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View Full Version : Why is Deus Ex such a chore for me to play?



sabrage
18-06-2011, 08:17 AM
I'm no stranger to old-school FPS's. I loved Thief, DN3D, Quake, Unreal, Half-Life... But for some reason, I feel like I should be getting paid to play DE because it's just not fun. The inventory and the overwhelming amount of specializations I can build into daunt me not because there's a lot of choices, but because I feel like I am shoehorned into deciding one without actually knowing what I want. I'm sure this is alleviated on future playthroughs, but I still can't get past the first level. Any suggestions on how to play this game? I just want to know that my points aren't being wasted :/

amandachen
18-06-2011, 08:20 AM
Don't think about it too much. Don't agonize about it. Just play it and try to have fun.

sabrage
18-06-2011, 08:29 AM
That's... Probably my problem. I still haven't beat a single Bioware game for similar reasons (and every time I boot Mass Effect up, I crap my pants because I love the sci-fi space opera tone so much). I want to complete my games the right way the first time, because I feel like I won't have enough time to go back and replay them. When I played the Stalker part in Episode 2, I actually stopped them from destroying all the houses the first time I beat it (with numerous restarts) just so I wouldn't have to go back and do it again, for a worthless Steam achievement. I'll have to work on it.

Malawi Frontier Guard
18-06-2011, 09:09 AM
Your problem is bigger than games. You need to learn how to go with the flow and live freely without worrying about every choice you make along the way.

Life is full of imperfect decisions, it's too short to be wasted trying to find the "right" way.

MD!
18-06-2011, 09:13 AM
Just try to bear in mind that it's not a punishingly difficult game, and you're not going to ruin your playthrough by doing it wrong.

There are a few augmentation choices that are significantly better than their alternative, and some skills are less important than others, but really, the great thing about Deus Ex is you can pretty much just relax and wing it, and still have plenty of possibilities open to you at any given point in the game.

(You should probably not waste points on swimming, and I would definitely choose the fast walk leg augmentation over the alternative. But even if you pump your swimming skill up to Master, and choose Run Silent, that's okay. It will still be awesome, and you won't miss out on any content or find the game impossible to beat. There's nothing akin to the "intellingence" or "personality" stats which in some RPGs will close off entire dialogue trees, and no augmentations or skills that are necessary to progress through the game.)

Also, you might just not like Deus Ex, so don't feel like you've got to love it because it's aclassic. Do believe the hype enough to give it a bit more of a chance than you otherwise might, though. During my first playthrough, I wasn't at all impressed by the first level. Give it at least an hour or two unless you're really finding it unbearable, and after that, if you're still not having fun there's no need to force yourself onward.

Flint
18-06-2011, 09:32 AM
Go with the gut feeling of what's right for you and your playstyle. How do you usually play games like this? Prefer to avoid violence and walk through sidepaths? Enjoy the comfort of being a masterman gunslinger?

For more concrete advise, based completely on my biases: computers, electronics, lockpicking and rifles are all the sort of skills that will always come useful. If you spend any points on any of those, they'll never feel wasted. What to possibly avoid are swimming and environmental training: you'll get inventory items that aid each type of situation and they'll be more than enough to tackle any rare occurrence of either hazard. Medicine can be useful in the early game, as well as later on if you skip the regeneration augmentation, but never so crucial you'd actually need to focus on it. The other weapon skills are all viable if those are the weapon styles you wish to go for: however, rifles are the most all-rounded weapon class and for a nervous player like you they're the best candidate for first go-round.

Later on you'll get augmentations, and each augmentation canister gives you a choice of two augmentations. I've got no genuine tips for these choices because in the vast majority of cases both augmentations are useful in some way. All the augmentation choices depend entirely on your playstyle and specific needs. There's no wrong decisions.

But yes, just go with the flow. While the skills and such definitely have significant effects, they're not so significant that you'd be completely stuck somewhere in the game because you picked something wrong. Deus Ex is a game that allows you to be cunning with how you play to overcome all possible issues.

BobsLawnService
18-06-2011, 09:43 AM
As someone who loves RPGs with huge amounts of character optimisation options I usually approach a new RPG by rolling a bunch of different types of characters and playing them for an hour or two until I find which one suits the game. I never min/max to find optimal builds, instead I just build the character I feel like playing.

Vandelay
18-06-2011, 10:36 AM
I'm someone that actually thinks Deus Ex is overrated as a game and have only ever managed to play it all the way through once. Combat, AI, voice acting, animation and art design are all poor, whilst the actual plot is exceptionally mediocre. However, it does offer a lot of freedom within every level, which never feels forced (unlike the sequel, which put vents two foot from the keypad you could hack, hidden behind a stack of crates you could make a staircase out of.)

It's a shame (what a shame) that so many are still calling it the greatest game ever made, but it is because no one seems to even be attempting to emulate the good bits of it. Certainly worth a playthrough to see what the fuss is all about, but I wouldn't go in expecting too much, particular as it has not aged well at all.

Kadayi
18-06-2011, 11:15 AM
It's a shame (what a shame) that so many are still calling it the greatest game ever made, but it is because no one seems to even be attempting to emulate the good bits of it. Certainly worth a playthrough to see what the fuss is all about, but I wouldn't go in expecting too much, particular as it has not aged well at all.

I don't think anyone would disagree with you in terms of Deus Ex individual parts all being sub standard in various ways, but taken as a whole the game does things no one else was really trying to achieve at the time and to a large degree since (I'd say Alpha Protocol/The Witcher are probably the games that have come closest). Its genius lies in its gestalt nature. In many ways that genius isn't really apparent until you replay it and see how things play out differently. IIRC it was only when Kieron Gillen was comparing play throughs with another journalist that both realized that their early decisions had resulted in tangible impact upon the games narrative.

As to why no one has really taken up the challenge since comes down to the plain simple truth that it's a hard formula to get right. Ion storm couldn't manage it with the sequel for example, and Alpha protocol although a lot stronger in many ways, suffers from a lot more jank. From what I've heard of the upcoming prequel that builds upon the originals legacy in a positive manner. I'm hoping that if it does well financially perhaps Edios might remake/reimagine the original & invisible war in a similar way to how Crystal dynamics revisited Tomb Raider with anniversary.

sinomatic
18-06-2011, 11:45 AM
In many ways that genius isn't really apparent until you replay it and see how things play out differently.

This. Some of my most mind-blowing moments in gaming involve Deus Ex for this very reason.

As for the original poster, apart from the swimming and environmental thingies someone mentioned earlier, I really don't think you can actually go 'wrong' in terms of skills and augs - if you align your choices with the sort of playstyle you prefer, you should be just fine. Try to persevere through the first level, I vaguely recall finding it tough going at the start until I found my feet with it a bit. Once you're a few levels in, with more personalised gear/skills/augs, I doubt you'll be having problems.

Drake Sigar
18-06-2011, 11:54 AM
I understand your frustration. The very first mission throws you into the shark infested pool and screams at you to swim, while the second mission is the equivalent of a sewer level, and we all LOVE those!

It gets better if you persist. Honest.

coldvvvave
18-06-2011, 12:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8jMn2Kcgs

DarkFenix
18-06-2011, 12:24 PM
Grab the Shifter mod. I did that for my latest go at the game, it awards xp for killing enemies, xp for sneaking by them etc. Long story short there are simply a shedload more skill points in the game, solving the issue of the vanilla game being extremely tight with them. It also does some augmentation rebalancing (and lets you overwrite augmentations) and puts a few new (typically unique, like in DE2) weapons into the game.

Skill-wise, computers to advanced from the start is helpful (no need to ever look for a password again, also hacks 100% money out of any ATM). Weapons-wise you can't go wrong with rifles (pistols/low tech aren't as useful late game, demolitions/heavy are both very limited in supplies), taking that to master (eventually) is a good idea. Lockpicking/electronics should both be taken to trained early on, then advanced when you can spare the points. No point wasting 12k skill points mastering them, for keypads there's generally a code lying around somewhere and for doors a rocket launcher/LAM generally makes a very nice lockpick.

Those four skills will take you through the game quite comfortably, the rest is entirely personal preference, I personally took environmental training to master because it's cheap and now my equipment like rebreathers, enviro suits and thermoptic camo last ages and are more effective. I'm also training heavy weapons up slowly but surely, I do now carry a rocket launcher for those bot encounters and doors I can't be bothered to pick.

EndelNurk
18-06-2011, 12:30 PM
Grab one level in computers. Every other choice is purely up to you. Remember you don't even have to spend the points at the start, you could wait until you're a little further into the game and you know whether you like shooting people, sneaking up on people or firing rockets to break down doors.

Ansob
18-06-2011, 01:17 PM
There are a few augmentation choices that are significantly better than their alternative, and some skills are less important than others

And this is why FOR PETE'S SAKE, PLAY WITH BIOMOD (http://www.moddb.com/mods/biomod/downloads) INSTALLED.

Biomod corrects all the imbalances that were present in Deus Ex (useless/overpowered augs/items/skills - to name just one example, Swimming is now part of Environmental, which a) makes sense and b) makes Environmental as good a pick as Lockpicking or what have you) as well as fixing a few bits of genuinely daft design (i.e. having a bunch of aug canisters you can't use) and adding the passive aug system from Invisible War (the only good part of IW). It rebalances the whole game even further than Shifter did. There is literally no reason not to play with Biomod.

Even without Biomod (which you have no excuse not to use), it is entirely possible to play the entire game with no skills, no augs, no weapons and no items, so the game really isn't that hard. I'd second grabbing a level of Computers for your first game, though.

Megagun
18-06-2011, 03:12 PM
You might be playing Deus Ex as an FPS, but Deus Ex is quite a horrible FPS. It is, essentially, a heavy story-driven action RPG. One of the heaviest story-driven games I've ever played, myself.

The thing is that when playing it right now, the FPS bits of DX are really appalling. The weapons feel like poo, the enemy AI is horrible, the way accuracy works is hilarious. Compare Deus Ex's FPS bits with the games you quoted (disclaimer: haven't played Thief), and the gunplay is a lot different: Deus Ex focuses more on accuracy/realism, whereas the other games you quoted focus much more on the action and gunplay.

This might be why Deus Ex's FPS bits are so appalling when you play them right now. They try to be like modern shooters, but fail at capturing this modern shooter feel completely. Perhaps because Deus Ex was early into the accuracy business in an age where most shooters were a bit more about the action.

The other reason why you don't seem to like it too much yet, is probably because you can't get past the first level. I never liked that first one, myself. For one, the best part of Deus Ex (the story) isn't that interesting yet. The level design is rather bland, too.

If you usually don't really care for the stories in games, stay away from Deus Ex. If you do, play Deus Ex whist forgiving all its flaws.

As far as skills go: the game should be fairly playable with only one skill point in Computers, but you might have to do some excessive exploration (the game generally gives you enough Hazmat suits and such to survive an oncoming encounter, but you'll have to find these items first). Just remember to invest skill points in Electronics and Lockpicking: these two skills (aside from that one skill point in Computers) are the most important in the game.

Flint
18-06-2011, 03:20 PM
The other reason why you don't seem to like it too much yet, is probably because you can't get past the first level. I never liked that first one, myself. For one, the best part of Deus Ex (the story) isn't that interesting yet. The level design is rather bland, too.

For me, Deus Ex's first level has always been one of those Great Starting Levels in gaming. It gives you an objective, an approximate location and a tip for possible further info, and that's it. Navigating the multipath level that allows for several different approaches and is packed with little extra locations to explore is entirely up to you. It demonstrates from the get-go the core freedom of gameplay in Deus Ex. It essentially pushes you straight into the fire but not in a way that feels panicy; moreso liberating and rewarding.

I don't know, I've always thought it was a magnificent start for the game.

mr.doo
18-06-2011, 03:39 PM
Alternatively you could just play DX:Invisible War which, summing up, is slightly less complicated than the first one. You do have some pretty big choices to make though.

Ansob
18-06-2011, 04:20 PM
Alternatively you could just play DX:Invisible War which, summing up, is slightly less complicated than the first one. You do have some pretty big choices to make though.

It's not nearly as good, though.

soldant
19-06-2011, 01:33 AM
It's not nearly as good, though.
That's an understatement.


but Deus Ex is quite a horrible FPS
You're right. Deus Ex was definitely flawed and has its issues, and it sure as hell hasn't aged well, but there still isn't much like it. Lots of games have tried to act like Deus Ex but most of them miss the mark in some way.

To the OP: stop worrying so much and just play the game (as terrible as that sounds). You pretty much need the tech skills or you'll make the game a bit too difficult without lots of exploration like Megagun said. Apart from that there isn't a great deal that you can mess up.

thegooseking
19-06-2011, 11:22 AM
Why I liked Deus Ex. This isn't a complete list; it's just what's occurred to me.


It offered real choice. Not arbitrary choice like Obsidian's offerings or Dragon Age: Origins, and not choice insultingly based on some abstract, simplistic and gamified good/evil meter like most RPGs. It offered choice that was strongly tied to whom you decided to trust.
For the previous point to work, it was necessary for the characters to be likeable and compelling (something at which the sequel failed). Bad acting aside, the characterisation was brilliant.
Despite its graphical inferiority, it offered a real sense of presence the like of which has rarely been seen since. The level designs felt reasonable and believable, like somewhere you could actually be, and even the control system, much-maligned for the sloppy combat, had a solidity to it that evoked a feeling of 'being there' that few other games have managed to match.
Again tied to the previous point, the world of 2052 carried the legacy of previous eras. All too often in science-fiction (whether games or movies), the future (or past!) setting shows everything being brand new. It's said that the creators of Back to the Future deliberately put stuff from the 30s and 40s in the 1955 sets, because it didn't make sense for everything to be brand new for 1955. Deus Ex does the same thing, and that really helps to sell the environment. The sequel, again, wasn't so good at this.
J.C. Denton is the only true badass in gaming history. Most gaming "badasses" seem to be compensating for a lack of intellect or a small penis or both. Commander Shepard can be a badass, but often only if you choose to also be a jerk. I can't comment on JCD's penis but he's not lacking intellect and he's usually not a jerk. Although he can be sometimes. What a shame.

Teddy Leach
19-06-2011, 03:58 PM
My one problem with Deus Ex is that the storyline didn't offer any choice in the one moment when it really should have given you a choice. I'm sure you all know which part I'm referring to.

thegooseking
19-06-2011, 04:56 PM
My one problem with Deus Ex is that the storyline didn't offer any choice in the one moment when it really should have given you a choice. I'm sure you all know which part I'm referring to.

The part I think you're talking about didn't bother me so much for some reason. You're talking about when you have to send the signal for Paul, right? I can see why that would bother people, and it did cross my mind, but for some reason it didn't bother me so much.

Actually, the only part that really bothered me was when you were asked why you didn't kill Lebedev. I had my reasons that were nothing to do with the reasons JC gave (and actually more to do with the reasons Lebedev gave: UN protocol and all that).

soldant
20-06-2011, 01:14 AM
J.C. Denton is the only true badass in gaming history.
I'd actually disagree with you to some extent. JCD came across to me as being somewhat of a contradiction. On the one hand he's a pretty cold, calculating and sometimes aloof character but he's also a bit of an idealist and ultimately seems to want to do what he believes is right (based on the framework in which the story can take place in). He's an anti-hero but I don't quite know if I'd give him the title of "badass", I mean he doesn't exactly level a city block, light up a cigar and then slowly walk off into the sunset. I'd say that being a jerk is one of the key ingredients of being a badass.

Keep
20-06-2011, 01:45 AM
The part I think you're talking about didn't bother me so much for some reason. You're talking about when you have to send the signal for Paul, right? I can see why that would bother people, and it did cross my mind, but for some reason it didn't bother me so much.

It did bother me. I remember realising for a second the gravity of choice, of possibility. And I was thrilled and amazed and excited. Would I do this? Would I take this path?

And then, afterall, whatya know? I didn't have a choice.

In any other game well you shrug your shoulders, what else did you expect? But in a game that I'd heard so much about in relation to freedom (both internally, within it, and from external sources too), it was a big letdown. It was "Oh so I am listening to someone else's story then? Oh k :/."

P7uen
20-06-2011, 08:02 AM
Everyone told me to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and after a couple of years I had played the first 20 minutes genuinely about 5 times. Every time I stopped because it was such a crap game.

That game and 2 sequels later, they are some of, if not my actual favourite games evarrrrr.

Give it a chance, and maybe you'll get past your barrier and might fall in love, but if it's not for you then fair dinkum.

And on suggestions how to play, I'm surprised no-one has yet given you my slightly sensationalist, rose-tinted but still heartfelt reply of "HOWEVER YOU WANT, IT'S DEUS EX THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT" and then gone and sat in a corner holding their knees until they calm down.

sabrage
20-06-2011, 09:45 PM
Oh man, I tried playing STALKER unmodded, and it was a fucking nightmare. I'm going to check out some of the mods suggested here (in addition to my hi-res texture mod... I can't imagine what this would look like without it.) That reminds me, I've had Clear Sky for over a year and I've yet to even install it....

AdamK117
20-06-2011, 11:41 PM
To be honest, playing Deus Ex for the first time now would probably not be so enjoyable. I think taking it in the context of games released in the same period might underline why it's considered such an amazing game, I got it on release day so I'm almost a cult memeber for it but I can see why picking it up now may suck