The RPS Verdict: Deus Ex Human Revolution

By RPS on August 26th, 2011 at 12:54 pm.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution is out in the UK today! Jim, Kieron, Alec, and John have assembled to pass judgement on it. They like it. They like it a lot. But not without reservation. Read on to hear about why a wall is a man’s best augment, and why Kieron is feeling all dirty after kissing Geralt.

SPOILER WARNING: There are minor plot spoilers within. Endings and plot twists are not discussed, but there are a number of narrative elements mentioned as well as a few mechanical spoilers. Just beware. You know. As usual.


Jim: DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION Gentlemen, we should discuss this game, which I am going to argue is the third game in the Deus Ex series. I mean, it’s interesting to me that Deus Ex is a series at all.

Kieron: I always made the “It should be like Final Fantasy and reboot the world each time” argument. It’s a game about secrets and conspiracies, after all. What’s true and what isn’t should be up in the air when… oh, let’s get verdicting.

Jim: John, are you pleased that Deus Ex is back for a third game?

John: Am I ever! There should always be a Deus Ex game to look forward to.

Jim: I think there might be, now.

Kieron: Yeah. They’ve done the oddly miraculous thing in making this feel robustly commercial while remaining Deus-Exy. I really didn’t think they’d pull it off.

Alec: Well, we’ll find out next week if it sells or not. I can’t work out how much of the buzz is solely within games journalists circles.

John: I was interested to note that some yoof 17 year old son of some friends of mine had never heard of it.

Jim: It’s been on telly and stuff. The marketing push seems big.

John: He was instead mistakenly looking forward to BF3 and MW3.

Alec: That’s the thing though – basically it’s a new IP but RPS types get the added buzz of it being the best thing ever miraculously reborn.

Jim: This is a game that the Mass Effect crowd should be buying. Because it’s better than Mass Effect in eleven ways.


Kieron: I imagine it’ll get good-ish shelving – which presumably is the reason it’s only coming out on Friday in the UK, etc. As Alec says, I think Bioshock, except with the name remaining the constant and the thing that gets games journos yabbering rather than the developer.

John: Gosh, I liked it much more than BioShock.

Kieron: I liked it more than Bioshock too. At least so far – I’m about 20 hours in. And… oh god. We’re going to turn into one of those horrible “what box-office does it do?” film sites.

Jim: So anyway, we usually begin our Verdicts with a bit a downer. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case here. Are we united in being pleased with the game?

Alec: I believe we are united.

John: I, John Walker, am officially mostly pleased with the game. It was good.

Alec: But just to return to the bioshock thing – the difference there is that this is *so much* like the source game in a ton of ways. While BS wasn’t so much like Sysshock… did people generally get that sense too?

Kieron: …I’ll give a tentative yes.

Jim: Yes, I couldn’t quite believe how much like DXHR is like DX. I mean it’s not exactly like it, but sort of uncannily like it. I mean much of what it does, mechanically, is very different. But it felt similar. It had a similar delivery.

John: In quite a lot of ways, although some missing.

Alec: There are some massive differences. In a way it feels like I remember DX being, rather than like it actually was.

Kieron: Except without being wonky.

Alec: Because obviously it’s lost a lot of the crudity and, in some senses, the complexity.

Jim: But that’s the point about its updatedness. Production values: HIGH.

John: Here’s what I think. I think it was the best stealth action game I’ve played. I say “action” so I don’t include Thief.

Jim: I concur. It’s radically more entertaining than, say, a Splinter Cell game. Although not actually quite as fun to play as Blood Money in terms of being an infiltrate and non-gun-death sort of game.

Kieron: It’s just a different sort of thing. I’m not really comfortable comparing it to a Stealth game, even with stealth. I mean… Arkham Asylum. That’s almost where I file the stealth, and a lot about the game generally. It’s much more robust than I’d expect. Hell – in the words of the dear departed Quinns, it’s tight.


Jim: It is tight. But I think it is a stealth game, even when you consider how shooty and violent it can be, your main power is to hide.

Kieron: A man’s best augment is a wall to hide behind.

Alec: Metal Gear Solid is a comparison I’ve heard a couple of times. Not sure I agree, purely because I didn’t want to kick anyone involved in the making of DXHR in the teeth after playing it. But the stealth yes/no thing is interesting, in that while I approached it that way I wasn’t satisfied by trying to be Garrett. I wanted to do the cool silent takedowns and carefully timed tranquiliser snipes. I felt unsettled if anyone was left standing.

Jim: Ok, so something I wanted to talk about. Is whether it was surprising. John and I were saying how there were a couple of moments where we had to stack up boxes or something to bodge round a problem, but the game doesn’t have any big mechanistic/emergent surprises.

Kieron: Yeah, I was thinking about that. I mean, some of it is just based around how much more robust stuff like the AI is – characters don’t necessarily do crazy shit because they’re coded better. But other stuff is that there’s less ways to actively combine weapons effect or whatever. The choices in the game are much more designed and hard-coded, based around your abilities and the levels.

Alec: It’s sort of… surer of itself than the first game. For good and ill. I never quite knew what the first game was capable of (either in terms of possibility or restriction) when first playing it, but I had a good sense of what you could and couldn’t achieve in DXHR pretty quickly.

John: What did surprise you about the game, Kieron?

Kieron: I’ve just gone blank and started staring. Man! I’M OUT OF PRACTISE. I’ll see how I feel at the end of it – I’m the one who isn’t all that through. But I can certainly see stuff working.

Jim: I think what surprised me was that it’s probably going to be the second best RPG this year.

Kieron: The other interesting comparison to the Witcher is that it’s an RPG with a defined lead. I’ll differ to Alec’s position – I think JCD is a much stronger character here.

Jim: It’s definitive Guns & Conversation, perhaps.

Jim: A stronger character than Geralt?

Kieron: Er… Not JC Denton. Adam Jensen.

John: But I do agree with Alec that I wish Adam would have editorialised a little when reading large revelations about certain things.

Kieron: Not quite, as much as Geralt, but compared to the genuine blank slate of JCD, I was enormously impressed. Sorry – not impressed is the wrong word. I mean “I felt the character’s existence”.

Jim: There is some really good subtle stuff there, like the “ex” relationship with the woman, the slightly ambiguous relationship with Sarif, and so on.

John: Yes.


Alec: Rather importantly, I didn’t say Jensen wasn’t a strong character. I just said that his motivations and my motivations are two very different things.

Kieron:No, totally. Sorry for that. But I’m saying that I felt Jensen’s motivations were mine more often than your piece implied. I was shaped by stuff he gave a toss about. There was certainly times where the character’s movement through the world made me act in a way that I hadn’t been up to that point. There were certain points where I instinctively turned to lethal force when I had been primarily pacifistic up to then.

Jim: I really liked how some of the conversations played out, especially with Sarif.

John: I think Sarif was a brilliant character. Lots of twists and turns, and far more sophisticated than I was expecting.

Alec:: Yeah, he’s the most memorable character by far. Partly because of his narrative arc, partly because his voice and character are fascinatingly at odds with his corporate/science genius nature. He’s not a stereotype, he’s not slick and cold or even especially intellectual in his speech – he almost sounds like a guy who’d threaten to punch you because you looked at his girl (and then apologise afterwards for getting the wrong impression).

Kieron: Adam’s flat is a tour de force. The plotting is much better than the random sprawl of DX, for example.

Jim: Yes, that apartment was a really lavish touch. It could only have been better if he’d been able to sit down and have a smoke.

Kieron: And what most surprised me is… well, it feels a lot more like Invisible War than I was expecting. Some of the choices they’ve made are very IW… but they’ve pulled them off better. I mean, how much they make you imprint on the cast in the opening sequence – compared to the similar sequence that opened IW – says a lot. Even the fact it’s a sci-fi game. DX’s “thing” was real locales. This doesn’t have real locales. This is a sci-fi world again. That’s much more IW.

John: Really? Office complexes and streets?

Jim: I think the world actually suffers with its sci-finess.

Kieron: No, DX’s things was real office complexes and streets. As in, ones which exist in the real world. You can go and visit at least some of them. That’s not true here. It’s all fictional.

Jim: The big hubs are okay, but it’s actually fairly repetitive and closed off. Where The Witcher and the Mass Effect games dwarf it is in the constantly throwing in of new, mad locales. DXHR is a lot of corridors and atria.

John: I think the mistake with hubs was just their underuse. It just doesn’t make sense how infrequently you return to Sarif to touch base.

Jim: Yes, I do agree about the slight misuse of hubs. I was really excited by them , particularly Shanghai, because they’re huge and busy, but they actually don’t get enough of a look in against overall game time.

Alec: The cutscene vision of future-Shanghai versus the reality of the playable section of it was disappointing. I really want to see more of that crazy, two-tier city.

John: Kieron, which way are you playing? Friendly or JIM ROSSIGNOL?

Kieron: I’m playing it pacifist, but not re-loading. So if I get cornered, I turn to violent. I’m basically dealing with the consequences of my decisions and mistakes.

John: Lethal violence?

Kieron: I played like the first five hours without killing anyone, and then got cornered in an office complex. And then it was lock and load time. I’m probably playing it less lethally than I did with my original DX play through – because the stealth is more robust, I can. There I was a sinister sniper sort. Sneaky and lethal.


Jim: I stabbed many dudes. And I think actually the stabber route was a little overpowered. It was probably easier to murder everyone, one-by-one like the Predator, but in beige offices instead of the jungle.

Kieron: It’s funny. The most efficient way to play the game is the non-lethal take-down. Because you get more XP. It’s the powergamer’s choice!

Jim: Yes, but aren’t powergamer routes often less fun?

John: PowerLAMEr more like.

Jim: Haha, that is a kind of joke.

Kieron: Please! You’re a peaceful take-down guy. We all know you’re doing it for the XP.

John: Honestly, I never did anything in the whole game for the XP.

Alec: I did almost everything in the whole game for the XP. Even when I’d already deactivated security systems from the main computers, I’d go and hack every alarm panel, even though no-one could use them and even though anyone who could have done was unconscious by that point, just for the bonus XP. I was obsessed.

Kieron: I was interested in what you didn’t get XP for. As in, opening a gate with the passcode gets no XP. So if you’re a powergamer, you always hack. That said, XP is only for getting Augs, and I was never particularly stressed about NEEDING MORE XP TO GET WHAT I “NEED”. Actually, while we’re on that, thoughts on the AUGs?

Jim: re the augmentations, if you are non violent, does that mean you have not used the Typhoon? Also I think one thing that is really interesting is how keen I am to replay it. I’m already some distance into my second playthrough. I still haven’t got around to my second pass on The Witcher 2.

John: I definitely want to play again to go the other way on THAT decision.

Kieron: That’s one way it’s a lot like DX – it encourages lots of just nosing around by giving XP bonuses for it. It encourages hacking by giving XP. XP for everything.

Jim: Oh yes, THAT decision. I really wonder what happens.

John: I know cos Alec told me.

Alec: Sorry. I am bad.

Jim: Bah. That’s one of my main reasons for replaying, but I can see a load of points where it could have gone very differently, and I want to explore that.

John: What did people learn from the game?

Jim: Not much in real terms, but it learned me to be excited about Thief 4. You?

Kieron: I learned that I like punching dudes out. I’m still not bored of the tap on the shoulder and PUNCH! move.

Jim: (The third-person bits are generally pretty seamless, EXCEPT when there are multiple dudes around. And then they stand and watch. (In my head they are saying “hey, impressive moves!”))

Alec: I learned that I am strangely immune to getting bored of a hacking minigame, as long as there are experience points in it.

John: I mentioned this in my review, but I felt like they could have taught me lots. But really, it didn’t seem to want to talk about philosophy or politics beyond one very focused subject. And then it was quite ambiguous.

Kieron: Is this about the “this is a smartly told game, not a smart game”? position, John?

John: It is, yes.

Kieron: I was thinking about this. And it’s going to make me write a sentence that I don’t think anyone would expect me to write about it. Or anything ever.

John: Eek!

Kieron: I like that it’s less pretentious.

John: / faints

Jim: BUT NO!

Kieron: DX really was a cheery cut and paster of a mass of books. I don’t think anything in DX really explored the ideas. It just cut and pasted them into it. Conversely, while less ambitious, Human Revolution feels a lot more comfortable in its skin. I thought it would be a game which much to desperately prove… but it’s not. It’s very comfortable in itself.

Jim: You fancy it.

Kieron: It knows what it wants to talk about, and delineates that.

Jim: You totally want to kiss it on the lips!

Kieron: My lips are still covered in cold-sores from when I kissed Geralt.

Alec: I’ve muttered about this already, but yeah, it throws out a load of the peripheral ideas to focus on the one core issue, the moral argument around augmentation. It’s got a much clearer and better-written voice for it, and it’s also a lot less dorky for it. It makes sense and it’s more grown-up in big way. Though I still don’t think it explored it anywhere near as much as it could have done. Again, Jensen so rarely editorialises – there’s surprisingly little discussion of the augs’ effects on his thoughts, both in terms of his own self-image and whether having all this crap plugged into his brain and eyes alters how he sees the world.

Jim: I want to write about something about how the game isn’t really about transhumanist issues. It’s about politics and ROBO-ARM issues, which I think is pure sci-fi commentary, rather than futurism in any sense.

John: I think I wanted pretension. I went in absolutely not expecting to play one of the most entertaining sneaky games ever, but expecting to be taught stuff.

Kieron: It’s a cheerfully methodical look through various outcomes of the “what if we could make better humans”. And there’s a lot of stories looking at it from various angles. It doesn’t feel the need to quote anyone else to impress you.

John: After chatting to the developers, I’m very surprised their reams of research into current transhumanist writers didn’t permeate the game at all.

Kieron: Can I use a minor spoiler? That plot about the poor girl borrowing money from the mob to pay for the implants she needs to do her job. That’s a story about class and power. And that’s informed by a lot of transhumanist debate.

Jim: Yes, that’s what it really seems to be about: the Haves and the Have-Nots, which is VERY contemporary.

Kieron: It dramatises rather than quoting. I mean, the stuff about the riots? In the last few weeks? It feels incredibly contemporary.

John: Yes, that did.

Jim: Absolutely.

Kieron: What I’m saying is that I think it’s a smarter game than you’re giving it credit for, John. I also really like how it does some subtle things with how augs effect how you interact with humans. I mean, the fact you’re not actually talking to people, but reading their signals and then dosing them up with pheromones? That makes me feel really genuinely creepy. When your pilot tells you off for trying to use the pheromones on her, for example.


Alec: And then you do anyway. And it’s just your dirty little secret.

Jim: Yeah, that stuff is really interesting.

John: Well, I agree with what you’re saying, but was there anyone who didn’t already think, “Augmentations would wide the the haves/have nots gap”? It was surely the most obvious angle?

Kieron: I think the 21 year old John and the 31 year old John perhaps have different levels of obviousness. I mean, what did DX say that was actually clever?

Jim: OLD MEN.

John: Well, I’m 33, but yes – it’s absolutely the case that I was very much younger and less educated when I played DX.

Kieron: But just as pretty.

John: ! But it’s that same thing I mentioned in the review. The game IS saying stuff, and it IS exploring ideas, which makes it more interesting than the vast majority. So it’s that thing where I get more picky because it’s closer to bestness.

Alec: A small spoiler: there’s a point, outside of the main narrative, where Bob Page makes an audio-only cameo. And he’s quoting literature and philosophy, like he did in the first game. And, in context to everyone else in DXHR, he really does sound like a pretentious pantomime intellectual. Which I think was entirely deliberate. It made me giggle.

Jim: So something a lot of people have been saying about this game is “are immersive sims back?” With this, Dishonored, etc. Does it feel like that?

Kieron: If it sells, sure.

Jim: Assuming it sells, is this a big deal in game design terms?

John: Well, no. Because there are two of them.

Kieron: Bioshock opened the door for this stuff, Fallout pressed the issue. If this does numbers, this stuff is back on the table. That’s an incredibly mixed metaphor.

Jim: I like the metaphor, it implies there’s a table behind the door.

Kieron: We can climb on the table and get to a vent.

Jim: I suppose the issue is where do games have to go, where can they grow? This seems like an area that could be explored pretty seriously.


John: When was this stuff ever on the table? Surely there have only ever been these few rare gems?

Kieron: Basically, this sort of stuff, even when it was in fashion, turned up 2-3 times a year, tops.

John: Bioshock was four years ago. And since then…

Kieron: Takes 2-4 years to make a game. From the hit to the games it inspired is… well, about now, innit?

John: No, because Thief 3 was three years before that, and Deus Ex four years before that.

John: There’s basically only ever two developers in the world willing/capable to make these, and so they come along every two or three years.

Kieron: T3 was a commercial fail was my point. When it was fashion is 2000, which had Shock 2, T2 and Deus Ex. Ish. Bioshock was a hit, and after that, there’s more games like it, etc. (And honestly, I probably have to hand in my PC Gamer card, as I didn’t notice anything about the console conversion which bugged me.)

John: Games don’t take four years! There’s been nothing after it. Now there’s one game. One. And another one coming out in some more years.

Jim: I dunno, four years is about right from pitch to release.

Kieron: Yeah. I’m right John. And I said 2-4 years.

John: Then we should be inundated with the trailers and press releases for the dozens of others that are coming out any day now.

Kieron: “Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in the Deus Ex first-person role-playing video game series, and a prequel to the original game.[11] Announced on May 27, 2007, Human Revolution was developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It was released in August 2011.” (From Wikipedia)

Jim: SO THERE.

John: I can’t wait for all the other four-year projects that were started after BioShock! It’s going to be a bumper Autumn!

Jim: You are missing the point, John. Read what was said: there’s only ever going to be a few of these anyway. It doesn’t mean Bioshock’s influence didn’t help it happen.

Kieron: Since you’re being smug, I want an admission that you were entirely wrong when you said that games don’t take 4 years to make.


John: I am wrong about that.

Kieron: Thank you.

John: But it certainly hasn’t opened the door for a wave of immersive sims, which was the initial point. Because there’s one of them. And another one being revealed now.

Kieron: It made them possible. Hell, that’s exactly what it said in Alec’s interview about it. (The Arkane game)

Jim: Well, I said are “immersive sims back” meaning, do we count this as the next stage in the lineage from Thief/DX. not “will all game studios now make immersive sims”

John: But that’s Looking Glass people again! The Square game is the one-off, because it’s a new team. And yet it’s based on a Looking Glass game. The next possible one is Thief 4. So Looking Glass again.

Jim: You mean the Arkane game?

John: Yes.

Kieron: We’ve forgotten Alpha Protocol, which is kinda like Human Revolution, if it was shit.

John: It’s a lineage, unquestionably. But there’s few forks in that family tree.

Jim: I mean i guess there’s genre boundary blurring here that is just spinning me around. Because DXHR feels comparable to The Witcher 2 and Mass Effect, but the real genetic identity is more in the Looking Glass games, which is the Guns & Conversation genre swelling up.

John: It’s weird. You’ve made that comparison a lot, but for some reason it’s never associated in my head.

Kieron: Okay – sidestepping the lineage/whether Bioshock helped/whatever debate, I think the only thing this proves is that you can make these ideas work in a modern game which seems like it may appeal to more people than it previously has.

John: Yet I can see the logical similarities with Mass Effect. But I just can’t put them in the same box.

Jim: That’s sort of my point.

Kieron: I’m not entirely sure how much it pushes it, except in terms of professionality and polish. It just restates *this is possible*.

John: Agreed.

Kieron: The difference with ME is that this… well, it’s not that it’s not emergent. DXHR is still simulation based. In lots of ways. In a way which ME wasn’t.

Jim: The Witcher 2 also.

Kieron: Yeah. That’s the difference between the Emergent Sim and the Guns & Conversation, I guess. And the RPG. And… OH NO GENRE FASCIST ATTACK.

Jim: But I feel like the sim-ness of DXHR only surfaces occasionally.

Jim: Which is why i am connecting it more with those other games, i suppose.

Kieron: Put it like this – it’s a game whose sound propogation model works like Thief’s – as in, doors open or shut make a difference, material makes a difference, etc. That’s a simulation approach, and it’s still there.

Jim: ANYWAY. Games of the year?

Kieron: But yeah – if this isn’t in the game of the year, I’ll be enormously surprised.

John: Mainstream, yes, so far. And I don’t see what’s going to beat it.

Alec: I’ll struggle to pick between this and Realm of the Mad God for ‘game I was most obsessed with in 2011.’ Not that they’re in any way comparable.

Jim: Skyrim?

Kieron: Bless you.

Jim: (Not that I believe that.) (Especially since I don’t like Bethesda games!)

John: The more I read about it, the more I wonder if it will. I never got on with Oblivion or Morrowind, but maybe this time?

Jim: I think that with EVERY Bethesda game, and it never happens. They should be my ideal game, but I just can’t get along with them.

Kieron: Just thought of something else I like about it: how they pulled off the regenerating health. It’s not intrusive or cheaty or the usual problems. They balance it so it’s fucking hard, basically. And… oh, I could go on a lot.

John: Yes. Every other game needs to copy that.

Jim: Yes, it was amazingly well integrated. And I think it works because you are so vulnerable.

Alec: I felt they could have been a little more generous with the protein bars, however. I spent most of the game with only energy block thing filled, or waiting for it to recharge. Perhaps better that than to be Robocop on-demand, all the damned time, though.

Kieron: Yeah – I did that too, Alec. Doing stuff like throwing objects down corridors to set off proximity mines! If you can pick up a box, it’s an immersive sim (probably). Oh – I was cursing the fucking shotguns. The second wall I punched through there was a guy with a shotgun waiting. Messy.

Jim: Oops.

John: I still don’t know what it’s like to fire a shotgun.

Jim: Right, let’s finish. Recommend this game as a purchase to our readers, men?

Kieron: I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS GAME TO THE PEOPLE WHO PLAY VIDEOGAMES.

Jim: Hooray!

John: If someone asked me if I would recommend that they play Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I would reply to that with the word “yes”.

Alec: I would give the same answer. WE ARE AGREED.

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173 Comments »

  1. ran93r says:

    Optimus?

    • Matt says:

      Too much like a rating, methinks.

    • Prime says:

      *sulk*

    • Premium User Badge

      Napalm Sushi says:

      I would have waited an eternity for this. It’s over, Prime.

    • Prime says:

      NEVER!

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      Rodimus!

    • Narcosis says:

      Any reviewer who saw this and didn’t Deus Ex a 10/10 should be MDK’ed.

    • Joc says:

      @Narcosis: That is brilliant, but I’m not sure if I should be ashamed of finding it so funny…

    • forcesofodin says:

      I love the comments about how sure this game feels about itself in comparison to the original, very astute observation. But the appropriately positive reviews are also woefully misguided. The reviewers either didn’t fully understand the game, or didn’t care enough to notice that god is in the details with this one.

      The stealth action is a choice you impose on yourself, so don’t call it a stealth game to everyone who hasn’t had the chance to choose yet. You neglect how well done the not-stealth options are:

      One time I dragged two turrets through an entire compound with me using the heavy object strength augment. It was so utterly satisfying to see stealth camo enemies getting locked on by their own turrets as soon as they start firing at me.

      It also has a GREAT cover system. I particularly love the ability to leap to coplanar cover or round the corner with the same button . Very well done. Couple that with some of the awesome guns and you have an equally polished action game.

      I feel like people miss the point that stealth is just ONE option, and that ONE option is so well developed as to be comparable to friggin’ metal gear solid? DAMN what a game we have.

      This game touches deeply upon future-of-technology issues and I ended up thinking about the implications of augmentation long after my play sessions. It’s not enough to hear the main story sequences: you MUST explore this world, listen to its people, read its knowledge, and look carefully at its sites. Otherwise one doesn’t get the full picture and the reviewers come off like those obnoxious kids in English class who raise their hands nonstop despite having never read the book being discussed.

      So much of the atmosphere (and non-obvious detail) is there to illustrate different perspectives on this real and important concept. The game is riddled with awesome subtleties and they all help flesh out the game world and its ideas.

      Like this time I found a computer with a coffee cup spilled over the keyboard. As it turns out, this one computer had been left unlocked, probably an unintentional consequence of that workers haste to get out of there, which means makes me wonder why …. Most games have clutter for detail and immersion, but that cup of coffee told a story.

      Another time, I walked by my in-game apartment and heard a couple fighting. Behind closed doors the husband screamed to his wife, “oh , so you don’t want me to touch you with my ‘cold dead hands’? They were your idea!” I couldn’t help but listen to the couple fight and think about how plausible the argument sounded, and how interesting it was to listen to it trying to glean more clues about how our world might react.

      Or how one augmented gangster said I was close to being “shifted”. Which cleverly immersed me with believable, hypothetical-slang WHILE bringing my mind back to the question of how far one can go before they’ve shifted and are no longer human. At what point is the essence of humanity lost? Also, is that necessarily bad thing? Here is slang that sounds rather positive yet refers to the loss or transcendence of owns own humanity.

      Every nuance of this game builds towards cohesion and adds more food for independent-thought. Every perspective this game throws at you, whether subtle or cut-scene-blatant, is a tool to help you create your own answers, to choose for yourself.

      The theme of choice is a fabric which binds the two elements of game play and story into one unit. The resulting cohesion is the very source of the confidence Human Revolution exudes.

      So it’s embarrassing to hear you complain about the lack Narration from the protagonist. The main character is nothing but a means to be able to make a choice, in both story and game play. Yet you want the main character to make that choice for you with narration? The point of threading choice through every fiber of the game is to provoke thought through immersion. This is precisely what makes Deus Ex NOT a movie game like Metal Gear Solid. Do you see the difference and why it’s important?

      The entire identity of the game is built upon one simple theme, and you missed the point. Journalist my ass. your work is shallow at best. Editorials like these hold the industry back from being on the same mature footing as other mediums.

      Anyone interested in the game’s subject matter might want to watch “Transcendental Man” (might still be on Netflix) which deals with the reality of a technological singularity where machine can redesign itself better than we can, causing an explosion in how fast technology can evolve. If technology grows as it has been for decades, growing faster and faster, we will see this science fiction become reality.

      It’s amazing that a video game has done more to help me digest the future shock of this potentiality than any other book or movie I’ve seen on the matter. For that reason I see Deus Ex as definitive proof that video games have just as much potential for positive growth and mental stimulation as any other medium. This game makes me proud to be a gamer.

  2. kyrieee says:

    I can’t wait to finish it so I can read this but at the same time I don’t want the game to end.

  3. Bilbo says:

    Finally bit and steam’d this last night. Looking forward to playing it when I get off work. To that end I think I am going to take the smart path and heed the spoiler warnings for once, but I look forward to reading this next week.

  4. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Alpha Protocol wasn’t shit :P
    & it’s the closest touch point for this game, splinter cell & metal gear solid are hugely inappropriate comparisons, although they might be appropriate comparisons to the way you all played it, that’s not the same thing.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      Yeah I don’t see how Alpha Protocol was shit and Human Revolutions is a five star meal. This game feels like as much a sequel to Alpha Protocol as it does the original Deus Ex, and it’s a far more appropriate comparison than Mass Effect or The Witcher. Global conspiracies? Check. Steely voiced, solo protagonist? Check. Hilariously overpowered stealth takedowns? Check. Obnoxious boss fights punctuating the story like leprosy? Check.

      Perhaps if this WAS Alpha Protocol 2, and not the sequel to one of the most beloved shooter/RPG hybrids of all time we’d talk more about the twitchy/glitchy character animations and headache inducing load times and Pritchard’s nail’s-on-a-chalkboard voice acting instead of just hand waving it with Production Values: HIGH. Because as much as I am enjoying the game, if there’s any ONE THING it *absolutely* shares with the original Deus Ex it’s “wonkiness”.

    • JackShandy says:

      So with the load-time patch today, you’ve got glitchy animations and a bad voice actor. Neither of those detract from the fact that the guns, augs and cover system are rock fucking solid in a way that Deus Ex didn’t come close to. Never played alpha protocol, but from what I heard of it it can’t of been as polished as this game is.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >”We’ve forgotten Alpha Protocol, which is kinda like Human Revolution, if it was shit.”

      I almost booed out loud in the office when I read that sentence.

    • Pidesco says:

      My reaction to that sentence was the same as Lars. It almost made me go into Angry Internet Man mode.

    • Zanchito says:

      Alpha Protocol is an awesome game.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Sounds like I might have to check out Alpha Protocol, then. Did it ever get unbrokenified? All I remember about it was that everyone said it was incomplete even by Obsidian’s standards.

    • Vinraith says:

      One word: hacking.

      That is all.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’m mystified by the people that said Alpha Protocol was broken. The only ‘broken’ thing about it is that the pistol skill tree is WAY overpowered compared to everything else. The Chain Shot skill can completely wreck bosses in seconds.

      Only bug I saw was a guard in the opening area who got stuck in the ground in ragdoll mode when I killed him, so he just flailed around uncontrollably without falling over right.

      As for the hacking/lockpicking/etc minigames: GET A GAMEPAD. USE IT. DO NOT QUESTION.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Alpha Protocol wasn’t a BAD game but it had problems with being a bit rushed (which is odd considering it was in dev hell for years) and it didn’t do stealth nearly as well as Human Revolution did. AP’s problem was primarily bugs, being unbalanced, shit marketing, and terrible bossfights that detracted from the game.

      Deus Ex HR gets 3 out of 4 of these right.

      That being said? Omen Deng is hardcore.

    • glix says:

      I’m actually in the middle of the endgame for Alpha Protocol and was frustratedly trying to get past the helicopter bit when HR dropped and I’ve been playing that instead (I’ll get back to it, but I’m mad at it right now). I was really surprised at just how similar the two games are.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      They’re EXTREMELY similar. Yet apparently one is shit, and the other is a GOTY contender.

    • kazooka says:

      No, he’s right. It’s very much like Alpha Protocol. Except it gets everything right that Alpha Protocol got horribly wrong. For one thing, the plot is actually coherent. For another, Jennsen is a sympathetic figure, whereas the main character in Alpha Protocol was a gigantic twat. I think that’s largely due to the way Jennsen manipulates people as compared to double-oh-twat. The Alpha Protocol system was to tell the other person exactly what they wanted to hear. It turned the RPG system from a Choose-your-own adventure novel into a thing where there were definite right and wrong answers. And none of those answers felt like an actual person speaking.

      You also have the same boss system, but in Deus Ex, the durability of those bosses actually makes sense, as they are post-human cyborg men (and women). Whereas in AP, they were all regular dudes, who could somehow survive dozens of grenades and several thousand bullet wounds. Even if you are a very coked-up Russian with an 80′s theme song, that breaks immersion in a somewhat unprecedented way.

      Oh, and one other thing: I really liked how this game contained a number of attractive women who were not fuckable. I think it says a lot about the games industry that I expected to be able to hire prosititutes or nail various non sex workers as a reward for saving their lives.

      Alpha Protocol was actually a kind of neat game buried under all the crap. Unfortunately the writing and the polish let down the rest of the game in a very big way.

    • Vinraith says:

      As for the hacking/lockpicking/etc minigames: GET A GAMEPAD. USE IT. DO NOT QUESTION.

      1) It doesn’t really seem to help that much to play the minigames, especially the hacking, with a gamepad.

      2) Using a gamepad eliminates any possibility that I might actually shoot accurately or have any situational awareness.

      KB/M lets me shoot and look around, but not play the minigames. Gamepad theoretically makes the minigames playable, but means I can’t shoot accurately or look around quickly. There’s no mechanism in the game to easily and quickly switch between the two.

      As a result, after trying several times, I finally just gave up on the game altogether. Insurmountable control awkwardness, plain and simple. If you can play it and enjoy it, good for you, I certainly can’t.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      I enjoyed Alpha Protocol, it had a lot of cool ideas, specifically the way they executed the openess while still being a very linear, basically corridor game. HOWEVER, the core mechanics, stealth and gunplay were fairly weak, and easily outclassed by DXHR. Alpha Protocol was also rather buggy, despite the scope of what you are doing (stealthing/shooting through linear levels) being fairly constrained.

      DXHR and AP are similar in a lot of ways, but DXHR undeniably executes what it was trying to do far better than AP does, and DXHR tries to do more.

    • malkav11 says:

      The only thing that was broken about Alpha Protocol for me: the hacking minigame. I mastered it fairly quickly, but the mouse end of the controls never lined up with the actual movement of the mouse.

      Everything else was awesome. I think Deus Ex: Human Resources (sorry) is more fun so far because it has more moving parts and cyborgs, but it’s a near thing.

  5. McDan says:

    Hooray! I would totally buy this if I wasn’t too poor, at least I can continue looking forward to it I guess.
    OLD MEN
    I still really need to finish the first game…

  6. Yosharian says:

    Am I seriously the only fucking person who hasn’t received their copy yet? I wouldn’t mind but I bloody pre-ordered in MARCH.

    • Azhrarn says:

      You’re not alone, my Augmented Edition is still in transit. But that’s mainly because Amazon UK tends to only send out packages a day before release and it takes 2-4 days to get them to me in the Netherlands.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Nope, I’ve not got mine either, and I preordered in DECEMBER.

      Edit: it arrived at last.

  7. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    Okay, okay. I’ll buy it.

    Fuck sake.

  8. Prime says:

    This is one I’ll get around to eventually, no great desire or rush right now, but I’m heartened to hear it’s ticking so many of the right DX boxes, even if you completely failed to mention the disagreeable boss fights, purely because of how much confidence it gives for their next title, the almighty Thief: The Fourth.

  9. d00d3n says:

    The game has much more freedom than I expected. I spent five or so hours going through the sidestuff in the first hub world outside sarif headquarters in Detroit. I have to take issue with some things, though:

    As a “gotta catch em’ all” power gamer you are very restricted when it comes to your first aug choices. I have spent essentially every available praxis point on somewhat boring augs that are needed to get everything (4 maxes out hacking access, 1 needed to make hacking less quickload dependent, 2 for social enhancements, 1 for larger inventory). The stealth enhancing augs seem more fun gameplay wise but you can compensate in those areas with quickload and repetition which makes them less essential. Passing up hacking to use keycodes is hugely penalized in the game with notably less experience, less hacking items and less credits. When you have used the code any reward you could have gotten by hacking is lost forever. The social enhancement aug is also needed early to get all the benefits in conversations, which I guess is self-explanatory. Inventory size is stupidly under-dimensioned at default which forces you to choose between leaving a lot of stuff behind or getting the augs. A permanent locker or storage area would mitigate this (weapon upgrades and some other stuff take up lots of space but are not really needed on the field) but I have not found one as far as I have played.

    The thing that really annoys me with the game is the ridiculous loading times. This targets people who are trying to “power game” specifically and easily stretched the first primary mission several hours for me. It has also been annoying when hacking in the hub world. I have no idea how the testers for the game could find the loading times acceptable. I can think of no other trial and error-based stealth game with loading times even in the same ballpark as human revolution.

    In conclusion the game is clearly GOTY-material despite everything I said above …

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      There’s a loading speed patch today, btw.

      KG

    • Mr_Hands says:

      And thank goodness for that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      The patch is amazing, at least for me. It turned loading a level into something where I’d turn around, unpause whatever show I was watching on TV, watching a good thirty seconds of it, then go back to the game, to something where I’d have time to turn around, unpause the show, and the game would be loaded. Now why couldn’t they have that in the release?

    • Premium User Badge

      Tom De Roeck says:

      Also, stuff you leave in your apartment, stays there till the end.

  10. Inigo says:

    Jim: This is a game that the Mass Effect crowd should be buying.

    YOU ARE NOT HELPING, JAMES.

  11. Mr_Hands says:

    Re: KG’s comment on class and power. My first foray outside of Serif, I encountered TWO GRIMACING MEN with LARGE GUNS.

    At some point, one of them looked at me, and said something to the effect of, “Man, you spent a whole lot of money on shit you don’t need.”

    I mean, obviously they didn’t know what had happened and that the arms were probably free, but that relaxed stance in gangster movies, where the hard-boiled thugs with hearts of gold invariably triumph over the well-to-do nancy-boy with more money than street smarts. Then I wondered, “is that who I am?”

    It was a wonderful moment for me.

    In my attempts to show them my tranquilizer rifle, I accidentally tapped the nonlethal takedown and threw a nasty right cross to the commenter. His friend summarily gunned me down.

    “Oh,” I thought “it appears I am.”

  12. poop says:

    Immersive sim is way more of a level design theory than an actual genre for me, classifying games gets easier when you think of it that way

  13. poop says:

    also you forgot to mention bloodlines as the Other Immersive Sim That Came Out In The Last Few Years

  14. HexagonalBolts says:

    FINE i’ll get it. I hope you’re happy.

  15. Breakspeed says:

    So far we have Portal 2, The Witcher 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution at the top of my personal GOTY list and I’m beating myself up over those choices alone. With the other great titles coming out this is going to be a heck of a year. I can’t wait for the end to listen to all of the podcast discussions and read all of the articles from around the gaming world to find out some final verdicts.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’m thoroughly expecting SotS II to sweep all before it on that score, like the tidal wave created by a humongous space dolphin belly flopping into the Atlantic.

  16. John P says:

    You guys talked a lot about immersive sims, but I feel the need to point out again that Eidos doesn’t consider this an immersive sim.

    http://eidosmontreal.tumblr.com/post/8513635957/is-dxhr-an-action-rpg-or-an-immersive-sim

    Maybe they just have different terminology or something, but since they totally dismiss the term in that answer, I’d suggest not.

    Yeah there are some simulationy bits in HR, but they’re so underdone and badly utilised that I get the feeling Eidos doesn’t really care. How often does it matter that a closed door blocks sound, for example? I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where that’s had any gameplay effect whatsoever. Some of the mechanics actively work against emergent possibilities too, like the shortage of available tools and weapons (both pickups and environmental objects), and the boring augmentations, most of which don’t interact much with each other or with other game systems.

    You can see it in the stealth as well, which is very Metal Gear Solid-like (the comparison to MGS is entirely justified). Because of the deliberately narrower focus in HR, stealth is less about navigating an environment organically like it was in DX1, and more about crawling and diving from safe cover to safe cover. Stealth in HR is more like a problem solving game where you watch for patrol routes and then move to the next place where the level designer has provided you with a crate to hide behind. This is how MGS stealth plays too. It’s most certainly not how DX1 or, say, Thief plays.

    I suspect Eidos would be happy with the comparison to MGS anyway since they keep saying they’re big fans, but it does make me concerned about Thief 4. For me, just making a good quality game (and HR is good quality) isn’t enough. What matters is what kind of game it is. HR is recognisably DX-ey in some ways, but it’s very different in other important ways.

    Maybe the simulationy stuff in this engine is going to be used more in Thief 4? We can only hope.

    • JackShandy says:

      I still don’t think a one-word answer from an un-named source on a marketing blog says much about their philosophy. Besides, by your own example they must have been trying to create a sim. Riddle me this: Why would they make doors muffle sounds for no obvious gameplay benefit if they weren’t trying to make an immersive sim?

    • Jibb Smart says:

      “Why would they make doors muffle sounds for no obvious gameplay benefit if they weren’t trying to make an immersive sim?”

      So players don’t have to keep crawling/slow-walking to avoid guards in the next room/hallway from coming in to check out what the deal is with all those footsteps.

    • JackShandy says:

      Ahaha! You’ve walked right into my trap. If the simulationy stuff IS useful in gameplay than his statement is false.

    • John P says:

      If they’re using the same engine as Thief 4, I would speculate that perhaps the simulation stuff is more intended for that? It was kinda that way with Invisible War and Thief 3 as well. IW had some audio occlusion stuff going on but wasn’t taken advantage of to the same degree as in Thief 3.

      In any case my point remains that HR doesn’t take advantage of stuff like this, and much of its design suggests an ‘immersive sim’ is not what they were trying to make.

    • Sui42 says:

      I actually think, out of the stealth games I’ve played, Deus Ex is most like Metal Gear Solid. Why? Because the stealth is all about leaning against walls and peeking around corners. It’s less fluid than first-person stealth games like the original DX, Far Cry or Thief, and it lacks the complex gadget-y gameplay of Splinter Cell. The core of both Metal Gear and DE:HR – for me, at least – is poking round corners and then running behind a guard and snapping their neck. When I do this in DE:HR, it reminds me of doing the exact same thing in Metal Gear.

      Obviously the games are so very different in so many different ways. But I just feel like the core stealth mechanics are similar.

    • Sui42 says:

      I actually meant to reply the above post to a different thread, but really, it fits better here seeing as what John P was saying about MGS :p

      I made the mistake because I just CTRL-F’d ‘metal gear’ to find the thread again… whoops

  17. BurningPet says:

    Geralt cant jump. Sheppard cant jump. what interests me is – can adam jensen jump?!!??!!!!!111111

    • JackShandy says:

      He can jump over fucking streetlamps, my friend. With the right aug.

    • BurningPet says:

      Sigh, thank god. the witcher 2 was ruined for me from the start because the dude cant even jump over a half meter high terrace.

    • Inigo says:

      If you are playing this game without the jump aug, you are some kind of mental pygmy.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Yeah get at least the first leg Aug, you’ll jump like you have million dollar robot legs.

      Which you DO.

  18. Chris D says:

    Thanks to this game constantly being referred to as DXHR my brain has becoming convinced that it’s called Deus Ex: Human Resources. I hope you’re satisfied, people.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      You do get to fire people in it.

      Wait, I mean fire at people…

    • Dozer says:

      And so it shall forevermore be known.

      Deus Ex: Human Resources! Hurrah!

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Conversely, I always imagine the Human Revolution to be a giant rotisserie for cannibals.

  19. Laurentius says:

    So it’s good, or even very good but is it awesomely good? I mean in terms of personal satisfaction I crave now games that I can play for a long time, games that I like to return because of replay value or just to have fun once again? Is it like Witcher2, game I already finished twice and definitely will pick up for another playthrough or Portal2 another game that I like replay again and again for its cleverness, design and sense of humor. Or is rather like, let’s say MassEffect2, good game, I was satisfied to complete but never ever I have a feel to play again.

    Ps. i played leaked beta for a bit, tried first mission, get bored… :S

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Like any Deus Ex Game (of which there was only one other THERE WAS NO TWO SHUT UP) the intro mission is not representative of the game as a whole.

      I’d say it’s very good. it’s not miraculous good, but very good. The gameplay is all aces, there’s some good subtle storytelling – i’m not being gripped by the story yet though.

    • Dominic White says:

      If you couldn’t even get past the tutorial mission, then I think you need to get your attention span augmented.

    • Strontium Mike says:

      Oh yeah Liberty Island was so good, I played the hell out of that level in the demo back in the day. Pity the full game never really lived up to the promise of demo. I picked this up today plus Invisible war and I too deleted HR after thirty minutes, I just cannot bring myself to play it.

  20. JackShandy says:

    Human Revolution is slightly worse than Deus Ex at being Deus Ex, but far better than Deus Ex at being Human Revolution.

    On the “Will people buy it?” point – Almost every gamer friend I know is getting it, including a pair of twins who just own two Xboxes and think Deus Ex is a typo. I’m massively excited- I think this game could really sell immersive-sim-ness to a new generation.

  21. proudpheeple says:

    “… Jim: I like the metaphor, it implies there’s a table behind the door.

    Kieron: We can climb on the table and get to a vent.

    Jim: I suppose the issue is where do games have to go, where can they grow?”

    BUT IF THY GROW, HOW WILL TEY FIT IN THE VENT? The vent they climbed onto the table for….

  22. Teddy Leach says:

    I spent the first three hours desperately wishing I had a silencer for my 10mm. When I finally got one, I felt like GOD.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’m in the second hub with a silenced sniper rifle and a jump aug, and I feel like GOD.

      ANTS! THE SKY ITSELF DEMANDS THAT YOU DIE

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Sniper Rifle won’t take a silencer mod, it says in the examine description anyway.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      1. One of the various-editions bonuses is a silenced sniper rifle. It’s not as powerful as the sniper you can get in-game though.

      2. There is a silencer for the sniper rifle you can get in-game, but it’s not the same silencer that you can put onto the pistol/submachine gun.

  23. Lightningproof says:

    As a 17-year-old yoof type who adores the original (and this) Deus Ex, I take offence to that!

    • Inigo says:

      I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of phone boxes shattering and plastic bottles of Strongbow being gargled. You kids and your dubstep and your backwards baseball caps and your looted TVs and your Glasgow Smiles and your pierced I-don’t-know-what and your track bottoms and your overactive thyroids and your seething pustulous skin pores spraying hot poison and dying while blood cells and your Limped Bizzket and Emenemms and your Five and Ten cents and your oh god why have i started bleeding from my eyes

    • Lightningproof says:

      Tch, old man, why don’t you go knit yourself a Daily Mail out of tweed? I’ve got grannies to knife.

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      You two should get yourself a sitcom. On ITV4.

    • Inigo says:

      Do you have even the slightest idea how much tweed costs these days?

    • Lightningproof says:

      Nope, but I’m sure you can afford it with your pension money.

    • Muzman says:

      I call BS
      He hasn’t once said ‘innit’ (and if he did he’d probably use it as a contraction of ‘isn’t it’, instead of whatever the hell it means now)

  24. Ricc says:

    Not a shame.

  25. clockler says:

    I’m about eight hours in – well actually, I can’t use time measurements. I’m up to the first boss fight, after eight to nine hours playtime. But a lot of that playtime was certainly spent fucking around.

    Off the top of my head, I’ve killed five people with vending machines (three throws and one drop – the drop landed on two dudes! And no achievement to boot), climbed over two world barriers using precariously stacked dumpsters/crates, and actually used takedowns twice.

    I’ve taken an adaptable approach to the game, but focused very much on stealth and lethality – it’s much easier to make a lethal takedown at range, and once shit goes red staying non-lethal is a case of how much you like the loading screens or the fancy flickering hud when you die.

    If I had to say what I hate about the game, the first thing would be the first boss, because it’s a jarring change from what I was doing before (I did not fire a single shot from getting off the chopper to this boss fight, and neither did anyone else, though one guy did say “Do you hear someone jumping around?”), and also for how ungodly stupid it is. I knew it was coming, so I’d stocked up on all the grenades and explody bits I could, and he soaks all of those and a good clip or so from the combat rifle without going down. Couple that with the fact that it takes two shots for him to kill me and you have a very, very frustrating fight on your hands.

    The second thing would be how the lower 1/3-1/2 of the buttons is not actually part of the button. It’s not clickable. It doesn’t function. And that annoys me because the button to skip the cutscene into that fight is already fairly small.

  26. Mr Bismarck says:

    The real example of Haves and Have Nots in this game for me is in Sarif’s office.

    He has two Roombas. TWO.

    • HothMonster says:

      Only one of those is a roomba, the other is a new Sarif product called “The Blowjob Butler.”

  27. TooNu says:

    I will read this in a months time! Shame you couldn’t give it a couple of weeks or what not to let everyone in the world play it and join in with your discussions.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      RPS have been, as ever really sensitive with regards to spoilers

  28. kyrieee says:

    Just like the game I didn’t want this article to end

  29. reticulate says:

    Loved this, and loved that you had to spend as much time as you did on the verdict. I like the Mass Effect comparison, since that’s sort of been a substitute thing for a while now.

    The general feel seems to be “fucking fantastic, but with caveats” and that sounds fine to me. The original Deus Ex was not an untouchable, perfect thing. It had problems that were well within the reach of developers at the time time to fix. But it did so very much in such a way that you can overlook the issues. I’m approaching Human Revolution in much the same way.

    That’s probably not the metric you should approach a game normally, but damn it, it’s Deus Ex.

  30. Dominic White says:

    I’m bloody impressed with the game in general. Yeah, it has weaknesses (the bosses as oft-mentioned, although they can usually be beaten in semi-clever fashion if you look around), but they really are just momentary, short lapses in quality compared to the pervasively crap combat AND stealth in the original Deus Ex, both of which were terribly sub-par even at the time.

    In fact, people seem to have latched onto the small flaws in this game FAR harder than they did with the sweeping mounds of problems the original had. Nostalgia aside, I honestly reckon that this is a better game overall than the original.

    • Berzee says:

      But the combat and stealth in DX1 are the kind of bad that ends up being really fun for a long time…I don’t understand how. =P But I enjoy it as a shooting game and as a sneaking game as much as for the “immersive” elements. Maybe I don’t actually and the overall good vibes trick me into thinking I’m having fun ;)

  31. Premium User Badge

    LegendaryTeeth says:

    I didn’t read any of this since I just finished downloading DXHR yesterday, but I want to thank you guys for your habit of calling out not only plot spoilers, but mechanical ones as well. It’s appreciated.

    Not that I really expected a spoiler-free verdict anyway :)

  32. Lagwolf says:

    Eidos did not bollox it up, which is a the big news. I have to say I haven’t felt this way about a game since well maybe the first Deus Ex. Its not just blast through it and be unsatisfied. I am looking at everything and trying to see it all. Just hit Shanghai and will be interesting to see what it is like.

    One thing for sure, its the first game I have played in a long time, that I actually look forward to playing through again.

    Hacking frustrates and I am not sure if I like it or not. And I am rubbish at stealth, for the most part the game does not penalize me for that which is what makes it so good.

  33. metalangel says:

    I am going to wait a week (stuck in work until then anyway) so folks have had a chance to finish it what ain’t journos. I am trepidatious after a certain DXHR review which needed a follow-up article justifying the verdict.

  34. Burky says:

    Invisible War is a better Deus Ex game than this.

    Human Revolution is to Deus Ex as Splinter Cell Conviction is to Chaos Theory; simplifying and restricting the mechanics to make it as accessible and “cinematic” as possible, to the detriment of gameplay. All the whilst being incredibly condescending to the player.

    It’s Deus Ex as made by a post-Mass-Effect-2 Bioware, railroading you to developer-approved pathways instead of allowing players to develop their own emergence through the utilisation and exploitation of core gameplay rules. Chucking a couple of vents in there does not equate to player agency.

    It is not Deus Ex. It is made by people who do not understand Deus Ex.

    • metalangel says:

      See, this is the kind of comment we (and with the greater respect to the RPS lot who are fortunate to have played it early) need to hear in order piece together a fuller picture.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      All pathways are developer approved; they put them there. The original DX had wonky emergence, such as being able to LAM climb out of the level, so no, there’s none of that anymore. The game is more polished, so there’s fewer bugs, both good and bad. But there’s still lots of routes to objectives. You can still stack crates to get places. Elements in the world still interact with each other in meaningful ways. You still find situations where you are building yourself a box fort to hide from people while hacking.

      It’s streamlined, yes, but not streamlined to the point of unrecognizability, like I’d argue Invisible War was. To compare a couple of examples: DX had skill points you earned from XP, and augmentations you got at certain points in the game. IW did away with the skill points and left only the augmentations, still obtained at certain points in the game. HR does away with skill points as well, leaving only augmentations, however they are obtained using skill points, achieved any number of ways, and unlocked in any order you choose. DX has multiple ammo types per weapon. IW has one ammo type for all weapons. HR has one ammo type per weapon, but now ammo takes up space in your inventory, adding some interesting decisions to the player.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I figured at least one person would boo-hoo about how they’re the only one in the world who understands Deus Ex. It sounds to me like you didn’t try to push the game at all. I found a surprising amount of emergent moments and wacky Deus Exery just by trying a little.

    • JackShandy says:

      Sometimes it seems like deus ex fans think the game fell out of the sky, and never had any developer input at all. There is very little you can do in any game that isn’t “Developer-approved”. Because they made it.

    • Burky says:

      Oh please, it didn’t fall out of the sky; it was the natural evolution of design ideals as outlined by Looking Glass, and there’s absolutely no reason why another studio couldn’t one day pull it off even better, given the right team. Maybe Dishonoured will do it. Maybe the EYE devs will get an actual budget one day.

      Deus Ex is inherently opposed to any efforts of “streamlining”. It’s all about a huge range of universally applicable mechanics that can be combined and utilised in interesting ways. Contrasts, say, the wall-punching aug in DXHR; it’s only limited to punching through context-sensitive walls and universally ends with you killing someone. Set developer pathways. Cinematic experience. A “right” way to play.

    • Dominic White says:

      Apparently you know Deus Ex better than the developers of the original game themselves, who have all seemingly gone in the direction you say the game is inherently opposed to.

      So go make your own.

    • Janus says:

      “Apparently you know Deus Ex better than the developers of the original game themselves”

      Sorry, what? You mean like Warren Spector who, to this day, continues to express admiration and delight when he learns of new weird, wonderful, and creative ways players have managed to solve challenges in Deus Ex? Or Harvey Smith, whose upcoming game, Dishonored, flies in the face of the very “design principles” that have been shoehorned into DXHR so as to make it more palatable to toddlers?

      Deus Ex was built around the concept of player agency; this game is a shooter (and a fairly anaemic one) with a few alternate paths hard-coded into the levels. It cripples players’ sense of agency by forcing them into utterly incongruous boss fights so as to satisfy its creators’ screenwriting ambitions, and its new “cover-based stealth” system requires players to conform to hard-coded “stealth” paths in the level design, preventing any experimentation that the original game so easily and readily afforded.

      What Burky said about Looking Glass is absolutely correct. Deus Ex’s creators came from a school of thought that put player experimentation first, and pithy attempts at narrative a very distant second. (It should be noted the genesis of Deus Ex, in Warren Spector’s mind at least, was the time he saw a player come up with a completely unpredicted and brilliant means of bypassing a certain challenge in Ultima VI, long before players were intended to solve that challenge. He loved that idea, and wanted to build a whole game around it.)

      We’re in a new world now, where games have to be movies, and the more agency and emergence a game allows, the more reviewers seem to label it “unfocused” and “unpolished”, so it’s unsurprising DXHR turned out the way it did.

      Still a tremendous shame, though.

    • JackShandy says:

      Reading this is causing me physical pain: That’s how far my fanboyism for Human Revolution has progressed. It may be terminal.

      Listen: You can pick up crates, and use them as cover. You can stack them, and jump on them. And so you can get a crate from somewhere, throw it into the middle of the room and use it to create your own path through cover. Or you can stack crates around yourself to make a hidey-hole, allowing you to hack things in front of everyone. Or you can get to somewhere you really shouldn’t have. These are mechanics that causes massive design problems like allowing players to jump out of the level, but they put them in anyway. That’s one example of something people must’ve fought to keep in the game (“The crates are breaking everything! Can’t we just have pre-defined cover?”) because they knew it would have these emergent results.

      Yeah, there’s a lot less emergance, largely because of the higher level of polish – I doubt we’ll see anything like grenade climbing in here. But acting as if the game is nothing but a multiple choice quiz is- it’s bullshit, is all.

    • malkav11 says:

      Shuffling around ammo in your inventory is not anything like an interesting decision set. (Although I will give them credit for including an optional feature that will automatically optimize your inventory space.)

    • John P says:

      Grenade climbing is not a bug. That’s how the game is designed. That’s the whole point. It might be unintended behaviour but that’s the whole point of emergence: the game rules are defined and then combined in creative ways.

      Deus Ex was not emergent because it was buggy. Jeez. It’s kind of the opposite. The simulation is so robust that it allows emergence. That’s the point.

    • Janus says:

      haha, “you can stack crates”.

      Ghost of Spector be praised! It’s an emergent simulation after all!

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      I just don’t get the idea that the stuff in HR is hardcoded and somehow DX wasn’t.

      Every single thing you can do in DX is “developer approved,” at least tacitly. The only way you can claim otherwise is through an ignorance born of little playtesting/QA. The wall punch move was mentioned as a thing that is strictly designer controlled and allows the player no freedom. This is in contrast to what bit of DX? The part where you could smash through any wall you chose? I missed that part. You might mention doors, how you could blow up any door. Only you couldn’t. Doors had strength (like they do in HR) and only certain ones were weak enough (or not indestructible) to destroy. That is absolutely designer controlled. If you know that rockets can blow up doors below a certain strength, and you put a door of that strength or lower into the level, you are saying “it is okay for you to go here, provided you have the tools.” It’s no different than putting a weak wall somewhere in HR (which do not universally end in snapping a guys neck, some of them do, a lot of them don’t) where the designer says “you may go through here if you have the tools.”

      It’s the same with any element of emergence. Crates (which aren’t any good any more) having presence in a level means that the designers have tacitly signed off on anywhere you can get through stacked crates. The “emergent” stealth that exists in DX but oddly doesn’t in HR comes about because the designers with a great amount of intention designed the level with shadows and things to hide behind with the intention “this is where you can stealth through.” This is as true in DX as it is in HR.

      Frankly, the only difference between player vs. designer agency in the two games is that HR was probably subjected to more play testing / QA, which is a reality in games these days so that they work properly and are polished. The lack of it in DX means they can excuse more things through ignorance, claiming they “never thought of it.” If DX were a modern game, it’s likely a playtester would have discovered the LAM climbing trick. At that point it gets brought to the dev team and they have to make a very explicit choice. Allow this to continue, or don’t. Either way, what you as a player are allowed to do is very circumscribed by the designer, everything you can do is “developer approved.” Climbing out of maps on mines is no less a “developer approved route” than the multiple side paths through a HR level that are apparently so loathed as just linearity in a different skin.

      Honestly, this discussion is confusing me a little, because if all the elements brought up as examples of HR’s emergence aren’t good enough, then I’m having a really hard time thinking of anything in DX that would count as emergent.

      Also, on the ammo, playing inventory tetris isn’t a super interesting gameplay consideration, however having to decide how much of what kind of ammo you bring around is something to consider, and is a mildly interesting decision that didn’t exist in DX.

    • JackShandy says:

      haha, “you can stack crates”.

      Ghost of Spector be praised! It’s an emergent simulation after all!

      Man I know you’re trying to be an idiot here but that statement is totally correct.

      Look, here’s the “You see a crate. What do you do with it?” list.

      -Stack it to reach a high area
      -Take it into a room with you, put it down and shoot at people from behind it
      -Take it a room with you, throw it to an open area and dive to it, hiding behind it as stealth-cover
      -Stack it around a hackable computer so that you can hack without NPC’s seeing you
      -Throw it directly at people as a form of crate-based warfare
      -Throw it across the room to make noise and distract enemy guards
      -Throw it down a hallway filled with mines to set them off
      -Put it on dangerous terrain and cross it safely
      -Blockade a door with it

      I think that’s slightly bigger than the list of things you can do with the doors in Deus Ex, which were fantastic.

      EDIT: Hidden7, I agree with everything you said.

    • Janus says:

      Ay dios mio, that’s some intense doublethink going on there. Creating a series of tools and conditions and saying “do what thou wilt” is exactly the same as hard-coding Stealth and Combat pathways into your anime-inspired narrative-driven shooter? Because the former just wasn’t playtested enough?

      Allowing the player to achieve varying degrees of stealth efficiency based on both hard-coded “dark” areas and natural incidental lighting is exactly the same as setting out explicit objects in each thoroughly linear level behind which the player can be automatically, completely, absolutely hidden?

      DXHR wasn’t playtested into homogeneousness to ensure “polish”; it’s because the average gamer these days, when encountering an unprecedented solution to a problem in a game like Deus Ex, doesn’t think, “Oh, man, I’m clever.” He thinks, “Uh-oh! The movie director games designer didn’t condone that! It’s interfering with my Streamlined Narrative-Driven Experience! Better reload!”

    • JackShandy says:

      I would argue that a game is 100% polished when a developer is aware and approves of every single thing inside it. If a game is designed to produce variables that a developer isn’t aware of then, by nature, it cannot ever be 100% polished.

      But I don’t understand why anyone would care whether or not a developer thought they could do something. If Deus Ex was a 100% polished game, and Warren Spector had intentionally approved Grenade climbing and the rest himself, would you like it less? If COD had been made by 1,000 monkeys at computers typing randomly, would you like it more? You’d be constantly doing things the developer never expected, after all. Why is author intent so important?

      You say “both hard-coded “dark” areas and natural incidental lighting”, but both of them are just as “Hard coded” – both were specifically designed to make specific, designed areas viable for stealth. Sorry if I’m misreading, but it seems like you’re trying to detract from the authored nature of the game – trying to imply that Deus Ex’s stealth design just happened by serendipity, while HR was carefully planned.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Grenade climbing is not a bug.” – Funny, I’d think that a completely unintended use of gameplay mechanics that allows a player to climb outside the bounds of the level and completely break the game to the point of rendering it uncompletable is a pretty cut-and-dry definition of a bug. It might be a FUN bug, but it’s still a bug.

    • Burky says:

      For a developer to fit within your definition of “polish”, they would pragmatically have to restrict the range of options and abilities available to the player, in order to keep tabs on every possible outcome.

      Which is what they’ve done here.

      Deus Ex wasn’t scared about players “breaking” it. It’s too structurally solid to break.

      I’m not sure why you keep referring to the grenade climbing as your idea emergent playstyles in Deus Ex. It’s a very minor example, and not commonly used. There are far more widespread examples within the game, such as;

      - manipulating NPCs into fighting each other
      - using the speed aug to crouch-jump over door-high laser grids
      - maxing out your ballistic shield and aggressive defense system and taking a quiet stroll through Paris whilst every bot and commando proceeds to blow themselves up
      - building a pile of TNT crates in the path of a military bot

      These are things that the everyday player can figure out from The Rules and exploit appropriately. Oh, and you also have the genre-shattering ability to pick up and move crates. Except you can pick-up and move all physical objects too, not just the Developer Designated Crates.

    • Dominic White says:

      Well, all this thread has achieved is making me want to slap Warren Spector for giving the more insane fringes of the DX fanbase the term ‘immersive sim’, which they’ve been beating people over the head with ever since.

      It’s the most ridiculously narrow and specific genre-descriptor ever, and it seems that it only applies to one or two games ever made, and it is SO limited a definition that apparently if you can’t stack grenades to escape the bounds of the level geometry, it isn’t one anymore.

      That’s insane.

    • Lipwig says:

      m8 i think youre going to have to explain the concepts of ludo-narrative and Non-Linearity and build from the ground up because this is a tough one

      remember what the maps of deus ex were like? the majority of them started you off at one corner, gave you a goal and a general direction and then left it to the player to work the rest out. these areas arent designed as 3 path parallel linearity. it’s just the world and the powerful tools that you have available to interact with it.

      it’s not that the developer intended for you to be able to alert and then ambush guards with the bot at the start of deus ex, it’s that they created a rich, detailed simulation of a world with each element of that world open to player interaction.

      of course there were always doors you couldn’t blow up, people you couldn’t kill, locks you couldn’t pick, alliances you couldn’t avoid. but the thing is, these were exceptions to what was a world remarkably open to different play styles and interesting strategies and tactics. that’s what the developers created, and that concept was executed almost perfectly.

    • Burky says:

      The whole “immersive sim” concept has been around since Origin entered the 90s. Deus Ex is just the strongest realisation of it so far.

      STALKER’s been making waves in the area, with its a-life system in particular. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory really honed in on what makes light-based stealth so great, only to be crapped all over in a similar fashion with Conviction (which incidentally shares a lot of the development team with this game).

      But genre titles are irrelevant; as I stated before, it’s about whether or not the game is a Deus Ex game. I mean, it’s okay if Eidos Montreal wanted to make Metal Gear Effect 2 With Vents. Some people will enjoy their Emotional “Underground Anime” Inspired Developer-Designated-Crate-Warfare Experience. That’s okay.

      But if you’re an new upstart development studio that’s undertaken the task of making a prequel to one of the (if not the) greatest, most cleverly designed games ever, show the IP a little respect. Who knows, maybe you’d learn something about the whole “games” concept.

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      Hidden_7 says:

      I think I figured it out. The way to make a proper Deus Ex game is to have no idea what you’re doing, just throw stuff in it being completely oblivious as to what the results might be, and have absolutely no inkling of any goals you might have when making the game. Otherwise you might accidentally put something in the game for some purpose and then EVERYTHING’S RUINED! Also, ideally there should be no plot because what is plot doing in a Deus Ex game? Then you might have an idea of what your game might be about and that would imply intention, which is both anti-thesis to the Deus Ex ethos, as well as somehow something that you can do without and still produce an extremely complicated project full of many moving parts made by many different people and actually have it a halfway playable thing rather than a confused mess of nothing.

      It seems that two can play the stupid game.

    • Lipwig says:

      understand that what you’re describing is minecraft

      the game of 2010

    • JackShandy says:

      “Oh, and you also have the genre-shattering ability to pick up and move crates. Except you can pick-up and move all physical objects too, not just the Developer Designated Crates.”

      Everyone is so down on the crates! I’d be ok with it if anyone was doing anything other than repeating my points scarcastically. The bottom line is: Human Revolution is a cover-based game in which you can manipulate and create your own cover dynamically. And that’s massive.

      So until someone puts up something more than “Crates? Pshaw!” I think I’ll go back to playing HR.

    • Lipwig says:

      anyway, deus ex was an extremely complex project, but it wasnt for creating Intense CGI cutscenes and Emotional Takesdowns and Amazing Third Person Cover Systems

      it was because they mapped out and designed big ass areas and, yeah, they thought about how the player would approach it but that’s only a small part of making a world that is consistent and logical and full of detail and opportunity for player ingenuity.

      human revolution gives the illusion of this, but it’ll only hold if you stick to the three linear pathways that you can take.

      oh but you still have amazing crate warfare

      so its ok

    • John P says:

      I don’t think the wall climbing discussion is helpful but

      If DX were a modern game, it’s likely a playtester would have discovered the LAM climbing trick. At that point it gets brought to the dev team and they have to make a very explicit choice. Allow this to continue, or don’t. Either way, what you as a player are allowed to do is very circumscribed by the designer, everything you can do is “developer approved.”

      Yes, general behaviours like this might be developer approved to some extent (though not the exact circumstances of the behaviour). But have you read some Dishonored interviews and seen how Arkane handles this? If a playtester discovers some unintended way to combine the game’s rules, the designers have a choice: shut down that behaviour to avoid breaking the game, or redesign the levels and the rules to accommodate that behaviour. Arkane goes for the latter option.

      By contrast, it seems like Eidos was reluctant to give players too much freedom. You can see it in the design of the augmentations, most of which are single purpose and don’t interact with other game systems. There are some good ones, like the heavy lift aug combined with the moveable turrets. That’s a highlight. Or the rebreather which allows you to chuck a gas grenade and then attract enemies into it without worrying about gassing yourself. These are nice examples of combining game systems (items, abilities, and AI) in creative ways. But most augs don’t afford this freedom.

      And even when this creativity is theoretically possible, the lack of resources in the game, and the tiny inventory that prevents you from carrying very much, means it’s difficult in practice. The level design, which is predominately a linear progression through small areas to your next objective, also reduces the possibilities. And the absurdly overpowered and boring press-butan-to-kill takedowns really undermines any creativity too.

    • John P says:

      The bottom line is: Human Revolution is a cover-based game in which you can manipulate and create your own cover dynamically. And that’s massive.

      Dude, how is this any different from picking up a crate in DX1 and hiding behind it? Just because HR has a 3rd person sticky cover system doesn’t mean it’s a new innovation. In DX1 you could, you know, crouch behind stuff. In fact I probably did it more often in DX1 than I have in HR because HR gives you so much damn cover that’s stuck to the ground expressly for the purpose of hiding behind it anyway.

      It might make HR more interesting than Gears of War but not more interesting than DX1. This great innovation of HR was already done by its predecessor 11 years ago.

    • Berzee says:

      For all this talk of emergent gameplay,
      I am pretty sure that almost everyone who played the original Deus Ex was looking for “what am I supposed to do?” I know it wasn’t until I started reading all this high-falutin’ RPS-type commentary that I ever really considered you could do more in Deus Ex than choose what weapon to use or turn turrets on an enemy.

      Now Deus Ex 1 certainly only gives you a few options as far as entering/exiting main complexes goes. The whole “you start on this corner of the map, get over there” isn’t quite as free as it sounds. The sprint across the map offers plenty of room for infinite permutations, but when you actually arrive at your destination it’s “enter through the window, the door, the sewer or the roof” or a subset of those. =) So these people claiming that DX1 gives you as many entry points as, say, Red Faction Guerilla, are just silly. Maybe it’s because there are sidequests hidden around the maps before you get to the final decision-making areas.

      But maybe the difference between DX1 and HR (haven’t played HR, mind) is this — in DX1, there are many multiple paths but the paths are somewhat divorced from the chosen weaponry. I played a heavy weapons blasty sort of guy, and that meant I didn’t stop to poke around in locked chests or hack into closets…which meant I had plenty of multitools and lockpicks left over for when I wanted to waste 6 of them getting into a vent. So I was a man, in a vent, with a rocket launcher and a shotgun, and it works surprisingly well. You can kinda see that when they designed the secret pathways that run through the walls and air vents, they had a general idea that people with Run Silent and Expert Lockpick would be interested in them; but there’s not too much there to force the issue. Is DXHR more obvious and insistent about “Here are three paths and each of them is for a different skill and if you take a different one you’ll have a rough time of it”?

      To take an example from this random blog writer: http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/?page_id=16

      he gives these examples of ways to deal with the generator situation:

      1. Enter via the roof using grenades.
      2. Enter via the roof using the silent way to make a takedown.
      3. Enter via the roof using sniper rifle.
      4. Enter via the roof using the haxed turrets.
      5. Enter via the main doors using rockets
      6. Enter via the someone sign him up for the Knicks

      So there’s your Player Agency right there. =) 2 doors and 5 weapon loadouts. ;) I realize there are other crazy things you can do, but the majority of players would only find them accidentally and feel more surprised and delighted than they would clever.

      This is to say nothing against the original game obviously. It’s more to say that I don’t think you should complain so much about the “three linear pathways” approach of DXHR. That makes it sound like primarily a map issue. =) Rather you should complain if each of those pathways has a single solution, or you should complain if there are not mid-way connecting points allowing you to switch paths.

      Someday I’ll actually play HR and then I will be able to say something that matters instead of making wild guesses. The general trend of comments makes me think I will have fun. =)

    • JackShandy says:

      Human Revolution is a cover-based game, JohnP, and Deus Ex wasn’t. Come on. If you leave cover in HR, you’re spotted or dead very quickly; In Deus Ex, crouching behind a chest high wall doesn’t give you any real advantage over standing in the shadows. Maybe my memory’s bad, but I don’t think I ever leaned out from behind a box to shoot at people in DX.

      Edit: Oh, and saying “Deus Ex did it first” shouldn’t disqualify anything, surely?

      Berzee: I’ve noticed some paths that you can’t use without a certain aug- you need the anti-gas aug to get through a gassed corridor, say – but mostly it actually seems to give you some clever lateral-thinking way to get through them if you don’t have the right stuff.

    • John P says:

      Berzee, yeah your assumptions about HR are pretty much right. Eidos has really emphasised the multiple paths angle while reducing the creative potential. The game still allows some creativity in some ways, like being able to blast down a door instead of hacking it, but it suffers from the lack of resources I mentioned earlier.

      HR generally has more pathways available to players within its maps than DX1 did, but that’s not actually a praiseworthy thing. Throwing in a lot of vents (and HR has nothing if not a fuckton of vents) is not as interesting as encouraging a creative way to get past a locked door. HR really encourages you to hack, if hacking is your thing, or explore and find the code if not, which is usually easy because everyone in HRland leaves their passwords in a note in the next room over.

      One of the reasons for this is the absence of consumables like multitools and lockpicks. Whereas in DX1 you didn’t have to specialise in lockpicking because you could still use lockpicks without training, in HR you must train in the correct level of hacking to get through doorways, and the result is that certain paths are highlighted as being intended for hacking specialists only. They seem to have removed the ‘automatic unlocking devices’ they had in the preview build so there are no consumables of that type at all in HR.

      So in short HR encourages you to choose from a variety of routes rather than think up a solution to a problem, which was a hallmark of DX1. Multiple routes was the most simplistic realisation of player freedom in DX1. (It’s also something the lead designer called a ‘dated paradigm’ 11 years ago when expressing a preference instead for creative, emergent solutions.)

    • Hindenburg says:

      Y’know, reading y’all arguing whether this is deus ex or that is deus ex is awfully similar to reading the folks at NMA bashing both F3 and New Vegas.

      Just sayin’, is all.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Burky says:
      - manipulating NPCs into fighting each other

      Deus Ex Human Revolution has this feature!

      @John P says:
      Grenade climbing is not a bug.

      That’s the weirdest thing i’ve ever heard!

  35. Strange_guy says:

    Looks like I should definitely lay this when I get a decent PC, but I worry about my powergamer instincts will make me want to search for every single xp, and I just don’t really want to do that.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box yesterday to see the Amazon (that’s .co.uk,) had the Tong mission as part of its Limited Edition, which is effectively the standard one you get from them. Anyone had a chance to play that yet?

    Activation not being until midnight means I’ve been unable to play yet, but things are sounding promising. Can’t wait.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Activation was midnight… this morning. You should be playing it already!

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      But some of us have to be get up and go to work.

  37. Muzman says:

    Bioshock didn’t inspire squat but bad “moral choice” mechanics really.
    (hey if Thief has to take the blame for all the bad stealth levels that came after…)

  38. Freud says:

    My impressions after two hours: I loathe games that shower you with 30 seconds of logos when you start up a game. I don’t give a fuck that you use something called Scaleform for something in your game. I want to get to the menu screen and press continue as soon as possible.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Yeah, it’s got quite a number. Unfortunately, you can’t power through them in half a second by pressing Enter a few times like you could in the leak :(

      (Edited for factuality)

    • Berzee says:

      Those are some impressions, right there.

    • Dozer says:

      I take it it’s not possible to simply locate and remove the video files for those logos?

  39. Howl says:

    75 minutes in and still reeling from the abysmal mouse movement. I even started playing with a controller which is criminal on a first person PC game but it’s clearly optimised for it. The gun-play controls were so clumsy that I decided on a stealth approach. Two rooms into the first mission and it was just a bunch of old-school box and desk hugging, watching guards pace back and forth, back and forth, looking for the pattern like some kind of Frogger for the elderly. It was the same “watching paint dry” game-play that I hated about Metal Gear Solid. Then it crashed whilst reloading after I got spotted and killed. That’s my micro review. I’m off to play Bad Company 2 for a bit to restore my faith in PC gaming before trying Deus Ex again. Hopefully there will be some kind of arm augmentation that makes the mouselook not suck.

    Oh and the Hollywood blockbuster dialogue made me want to claw my ears out…

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      The “control” problem you’re experiencing isn’t the mouse controls, it’s input latency from the graphics. It’s been affecting certain configurations, mostly Nvidia card users.

      If you turn off Vsync and AA it generally goes away. They’re working on a fix. But the mouse controls themselves are great, no acceleration, no smoothing.

    • Dozer says:

      Re mouse problems: Jim mentioned something in the other thread about “disabling prerendered frames” or setting something frame-related to zero, while disclaiming he didn’t know the exact name of the option or where it could be found.

  40. JackShandy says:

    —Reply fail—

  41. floweringmind says:

    Gotta say I bought the game and I am really disappointed. The game is too difficult from the start, you have to be some expert FPS. As someone else said the controls are sloppy and it makes it really difficult to actually hit the NPCs. You end up dying a ton and on my super high end PC, it still takes forever to load from last save.

    So I gave up and started using cheats. There are levels of realism that don’t make any sense. For example you can blow away the whole police station and go into another area and the cops don’t bother you. The best part of the game is the story.

    • Dozer says:

      Load times were patched recently, apparently,and there’s a known bug with mouse behaviour and nvidia cards that can apparently be fixed by setting a graphics option relating to pre-rendered frames to zero. Hope this makes the game better for you!

  42. geldonyetich says:

    Skyrim probably won’t ursurp Deus Ex: Human Revolution any, because I hear they ditched a lot of the RPG brains, continuing a trend that Oblivion already pursued a bit too far (despite rave reviews).

    That would be an interesting parallel considering Deus Ex: Human Revolution just pulled the Deus Ex franchise out of that very same pit. Skyrim becomes to the Elder Scrolls what Deus Ex: Invisible War was to Deus Ex.

    I hate the casual gamer. I hate them because they’re a myth. You might only have a little time to play games, but you’re not this blithering fool who requires his or her games be dumbed down to the point where there’s little left to entertain them anymore. Pursuing this phantom has probably made a lot of gamers genuinely stupider as a result.

  43. Phoenix says:

    Alpha Protocol wasn’t shit, it was awesome.

  44. Tei says:

    I am playing the game, and fully agree with everything the bloggers say (Except game of the year ,because I don’t know all the games of the year!).

    Is interesting how the basic mele attack is removed, and theres low ammo. In this game you are a creature much less powerfull than any soldier in any FPS game. So you ares, somewhat, a superhero that is weak than a normal person, but his “powers” are use the brain, strategize, attack from the shadows a lot. And it works. Is a good surprise.

  45. Silverhood says:

    Having just finished the game (yay for living in USA), I want to point out that I enjoyed everything about the game except the boss fights, which were terrible and totally out of character of the sneaky gameplay that had gotten me to those points before hand. If you play on the Deus Ex difficulty, you basically have to take the combat augs or you’ll be reloading a lot (thank god for faster load time patch!). I ended up dropping the difficulty to get past them, which means I didn’t get a shiny achievement at the end of the game.

  46. kud13 says:

    I am very happy that DXHR manages to retain the Deus Ex “feel”, and look forward anxiously to playing this game next year, once I build myself a new gaming rig.

    I do, however, vehemently disagree with the statement that Alpha Protocol was shit. having just completed my fourth playthrough of the game (my first on hard difficulty), i’ve seen a fair of share of bugs, had to do a fair share of reloads, etc, however, whilst I agree that the game is rought around its numerous edges, I was able to enjoy it enough to look past the technical irritations.

    while the game had a number of flaws, the most often voiced concerns (aside from the bugs) all depend on your playstyle.
    hacking–yes, the game got annoying. yes, the mouse sucked. nonetheless, with practice, I could still hack every single computer ont he first try (except when you get to later levels on hard. but by then, you have enough cash to stock up on EMP grenades. bring 9 of those to every mission, and forget about ALL minigames)
    Brayko: this complaint I just don’t get. first off, there’s a VERY helpful intel piece that’s easy to get that makes that battle a matter of survival. on Hard difficulty, he basically killed himself in front of my eyes. barring that, there are a number of different skills that can be unlocked by that point to simplify the battle. one time I invested in melee combat, and basically stopped his crazy knife attacks by applying the melee tree special ability to punch him out. Yes, it’s not easy–but it’s nothing really new. Anyone remember the coked-up Colombian druglord with a minigun from the original Hitman? how many bullets did it take to bring HIM down?

    and in general: Alpha Protocol wasn’t shit. it was an RPG, sold to people expecting a shooter. the poor aiming wasn’t poor game design–it was intended to be poor. so that the player would fool around with weapon mods and skills, to increase his accuracy as the game progressed. Stealth DID get too easy as you went on–but I didn’t really mind it, because I knew that to get to that point, I’ve had to spend a lot of my precious Action Points (esp considering that stealth training upgrades cost the most points). On top of this, the game layered the conversation system–admitedly lifted from ME series, but without the moral scale, and overlayered with the per system–which basically took the concept of achievement, and made it have a tangible, in-game reward. and it wasn’t necessarily about telling everyone what they wanted to hear–the game made it quite clear from the very first mission that having bad rep with someone could also be good–just in a different way.
    these were all deliberate design choices, aimed at crafting an RPG first and foremost. my biggest gripe with the game was the checkpoint save system. that is the only thing I really wish Obsidian did differently.

    Aside from that, Alpha Protocol is really up there with the likes of Bloodlines when it comes to that “Deus Ex-like” game design.

    • Tei says:

      I love Alpha Protocol too, but you have to admit that any Alpha Protocol lover has to deal with a lot of shit.

      These flyiing icons “He, this is a ladder, you can climb ladders” are ugly (ugly can be described as shitty). Here DXHR have a system that do the same thing, make ladders glow. Is pretty and Is amazing how smooth you can flow from one ladder to the next, the camera movements and the responsiveness is great… there are great production values on how these things are made. In Alpha Protocol god help you if you have to take a ladder and then theres another ladder, and maybe some ammo has drop in the same exact spot.

      So yea, Alpha Protocol is a big cool game, but the production values are pretty crappy at places. I think some things are cooler in Alpha Protocol, like the safe houses. Alpha Protocol mirrors are not broken. I love both games.

  47. Mortinox says:

    My eyes are blood shot, got this game on tuesday at noon and by 1:30 pm today (Friday) I have beaten it twice once without killing anyone.. I have unlocked 69% of the achs.. Simply put I LOVE this game!!!

  48. Lipwig says:

    delete this

  49. sebmojo says:

    What difficulty did you play on? It’s not really suited to run and gun, though I’m sure with a few well chosen augs you could be a right deathbringer.

  50. Subjective Effect says:

    Has anyone else noticed the ticker announcing something for DXHR on 29th August on their main menu in-game?