April 1 Didn’t Ask For This: Deus Ex: Human Defiance

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Press X To Ask For This

We sat out April Fools’ Day entirely on RPS, because we are cheerless fucks who can’t abide even the mere idea of other people having a laugh. Also because it was a bank holiday in the UK, but, y’know, principles. The upside of this is that I can safely ignore everything which arrived in my inbox yesterday. The downside is that a couple of genuinely lovely things get overlooked. Thus, I shall break all the rules and not overlook a couple of them after all. For instance, Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Defiance, which starts off with the rather videogames industry-stereotypical April 1 jape of ‘hey wouldn’t it be funny if we went retro?’ but winds up, perhaps inadvertently, making a 16-bit, 2D, reductive Deus Ex look hugely appealing.

Try to ignore the awkward mugging to camera of the devs who present this, and just look at 2D Adam Jensen. And, indeed, 2D JC Denton – our beloved augmented heroes, together at last.

It’s the reduction of agonising moral decisions to binary yes/no options which tickled me the most though, as it so neatly reveals how Manichean most videogame choices are underneath all the smoke and mirrors of their cutscenes, voice-acting and ominous music.

Ultimately DXHD is a ruse to make people Like Deus Ex on the book of faces, so maybe don’t do that bit. The bigger question is whether the Human Defiance trademark registration that got hearts fluttering a few weeks ago was for this, or for a real DXHR sequel. A double-bluff would suit the game of conspiracies, after all. I can’t quite see why they’d bother to take out a trademark purely for a gag, but then I’m not a corporation with IP to jealously guard.

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62 Comments »

  1. InternetBatman says:

    I would play it. Play it and enjoy it.

  2. PopeRatzo says:

    Is anyone playing the other Defiance? It appeared on my Steam and looks…expensive. $99 USD for the “digital deluxe edition” or it might be “deluxe digital edition”. I knew we were moving to the $100 game, but didn’t think it would happen so fast.

    Still, it looks good, wonder how it is for a single player-centric guy like me.

    • Lagwolf says:

      Avoid like the plague… here is my take on it. Read the comments too as there is some more insight into what an epicfail it is alas.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Thank you. Very good write-up.

      • frightlever says:

        (a) Holy cow, blogcritics is still around.

        (b) Combat and vehicles game fails at both? Cheers for the impressions. Guess I can take that off my radar. Do hope the TV show works out. It’s nice when SyFy (that just doesn’t look right) has sci-fi on it.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      spent way too much time playing it during the beta weekends. it’s, uh, not very good. suffice to say even if it was f2p i’d still be passing, let alone at 60bux.

  3. Seboss says:

    The self derision was amusing.

  4. cyrenic says:

    I don’t suppose there’s anywhere to download the music track for that video? It was great.

  5. karthink says:

    Speaking of self-derision, have you guys seen the Dishonored devs level walkthrough? Trust me, you want to watch this.

  6. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Nice Municipal Waste T-Shirt!

  7. Low Life says:

    Human Defiance domains were registered by CBS who are making a Deus Ex movie, so (at least before this) it seemed likely that it was the movie’s name. Apparently Square Enix has registered Deus Ex: The Fall, which could be the next game.

    Source: http://www.joystiq.com/2013/03/06/deus-ex-the-fall-trademarked-while-human-defiance-points-towar/

    • OnionPowder says:

      According to the Devs on the facebook page they registered Human Defiance just in case they needed it. Turns out they didn’t need it so instead of letting it go to waste they made this video instead.

  8. Lev Astov says:

    They made it look overly cheesy, but yeah, I’d play it. They could easily make that pretty fantastic with some top notch animations and metroidvaniaesque exploration. Just think of all the abilities you could unlock!

    • karry says:

      I bet they could do decent animations for this 2-minute footage in a day, if they wanted to. I mean, regardless of it being a joke, it really would be a decent small-time project that people will actually play.

  9. Denys Laughton says:

    All those pixels. Beautiful.

  10. Damaestrio says:

    Shameless self plugging: This is a lot like my Kickstarter game Contract Work, a cyberpunk 2d shooter. Seriously (it is April 2). http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/781004719/contract-work-a-player-customizable-cyberpunk-2d-s

  11. Rinu says:

    Wow, I half-expected some 5 seconds long retro, not quite large makeover. Great. Thanks for sharing, Alec.

  12. Captain Joyless says:

    “We sat out April Fools’ Day entirely on RPS, because we are cheerless fucks who can’t abide even the mere idea of other people having a laugh.”

    Hear, hear.

  13. cjlr says:

    See, he calls it 8-bit in the video, but it is clearly far closer to a 16-bit aesthetic. The resolution is augmented.

    But, the lack of voice acting means I can no longer pimp my family connection. Sadface.

    • Trithne says:

      This is something that pisses me off. Don’t say “We made it 8-bit!” if all you did was draw lo-res sprites. If you want to say you made an 8-bit game, then you need to make it within the technical limitations of 8-bit media.

      The La Mulana guys got that – original La Mulana was made subject to the limits of the MSX.

    • Jenuall says:

      I may be wrong but I don’t think that there was any kind of resolution revolution between 8 and 16 bit generations, certainly where consoles are concerned I think the NES and SNES used the same resolution.

      • Llewyn says:

        As a C64 owner who always looked enviously at the reviews of Amiga games, but could never afford one, I’m pretty sure that there was where home computers were concerned.

  14. lizzardborn says:

    Just re-skin mark of the ninja … it is very close to perfection as gameplay.

  15. Dana says:

    I bet it will eventually be the actual sequel to the HR, but not 2d.

  16. BTAxis says:

    Well… the choice you make at the end of Human Revolution is pretty much exactly like that.

  17. Hoaxfish says:

    Probably one of the least annoying out of all the “million dollar corporates try to make funny April Fools jokes”.

  18. Keyrock says:

    I would buy and play the **** out of that game.

  19. Nihil says:

    Lovely stuff.

    On a side note, am I the only pedant out there who is confused by the ‘I didn’t ask for this’ meme when the actual line from the E3 2010 trailer is ‘I never asked for this’?

  20. guygodbois00 says:

    Me also would have played this with gusto.

  21. Hilden2000 says:

    JC tossing Jensen in the co-op play like a living typhoon bomb was quite possibly the 3rd greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

  22. Zunt says:

    That very much reminded me of Saboteur on the Spectrum. Great game, that was.

  23. Rikard Peterson says:

    “Sorry, you cannot access this content at this time”, their site tells me. The fact that I just clicked OK on their silly “when were you born” question probably has something to do with it. Usually, I just tell such pages that I was born on the first of january in the year 1900, to make it obvious to them that I’m just lying.

    I don’t understand the point of it. Anyone underage is just as capable of lying about their age as I am, so the only ones these pages are stopping are those that don’t bother enough. Sometimes I lie about my age, sometimes I don’t bother at all and just leave the page, and this time I just clicked OK, as if I was born this year.

    • aliksy says:

      WON’T SOMEONE (other than the parents/guardians) THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

    • ChrisGWaine says:

      I think such “age-gates” are due to ESRB guidelines on promotional videos for M rated games (though a few weeks ago they announced some kind of relax of that). I assume the point was being able defend the industry against accusations that it’s targeting kids with such material.

  24. wodin says:

    Lots of yellow pixels left over..funny.

  25. RogB says:

    Eldar tattoos? Chaos?

    /nerd

  26. strangeloup says:

    I was distracted by JJB being an astonishingly attractive man.

    But yeah, I would totally play this.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      Is it too much to wish to discuss aesthetics, expressionism and game artistry over chai latte in Montreal with JJB? His tumblr also features a really nice selection of inspiration he enjoys, hopefully some of which will be incorporated in Deus Ex 4.

      Also awkward mugging Alec? This is delightfully charming, awkward mugging is what happens when a thief with aspergers encounters sarcasm during a hold-up.

  27. calendar_man says:

    “It’s the reduction of agonising moral decisions to binary yes/no options which tickled me the most though…”

    It would have been even better if it gave you two choices that actually did the same thing but with different colors.

  28. Berzee says:

    Needs more Bud Puckett. (I haven’t watched the video yet; I’m just assuming it doesn’t feature Bud Puckett).

  29. noxxit says:

    Okay, so accidental blur filter slip revealing the band logo and “BEE” (google “I love bees”) on the drop ship. I call ARG!

  30. MeestaNob says:

    These developer videos are stupid. IF YOU DONT LIKE WHAT’S ON HIS TSHIRT, ASK HIM TO CHANGE HIS TSHIRT.

    PS, That DX music is still outstanding.

  31. Simplisto says:

    Do you think his jeans were like that when he bought them?

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