The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on August 28th, 2011 at 10:23 am.


Sundays are for hoping that everything is going to turn out okay. I mean, it probably will, but sometimes signs aren’t all that promising. Ah well, perhaps there’s some optimism to be found in the endless pages of that internet thing. It certainly has a lot to say for itself.

  • Ben Kuchera tries to defend DXHR’s boss battles. He’s wrong, of course, but it’s fun to watch him try: “The world of Human Revolution is violent, and you play the head of security for a very large and controversial corporation. You find yourself going against powerful enemies who would very much like you dead, and while you may be able to slide around most scenes of violence, the way the first boss battle is set up makes it hard to justify a stealthy approach. Imagine the scene in The Phantom Menace when Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn finally face Darth Maul directly. There will be no conversation. There will be no sneaking into a heating duct. They can not go around the Sith Lord, they must go through him. No matter how often a Jedi practices his meditation, there may come a time when the lightsaber has to be his method of communication with an enemy.”
  • Just in case you missed it, here’s Kotaku’s Joel Johnson getting excited about the Razer Blade. A response to that provoked one of my “fuck off with the corruption allegations” rants in the comments on the RPS thread, which makes for fun reading.
  • Geoff over at BLDGBLOG writes about a speculative (imagined) augmented reality project called “Theriomorphous Cyborg”: “”a bewildering non-human gaze and the mysterious worlds it may engender” as its starting point, effectively plugging human beings into animal technologies, devices of transformative spatial cognition.” It’s the world as seen by animals, essentially. I can’t believe the reality of projects like this are far off.
  • B ‘n’ B Gaming remembers Black & White 2: “And then He was stricken by a most grievous horror. His people – Greeks, apparently – were under attack by wrathful Aztecs, most wicked and fearsome. Deklanus, Blessed be His name, could do nought but watch His people perish as their city was sacked and wreathed in fire; His holy soldiers were overcome by the onslaught, whilst the Creature of the Aztec god conjured an epic miracle and sprouted two volcanoes from the ground. Meanwhile, Deklanus, a trained firefighter, mounted a search-and-rescue, hoisting trapped and surrounded Greeks into a portal which would whisk them away to a safer land.”
  • Ashley Burch’s How Games Save My Life is full of fascinating stories, like this one about a guy who managed to trade drug addiction for games addiction, with obviously positive results: “To my astonishment he told me that after several years of drug abuse; one day he sat down and played a video game at his dealers’ apartment. He didn’t stop until he was booted. He ended up saving a little more cash and bought himself an X-Box. This became his new drug. He said that he could not afford to buy drugs anymore because he buys so many games.” Thanks to Ben for pointing this one out to me.
  • Why Female Games Writers Shouldn’t Be Ignored. An article on Gamespot Australia about the role of female writers in the industry. It’s a correspondence between Tracey Lien and Laura Parker: “At Freeplay I was afraid that had I said something I’d have been dismissed or ignored. I was afraid of being on the receiving end of sexist comments. I was afraid of hearing someone say (or tweet) that I should just suck it down and deal with it, that I’m making a big deal of something that means nothing to them, that no one cares, that my kicking up a fuss was just a sign of my weakness. As a woman, I felt that my gender somehow made me less qualified to speak about gender issues that directly affected me; that people, especially those who needed their views challenged, would be less willing to listen to a woman (yes, I see the irony).”
  • This summart of Obsidian’s Five Hard Lessons Of RPG Design is worth a read: “The idea of player vs. character is a false dichotomy. Developers with a traditional tabletop background expect players to be roleplaying when they play games. However, he said, “it will be the player doing the action… ultimately games are about the players trying to accomplish a goal.” There is a definite question of “how much are we asking the player, and how much are we asking the character.”"
  • Beefjack on the reality vs the science of Deus Ex’s augmentations: “Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal have been consulting with a serious technologist – Will Rosellini, CEO of Microtransponder, Inc., a company that specialises in creating devices designed to stimulate nerve cells and thereby treat a wide range of disorders. And it seems that a great deal of thought has gone into the designs of the augmentations installed into the body of protagonist Adam Jensen. While understandably the developers have sometimes allowed the demands of the game (or the rule of cool) to overrule realism, the ideas behind the implants featured are generally solid.”
  • Critical Damage adds to the general noise of games criticism criticism, but it’s a good read: “Games criticism is not about how good or bad a game is but about the experience you had interacting with that game. You might scoff and say “But what is the point? Does it help me design a better videogame? Does it tell me if I should buy this game?” No. Well, it might, but it doesn’t have to. Rather, criticism is about what you experience when you play a videogame. There was a talk the previous day about archiving videogames and hardware, and it bothered me that there was no talk about archiving criticism because that is how we archive how a game was experienced.”
  • This piece by the writer of the new Conan films is a heartening consideration of what it means to fail: “Unfortunately, the work I do as a script doctor is hard to defend if the movie flops. I know that those who have read my Conan shooting script agree that much of the work I did on story and character never made it to screen. I myself know that given the difficulties of rewriting a script in the middle of production, I made vast improvements on the draft that came before me. But its still much like doing great work on a losing campaign. All anyone in the general public knows, all anyone in the industry remembers, is the flop. A loss is a loss.”
  • Indie Stone (Project Zomboid) send us a link to a mod that turns the dialogue in their game into Geordie-speak.
  • This is all too true.

I’d be lying if I said I’d been listening to anything other than Gonzales’ surprisingly gentle Solo Piano album. Originally I was listening to it because it seems so out of place for a rapper to make such a thing, but then I was just listening. Now my life is a 1930s bar scene, where I am sat at the bar drinking gin and waiting for the love interest to show up. I’m miserable because I know that I die at the end of the movie. Tsk.

More soon.

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181 Comments »

  1. step21 says:

    I don’t like the boss battles (barret at least …) however I still think he is right.

    • Wozzle says:

      Even if you do the boss battles themselves are some of the worst I’ve seen. Mass Effects might be evem be better :/

    • Xocrates says:

      Yeah… The boss battles would be a lot more excusable if they weren’t so damn poor.

      As a particularly sticking point, they seem designed expecting you to have some augs, but aware that you might not. There was one boss fight in particular that was a true hell and which I realize later would probably be quite easy if I had a particular aug.

    • Fox89 says:

      I just typhoon spammed the first two and frag mine spammed the third, making them all rather easy! Which is fortunate, because I played the first one in the leak and it was so poor it made me sadface.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      The problem many people see with the boss battles is not that they are violent confrontations for which you might not be prepared, but that you have to kill your enemy. A better approach has been used for example in Metal Gear Solid 3 (Snake Eater). You have to confront boss enemies, tough guys (mostly) that take a lot of damage before they go down. But you can take them down with tranquilizer bullets and melee non-lethal attacks.

      After defeat, these bosses die as well, but mostly not as a result of you putting a bullet in their head but because they carry explosive devices in their body. Plot-devices, surely, but they give you the impression that you had a choice. If I remember correctly, you even get rewards for taking bosses down non-lethally.

    • SLeigher says:

      By far the worst thing about the boss battles is not that they exist but that they are so bad. You have no idea whether you are even making an impact with your guns and it ruins all the immersion when you’re circle strafing round the boss. Also, the bosses meant that the first time I saw 2 of the big robots in a hangar i spent ages trying to kill them thinking I had to until I finally found out you could shut them off.

    • Taragarth says:

      I’m sorry but did anybody actually try the boss fights? I just got through the first one, didn’t have any immersion issues at all. He was there for a reason, holding off Jensen so the BBEG could get away. I didn’t shoot Barrett, I threw gas containers at him and then blew him up with two explosive containers. Easiest fight ever, fitting perfectly with my more or less adaptive playstyle. All people I know who have played DXHR feel the same so far. Maybe its a Dutch thing.

      BTW, new here, but just to undercut any assumptions I’ve played everything thing from Dune I to System Shocks through all Looking Glass games and every RPG and 4x game imaginable. Just not Ascendancy.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Boss fight spoilers

      My fight with Barrett took many, many attempts. But ultimately I wasn’t disappointed with how my battle ended. I ran and hid like the cowardly boy scout I was and watched him get a bit careless with his grenades.

      I shot him a bunch of times, of course, but in the end he was responsible for his own death.

      The other boss fights were all easy enough once I’d figured out the patterns and tricks I could use.

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      Petethegoat says:

      The boss battles were truly atrocious, yes. I was geared towards manoeuvrability, stealth and hacking. I went for the jumping and strength augs straight away, and grudgingly got hacking when I realised I couldn’t hack any of the computers.
      Funnily enough, I was quite combat heavy, but the key thing is that it was on my own terms. Headshotting men in the dark, dragging them away.

      So yes. I was lucky enough to have Barrett kill himself instantly with grenades, but by the time I got to [the second boss], I was basically fucked. Not a single combat aug, except the enhanced reflexes thing (which wonderfully serves only to kill you instantly should you try it).

      I really can’t believe it was the same studio making the boss battles that did the rest of the game.
      They were absolutely fucking awful, and the game would be infinitely better without them.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      I dont have a problem with the boss battles as they are a logical necessity in the game.
      It makes sense that you have to kill them (or that they should die),so the fact that i am dodging every other fight, it still does not feel i am at odds with my character in any way.
      BUT…..I do agree that they could have been done in a better fashion.
      IMO its still the most enjoyable game i have played in almost a decade.

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      FriendlyFire says:

      Got through Barrett on the first shot by taking lots of cover and making use of that heavy rifle I’d mistakenly picked up earlier on ^^

      However, the second boss… Good fucking lord I died a lot. I was not geared for it, no combat augs, no defensive augs, nothing. I ended up grinding through it, saving (thank god for quick save working mid-boss battle) a lot and just pounding enough bullets into her to kill her. The fact she was a bullet sponge, yet thrice as fast as I was, was rather annoying; why do I have to make decisions and have tradeoffs when she can have both speed and strength?

      The boss battles were a bit aggravating, but I’d have to say the way they are introduced in the story aren’t all that jarring. They fit the plot, just not the gameplay style unless you’ve been ramboing the whole way through.

    • Zogtee says:

      Fuck me, I’m getting nervous now. I haven’t met any bosses yet and so far I’ve exclusively specced social, stealth, and haxx0ring, because you know, it’s Deus Ex. If I have screwed myself by doing that, I will be very angry.

    • Bilbo says:

      Nah, Kuchera’s full of shit, as always.

      @Zogtee prepare to rage, my friend, because you are fucked .

    • Spoon says:

      Very minor kinda not really spoilers:

      I thought the boss battles were pretty easy for my stealth-and-hacking-only character, but I think it mainly had to do with me resigning to the fact that there were going to be boss battles where I had to kill people and kept a 10mm with me. It got all those weapon upgrades I couldn’t apply to my nonlethal gear, and was pretty deadly when you could pump headshot after headshot into stunned bosses (the stun gun works on them).

    • Barnaby says:

      @Bilbo
      Ben Kuchera stands up against some of the same issues/problems in the game industry that RPS attempts to bring to light. Not nearly as well, and not as PC-Centric, but at least he tries. This can only lead me to the conclusion that you are full of shit, as always.

      Yay for extremely rude sweeping remarks about people because you disagree with them.

    • Bilbo says:

      I think he’s full of shit because he’s regularly full of shit, not because I “disagree” with him. I’m still mad at him for the whole “It feels so great to earn money, you’re obviously poor by choice and an asshole” rant he had at the GJAIF guy, and anyone defending the DXHR boss fights is so far wide of the mark they’re shooting at a completely different fucking target. Two instances of being *entirely* full of shit. I don’t run a “Three full of shit strikes and yer out” policy, I rarely let people slide after one, but each to their own – as for “Extremely” rude, though, I don’t think that constitutes “extreme rudeness” at all. The comment I just published and then pruned back to this was extremely rude. I can be (and often am) extremely rude. Get a dictionary if you’re going to use the big words.

      Also because you said I’m “full of shit as always”, thus declaring it open season on commenters, obligatory ad hominem attack on Barnaby – obviously a bed wetter etc

    • Hindenburg says:

      Ahm. Can’t really see the trouble with a social/hacking spec against Barret.

      Had a stun gun, hid behind the initial cover and waited for him to come. When he got close i blind-tasered him, and while he was spazzing out, walked to his back and started spam-tasering him. After another 14 hits, he died.

      Since not a single bullet hole could be seen on him (and it kinda makes sense that a guy would bleed a little after being FRIED ALIVE), the cutscene didn’t annoy me in the least.

      So i’m guessing that the same can’t be done to the second boss?

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      Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah Barrett can be stun locked pretty easily, or you can alternate stunning him, firing a few shots with a gun while moving to different cover, repeat, etc. I got him on my first try. There’s also a stun gun in the room with him, so if you rather foolishly don’t have one, you’re not screwed.

      Jelena on the other hand, was a real pain, but won points for being an interesting encounter.

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      9of9 says:

      The boss fights aren’t very well done, but I think they certainly do have a place in the story. It’s clear from the outset that you have these heavily augmented guys you’ll need to do battle with… they’re the only people in the story that are effectively your equivalents, ability-wise, so they add a nice bit of challenge to the game when otherwise you’re dealing with incredibly chumpy soldiers. I’m not that upset about having to kill them, either, because it kinda makes sense that guys this amped up would shrug off pretty much anything that doesn’t outright kill them…

      They weren’t that hard, either, though I found most of the game surprisingly easy – especially in a stealth build – considering that I had to resort to using God mode in both of the first two Deus Exes.

      But they could definitely have been done much better. I can kind of see what they’re going for, but they just… fail at it. At least, Barrett’s one does – it ends up too much about soaking the bullet sponge in bullets.

      The others try to be a bit more interesting… Yelena’s fight is clearly trying to evoke something along the lines of http://youtu.be/w1BhezbxCPc?hd=1 for instance. The main issue though, I think, is that the AI isn’t very smart – and it would probably have taken a lot of work to get good AI coded for just those boss-fight instances. These sorts of duels between heavily augmented cyborgs would be cool and memorable if they felt more like a battle of wits… both trying to outmanoeuvre each other and out-think, while keeping their own vulnerable hides safe.

      They end up feeling too much like fights against moving tanks that keep lobbing grenades and bullets in your direction all the time, making it too frantic and confused as you simply end up running away and shooting.

      In the end, for the second two bosses I had a stash of EMP grenades and a revolver with explosive rounds, which… actually end up shredding them in seconds.

    • JackShandy says:

      DX: HR’s gameplay isn’t even SUITED to boss fights. When you go down to one shotgun blast, locking you in a room with a guy who can take multiple rockets to the face is just a terrible idea.

    • DrSlek says:

      I can sort of understand that in the first boss fight, Barrett got the drop on Jensen purely by accident when he entered the room behind him. It doesn’t excuse the fact that the option to avoid the fight wasn’t there at all. As Jensen, I never expose myself by walking into the middle of open rooms. I hug the wall and find a place to hide and get a good view of the room. Yet the cutscene shows me doing the former, negating all pretense of choice and forcing me into combat.

      Similarly I can kind of understand the second bossfight setup. The AI was likely reporting Jensens location to whatsherface.

      However, I cannot understand the boss fight with Jaron at all. I stealthed my way through that entire level. Didn’t knock out anyone. Nobody saw me. Yet I get into the boss room, and Jaron is pretending to be a statue, setting up an ambush. Why the hell would he be doing that if nobody had any clue that I was there!? That’s where the boss fights really fall apart for me. Where the context runs completely contrary to my actions as the player.

    • Burky says:

      When you’re making a game where the player is supposed to be given absolute choice (and not in the shallow menu-driven Bioware sense but in actual gameplay), and the ability the play the game as a pacifist, it’s not a good a idea to throw a revenge drama into the plot.

      But these days, story usually takes precedence over gameplay and ludonarrative considerations. That “I Am Not Adam Jensen” article really (unintentionally) nailed how conflicting the plot is with the player experience.

    • cheese lol says:

      I haven’t played past Highland Park yet, but those mercs are ostensibly responsible for the death of Adam’s girlfriend. I would think Adam as a character would want to kill them. DXHR certainly seems to develop a protagonist character much more than DX1 ever did, so it seems fitting that there should be some sort of motivation from the character himself, rather than just the player’s will.

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      Makariel says:

      I actually like the boss battles. Call me weird, but I was (and still am) intrigued by the role reversal the boss fights represent. Until I met Barett I was taking on everyone on my own terms. I was the predator, lurking in the shadows and punching/shooting/stabbing my prey at my leisure. With Barett I suddenly became the prey. I found myself racing from cover to cover, zig-zagging like a bunny on ecstasy, hastily trying to plant more bullets in Baretts face. That all before he could catch up and kill me with the same ease I took care of all other enemies so far.

    • Binman88 says:

      I can’t speak for the other bosses, but Barret was very easy to defeat. I got destroyed the first few attempts to see what worked, then realised I could just walk up to him from the start, zap him with my stun gun, throw a barrel at him and repeat. When I ran out of barrels I finished him off with a couple of pistol shots to the head after stunning him again.

  2. Tei says:

    Wen you buy a console, you are under the power of a big corporation.

    I think this why PC will always exist, because we are free, and theres will always exist people that want to be free.

    I don’t want to live under a system where some people as a say if I can do multiplayer, or I can install X on Y.

    Razor hardware are expensive toys for very rich people. Its not intended to be mass produced.

    This man task seems to do some confirmation bias so the console gamers that read Kotaku are feed this crappy lines. Crappy lines like “the pc is dead”. The other bias to confirm here is that PC gaming is expensive. The stupid “a good PC cost 2000$” that some console gamers think. Well.. is true that PC gaming is more expensive than consoles, probably. But a good PC can cost 800$. If you are paying more than 900$ for a PC, you are doing something wrong. And even a 900$ PC is a huge beast you probably don’t need.

    • reticulate says:

      Eh, you’re really only as free as the next DirectX update.

    • Froibo says:

      Yeah I thought we were over the whole “PC is dead” thing, that was so 2005. Seriously though look at all the development crawling back to focus on the PC as the primary platform with all the digital sales. The last bit of resistance left is because it is easier for the developers to set low benchmarks with consoles and at the same time keep a broad audience.

    • Tei says:

      “Eh, you’re really only as free as the next DirectX update.”

      Even DirectX is optional. You can use OpenGL plus SDL. If you uses DirectX you limit your options to only one OS.

      note: I have read wikipedia today. I hope I am doing this citationneeded crap right.

    • sana says:

      Oh you!

      Sadly that’s not really for the gamer to decide, since it’s the game devs who choose what rendering devices they’re going to work with. And clearly not all games support OpenGL.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I suspect Tei is trying to convey that the PC is a platform where anyone can run anything without having to get an OK from daddy Microsoft/Sony/Apple (which not only costs money, but is by no means guaranteed to be approved). Nobody entirely controls the PC. Microsoft might claim somewhat of a stake, but Windows is an open platform, and if they ever try to change that they’re going to scupper themselves horribly.

      DirectX is a bloody weird thing to take issue with, given its stellar backwards compatability. I’m not really sure what reticulate is trying to say.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Well for me all it takes is the fact that on the PC you can make your own games. Or play the games of other like minded people. Consoles may be the galleries where the public can see great works of art but PCs are the artist’s studio. They’re dirty, messy and there’s shit everywhere but that’s that’s where genius is born.

    • Starky says:

      Begone WWJD, your day is over, the new bumper sticker will be WWBD, What Would Batman Do?

      Edit: Googling WWBD, I see it already has an entry on urban Dictionary…

    • zergrush says:

      *misplaced reply*

  3. Jamesworkshop says:

    I don’t actually think the boss fights are out of place, Adam is paid to use lethal force where appropriate and saying that a story should have absolutly no one die is quite a restrictive thing when it comes to story telling.
    The only real issue I can see is simply that the game gives no breaks to players that are incredibly ineffective in combat, it’s simply a question of game balance because realistically I don’t see why a more passive player should not struggle when engaging highly proficient fighters upfront.

    • Froibo says:

      The point he was making is that the game appealed to him because his choices were unrestricted. If the writers can’t think of alternate ways for a conflict to be resolved then why base the game with the illusion that you have a choice?

    • bill says:

      I generally agree. The whole “can i do it without killing anyone?” thing is a little annoying. Maybe you can try to do it without killing anyone, or you can want to do it without killing anyone – but in life we don’t always get to decide everything.

      It’s important that they don’t make things impossible for players who haven’t specced for combat though. (haven’t played DXHR so i don’t know how much it applies).
      For example, i’m just finishing Dark Messiah and having pursued a path of steath character options I was kind of pissed when the head orc decided to challenge me to a honorable one-on-one duel in a small bright arena. I imagine magic users would have been similarly stuck.

      What would have been great would have been if the game had looked at my choices/playstyle and offered me a boss fight challenge that matched. Combat guys get the duel, stealth guys get a sneak out and escape scenario, magic guys get something else…

    • jacobvandy says:

      There is still a story being told, regardless of your ability to choose how you conduct yourself elsewhere in the game. Jensen WANTS to kill those augmented mercenaries. I mean, wouldn’t you after what they did? Deciding you want to avoid unnecessary bloodshed in terms of the dozens of nameless soldiers that come between you and them is understandable, but there’s no good reason why you should want to run away from or gently put down individuals that have done you IMMENSE personal harm in the past. That is why the developers make you battle it out with them.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      Froibo

      when choice is taken away it does limit the freedom so you couldn’t say the game is unrestricted freedom but I and even the RPS crew accept that is is only a small part of the game and that on the whole you are free to approach it how you like.
      Saying the game is an illusion because of it is a step too far, having options is not invalidate because of a few non choices, they are seperate spheres

    • JackShandy says:

      “saying that a story should have absolutly no one die is quite a restrictive thing when it comes to story telling.”

      If you can’t tell a story where no-one dies you should probably become a janitor.

      I ended up having fun with the boss fights after the first one, but they would definetly have benefited from killswitches. You can see exactly where they could have been, too! Each of the boss fights has someone you’ve helped ring you up with information just beforehand. It would have been so easy!

      I hope to god they release an SDK.

    • Chuck84 says:

      The 1st boss battle isn’t particularly hard, it just forces you to think laterally. I was playing a non-combat spec, on Deus Ex mode, and it certainly took a few tries, but i killed him once i was forced to think through my limited options. This A: made me reconsider some aspects of my spec, and B: made sure that in future I had equipment for multiple contingencies.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      In other words then JackShandy every writer that ever had a character die should have been a janitor instead

      If you don’t understand how characters dieing is an important part of storytelling then you really have no business commenting on story

      Stories are written about humans, death is intrinsically linked to human life, what kind of humans are you writing about if they are all completly immortal.

      It’s not a question of ability.

      I’m sorry to tell you this but what you wrote is incredibly stupid.

    • JackShandy says:

      James, what the fuck? You’re misreading my comment so completely I can only imagine your intent is trollish.

      My words “:If you can’t tell a story where no-one dies you should probably become a janitor.”

      By that I meant that if you are unable to write a good story in which no-one dies, you are a bad writer. Or unimaginitive, at least. No idea how you got “Every story with death in it is shit!” out of that. All A’s might be B’s but that doesn’t make all B’s A’s, man.

    • Burky says:

      The concept of a confrontation with an extremely powerful individual can be an interesting one. It’s not ideal, but it would be possible to implement a situation where you would have a wide variety of ways to deal with the individual in a lethal or non-lethal manner. Kill switches, stealth-based takedowns (not in the one button style, but more using a combination of non-lethal weapons and abilities), straight combat, hacking some bots or turrets to aid you, exploitation of environmental factors like knocking them off a high drop, just running the hell out of there Walton Simons style or some player derived combination of the above. It could work, to an extent.

      What doesn’t work it entering a room, having an ~intense visceral pre-rendered cutscene~, then plonking you two meters in front of your enemy, unable to move, letting him get the first shot off and killing you nearly every time you reload, putting you into into what is akin to a quicksave loop until you find what cover you were supposed to use, dummy. Then you have the joy of a long, protracted session of cover-popping damage grinding, in which most of your weapons are ineffectual.

      But the boss fights aren’t the main problem with this game, it’s just one of the more obvious indicators of the flaws within the overall design philosophy. One that borrows a lot more from MGS than Deus Ex.

    • Grygus says:

      The complaint isn’t that nobody in Deus Ex should die, it’s only that none of them should be killed by the player (if they choose to play that way), which isn’t remotely the same thing and does not present a bigger writing challenge than these developers have already faced; they’re clearly capable of such a thing

      Saying that the inability to write a story without death indicates a lack of ability does not lead to saying that writing a story with death is also an indication of lack of ability.

      I will admit that you are beating the crap out of arguments nobody is making, though.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      “If you can’t tell a story where no-one dies you should probably become a janitor.”

      tempted not to explain this to you

      That reply would have only made sence had I in fact stated that all fiction requires death on every page

      you are replying to me not the other way around

      As it turns out you simply don’t like getting the same treatment you give

      like i said ability is not being questioned it’s a disagreement over wether a story should have people that die one method or another, not a question of how skilled you are at writing.

      to say that you can’t have a character die was not a responce to something you said, remember which order this took place.

      ““saying that a story should have absolutly no one die is quite a restrictive thing when it comes to story telling.””

      Is that a responce to anything you said or did you respond to it in an unfair way.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      Grygus

      “saying that a story should have absolutly no one die is quite a restrictive thing when it comes to story telling.”

      If you can’t tell a story where no-one dies you should probably become a janitor.

      And by the way notice that my very first post drew a distinct line between someone dieing and the lack of methods to get that result

      the motivation was already covered in the player desire vs jensens character desire post from a few days ago

      yes I totally see what you mean

    • LionsPhil says:

      What Jack, Burky, and Grygus said. Also:

      Jensen WANTS to kill those augmented mercenaries. I mean, wouldn’t you after what they did?

      Batman wouldn’t. Are you saying Batman is wrong?

    • Prime says:

      LionsPhil, your post reminds me of some heated conversations I had with friends during the recent riots. Batman became a very potent arguing tool when trying to convince supposedly well-meaning friends that calling for the deaths of a few kids looting shops and/or setting fires was not just inappropriate but deeply worrying on both the philosophical and moral levels.

      I haven’t played DX:HR yet but forcing my character to behave violently when I’m going to great pains not to kill would piss me off royally as well, as it has in many other games. I don’t see that as “part of the story”, as that article tries to argue, but a failure of game design and the absolute antithesis of what the Deus Ex series is famous for: choice.

    • vagabond says:

      I had the opposite problem

      SPOILARZ

      I was playing the ruthless corporate enforcer, willing to break the law and taze some cops to get results, but if you’d messed with my friends or Serif industries, or stood in the way of an augmented future, then you were getting the business end of my arm blades (which is both ends ironically).

      Imagine my gall when I bust into the basement hideout of a filthy terrorist who was directly involved in the kidnapping of my ex-girlfriend and the game forces me to try and talk him out of suicide.

      Also, while we’re complaining about the game not supporting my violent playstyle. The bit where Tong is pretending to be a bartender that wont take me to see Tong. I decide to show him I’m serious and teach him a lesson by killing all the security staff in the club. It turns out Tong has a bullet proof face.

    • zergrush says:

      “For example, i’m just finishing Dark Messiah and having pursued a path of steath character options I was kind of pissed when the head orc decided to challenge me to a honorable one-on-one duel in a small bright arena. I imagine magic users would have been similarly stuck.”

      In Dragon Age 2 my first character was a dedicated healer, since I was playing on a harder difficulty setting and the NPCs weren’t very good at keeping the party alive. Then I got challenged by the horny dude to a one on one honor fight, and spend about forty minutes healing myself and having no damage dealing options other than the simple staff attack to beat that fucker.

      And they still call those things “rpgs”.

    • Froibo says:

      “Saying the game is an illusion because of it is a step too far, having options is not invalidate because of a few non choices, they are seperate spheres”

      Step too far? During a boss fight? The most important conflicts in the game? A few non choices?

    • Skabooga says:

      It is worth noting in this context that in the first Deus Ex, I can think of at least one person whom the narrative forces you to directly kill: Anna Navarre.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Funny how many people forgot that the original Deus Ex had boss battles too. You could circumvent two of them if you a passcode and you can even exploit glitches to escape them in places the developers did not intend you could. However, by the end of the game, Deus Ex’s plot is treating three major cyborgs dead by JC Denton’s hand whether you wanted to or not, just like Human Revolution does.

      So perhaps the blame shouldn’t be on, “Human Revolution shouldn’t have added boss battles to Deus Ex” – the boss battles were already there. Instead, it would seem we were rather hoping they would have thought to remove them (or at least do a bad job of coding so we could glitch our way out of them again).

    • Srethron says:

      “So perhaps the blame shouldn’t be on, ‘Human Revolution shouldn’t have added boss battles to Deus Ex’ – the boss battles were already there. Instead, it would seem we were rather hoping they would have thought to remove them (or at least do a bad job of coding so we could glitch our way out of them again).”

      Exactly. Or better yet, they had found a way to make the boss fights fun and full of more options. The boss fights in the original game weren’t all that great either, but at least there were glitches and kill switches (if you did your homework) and so on. I remember once I had the Dragon’s Tooth Sword (if you haven’t played, think uber laser sword that cuts through almost anything), and I remember cloaking, stealthing up to bosses, activating the strength aug, and one-hitting bosses I had to fight. That wasn’t exactly “fun”, either, but neither was the alternative of fighting them in a fair fight.

    • Janus says:

      “If you don’t understand how characters dieing is an important part of storytelling then you really have no business commenting on story

      Stories are written about humans, death is intrinsically linked to human life, what kind of humans are you writing about if they are all completly immortal”

      Why is this even relevant? This is a videogame, not a narrative. Story is supposed to emerge from the players actions, thereby creating a ludonarrative. And in Deus Ex where ludonarrative is (or used to be) absolutely paramount, this is even more absurd. At what point did we decide that narrative should ever take precedence over player agency, especially in situations where the player would have otherwise (given the tools he already has) been able to navigate his way through a particular narrative “challenge”?

      Why are “plot necessities” being discussed? This isn’t a film. This isn’t a book. This is a videogame – the sole purpose of which is to facilitate ludonarrative through interaction with rulesets in an abstracted environment. Saying boss battles is important to further the “revenge drama” is utterly and completely irrelevant. Deus Ex recognised this – it is possible in pretty much every case (including Anna Navarre) to avoid conflict. This may not gel with your conceptions about a “revenge drama”, but who cares? It’s the player’s choice.

      Games designers are not film directors. Their goal is to facilitate interaction, not plot.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Burky says:
      But the boss fights aren’t the main problem with this game, it’s just one of the more obvious indicators of the flaws within the overall design philosophy. One that borrows a lot more from MGS than Deus Ex.

      It borrows a lot more from Rainbow Six Vegas, Splinter Cell Conviction, The Chronicles of Riddick and Deus Ex than MGS.

  4. futage says:

    I do hope things turn out ok for you.

  5. Jorum says:

    With regard to games criticism. I believe one of the “problems” we’ve had is that historically magazines reviewed games, rather than critical evaluation. I know it sounds like semantics, but what I mean is that the focus was “should you buy this game?”.
    So we were saddled with the idea of objective scores, aggressively arguments and fanboyism etc..

    Other media seemed to avoid this, in that there is recognition that for example a book reviewer and a literary critic are different roles doing different things (although in actuality of course individuals are often both).

    Is seems that only in last decade have games journalists (or more likely their audience) embraced the latter.

  6. Metonymy says:

    Kotaku’s bad web design has probably driven some readers here, and you’re going to get more angry readers as the traffic increases. That whole business over razer and selling out struck me as a battle that could have been safely ignored.

    If some dude thinks a writer has sold out, who cares? It’s whether the writer has actually sold out that matters, not what the general opinion is. Opinion will eventually catch up to the truth.

    • bill says:

      other writers care, by the look of it…

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      I might agree if it was not for the fact that is was not an offered opinion, but an offer of fact.

      Jim’s only point is that people should be far more carefull about what they are actually saying the xyz has a different opinion that could never be reached by another person with an independant mind and must be a paid mouth piece because that’s the only way someone could reach a different conclusion , is close to being glib from how often it is trotted out.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I think the issue isn’t so much saying someone “sold out” as saying someone secretly took a cash bribe to change their coverage (this would be the most literal interpretation of “infomercial”).

      It is not unusual for journalists (not just gaming journalists) to adjust the focus and tone of their coverage in order to please, or avoid offending, source. Whether you want to call this adjustment “corruption” is basically a matter of opinion, but it’s sufficiently pervasive that informed reading requires you to be aware of it and even be prepared to discuss it. (For example, if you take all stories written in a major American newspaper about the Pentagon at face value, you will develop a very warped sense of that institution.)

      Given that at least one PR firm infamously threatened to punish negative reviews of its game, the position that this sort of thing should never be discussed is unworkable. If you aren’t prepared for someone to accuse you of changing your story to suit your sources, you shouldn’t be a journalist.

      On the other hand, taking actual cash as a bribe to write a story is completely different–no one should ever make an accusation like that without solid evidence that money changed hands. The original poster (Shakermaker) probably didn’t think about the distinction between kissing up to sources and accepting bribes, but it’s a big one.

    • Metonymy says:

      An excellent comment, it really clarified things for me.

  7. Chauvigny says:

    Awesome music.

  8. Froibo says:

    Heh, I was waiting for someone to make that Deus Ex meme

  9. Jorum says:

    For the DXHR battles, I think a more satisfactory approach would have been to implement some ways the non-aggressive players could use their chosen skills to help win the battle.
    So they still have to face a stand-up fight and kill the enemy, but it acknowledges their playstyle, rather than just saying “stop being a sneaky hacker for 2 minutes and pretend to be a shotgun jockey”.

    I don’t know exactly how that would be implemented, but things like in one fight a hacker can knock out the lights for a short while to gain a advantage, or just prior to fight player can sneak under the floor and sabotage a joist that causes enemy to stumble so you gain five seconds to beat on him before he recovers.

    Bioshock had some element of that in that when I was forced to face a Big Daddy for example that fact I was a hacker type still showed in the fact every turret and bot in the level would be shooting it as well :)

    • JackShandy says:

      Well, HR kind of does this. It’s annoying that the first boss battle starts you off facing the guy, but all the bosses react to stealth.

      And, in one of my finest moments, I hacked a turret and dragged it all the way up to one of the boss fights. So fantastic.

    • Pointy says:

      How about some in-game detection of where you have been sticking your praxis points, then tailoring the boss battles to reflect?

      I only went the pacifist route on the first mission then I turned assassin.
      It was just too much fun sneaking, tranquilizing and then booby trapping the body.

      I have to admit the first boss battle was a little unimaginative tho’

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >”For the DXHR battles, I think a more satisfactory approach would have been to implement some ways the non-aggressive players could use their chosen skills to help win the battle.”

      Alpha Protocol did this. You could often make boss fights significantly easier if you used your sneaking/hacking/talking skills correctly first.

    • Srethron says:

      Jack: Nice one. I totally want to try the turret strategy now.

    • JackShandy says:

      I named him Miguel.

  10. Zakkeh says:

    Bleh, Spotify links….I need to get my hands on this thing

    • Ex Lion Tamer says:

      Zakkeh, Spotify is worth checking out, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering. The free version is ad-supported to a truly annoying extent (ads pause when you turn the volume down), and the catalogue (while reasonable) isn’t deep enough to justifying paying for the premium version.

      Of course, I have it open right now.

    • Cacamas says:

      Grooveshark has the Gonzales album too; there are no restrictions that I know of with it (pity about the annoying Flash interface though).

    • Tams80 says:

      Yay, saved me searching Grooveshark for it. Laziness win!

  11. Sparks says:

    The high cost of gaming in general warps its base of journalism from a more clinical, critique based system to one that is ostensibly a buyer’s guide.

    I can only afford to buy one game at a time. A £40 PC game not only has to be enjoyable on a purely artistic level, like all entertainment media, but unlike books, TV or film, where the barrier to entry is an order of magnitude less – games have to satisfy on a broader scale. In essence – because I can only afford one game per month, out of sheer economics rather than desire, not only do I want my new game purchase to be good in its own right, I want it to also be better than other games released at the same time.

    Because one of the only things worse than buyer’s remorse, at having bought a bad game, is buying one that is slightly worse than another that just came out.

    As the price of gaming increases, as a gamer my choices are less personal and have to be optimized more to avoid this. That is precisely why the most successful gaming journalism is heavily score based, heavily comparison based, and works solely to narrow your tastes to that one triple A title that comes out each month of the year, so that you don’t feel left out if – for example – you bought Space Marine instead of Deus Ex 3. Or Battlefield 3 instead of Modern Warfare 3.

    What I really want RPS to have a look at in a feature piece, is how this has affected indie gaming. Particularly with regard to something like the bundle packs or the pay-what-you-want deals. Because in that world, there is no buyer’s remorse. Bastion is an amazing game, and it costs about as much as lunch in the city. No-one is ever going to buy one of these arcade/indie titles like Limbo or whatever and feel left out because that OTHER indie title is slightly better.

    This is perhaps why we see far fewer sites and outlets hard-reviewing these titles, despite the fact that they are every bit as ‘good’ as these triple A monsters.

    • V. Profane says:

      Where are you paying £40 for a PC game? You can usually pre-order AAA games for no more than £25 and often even less.

  12. Alien Rope Burn says:

    Yyyeah, no. The first boss battle is forced via cutscene, so I’m not convinced. I snuck into that complex, bobbing behind cover, aware of my surroundings and foes, going entirely unseen and unheard, and all of a sudden, I’m A) standing up marching around in the center of a room and B) totally oblivious to the incoming (not at all stealthy) foe. The game has to yank the control away from you to specifically deny you any other approach, and though I’m not offended by the idea of boss battles, it could have been implemented a lot more smoothly. Even if it was just a objective – “defeat and question your attacker!” – then at the very least I could have pounced the boss like a ninja and felt like I had at least some measure of control over the situation.

    • CMaster says:

      Exactly. Alpha Protocol was very guilty of this. OK, so I have to fight this guy with bucketloads of HP. Annoying and doesn’t fit the rest of the game, but OK. But taking my sneaky character and making him walk in and chatter, not giving me a chance to scope out the environment and prepare is just ridiculous and annoying. (AP actually does it both ways – at one point my combat character who had been blowing stuff up just seconds before, apparently sneaks up on a bad guy. Hmmm.)

      Note – I haven’t got as far as any “Boss Battles” in DXHR yet. However I was very annoyed by the (minor spoiler) much hyped “hostage standoff” at the end of the first mission. The way I was playing the game, I’d never have got into that situation in the first place. I’d ideally have snuck into the room unaware and knocked him out. Failing that I’d have used my radar etc to burst into the room and instantly tranquilize. Jensen striding in for a chat was never in my plans. Equally, I had lots of chances when arguing with him to take him down as he dropped his gun. Yet this wasn’t available.

    • LionsPhil says:

      This kind of cutscene idiocy is the indicator of a developer who’d rather be making movies than games.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think it’s clearly from outside pressure. It goes against everything else in the game Lion, so that doesn’t really stand at all. It feels more like someone came in and said ‘oh you must have boss fights and cutscenes it’s a game!’ I really doubt it was the developer.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Fuck cutscenes so much.

  13. Bungle says:

    I’m going to use this argument to justify killing prostitutes and random civilians over the course of my investigations now. Thanks, RPS!

  14. Demiath says:

    I’ve only played the first boss battle (Barrett) so far but that was easy enough to deal with even on Hard difficulty with my exclusively stealth-focused character build. Just throw three or four explosive barrels at him and he goes down; piece of cake. I guess the other boss fights must be truly awful, then but the first one was clearly designed to be handled even by players without advanced weapons and/or damage resistance augs.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Thanks for posting spoilers.

    • Pemptus says:

      Have another one: at some point they fight using lightsabers in Star Wars!

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      One minor difference here would be that Star Wars have been out for decades, DX:HR barely two days.

    • Pemptus says:

      Also, none of these are actually spoilers.

    • JackShandy says:

      What was the spoiler- that there’s a boss fight? Or was it the name of the character? Unless you’ve played up to that boss fight, that name is meaningless – it’s never mentioned before the fight.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      All right, didn’t know that. Then it wasn’t a spoiler. Thanks Jack.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      Actually you see Barrett (referred to by name) and friends in a cut-scene slightly before the boss fight – I’ve just found them and while you can see a showdown coming a mile off, knowing about barrels is a slight spoiler for me. Small window of opportunity I know, and I suspect it doesn’t change much but it is there.

    • JackShandy says:

      Oh right, forgot about that. Still, it’s not like knowing that you fight gunther herrman in Deus Ex, if that’s what you were worried about.

    • Starky says:

      Actually Jack that would be a big spoiler in Deus Ex, remember Gunther starts off on your side – you’re giving away chunks of plot just by saying you fight him.

    • Demiath says:

      The “Barrett” name is meaningless and had been mentioned before in this comment section. The barrels strategy would be slightly spoiler-ific if it wasn’t so painfully obvious from the very second the player enters the boss arena (the first thing you notice coming into it is a boss shooting at you, the second is all those bloody barrels littering the floor…we’re talking PS1 era telegraphing here).

    • Dominic White says:

      The sad/funny thing is that I’ve seen so many people cry about how there’s no alternate way to win that fight, and you just HAVE to shoot him with guns, constantly, and how this is entirely against the spirit of Deus Ex.

      And yet the arena is just littered with deadly things that you can use to win without even drawing a gun. Yeah, it ain’t as clever/subtle as uttering a kill-phrase to skip the encounter altogether, but they DO provide alternative routes even within the few mandatory battles.

    • JackShandy says:

      That’s what I meant, starky. Knowing that you fight Barret isn’t anywhere near as big a spoiler.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Other minor “yay” worthy news:

    Batman: Arkham City rumored to drop the loathesome GFWL.
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-08-26-batman-arkham-city-not-gfwl

    Final story driven DLC for Fallout: New Vegas will arrive September 20th. Two additional minor DLCs have been announced, will arrive a week later.
    http://www.bethblog.com/index.php/2011/08/25/lonesome-road-coming-september-20th-couriers-stash-and-gun-runners-arsenal-one-week-later/

    Previously cancelled Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3 has been resurrected, will now be made by Zeboyd games (those behind Cthulhu Saves the World).

  16. Freudian Slip says:

    Is it sexist of me to wish that female games journo’s stopped telling me their opinion is important because they’re a woman and spent more time telling me their opinion? Pieces constantly start off with stuff like, “As a woman…” and such. As if I couldn’t possibly empathise with your opinion unless I cut my dick off and walked round like Varys the Eunuch.

    I don’t care if you have a peg or a hole in your underpants, I really don’t, and the 95% of people who don’t read bylines don’t either.

    Just be a writer.

    • Squishpoke says:

      I know, right?

    • Nighthood says:

      Inclined to agree. If you’re wanting to be treated equally and for your gender to not get in the way, then fine, don’t make it an issue.

      In making it an issue, it’s just defeating the thing they’re trying to achieve. You’ll find that most people who say they hate “gamer girls” don’t dislike “girl gamers”. There’s a difference between just doing it and getting on with it, and making the fact that it’s unusual for you to be doing it in the first place. As much as people suggest gaming websites are hotbeds for misogynism, they really aren’t, they just dislike it when people try to make themselves somehow more than everyone else.

      I’ve always been in the opinion that equality comes from being treated equally and treating yourself equally to others, not by making a scene. Anyway.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About?

      Finally, you reinforce your Privilege® by suggesting that it is Privileged People’s® job to set the agenda for the Marginalised Group™. After all, how could they possibly know what issues they should prioritise for themselves, they’re far too inferior and stupid! You, with your objective, ractional Privileged® perspective, on the other hand, know exactly what is most important and it is definitely not confronting you with your own bigotry and ignorance!

    • LionsPhil says:

      +1, Freudian

    • Moth Bones says:

      You may find this interesting, regarding privilege… https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      “Is it sexist of me to wish that female games journo’s stopped telling me their opinion is important because they’re a woman and spent more time telling me their opinion? Pieces constantly start off with stuff like, “As a woman…” and such. As if I couldn’t possibly empathise with your opinion unless I cut my dick off and walked round like Varys the Eunuch.”

      I’m afraid it is sexist. Two reasons: firstly, women write their opinions all the time, all over the Internet. There are lots of them that have made a career out of it. I assure you, in the great majority of their written work the only mention made of their gender is in their name. So, request granted, I guess?

      Secondly, why in heck wouldn’t they write about their gender? That most women get ignored or saddled with gendered bullshit is a constant, ongoing issue, and someone had better be talking about it. In our privilege, most of us men don’t even notice it going on, so, sadly, it had better be the women themselves bringing it up.

      Comparatively, these issue don’t get brought up that often. One tends to think they do, because it’s striking when it happens and it tends to get amplified socially, by getting reTweeted or posted in the Sunday Papers. It brings out the cognitive bias in all of us. Regardless, the difficulties facing female writers are very real, they aren’t going away, and far, far too many of the gaming community refuses to acknowledge the scope or even the existence of the problem.

    • Kadayi says:

      I guess a lot depends on the subject, and how important it is to put the ‘me’ into the subject line. If it is for example game review/preview then not so much, but if it’s about gender roles in fantasy RPGs for instance then the ‘me’ is quite significant.

      As an aside that derailing for dummies page is terrible: –

      “The process of valuing “fact” over “opinion” is one very much rooted in preserving privilege. Through this methodology, the continued pain and othering of millions of people can be ignored because it’s supported by “opinion” (emotion) and not “fact” (rationality).”

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      A: “I got beaten up and mugged!”
      B: “But you live in a low-crime area. You have it much better than most people.”

      Geddit? Replace “opinion” with “experience”, which is the obvious intended meaning.

      Derailing for Dummies is a classic reference work for those of us who are far too sick of making the same points over and over again.

    • Kadayi says:

      @TillEulenspiegel

      But most of the time people aren’t offering up opinion based on personal experience, they are often doing it based on loose conjecture.

    • Quirk says:

      People tend to argue over generalities more than over specific assertions of fact. More common is the fallacy where, in arguing over whether or not you live in a low-crime area, you bring in your own experience of being beaten up. If you have no other data, it’s better than nothing, but if you do have other data, your anecdote likely adds little. N=1 and all that.

      In other words, personal experience is somewhat valid as long as you aren’t generalising from it. (It may not even be an accurate reflection of the experience in question: a paranoiac who believes everyone is out to get them is most likely to be wrong.) Given the quote in question had “millions of people” in it, we’re pretty much in Logical Fallacy 101 territory here.

      And that’s bad, because the issues being dealt with in the linked page are real issues, but they’re being dealt with as hostile rants against straw men with a side order of “rationality doesn’t matter”, which makes it exquisitely easy to ignore the issues or even draw the conclusion that the people who say these things are fundamentally hard of thinking.

      Moth Bones’ link does a vastly better job of putting some of the same ideas across and furthermore has a bunch of interesting comments.

      Also, while I think it’s perfectly possible for people to write self-indulgent articles in which they appoint themselves as speaker for their gender or social class, I don’t think the original article linked was in any way like that. I think it’s fair to express disappointment when people who should know quite a lot about your demographic turn out to be completely ignorant.

    • Lyndon says:

      Urrrrgh did OP RTFA or is he just randomly complaining?

      A large part of both writer’s points is that they DON’T write about gender issues very often, and that they deliberately avoid discussing it, to the point where during a panel a bunch of dudes were talking about the gender divide amoung game journalists, and one of them didn’t speak up precisely because she didn’t want to come across as someone who can only talk about gender issues. So the GUYS brought it up for discussion, and the people with the best perspective on the issue in the room shut up because they were afraid.

    • Freudian Slip says:

      Thanks for calling me sexist in a post that was very much not. So here follows a sexist post just so I can point out to you the subtle differences.

      If you’re writing a game review and you’re talking about the writing and the emotional investment you had in the characters, I don’t need to know that you were attached to the central character because you can push a human being out your front bottom. I want to know whether you were attached to the central character because they were a believable 3-dimensional character that was well written and due to this had grown to like them over the course of your experience within the game.

      Just because I can piss standing up and you can’t (‘nananananana watch me do wee wees’) doesn’t mean I can’t empathise with a female character. Whether it’s a winkie or a va jay jay in your pantaloons, I don’t care.

      Go make me a sandwich.

      ——-

      No I didn’t read the article as my comment wasn’t about the article. People being wankers in the workplace is nothing new and something I’m not interested in. I’ve worked/lived with everyone from Christian Evangelists to EDL members. Most people are wankers, don’t like it there? People not listening to you? Be proactive about it or Quit. Don’t go complain about it on your blog when you didn’t even speak up about it when given the chance..

      I’m pretty much in complete agreement with Nighthood

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      “Thanks for calling me sexist in a post that was very much not.”

      There was a reason I said your post was sexist. You asked. If you hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have used the word. Your post sounded sexist- there’s a distinction between that and saying you are sexist which J Smooth explains a lot better than me here:

      http://www.illdoctrine.com/2008/07/how_to_tell_people_they_sound.html

      He’s talking about racism, but it’s the same deal. I don’t know if you’re sexist.

      Technically, as a couple of above posters realised, your post is more about privilege than sexism per se. Anyhow, your second post doesn’t address the issues that you requested I raise; that there is lots of writing by women that is gender issues free, and when gender issues are somewhat infrequently raised, it is because they desperately need to be.

    • Sif says:

      “Is it sexist of me to wish that female games journo’s stopped telling me their opinion is important because they’re a woman”

      It’s a good thing that article wasn’t about female game journalists saying they were important because they were women, then.

      Seriously, did you even read it.

      EDIT: Oh I see above you didn’t. So you’re just… spouting off about it for no real reason.

  17. brog says:

    Conan piece describes where I’ve been. It’s tough.

  18. pakoito says:

    About the RPG stuff I think he got the wrong angle. He’s talking about “broken” rpg mechanics such as numerical damage and RNG actions but most of what he’s talking about are bad design choices made in that same game. He alo goes against tech-trees and specialization and how the player can (OMG!) “fail at the game because he made wrong choices 30 hours ago” and cites two highly specialized games like Bard’s Tale and Temple of Elemental Evil.

    All of it just left me thinking about the new “gun&conversation” or “sword&conversation” approach to RPGs, and how much they miss the point that roleplaying is not about one fixed lineal (or treelike) adventure where everybody has to watch all the cutscenes and appreciate all the assets of the game and re-rolling a character is heresy. No wonder nobody tries simulationist approach to rpgs anymore.

    • Binho says:

      I disagree with you almost 100%. I’m going to be a heretic and say that modern “swords/guns&conversation” games with more ‘action’ oriented combat are significantly better than stat-based RPG’s, at least in my personal opinion.

      The guy is totally right. I’m not a powergamer. I don’t give a crap about having the best ‘build’. I don’t like crunching through stats. Especially when I don’t have any idea which stats will be better in the long run, or even in the short term. That is something I feel is very important, because stat-heavy RPG’s overload you with stats. This makes it very difficult to make a decision on how good your chances of succeeding are even in a local tactical situation. In tabletop RPG’s, the use of dice at least gives you an instant clue about the probability of success, immediately making the game more exciting. To me playing a stat-heavy RPG is like having to place a bet in Poker without being able to see my cards or those on the table. That’s why I feel the VATS in Fallout 3 is a good system, as it at least gives you an immediate summed up indication of the likelihood of success.

      Also, I feel rolling a character first time in the more stat-heavy RPG’s is a leap of faith, and no, I don’t want to re-roll a character if I’m halfway through my playthrough already.

      Of course, not everybody is like me, and hopefully some devs will continue making stat-heavy RPG’s for people who prefer that. Yet the constant voices that claim that modern RPG’s aren’t real “RPG’s” and their mechanics are stupid and wrong are just getting boring. Considering how popular games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion and how they acheived a much wider audience, I’d say that simplifying RPG mechanics is the correct way to go for most people. Everybody likes creating a character and exploring a new world. To me, that is the essence of the term ‘RPG’ – Stats were just a more primitive way of doing that, and a relic from table-top gaming where everything by necessity had to be dice rolls.

      /opinion

    • pakoito says:

      2 misconceptions in your opinions:

      First, you don’t like RPGs, you just like video games. You may think you do like roleplaying games because of their stories and stuff but you don’t really like rpgs, just any game with “choose your own adventure” story. A game where every stat is obfuscated by the computer or reduced to player twitch skills is not a “simulator”, hence not a proper rpg, is just a video game.

      Second, popularity doesn’t equal quality. That’s the discussion here from the beginning, sacrificing “purity” in exchange for profit. The GiJoe movie sold a hundred times more tickets than Juno but that doesn’t mean it’s a “better” movie, where artistic/gameplay boundaries are pushed, just a more profitable one. Why? easy to digest, doesn’t make you think, short, forgettable, a friday night past-time. Same can be applied to ME or DA compared to the old Excel Spreadsheets.

      Extra: the problem with re-speccing and wrong skilltree choices is a game design problem inherent to each videogame, where developers took the “lots of choices early game, less choices later” approach, where it had to be the other way around.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Man, I really hate the whole “without buttloads of stats it’s not an RPG!” argument. It’s absurd to claim that a game that focuses on role playing is not a Role Playing Game.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Buttless Boy: Is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (the Lucas Arts adventure game) a better RPG than the Ultima series because it has a huge branch in it?

    • Hindenburg says:

      That depends entirely on whether F.A.T.A.L. is a better rpg than nWoD, since it has more rules.

      Ok, OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE quota filled, can you neckbeards please stop arguing about “what can change the nature of an rpg”?. I mean, let’s face it, that’s just an excuse for everybody to get into some hot circlejerking “oh, you’ve also played this ancient title? What fine taste you have, sir! Quite.” action. Ain’t gonna be no consensus.

  19. wodin says:

    I was addicted to heroin and Crack for near on 16 years or so…and I’ve been playing games since 1983….the worse thing you can do is play games whilst doing heroin and crack as then gaming isn’t the same for awhile without them and it’s just a reminder….BUT I have to say now I’m clean it does help….boredem for an addict is a terrible thing…

  20. wodin says:

    Obsidians comment about RPG’s is really more relevant with these fashionable RPG\FPS hybrids…Fallout 1 and 2 didn’t have this problem so much…if they went back to the old and in my opinion far more interesting and rewarding way of RPG’s then they wouldn’t have the problem…infact what he is saying is that the recent “RPG’s” aren’t “RPG’s” at all but FPS games.

    • pakoito says:

      He just wants to hide all the numbers and statistics and make everything automatic, which makes any game about SIMULATING a shooter/hack’n'slash a real shooter/hack’n'slash instead. But with binary conversation choices to “Choose your own adventure”.

      I laugh my ass off when I get the “good guy” path yet I’m killing every human being with a robe on sight setting them on fire and taking pleasure on it.

    • Kadayi says:

      @wodin

      Game design goes hand in hand with ever evolving technology. His points are pertinent because they are made in relation to the evolution of the medium. We’re not in Kansas any more.

    • Urthman says:

      I love the people who think it’s “more realistic” when the character can hold a gun steady and shoot accurately while running.

      I suspect Deus Ex is a far better simulation of trying to use a gun in a combat situation than most shooters.

    • Dominic White says:

      Operation Flashpoint and the Arma series are literally military training sims. They simulate how fast and accurate a modern trained infantryman can be. You CAN hit a dozen man-sized targets at 50 paces in 10 seconds.

      In Deus Ex, JC started out so hilariously inept that you were lucky to hit someone with a gun even if you were crouched and stationary and at 20 paces.

      Maybe it is realistic, though. Maybe Deus Ex accurately simulated life as the first heavily disabled bionic secret agent, wracked by a terrible muscle and nerve-wasting disease, but capable of using nanites later on in the story to bring him up to roughly average human levels of skill.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Destroying explosives with your mind, throwing huge metal crates around, and being able to become completely invisible to man and machine (yes, that combination is possible) is “roughly average human”? Where do you live, Metropolis?

    • wodin says:

      Evolution of tech or just change a genre into something else to make it look good? I’m sure with todays tech someone could make a superb new RPG along the lines of the old fallout games and make it look amazing with out it having to be in the first person….

    • pakoito says:

      @wodin They could do it, but it wouldn’t sell (profit) as good as a streamlined 1st person rpg with every complexity obfuscated and a single run story ready for DLCs. Direct control is what’s “in” now (except Starcraft and MOBA), and nobody wants to micro a party but be the superbadass hero.

    • Kadayi says:

      @wodin

      The whole strength of the PC in recent years has been in being able to create virtual environments and bring them to life. The games of the past were the way they were because the technology challenges they faced largely dictated the format. Were the tools and technology of today available back then I doubt fallout 1 or 2 would have been simply higher rez versions of what we know today. A pencil drawing is not a gray scale version of an oil painting. The nature of the medium impacts the approach.

  21. sqrrl101 says:

    Oh cool, you linked my article (The science of Deus Ex). Thanks!

  22. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    Re: Drugs and games

    I remember once I was playing LOTRO and teamed up with some guy to do a few quests here and there. At one point he stopped and said something like “I”m just gonna go AFK for a bit to do some speed.”

    Freaked me out.

  23. Unaco says:

    Here is another piece on the Science of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

    Deus Ex: HR – The Eyeborg Documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TW78wbN-WuU

    • Kadayi says:

      Neat. A bit gruesome with the eye stuff at the beginning, but pretty interesting, esp the leg technology.

  24. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    That whole Freeplay debacle was pretty depressing, but in some ways, I’m glad it’s got people talking about the issue of sexism in videogame journalism. And it’s certainly made me aware of a few very good writers, both male and female, who are worth paying attention to.

    So not all bad, I guess.

  25. LuNatic says:

    I could sprint for at least seven, perhaps eight seconds before collapsing to the ground and moaning like a zombie.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    The issue with the bossfights is simply that the game is really about how you choose to play. Some of the sidequests give you an explicit “but I don’t want to kill anyone” option only to throw that completely out of the window once the bosses arrive. I don’t care if they die later on. They are nothing but goons who can mysteriously survive multiple sniper rifle shots in the face to me. If they would kill themselves afterwards or get killed by someone else entirely – I’m okay with that. Or even something like “they are so augmented, they cannot be knocked out by conventional means”. It’s just lazy design.

  27. Mad Hamish says:

    Ben Kuchera immediately looses the argument by using the Phantom Menace as the example. Qui-Gon Jinn? Darth Maul? who the fuck are those assholes? And that example doesn’t just fall apart because it’s an awful film. The idea of a Jedi, what the do and represent after the new films is a confused jumble of nonsense.

  28. JackDandy says:

    Come on, now! The boss battles weren’t that bad- granted, a way to bypass them like in the classic game would be for the best, but I think they at least offered a nice break of pace from the rest of the game. I personally enjoyed them.

    And besides, they’re definitely better then DX1′s “oneshot-with-dragontooth” boss “battles”.

    And as for the “Female journalist” thing- it gets kinda hard when they keep making articles like “Blonde femshep is bullocks”.

  29. karry says:

    “Why Female Games Writers Shouldn’t Be Ignored.”

    I’m sure there are qualified and over-qualified female workers in every profession, but on average… For example i gave up on ever going to a female comedian shows. Male comedians can talk about all sorts of things : politics, medicine, music, science, biology, religion, human relations, games, etc. Female comedians only talk about men and sex. Even if its funny, its just one topic over and over.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      quality post

    • JFS says:

      Great. Now you made my brain explode. You have killed me. The sheer freaky internetness of this post will have to answer to another cold, dead body.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      Yes, and all people on RPS comments threads do is just make sexist generalisations with no basis in fact whatsoever. Right?

    • Starky says:

      While I don’t condone or necessarily agree with the OP, it did remind me of something…

      A show I saw by a female comedian in Edinburgh railing against female comedians and women in general – I wish I could remember her name (might have to do some youtubing later to find out)…

      Anyway the jist of her very funny segment was complaining that all these female comedians doing these endlessly bad jokes about their men, their children, sex and so on – have fallen into a trap, which she ironically blames on other women.

      She basically said (with jokes, side rants and other bits) that female comedians when they start their career generally draw female crowds, and female crowds laugh more at jokes about “men and sex” than politics, science, current events etc…

      So as they work on their material they inevitably throw out the jokes that get the least laughs – which are the ones that that would require a broader audience to sustain.
      And before you know it they are a “female comedian” for women, rather than a comedian for general audiences.

      Still it is a sad fact that there are very few good female comedians, and almost no great ones (I’d probably only label Victoria Wood as great)…
      Current good/great female comedians? Erm, Sarah Silverman?
      Compared to the dozens of really great male comedians almost anyone can rattle off.

    • Bret says:

      Tina Fey can be pretty funny. (30 Rock has been generally good times.)

      And half the writers on Community are women. You know, funniest show on TV right now?

      I mean, sure. If someone said there are more good male comedy writers than women, I’d probably agree. But treating trends as universal truths is just stupid.

    • Starky says:

      There are lots of excellent female comedy writers, even comedy actors, but that isn’t the same thing as being a comedian.

      A comedian (or comic) is a performer, sketches, stand-up or even panel shows (usually with a live audience), of which there are almost none – and the few that there are generally come from writing comedy shows and gaining fame from another source first (such as sitcoms).

      See how few women made it to this (very mainstream) list, and those women that did almost universally achieved massive fame through sitcoms or other TV shows, not through their stand-up.

      http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-100-greatest-stand-ups/articles/greatest-stand-ups-of-all-time

      As a note my top 5 would probably read, Bill Hicks (1), George Carlin (2), Billy Connolly (because I grew up with him), Eddie izzard and Chris rock – he was the first black American comic I really started listening too, of course Richard Pryor was there first and there better – but as a 14/15 year old British white kid it was all ground breaking stuff for me).

    • Zetetic says:

      Part of this is because female stand-ups face enormous hostility from the get-go (which, as I can see you’re contributing to, but not in the shouting stuff about rape way, which is a blessing at least). The kind of material you mention helps filter the audience a bit…

      Anyway:
      Maria Bamford? She’s considered pretty impressive Stateside at the moment. Fairly vicious attacks on female comics that fit the stereotype you were pushing.

      Josie Long? Not my cup of tea but certainly rather popular.

      Victoria Wood’s already been mentioned as a (relatively, sorry) old-school British stand-up with a fairly massive range of writing ability, and the ability to write about herself without it ever devolving into cliche.

      French & Saunders, individually and together, are also pretty well-known by the public and well-respected in the biz. Again, quite an impressive range there.

      Joan Rivers? Often underrated I’ve found. Sure, she talks about being a woman, and being old and so on and so forth, but she does do it with a sufficient skill that I don’t find it troubling. Nor, notably, do many other comedians…

      Oh, and finally, consider the vast number of shit male comedians that there are… It might not be an issue of proportion.

  30. jeremypeel says:

    It’s interesting to hear Laura and Tracey bring theatre and literary criticism into their discussion; those are fields with centuries-long histories, with ideals so entrenched it has taken cataclysmic ruptures and throwing out of entire modes of academia just to have the idea of a genuinely feminine critical perspective acknowledged.

    It seems to me that in the still-fledgling practice of games journalism we’re at a fork in the road, where we can either wilfully go headlong into those old entrenched attitudes or kick up the sand and talk about it (mixed metaphor explanation: it’s a crossroads in the desert). As a new, unestablished writer I completely understand Tracey when she explains she wanted to keep her head down as an unknown rather than challenge the fundaments of the industry. Fortunately, with writers like Laura, Tracey and Leigh Alexander around, it looks like we’re going to be talking about it.

    If we don’t, we’re going to miss out on discussion of what it is to be a woman and play games. Which in an intellectual field with it’s roots post-feminism, would be about more than I could bear.

  31. vagabond says:

    If you aren’t obviously winning, the boss battles feel painfully unfair. There isn’t much in the way of feedback to tell you what you’re doing wrong. I suspect this is why they cop so much flak for their story/playstyle issues. (That said I’m not sure that it should be possible to non lethally take down someone that has augmented everything except for 2/3rds of their head)

    SPOILARZ

    Easy win for stealth girl if you don’t have the electrical shielding and don’t feel like subjecting yourself to the painful and tedious trial and error I had to endure:
    Stand on the starting spot facing the center. As she uncloaks and charges you, sprint towards the center of the room and then turn 180 degrees. Immediately sprint back past her. Turn 180 degrees. Sprint past her again. Run along behind her shooting her in the back until she gets around a corner. Return to the starting spot. Repeat until she dies.

    I’d been carting around the rocket launcher after that, just waiting to use it on anatomy suit guy, because I was sick of their shit. If he gets hit by a rocket he is stunned for longer than the time it takes to reload and fire again. I think I used 5 rockets on him.

  32. Bassism says:

    iTunes informs me that Solo Piano is pretty much my second most played album, so good call on the tunes there.

    Otherwise, did you know he’s Canadian? Us Canadians is great.

  33. killerkerara says:

    In Adam’s defense, if he went sprinting all over the place, he would collapse in exhaustion by the time he reached the horrible boss fight!

  34. Vinraith says:

    I have to admit, the boss fights in DX:HR are one of the primary reasons I’ve not bought it yet. After greatly enjoying the first few bits of Arkham Asylum, only to have the game (IMO) ruined by boss fights, I’m forced to conclude that my tolerance for this sort of thing is at an all-time low. I’m starting to sincerely wonder whether it’s worth my while to purchase action/shooter games at all anymore. I always get more bang for my buck from RPG’s and strategy games anyway…

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      They barely impact the game IMO. They are a flaw, but easily ignored in all honesty – what gripped me was the plot, combat & stealth mechanics. The boss fights have little to do with any of those, and can be easily forgotten amongst the game’s many strengths. I’d say buy the game – the 20 or so solid hours of gameplay it provided me (and I missed a fair bit of exploration/side quests) was not spoilt by about the half an hour in total spent in boss fights.

    • matrices says:

      Agreed 100%. After reading about it on RPS, and in light of how down I was on Arkham’s boss fights, I was expecting a similar nosedive in how I feel about this game.

      Turns out my fears were entirely unfounded, and it’s because RPS and some players are misrepresenting the boss-encounter experience.

      In short, there’s no good reason to be unprepared for these encounters. I have been playing an almost entirely non-lethal playthrough, and with one inventory upgrade, I have room for a shotgun, handgun, assault rifle, tranq rifle, and taser gun, along with three grenade types. So there’s no reason not to be carrying around real weapons.

      I just left Hung Sha and the only official boss fight I’ve encountered is with Barret, and that was a fairly straightforward if inelegant affair: stun with EMP grenades (or taser gun would work), unload to the face with shotgun, throw grenades, dead.

      Now, you can argue that you “should” have the choice to take out everyone non-lethally and I would say that doesn’t fit in with the theme or setting of the game or the protagonist at all, but that’d be your opinion. What’s not an opinion, though, is the fact that you can still dispatch with bosses no matter your build.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I was nervous about this too, because I also hated the boss fights in Arkham, which was such a great game otherwise. I managed the grind through the Scarecrow fights, but finally gave up at the Croc fight. I found a walkthrough that described how to do it, and I just said to myself… .”No, not gonna do that” and wiped the game from my hard drive. It wasn’t that it was beyond my ability (although I’m not that good at reflex-twitch gaming), it was just how much it broke the flow of the rest of the game, as a programmed sequence.

      The good news is that I’ve done a couple of boss fights in DXHR, and it’s really not that frustrating. I’m playing a hybrid build that’s mostly stealth with just a little combat ability, and I didn’t have any major problems (so far, I haven’t finished yet). Also, IIRC, the game allows changing of difficulty level at any time, so you can always just drop down to Easy for the boss fights, then take it back to your preferred level for the rest of the game. The only thing you lose is a stupid Achievement for completion at the higher level, and I’ve never cared about those.

    • droid says:

      I felt this way for perhaps an hour. I didn’t even have enough ammo to kill him, and the non-lethal stuff was dealing no damage (at least according to my HUD, where RED == in range and ORANGE == no effect) and I couldn’t melee even if he was totally stunned. This part of the game is broken. I don’t care if it is standard for the Metal Gear genre, it just isn’t Deus Ex.

      I turned down the difficulty to zero, grenaded his face off, then turned it back to max.

    • vagabond says:

      As far as I can tell there is a fairly foolproof strategy for dealing with each boss, that works regardless of character build. The issue is that there isn’t a lot of feedback to indicate what you should do if you’re doing it wrong, and until you hit on that strategy you are so fragile that you are likely to be killed quickly enough and often enough that you will spend more time watching the loading screen than trying stuff out.

      The boss fights suck not because they are boss fights, or they are out of place in the story, but because poor design causes not passing them to be an exercise in rage inducing frustration.

      FWIW, I’m also pretty sure you could enter each boss battle with an empty inventory and there is enough stuff in the area to win the fight.

      BOSS FIGHT STRATEGY SPOILER

      Barrett’s area contains red explosive barrels and yellow gas cylinders that explode if thrown directly at him. He can be killed on normal difficulty easily enough by throwing those at him. Sprint around and use cover enough and he will lose sight of you which will allow you to take some time to aim your throws if you aren’t having much luck hitting him with them while under machine gun fire.

      I posted my strategy for the 2nd boss somewhere else in these comments.

  35. matrices says:

    The whiny, “I am victim” tone of the excerpt for the article on female writers totally made me not even bother reading it. Maybe it’s just that excerpt, but if someone or some people said or did something specific to elicit a reaction of fear or intimidation in you, then say it. Don’t tell me “I was afraid [off-putting thing X might be said about me on the internet] or some such.”

    OK, in the interest of my comment not being wildly off the mark, I skimmed through the piece itself. To put it politely, it’s pathetic handwringing. Oh no, “I sat there and didn’t do or say anything” while something utterly banal and thoughtless occurred. Let me know speak abstractly in big words.”

    No doubt there is some casual and some systemic discrimination, but these writers don’t do much to showcase their writing skills when they whine about it with no specifics and passive voice crap.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      I agree. Now if she had actually said something and had been shot down specifically because she was a woman there would be a story. As it is she is doing a disservice to the female figures in the gaming industry who just get stuff done.

  36. googoogjoob says:

    “how games saved my life” is the most horrific thing i have seen in a long time

    (or at least since the last time i read anything by jane mcgonigal)

    it’s a bunch of badly-written soppy stories about how people attach themselves to video games

    that’s not really so bad in itself but when it’s presented as THESE GAMES MADE LIFE BETTER FOR ME it’s sort of surreal

    for example “Jonathon discusses how playing Portal helped him through the depression of being under house arrest.” is creepy and “Jaime discusses how her Spongebob Plug ‘n’ Play helped she and her step-sister contend with the incessant fighting of their parents and their father’s alcoholism.” is just frightening and sad

  37. Reefpirate says:

    I’ll try a two in one: Games criticism and the DXHR boss battles.

    I think that the designers may have been pressured by Squeenix, or some sort of internal force, to incorporate Metal Gear Solid themes into Deus Ex. Metal Gear Solid was a good game. Deus Ex was an excellent game. They share some common themes, so it makes sense to mix em up a bit.

    The boss battles represent a particular challenge that your player is forced to deal with, meaning I tend to agree with the Ars article. If the game let me punch out Barret, or it let me ping him with a dinky little tranq dart and be done with him, his impact would be severely lessened.

    The devs took some liberties with what Deus Ex ‘is’, but by all means that is their right. I think it worked out brilliantly and added some dramatic moments to what was already a brilliant stealth/action/hacking immersive sim. SPOILER: For example I thought the staging for the ‘flesh-guy’ boss fight was awesome. Even though he killed me about 10 times, I probably watched the cut-scene 3 or 4 times just because it was so cool.

    Also, DEUS EX, IIRC, THE ORIGINAL GAME THAT WE ALL SEEM TO AGREE IS FREAKING BRILLIANT, BECAUSE IT IS… HAD BOSS BATTLES. SOME OF THEM HAD TO BE KILLED.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Since DX1 is not in love with the cutscene to the extent of having it overrule player control, none of the “bosses” in DX1 had to be killed.

      Was this by design? No, not in Anna or Gunther’s case (Simons, though, you can run from, every time). But it was possible because of the glorious convergence of emergent behaviours. That is ruled out when the outcome is set in stone by a cutscene.

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      @LionsPhil – That one cutscene after that one boss fight which allowed Jensen to make a choice I most certainly would not have annoyed me – I wouldn’t have minded so much if the game hadn’t heavily implied that you could make a decision there, then take it away by having Jensen choose mid cutscene.

    • Thants says:

      Deus Ex had ONE mandatory boss fight, and if you do some hacking research before it you can literally beat her by saying two words.

    • Mman says:

      “I think that the designers may have been pressured by Squeenix, or some sort of internal force, to incorporate Metal Gear Solid themes into Deus Ex. Metal Gear Solid was a good game. Deus Ex was an excellent game. They share some common themes, so it makes sense to mix em up a bit.”

      If they were copying MGS they would have allowed non-lethal ways to eliminate humanoid bosses (even if they get killed in some indirect way after).

    • Skabooga says:

      @Thants: And she literally EXPLODES when you say them :)

      (Not making a point one way or the other. It is just in retrospect, that part is hilarious.)

    • JackShandy says:

      You know what I think? They had planned killphrases in the game, but some internal pressure (incompatibility with the pre-rended cutscenes?) made them take them out. You can get info from someone you’ve helped before each boss battle, but it’s always something kind of useless like money.

  38. BobsLawnService says:

    The reason I hate the boss fights on Deus Ex has nothing to do with choice or Darth Maul and everything to do with suspension of disbelief and the insane difficulty spikes.

    We’re lead to believe that the world is a plausable future fiction – it take one of two well placed shots to kill someone and suddenly you’re faced with a person who can take two hundred rounds to the face? There goes the suspension of disbelief.

    As for the difficulty – Throughout the rest of the game you can always hone your strategies to find a solution whereas with the boss fights it is a lot more difficult

  39. OctaneHugo says:

    YOU’RE SAYING THINGS I DON’T AGREE WITH CLEARLY YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOURSELF TO BECOME A SLAVE TO THE CORPORATE MACHINE FUCK THE POLICE FIGHT THE POWER

  40. Frye2k11 says:

    I had no trouble with the first boss as a stealthy character with only 1 crossbow arrow and a pistol. I was probably lucky though:

    *****************Big DXHR spoiler 1st boss!!!:********************

    When the fight starts, your back is turned towards a corner with a gas container. I cloaked near it, so the boss walked there to investigate, ran to the other side of the room, and when i uncloaked, the boss hit a pillar near himself, damaging himself AND blowing up the gas container. I finished him off easily after after that. I did not even KNOW there was a gas container there.

  41. Tams80 says:

    All this about the gender of gamers somewhat confuses me. Maybe it’s because I’m young and thus don’t experience the kind of attitudes that are called sexist that often. Maybe it’s because I’ve been brought up in an environment where your gender didn’t matter; rarely discussed even because why discuss it if it doesn’t matter.

    Now, in the wider world, the big wide world, sexism does occur. It therefore does need to be discussed or there is a risk people won’t realise they are being sexist. I do however, struggle to see why it should matter at all. Gender can provide different points of view, but then most people tend to have varying views. I see someone’s gender as just another difference and everyone is mentally (yes, gender is as much in the mind as physical) at least, different from everyone else.

    To put it bluntly: why the hell should gender matter?!

  42. shagen454 says:

    I liked the boss battles, well without the actual battle. Almost every battle consisted of an explosive then typhoon = over. I tried to “play” the battles but found them too difficult so pretty much just spam killed the bosses in 5 seconds… not sure if they intended for that….

    One of the things that bothers me about modern games is that they feel “produced”. Not that it actually is a bad thing, but DXHR has a flow 1) Quests 2) Cut-Scenes 3) Boss Battle 4) Cut-scenes 5) Interrogation. Leaves it feeling not at all organic ; but in this case I appreciate the fact that here we have a Looking Glass-esque game with the Hollywood production values. It could have gone very, very wrong and it didn’t.

    I honestly liked it better than the original, though I wasn’t as immersed in it as I was the original. Some of the “immersive” qualities I found quite irritating specifically in the Chinese Districts where there is so much multi-level busyness, it was sometimes like walking through a puzzle. I think it is a fantastic game & I’ll definitely replay it at some point. Some of my favorite aspects was the attention to detail, there is so much of it, it’s nicely polished & I loved some of the vista & backdrops. It’s nice when a developer doesn’t cram baddies into every single room & leaves some space here and there. I also appreciated the fact that they didn’t shy away from having human contact. Too many of these kinds of games try to create a sense of dread by not having friendly NPCs – like System Shock 2, Amnesia, Bioshock etc. It was definitely nice coming into contact with people even in strange spots where there wasn’t supposed to be anyone alive….

    They really got a lot right – even a minor annoyance. I used to wish I could open every single locker. DXHR made me realize I no longer wish for immense locker rooms. I would first open every single locker in the room and then search – it was quite time consuming. Maybe, we should have had the option to “open all” from a computer terminal?

    I guess the gauge is, is it better than Fallout 3 or Mass Effect 2? I just wouldn’t compare it to them. What I can say is that both Fallout 3 & Mass Effect 2 entertained me for a long time & thoroughly. I don’t know, maybe I’m turning into a more casual gamer because I feel as though I loved this game but it just had me so stressed the whole damn time & kept me reloading my game so much that now that I’m finished with it I couldn’t say “kept me entertained for a long time & thoroughly” because I feel like this game fucking thrashed me for a long time, haha.

  43. Legionary says:

    I don’t think “female games journalist” is helpful. Just get on and write about games already; stop telling us why your opinion is important because you have two X chromosomes.

    • Spidderer says:

      You haven’t even read that article, have you?

    • Legionary says:

      @Spidderer: sigh. Could you explain to me why I would visit the Sunday Papers if not to read the articles linked there? Could you explain your thought process in asking that question? Or was it just some silly internet-men stock putdown in a comment thread? At RPS, we try and work on the assumption that the other readers are mature and deserve being dealt with respectfully.

      Trite and derisive insults about whether I’ve read an article whose content is connected with my comment aren’t worth your time to post, nor mine to read or respond to. Unfortunately it’s half past six in the morning and I’m on an internet comments thread, so we’ve clearly established my uses of my own time are suspect.

    • Nick says:

      He doth protest too much, methinks.

  44. hilllbilllyjoe says:

    Can I just say, I didn’t mind the boss battles that much. The combat was descent, and I could still trick them into thinking I was somewhere I wasn’t through the use of cloak and throwing objects. The only thing I objected to was the cut scene. I was pretty peeved after wasting all of my stun-gun darts that the cut scene always showed some mangled half-dead person.

  45. Skud says:

    I came to RPS because I was sick of Kotaku’s shenanigans. I registered today to say that linking to your own “rant” in this article was pretty petty, Jim. I have not visited Kotaku, and refuse to, since leaving it in June.

    I don’t mean to cause drama but there’s a reason Kotaku might have a bad reputation among many RPS readers. I’m sure you’ll find many of your readers LEFT Kotaku for this place… Why?

    -Actual Video Game coverage
    -Actual gamers writing about games
    -Actual community
    -Good site design
    -Non-Video game content is always secondary to actual video game content.
    -Reviews. Regularly. On a variety of things.

    Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the Blade, Kotaku’s coverage of it has been silly.

  46. InternetBatman says:

    Ugh. The Kotaku post didn’t sound like it was written by someone taking a bribe, it sounded like it was written by an idiot. The one thing PCs don’t need is hardware platforms. The greatest strength of the PC is an escape from the extreme corporate control of distribution networks. When one group is making the hardware the entire platform is bound by the capricious decisions of the manufacturer like the 360 not having a hard drive, or the iPhone not having flash or a choice of networks, and the Macbook not supporting the newest versions of OpenGL. Instead of calling for standardization of hardware design and the way drivers interface with it, which is what John Carmack talked about, he calls for corporate monopoly.

    He also argues that the lack of brands have kept the PC from mass market appeal, while championing a price three times the current cost of gaming PC at the end. Difficulty in setup may have kept some people away, but the real barrier to many is the cost. A lot of people don’t get that the cost of buying a gaming capable PC when you buy a new one is about comparable to the cost of a console. They don’t get that the console manufacturers make up their subsidized hardware and more in increased game costs and subscription fees. Many consistently think that a gaming PC still costs over $1000. The author wants to throw the progress we’ve made against the price difference for cool looks and a touch screen.

    And I’ll say this about corruption. I wouldn’t be surprised from the gawker network. I don’t think most people are like that, but they have a nasty habit of reviewing high end hardware and ignoring the price when the ads are plastered over the front page. They did it with both Alienware and Razer. They use purposefully inflammatory language to drive up hits. They do articles that a clearly google analytics driven and have little relevancy to the site. They automatically defend other parts of the gawker network when they say dumb shit that isn’t true or is misleading. It’s shady as hell, yellow, and would not surprise me one bit.

    Finally I’ll end what was supposed to be four sentences with this gem from the author in the comments:

    Son, I was playing PC games before your mom got knocked up on top of an Acer.