The entire second half of story is a complete mud pit. It's like it was written by a completely different team entirely, it is so bad. None of it makes sense, starting from the whole Adam's girlfriend's importance. Chock full of Checkov's guns that never fire, like the entire business with Illuminati. What the hell was that all about ?!Quote:
Finally: this is the absolute wrong way of managing multiple endings in a game.
Nothing intuitive about that. The original Thief lean - THAT was intuitive.Quote:
It simulates peaking and leaning in an intuitive way.
Funny thing is both the original and IW do exactly the same thing, the ending is determined by who you side with in the final battle, and you're free to side with anyone no matter what you've done to them in the past.
I thought this was massively overrated too.
The only time when the game came alive for me was during the sequence where, on the hardest difficulty and doing a pacifist run, I had to save the pilot lady from the horde of dudes and the mech without killing anyone and without any EMPs (which I forgot to buy). That was awesome. I ran around stun gunning people, darted the rest, then lured the mech away and threw explosive barrels at him.
Otherwise, it's kind of a mostly competent mediocrity that people overpraised just because they were surprised it wasn't as bad as "invisible War."
Bought this game at launch, what can I say, I couldn't wait for a sale, burnt through it two days, really enjoyed my time with it. Heck, the game could have flat out sucked and i'd have enjoyed it for the music & visual style alone. The only thing I didn't like in terms of graphics was the facial animation (that said, I played LA Noire then played this pretty close to eachother, so naturally it was going to pale in comparison). But, the aesthetic, the design, that music, the whole way it just handled post-humanism as a major theme, and if you wanted more, it was all there in the books & emails scattered throughout the game.
Didn't try for a non lethal playthrough, I mean, you give me the power to essentially have knives in my arms and then tell me to shoot people with tranq darts? No way! Just went through and killed everyone, read heaps of email, tried to poke around everywhere, only thing I didn't like is that the AI could be easily exploited, run out, shoot two guys, escape into vent, they look around for 15 sec, get bored, walk off, jump out, kill again, rinse, repeat. Putting more vents higher up in the room and making you have to say, climb a desk or something that took time would have easily fixed this. But by the time the vents are higher up, you're just running around like a boss throwing turrents at people, and if that doesnt work you hack it & walk through the level while everyone around you dies.
Really had a good time with it though, the little conversation mini-games needed more depth / more of them though IMO. I mean you essentially get to converse meaningfully a few times, and that's it.
The thing that I really got a kick out of though was the believably of the world. It was a world of huge contrast, rich westerners, poor people in china, the technology to let cripples walk, and make hired goons into dangerous weapons. The idea of post-humanistic technology without the post-humanistic humans to work it, and the subsequent conflict that ensues, that you get right in the middle of. The ending was a bit of a cop out, but it was servicable I guess.
The areas were annoyingly small and hardly anyone says anything. The only personalities to be found were the main characters and the radio DJ. It was like both cities populations had been actually replaced with robots, not just augmented.
I must say I agree with most of the negative points in the thread,
The game world feels lifeless, the choices binary.
I came in expecting a far more realized world, and whilst it's got a great art direction, the rigid animations and lack of content just takes away any wanderlust for me.
About half life 2 npc's.. When you arrive at the beginning in City 17,if you pay attention what npc are saying you can found out allot whats going on.
The only purpose most NPCs served was having a handful of scripted conversations to watch and forget about them because they'll just stand there the rest of the game. Were people being turned into robots instead of just having their limbs replaced by robotic parts? Because that's how they behaved.
I thought it was great. Like all games that try to be even a bit open-world, there is a lot of negative things that can be pointed at about the believability of the game's universe, but the vastness of information you could find out about the world through different means, and the fact that it was all interactive was great (you weren't forced to read through an ebook or stay somewhere to overhear a conversation; that option was available to you, but it wasn't neccessary). That way, you learned exactly as much as you wanted about the world, in the moment when you wanted to do so. I felt this really fit in with other aspects of gameplay, which all had a focus on choice. I don't like it when people critisize choice in games without taking into account the limitations of current technology. Nowadays, we simply cannot have a completely open game or story. It just can't happen. It is only when you accept and embrace that that you will start to enjoy games that at least give you a limited amount of variables to play with. If you want a fixed narrative there's plenty of games that well, there's no reason to play a game with a flexible gameplay or narrative if you are gonna be annoyed at the first bit of unrealism. It's like playing GTA and complaining that the sea never ends. It is what it is, like it or dislike it, but don't judge it so unfairly.
Edit: Its on sale for $4.99 on Steam right now. For this price, even with the minor annoyances, that's so cheap that, given the quality, an honest person might feel they owe the devs money once they're done.
Now I have completed the game, I want to add some final thoughts.
Before serious spoilers, two game tips for those who want to shorten really, really bad boss fights and make their game play less tedious. If you want to be surprised in these boss fights (you don't) then skip this. But please, in order to help make your DXHR experience more enjoyable, please read the two below tips even if you have not completed the game.
1. DO NOT get the chip upgrade. You will know what I mean when you get there. It will happen in China. You will be told that you must - MUST - get the upgrade. DO NOT do it.
2. Get - and keep - the last rifle. Cling to it like your life depends on it, because your enjoyment of the game certainly does. Make damned sure you have it for the final boss fight. Do whatever you must to keep it. The final boss fight is your typical Squeenix multi-stage, multi-threat, whirling vortex of madness, straight-from-final-fantasy crap. They can't blame outsourcing for this one, because Squeenix does it in EVERY SINGLE GAME they publish or develop. See Dungeon Seige III for more on this.
HAVING THE LASER RIFLE LETS YOU SKIP THE ENTIRE FIGHT. The boss is protected by a glass wall - one the laser rifle can shoot through. Hide from her turrets, buff health or cloak up, run out and aim the laser right at her. Hold trigger until cut scene. You might be angry at me now, but you will thank me - and the WIki page - later, I promise.
Now, thoughts on the game. Plot spoilers ahead. If you have not played the game and are planning to please stop reading now.
DXHR is a great game. The plot is weighty. Decisions matter. Letting a hacker escape got me a handy tip, and a payment I would not have received otherwise. Easily worth giving up the Revolver I was carrying in Alice Gardens, especially since I was the sneaky sort.
The verbal sparring matches - persuasion battles - are downright AMAZING. More so-called RPG's need to take notice of this mechanic, copy/modify/innovate on it and then implement it. Even CDProjeckt RED could take a lesson from this, though they are not far behind in this regard, either. If your next game is an RPG and does not feature something akin to his, then scrap what you have and start again. For persuasion in a game, this is the new Bar to Beat. I truly believe that.
So, the game nails atmosphere, decisions and consequences. It more or less nails plot. And the metaphors therein are both rampant (there are tons) and subtle (aka, well delivered/not heavy-handed.) How far will you go to succeed? How much humanity must we sacrifice for the sake of our place in the Great Machine of society? How much will you alter who you are to fit in, to get ahead? These are questions the game asks time and again - in the guise of Augmentations, of character roles, of choices made by both the player and other characters. The metaphors to modern society are not lost, but also not so heavy handed that they detract from the fact that this is a game. Things like this help make the game great.
That said, this is not a metaphorical "10/10" either. Not by a country mile. A fact which suddenly changed for me mid game, in a New York minute. The (silver-grey) elephant in the (electric-piss Yellow) Room: BOSS FIGHTS. Whatever you have heard about how bad they are, it simply isn't true. However bad the reviews claim the boss fights are, they're much, much worse. Hence, the tips above. None of the boss characters has any relevance to the story or the game itself. None. They are figures who appear from nowhere simply to be clobbered through tedious means that rob you of your play style choices and options. Then they merrily go away, never to be mentioned again. DXHR Boss Fights are so bad, the devs should have patched them out of the game. And no, this is neither hyperbole or exaggeration.
More important even than the boss fights, however, are what they represent: Moments when a game based on choices and play styles, decisions and consequences, yanks player agency away. Moments when we are deprived of options. When the girl "tricks" Adam into being locked into a boss fight, saying "men always under estimate women" or some crap like that. Where was my verbal sparring opportunity? Why did Adam let her get behind him? I was never fooled, SO WHY WAS MY CHARACTER TRICKED? An awful moment.
And the chip upgrade was another. The game gives you visual errors in your augs. Then tells you that you MUST get an upgrade. Nowhere - and I mean nowhere - are there contextual clues hinting that this is a bad thing to do. You literally are lead to believe that you MUST do this to keep playing your game. As above, DO NOT do this. I am fine with "unreliable narrators" in games, so long as clues exist to this fact - but Eliza's melodramatic "everyone lies" simply is not enough "clue" by itself. DXHR is a great game when you are playing and allowed to make choices. Its a terrible experience the moment these choices are taken from you.
As they are on the last map. Panchea should not have happened like it did. It takes what was to that point a great game and turns it into a zombie-esque survival-horror FPS for the final map. At the end, no less, assuring it will stick in the mind and perhaps even overshadow the greatness of the game to that point. Unlocking doors has to be done from the "bridge/control room" atop the towers, but to change broadcasts YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE DEPTHS OF THE BASEMENT? Really? Sheer. Drudgery. A terrible map and worse yet, a horrible experience. Throwing innocent people at you like mindless zombies, forcing you to kill not people who have harmed you but bystanders in the wrong place, wrong time - and at the end of the game? Who made this decision?
Probably the person who made the decision regarding the final boss fight. Squeenix cannot blame this one on Outsourcing. Oh, no. This is Square through and through. They did it in Dungeon Siege III. They did it in every Final Fantasy game they ever made. And jrpg games are notorious for it at every turn. You know the trope: the multi-stage, multi-threat, hyper-chaotic and endlessly annoying Final Boss (complete with the one laughable hidden weakness that turns a five minute annoyance into a 30 second laugh fest.) Blame outsourcing for the others if you want; this one smacks of Squeenix through and through, and it is therefore every bit as awful as you would expect. And then some. Western games are not JRPG's and this is something that Square simply cannot seem to completely comprehend, even still today. They should, one and all, sit down and play Dishonored, before thinking stealth games need boss fights. They don't.
In closing DXHR is a great game that could have been a Great game. As in: All Time Classic. When we talk of stealth based games or games which featured Stealth or player choice/agency as a major selling points, even 5 years from now, I feel confident in saying we will still mention Dishonored. Perhaps as the game which revived this sort of thing. DXHR might get an "honorable mention" in that conversation, especially since it came before Dishonored. But then too, someone then might think of the boss fights, of that godawful final map, and reconsider, keeping it out of the conversation entirely.
But you should still play the game. If you like a narrative driven game with something to say. If you appreciate subtle, well-delivered metaphors and comments on the state of the world we live in, and where that world is headed. If you, like me, were longing for a good RPG set anywhere that lacked both swords and elves, you should play this game. And just perhaps it will change the way you look at the letters "rpg" when next you see them in a game's sales pitch. If you appreciate the ability to make choices in a game that matter, choose your own play style, and a weighty yet subtle narrative that resonates but doesn't get in its own way, play this game. Even with the boss fights and the final map I truly do not think you will regret the experience.
-Some loss of player agency at times for the sake of narrative
-Third person "cut scene" style take downs
-the entire final map and boss fight, both in terms of believability and playability/choice.
-Small city districts, likely to accommodate consoles
-Narrative (big positive)
-Subtle social commentary, including speculation on future trends of nation-states (painful admission for an American)
-Voice acting (I am one of those who loves the Oliphant-esque actor for Jensen, but everyone is solid)
Conclusion: Some drawbacks and outright frustrating moments. But play the game - its worth it.