Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution Preview

Surely they can see him? Perhaps Deus Ex's legendary AI will be surviving intact.

The rumours are true! Yesterday, clad in black jacket and sunglasses, I rode a train to the Square Enix offices in cyber-Wimbledon to get the latest on Deus Ex 3, no matter the cost. Gaining entrance was challenging- I tried hacking a keypad and going in through the back, with no luck. I’d just started climbing a drainpipe to the roof when a PR came out and asked if I wanted to see Deus Ex 3. I said yes.

Don’t worry if you’re keen to not spoil a single bit of Deus Ex 3 for yourself. The following is entirely spoiler free.

Do you know what? They demoed the exact same sequence shown in the leaked E3 demostration. Disappointing, but I find it interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, when I say exact, I mean it. The demonstration’s two levels were completed with the same sequence of actions, while pointing out other possible routes at the same moments. Presumably this is Eidos’ mathematically-deduced Best Way Of Showing The Game Off (showing dynamic levels with the utmost preparation and linearity is a bit of an industry tradition), but it’s still a shame.

Secondly, despite it being the same demo I got far more of a feel for the game through simply being present. Pretty sure I now know what we’re dealing with here.

In short, I think they’ve got the mechanics of the original Deus Ex down pat. The presentation began with Eidos Montreal’s Marketing & Communications Director, Sebastien Bisch, talking about the “four pillars of gameplay” the team had identified- combat, stealth, social and hacking. Which might set alarm bells ringing in your head, but sure enough, you can see all four come together to create the exact same level design you’d expect to see in Deus Ex.

The Shanghai level he showed was a pleasant, circular slice of a city with a selection of side quests. The docks level was an open-ended level containing guards, cameras, computer terminals, overheard conversations and multiple entrances to each building. With the exception of the new cover system, context-sensitive takedowns, the pretty visuals and the lack of an inventory, it could have been Deus Ex.

Everything is here, from the keypads, to ventilation shafts, to playing through the game using nonlethal means, to using stacked boxes to create steps. The dialogue seems pleasingly pacy and adult, and there’s a consistent competence in the voice acting that this series has never had (mixed with the contrived overhead conversations it always had- “Damn! I lost my datapad with the entrance code to this door on it again! oooh I am so clumsy.”)

Where things could get a bit contentious is in the areas where Eidos Montreal is clearly attempting to upgrade Deus Ex, which is to say with its combat and presentation. Those fiendish schemers over at Eidos Montreal seem to be trying to fund this project by making sure Human Revolution “sells”, and they want to help it “sell” with its art design, that aforementioned cover system, the cucumber-cool takedowns, some action-packed cutscenes and a clear focus on these cyberpunk augmentations. You know, all the stuff that makes the American games press unironically stand up from their chairs and scream at the screen.

The reason this rankles me isn’t to do with them trying to get some decent action in my Deus Ex. The combat in Deus Ex was always shit. That they’re trying to improve it is laudable, and on paper, none of these improvements step on the toes of that Deus Ex core I mentioned above. In practice, it might result in more action-centric levels, but we’ll almost certainly have to wait for the game’s 2011 release to find that out. And in any case, it won’t be anywhere near as violent a shift from System Shock 2 to Bioshock.

No, the reason this makes me sad about Human Revolution’s status as a sequel is the attention paid to recreating Deus Ex’s design, and then the team getting on with their own thing. Deus Ex wasn’t a game about hacking, stealth, shooting and chatting. It was about providing us with more freedom than we were used to, freedom which extended not just to level design but to being lied to and making our own long-term mistakes. Which again, Eidos Montreal say will be in the game. Hell, they’re even whispering about providing multiple endings that don’t only rely on a choice made in the final 15 minutes of the game. But this is them only seeing, or caring about, the surface of Deus Ex rather than the mentality behind it.

But then, this is the era of X-Com getting reinvented as an FPS. I’m asking a Hell of a lot.

What would I have liked to see? God, it’s a tricky one. Something that demonstrated the range of actions NPCs use to form opinions on you, say. Or just how big and ripe for exploration a certain area was. Or perhaps I would have settled for what they have now, but with frequent checkpoint reloads that show how this new range of stylish augmentations can be used to bypass standard obstacles in ways that weren’t options in Deus Ex. Something more than the original Deus Ex plus trendy bits.

Ooh, how grumpy I am. To end on an upper: I am hugely excited about Human Revolution. I adore the art direction, the plot seems plenty interesting, the team clearly care about the original game and the action looks awesome. I mean, it’s the original Deus Ex plus trendy bits! Isn’t that worth breathing a sigh of relief over? Yeah, there is going to be grumbling about the path the team are travelling down to secure some sales. But seriously, after half a decade of grumbling about this kind of thing, I think I’m done. What else is new? Human Revolution is, and I think it looks great.


  1. westyfield says:

    “Presumably this is Eidos’ mathematically-deduced Best Way Of Showing The Game Off (showing dynamic levels with the utmost preparation and linearity is a bit of an industry tradition), but it’s still a shame.”

    Boo. I’d much rather they got someone to play who hadn’t played much/at all before, then watched them cock it up and try to salvage the mission. That would show the multiple approaches thingy and be fun to watch.
    Do that next time, Eidos.

    • SpinalJack says:

      For me, watching a person play a game who has no idea what to do is infuriating. It’s much more entertaining to watch someone who has great understanding of the game mechanics and can show off all the cool moves and possible paths without all the blundering around. Just being told that there are x number of cool things in a game makes it sound like empty hype like the 100 billion guns in Boarderlands, short of playing the game yourself, having a guy show you the cool stuff is better.

    • TRS-80 says:

      What a shame.

    • LintMan says:

      I’m not sure I understand all the grumpiness. Isn’t this game’s release 6+ months off still? Isn’t it possible or even likely that they’re showing the same exact gameplay in the both demos because much of the rest of the gameplay isn’t working or finalized or polished enough yet for a public demo? They might have even been using the same build as from the E3 demo, which would preclude having new features to show.

      There seems to be a whole lot of needless hand-wringing over marketing tactics. I’m reminded of the pre-release Dragon Age “Marilyn Manson” kerfuffle. Perhaps it’s best to take what the marketeers say they’re “selling” with a grain of salt?

    • Dhatz says:

      SpinalJack: couldn’t agree more, there are last 2 games where you absolutely need one with the game close to finish to show what the game is: Dark Sector(Singularity is similiar in approach) and Xmen Origins Wolverine.

    • Coillscath says:

      Robin Williams playing spore was a stroke of brilliance, and was what sold the game for me… Too bad the game was such a dissapointment in the end.

    • skittles says:

      I imagine that they are playing it in such a linear fashion because it is early days yet. Meaning they are keeping to the bug free known completion path. If they let people go to town bugs and crashes will crop up, which never looks good in a presentation =)

  2. Nobody Important says:

    What a shame.

  3. toni says:

    so giving up is called moving on. cynismn aside, it does look good. but the assassins creed-iation of it can’t be denied and makes it look like FPS-TPP-clone #587. DX never was about stylish takedowns, violence or trendy augmentations. It was about DIRECT FEEDBACK for your options, chanelled through YOUR AVATAR and the gameworld, not some floating cam. I’d say that qualifies as a major flaw in their design and does not give any hope for the title. jerking off to visuals won’t help them get any “cult”-following. But then I doubt their ambitions lie that high, they just want a “franchise” I guess and just like AS1+2 I will enjoy it for what it is, not what it could have been.

  4. stahlwerk says:

    What a shame.

  5. Alex Bakke says:

    What a shame.

  6. stahlwerk says:

    Press [Interact] to enter box stacking mode. Try to align the squares before the alarm goes off! Gain additional stability with the hot glue augmentation, so you can stack even higher. Skip the sequence by paying 200 Cyber-€.

    Man, I’m on a grump-fest today!

  7. horrendous says:

    what a shame

  8. Isometric says:

    Hmm well that is certainly something to brood over. I think everybody would have preferred it if Eidos had shown you something new and proven they aren’t fibbing. I’m still retaining cautious optimism.

  9. Mike says:

    Seems that what you wanted was another game that did what Deus Ex did (i.e. innovate), not another game in the Deus Ex series. Which is fair enough, but not the sort of thing we’re likely to get from a series reboot, I suppose.

    However, should still be fun I suppose.

    Oh, and what a shame. I guess.

    • Jad says:

      Agreed. This is a sequel after all. If they innovated and mixed things up too much, then fans of the original (including myself) would be annoyed.

      It seems to me that there are three possibilities for this game: 1) It does what Deus Ex did: show us something utterly new and mind-blowing and innovative, 2) Is like the original Deus Ex, with great level design and a multiple choices for your actions, or 3) Is a shitty Gears of War clone.

      While the first would be fantastic, if they give us the second and not the third, then I will still be ecstatic.

      In fact, I’m not that big of a fan of sequels in the first place — if this team has (1) in them, I would far prefer that they make it a new IP, their own game, their own ideas, without the baggage of the previous game in the way.

      Portal didn’t need to be called Half-Life 2: Portals, after all.

    • Thants says:

      Is it too much to ask to just get a couple of games that don’t innovate and just do exactly what Deus Ex did?

  10. Saucy says:

    I always find it funny when people complain about X-Com as an FPS.

    X-Com Alliance was going to be an FPS.

    X-Com FPS is not new idea. It is not the product of evil future companies with their evil future plans.

    Also, I’m looking forward to the game. Even if they *gasp* improve the combat.

    • Oak says:

      It is not the freshness of the idea that they’re complaining about.

    • Dhatz says:

      it is the freshness of complaints I COMPLAIN ABOUT.

    • Bremze says:

      No sane person is raging about the X-COM sequel being an fps, there hasn’t been a sign that it won’t be a boring AAA play it safe for the shareholders fps. I know I would play the hell out of XCOM if it worked like SWAT 4, but I don’t believe that is the game they are making.

  11. Krikey! says:

    A bomb.

  12. dan says:


  13. Shazbut says:

    I want player agency on a par with the original.

    Nothing* else matters


  14. Zyrxil says:

    With the exception of the very awkward 3rd person cover and melee knockouts, this looks very Deus-Exey indeed. Looking forward to it.

  15. BigJonno says:

    I’ve got to ask, what was there in Deus Ex that wasn’t combat, stealth, social or hacking? They’re all just means to an end; tools. Deus Ex was all about being let loose on the world with nothing but your toolbox and an objective and the beauty of it was that, more often than not, the combination of tools you chose actually worked.

    Whether or not Human Revolution lives up to its granddaddy’s legacy is going to be down to how natural it feels. Deus Ex often gave me the impression that the environments were built first and the objectives added after; you could get to the secure office through a ventilation by stacking up a pile of boxes in a storage room because when the building was designed with ventilation shafts and it made sense that there were boxes in the storage room. The off-duty guard has the keycode written down on a piece of paper in his pocket because someone always has to write it down, no matter what they’re told.

    If they nail that, it’ll be awesome. If it feels like there is a clear combat/stealth/hacking/social option designed for every obstacle, it’ll be a total let-down.

    • Shazbut says:


      This is it. I mean, I could be wrong about this, but I seem to remember reading previews of the original Deus Ex and Warren Spector going on and on about “freedom”. Obviously, all the various routes to achieving the objectives in the game, like going through the tunnels or over the roof, were designed, but we still ended up with a game that had a great amount of that “freedom”. Sometimes, when being chased, I’d stack boxes up against the doors to slow my enemies down or block them in, for example. This was totally my initative. It was a game where you could empty a person’s flat of all their furniture and leave it in the middle of the street. But it wasn’t an open-ended sanbox game, it was linear and had a tight narrative and was all the better for it.

      But the DE:HR people are talking in a kind of language that suggests that they’re mimicing this freedom. The whole “social/combat/stealth/hacking” thing. I think they want to provide as many options as possible because they don’t have the time/skill/money to produce the real thing. We’ll see. It’ll take only a few minutes of play to know which of the two we’ve ended up with.

  16. Shazbut says:

    Does anyone know if it’s still possible to enter cover without an automatic switch to third person? It was always touted as being optional and would happen with a button press

  17. TheApologist says:

    So, I’ve played through DX a couple of times, and at the risk of being laughed at (more than usual), what is it that was wrong with the combat, exactly?

    It’s something people keep saying and never explaining, and I’m never quite sure what they mean.

    I get that some people didn’t like the wobbly crosshairs (though I did) but, well, given it’s 10 years old, it doesn’t seem that bad to me.

    • bill says:

      No idea. The combat in Deus Ex was clearly not shit. It was pretty darn good.

      Heck, I remember when I used to hang out in the Jedi Outcast forums (long before release) and beg them to make the combat more like deus ex. Which of course they didn’t.

      I remember enjoying the combat in Deus Ex hugely. It was varied, it was in open environments that alowed you to experiment. The crosshairs thing was awesome, as it stopped you hopping around and forced you to plan for attacks.

      The great thing about the combat in DE was that it wasn’t a totally separate pillar from the others. It was integrated with stealth and the other elements. Pistols were useless for running and gunning, but if you could sneak up behind someone and then crouch and unload, they were deadly.

      I remember tha after playing Deus Ex i played a few corridor shooters (which, other than deus ex, was about all there was those days), and the combat felt so poor in comparison.

      Don’t worry DE combat, some of us still love you and don’t believe these strange rumours people are spreading about you!

    • FunkyBadger says:

      I’ve often wondered that – I couldn’t have picked much between the combat in Deus Ex and System Shock 2. Both were good – I thought – and extremely tough if were weren’t equipped right.

      AP shotgun rounds for the mini spider-bots. A GEP Gun and about a half mile run up for the big oines.

  18. Gianandrea C Manfredi says:

    Argh. The combat in Deus Ex was not shit, as a part of general interactions with the world and approaches to tackle problems it was really good. It just all came together in the right way. The new one is going to have regen health right? If so that is going to be a major break, because regen health breaks the flow/continuity into each proceeding part of a level, considering levels as a whole. It is not just choices that need to have consequences, but also actions in approaches to gameplay… I am worried this won’t carry through with new concentration on stylish action.

    • Gianandrea C Manfredi says:

      Positively. I still hold hope that it will come together. and generally I am loving the style.

    • TheApologist says:

      Yep – this.

      I know regen health is fashionable at the moment, and it works really well in some games, but I don’t see why it would work better in a Deus Ex game. The health restrictions were a major part of what made me plan and think my way round levels in the original.

    • BigJonno says:

      I like regenerating health if it regens between fights, but not during. Speaking from years of RPG GMing experience, you can design much more interesting fight scenes if you have a rough expectation of the player’s resources going in. It also relieves the tedium of stocking up on health recovery items and healing up after every fight.

      Mid-fight health regen sucks. It find that it encourages a rather dull style of play and doesn’t do enough to encourage skill or investment in combat abilities.

      Non-regenerating health with limited healing can be a great mechanic if it suits the style of game. In Deus Ex, you’re supposed to be a badass super-agent and I think making yourself some kind of uber-warrior should definitely be an option. If health is a limited resource, you’re still going to benefit from avoiding combat.

      Personally, I’d design a Deus Ex-style game with health that regenerated between fights and health packs that could be used mid-fight. Increasing your combat abilities (or just being damn good at shooty-bang games) would result in needing to use fewer health packs, just as a a character with good security skills would use fewer lock picks. Looked at from an overall strategy point of view, Deus Ex revolves around getting from A to B using up as few of your limited resources as possible. That implementation would make combat the best option for those who enjoy it, while keeping health packs a valuable resource.

      Why I can’t just say “Regenerating health is good some of the time” I don’t know.

    • D says:

      This was very informative, thanks all for those posts. Unfortunately, we can all predict which option they are going with. It’s quite a shame, really.

    • JackShandy says:

      @BigJonno: I believe they’re going for ultra slow/between battles health-regen- at least, they actually have health items as well as the health regen, so I’d have to assume it’s not Call ‘O Duty Insta-heal.

    • Willy359 says:

      The original DX had optional regenerating health. It was an aug you had to find and install and then pay to use with energy. Also, choosing that aug meant you couldn’t have this other aug. What was wrong with that?

      Also, as I have said before, I don’t need a freaking cover system. I just need crouch and lean. I can do the rest myself. Just like I can sneak up on a guard and whack him over the head without recourse to some kind of prefab takedown. Stop playing my game for me, game.

      Mumble, grumble…

  19. Wooly says:

    I never really liked Deus Ex…


    • Shazbut says:

      *pursues with axe*

      Having said that, I don’t like Radiohead. I know where you’re coming from.

    • Shazbut says:

      Actually that should be “I know how you feel”, because I have no idea where you’re coming from.

      Stop this moo-frog nonsense

    • monkeybreadman says:

      I feel the same

      i don’t like radiohead

    • Doth Messar says:


  20. Phinor says:

    I’m not sure I can get over the instant takedown crap. I’ll try, but I won’t promise anything.

    • CyberBrent says:

      I much rather prefer walking up behind them and bonking them on the head with a baton myself.

    • Patrick says:

      I particularly like it when I screw up and only piss them off with the baton, leading to the awkward moment where I’m crouched down in front of them and holding a stick, and they’re standing over me with a machine gun. “Don’t shoot! I’ll just load my game and we’ll try this again.”

  21. horrendous says:

    OK so how exactly is the rpg element being preserved? No inventory means you can’t pick up items in the game world. You can’t interact with them or take things with you. You mean you can’t pick up a cola and drink it for 2 hp down the road when you’re cornered and those 2 hp will save your life?

    Let’s see what else, rehashed and clunky I’m sure sticking to walls. What ever happened to the crouch button and using terrain naturally. You can let go of shift and then shoot, it gives the person playing the game more control over their movements.

    Like a previous poster said if you get health regen, like you get shot a few times and the screen goes red and the you stick to your little cover and suddenly you’re in tip top shape, then I will not even play this game. If this is how it’s going to be then this is a POS.

    I mean no inventory, wtf? This isn’t deus ex this is something that sucks.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      “Like a previous poster said if you get health regen, like you get shot a few times and the screen goes red and the you stick to your little cover and suddenly you’re in tip top shape, then I will not even play this game”

      This is exactly what the original Deus Ex had. Of couse you didn’t need it because you ran around invisible with a sword one-shotting oblivious guards after the first third of the game anyway.

      As much as I love the original, I think people are overrating it and reading more into it a bit more than they should.

    • Doth Messar says:

      Nah, perhaps that was how some people played but not me. If this turns into ME2 with the G.I. JOE looking Hollywood characters in it, I’ll be sorely disappointed as well.

    • Dhatz says:

      WTF is your problem? ME2 technically doesn’t have inventory and it is far better than that scavenger of ME1. there are different approaches than inventory now. ME1 was the symbol of what’s wrong with RPGs(or the itemhunt/can’t go back definition of the word).

    • bleeters says:

      I’ll say the same thing I said about Mass Effect 2: Super agents do not stop to painstakingly rifle through the pockets of everyone they’ve defeated to look for their wallets.

  22. Walsh says:

    He’s a lefty shooter, innovative! I wonder if hot brass in the face is modelled?

  23. bill says:

    Improving shooting mechanics is cool – but games always seem to have good combat mechanics these days. What is needed is to also improve the other mechanics.

    It’s a bit like looking at the four key pillars of a ferrari (speed, economy, price and luggage space) and deciding to focus on improving the speed. So that it stands out from all the other ferraris.
    I have no problem with that, if they also improve the other pillars – but if it’s just speed then it just becomes a sports car like all the others.

    If they’d put the same effort into the stealth, and the hacking, and the crate moving (that was the 4th pillar of deus ex, right)? then that’d be great – but i can’t help feel that all those other options will be anaemic in comparison to combat – and so unfun or unused.

    Hacking was more part of the stealth mechanic, right? As it just involved watching a progress bar – which was only relevant if you were trying to do it without being spotted and before the guard came back. If they make it a pillar, i fear repetitive mini games. But I guess they could make it an interactive simulation where you have to counter the AI and deploy the right tools/programs for the right jobs.

    • Dhatz says:

      yes they do, but like they never know, even GTA IV had to use the awkwardly random Q to kick/cover instead of letting us use C(natural part of GTA since III) to look back and manualy aim from wherever with our character appropirately animating(which would = to the most realistic back to wall cover in a TPS ever). now the Q just makes you feel “what’s wrong with the world?”,especially when dark side of the force forces your cursor shitwards for the first second in cover.

  24. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Eh, I’m guna trust them for now, Deus Ex always felt like it was an incredibly stylish game, it just didn’t necessarily look it, and if they even approach the level of choice and freedom it gave you the’ll have done good.

    On the other hand, NO INVENTORY? What a shame -_-

  25. Damien Stark says:

    Commence controversial opinion:

    Unfounded pessimism not intellectually superior to unfounded optimism.

    End communication.

    • D says:

      There is a high statistical probability of this game conforming to norms set by other games, and most of those games were disappointing in several ways. Hardly unfounded pessimism, if altho a judgment on the industry and not the specific game. Optimism can exist for other reasons. You see, the problem with what you said is: Nobody thinks their opinion is unfounded. Also: Intellectual musing about opinions, also not intellectually superior.

    • Dhatz says:

      worst is the peopéle are deeply corrupted by all the stuff they done wrong on whatever game/project they worked before, so technicallythere is no hope for perfect game unless it gets postponed for refinement 3 years or so after it was finished.

    • Mojo says:

      The notion that game sequels have to suck and are universally hated before release is unfounded as well. HL2, all Civs, the Hitmans, Thiefs, GTAs, Marios, Zeldas… (I could go on for pages) all have their well respected and previously anticipated sequels. Deus Ex 2 sucked. That is, for most legendary games, the exception of the rule. Most game sequels rock. Just occasionally, you get a sucky one.

      Deus Ex 2 sucks. Deus Ex 3, judging by the TONS of in-depth previews we have seen so far, will suck as well. You can say, of course, how dare you not ignore the previews? How dare forming an opinion based on a preview? Well, when I am supposed to form one? When I already payed 60 bucks and twice that on DLC?

      I got all giddy with excitement about the previews for HL2 or Portal, . The games turned out to rock. My first impression from watching the DX2 previews back in 2003 or so was that the game would be dumbed down and a shadow of its predecessor. The game turned out to suck. Why in the world, should DX3 be a pretty little flower that totally contradicts the preview impression? Not the hype… the actual content of the preview. There is no reason. DX3 will be a dumbed down game that misses the point of the original and has inferior writing to both DX1 and even DX2. Will pick it up in a $5 Steam sale in 3 years, though.

  26. Kylotan says:

    X-Com Alliance already was the product of the publishers taking the original idea and getting new developers to cash in on the brand.

  27. Monchberter says:

    “I’ll take the GEP gun.”

    “Stick with the prod”.

  28. Kylotan says:

    Deus Ex already had health regen, even during fights, if you had the relevant augmentation!

    To be honest, once I got past the first few levels, health ceased to be an issue. Either someone took me down in one battle or I could heal up completely.

  29. Samuel Bass says:

    As silly as it may seem, the “four pillars” thing sounds like the marketing dept. prepped PR spiel that the developers are required to build their interviews around, and as such isn’t a great way to draw conclusions regarding what the game is or is not as much as to how they’re trying to sell it in a competitive market. It’d be pretty hard to convince your all powerful PR folks that “freedom to make mistakes…or not” is the best way to sell the game to an uncomprehending populace, so you end up with what is essentially a buzzwordization of the key game systems (Combat, Stealth etc.) repeated over and over again in order to get the surface level “what” of the game across so people who haven’t played Deus Ex – which would be a large part of your target market – don’t assume it’s just another shooter.

    To my mind, PC Gamer Deus Ex week interviews of a month or two ago gave me a much better picture of their intentions for the game – they were, to invent a term, very Deus Ex-ey. As long as most of the levels follow the DX path of reactive narrative and numerous diversions, I think they’ll hit it.

    As an aside – all the whinging about the third-person elements taking you “out of the game” is a little hard to comprehend considering that every conversation in the original took place using an automatic switch to a third person perspective, often with gnarly AI / Scripting interactions playing out in the background. As such, going third person when doing something interesting doesn’t bother me at all.

  30. Ravom Tennom says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think there’ll be a game that really captures the idea of freedom for a long while, because freedom is expensive.

    Freedom means having to pour budget resources into creating content not everyone will see.

    Freedom means having to pour man hours into thinking of how the game works on a big picture perspective, not just building a route and calling it good if everything you do gets you to the next step.

    Freedom means having to deal with gamers who might be unhappy because they ended up causing themselves problems because of what they did.

    None of these are how people design AAA titles anymore. Freedom doesn’t sell- or at least, not the way extreme explosions, insta-kills, super-high resolution models, or tits do. It’s what makes a game legendary, sure- but no one cares about how the game’s going to be thought about even a year after its release. The industry wants disposable games, not legends.

    • LintMan says:

      There’s still plenty of freedom in games, and it actually sells pretty damn well. Just take a look at Far Cry 2 or the Grand Theft Auto series or the assorted other sandbox titles out there..

      Quite arguably, there’s a heck of a lot more freedom in Far Cry 2 than in Deus Ex. Now, it’s not the same type of freedom or gameplay DX had (or that you might want), but it’s still freedom on a huge scale.

    • Dhatz says:

      plenty of useless freedom, arguably it’s the same kind as in DE(or isit? you could skip the paris level), but doing few missions in lenght or order you want doesn’t equal real agency, you have only 1 moment where your choices matter story-wise in gta IV. then next to it FC2 appears to be more or less storyless. and there’s no moteve driving player to prefer this game to anything else(childish flaw of all horribly failed games).

  31. Curvespace says:

    No inventory? That’s the equivalent of a driving simulation with an automatic transmission.

    Forget it.


    • Dhatz says:

      no, it’s equivalent of driving simulator with only one engine/transmission type per car model(which happens to be the case enerytime?).

  32. Gwyn says:

    Rhetoric. And you believe it?

  33. Gritz says:

    It’s nice to read a video game preview for once that actually reflects my concerns and suspicions instead of repeating marketing copy with ironically optimistic enthusiasm.

  34. Spd from Russia says:

    Sounds fine to me (except why no inventory) Looking forward to it.

  35. Doth Messar says:

    I know the commander because hes my pal. Don’t think you know the commander. Here’s a picture.

  36. seth says:

    No inventory? poop.

  37. Kinglog says:

    eh –

    The original >had< a health aug that was pretty slick. It took a lot of bio-electric energy so I remember frantically turning on power recirculation and regeneration at the same time when in trouble.

    • Kinglog says:

      reply fail and beat by Kylotan :(

    • Dhatz says:

      and you had anything to say? At least I can admit autoheal has to be an upgrade instead of default to really have impact.

  38. Unaco says:

    No inventory is the only thing that is irking me… were will I put all my guns and knives and lams and fire extinguishers and fourtys and anything else random I happen to pick up?

    I also agree that combat was shit in the original… It was interesting in that you could go for different styles of combat (stealthy/non lethal, long range with sniper rifle, BIG GUNS i.e. GEP or RL, etc.), but, the awkwardness of controls and the lack of ‘smoothness’ and some of the aiming mechanics made it quite difficult to pull off anything really uber-cool and smooth. Which is why I’m quite encouraged by the inclusion of ‘cucumber cool takedowns’ and improvements to combat… Keep the ability to stealth/non-lethal, or go BIG GUNS or whatever, at the same time make it so I can drop through a skylight and take out 4 or 5 guys in 30 seconds. The possibility for Action packed gameplay was really all Deus Ex was missing (note… I say possibility, so you can choose that if you want… or stick to the game style you prefer).

    I’m actually thoroughly looking forward to this. It sounds like it’s going to be Deus Ex in look, in feel, in spirit, AND in Gameplay… which is maybe more than we can say for XCOM.

  39. NotGodot says:

    I dunno if it’s been pointed out, but there is a traditional inventory system. Baroque, on the SomethingAwful forums, is a level designer working on the game and according to him the inventory just wasn’t shown during the demo because the UI isn’t finalized. The diamond-y interface that was shown is the game’s equivalent of the toolbelt from the first game.

    • tunnel says:

      You have no idea how happy you’ve made me.

    • Dominic White says:

      Why, it’s almost as if waiting for facts to base your views on, rather than forming half-baked kneejerk reactions based on a smattering of screenshots and pre-alpha gameplay clips is the way to go.

      Nah, that’s far too rational to catch on.

  40. Dhatz says:

    You know how will I feel after I will have played all half-lives(when the last episode comes out and black mesa will be finished I’ll start with Black Mesa), Mass effects(like when comes ME3), deus Xs(neva played any yet) and Mafia 2(yea,played the first one)? I’d fuck a dinosaur!

  41. spacesubmarine says:

    What an amazing article, the author has the same feelings as I have and presumably armies of other JC Dentons.

    Fuuudge I need this game to be good.

    Sandbox in a box. Tons of tools and total freedom to use them. Huge maps with lots of secrets.

    Not OBVIOUS solutions – I hate how games that claim to give you freedom are clumsy in making sure that you KNOW what to choose these days:

    wink wink there is a mounted gun for you tough guys and next to it a terminal for hackers! Wait a sec – all the guards have turned their back to you, stealth guy…. oh and this bum here will tell you about the secret hatch he is sitting on if your convo skill is high enough ! Save it and choooose because it is YOUR choice now, is it not?


    • torchedearth says:

      As long as I can be evil like in the first game, bribe the bum, get the info and then kill him to get the bribe back. For me, that’s real freedom.

    • spacesubmarine says:

      I couldn’t agree more!

      Hell, what I’ve described sounds like a great game! I want these things to be there, I just like it when player has to work for it a little bit, find them himself, deserve them.

      In nowadays games, every feature has to be sold. Obviously seen. Preferably in first few levels and then just iterate. Because players are dumb and they need games to explain everything in their face (ASSCREE2 – digital effect with desaturation when hidden in the crowd – Splinterscell conviction’s SHAMEFUL black and white filter when “hidden” – making lurking in shadow UNPLEASANT – the whole idea being absolutely irrational)

    • Thants says:

      You must hate watching old movies.

  42. Klaus says:

    I still haven’t finished the original Deus Ex. I have it… it just sits atop the shelf collecting dust.

  43. V. Tchitcherine. says:

    Can you insensitive clods clarify for the crestfallen that the developers have repeatedly confirmed there IS a grid-based inventory system and it was merely not shown in your presentation?

    You have TEN seconds to troll your hardest.

    • Kovah says:

      The original didn’t even have a grid based inventory.

    • spacesubmarine says:

      “Kovah says:
      August 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      The original didn’t even have a grid based inventory.”


      How dare you desecrate venerable DX1’s memory by speaking utter bullshite!

  44. ik0n says:

    I remember reading in the Eidos forums about an inventory system similar to DX1 being implemented, so I’m fairly confident it was just not shown in that demo.

  45. TheCentralGovernment says:

    I just hope its not like Deus Ex 2 !!

  46. Anthony says:

    This game amongst a select few others will always bring out the Angry Internet Men.

    I hereby invoke the right to wave a stick at them and yell “Back, back you Angry Internet Men!”

    Yes, it has an inventory, we just haven’t seen it yet. Yes, it has a cover system cribbed from Gears or what have you. No, this does not ruin the game. Yes, it has fancy-pants takedowns. No, this does not ruin the game.

    For fuck’s sake people, you’re treating Deus Ex like some sort of golden epitome of awesome. It never was and never will be quite what your Internet Anger make it out to be. It was a fair-to-middling shooter with RPG mechanics, a good story with lame voice acting and a good sense of tactical freedom tied up in a strictly linear plot until the last five minutes. It was not the fucking second coming of christ, and comparing a long-delayed sequel to a mythical construct in your mind does nobody any favours.

    And yeah, I loved the original. Played the shit out of it. I think this new one looks fun, and I’ll probably play the shit out of it too. Get over yourselves, and either buy or not buy the game based on whatever subjective standard you choose to apply. Feel free to rant and rave on the internets, but be prepared for people like me to ask you to kindly STFU.

  47. Jacques says:

    Are you kidding me? Driving sims with automatic transmissions are friggin awesome, ok, well, driving sim is a bit of a stretch for Burnout Paradise (which in part is great because of the Steam sale I bought it on, best hours per dollar since TF2), but inventory doesn’t quite equate to gear shift transmission, granted, it’s a fairly good analogy, seeing as you have to go in and set stuff up in a similar way to how you need to depress the clutch and shift the gear proper. It does make me sad though that inventory is missing, sadder than I would be without gear shift transmission; when I’m trying to focus on driving, I prefer automatic that way I can focus on steering and enjoy the environment without the speedometer being a chief concern.

    As for freedom doesn’t sell, that’s sadly, usually true, but there are exceptions, like GTA, Saints Row, and other sand boxers (boxing matches with sand people would be quite interesting), given their freedom is limited as soon as you take on an actual mission objective.

  48. Karthik says:

    I’m with Quinns on this one. I don’t see any point in grumbling about DX:HR’s simplification of DX. I’ll take what I can get. I’m buying this.

  49. f3nyx says:

    “This is exactly what the original Deus Ex had. Of couse you didn’t need it because you ran around invisible with a sword one-shotting oblivious guards after the first third of the game anyway.”

    Wait thats not how i played the game? You could actually do that?

    Now we are talking about Deux-ex.

  50. f3nyx says:

    “This is exactly what the original Deus Ex had. Of couse you didn’t need it because you ran around invisible with a sword one-shotting oblivious guards after the first third of the game anyway.”

    Wait thats not how i played the game! You could actually do that?

    Now we are talking about Deux-ex.