Deus Ex: HR’s Boss Fights Were Outsourced

By John Walker on September 19th, 2011 at 3:51 pm.

Imagine the money they could have saved if she'd never been in it.

Right, so here’s the first step in answering the mystery of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s boss battles – they were outsourced. Meaning, a lack of continuity during the development process, one has to assume. That’s not a condemnation of the work done by G.R.I.P., the company responsible for the bosses, who will have their own story to tell. As I said in my review of the game, the real story of how they happened will likely come out in a few years time, once enough people have moved on to be willing to explain. So why such a feature was outsourced, why there wasn’t a coherence between them and the rest of the game, and why they weren’t just ditched when it became clear they didn’t fit in, are questions that will perhaps one day be answered. But not yet. But as a magazine noticed, there’s a behind-the-scenes video with GRIP’s president discussing the battles that quietly appeared last month. So yes, this information was always out there. You can see it below.

It’s perhaps of note that the president of the company explains that he wasn’t familiar with Deus Ex. Because he’s “a shooter guy”. Which seems an odd explanation for apparently never having heard of the series’ reputation – something that seems impossible from within development.

If anything becomes clear as you watch, it’s just how disjointed the process was, and boy did it show.

Let’s not lose perspective, though. DX:HR was an extraordinary game. Just one with an odd puzzle that we’re beginning to solve.

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201 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    It shows that the guys who designed the boss fights were shooter fans. They were fine if you were tooled up for them, and they did try to provide a few different modes of engagement – But too often it relied on you having specific Augs (the EMP immunity one for boss 2, for instance). It’s clear they didn’t really understand the augmentation system and the need to cater for all play styles.

    Heck, not sure I’d have gotten past the second boss if it hadn’t glitched out and stopped attacking. I think on all future plays I’ll be spending a couple of points on the Typhoon just so I have an autowin button.

    • FieldOfTheBattle says:

      Boss 2 you mean the bitch in the picture? I just kept throwing grenades and shooting in between she didn’t even move.

    • Theory says:

      If you don’t have EMP resistance, bunnyhopping with high jump allows you to stay out of the damage trigger for long enough to survive.

      It’s farcical no matter which way you slice it.

    • talon03 says:

      Exactly what happened to me. Boss 2, first playthrough, medium difficulty and I didn’t have typhoon, smart vision or EMP shielding. I reloaded at least 25-35 times to beat her. It was nigh on impossible, because I was specced for stealth, and the bossfights were in no way balanced for that.
      He even talks about it. “We tried it with the shotgun, we tried it with the machine gun…”. Hey, just a thought, maybe your non-lethal specced players arn’t carrying that gear? Maybe they don’t have offensive Augs? Did you think of that? The boss fights clearly state “No, no we did not.”

    • Linfosoma says:

      The first boss is easy, but the second was fucking annoying. I didnt have the electricity resist aug, so I had to keep jumping each time the floor got electrified. I hated that fight, it was incredibly hard.
      The third one, the guy on the skinless bodysuit was also hard as hell, and I wouldnt have got through if it wasnt for the lasor rifle thingy that can shoot through walls that I was carrying for no reason until then.

      Also relevant: http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-jJRZhDr/0/L/i-jJRZhDr-XL.jpg

    • Premium User Badge

      Devenger says:

      If you can afford the inventory space, the humble stun gun, with the darts you can find throughout the game without making any special effort to do so, is adequate for defeating the first three bosses without any fuss. You can fire the stun gun faster than they can recover from its EMP effect, and it does adequate damage that you don’t need to use anything else.

      Alternatively, there are strategies for the first two bosses that mean you never need to fire a shot at all, which are interesting to attempt.

    • Theory says:

      If you catch the third boss right after (or perhaps while) he jumps over a wall you can do a lethal takedown on him.

    • Kdansky says:

      I find it amusing that we can come up with so many ways to completely break the fights:

      Stun gun spam, laser rifle through walls, Maximized Magnum (needs 2-3 shots), Typhoon Cheese, Granade spam, Takedown Glitch and so on.

      Seriously, the fights are stupid AND easily broken.

    • Trans says:

      Lol, I didn’t have any of the uags that helped other people, she ran into the wall a couple of times and I blasted the crap out of her with explosive bullets on the revolver. She died in less than a minute and I took a tiny amount of damage. In fact all the boss fights were weak; the third boss fight was the worst… I took absolutely no damage and he died with three rockets to the face! Not sure he actually moved…

    • 2late2die says:

      It’s funny but I had less trouble with the 2nd boss than the first. In part because I saw it coming. I loaded up on the heavy machine gun and a few mines and I actually didn’t even move much during it (just a step or two here and there), probably the reason I wasn’t electrocuted. I basically just threw a bunch of mines around me in the few places she would pass through and as soon as one got off I would empty the machine gun into that area. Two of those, plus the one at the very beginning of the fight and she’s down.

    • briktal says:

      The boss fights did seem somewhat broken. The first I just unloaded a ton of rockets into from behind cover. The second seemed to be stunned whenever I hit her with a rocket, so I fired all my rockets and finished her off with a gun. The third boss I did the same thing except with grenades instead of rockets. I seriously didn’t even move, just threw a few grenades and fired my 10mm death gun.

    • Nallen says:

      Huh? First boss, shoot in face, run to other end of room, shoot in face etc. Sometimes run from grenades. 2nd boss, stand next to the…electrical things, wait until she charges you, strafe and shoot them, zap. Third boss, shoot in face with pistol a bit, he falls over.

      Did I just luck out that I had every tool and aug needed to make these rather easy? I mean I did die a couple of times on each, but really nothing major.

    • Tuco says:

      Jesus Christ, it’s really time to stop all these annoying rants about those boss fights.
      Yeah, we get it, they weren’t the shiniest example of game design, but they weren’t even that horrible.

      Personally I found that their weakness to all those ways to exploit them was part of the fun.

      Also, i really don’t want to hear stuff like <> cause it’s bullshit.
      It was all about method and weapons. Talent distribution was barely relevant.

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      Devenger says:

      Fond memories of doing the third boss fight with nothing but blindfire, because I’d messed up earlier in the game and had zero augmentations plus permanent EMP visuals for that fight. And only brought about two grenades. FOND memories. *shudder*

      (That guy’s plasma rifle kills in a single burst! I was repeatedly a sad panda.)

    • Screamer says:

      I don’t think it was G.R.I.P’s fault though…. surely there must have been someone responsible who knew how everything fit together….surely……

      I blame that man/woman!

    • BirdsUseStars says:

      If you hide from the first boss long enough, he kills himself with his own grenades…

      WITH HIS OWN GRENADES.

      Would you call that getting inside his “OODA” loop?

    • Reiver says:

      The stun gun may work on the second boss but i doubt many people will have the requisite ammo for it if they’re playing on the hardest difficulty. I tried that way (after some head bashing) and burnt through 20 charges for the gun without it taking her down. In the end it was grabbing stuff out the lockers and using the tracking aug that saw me through.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      The second boss? Just stand near the computer things near the walls when she comes to attack you. Then, when she activates her typhoon like attack, make sure you’re gone. It’ll make the thing explode and damage her. Do that a few times and she is down.

    • LionsPhil says:

      If you hide from the first boss long enough, he kills himself with his own grenades…

      Perhaps he was the mentor of Howard Strong?

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      Vandelay says:

      The change of pace that the first boss gave probably made it the hardest, although the second was probably the actual hardest one to fight, particular if you didn’t have the EMP protection or Typhoon. I managed to defeat her by using the health boasts so the electrical charge only knocked me down to about 115 health. Did that two or three times and she went down.

      The most disappointing part of the fight for me actually came afterwards. In the cutscene, Jenson says he will think about saving her. After the cutscene ended, I preceeded to drag the body to the extraction point, but it unfortunately made no difference.

      Third and fourth boss fight I had the limited edition grenade launcher, so they were piss easy.

    • Nimic says:

      I struggled a bit with the third boss as well, and I was even somewhat tooled for combat (though only partly). What did it in the end was when I threw all my gas grenades at him, and then all the other grenades, until he died.

      The second boss fight was just bad, bad game design, bad bad bad. I really struggled with it until I remembered I had some points stacked up and used them on the EMP thing, at which point it became ludicrously easy. Just terrible design all over.

    • Daniel Is I says:

      Boss 1 was nothing more than a simple run ‘n gun.

      Boss 2 was annoying since I didn’t have EMP protection, but I more or less ran around in circles, watching the floor for her splashes, unloading when I could and sprinting when she armed her Typhoon.

      Boss 3 was the epitome of stupidity in that it would have been ridiculously easy if I could see through my jacked up HUD.

      Boss 4 wasn’t even a boss. It was just run to computer, use AUD (Or nuke virus the shit out of it since you probably have 50+ by this point), run to wall, punch through wall, repeat twice, shoot all 3, shoot the hell out of the Chinese lady, win game.

    • Dozer says:

      I killed the first two bosses by shouting “Flatlander woman” and “Laputan machine” at them. The third(?) boss ambushed me underground somewhere, gloated about having superior augs, and died after I shot him twice in the face at short range with a sniper rifle.

      Come to think of it, the final boss didn’t move or shoot at all – just had two gun turrets defending him (and I had my bodyweight in grenades at that point, so no problem) and a few hordes of easily-spattered minions.

    • Fullforce says:

      The 3rd fight was an absolute joke with the grenade launcher. It began, me without augs, I thought that it might be somewhat interesting.

      3 grenades into the guy’s body and the fight is over. 3 seconds of boss fight.

      Okay.

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      Bozzley says:

      Second boss? Stood next to one of the ammo dispenser cabinets and used the jump aug to get on top of it. The boss ran into it and stood resolutely still as I emptied a gun into her skull from directly above. Poor lamb, didn’t stand a chance.

    • WPUN says:

      The first rule of being a successful out-sorcerer is never admitting you aren’t familiar with any genre. If they didn’t have any rabid Duce Sex fans on staff then they should have hired some. Get a GRIP guys!

    • Jason Moyer says:

      On “give me deus ex” I just hit them with the stun gun until the cutscene triggered. 10-20 darts per boss and I think I finished the game with 60 or so left over.

    • kingcanute says:

      For all those saying that boss fights are easy – you are right, they are silly easy when you’re specced for damage (or even have a huge stack of stun gun darts) – and insanely hard when you go in with nothing but a traq rifle and 5 stun gun darts because you are playing non-lethal.

      This is the disjointed part – when your first pass through is non lethal the game just brutally punishes you for that by throwing these pure-shooter boss fights.

      But if you play as a shooter, the boss fights are absurdly easy. Everyone loses!

    • JackShandy says:

      I keep hearing about this ridiculous EMP attack from the second boss, but I’ve been through the game twice and never encountered it. Maybe I’ve just been killing the boss too fast?

      Anyway, the fact that there’s all these ways to break the bosses are a Good Thing, as far as I’m concerned.

    • LionsPhil says:

      You damn kids.

      Howard Strong is the guy from the missile silo. On a cherry-picker. Throws LAMs. Can be convinced to do so at his own feet if you’re doing a no-items run (or you can jump on his head), since he’s one of the characters who must die (or fall unconcious) to trigger an event necessary to continue.

    • NegativeZero says:

      I hacked a turret toward the start of Singapore, and then carried it through the rest of the level, including into the third boss fight. I’m not sure I was supposed to be able to do that, but it worked really well and was pretty amusing to boot.

    • Dhatz says:

      basic rule for all the bossfights: allways carry a maxed out explosive revolver(first fight can be won by throwing explosive barrels and poison)

    • Betamax says:

      I’m not a big fan of the boss fights (#3 was okay), played a stealh based character, and #2 definitely gave me the most trouble, however even stealth specced I can’t say it was that difficult to load up with some of the weapons dotted about and make something work. Intentionally or not it twistedly captured that DX element of making the best of your situation and tools etc.

      I mean, I finished up #1 simply enough, #2 involved some EMP mines, a bit of shooting when she was stunned, then finishing her off by grabbing the heavy rifle from the room, cloaking, and shooting her from close range.

      #3 was a bit of a biatch due to my Jensen needing a full system scan and reboot, however it was kinda fun putting all the pieces together that took him down: Hit him with your most powerful weapon at the start before dodging, some mines in the area he likes to run around in, grabbing the biggest gun you can find in the area (if you don’t already have a lazer/plasma) and with a careful mixture of running around like a headless chicken, watching for his stealth glow, listening to his ranting, and some general gut instinct; you shoot him in the face.

      So tl;dr I guess would be: I can see these guys making some alright FPS boss fights, and the fights in HR weren’t without their moments (and really aren’t as difficult as some let on), but ultimately their complete lack of knowledge of the series shows and they really do clash with the rest of the gameplay.

    • Wraggles says:

      Boss 1 Annoyed me simply because my point choices were to a) Hack turrets b) Heavy lifting to carry/Throw said hacked turrets.

      This strategy was working wonderfully, I was clearing rooms by opening doors and throwing the hacked turret in there. Then along comes boss 1. There’s a handy turret just b4 his room, which I’d laboriously carried with me. Only to put it down to open the door to go BAM cutscene.

      The worst part…..

      It locked the door behind me during the fight, the entire fight I can see my friendly hacked turret beep-booping behind a closed door…..

      So instead I just PEPs’d him, then shotgunned, then PEPs’d again, was gonna sell that thing anyhow, who needed the ammo….at least that’s what I tell myself when I cry myself to sleep.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @BirdsUseStars

      The Death of Strong Howard

  2. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I did have a lot of fun with the game. The first few bosses I defeated in a manner equally disjointed from the rest of the game, by stunning them and dumping every piece of explosives on them that i had collected in the previous missions and never used due to my mostly nonlethal approach.

    But the guy in the extreme muscle shirt was just a piece of shit. what the fuck. this article explains a lot. And this is also why AAA games are never going to reach the level of entertainment the indies are offering these days.

    • chabuhi says:

      Amen. How do I subscribe to your newsletter?

    • skinlo says:

      No? 90% of indie games are complete shite.

      I’ve played more L4D2 than any indie game.

    • Magnetude says:

      90% of all games ever made are utter shite. You know it’s true. Same goes for movies, books, songs…

    • Wulf says:

      @skinlo

      No two people are exactly the same, shocker! News at eleven!

  3. trooperdx3117 says:

    Seriously jaw dropped here! Why oh why did eidos think they had to outsource such a feature to another studio if they actually built the montreal studio to mkae a deus ex game! and why of all things would you give the job to a bunch of amateurs who have never even heard of freaking deus ex!

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      This perplexes me as well. Perhaps because my only experience with making software is in business applications, but it’s very confusing why huge, key plot elements are tossed out some seemingly random dev house to integrate into your product. It doesn’t matter how many conference calls and meetings you have, when two completely separate teams are making something, where it meets in the middle will be a rough spot. Frankly the blame lies squarely with Eidios for wanting to outsource in the first place. As stated in the article, the why and what for of that decision is the true question. Drama over the ball that has already dropped and who ended up with it is pointless. I don’t blame GRIP in the slightest.

  4. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    Should have outsourced to Kojima.

    • Obc says:

      the boss fights would have been amazing then.

      BUT kojima would have send eidos a 300 page script for each boss, detailing how the fights should be implemented in the game.

    • Magnetude says:

      Oh my. MGS3’s bosses in a Deus Ex game would be the most incredible experience ever. That game still has the best boss fights I’ve ever seen.

    • food says:

      Yes, it too love it when bosses shit out ten tonnes of exposition to every single bullet they fire.

    • kingcanute says:

      ****MGS3 spoliers****

      Battle with The End in MGS3 is likely the best boss fight I’ve ever seen, with the possible exception of the battle with The Boss in MGS3. Stupendous.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      ***Further MGS3 spoilers***

      Especially when you can save the game during the fight, go on holiday, come back a few weeks later and find that your opponent has died of old age while you were away. O_O

    • KenTWOu says:

      No way! This incredible Boss trick is impossible in Kojima’s games:

  5. Radiant says:

    Jesus; talk about throwing someone under a bus.

    • jerkstoresup says:

      GRIP seemed to do a fine job with Deus Ex after taking into consideration this little corner of disjointed development hell. I really hope the general fanboy hivemind doesn’t start vilifying GRIP over this, they seem like a good lot.

    • LostViking says:

      Exactly. You can’t blame GRIP for doing what Eidos asks them to do. I am sure as boss fights go they were as good as any. Personally I have always hated boss fights, but I actually hated them less in DXHR than in Witcher 2 because the bosses were easier when you found (googled) the right method to take them down ;)

  6. CMaster says:

    The thing is, even ignoring the fact that they had to put a cutscene in first to put Jensen in the situation of getting in to these fights, that no player (sneaky or violent) would have got themselves in to. Even ignoring the way there was nothing you could do to prepare for these fights. Even ignoring all of that:
    They were shitty boss fights. He talks about play testing them, but in any straight up shooter game, all those boss fights would have been awful. And then he talks about the character of these bosses? They had none. In Deus Ex, Gunther was a tragic character who you knew a lot about by the time you met him. Simons was your evil twin. This lot are just anonymous morons with high-explosive proof skin.

    Even when we take out how badly these guys were implement in the game, it’s hard to see how anybody could be satisfied with the work done.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      Absolutely this. I didn’t even know who the second boss was – wasn’t until I defeated her I realised she was one of the mercs who’d appeared in a previous cutscene for 3 seconds. I spent half the fight wondering if it was supposed to be some heavily augmented version of Reed…

    • briktal says:

      The first time I can recall seeing/hearing the second boss’s name was on one of the loading screen “Story So Far” blurbs.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      I read the prequel novel, and that’s the only reason why I had any feelings whatsoever towards those mercs. The difference between the novel mercs and game mercs is amazing. Barrett was actually an interesting enough character, and Federova had a soft side to her, she wasn’t this emotionless ghost that comes across in-game. She even had a romance sub-plot!

      So after reading the novel, I was quite looking forward to facing off against them in the game, but they basically didn’t even mention their names until after you defeated them, it was a bit ridiculous really.

      That being said, I was playing all-stealth, non-lethal, on Give Me Deus Ex diffficulty, and once you figured out a couple of things, they were pretty simple, although I did end up dying a fair few times to figure these out. For the first two fights, I just kept zapping them with my stun gun. The effect lasts longer than the time it takes to reload so as long as you don’t miss you can keep them stunned and after about twenty stuns for Barrett and twenty fiveish to Federova they die. Namir was an assface, and I don’t know how many times I died before I found he was the easiest, and wimpiest, of bosses. All you have to do is wait until he is jumping over a wall, run over to him quickly, and punch him in his face. Honestly. He dies after one takedown punch. Oversight? Probably. But screw them for making the boss fights like that.

      As an aside, the hardest part of the game hands down for me was trying to save Malik. I didn’t even know if it was possible to save her, but I tried again and again to do so. It eventually became a bit of a dance really, where I knew exactly every move I had to make to take down all of the mercs attacking her. It took forever, and I has ecstatic when I actually did it. Then I was sad that they basically didn’t mention her again at all! Or Pritchard! Damn them!

    • Daniel Is I says:

      Well technically, the second and third bosses (fourth as well, to a point) could be easily predicted by the abundance of heavy rifle ammo before each one.

      But as far as backtracking a mile to pick up weapons, there was no real way to prepare for them.

    • mwoody says:

      @DeathHamsterDude: SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER below

      If you save Malik, she comes back later on to evacuate scientists for you. ‘Not sure what you mean about Pritchard.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      If you save her she reappears later. She helps you out, actually.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @mwoody – if you don’t save her, she “comes back” too

  7. Premium User Badge

    Persona says:

    I never asked for this.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Sinomatic says:

    The outsourcing was already known to me (and most who are interested in the title, I’d presume). As you say though, as to why they were included regardless of their complete opposition to the mechanics of the rest of the game will likely only come out in the future, when there is enough distance to be able to speak of such things.

    What a (bloody) shame.

    • Wulf says:

      I suspect it’ll be something like…

      “We ran out of time/money and big publisher deadlines meant we had to get the game out now. Did that mean we had to toss any old junk in there just to get it out, even if we didn’t like it? Yeah, sure. But if you think about it… well, that’s pretty much the nature of the AAA business, isn’t it? Start off making a great game, but when that deadline looms? You just have to do whatever you have to do to get it out on time. That’s why the latter half of our game and the bossfights were kind of shit, we left those until last, had to outsource them, had to throw in whatever we got. Sure, you could make parallels to Bloodlines, but I don’t think those are bad parallels.”

      Which is often the truth of these things.

      And really, that’s how I saw it. So much like Bloodlines. As broken as Bloodlines. Maybe with the potential to be as great as Bloodlines? Possibly, I don’t know. Depends on whether fans can tear it apart and put it back together in the form that it originally should have been in.

      This is why I’m amazed at NCsoft as a publisher. They just keep giving ArenaNet all the time they need, no forced deadlines, no anything. I really wish more publishers would be like this.

      I don’t blame Eidos here, I blame the publisher.

      And who is the publisher? Oh. Look at that…

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Beware this…

      This is why I’m amazed at NCsoft as a publisher. They just keep giving ArenaNet all the time they need, no forced deadlines, no anything. I really wish more publishers would be like this.

      …is exactly how DNF did not finish.

  9. hernismall says:

    My life is starting to make sense now…

  10. Blackcompany says:

    Unlike other sites, it seems some folks here have noticed a reason for concern. I mean, You outsourced a key portion of your game’s development to a company who didn’t know much about the game, its lore or the world in which it was set?
    REally?
    .
    Way to betray the trust of your fans there.
    .
    For me its the last straw on the poor, crippled
    camel. No way will I ever purchase a game by this dev. Or one with the
    name EA attached to it in any way.
    .
    I can just imagine Kingdoms of Amalar now. Great combat, gorgeous graphics. But oh, yeah, that leveling and skill selection thing – we outsourced that to a company who doesn’t know much about role playing games.
    .
    This would explain that idiotic “Reckoning Mode” finisher move. Must have let EA talk them into outsourcing Reckoning mode to some studio who really liked God of War and Darksiders.

    • terry says:

      EA weren’t involved in any way but don’t let that get in the way of your flailing knees.

    • John Walker says:

      You might want to stable your boycotting horse there, cowboy.

      It’s Square Enix/Eidos Montreal, and nothing to do with EA. And because a stunning game had some crappy boss fights, you’re going to refuse to play Thief IV?

    • skinlo says:

      Don’t be pathetic. Stop throwing a tantrum, the game was great apart from that. And the boss fights were pretty easy anyway, two hits of the typhoon and it killed the women, did it first try. The 3rd guy was more tricky, that was just wearing him down and constantly moving. The final one was ok, by then you could have so many Praxis points, it was hard not to be immune to the EMPs.

    • chabuhi says:

      AGH! If one more person feathers my nipples with the mention of Thief 4 I’m going to have to … do … something … untoward! I look forward to the day I am revived from my cryogenic chamber to play Thief 4 … and Episode Three.

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      cqdemal says:

      Er, Deus Ex has absolutely nothing to do with EA…

    • Dominic White says:

      Just to put this further into perspective, the boss fights range from one to two minutes long. In total, there’s probably about 5 minutes of ‘low point’ in the whole game. The game is, on average, 25 hours long.

      If you quit or refuse to play the game because of those five minutes, you are a petulant child pretending to be a mature adult.

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      Joshua says:

      The fourth bossfight actually could be solved trough hacking or the socialize thing.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @Joshua? Really? The fourth bossfight could be solved through conversation? I never even saw any conversation options.

      I did solve it through (a) panicked hacking of the three outer terminals while being shot at by turrets and attacked by mad Belltower soldiers, (b) going in all guns blazing and doing it through brute force, (c) being stealthy and non-lethal—never being seen by a turret, enemy, or bot, and taking out Zhao with a single gas grenade (ok, the machine killed her anyway). The last time I didn’t have EMP protection either, which made the alternating electric floors tricky until I found a way to avoid them.

      But I would’ve liked to have solved it with CASIE.

  11. Alexander Norris says:

    Let’s not lose perspective, though. DX:HR was an extraordinary game.

    Up to Omega Ranch, anyway – where it went from great to uninspired to shite (Panchaea) to atrocious (the endings).

    The rest was great, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Devenger says:

      I thought Omega Ranch was fine, if a bit surreal, and Panachea was very powerful in an emotional, atmospheric sense, even if the enemies just functioned strangely and not very cleanly. The endings were a bit contrived and maybe not elaborated on enough, but I don’t feel cheated by them.

    • Berzee says:

      Haven’t played the ending parts yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they decline in quality. Xen-syndrome and all that. =) I started figuring I was in for it as soon as they said, basically, “no turning back now”. Always a bad sign.

      However, it’s been so good so far that I will retain hope unless proven wrong by the game itself. :)

    • muted says:

      panchea made me think of system shock 2, when you first step in and the whole crew has gone mad…

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      Anthile says:

      Panchea was an obvious reference to the underwater lab in the first DX, which in turn was a reference to System Shock.

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      Vandelay says:

      Panchaea was pretty terrible, but Omega Ranch was brilliant! That was pretty much the only level that vaguely had level design like that of the original game, in that you actually had to explore the area to find where to go and what to do. It did lack the underground, on ground or rooftop paths to choose from slightly, but it was still one of my favourite levels of the game.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Oh yeah, I remember great and non-linear levels of original game like paris catacombs, Lebedev airport, Unatco prison and Area 51. Marvelous open design.

    • CMaster says:

      @coldvvvave
      The fact that the original Deus Ex had a bunch of linear levels, doesn’t take away from the fact that it also had many wide open levels where you had free roam of the whole place – Liberty Island, NY Warehouse District, Vandenberg, X-51 – I’m sure others can think of more. DX:HR only has Detroit PD and Omega Ranch, and neither of them are as open as the aforementioned DX mods.

      The MJ12 base under UNATCO HQ is an odd choice as well. While it’s a bit chokepointy, it’s far from linear.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I agree with the OP, the game reached a peak with the Hengsha hub, and then it got progressively more boring and repetitive, for me at least. I really enjoyed the Detroit and Hengsha hubs. Epecially Hengsha; they were able to pull off an environment that seemed teeming with people without actually being able to render huge crowd scenes. The atmosphere and design was great.

      Omega Ranch on the other hand, felt like lazy level design with all those cookie-cutter offices. Maybe I just don’t like office environments, I dunno. Too much like real life, I guess. And Panchea was more of that, basically. Also, I don’t care whether it was a homage to System Shock or earlier DX, it just wasn’t fun to be gunning down mobs of crazed people rushing at you. Zero tactics, compared to the earlier parts of the game. I’d still call it a great game, but it was mostly for the first 2/3 of the experience.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @Zenicetus: There were a little more tactics involved if you were trying to be non-lethal, or to ghost your way through. But it didn’t make for interesting battles.

      When I played through with a combat build, I actually found it relaxing to have fairly weak enemies that couldn’t shoot back. It made a nice change.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      I found the Panchea fights incredibly interesting because they were one of the few fights in the game where I absolutely could not go lethal. In that, I tried to play non-lethal as much as possible, but certain situations would necessitate a lethal approach, where it could be justified.

      Belltower men gunning down innocents to get to me? Not too worried about going lethal. The folks at the Omega Ranch? If I get into a fire fight, I’ll return fire. However, in Panchea it’s a bunch of innocent people who, through reasons more or less beyond their control, have lost their minds. It’s not even the case of the Purity First group in the beginning, who are a bunch of naive people being led astray that are nevertheless breaking into a civilian facility with guns and taking hostages.

      So yeah, the folks on Panchea were the people I could absolutely not justify any lethal take-downs for. With that provisio, sneaking past large groups, or non-lethally neutralizing crowds rushing you does become fairly challenging / interesting.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I justified killing my way through the Panchea mobs as an “end justifies the means” approach, to get to the transmitter and shut down the biochip signal as quickly as possible. A few dead innocents on Panchea didn’t justify a delay in preventing further harm worldwide. Or something like that.

      But yeah, I can see where it would be a challenge to go non-lethal in that final run, especially if you were low on nonlethal weapon ammo and had to rely entirely on takedowns or ghosting.

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorManiac says:

      - This right here – is my favourite thing about DX games (even the 2nd one). Each person has their own story to tell.

  12. Theory says:

    What I want to know is why it took a whole separate company to make those battles. They are just rooms with a bad guy in who follows you around.

    • Premium User Badge

      LMichet says:

      Truth, sir.

    • Magnetude says:

      Easiest. Hundred grand. Ever.

    • Jonny Stutters says:

      The guy in the video gives the impression that they have an AI routine that controls the attacks and movement patterns. The bosses do exhibit more behaviour patterns than the regular enemies (charge, ranged attacks, hide) so presumably Eidos Montreal didn’t have appropriate code of their own available. I’m not saying the battles were good, but I can see – notionally at least – where the money went.

    • Magnetude says:

      But then, you have to wonder how they reacted when they got the code back. The game went gold around April I believe (on consoles at least), did none of the devs take issue? Because the core team seemed to really know what they were doing, and they knew the series well. I’ll be very interested in the post mortems once enough time has passed, because between this and the slightly aggressive monetisation of the preorder bonuses/DLC missions, it seems like there was a bit of a struggle between the devs and the money guys on this project. I wonder whose decision outsourcing to GRIP was.

    • qwiggalo says:

      They probably gave too much faith in GRIP and by the time they were able to playtest the bosses it was too late to change anything.

    • Theory says:

      I suspect contractual obligations.

  13. 2late2die says:

    I don’t understand why would something like this be outsourced. I can understand outsourcing cutscenes, I can even understand outsourcing multiplayer, but an encounter within the game? That’s not even a level or a section we’re talking about, but literally one encounter, that’s just an odd way of making a game. o_O

    But yeah, I think in the end folks are making a mountain out of an anthill. As jarring and somewhat annoying these boss battles may be, they constitute barely 1% of the game, probably much less. And what a great 99% the rest of the game is – I’m pretty sure it’s not in my top 3 of all time.

  14. Joannes says:

    I like how the guy constantly contradicts himself and then mentions that they in fact were predicating these boss battles on player choice, except that choice was between a shotgun or an assault rifle. Way to go.

  15. arienette says:

    It took me about 15 goes to kill the first boss. I was all tooled up for hacking, non lethalness and not much else, who throws three grenades at once anyway! Couldn’t move out of cover fast enough.

    It was only with luck I realised I had a combat rifle on me and that took him down in seconds, no challenge. The poor design of that fight astonishes me.

    I enjoyed the game as a whole though.

  16. kikito says:

    The first boss got on my nerves. I mean, I shoot him on his face with my augmented combat rifle and he doesn’t even cover? WTF! I don’t know how much time did I try to beat him just by shooting. I nearly stopped playing right there. Then I went on to the internets and read that I had to throw him stuff instead. And that fire extinguishers “stun” him (really?)

    The second boss was a bit more interesting. But mainly because I’ve learned my lesson from the first boss, and I read a wiki on how to deal with her before encountering her. What where the proper augmentations to have, and so on. Nevertheless, given the fact that she’s supposed to be a (I think) crazy character, I really hoped to be able to incapacitate her instead of just shooting her face.

    The third one one, I tried a couple times and was able to bug the AI. The guy stood on a corner and I killed him from behind another. I was grateful when he was finished.

    The last one, I tried stuff until something worked. It didn’t make much sense. I’m not sure whether I killed him the correct way or not. I don’t know why the order in which I did things mattered at all. Completely unsatisfying.

    So, yeah, boo. I hope they release a patch that removes the boss fights.

  17. Shazbut says:

    I liked them.

    There I said it. I have yet to complete the game actually, but I’m on what I imagine will be the last level, and I enjoyed the boss fights, especially #3. I think it’s because they were actually a little bit difficult to begin with. It’s fair enough that in order to beat them, I basically exploited the limitations of the A.I every time, but in a way that was the challenge – how to break the game. Certainly the rest of the game, I never truly found a challenge. Which isn’t to say I didn’t die, but I was always absolutely certain that I could get through an area if I wanted to. Each boss fight made me think for a brief second that I might not be able to complete it, which just made it more satisfying when I did.

    It was the cutscenes that pissed me off.

    • skinlo says:

      I personally liked the cut scenes, for me they added to the atmosphere.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      Hmm. The trailers looked better IMO. They should have tried to do those cutscenes in 1080P atleast (since I have a 1080p screen :P). Then again, I do agree that they were better then any ingame cutscene with the available animations.

      They are a nice solution to “I need to do extra (Engine) work for my cutscenes. Do I let it go at the cost of performance at the time of the cutscene, or shall I pre-render it?

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Yeah, the thing that usually gets me about cutscenes is how bad the video quality is.

      We have the technology to fit an hour long 720p HDTV show into 1 gig of disk space and still look awesome. You’re producing games that are 5 gigs on average — more, if you’re digitally distributing and don’t have to worry about DVD sizes. You don’t have 1 hour of cutscenes in your game. So why am I watching them like they’re playing at YouTube’s 360p resolution?

      Some games (most recently played: Tropico 4) are particularly bad for this. Low res and horribly interlaced. I just checked, and Starcraft 1 actually had better cutscenes. What gives? Is it some artefact of the usual in-game video rendering engines (Bink etc.)? Do they just decide that spending space on video you’ll see once per playthrough isn’t worth giving up space for assets you’ll see hundreds of times? Are they right?

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      I don’t think it’s that the boss fights *couldn’t* be satisfying… they could, if you were playing a combative way, or you were happy to have a (radical) change of pace. It’s more that the entire ethos of deus ex is (or should be) that you can play any way you want to, and the boss fights were the complete antithesis of that.

      ‘Tis sad that for many (most? some?) that they threw that out of the window in those areas.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Bink’s not the technology to hate here; it’s just a codec/format, and a perfectly capable one. Brink’s cutscenes are in shiny decent-res and use it, and it’s been used for standalone self-playing EXE trailers in the past.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s not just the low res of the cutscenes, the color palette is slightly different from the game engine also. It makes me wonder if they didn’t outsource the cutscenes as well as the boss fights. Or maybe they were made in an earlier version of the game engine.

      That should be a standard rule of game design: Never make the cutscenes look dramatically different from what the player sees in the in-game engine. I’ve just started my second play-through of Witcher 2, and while I’ll keep griping about the over-use of QT events in that game, at least those events and all the cutscenes look exactly like the rest of the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      hexapodium says:

      The cutscenes were definitely directed by Square-Enix’s giant-hair-and-story department. They made a Thing of it much earlier in the marketing, while the hype machine was still winding up, and it shows a bit in the character of the cutscenes anyway.

  18. davhud says:

    The wearing of ties in large groups makes people very stupid. That explains it.

  19. Magnetude says:

    Does this include the final boss as well? That was a little more intellectually involving than the others, but still had that weird disjointed feeling and a curious lack of direction that the others suffered from. Also, too much AI = light shooting out of your eyes and mouth…

    • Nallen says:

      Actually I forgot that one, the last boss fight was terrible. I mean I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing and still wandered through it with no problems at all. It was like everything should have happened at once, but it all happened in a row. Okay, I kill some turrets on a rail, that took about 10 seconds. Now I fire a gun at three static objects. Now I kill a couple of these guys I’ve been killing in droves for hours. Look at the pretty lights on the floor. A small robot or two. FIN.

    • Magnetude says:

      The room made no sense whatsoever. Usually I can get over the ‘benevolent architecture’ problem in games and films, where security systems are designed with obvious weaknesses so that the player can continue (see also: air vents, scanning laser hallways), but that room made no sense. The turrets move around slowly, the things they’re protecting are in their blind spots, and the security system only activates in stages?

      “Well, he killed the turrets, let’s crack the robots out one at a time, maybe one will get lucky”. Silly. Would have much preferred to start in another room and actually have some time to plan an approach than being dumped in the middle of a bunch of nonsense and amble around shooting/hacking whatever presented itself. I can’t wait until someone mods the boss fights into something a human would want to play.

    • Premium User Badge

      Snidesworth says:

      I keep wondering how [Final Boss] got down there anyway, given that they appeared to be alone and it took everything Jensen had to get to the same room in one piece.

    • Zenicetus says:

      You can also instantly kill final boss lady with the laser rifle, without going through any of the rest of it. She’s “protected” by transparent panels you can shoot through.

      I did it the normal way, hacked the panel and EMP-bombed or pulse-rifled everything else. It was just another one of those on-rails battles where you figure out the timing and the tricks. It would have been so much nicer if there had been a choice (like in Witcher 2 in a few places), where you could have talked to the boss and ended that sequence through conversation, or chosen to fight if you wanted that outcome. But no, you have to go in there with guns blazing, no matter what.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @Zenicetus You don’t have to go in guns blazing. You can beat that final level without ever firing a shot (or even being seen by any enemies), though the coup de grace will still require a weapon—one gas grenade will suffice.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @VelvetFistIronGlove
      Or one shot from stun gun! That’s why I think that the last boss is the best boss in the game.

  20. Soon says:

    If it wasn’t for boss fights, I think my inventory would be empty.

  21. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Of course the boss fights were designed for stealth/nonlethal users — there were guns conveniently placed in pretty closets all around the rooms!

  22. Orija says:

    Nice moustache.

  23. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I didn’t mind the boss fights. Never understood the whole hubbub. It’s like… 5 to 10 minutes of a 40 hour playthrough? It’s not like it dominated the RPG experience. I can vouche for other great games having much larger extended periods of crap gameplay.

    First boss did get a bit under my skin the first time I played the game. But subsequent playrthroughs become easy enough. The third boss I actually enjoyed. It was fun run-cover-shooting action. A welcoming change from the hide-sneak role.

    The last battle was a bit silly. But by then the whole game had become just silly. Something like From Dusk Till Dawn meet Island of Dr. Ned.

    • Magnetude says:

      I think the boss fights would have been vastly improved by starting with a bit of distance between you and the boss. The shoot and cover approach was fun for boss 3, but it was so much easier to stunlock/typhoon/EMP him right at the start and finish it in 10 seconds that there was no point. If it had been a much bigger area that allowed for a little stealth or an advancing assault, it would have been good fun even if they still contrived a way for you to be seen.

  24. AMonkey says:

    Outsourcing boss battles? How incredibly stupid.

  25. Danny says:

    Yes, like everyone else here I disliked the boss battles. I RAGE QUIT for a couple of days after one of them, which is bad when you consider I was reviewing Human Revolution.

    I feel as if I outright cheated for the 3 battle, but then didn’t the game cheat on me for nerfing my character for taking a certain decision?

    But anyway, carrying that hacked turret halfway across the map took a lot of effort.

    • Orija says:

      “nerfing my character for taking a certain decision”
      Why shouldn’t be there any consequences for the path you take?

    • Premium User Badge

      Snidesworth says:

      What Orija said. Going into that fight nerfed to hell was the consequences of not observing and/or thinking about about what you’ve discovered. Conversely, those who made the opposite decision were rewarded.

    • Magnetude says:

      No, it was the consequence of Adam walking into the middle of a well-lit room without bothering to look left and right as he did so.

    • Orija says:

      Uum… I’d say that Deus Ex: HR doesn’t really implement consequences for your actions well, whether they be gameplay/skill related or storyline related. For example, a stealth oriented character should be at a disadvantage in a boss fight but at the same time he should be given the chance to avoid it.

    • Mattressi says:

      Were there consequences for taking the “run and gun” path? Boss battles are horrible for stealth/hacking characters, but which part of the game is horrible for those who run and gun?

    • Zenicetus says:

      @Mattressi: It’s not exactly “horrible,” but you only get 10 “man down” XP points for each run and gun kill. Knockouts with the tranquilizer rifle or stun gun are worth a bit more, and you get the maximum XP points with silent takedowns. You get zip for sneaking past guards, so run and gun is at least better than that.

      I was using a combination of kills and takedowns on my play-through. Silenced headshots with the pistol were just too much fun. So I probably got a little overly obsessive about hacking everything in sight, to make up for the XP.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Rhygadon says:

    Looks like a mis-tag: GRIN were the Bionic Commando Rearmed people. Perhaps they would have done a better job, though!

  27. razgon says:

    So, I’m kinda interested in the cutscenes that were rolling during the interview. Did anyone else notice its not from the game? Its from the marketing material videos that were published a good deal ahead of the games release.

    Makes you wonder just what kind of information the poor guys at GRIP had while making the boss battles.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Indeed, a few bits with Barret attacking Jensen at a helipad and Federova shooting a bunch of people were certainly not in the game. Makes you wonder if the whole Tyrants group were meant to be a much larger part of the plot but it got cut down somewhat. Especially as they’re the primary antagonists of the novel.

  28. Ginger Yellow says:

    The outsourcing may have contributed to the boss fights’ crappiness, but the fundamental problem was having boss fights in the first place. Even if they’d made them in-house, they still would have been totally out of place (especially for non-lethal playstyles).

    • Deano2099 says:

      The first game managed them well though. You could either kill them or sidequest and investigate for the kill phrases. Alas the game couldn’t pull that trick again because it would interfere with a major plot point later on I guess.

  29. Xerian says:

    Thanks lad.

  30. Saleck says:

    Guh I was stuck for two damned hours on one boss.. then it glitched and stopped moving and I was free to just fill him/her with bullets. would’ve quit the game if it hadn’t have glitched on me. What a shame…

  31. Robin says:

    Bosses, schmosses. My main problem with DXHR at the moment is that the patch that came out last Friday seems to completely destabilise the game on lots of people’s machines. I was really enjoying my second playthrough as well, now I can’t continue until they patch the patch.

    I love the convenience of Steam autopatching, but it’s a kick in the teeth when developers can’t be bothered to properly QA what they put out there.

  32. adonf says:

    I don’t care about those boss fights one way or another, but seeing interlaced videos in 2011 is making me MAD!!!

    Or at least distracted enough that I couldn’t pay attention to what was being said.

  33. Bobby Oxygen says:

    It does annoy me somewhat that the guy seems so pleased with what his company did. I wonder what he would say now, after almost everyone has denounced the bossfights as lame throwbacks, and entirely unfitting for the game.

  34. der jester says:

    The boss fights are the only thing I felt I did wrong. Some spoilers below.
    My first play through I was doing stealth and non-lethal, but kept a combat rifle since I couldn’t upgrade the non-lethal weapons and “just in case.” I died once on Barret, because I didn’t think about using grenades. Second attempt I just emptied my rifle into him while tossing grenades.
    The second boss I just moved out of the way when she charged and emptied my rifle into her. It wasn’t until my third play through that I realized there was power cells I could blow up to stun her.
    The third boss took about 5 tries and a lot of quick saving/loading. I fell or the trap that makes that battle hard. I tried mines, grenades, rifles, etc. He was brutal. After my first play through I activated the preorder bonus content and the grenade launcher makes that fight trivial. You just shoot him 4 times. He doesn’t even get a chance to move.
    The last fight (Hyron core) wasn’t difficult at all. If you take out the 3 core nodes and just hide everything gets killed and you don’t have to do anything. I’ve never done that fight with a Social Enhancer, there’s a way to do that?

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      “After my first play through I activated the preorder bonus content and the grenade launcher makes that fight trivial.”

      That’s the problem right there.

    • Zenicetus says:

      No, there’s no way to talk your way out of the final fight.

    • PAK says:

      Well, you can’t talk your way out entirely, but *SPOILER* winning the “verbal combat” with Darrow gives you the code to override the life support system (no hacking required, run up to the right panel and you’re done) after which, as you’ve already said, you just have to hide and wait. *END SPOILER*

  35. Pointless Puppies says:

    I wonder if there are mods out there that completely remove the boss fights. As in, show cutscene of OMG BOSS BATTLE!, then do a white-flash transition to the post-battle cutscene.

    You know they contribute absolutely nothing to the game, and that actually the game would be better for it. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of such mod, actually.

    • Berzee says:

      DXHR is irritatingly difficult to mod. It’s silly.

    • Zenicetus says:

      If a mod completely bypassed the boss battle, you’d miss out on some post-fight loot. I’m thinking in particular of the pulse rifle from Boss #3. I’m not sure that’s available until later on, in other locations.

  36. Dr8Ball says:

    No one I have spoken to has done what I did for the first boss, and this truly surprises me. I died on my first attempt, but that was due to me being naive enough to assume that a lethal takedown would be enough. Don’t even ask why I thought that would work.

    Second try, I simply shot the gas canister on the wall behind him. It stopped him from being able to move, and I emptied some combat rifle bullets into him. Two clips if I remember correctly.

    For the second boss, I walked up to her and shot her in the head with my pistol. She didn’t even move. Just kept shooting her, and she pathetically just died with no fight what-so-ever.

    By the time I got the the second last boss, I had the Typoon. Pretty much just Typhoone’d and shotgunned him in the face a few times.

    The last boss… well that really was pathetic. It took me two attempts, and to be honest, I don’t really understand what I did. I hacked the panel on the wall of the bit in the middle, ran and hid ontop of one of the bits you can punch through – and just waited. Eventually I just shot the bitch connected to it with my plasma rifle and that was it. Pretty dissapointing.

    This game was immense. But those boss fights were so out of place and tacky. Just as well the rest of the game was so impressive.

  37. Lemming says:

    The boss fights were jarring as everyone says, but not just because there was no non-lethal way to take them down. It’s that they take you out of the rules of the universe as well. Suddenly, just because his AI routine demands it, Boss 1 is throwing three grenades in a spread pattern at once? This isn’t fucking Metroid.

    And as other non-lethal players before me did, I had to find some ridiculous way to get rid of him. In the end I used the taser then unloaded the pistol ( that I’d picked up on mission to sell later), in his face while he was stunned.

    You know what on second thought, it’s not even the fact there wasn’t a non-lethal way to kill him – I can see the point for drama and just plain common sense purposes that you’d need to kill the Mercs as it’s either you or them – But I would have preferred even a Resi-4 style QTE knife fight to what we got.

    If they were barely interactive cinematic sequences like that I bet none of us would have minded.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I bet none of us would have minded.

      …QTE cutscene fights? In a Deus Ex game?

      While it might have been less bad, the torrent of rage in such an alternate universe would, I expect, exceed this one.

    • Fistulator says:

      One of them is a QTE. More or less.

  38. Deano2099 says:

    Yeah, a few bits with Barret attacking Jensen at a helipad and Federova shooting a bunch of people were certainly not in the game. Makes you wonder if the whole Tyrants group were meant to be a much larger part of the plot but it got cut down somewhat. Especially as they’re the primary antagonists of the novel.

  39. Fistulator says:

    I feel a bit sorry for these guys. They made the only part of the game that is universally hailed as bad. As the man says, they didn’t have much knowledge of Deus Ex and their briefing probably never mentioned anything about making alternate solutions, probably to reduce the cutscene budget.

    I doubt they’ll find it easy to find employment in the future, and it was most probably not their fault.

    • Dozer says:

      To be fair, he says he “doesn’t know a lot about the Deus Ex world“, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as not knowing much about Deus Ex the game. (Put on a trenchcoat, and fight some conspiracies; gain experience, and level up abilities etc.)

      I know some of the Mario games but know next to nothing about the deep and complex backstory to the mushroom kingdom and its characters. I’m not a platformer guy.

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      That’s very relevant if you’ve been commisioned to produce the boss fights for Super Mario Galaxy 3.

    • Fistulator says:

      @Dozer But still, I think that, if their brief included any mention of alternate solutions, they would have at least tried to make some. I still feel Eidos/Squeenix are to blame.

  40. NothingFunny says:

    LoL first two bosses are super easy – u just permastun them with the stungun. Oh and it also sorta counts as non-lethat and then Barret kills himself with grenade.
    Third boss put up a fight, but still emp spam obliterates him in 15 seconds.

  41. Megadyptes says:

    Why the hell did they think that this would be a good idea?

  42. Herbert_West says:

    My greatest beef is that while the bosses (at least Fedorova and Namir) are visually very, very interesting, being a polyhedronal aug, something absolutely not seen so far, and an “invert” aug, with the muscles running on the outside of the body, we never get to see them properly. They cloack a lot in battles, and the battles themselves are frantic running-hiding games (or Typhoon-EMP spam), so you never get a good look at what must have taken many a man-hour to design and implement.

    Shame.

  43. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    Shouldn’t that tag be GRIP, not grin? Or is there something I’m not getting?

    Here’s my question…. in this day and age of everything being connected to the web, is this something Eidos could patch up? Companies like CD Projeckt aren’t above patching the living crap out of their games, why can’t others? If it improves the experience of the game, shouldn’t something like these disjointed boss fights be flagged as “bugs” and addressed as such?

  44. buzzmong says:

    From all this rubbish about the boss fights, I’ve taken away this:

    1) Avoid anything GRIP does.

    2) If I find myself in a management position in a games company, really make sure GRIP don’t get any work from the company I’m with, or at least, don’t get anything from my projects.

    3) Boss fights are a shit game idea in games. Always have been, and no matter what you do will at most come out as “ok” rather than good.

    4) Be extremely wary of Eidos Montreal and Square/Enix in the future as DX:HR isn’t an amazing game like people (including oddly RPS) keep saying. It’s mearly a good game brought down by some big game design flaws.

    (as an aside, Panchea is a great level. Right up until you finish the talk with Darrow. Then it becomes utter rubbish)

    • LostViking says:

      Why the hatred towards GRIP?
      They were asked to make boss figts for DXHR and did it. The boss fights in DXHR didn’t suck more than boss fights in other games, if you ask me.

    • Balerion says:

      @LostViking: MGS3 and Shadow of the Colossus would like to have a word with you.

    • buzzmong says:

      @LostViking

      Anyone who is a VP of games related company and willing to say straightfaced that he comes from a “shooter” background either actually means he’s got a console shooter background (which explains not having played DX1) and therefore lacks a comphrensive shooter background as the majority of FPS’s are on the PC, or worse, has the experience but has shown himself to be a terribly poor designer due to the DX:HR boss fights being rubbish, and that’s not even taking the story into account.

      Either standpoint doesn’t fill me with confidence about what GRIP could produce in the future.

      On a technical side they’re good, but from a gameplay view? Horrid.

  45. Tim Ward says:

    Well, I think the reason the boss battles were out sourced is because the team making the rest of the game didn’t want to put them in because they correctly realized that boss battles are a terrible idea, but someone with the publisher – evidently still married to a school of game design at least a decade out of date – insisted. Hence, the compromise that boss battles were put in the game, but the team making Deus Ex didn’t have to actually do them.

    Which also explains why they feel so disconnected from the rest of the game, not only a separate team but a separate team working on an aspect of the game the main team wanted nothing to do with.

    And, yes, boss battles are almost always shit.

  46. mwoody says:

    I didn’t really get the hate for the boss fights. I played the game with a stun gun, the tranq rifle, hacking, and stealth throughout. But of course I kept around SOMETHING to do damage if the need arose – I mean, you see these behemoths in the very first scene. Did you think you were going to shoot them with a widdle dart? A shotgun and two stacks of shells stuck in the corner of my inventory proved far more than enough, and it gave me something to use those ubiquitous weapon augs on rather than just vendor them.

    But even if you didn’t bring something damaging, they could still be completed with a little cleverness. Most had weapons and ammo in the chamber itself, or at least leading up to it (it was usually really obvious when one was coming). And there were a ton of ways to beat them with different weapons, tactics, and augments, which was awesome (despite others in this thread hilariously calling it a sign of them being “broken” because there was more than one way to finish).

  47. FunkyBadger3 says:

    And hands down the menchaincal highpoint of the game was…

    …the fight to save Malik.

    Which:
    a) was built using the standard tech/enemies
    b) had an entertaining and emotionally involving goal
    c) had varying fail states and consequences.

    i.e. it was well thought out and designed.

    • LostViking says:

      Noo. After trying three times I just assumed she couldn’t be saved :P
      At that point my behavior took a turn for the violent and vengeful when dealing with Belltower soldiers ;)

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Giving someone motivation for the rest of the game is pretty much the perfect outcome for an encounter in an RPG.

    • NothingFunny says:

      it was the hardest for sure

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Is it possible to save her using non-lethal methods? If not, then I don’t thnk that’s a good example. (Although I don’t know if that is the case, hence my question).

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @ ezcentral @ JKjoker:

      Actually, focusing on the big robot and the couple heavies that show up near the elevator first buys you quite a bit of time, and then you can sneak-takedown your way around the rest –you need to move fast but there are a number of ducts, crates and wallcracks conveniently placed so that you can do that without being seen, and it’s much more efficient than the tranq rife.

      I relied on a combination of takedowns, taser and invisibility (and eating candy bars like crazy so I would never stop moving to wait for the batteries to recharge), and I got rid of them all while passing majorly undetected. I guess one or two of them did see me but IT WAS THE LAST THING THEY SAW >:( (until they woke up later I guess), and by the time I was done with the last couple snipers they were still cluelessly focusing on shooting Malik.

      Once I managed to do that, it was actually one of the most rewarding parts of the game. I was quite amazed at what a big sneaky hero I was.

    • Fastkarate says:

      Far be it from me to pimp my own shit, but here we are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zSn28-mrgI

      So, not far be it from me at all.

      I about went insane on that part trying to snipe people, until I realized you can just work your way around the right side basically with impunity. I’m also pretty sure it’s the guy on the right with the gas grenade that wrecks the chopper, not the machinegun guys.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @Fastkarate: Yep, pretty similar to what I did, though I used a more hidey-hiderson route and more takedowns than tasers.

      By the way, if it weren’t for the second to last guy you probably would’ve gotten the “Ghost” bonus. Nice.

  48. Iskariot says:

    [POSSIBLE SPOILERS]
    After the first boss battle I understood I needed the Typhoon. So I was ready for the second boss. I expected it to be difficult, but it was over in seconds. I hardly noticed my opponent. And I played on Deus Ex difficulty.
    I was lucky with the first boss. The AI was stupid enough to gas himself as it obviously did not understand its surroundings at all. I just had to walk around a bit.
    The last boss was hell at first, because I had lost all my augs. But I loaded a save and brought a turret with me. The AI was much to stupid to attack the turret.

  49. Ian Moriarty says:

    This is an extremely lame cop-out. No company worth the giving the Deus-Ex name would seriously allow golden-path content in a flagship game to ship without being triple-tested, integrated and run through umpteen bazillion tester cycles. I wager half of Eidos Montreal played the game through several times before ship, and there is always a manager or supervisor that is in charge of all outsourced content.

    GRIP should have been told early on that there would be several methods of completion for every scene in the game, and the manager in charge of receiving content from GRIP should have held them to that. Why wasn’t this shipped back to GRIP?

    I feel like GRIP is largely blameless here, if the contracting company doesn’t give feedback to the contractor, they really only have those instructions to go by. It’s not like they’d have run out of time.

    Given that game releases are routinely pushed back, I can’t see any reason why these boss battles weren’t scrapped or seriously reworked in time for gold.

    ~I

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      I feel like GRIP is largely blameless here, if the contracting company doesn’t give feedback to the contractor, they really only have those instructions to go by.

      No. Because even if that was the case, the boss fights are still horribly made. I mean, what the hell was exactly the job GRIP did anyway? The fights themselves were so straightforward, plain and unimaginative that they would’ve been coma-inducingly boring if they weren’t so annoying.

      Did Eidos need to pay an external studio to think up a small room with a couple of columns and a ridiculously convenient cache of weapons and ammunition laying around? Because the laziest Quake 2 modder could already come up with that like 15 years ago, and also he did it for free and he was probably 13 years old. And stoned out of his ass.

    • Ian Moriarty says:

      Good point – I think I blocked out the first fight. God those fights were terribad.

      ~I

  50. Arglebargle says:

    I have only just started the game, and I already really dislike the Hacking minigame BS. Is it possible to play through reasonably while avoiding it as much as possible? They make a bow towards different playstyles, but I am worried that that’s just lip service in this regard. Making me a bit worried about getting deeper in and finding it impossible to move on.

    Should I just fold up my tent and go home?

    • NothingFunny says:

      all the crucial hacking can be solved by finding passwords nearby
      also you have nuke\stop virusies which make it easier

    • Arglebargle says:

      Thanks! I was starting to get nervous, and even a bit hacked off…..;-)

    • Danarchist says:

      The hacking mini game is all about hacking stealth. Seriously once you have it maxed out and everything up to lvl 4 (or is it 5?) nodes is at 15% you can pretty much speed click your way through it. At the beginning of the game I saved every nuke and stop worm I found for that really important hack I just knew was coming soon. But after I maxed stealth I just pretty much breezed through every system.
      There are 6 spots where hacking comes in super handy ***********Spoiler********** with the turret at the lift being the most important. But any one of them could have been resolved in any number of ways without hacking.

      The main reason to hack the crap out of everything you see is it gives a silly amount of xp. My non hacking character wound up with quite a bit fewer praxis points at the end.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      Also most doors guarded by locks can be blown / shot open. If you really don’t want to hack, there’s not a lot of hacking you absolutely need to do.

    • Iskariot says:

      I liked the hacking after I got the hang of it. I augmented early to make my hacking life easier.
      But I would have liked to see a bit more variation in mini games in general.
      Why use the same hacking game over and over again for every lock on the planet?
      I starts to get old after a while. Switching between two or three minigames for different lock types would have been more exiting.