Great Expectations: Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been announced. Adam and Graham decided to activate their social augs and discuss their reasons for being united in excitement for Adam Jensen’s return.

Graham: Adam, Adam, get this. I have… great Deus Expectations. The title for this (potentially regular?) feature is already paying dividends.

Adam: Oh lord, give me the augmented strength to bear this load.

Who’d have thought it? One big ol’ Human Revolution and then the whole of Mankind is Divided. Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into post-colon text but I’m pleased that there’s a sense of continuity there, small thing though it may be. While it’s fair to say that Deus Ex is mostly a game about vents, I love a bit of post-human pondering and even though he’s another in the gaming’s grand cast of slightly cross bearded men, I quite enjoyed being Adam Jensen for a while.

Makes a pleasant change from being Adam Smith at any rate. I am completely incapable of killing a man with my elbow-blades. Some might suggest that I don’t even HAVE elbow-blades.

I’d also look extraordinarily silly if I tried to pull off the Jensen look. What do you think about it all? Glad to have Deus Ex back? Glad to have Jensen back? Glad to see mankind divided?

Graham: You’ve cannily raised the first reason I’m excited, which is…

Adam Jensen and his timeline is back.

Graham: I am a fan of cyberpunk generally, despite never having read any of the canonical works, but the original Deus Ex seemed to have as much awkward silliness in its fictional makeup as it did intriguing conspiracies and futuretech. By rewinding the clock and making a prequel, Human Revolution seemed to hit a sweet spot, picking out a time that was more familiar, when the wilder aspects of the fiction hadn’t yet happened, when augments were still mechanical and invasive, and the underlying ethical or metaphysical quandaries were most pronounced.

Also, for all his gravel-voiced Batmanism, I cared about Adam Jensen and the people in his life. He isn’t a Great Character by any stretch, but he seems more humane and 100% less douchebaggy than almost any other action game protagonist. I hope Sarif and Pritchard and Malik are back too, but either way I’m glad to once again step into Jensen’s cybernetically-enhanced jumpshoes.

Adam: They’re referred to as Boot Sectors…or somesuch. The important thing is that they have around forty thousand terabytes of data in their soles. And poor Jensen might not even have a soul at all! Can a machine-man have a soul, Graham? That’s one of the questions the game probably won’t answer.

Cyberpunk is odd. I love it and I have experienced all of the canonical works – Inspector Gadget, Pinocchio, Gulliver’s Travels – but, as that list of texts suggests, it can all be a bit nineties. That’s the period it tends to remind me of at any rate, most likely because that’s when I first started reading sci-fi and then the Matrix happened and there’s a link between Keanu’s coat and cybereverything that I’ve never been able to shake.

I agree that the earlier setting of Human Revolution is more interesting. Partly it’s that I, rather disconcertingly, prefer the invasiveness of the augmentations – the sacrifice that comes along with any benefits is so much more jarring when it’s written on the body so clearly. And there’s plenty of space for all kinds of interesting ideas relating to body horror, prejudice, homo superior.

Did you enjoy the actual plot in Human Revolution? I loved the setting but I can’t honestly say I remember the story in any great detail – although the same is true of the original game. I tend to switch off a bit when organisations start punching one another.

Graham: I did enjoy the plot, and I can link that handily to the second reason I’m excited about Mankind Divided…

Human Revolution’s core creative team is also back.

Graham: It’s commonplace for action games and RPGs to litter their world with snippets of fiction, but it’s less commonplace for me to bother reading any of it. Human Revolution is one of the few that made me care and in the three times I’ve played it, I’ve jacked myself with social augs, picked through every conversation, hacked every computer and read every email. That’s partly good design – I know that conversations and emails will have a mechanical benefit, offering me either bonus items or non-lethal methods of progression – but it’s partly good writing as well.

Significantly, most of the stories you uncover by exploring the fiction have very little to do with corporations or conspiracies. Instead, it’s all very human: Jensen’s former colleague who is racked with guilt due to a mission gone wrong; your current colleague who is in over his head in illegally smuggling drugs out to the poor; Josie Thorpe and her husband whose emails let you explore their relationship on your way to saving one, the other or both. Every meeting with Sarif is about proxy soldiers and ghosts fighting in the shadows (as per excellent trailer – dat music, bro), but the broader world is made to feel real by having regular people in it. That makes me glad that Mary DeMarle, the previous game’s narrative designer, is back again.

Similarly, Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, Human Revolution’s art director (and the model for Adam Jensen’s face) is also back. I’m thrilled by that because HR has some bold, strange artistic choices in its world design. It’s easy to hear cyberpunk and think Blade Runner and steaming city vents, and Deus Ex has plenty of that, but it also has gold everywhere and triangles and fabulous ceilings and techno-renaissance clothing where everyone wears enormous ruffs for some reason. While any element of a game’s design is always a team effort, I’ve followed Belletête’s Tumblr for a couple of years now and it’d be difficult not to see his influence on Human Revolution or to presume that will continue through Mankind Divided – whether it’s more triangular architecture or more fabulous ceiling designs.

Adam: Agreed on all fronts. I spent a lot of time picking my way through the smaller stories and some of the visual design is superb. And that brings me to a new point and another reason to be excited…

On page two: a new Dawn (graphics engine), and why Deus Ex matters to us. Plus, a question for readers.

130 Comments

  1. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Nice.

  2. Cheese2299 says:

    I want every single pathway (lethally, non-lethally, a little of both because I have a fear of commitment) to be just as rewarding and as equally balanced.

    • Low Life says:

      Would be great if the game didn’t encourage knocking out every enemy rather than just avoiding them.

      • SamfisherAnD says:

        I kinda want the gold tint back. I couldn’t play more than 10 mins of the Director’s Cut cos of the missing gold tint. It gave it character and atmosphere the DC couldn’t with improved textures.

        • Lovely Alexander says:

          I adore the gold. I confess that I bought a fancy keyboard and mouse just so I could goldify them and pretend I live in a dystopian near-future Chicago. I’ve also taken up smoking in the rain and wearing muscle shirts.

          link to imgur.com

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Wait, what? The art direction was one of the best things about the game. Why would they change the colours?

        • Emeraude says:

          Replace the gold tint by a “chose your own tint” option, the way you could chose the color of your UI in the original Deus Ex.

        • Marley says:

          thats the whole point though, HR was set in a “Golden age” of discovery about augmentations so it makes sense that now everything has fallen in on itself that the gold tint isnt there anymore, its no longer a golden age. The themes look much darker for this game so it makes sense that the lighting will reflect that.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            That makes sense, but I’m mainly wondering why they would change the colours in Human Revolution for the director’s cut.

          • alms says:

            @Ninja Dodo, can’t say I have a solid answer, but there was speculation(?) it’s actually a bug. The engine is based on older code than the original game and for a lot of player it also runs less well,stuttering and fps dips are frequently complaints.

    • MrUnimport says:

      I want different approaches to be rewarded differently depending on the situation. I want to analyze the layout and the problem at hand instead of just looking for the Obligatory Stealth Vent.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        This! Couldn’t agree more

      • piedpiper says:

        “Obligatory Stealth Vent.”
        Couldn’t say more appropriate.

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        particlese says:

        Sort of along the same lines, I would love to see the Obligatory Stealth Vents involve less-trivial environmental puzzling than just being hidden behind a box or under a camera, and perhaps some hazards other than falling. To be fair, though, I could be misremembering the difficulty of venting, and the original game was no angel in this department, either. However, my favorite vent in the original Deus Ex was the one which takes you into the indoor shipping ship dock and involved elevators, crane operation, fans, spider bots, and a cool stealth entrance to the ship via I-beam:
        link to youtube.com
        (possibly ignore the grenade climbing, which is fun but beside the point)

        Alternatively, I could go for gratuitous stealth terraces and stealth rooftop hatches. The hubs had some good ones, often with interesting surroundings to behold, which is a bit harder to accomplish with vents.

  3. FireStorm1010 says:

    Hell yeah :) I DID ask for this:)

  4. zenmumbler says:

    I understand why it’s there, but if at all possible I’d like the guards to be more realistic in terms of situational awareness. Right know I can squat right next to anyone and they’ll just magically not notice me. Perhaps only on the hard difficulty can this be mad a bit more realistic.

    Also: “Oh no! Here’s my dead colleague whom I spoke to 10 seconds ago! I better check the area! … … … Huh, I guess it was nothing after all. I never had a colleague. What’s this bag of meat I have to step over on my rounds now every time? Bothersome. I wonder what’s was for lunch today?”

  5. skyturnedred says:

    I want, at the very least, the option to disable the yellow tint. As much as I love Human Revolution, it often feels like someone pissed on my screen.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Well, people were pissed off when Human Revolution Director’s Cut was less yellow tinted. So I’m pretty sure Mankind Divided will piss on your screen.

  6. John O says:

    I’m quite happy that his shoulders are now a somewhat more normal width, compared to HR.

  7. WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

    “But I love Human Revolution. To some, it’ll always be a lesser interpretation of the same ideas, but I think it’s the better game in every possible way”

    I couldn’t disagree more. The original is the apotheosis of the Ultima Underworld school of immersive simulation: giving the player absolute choice. Human Revolution, on the other hand, is not a simulation, nor does it try to be: it’s a game of discrete choices. Everything feels designed in HR, curated for the player’s consumption, and design wise (I mean ludological rather than visual design), I think it’s a pale shadow of the original. DX1 was about giving the player a canvas and letting him paint on it, DXHR is about the artist asking which painting the patron would like from a list of pre-conceived options. Thematically, it’s a great prequel, but in terms of how the game plays I find it to be much closer to V:tMB, or the game Mass Effect could have been had Bioware not opted to massively dumb down the latter two installments. These are all great games, including Human Revolution, but, well, they’re not *Deus Ex*. Hitman: Absolution is another example of a game which is not-that-bad-in-its-own-right-but-totally-misunderstands-the-appeal-of-its-predecessor.

    For me, Dwarf Fortress and Crusader Kings 2, despite being thematically totally dissimilar to Deus Ex, capture the simulationary spirit of what it was *trying* to do much more than something like Human Revolution, which wasn’t trying to push the envelope of player agency *at all*. I’m sure there are people queuing up to inform me of all the many occasions where DX1 collapsed under its own ambition into prescribed linearity (though I still maintain there are far fewer of these sections than detractors claim), but nonetheless there are parts of the game in which the game mechanics fit the level design so well as to be almost sublime (Hong Kong, Versalife, Paris Cathedral, the Gas Station, Vandenberg Airforce Base, the PCRS WallCloud, and the latter parts of Area 51). Human Revolution just didn’t do that whole “Here is a simulated district, we’re not telling you what to do or who is in the right, just act as you see fit” thing anything like as well. For one thing, there were very few infiltration-exfiltration missions in which the PC’s route is not predetermined that I can think of. ALL of these are pre-designed, with loading screens on doors forcing the PC into bottlenecks so the designer can keep track of him (the original, interestingly, preferred to use loading areas so as not to stymie freedom).

    This is a long and rambling post, but DX1 in my opinion is the closest to perfection that AAA gaming has ever reached, and I am quite prepared to defend, if not its achievement, then certainly its *ambition* against all comers, because quite frankly nothing else has adopted quite such a (to quote Harvey Smith) “Brains Trust” attitude towards game design and the furthering of the agency of the player. Dishonored tried, but was too short, too easy and too systemically restrictive. Whilst I am sure a game will surpass it some day, nothing I have seen from Eidos Montreal thus far leads me to believe that they are the ones to deliver it.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      I’ve just seen Graham’s “:p” question at the end. Well Graham, THIS is how cross I am. :p

      Though I forgive you, because I liked your coverage of DXHR when you were at PCgamer.

    • piedpiper says:

      Totally agree with you. HR is not an immersive sim. It never gave you a real freedom. It just let’s you choose path A or path B but never let’s you experiment and do your own thing. Which is why it felt so restrictive and boring. And also too much easy. As well as Dishonored with it’s disgusting blink ability.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        I like how we’ve backed each other up in our respective comment threads! Very appropriate for Deus Ex, it’s like the Masons and the Illuminati! :)

        • anark10n says:

          Except the Illuminati were an atheistic society, where as Freemasons were theistic … so, I highly doubt one would back the other …

          • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

            True, especially given that the Illuminati broke away from the Masons, which is more of a glorified drinking club anyway. Much like Mafia movies, we work within tropes in the cyberpunk genre which do not reflect reality in the slightest!

          • anark10n says:

            Sad, but true

      • wengart says:

        Dishonored without blink would be a slow boring game where you got to slowly walk around from really beautifully designed areas, but were never allowed the freedom to explore them.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          To be fair there are extensive climbing options in Dishonored beyond just blink. Almost everywhere can be climbed to.

          I think the main criticism with blink was actually not that it existed, but that it was essentially “free” because of the regenerating mana which always regenerated the precise cost of a single jump. That meant that any playstyle which didn’t involve utilising superior blink mobility was hamstrung pointless, because those powers DON’T regenerate their full cost.

          Make Blink significantly more expensive to use, so as to require it to be used with care as balanced with other powers, rather than the default way to get around, and it would be much better IMHO

        • Emeraude says:

          I played and finished Dishonored without using a single power.You can totally invest the vertical field and explore the world for all its worth that way.

          My main concern with Blink is how powerful it is. I understand the aim of the power is to fasten the game for people that find the slow meticulous play tedious. But really it changes the game to something different for better AND worse.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Dishonored tried, but was too short, too easy and too systemically restrictive.

      Make it too hard and players will stop experimenting with the game mechanics. You know, like running in the middle of the fight, getting inside one of the guards, putting him on the course of his bullet. It will be a super risky trick because they’ll kill you at the very beginning. Dishonored tried and succeeded, If you judge it on its own merits. Succeeded even more in Daud’s DLCs.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        I would say that the opposite is true: make it too easy and there is no *reason* to experiment. ImSims don’t thrive on choice just for giggles, except perhaps on future replays. The choice has to be a meaningful one, which is to say that one uses one’s creativity to resolve a situation that seems insurmountable. That’s why both HR and DX1 made the player vulnerable to gunfire: when it is too easy for the player to just play as a familiar shooter, that is what they will do. If you asked me what my chief problem with Dishonored was (even though I liked the game), it would be that experimentation was something the player could do for its own sake, rather than because s/he ever genuinely HAS to. For anybody that has played first person games, its easy. For anyone that has played stealth games, it’s easy. These games only work if doing “the obvious” leads to increased difficulty, forcing the player to come up with creative ways to overcome the task they have been set.

        I agree with you, as it happens, that the player should never be encouraged from experimentation, but I think the real way to enable experimentation is a mechanic du jour in these games anyway: Quick Save. If you can save before trying something cool, then even if you die then you can try again with modifications, iterating on the initial idea. If even your first, least well developed idea (let’s say, “just go through the front door and kill all the dudes”) is easy to pull off without a hitch, then why bother trying something else? You have to do it for the sake of it, rather than because you are genuinely role playing as the character.

        • piedpiper says:

          Game has to be hard so I have incentives to try something new. Why should I try something else if I could just blink through the whole game.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          ERRATUM: Should say that the player should never be DIScouraged from experimentation. Whoops!

        • KenTWOu says:

          No, it’s not. The harder the situation, the more it forces you to find and use the best possible solution to solve it. It means that only few or even one tactic will be safe and viable at that moment, while others won’t. So it doesn’t encourage experimentation, it doesn’t encourage you to use every game mechanic everywhere. It limits you and your possibility space, it funnels you instead. In worst case scenario it even forces you to use the game limitations against it, like exploiting AI, for example.

          • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

            Well, I must say I disagree. If a game is easy, why experiment? Experimentation is about iteration until you find what works. If you find what works straight away, then why iterate? Why experiment? I can honestly say that I have never experimented with an easy game in my life. Every game I have ever done awesome stuff in (Dwarf Fortress, CK2, Aurora, Deus Ex, Thief) was as a result of the “correct” solution not being obvious. Can you give an example of what you mean by experimentation in an easy game?

          • piedpiper says:

            The game have to be designed that way that every problem can be solved in different ways. Game have to change rules and give you new skills to adapt in your own way. It must give you a challenge to try new skills. Thief is a great example with it’s broad arsenal of gadgets and arrows. But when you can beat all game by using skills acquired in the first level – it is a boring game.

          • KenTWOu says:

            @piedpiper
            Thief is a great counter example, actually, Its difficulty forces me to value my gadgets and arrows so much, I didn’t use them until it was really necessary. I tried to leave them for a possible much harder unsolvable situation. As a result I finished most of the levels without using gadgets or arrows. So I can’t see the way it encouraged me to experiment with its mechanics.

            @WhatAShamefulDisplay
            Why experiment? Because the game allows me to do it, because I can, because what if. For example, there is a small hut in the last level of The Brigmore Witches DLC. And there is a witch inside, if you’re playing the game in high chaos. And there is a tripwire on the doorway. She just stands near a window looking outside. So I could use Daud’s pull ability to pull that witch out through the doorway, so her body triggers the trap and explodes right in front of me.

            Now, please, explain me the way designers should force me to do it. Because I don’t know the right way. It’s not possible to balance the game, so this pull trick became a necessary viable tactic. If you make the game harder and limit my choice, I would rather kill the witch right away using my crossbow. Or even better, sneak up behind her and kill her using my knife, because your game is so hard, so it forces me to save my ammo including exploding bolt inside booby trap’s projectile launcher.

          • MellowKrogoth says:

            People also try stuff because it’s cool. Dishonored has a sandbox aspect to it that welcome creative players. Difficulty isn’t the only source of creativity at all.

    • derbefrier says:

      Couldnt have said it better myself. I was so pumped for HR but was totally let down by how little it trusted the player. To continue your metaphor, its paint by numbers approach pretty much destroyed what made the first so special.

    • Marblecake says:

      YES! I just wanted to scream “Are you kidding me???”
      HR better than DX1. Next they’re gonna tell us Fallout 3 was a massive improvement on Fallout 2. *sigh* Oh, what has this world come to?

    • Wedge says:

      I’m sorry you weren’t creative enough to make HR interesting, but it actually has a lot there if you’re willing to look past the built in “press button to punch wall” options it gives you. I blockaded security teams from entering doors, built alternative pathways out of server racks, and faked suicides by throwing knocked out bodies from rooftops. It didn’t have quite as many options as DE1, but there was a decent amount of tricks you could pull off past what the “design” of the game had intended. The hub worlds were much better than the “dungeon” level missions in that regard, but I’d say the same was true of DE1 as well.

    • simontifik says:

      Since when was the original Deus Ex an immersive sim? Sure it had multiple pathways through levels but many of them were locked off behind skill checks. It gave you the ‘freedom’ to play a certain way on each play-through depending on where you put you skill points. Human Revolution may be lacking in the grand level design of its predecessor but atleast I can pick up a gun and hit someone with it without pumping a bunch of XP into my rifle skill.

      Believe me I loved Deus Ex as much as anyone back in the day but I think you have your rose tinted glasses on. Game design has moved on since the year 2000 *looks at Pillars of Eternity* well maybe not…

      • Unclepauly says:

        I’m sorry sir but game design has most definitely NOT moved on since then. In most ways game design has simplified when it comes to game mechanics.

  8. Andrew says:

    I would like streets that make sense. Detroit in HR is an urban planner’s nightmare.

    I would also like “bad guys” to notice when their friends inexplicably start disappearing. ALso with the dead body issue, as zenmumbler notes.

    • zenmumbler says:

      Indeed, the “dead guy in the middle of the room” is the most explicit version but right now a guard will happily keep walking their rounds even if all the furniture has been thrown around the room and everyone else is lying unconscious in various ventilation ducts.

      In a case like that they might show various personality types, like some of them panicking and trying to get out or others going an active manhunt, finding whoever is doing this.

  9. geldonyetich says:

    I didn’t ask for this.

    Wait, yes I did.

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    Bluerps says:

    Actually I’d already be very happy with more or less the same game. Well, it should have proper boss fights this time, but I think they learned that lesson. I just want to see the characters again, and how the world developed after the events of the HR.

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    Qazinsky says:

    Adam, it makes perfect sense for you not to have elbow blades, you’re not exactly hired for your killing skills, but have you checked if you haven’t been enhanced with something else during your time at RPS that fits your job, like, I dunno, elbow-keyboards? Ear-mouse? Replaced left eye with a clock so you can keep up with deadlines?

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    Mungrul says:

    I’d like to hear he confused and befuddled mutterings and screams of all the guards I shove in ventilation shafts as they wake up, piled on top of one another in painful and compromising positions.

  13. Imbecile says:

    I’d like the upgrade system to fee more worthwhile (some of the upgrades were pointless), and the man-robot I make to feel unique. I need to specialise.

    I’d like the paths through the world to feel organic, rather than gamey.

    I’d like most of the cast back, and the technology of the world not to have advanced significantly since the last game.

    I’d like the music to be in the same style. I’d like there to be more hubs.

    I ask for this.

    • NotGodot says:

      Alas, most of the cast is out. The Russian article that broke the embargo said so.

  14. piedpiper says:

    Human Revolution is kinda flat and boring compared to original. It’s not so immersive, reactive and believable as original. I think it wanted to appeal wide audiences too much and it felt way to plastic. What i wand from MD:
    1) More spacey and logical levels so I can belive in them.
    2) Better AI. Definetely, saying that HR has better AI than the original is a big mistake. Both are horrendous.
    3) More personal story with better characters. HR characters were too plastic and boring. I need more Walter Simons and Josef Manderley, less Sarif and all those guys I forgot their names cause they were too flat to care for.
    4) Definetely much harder. And less praxis. Cause I didn’t even think what to spend it for in HR – it’s way too much and i got maxed everything till the end of the game.
    5) Humor. Straight-face drama of HR makes me cringe. It’s way too serious for a game about a man with swords in his elbows.
    6) Freedom. Corridor for agressive player and corridor for stealth-player is definetely not how you do imerrsive sims.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      ” Freedom. Corridor for aggressive players and corridor for stealth-players is definitely not how you do immersive sims.”

      Absolutely 100% agree with this. I always find myself surprised that this starkly obvious criticism is not applied to Human Revolution more frequently, because in my opinion it’s by far the biggest fault with the game.

      • Asurmen says:

        Probably because it’s about personal immersion. I don’t actually understand your argument for example. How does providing options not make something an immersive sim, and how the options in HR were different than options in DX1? But obviously something was different for you so it was a point you’d critique where as I wouldn’t because to me both games provide the same options.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          Oh HR certainly did provide options. The problem that myself and many others (including the OP) identify with the game is that they are just that: DISCRETE, pre-defined paths which the level designer has quite evidently laid out for the player’s convenience. Jean Francois Dugas, the studio lead, actually addressed this back in 2011, when HR was on the horizon: he explicitly told the players that HR was trying to be an action-RPG, whereas the original was more of a pared-down simulation. He was right, though in my opinion this was the wrong design choice.

          In an ImSim designed in the Looking Glass tradition, the designer designs the level to be as realistic (or at least evocative) as possible, and then designs systems which mimic real life physics and logic as well as s/he can. The player thus formulates their own solutions to the problem within an AI sandbox. If you play Human Revolution, there are very obvious “paths” in the environment and systems design, which didn’t so much allow the player to dynamically do whatever makes sense as a pretend secret agent, but rather came through very strongly as “THE SOCIAL OPTION”, “THE COMBAT OPTION”, “THE STEALTH OPTION”. This is very videogamey, and is completely antithetical to the traditional design aims of the immersive sim, where you let the player loose in a simulation and see what happens.

          I should explain that some people feel like the original was also designed in this way, and in places it is, especially in some of the NYC bits, but I would argue that the upper level of design that DX1 reaches is an order of magnitude above that of HR.

          • Distec says:

            I was always somewhat uncomfortable with Dugas’ and the rest of EM’s reliance on “THE THREE PILLARS” in the marketing lead-up. Yeah, the original Deus Ex had combat, stealth, and social elements obviously. But it felt like it implemented all those things in a more fluid, organic manner. I feel like all this “Pillar talk” is what made HR’s options feel so regimented and prescribed by comparison, as you’ve noted here and elsewhere.

            I also remember Dugas saying the original game didn’t have enough exciting sequences or something to that effect, which – er – definitely threw up a red flag for me at the time. HR turned out to be quite alright in the end, but I’m expecting their design choices to become more calcified.

          • Asurmen says:

            Sorry, but got to disagree. Deus Ex was precisely the same. There was obvious paths to completing objectives.

          • Unclepauly says:

            @Asurmen – I just played DX1 for the 1st time after HR came out and I completed it and loved it. To me DX1 seemed really hard compared to HR as I had no idea where to go. I probably spent half my time on the 1st playthrough just wandering around *hoping* to find a path. In HR it was maybe 2% of the time. They are completely different in this regard.

    • KenTWOu says:

      DXHR AI was based on GOAP AI architecture from FEAR. So yeah, it was significantly better.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        GOAP isn’t a byword for excellence in and of itself. Empire: Total War has GOAP AI, but it’s arguably the most braindead of the TW series both strategically and tactically. Human Revolution’s AI didn’t strike me as being noteworthily bad, but not did it strike me as being noteworthily good, and I think that’s more a result of the level design than the AI’s makeup per se. Any game set in chesthighwalltopia is going to feel like it has a flat and unreactive AI, because there are few variations on the theme of “get behind cover-> shoot at the player”. I certainly never found the HR AI to be a patch on FEAR, though maybe there were improvements in the Director’s Cut which I have not played.

      • piedpiper says:

        Somewhere i got screenshot of pile of 15 bodies on top of each other. They just run to a sound from a shot and got a bullet in their head right when they stepped out of the corner. I was sitting near container so they could go behind me or throw a grenade. But no, every one of them just did the same stupid thing and pile of bodies near the corner of a container never send them a message they should try something other

        • KenTWOu says:

          How many stealth action games do you know which deal with this situation better? Special emphasis on stealth because such games should maintain it. Of the top of my head I know only one. It’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. But you know, it’s a stealth action game with a much stronger focus on stealth, but without City hubs and civilians here and there. That’s why It has resources to use a deeper AI routines which don’t allow you to pile 15 bodies on top of each other using even a silenced sniper rifle. I don’t want to explain how, but believe me, it has countermeasures. But it’s a systemically boring game: small separate chunks of levels, gating, checkpoints, the lack of quicksaves. My point is there is a very high chance that Mankind Divided AI won’t live up to your expectations because of its scope.

          • piedpiper says:

            I don’t believe that it has something to do with the resources. I suspect lazy coded AI. As an example AI of Hitman: Blood Money is much better, though not ideal too.

          • KenTWOu says:

            @piedpiper
            Because of the game scope, there is a high chance. According to different post mortems AI devs often do lots of tricky things to simplify AI, because of optimization in the name of limited console memory or CPU cycles or whatever. By the way, it’s possible to make piles of bodies in Blood Money using a sniper rifle, because every AI runs to a dead body and checks it. Every one of them just does the same thing and pile of bodies never sends them a message, there is a shooter somewhere, so they should try something other.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      “5) Humor”

      To be fair, the original Deus Ex kept a pretty serious tone, probably because its few forays into humor were . . . odd: link to youtube.com

      • piedpiper says:

        At least JC was way cooler and happier with himself. All the fun around Anna and Gunther. And that hillarious: “You gonna burn all right”. link to youtube.com

  15. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    My first thought was:

    “My Jensen would never kill people willy-nilly like that!”

    My second thought was:

    That said, they should address the issue with the non-lethal mode in this sequel. I never thought non-lethal was very compelling in HR. Ultimately it seemed to boil down to being restricted to a subset of the weapons in return for an EXP bonus… that didn’t matter because a lot of the skills related to a more shooty style of gameplay. It wasn’t very fun, and the plot wasn’t reactive enough to make it a compelling choice that the game actually cared about.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      In other words, if I understand you correctly, “choice” ought to me met with more “consequence”. Which I completely agree with!

    • Asurmen says:

      Can’t say DX1 is all that different in that regard, except the whole XP thing.

    • Juke says:

      I have to disagree about incentivizing non-lethal play, or at least incentivizing it with external rewards like cash/XP, as then the choice is less about moral or characterization reasons, but about the rewards. In fact, I’m still on the fence about providing an achievement for non-lethal playthrough, or at least ones with zero tolerance for deviation, because it enforces a rigid “if anything goes wrong, I’ll have to reload” meta-rule that really breaks immersion in these kinds of sims.

      A couple of interesting approaches to this kind of thing, I thought, were in the recent Shadowrun Returns games, and Alpha Protocol. Shadowrun never judged you on your tactics, only your adherence to mission objectives. Get the job done, the reward remains the same. Fast talking and stealth just became tactics alongside gunning for the player. Alpha Protocol had an interesting mechanic where there were basically no bonuses for non-lethal play, but at mission end, you did get to see an estimate of medical expenses and children orphaned based on how many human beings you mowed down on your way through a level. I’m sure a lot of jaded gamers found those stats more funny than sobering, but I thought it was a subtle touch that reminded you that your decisions have results, even if you won’t be there to see them.

    • Juke says:

      That said, I’m totally in favor of Edios making non-lethal combat in DX more *interesting*! Because nothing sucks the fun of improvisation out of a game like committing to using the one non-lethal weapon (or worse yet, the one non-lethal melee choke-move with the single long animation that you’ll get caught in over… and over… )

      • Distec says:

        HR actually froze your surroundings when doing a takedown IIRC, so getting “caught in the act” wasn’t much of a problem. Still hated takedowns though.

        • Zekiel says:

          That sounded like a reference to Dishonored’s limited non-lethal palette to me, rather than actually Human Revolution’s.

  16. CadetSF says:

    DE:HR was a flawed masterpiece upon release, but one I loved in spite of those flaws (pre-order DLC splits and of course, those boss fights). Eidos Monreal however managed to fix those issues with missing link and Director’s Cut (and they made the pricing work fairly for those as well). I’m definitely looking forward to the same team coming back and getting to move forward with a larger/more stable budget that lets them achieve their artistic vision without having to cut back due to timing/budget issues.

    I too played the original Deus Ex years after it released. I loved it, but I wholly agree that it has way too much quirkiness for me to ever be invested in the story of Deus Ex as I ended up being with all of the characters of Human Revolution.

  17. Jovian09 says:

    More Deus Ex is a good thing. As long as the game continues to provide ethical and thematic grey areas; and similarly freeform ways of progressing through the game via its level design, weapon types and character development; I’ll be very happy. The trappings of the cyberpunk setting are nice too, since there aren’t a lot of games around with a similar aesthetic.

    I hope that creativity isn’t stifled by keeping Adam Jensen around as the protagonist. After the events of Human Revolution I really thought his arc was over. If the same team from HR is responsible for that, though, I have faith.

  18. wengart says:

    I had an interesting experience with Human Revolution. Very early in the game I played it non-lethally. However, as I got farther into the game and more of the story revealed itself and I could begin to morally justify my killings I became this gigantic murderer. IIRC by the time I made it to Tai Yong Medical I was just executing all of their employees.

  19. Dorga says:

    I’m afraid they already confirmed that Malik won’t be there

  20. Cross says:

    Even if it is just a new hunk of Human Revolution-like content with the lessons they learned from Director’s Cut added on top, i will be a happy, happy man.

  21. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I’d say to keep up the good work with the nearly complete lack of Deus Ex invisible walls. I only remember encountering one in HR, and its absence would have allowed for an interesting bypass of other puzzles and brief branch from the ongoing “there should be a switch somewhere” narration. Makes me realize how much of the game (and the original even moreso, I feel) actually does allow for that sort of thing.

  22. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Hubs! I want more hubs, with more side missions and incidental stories to uncover. That was my favourite part of HR, poking around the shops and apartments of Shanghai or the rooms and side alleys of Detroit, there was a lot of life put into them. Would love to see, not necessarily bigger but, denser areas with more of the sometimes great missions and characters to meet.

    And probably wishful thinking for the next installment but not only is the AI in all Deus Exs notoriously rubbish but it’s the type of game great AI could really improve. I’m thinking Alien:Isolation levels of sentience where some of the more civilian establishments Jenson breaks into are just guarded by one or two guards that need outfoxing, rather than the unrealistic armies worth of goons waiting to be ‘divided’.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    I would like more Bob Page and the continuance of no swimming.

  24. Crafter says:

    – A story that does not suck. HR’s story-line was a pitiful collection of clichés. At no point I felt unable to decide who was playing me. I might remember Deux Ex with nostalgia tinted glasses, but I think that feeling was one of the best strengths of the game, especially in chapters like Hong Kong.

    -Really open gameplay that does not favor one approach. HR also botched that one.

    -Original game mechanics (one can dream).

    • melancholicthug says:

      Agreed so much. I lost my shiz when i broke out of the MJ12 facility only to find out it was THE BASEMENT OF FREAKING UNATCO. Never felt so betrayed.

      • piedpiper says:

        Oh man. Why games no longer do such things? It was so hillarious.

      • kament says:

        Seriously? After you got captured by an AGENT OF FREAKING UNATCO?

  25. CutieKnucklePie says:

    Politically it looks.. likely disappointing (“they are all the same”), but if it’s half as fun as DXHR it’s going to be amazing.

  26. frenz0rz says:

    If there’s one thing I want from a new Deus Ex mechanically, it’s for all paths to be rewarded similarly in terms of character progression. That might sound shallow, but a great frustration for me in later playthroughs of HR was that non-lethal stealth and environment exploration (i.e. crawling through vents) were massively over-rewarded in terms of XP compared to straight-up combat, or even lethal stealth. This was no more apparent than when deciding between lethal and non-lethal takedowns, with the lethal variant taking more time to initiate, being much louder, AND giving much less XP. Even as a lethal character there was no reason (beyond the whole elbow-sword thing) to use the lethal takedowns.

    As a result I regularly felt short-changed in that I didn’t have the opportunity to unlock anywhere near as many skills and perks compared to my initial “ghost” playthrough, which really sapped my enthusiasm to complete a pure combat playthrough. Of course, a great deal of fun can be had from simply enjoying and combining the different paths, but I’d prefer that the game didn’t always present non-lethal stealth as the most effective and therefore most rewarding solution.

    • frenz0rz says:

      I would also like to add that the original DX did not suffer from this issue due to the separation of skills and augmentation canisters, as well as (to my recollection) an overall fairer distribution of skill points.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Yeah I think I’d generally second that. I nearly always ghost any of the DX games but that’s partly because I know them all pretty well and I’m looking for an extra challenge or way to restrict myself somehow. I’d still like to think if I feel like playing a lethal, combat-heavy run, I’m still going to get lots of nice toys.

      Having said that, there’s usually precious little to stop you from murdering everyone and then going back and checking all the vents for candy bars, so the problem really boils down to just changing the skill point rewards a bit.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        EDIT: Or go back to the way the first DX did skill point rewards and then it’s totally unrelated to whether or not you kill minor goons anyway.

  27. Arasaka says:

    I hope the same music composer is back for this. The soundtrack for Human Revolution is one of my favourites.

  28. Halk says:

    Would be great if DX had a plot this time around.

  29. dorobo says:

    “..a fan of cyberpunk generally, despite never having read any of the canonical works..” go read at least neuromancer before calling yourself a fan :p

  30. celticdr says:

    As someone who played the original Deus Ex back in the day I personally agree with Graham’s statement that Human Revolution is the better Deus Ex – I found the first Deus Ex to be far too clunky and in comparision to System Shock 2 not nearly as fun/thrilling to play… whereas Human Revolution is a refinement of the core concepts that drove Deus Ex, ironically an evolution of a game that promised to be great but feel short for me.

    The focus of the devs on this next Deus Ex should be to further differentiate the play styles (stealth/all-out assault), maybe introduce another play style (make hacking a third option) and make all the roles viable and importantly fun.

    I found in DE:HR that it focused more on rewarding stealth playthroughs, and hacking really didn’t add much, considering how big a theme hacking is in cyberpunk this was a bit disappointing for me.

    Being able to create your own character and backstory in the new Deus Ex like in System Shock 2 would be awesome, but impossible if they’re going to stick with Jensen’s story.

    Also – if there is even a hint of a boss fight in the new Deus Ex prepare yourself (Eidos Montreal) for a scathing review from me!

    • Emeraude says:

      Interesting. Do you think you could be more specific about why exactly you think HR works better than DX ?

      To quote myself from that other thread, because I don’t think I can put in any way more succinct form, to me DX worked because of the way it mixed systemic, emergent gameplay with pre-scripted events at such a level of granularity that it managed to give a certain illusion of both agency and reactivity of the world to that agency that was far bigger than what was actually on offer – even if it was for a good part smoke & mirrors, really, it felt alive.

      If anything, the best spiritual sequel we got to DX we got is probably Dishonored (which I think gets unfairly compared to Thief more because of narrative reasons), in my opinion.

      Anyway, what is it that made HR work better for you ? Because to me it hints at you wanting something totally different from the game.

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        I’m not celticdr, but I’d say that HR is the better game, even if it’s not the better Deus Ex, if you know what I mean (or “immersive sim”, but I always found that term very silly). In fact, I think HR would fare better if it didn’t have the name (or the frankly stupid lore) of the earlier two games attached to it, because the design philosophy of the two games is very different – which I don’t have a problem with at all, but understand why others do.

        But I will always keep saying that Deus Ex is the most extravagantly overrated game ever. It did brilliant things, and was a landmark achievement and everything, but as you say, most of that was rather obviously smoke and mirrors and roughly from the end of the first third of the game (after Hong Kong), it stops trying to do even that – and what remains is just a hybrid of a very clumsy shooter and a moderately clumsy stealth game. HR is much less ambitious, but more enjoyable in its entirety.

        • Emeraude says:

          I don’t know about overrated. It’s one of the only games that managed to do what it did, so if you’re interested in that, you don’t have much other choice, which cements its reputation all by itself. Not as if you had a big list of contenders.

          Agreed on both the naming bit and different design informing the games. I often catch some flack for saying it, but if anything I find HR closer to Bloodlines than HR, without being as interesting as the former overall.
          That later point probably being why I’m asking about what made HR the better game for some people. The better product I have no trouble understanding, yes ok, that makes sense. The better *game* ? Harder for me.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            Yes, but I’d argue it wasn’t even that good in what it tried to do at least 50% of the time. Some of the levels, particularly towards the end of the game, should have been thrown out in their entirety, because they’re simply not interesting. I would expect more consistent levels of quality from a game that’s often called the Best Ever.

            And yes, I do agree with the Bloodlines point. The city hubs in HR feel heavily inspired by it, and why shouldn’t they. That was the one thing Bloodlines did better than anyone else.

            I feel you’re looking at “games” more from the mechanical side, whereas I see them as this Gestalt experience. And in that, HR is the clear winner for me. “Product”, perhaps. It is a commercial art, after all.

          • Emeraude says:

            Some of the levels, particularly towards the end of the game, should have been thrown out in their entirety, because they’re simply not interesting.

            Which holds true just as much for HR really (amusingly, I find HR almost slavishly followed DX’s structure on some respects, which might not have been for the best).

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            It’s not a perfectly balanced game, but I don’t think it reaches such lows as the original DX did in places like the Paris catacombs, a corridor that’s completely bare-bones (no pun intended), or the army base which is mostly empty. HR at least has interesting visual design to fall back on when the gameplay isn’t thrilling; DX in its weakest moments is almost literally boxes within boxes.

            In other words, I’m not saying HR is perfect (it really isn’t), but I do think it’s less flawed than DX which (arguably) soars higher when it’s at its best, but sinks lower when it’s at its worst.

            One can see why they’re so obsessed with the Icarus metaphor.

          • celticdr says:

            In reply to Emeraude:

            As to why I like DE:HR more than the original – it’s simply more fun to play.

            The systems within the game are better fleshed out and really this isn’t to be seen as a fault for the first Deus Ex because most of the inherent clunkiness of the original (like inventory management which IIRC was a pain in the *** in the original) stem from the fact that it is 15yrs old and game design has become more user friendly over the years.

            My personal preference as an FPS player is to play on easy or normal – I’m not a hardcore FPS player (ie; masochist) I’m in it for the story, and DE:HR is a modern game designed (apart from those stupid, stupid boss fights which made me swear loudly at the screen) to be consumed like a good story should: by as wide an audience as possible without upsetting your core audience.

            I think people wear rose-coloured glasses when talking about the “good old days”, all I remember was how hard it was to finish a game back then, yes it felt like an achievement when you did actually beat a game, but it also meant that many games you wanted to finish were simply given up on (for me at least).

            So yeah, there’s my 2 cents ;)

          • Emeraude says:

            @celticdr

            Well, to me, the arguments you present are more about HR being the better, more easily consumable and digestible (mass market) product rather than game. Not to say you’re wrong, or it’s bad in any way. It’s nice you’re satisfied if anything.

            One thing I’d like to address, that is hinted t in several posts in that subthread, and something I’ve had on my mind for some time now… and led me to replaying my classics from the Magnavox days onward (currently at PS1 era) and for a good part, I wouldn’t describe older games as particularly hard(er).

            But theres one aspect where I can see a breach between old and modern design ethos (I think coming from an influence of industrial design) in which the later clearly has become more and more aggravating to me and I think other people that have my player profile, and it’s the disappearance of what I’d call the heuristic integration of gaming.

            You’d think most most of those older games, especially the simplest ones would have been perfect pick up and play, but apart from the very first games made, that was hardly ever true.

            For most of those old games that reached,let’s say a certain (rather low actually) complexity threshold, learning the game via exploration and experimentation was integral part of the playing. Including the control schemes and UI quirks .Modern design ethos aims at making those elements transparent. Everything from standardized control to achievement funneling player experimentation to UI being built specifically to be ignored to tutorial sections aim at making the whole experience perfectly understandable and intelligible from the get go. Perfectly calibrated and I would say predictable. And not doing that is considered a flaw.

            But while the end products certainly have more mass market appeal because of it I do think that transition has for the most part left whole chunks of valid designs on the wayside, and the people that like them starved from them. (Case in point the success of a game like Dark Souls in my opinion though I probably should know better than to use that one as an example). As a Kawazu fan (that’s an acquired taste, all right) a thing I often witness is people not liking his games because nothing is explained and you have to decipher the game so to speak. Which is exactly what *makes* the games for many of us.

            Oh, well sorry about the rambling, hopefully I manage to get all that into some coherent form soon enough. Because I’m seeing something I really have a hard time to properly define here.

      • kament says:

        to me DX worked because of the way it mixed systemic, emergent gameplay with pre-scripted events at such a level of granularity that it managed to give a certain illusion of both agency and reactivity of the world to that agency that was far bigger than what was actually on offer – even if it was for a good part smoke & mirrors, really, it felt alive.

        Funny, but that’s why it worked for me as well. HR, I mean. The game echoes so much of what makes its predecessor great it would be funny if it weren’t so good a reimagining. A character rendered helpless you can potentially save in a heated combat situation when you’re actively encouraged to forget about them and run, for instance. And all those nooks and crannies, all those additional routes for different approaches – it’s not deusexy enough when you get mired in the minutiae, but then again, on that level it’s never enough save for a fresh coat of paint on that icon of gaming.

        Dialog in the game was so much better, and not only writing, but those augmented bits especially. Trumps anything the original has to offer. For me that’s actually what sells the game in the first place: good enough approximation of, for want of a better word, general gameplay and some smart dialogue on top of that. Sold.

        Sure, boss fights were the pain. And the lack of separate non-aug skills simplified it somewhat, but whether it’s a good or bad thing depends on your perspective. DX may be more complex in that regard, but that doesn’t make it better. HR certainly plays a lot better, so that’s why someone can prefer it to the original, for one.

        • Emeraude says:

          Can’t say I agree because how everything in HR was perfectly transparent, there was no smoke and mirror, you can see the machinery left almost in plain view. – It’s IW level ot turn right for the combat pre-scripted route and left for the stealth pre-scripted one at times (and people may say what they want about the execution, but I do think that level design aside, the attempt of IW to follow in DX’s footsteps was going in a better direction than HR). Can’t say I agree with quality of dialog either. DX was bad, but at least it had that campy quality to it. HR was mass-market mediocre – at times more like those big budget movies who try to emulate camp and fail, at others going for a more conventional tone for the cyberpunk genre, more serious, but lacking the smarts to pull it off.

          Part of it may be that as I got older and invested in the medium, my reading of it got more accurate (after all, I thought the mandatory upgrade “twist” was boorish in execution and perfectly predictable, and it astonishes me to see that apparently people fell for it), but really given the number of comments about “conveniently placed vents”, I can’t but think there has to be more to it than that.

          Hell, I don’t even have that much issue with the boss fights per see (I like to remind people that not only DX had an unskippable boss fight, it had one you were forced to lose). I’d tolerate them a lot easier if the rest of the game was up to par.

          • kament says:

            everything in HR was perfectly transparent

            And in DX it wasn’t?* That little joke Pritchard makes about Jensen getting stuck in an air duct on the way over is a clear reference to the original. Speaking of those comments, yeah.

            And prescripted combat/stealth routes in HR? Where did that come from? You can very well go through “combat” route unnoticed. In fact, that’s what I did infiltrating Sarif plant for the first time: past the guards and through the front door without firing a shot.

            *I get what you’re saying, actually. I personally think the main flaw (or, rather, limitation) of HR is just the lack of scale Graham and Adam mention. It’s more compact and focused because mainly of technical reasons – you can’t get away with something as sketchy as Battery park in DX and you can’t bring it up to standard due to perfomance issues. Hopefully, new tech will help them with that.

          • Emeraude says:

            @kament:

            Scale is certainly part of the issue. I don’t think it alone is enough to account for the changes

            That being said; just to be clear I’ll reiterate my comment in the announcement post: I think the game was a miss myself, but it certainly showed promise in the studio, and I think if allowed to mature properly (of which I sadly have little hope given the way the industry treats its workforce), it could live up to producing an actual masterpiece – albeit one I probably won’t enjoy. Just because I’m overly critical I don’t want to seem unfair.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          I think KG’s classic review highlights the difference for me, when he talks about the ways you can take out the transmitter in the New York warehouse: you can climb rooftops and enter from above, sniping or sneaking as you go, using hacking or door codes you bought off a bloke in the pub. Or you can enter from the street, needing a way to dodge guard dogs and guards. Or from the sewer. And when you get there you can hack the transmitter, or shoot it or blow it up, or release toxic has to knock everyone out or truncheon them in the face or spend an inordinate amount of time stealhtly placing strategic exploding barrels about the place so that one well placed grenade at the front door sends the whole thing crashing down.

          DX had choice and was fun to mess about with in ways HR doesn’t and never attempts to. In HR your choice is roof or front door. Stealth or guns. None of the elaborate personal solutions DX allowed and urges you to concoct.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            I discovered that very sewer route last week for literally the first time. That’s how big that game is.

          • kament says:

            In other (and fewer) words you can get to New York transmitter by rooftoops, by sewers or through the front door. In contrast, HR only allows you to infiltrate, say, police station through the front door (by force or force persuasion), by rooftops (over the fence if you have the jumping implant activated or using metal (funny, that) crates to get past the electricity) or by sewers (if you are skilled enough hacker/have the code).

            Granted, HR doesn’t have the same amount of exploding barrels as the original, but is it a good or bad thing? Again, it depends.

          • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

            Good point, and don’t get me wrong I loved HR too. Its just, in DX it feels like you’ve worked something out yourself, whereas in HR it feels like a designer gave you 3 choices.

          • kament says:

            HR certainly feels different: it’s too often when you can clearly see all your options right off the bat. There’s a wall, there’s a guarded door in that wall, there’s a ladder leading on top of that wall, and then there’s a vent in the corner. Sometimes it’s a fairly huge wall, like when entering Panchea and your options aren’t thatself-evident, but still.

            As I’ve said to Emeraude, it’s size and it does matter – in DX you need, more often than not, to walk some distance from one point of entry to another. In HR it’s the other way around, only in hub based missions you get to feel like you’ve discovered something all by your own self.

            @Emeraude

            I’d still argue that despite the limiting scope HR’s built on (mainly) the same foundation as DX, though. Barring some missteps like bossfights, obviously. Which reminds me – I forgot to ask earlier. About unskippable fight in DX. I assume you mean that scene where Gunther catches JC. But isn’t it possible to surrender, thus technically skipping the fight? ;)

          • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

            Hmm. More room=more Deus Exy. That’s an exciting thought. Twas the big failing of Invisible War, the restricted locations.

            And wasn’t it the Maggie Chow fight at the bottom of the Versalife building you couldn’t skip? Unless you ‘dealt with her’ earlier, maybe. You had to get through her to reach the UC. I seem to remember that fight scuppering a non-violent run. Although someone will hopefully link that video where you can knock her out by throwing multi tools at her.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Object collisions do lethal damage. I think you can just peg Chow with tranq darts or such, though. Or probably just run around in circles avoiding her. I was thinking the missile silo guy for some reason had to be tricked into committing suicide-by-badly-thrown-LAM, but I just checked a video and it looks like tranq darts work just fine on him. And Navarre will try to stop you leaving UNATCO, but can be spooked into opening the door for you to flee.

            I think that’s one of the things that highlights just how wonderfully systematic DX was. None of this was planned. The developers did not actually think of nonlethal playthroughs as a thing. But there are so many interesting simulated components that the playerbase found ways. If you have the patience of a saint there’s even a no-items no-augs run out there.

  31. celticdr says:

    ‘fell’ short for me… no edit button still RPS?

  32. Distec says:

    If I read one more comment about “rose-tinted” glasses…

  33. Zekiel says:

    Wot I want: being able to hack while crouched? Not sure that current tech is up to that challenge, but a man can dream…

  34. Zekiel says:

    More seriously… one thing that I did feel a bit disappointed in with HR was how mono-issue it was. It felt like EVERYTHING in the game was about transhumanism. Any books you’d find were about transhumanism. Any newspapers you read were reporting issues about transhumanism. Its an interesting topic, but I wanted some variety and so I got bored of reading this stuff well before the end of the game.

    Whereas the original was this bonkers mix of “every single conspiracy theory ever is true” so it had a lot more variety (while still having – at least in my dim recollection – a fairly coherent theme of control vs freedom).

    From the trailer I don’t really hold out a lot of hope for Mankind Divided on this score, it looks like its yet more transhumanism though.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      DX1 had a continuous theme of freedom vs control, I’ll give you that. “Coherent” might be a bit generous though. And this is coming from a fan.

      • Zekiel says:

        Thanks. It’s been 10+ years so my memory is definitely hazy!

    • NotGodot says:

      Well, the developers realized that they were too mono-issue relatively late in development. That’s why Lazarus is in the game, to at least tease at broader techno-paranoia and conspiracy theories. A couple emails were rewritten (most notably the conspiracy theory about Philip Mead).

      I don’t doubt that augmentation and transhumanism will stay near the center of the narrative, but they’re aware of the problem and Jensen is now poised to more directly oppose the Illuminati.

  35. LogicalDash says:

    Hey, can we talk about how useless pagination is?

    The page I get in my browser is still crazy long because of your comments section, but now it doesn’t even contain the whole article.

  36. Safreti says:

    Will we finally find out who/what Janus is?!

    Seriously, it kinda bugged me that it was included in that one book and the dlc and then….nothing.

    • NotGodot says:

      Probably. Though he works for Interpol now, Jensen’s supposed to get mission objectives from Juggernaut as well, and the player has to juggle their allegiance, so at the very least we’ll get a look at who they are.

  37. notcurry says:

    Apparently mankind is divided about that yellow tint.

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  39. Contrafibularity says:

    Deus Ex always felt like a riff.

    What. It’s self-aware, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious at all. It’s FAR more serious than HR.

    Significantly, most of the stories you uncover by exploring the fiction have very little to do with corporations or conspiracies. Instead, it’s all very human

    I beg to differ. The original did do this very well, whereas HR was all about the augmentations (exclusively about that in fact) and this corporation stealing tech from that corporations when in fact SHOCK they’re all the same thing now that the lolminatti owns everything (which is the most boring thing it borrowed from IW of all places).

    So.. I have to ask, and please don’t take this the wrong way, bbbut… have you two been smoking crack, meth or started doing heroine in the past few weeks or something? Don’t be offended, I would ask this question to anyone who vaguely suggest HR is more interesting than the original in any way shape or form.