Premium User Badge

      frymaster says:

      actually, the steam rule is “we’re just a middleman, the publisher sets the prices”

  42. salad10203 says:

    Anyone have any idea an average play through would take? 20 hours?

  43. ProfessorBluepad says:

    “I completed the game without firing a bullet. Let alone killing anyone. (With a massively exceptional caveat we’ll be coming to very soon.) Using a combination of tranq guns, the tasering stun gun, and most of all, hands-on non-lethal take-downs, I made sure that the available enemies were out of commission, but without any loss of life.”

    My plans are rather the same.
    I want to play through this like Batman.

  44. hardboiledgregg says:

    ‘if you’re killing people they’re going to be under-staffed when they all come after you.’

    Are there definitely no ‘monster closets’ in the game then? That’s always quite refreshing to see.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      YES it goes so far that I murdered all the people of the Detroit city hub and nothing ever interrupted my quiet evening serenity.

  45. Berzee says:

    edit: all fixed, all y’all

    • Berzee says:

      You did not take one of the offered suggestions. I know you think that the world is a sandbox that you can alter in any way the mechanics allow, but I prefer if you limit your choice to one of the many attractive paths I have presented to you (it’s all in the numbers).

    • JackShandy says:

      I don’t know what happened here, but this post is like the mysterious ruins of a once-great civilization now.

    • Berzee says:

      This post…was not the beginning…but after this post…all things, including all the beginning, was never the same again…

  46. aircool says:

    tl;dr…where’s the score?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Away with thee! Back to the dirty caves of IGN from whence you came!

    • banski83 says:

      Werd, Aircool. :) Good to spot a Sekriteer on here.

      The score is Pretty Good out of Everything Possible.

    • aircool says:

      Hi mate o/

      Looks like the first ‘for winter’* purchase is here.

      *Y’know, when you use the cold, dark nights as an excuse for extended gaming sessions.

  47. LennyLeonardo says:

    Oh yeah, so I keep forgetting to post about this:

    I’m sure loads of people know this already but the first time they printed concept art in a preview in PC Gamer I noticed that all the weapons are manufactured by some company called Steiner Bisley, as in Daisy and Tim.

    Nerdy little in-joke, but I think it’s kinda fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      If I hadn’t preordered already i would have done so now based purely on that!

    • Premium User Badge

      Jubaal says:

      Hah awesome. I frickin’ love Spaced.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Yeah, I just feel bad for bringing it up because it makes a review unnecessary.

  48. enshak says:

    Stackable crates. Looks like Thief 4 is safe in their hands.

  49. Berzee says:

    After reading this article, I will allow myself at last to become excited.

    However, I find the punchy stabby violence rather too visceral for complete enjoyment (based on the trailers and such) so I am not sure what to do about that. Maybe I’ll just go for guns instead of melee takedowns.

    Anyone know if this game is designed to be easily moddable? (Just textures and sound clips and such…)

    • hjarg says:

      Hmm, pretty sure there was an option to turn them off…

    • Berzee says:

      Excellent! That makes me twice as happy about this game =) Thanks for the good news. If it proves to be false I will…well, I just will be a little bit bummed out honestly. Way to go…

      =\

      :D

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Pretty sure there is no option to turn them off…

      however, some of them are very good – silent choking etc. while others are silly – tap on the shoulder+punch in the face (as a silent takedown.)

      but in most cases, they feel great. It’s a very nice reward for previous static minutes crouched behind a crate, biting your lips and waiting for the guards to finally desynchronize their patrol routes…

      + there are those stupid XP rewards, that force you to play with takedowns. I am RPG slave and experience addict so I really don’t have a choice – I NEED those XP.

      Most XP you get for stealthy and ‘expedient’ takedowns, which also speaks volumes about John. Praxis points junkie like all of us.

    • Berzee says:

      Yeah, I do like some of them for their silliness ;)

      Mostly my problem is that the lethal ones really make me wince. I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to seeing things that look like they’d actually hurt, and there are a few of those in the lethal and nonlethal categories both. (I miss out on a lot of supposedly-good T.V. shows and movies because of this same squeamishness too — at least in DXHR I can avoid it with rocket launchers? =)

      Edit: aww, but if rocket launchers give less xp :(

      WELL WE WILL JUST HAVE TO SEE IF I CAN TOUGH IT OUT!!! (either the lack of xp, or the owchie animations)

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Just remember that when you hear the horrible bone-shattering impact of Jensen’s leg on someone’s kneecap, it’s really just someone snapping a bunch of celery stalks right up to the microphone.

    • Berzee says:

      Harlander, you will almost certainly never see this again, but THANKS BUNCHES for mentioning the celery stalk thing. At first I was all like “haha that’s a good joke guy, I knew it was fake sound” but actually being able to imagine what the source of the fake sound might be has made it shockingly easier to bear.

      Now when dude’s arms get snapped I just keeping tellin’ myself, “LOL CELERY?” and I am not squeamish about it much at all! You are a great man, Harlander.

  50. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Gnnh, the wait.