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  1. #1
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    Deus Ex: HR - Profoundly Good (Spoilers)

    I nabbed this game last year for $7.50 on sale. And hated it. I tried it twice, and neither time could get past the first augmented mission.

    I don't know what changed. But for some reason I have played it non-stop for two days. Past the first "boss" fight (Typhoon didn't help at all but the battle was pretty easy) and I am loving the game. Granted, its not perfect. The graphics are a little...console...and the world is smallish for the location it claims to inhabit. Another console limitation, most likely. But the "overworld" isn't why you play it anyway and the maps accessed therefrom are littered with secrets and truly reward exploration.

    But its the writing that has me posting here.

    Tthe writing is poignant and powerful, though minimalist. The things you learn about Adam, and the things left unsaid, mingle in a way that leaves you conflicted in your views of him, his world and those he works for. At first I resolved to play stealth - didn't want to kill too many people. Then I reached Adam's apartment and read the email about his dog, while gazing at the picture of his lost love hugging said dog. And I made a decision.

    Anyone - everyone - responsible for that loss: they were going to die. Because they deserved it. Not since Fallout: New Vegas have I consciously made a decision to kill individual characters in a game - or spare them - based on perceptions of justice or vengeance. Not since that game have I stopped to consider whether a particular character deserved death. Nor have I been forced to ask the question "Can I spare the resources necessary to fight here, or should I wait and choose my battles?"

    Needless to say I have changed my mind on the game. I am thoroughly immersed in it, and enjoying each new discovery. And now that the high res pack is finished, I find myself wondering: Is the original Deus Ex this good? Does it hold up for play even now, and is the writing on par with this one? I hear Invisible War is basically non-extant in the eyes of fans, but I wonder about the very first game, and whether - having enjoyed DXHR so thoroughly - I should get the first one next.

    Thanks for reading and chiming in.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    I found it sadly overrated for the most part. Not to say it was bad by any means, but it seemed like decision-making in it was much less organic and more "Here's the voilent path, here's the stealth path, make your choice."
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Mine cost £2.75, I've not played it yet but will be sure to rank it against the two thirds of the pint which I forwent in favour of it.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you're liking DX:HR! Don't worry about what's coming. It just gets better as you go on.

    As for the writing in the original game, it's okay. Sort of. It won't make you go on thinking 'what could change nature of man?' or anything but it's passable and interesting enough to get the game going. The real beauty of the the original is action and consequence. You can do practically anything and the game actually acknowledges what you do and have a suitable consequece for it. For instance, you can kill a UNATCO grunt in the first mission and the chief at UNATCO will ask what happened. Or you can go to the women's bathroom and... well, you'll see what happens. You can even kill any 'boss' before you even fight each other and the boss fight will never happen. That what's makes it so special. It definately holds up even today.
    Last edited by Voon; 18-12-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I had almost the exact same experience that you did. I tried it when I first bought it and couldn't get into it. Then a few months later I tried it again and got hooked to the point where it consumed my every waking thought for about 2 weeks. I was still unprepared for how bad the boss fights are though. I had heard the stories, and assumed people were blowing them out of proportion. I was wrong. They were even worse than people claimed. I finished it with no kills on the hardest difficulty and had a blast. I enjoyed the DLC quite a bit too. If you don't have it yet, I recommend picking it up when it goes on sale again. I still think the original DX is the better game, and could not recommend playing it enough.
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  6. #6
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed Deus Ex HR too. Thought Jensen was a great protagonist. Really enjoyed his voice acting and the snippets of conversations you catch in your apartment etc. Would have just loved better boss fights and more of everything else (especially more stealthy avenues).

    Oh and McCann's soundtrack is just beautiful. That Sarif Industries track...

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voon View Post
    Good to hear that you're liking DX:HR! Don't worry about what's coming. It just gets better as you go on.

    As for the writing in the original game, it's okay. Sort of. It won't make you go on thinking 'what could change nature of man?' or anything but it's passable and interesting enough to get the game going. The real beauty of the the original is action and consequence. You can do practically anything and the game actually acknowledges what you do and have a suitable consequece for it. For instance, you can kill a UNATCO grunt in the first mission and the chief at UNATCO will ask what happened. Or you can go to the women's bathroom and... well, you'll see what happens. You can even kill any 'boss' before you even fight each other and the boss fight will never happen. That what's makes it so special. It definately holds up even today.
    You can also run away from almost every boss fight and avoid any confrontation. That's even more brilliant.

    What I appreciated about HR relative to the original was that HR is a much more trimmed, focused experience in terms of narrative. Deus Ex grabs you by the shoulders and shouts "Every conspiracy theory you've ever heard about is true! Wake up!!!" while Human Revolution looks you intently in the eye and asks "What does it mean to be human?"

    That aside, it's evident that any additional complexity they were planning to add to HR would be inviable for the console versions. The augmentation system was creatively managed in the absence of nanobots, but nevertheless very lightweight compared to the original.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletor68 View Post
    Really enjoyed Deus Ex HR too. Thought Jensen was a great protagonist. Really enjoyed his voice acting and the snippets of conversations you catch in your apartment etc. Would have just loved better boss fights and more of everything else (especially more stealthy avenues).
    I really really hated Jensen's voice. The VA was fine, it did what they wanted, but I just hated the whole "I'm a well to do security officer with an extremely gravely voice". It's like the characters immediate traits, his looks and sounds were designed by a 12 year old who just discovered the matrix and batman movies.

    "umm, hes tall and dark hair and white and cool shades and a long black coat so he can hide and look cool and he talks in a really really deep voice and has a cool pointy beard and spiky hair".

    I know there's much more to Jensen that that and I really liked that character, but on first impressions he comes off as a bad cliché.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletor68 View Post
    Oh and McCann's soundtrack is just beautiful. That Sarif Industries track...
    The Icarus theme is better.
    But still, yeah, great soundtrack.

    I really liked DX:HR. I thought I wouldn't and I had my reservations when buying it, but it gripped me with the story it tells and the ethical problems it gives you.

    I didn't really care for the Missing Link DLC though. That was OK but not really memorable like the main game was.

  10. #10
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    Well screw you guys apparently I'm wrong on all fronts :P

  11. #11
    The Missing Link is probably the best mission in the game. I'd probably hate that they made me pay extra for it if it weren't so good.

    DX:HR's writing is great, for a video game, but the gaps show after another playthrough. It asks some broadly interesting questions but doesn't seem quite equipped or prepared to deal with any of them. It's jarring, as one example, that there isn't more tension between Adam and Sarif, or any real exploration of the ethics of replacing someone's body without their consent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I really really hated Jensen's voice. The VA was fine, it did what they wanted, but I just hated the whole "I'm a well to do security officer with an extremely gravely voice". It's like the characters immediate traits, his looks and sounds were designed by a 12 year old who just discovered the matrix and batman movies.

    "umm, hes tall and dark hair and white and cool shades and a long black coat so he can hide and look cool and he talks in a really really deep voice and has a cool pointy beard and spiky hair".

    I know there's much more to Jensen that that and I really liked that character, but on first impressions he comes off as a bad cliché.
    Comparisons to Batman Voice don't really work, though, since that's actually just how the actor talks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flszuT3ROdo He's got great comic timing too. A couple of the asides with Frank had me genuinely laughing, and genuine laughter isn't something I usually associate with games. But yes, the Battle Goth style is a bit much.

    Anyway, probably one of the best games I've ever played. The first one, though, is a clumsy overwrought mess with a story that feels like fan-fiction of itself. But it created the franchise that lead to HR, so I guess it served its purpose.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I hear Invisible War is basically non-extant in the eyes of fans
    IW does two things very differently than the original: tiny locations (because of xbox memory issues, I think?) and universal ammo. Neither of these things makes it a bad game, and in terms of being able to approach situations from many angles as a highly-adaptable super-soldier it's actually quite good. Despite what you may have heard, I recommend playing it!
    (I hate some of the plotting and a few main characters, and I don't like any of the possible endings, but that could just be me being picky =P the moment-to-moment action, character customization, and dialogue are all good). It still feels like a Deus Ex game to me. =)

    I beat HR and enjoyed whatever task was currently before me, but for some reason it wasn't the kind of game I ended up thinking about very much afterwards (I mean thinking about the mechanics and design; the philosophizing in DX games is goofy fun to listen to, but I don't have expectations of it sticking with me =).
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  13. #13
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    Great game. The only game I have completed twice in one year. A plot thats fucking interesting for a change, some good characters I actually listen to and 'quests' I enjoyed doing. I even read what I was going to say instead of mashing the buttons like I do in other games when some boring NPC demands me to answer. Bad bosses yes, infact they should of taken that shit out and had the er..'Persuasion Battles' put in instead, those were my favorite bits.

  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone for chiming in. I think I will get the original Deus Ex soon. Probably give myself a little break after DXHR, move on to something a little faster pace. Then come back to the original Deus Ex soon after that.

    As for the plot/story in HR, I have to agree it gets me thinking. We already live in a day and age of chemical augments. Steroids. HGH. Even protein shakes, caffeine shots and little jars of energy-in-a-bottle. And we know that enhancement drugs are prevalent in every major sport. Some sports embrace them; others try and hide (mostly poorly) from the fact. But we all know it.

    It is for that reason that I appreciate DXHR asking difficult questions about humanity and our drive to succeed. How far is too far? What do we do when a hefty portion of the wealthy can simply spend to succeed, like players in the ultimate collectible card/miniature game, while the rest watch on the sidelines, literally too poor to compete? How will we deal with addiction suffered just for the desire to get ahead, to forge one's way in life. Between addiction to substances, technology, games and media in the age we live in, these are questions that resonate, augs or no augs, and I am enjoying playing a game that does not hesitate to make me think a bit about the world we live in, and where its headed.

    Edit: I do agree, though; the boss battles should be dumped in exchange for Persuasion battles. That would better suit the game, a la the hostage taker at the beginning. That was an interesting "boss" battle - especially seeing it pay off later.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    The original holds up quite well after the first mission, IMO. I played it again prior to HR's release, and it felt timelessly good. It's odd to replay a game you remember looking cutting edge only to find a lot of shabby textures everywhere (always makes me feel old), but the HD pack helps a lot.

    I bounced hard off of HR. Been meaning to give it another go.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    If only HR was a bit better and memorable on a character and story level... I enjoyed the game mechanics far more than original( and it's my favorite game that I replay once every year) that feels waaay outdated and broken now( not that you have to use dragontooth and speed aug, but it's still there). HR is smooth and only needs some AI tweaking, but it has nothing to really remember other than the last mission, probably. Sad.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    I think DX:HR is certainly a worthy game to play however I must admit I kind of put in the same category as Dishonored as not quite firing on all cylinders, but a good effort. Mechanistically there's some good stuff going on in both, but the balance with the mechanics isn't quite right and so the challenge in each drops off fairly quickly once you know your approach, save in DX:HR you have the BS boss fights to contend with.

    I'm kind of hoping that whatever the studio does next is a bit more cohesive and that perhaps they try and broaden the palette a bit more in some manner.

    Soundtrack is stellar though.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 18-12-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    I just don't like it. I don't like the geometrical fashion, the limited locales (let's go to China! Again!), the boss fights, or the impossibility of completing missions without killing a single human being.

    What really rattled me was listening to a thug on the very first mission go on about how this hostage thing was wrong, and how he's not going to shoot anyone. I stand up and walk through the door expecting to shine with diplomacy, and he unloads on me instantly. It sounds like such a little thing, but I never really got over that.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    I just don't like it. I don't like the geometrical fashion, the limited locales (let's go to China! Again!), the boss fights, or the impossibility of completing missions without killing a single human being.
    I kind of think that the developers felt obligated to adhere to the 'legacy' of Deus Ex in terms of the games environmental design and that perhaps limited them in terms of their thinking. Where as I kind of feel that they'd have been better served to have opted to restrict the game to one location (Hong Kong or Shanghai possibly) but adopted a more detailed open world model ala GTA/Sleeping Dogs and (upcoming) watchdogs.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    I just don't like it. I don't like the geometrical fashion, the limited locales (let's go to China! Again!), the boss fights, or the impossibility of completing missions without killing a single human being.
    I had zero trouble completing the game without killing anyone. I even gave up on it during the final boss fight when I started spamming nades and typhoons at the adds that run in, unsure of whether or not they counted as a "boss", simply because the fight was so bad I just wanted to be done with it.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

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