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GameStop Stops OnLive Promotion
August 24, 2011 10:50 AM   Subscribe

This week marks the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a long awaited and fairly well received prequel to the PC classic Deus Ex. Included in retail PC copes is a free redemption code for the OnLive version of the game. Unless you happen to buy the game from GameStop (no stranger to shenanigans), which ordered its employees to open the boxes and remove the code coupons. Perhaps of note, GameStop acquired Spawn Labs in April to develop a potential OnLive rival.
posted by kmz (93 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why would somebody go to a store to buy a game anyway?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:55 AM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


OnLive and/or Eidos should probably take legal action, but I bet they won't. The gaming industry has allowed and in some cases encouraged GameStop to grow into a far too influential factor in game sales. Sneaking an OnLive voucher in the retail box sold at GameStop is about as bold as the traditional gaming companies dare get in undermining their master.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:56 AM on August 24, 2011


This is incredibly naive of me, I know, but is what GameStop is doing legal?
posted by papercake at 10:56 AM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I cannot wait to go home and purchase this videomigame. I realized that last night I could, but I wanted to get to work on time this morning :p
posted by rebent at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2011


Free Coketm with every Pepsitm!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2011


I actually didn't know that GameStop was still around but I don't get out to malls much.
posted by octothorpe at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2011


I pre-ordered the digital version through GameStop and was sort of amused to see that even though I downloaded and bought the game using Impulse (which I guess is their digital distribution utility thing), the game was actually downloaded in Steam.
posted by dismas at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2011


I started playing Deus Ex last night, and I kind of hate it so far. The mouse and keyboard controls are so wonky, the load times after you die are terrible, and it kept crashing from the menus.

I'm going to download new video drivers and try again with an xbox controller and see if it improves at all, but I'm not optimistic.
posted by empath at 11:09 AM on August 24, 2011


Yes, I'm looking forward to playing this sometime (I have time to play--maybe--three games a year these days, so I'll probably wait to pick it up used, or on sale).

I loved the first Deus Ex so much (greasy greasy greasels!). The second, I don't remember liking at all.

I actually buy all of my games at Gamespot, because I tend to hold off on buying games until I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE and need to pick one up on my way home that day, or I will die. That said, it's always a pretty painful experience, and GameSpot smells like failure and loneliness. This seems like a low move even for them.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:09 AM on August 24, 2011


btw, if anybody has some tips on optimizing framerates on the pc, i'd be super grateful. I tried experimenting with different settings last night but I couldn't find anything I was happy with, it was really jerky no matter what I did, and kept crashing every time i changed anything (even key bindings).
posted by empath at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2011


I actually buy all of my games at Gamespot, because I tend to hold off on buying games until I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE and need to pick one up on my way home that day, or I will die.

Steam! You don't even need to go to the store.
posted by empath at 11:12 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is incredibly naive of me, I know, but is what GameStop is doing legal?

If they're still representing the copies of the game as "new" instead of "used" or "open box," at the very least you've got grounds for a chargeback if they won't outright take the game back. God help you if you paid cash.

This is interesting, though: the statement is that the publisher put the coupons in the boxes "without [Gamestop's] prior knowledge," which doesn't imply that there was any agreement at all regarding a coupon. If Gamestop has some kind of contract with the publisher with regards to how the software is to be represented or sold, this could be a sticky situation for Gamestop.

I will miss occasionally buying used XBox games there when they eventually go under. And by "there" I mean "on their website."
posted by uncleozzy at 11:12 AM on August 24, 2011


Ebay is about to be flooded with these coupons.
posted by papercrane at 11:13 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still on my "wait until it shows up in a Steam sale for $10" plan so it'll be a while until I buy this. I hate buying games right when they come out anyway since they're always buggy as hell until the first few patches are released.
posted by octothorpe at 11:18 AM on August 24, 2011


This is incredibly naive of me, I know, but is what GameStop is doing legal?

Deus Ex has been advertised as including this code. While GameStop's action surely isn't criminal, anyone who bought the game without the code is clearly legally entitled to a refund.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:21 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


dimas: I pre-ordered the digital version through GameStop and was sort of amused to see that even though I downloaded and bought the game using Impulse (which I guess is their digital distribution utility thing), the game was actually downloaded in Steam.

They use Steamworks for their DRM/auto-updating/cloud sync. You probably don't even have to install Impulse, just plug the CD key into Steam and away you go.

Now that I think about it, the free OnLive copy is kind of silly if you're going to need Steam to download and play it anyways.
posted by papercrane at 11:21 AM on August 24, 2011


I started playing this on the Xbox last night and I'm having a lot of fun. I had to make myself go to sleep at 3am.

In the very first few minutes of the game I was told to get to da choppa because a hostage situation was unfolding rapidly. Instead, I dawdled in my office, read some emails, and chatted people up in the cafeteria. When I got there I found out like 8 hostages were murdered because I was so slow in getting there. Awesome!
posted by danny the boy at 11:22 AM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


SPOILERS
posted by rebent at 11:23 AM on August 24, 2011


(on preview, just read danny the boy's comment! but posting this anyway)

I started playing Deus Ex HR yesterday, and it's already made me feel like a bad horrible person. (Possible spoiler of first mission stuff) There's a hostage situation very early in the game, and you're told to meet your boss on the helipad so you can both head to the location and he can brief you. But you're also in the big corporate headquarters where you work, and so before heading to the mission I decided to casually explore the environment, chat with people, go to my office and check my email, etc. My boss piped in on my headset once or twice with "C'mon, what's taking you so long?" which I found amusing if a bit distracting, and then eventually said "The situation just got WORSE, come here RIGHT NOW." So then I got scared and ran to meet up with him. Here's what he said:

"While you were taking your time strolling around the office, the terrorists killed almost all of the hostages."

Um. Oops. Off to a great start!
posted by naju at 11:29 AM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah sorry for spoiling... but I promise, there's a lot more game after the first minute and a half.

Don't feel bad naju, I don't! But I'm also playing as the universe's biggest cyborg jerk, so it's in character.
posted by danny the boy at 11:32 AM on August 24, 2011


Hah. Later on I ended up having to comfort a woman who was grief-stricken because her husband was one of those hostages. Felt. Like. Shit.
posted by naju at 11:33 AM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Naju, I did the same thing. :) I was both annoyed that my exploration had resulted in innocent NPC death and delighted that for once it seems I'll actually can't ignore messages to "hurry up, idiot" like I can in other games (where they're only included to artificially increase tension).

Empath: the game plays great with a 360 controller. You can get a cheap receiver here if you want to go wireless.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:36 AM on August 24, 2011


I'm actually really looking forward to this game, but maybe not until next year sometime, when I can get a cheap used copy. And maybe not from Gamestop.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:41 AM on August 24, 2011



I loved the original Deus Ex, and replayed the hell out of it. In fact, it was on sale on steam here not too long ago for 5 bucks or whatever, I bought it on a whim and have been playing it again in anticipation of this release.

The game has been getting strong reviews and overall, I think it's a great spiritual successor of the original. It's also been hella fun, and I am loving the hacking minigame. It's very reminiscent of Shadowrun on the Sega Genesis.

I do have one complaint about the game however. Well, two. First - lots of NPCs are smokers. I haven't seen smoking this prevalent since the last time I watched Mad Men.

The second is the protagonists voice - he sounds like Batman out of the last batman movie.

Other than that, the voice acting is superb, and the animations are so good that when they are poor it is jarring.

I was up till 3 am last night playing it, and I'm currently thinking there will be plenty of time to sleep when I am dead. Right now, I need to play Deus Ex.

It's been worth the money so far - I'd recommend it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:43 AM on August 24, 2011


Gamestop is awful, but in most parts of the US it's the only retail option for buying games. It's still awful for PC gamers; 90% or more of their display space is for consoles. Personally I buy via Amazon or Steam, but I do wish sometimes I could just walk into a shop to buy something. Worth noting Gamestop is also one of the biggest players in the used game market, itself controversial and unloved by game publishers.

(Please avoid game spoilers; not cool.)
posted by Nelson at 11:43 AM on August 24, 2011


The second is the protagonists voice - he sounds like Batman out of the last batman movie.

I thought he sounded like Keanu Reeves trying to talk tough.
posted by empath at 11:45 AM on August 24, 2011


Steam! You don't even need to go to the store.

I have Steam on my Mac--but I really prefer console gaming. I think it comes from the relative dearth of games I had for my Mac growing up--computer gaming never was as much fun as the consoles (especially given that I was in college before I had a computer with a color monitor!).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:46 AM on August 24, 2011


The mouse and keyboard controls are so wonky

What exactly is "wonky" about them?
posted by IAmUnaware at 11:54 AM on August 24, 2011


I'm looking forward to playing this one. Games like this give me an excuse to really embrace a new persona and fill their skin, to the point where their personality of the character itself comes out in my day to day life.

My coworkers hated it when I was playing Red Dead Redemption.

Infamous 2 as well, particularly on the evil side, because, apparently, no amount of attacking someone with a 9 volt battery while screaming BIODRAIN will ever seem okay.
posted by quin at 11:57 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought he sounded like Keanu Reeves trying to talk tough.

If only.

The mouse and keyboard controls are so wonky

I think this is a performance issue. It was pretty stutter-ific in places until I turned off the shadows and turned the AA down a bit. The game is a beast - and is absolutely gorgeous - you need a pretty serious machine to have all the features enabled.

And yeah, load times were a bit on the long side - but I moved the game to my SSD from my platter and that's made it more tolerable.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2011


Empath - I've been playing using an XBox Controller. The mapping is a little counterintuitive (I think I'm used to Mass Effect) and there's no way to change it in-game, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
posted by dismas at 12:02 PM on August 24, 2011


BIODRAIN BIO LEECH
posted by quin at 12:22 PM on August 24, 2011


Picked it up right after work yesterday. It has a few shortcomings, but in ways that match the original, so I can't really complain. Seconding the nearly unprecedented time sensitivity of some missions (though I didn't find out the hard way). Finding it a bit information poor -- I think I played for hours before discovering by accident that I have an apartment. It's very Blade Runneresque. My kingdom for a flashlight!

Oh, playing on Xbox, with no problems, natch.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:34 PM on August 24, 2011


The second is the protagonists voice - he sounds like Batman out of the last batman movie.

I thought he sounded like Keanu Reeves trying to talk tough.


In other words, he sounds like J.C. Denton.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]



Nah, J.C. (and Keanu) could actually inflect at times, and although wooden, they sounded natural.

This growl sounds.... forced and unnatural. Like Batman, I find it really distracting.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:45 PM on August 24, 2011


In other words, he sounds like J.C. Denton.

J.C. Denton sounds like Cornfed Pig.
posted by Cyrano at 12:49 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah nevermind, the lighting is just fine. I kept scanning the walls for the "hideyhole" but I had the wrong idea. I'll leave it at that.

That's Batman.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:58 PM on August 24, 2011


I think that's actually Elias Toufexis's regular speaking voice.
posted by straight at 1:08 PM on August 24, 2011


I do have one complaint about the game however. Well, two. First - lots of NPCs are smokers. I haven't seen smoking this prevalent since the last time I watched Mad Men.

Why is this a complaint?
posted by kafziel at 1:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think Gamestop is a depressing, grimy place where I will never shop again. This kind of news makes it even worse in my eyes.

As far as it being the only place to buy games in some places in the US, what about Target, Best Buy, etc.? Hell, what about Amazon?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 1:29 PM on August 24, 2011


I think I played for hours before discovering by accident that I have an apartment.

Isn't one of the earliest critical path missions "go to your apartment"?

I'm really liking it so far. Playing full pacifist, which is the only way to go really.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:36 PM on August 24, 2011


According to some lawyer, GameStop is within their legal rights here.

Props to Jason Schreier for something that is woefully rare in the games "journalism" industry — actual research.
posted by joshrholloway at 1:43 PM on August 24, 2011


Isn't one of the earliest critical path missions "go to your apartment"?

You know, it's entirely possible. Right now I am obsessively following my goal of stealing every item and hacking every computer in the police department. I'm not advancing through the main missions with alacrity.

Pacifism. It's funny - I still have "my" older brother's speech from the first game rattling around in my head. Not that I haven't dragged a fair few bodies into ventilation shafts, but they all still had a pulse when I left them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:19 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah nevermind, the lighting is just fine. I kept scanning the walls for the "hideyhole" but I had the wrong idea. I'll leave it at that.

Oh god me too. And the ambiguity of the control panel (says something like 'activated') makes it worse.

PEOPLE IT IS UNDERNEATH YOUR TV, SPOILER.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:34 PM on August 24, 2011


Right now I am obsessively following my goal of stealing every item and hacking every computer in the police department.

Ahh. Yes. I did the same thing, and, not really a spoiler, the apartment introduction isn't long after the whole police dept thing.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:35 PM on August 24, 2011


According to the internets (/v/) this is happening in countries that aren't even serviced by Gamestop's competing service. Also, my personal legal correspondent says Square Enix/Onlive may have a case.
posted by clorox at 2:38 PM on August 24, 2011


Many games now come with a card with codes for free DLC in order to slow used sales, and that's usually not indicated on the box anywhere. What's to stop GameStop from yanking those out, too? Tampering with a game and then selling it as new is a jerk move, but it doesn't surprise me at all coming from them. I hope they go out of business, but they're still making a ridiculous amount of money.

If you have Amazon Prime, you can get pretty much any console game delivered to you on release day. It's very nice.
posted by Sibrax at 3:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's to stop GameStop from yanking those out, too?

Well they have no incentive to. Often different retailers have different DLC bonus bundles, so it's a differentiator. With a few games I have chosen one retailer over another to get a particular DLC bonus.

I've had trouble with Amazon, even with Prime, getting me things on release day. So if I absolutely must have something the day it comes out I usually go with Gamestop, who at least has never failed me in that department. But otherwise I get everything through Amazon.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:38 PM on August 24, 2011


Mefi favourite rockpapershotgun.com has had no less than two takes on the game already. One by Alec Meer, and one a couple of days ago by John Walker. According to them, it is the proverbial knees of the bee, and with a couple of reservations sounds like a truly worthy descendant of DX1.
posted by Decimask at 4:16 PM on August 24, 2011


That said, it's always a pretty painful experience, and GameSpot smells like failure and loneliness. This seems like a low move even for them.

Oh god this. There is a GameStop in the local mall here in Brunswick, Georgia, which isn't a exactly speedbump on I-95 but then neither is it very large.

Then a few years ago a Play N Trade, a chain that's been slowly spreading trying to make inroads against Gamestop, opened up. I was surprised, but was less so when I noticed A. they had a big retro selection (like half of their minimum-width strip mall outlet location was NES through Dreamcast games), and B. they very rarely updated their inventory of current-gen merchandise. It was sometimes useful for finding obscure games, but they really did a poor job of keeping their selection up to date, which makes a kind of sense since they were such a hole-in-the-wall place.

Then it happened. On the same street, in another strip mall, ANOTHER GameStop opened up. Keep in mind, both of these strip mall stores are less than a mile from the ACTUAL mall, with ITS GameStop. The Play N Trade closed last year, but the other GameStop remains. How Brunswick can support two such stores, from the same chain no less, escapes me.


The GameStop in the mall, I think I've mentioned here before, once sold me a "new" copy of Geometry Wars Galaxies for the DS that turned out to have a save file already on it. When I brought it back in a rage they claimed it was okay because it had been returned to them. BASTARDS.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I play this, I'll play it on XBox. I realize that makes me a heathen.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Playing full pacifist, which is the only way to go really.

Hope this doesn't count as a spoiler, but ...

... FWIW, that's not an option with some of the bosses. More from a story perspective than a gameplay one, but still. Hopefully that was suitably vague.

Anyhoo, I cannot stand Gamestop. The number of times I've been offered or simply rung up on a "new" game is beyond infuriating. If I want to make a thing of it, sometimes I'll pretend the game is supposed to be a gift, and ask them how that's supposed to work. "Am I supposed to give someone an already opened game as a birthday present? Would you do that?" Most of the time I just shrug nonchalantly and walk across the street to Best Buy -- not because I don't prefer to order my games online, typically, but because they can clearly see me take my business elsewhere.
posted by Amanojaku at 5:23 PM on August 24, 2011


Since this won't run comfortably on my PC, and I'm in no mood to upgrade, my only real choice is to get it for the Xbox, but then I hear about the atrocious load times and, god, I just don't know what to do any more.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:44 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joystiq is reporting that Gamestop has pulled all the remaining copies from their shelves, to be returned to the vendor "in agreement with Square Enix."
posted by uncleozzy at 6:19 PM on August 24, 2011


I do have one complaint about the game however...lots of NPCs are smokers. I haven't seen smoking this prevalent since the last time I watched Mad Men.

Why is this a complaint?


Because the children, and apparently I'm the only one who thinks of them, are gonna be all "I can't have bionic arms, but I sure as fuck can smoke!"
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:37 PM on August 24, 2011


Because the children, and apparently I'm the only one who thinks of them, are gonna be all "I can't have bionic arms, but I sure as fuck can smoke!"

When I was a kid, I was exposed to smoking. I never wanted to smoke. I did, however, have frequent fantasies of amputating my own limbs and having them replaced by bionic limbs.

I have no idea what prompted this....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:39 PM on August 24, 2011


All I know is that from this day forward I'm going to make a robotic noise whenever I put my sunglasses on.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:43 PM on August 24, 2011


I do have one complaint about the game however. Well, two. First - lots of NPCs are smokers. I haven't seen smoking this prevalent since the last time I watched Mad Men.

Why is this a complaint?


Because in a modern world where smoking is becoming less and less common, it just seems... anachronistic to have a futuristic setting where it seems so common. Especially in light of smokeless cigarettes and other nonsense, it seems like the devs/writers could have been more imaginative.

That said, cigarettes did feature prominently in DE1 as an inventory item (as I recall, you took a small amount of damage if you consumed them) so, it is in keeping with the spirit of the original.

I had the same complaint then, too, but it was an artifact that was easier to ignore.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:08 PM on August 24, 2011


I do have one complaint about the game however. Well, two. First - lots of NPCs are smokers. I haven't seen smoking this prevalent since the last time I watched Mad Men.

Why is this a complaint?

Because in a modern world where smoking is becoming less and less common, it just seems... anachronistic to have a futuristic setting where it seems so common.


I've never played any of the Deus Ex games, so I don't know for sure, but - they have bionic arms, maybe they've cured lung cancer? And the trailer for the game made a big deal about corporations pushing drugs on patients to get them addicted, so, hey, maybe Big Tobacco made a comeback.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:13 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does smoke add to a noir feel?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:42 PM on August 24, 2011


Better question: does smoking improve your aim with the sniper rifle like it did in Deus Ex 1?
posted by Decimask at 7:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a little interesting that there hasn't been a "release" within 24+ hours of launch.

The expectation was that it was standard Steam protection and that's usually a 0-day release. Wonder if the groups are delaying as a measure of respect? Nah.
posted by porpoise at 8:29 PM on August 24, 2011


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "The game is a beast - and is absolutely gorgeous - you need a pretty serious machine to have all the features enabled."

*pats her 2-month-old Radeon HD 6970* I'll see you boys online.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:06 PM on August 24, 2011


I hooked up an xbox controller to my PC and I'm finding myself enjoying the game a lot more.

I really recommend that over trying to play with mouse and keyboard, in case anyone else gets the PC version.
posted by empath at 9:15 PM on August 24, 2011


I really recommend that over trying to play with mouse and keyboard, in case anyone else gets the PC version.

I've had a very different experience; once again, a fps where the (mouse + keyboard) controls feel "right" again. I don't get as much mouse acceleration in this game and almost no auto-target, maybe this is what's confusing your instincts.

The mouse rules.
posted by porpoise at 9:35 PM on August 24, 2011


Hey for those of you that have a pre-order bonus... I entered the code in after I already started the game. Does this mean I'm out of luck?

Also, are items persistent in the game world? If I leave inventory items in my apartment, will they still be there the next time I go there?
posted by danny the boy at 10:08 PM on August 24, 2011


I've been leaving guns and ammo in a pile on my coffee table and so far, so good. Unfortunately, with no ability to drop items from inventory where you want them, I can't make use of the "hideyhole" which seems a shame.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:25 PM on August 24, 2011


I thought the protagonist sounded like a Sheen (any of them) on Xanax.

Gamestop is an abysmal place, and I look forward to its demise. Except for the bit where people lose their jobs, sorry guys, but shopping there is a hateful experience.
posted by Joh at 11:05 PM on August 24, 2011


Because in a modern world where smoking is becoming less and less common, it just seems... anachronistic to have a futuristic setting where it seems so common.

I found myself crouching by an electric car recharge station. Can we call it even?

Also, this thing looks, breathes, and smokes like Blade Runner (minus the spinners).

I don't mind if you smoke. It won't affect the test.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:28 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gamestop responds to allegations by pulling game from store shelves.
posted by crunchland at 8:49 AM on August 25, 2011


Well between Gamestop pulling Deus Ex and EA staring down Steam over Battlefield 3, looks like the PC game industry is intent on tearing itself apart. Awesome.

I got some time in with Deus Ex last night, it's great. And hard. I keep dying trying to be Mr. Stealth Ops on the early game, I may switch over to run-n-gun.
posted by Nelson at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2011



Also, this thing looks, breathes, and smokes like Blade Runner (minus the spinners).


And Robocop - dude is an (ex)cop, in Detroit, who gets turned into a cyborg against his will.

I also love that the first door code is 0451.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:57 AM on August 25, 2011


Apparently if you listen in on the right conversations, you get a couple of people talking about this old movie where a cop in Detroit gets shot up and turned into a cyborg.

I've been playing it with my usual DX stealth-and-obsessive-reloading, which would be great if the average load time weren't almost as long as the time it takes for me to die in a boss fight. The cover system, however, is simply beautiful--it feels entirely intuitive--and the architecture and fashion are really good at conveying "futuristic" without resorting to the usual video-game cliches.
posted by Tubalcain at 10:34 AM on August 25, 2011


Save time isn't too bad. Load time is long, to be true, but I'm using it to help wean myself off perpetual-reload when something doesn't go as planned. All part of the fun. As is, load time is still shorter than failed-hack lockout time. Near-instant reloading might be too tempting to resist. I think it only got frustrating during my first boss fight when I died over and over and over, as I wasn't aiming for perfection, just trying to survive the fight. Immediately before this I was playing Fallout 3. Are DE:HR loading times longer? Maybe just a touch.

Love the details -- the conversations between NPCs, little mannerisms -- a guard on patrol stretches; another sneezes. Hell, I pulled out my tranq rifle in the police dept to check out photos on people's desks through the scope. There's some nice detail work.

On the downside, the arbitrary choices of manipulable objects is somewhat infuriating. Guards in close proximity, I sneak off to find a cardboard box to throw to lure one near and can't find any. I mean, I pass paint cans, but can't throw those. Bags of garbage. A *rack* of cardboard boxes with labels on them that some designer has decreed cannot be interacted with. It's a bit maddening. To again compare to Fallout 3, I think what works there is that you can manipulate more objects than not, even if some of them turn out to be without purpose. Maybe it's in the attempt to emulate the original, but DE:HR feels like a throwback in this way -- mostly scenery, with a few odds and ends placed there specifically for you. As a cyborg, walking through a medical lab stuffed absolutely full with gear and finding only an energy bar of use seems a little... off.

Robocop, for sure, though I don't remember any smoking in it. Rachael's cigarette drag during the Voight-Kampf test is practically iconic.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2011


GameStop apologises to Deus Ex buyers, offers $50 gift cards
posted by crunchland at 2:47 PM on August 26, 2011


Apparently if you listen in on the right conversations, you get a couple of people talking about this old movie where a cop in Detroit gets shot up and turned into a cyborg.

On the topic of eavesdropping on conversations (and smoking): when I first left the office building (down to the streets, not via helicopter), the very first thing I came across was a gaggle of smokers. The conversation they were having?

NPC 1: "I just can't understand all these people having bits of metal put into their bodies."
NPC 2: "I guess you don't have any tattoos or piercings."
NPC 1: "It's not the same.
NPC 2: "Personally, I think people should be free to put whatever they want into their bodies."
NPC 1: "And what about the rest of us? Soon, unmodified people will be second class citizens, living in ghettos."
NPC 2: "Gee, do you have an opinion on the subject?"

So yeah, I'd say the rampant smoking was included for thematic reasons.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:56 PM on August 26, 2011


Apparently if you listen in on the right conversations, you get a couple of people talking about this old movie where a cop in Detroit gets shot up and turned into a cyborg.

I listened to that in an air vent and laughed out loud. Then I came into the room through the door a bit later and those guys were all Hey We Were Just Talking About You, Remember That Old Movie? and I was like, uh, that's a little too on the nose guys.
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Deus Ex Eyeborg Documentary Explores Real-world Cyborgs
posted by homunculus at 11:41 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, I dunno. A couple hours in and I've come to the conclusion that this game just isn't for me. It's so dated and tired in terms of gameplay ideas. For this story, it really wants to be an open world game like GTA, but the hub is really just a metroidvania-style maze -- get power ups to open passages. All the dead ends are just really frustrating and immersion breaking. And the environments are so samey.

And I would submit that a hacking minigame has never improved a game it's been included in. The story is interesting, but just not interesting enough to deal with the tedium of the actual game play.

I know everyone else loves the game, but I don't know how much of that is nostalgia for the older games, which I've never played. I just don't think this game is very good.
posted by empath at 7:48 PM on August 28, 2011


Nostalgia in the case was a serious handicap against the new game, really. The original is close to beatific in the PC gamer crowd, despite and in bits because of its bullshit and wonkiness.

I'm happy with the new game because it hasn't shied away from the specific elements that made DE interesting; it's a specific kind of game, and not one everyone will like, but for those who do like it it is great in part because it doesn't try to hedge its bets and appeal to some focus group demographic that doesn't know what the fuck it wants.

New game isn't perfect, but the thing that aren't perfect about it are the stuff that as far as I can see look most like attempted concessions to someone other than the typical Deus Ex fan.

I can dig it if you don't like it. I think we've figured out from previous discussions that we have somewhat different gaming wants and philosophies. But I'd much rather we get five games that I love that you dislike and five vice versa than ten lukewarm games that play it safe to maximize their fanbase. DEHR seems like a game that mostly knows what it's trying to be, and it's not trying to be for Everybody, and thank god for that.
posted by cortex at 9:04 PM on August 28, 2011



Anyone know what was up with the announcement ?

There was a message earlier - "okM8-+Ds4Dui?lMh$Mzvm14SBqe7;G.l6=u74b?mkh-45Ki60d+98XBpCku7" And now there is a new one "5-/!f/fq/xc/qy/d3/?x/t$/j#"

I suck at cryptography, however.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:04 PM on August 29, 2011


Those score google hits for me, Pogo, so I'd go thataway if you really want to be told what it's about.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:24 AM on August 31, 2011


So I've just kind of decided to "embrace the stupid" and am abusing the AI instead of being annoyed by how bad it is and I'm enjoying it a lot more, but it's more of a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of enjoyment where I'm making my own fun rather than actually enjoying the game on its own terms. It seems kind of silly, given the world they've created, that I can pile bodies 3 high with no repercussions. Also, that I can grab guns right off of people's desks while they're staring right at me, but god forbid I try to tap on a touchpad a few times.
posted by empath at 7:06 AM on September 1, 2011


The AI's situational awareness definitely breaks down around the edges. I get the feeling that there's just a lack of zone-of-propriety for some combinations of NPCs and property; that you can rifle through a desk in a police office while cops are in the room, let alone sitting at the desk, is on the silly side. But "ammo is anywhere in the world other than shops and security bunkers" is sort of silly too but unavoidable.

A scrounging-friendly game sets it up for some impossibilities there if it wants to dole out ammo and items in a non-clumpy way; short of building a world around the premise that ammo would be laying around, you're basically fucked one way or the other.

My biggest complaint with the AI is that opposing forces don't react as aggressively to murders as they ought to; if I kill a few people, I'd expect a wave of reinforcements, at least in those situations where those reinforcements are plausible available. Maybe not so much with the street gangs, where they have neither the communication infrastructure nor the garrisons to mobilize a response team that very minute, but against the more organized troopers it'd make sense that after a few minutes you're going to have to deal with some more dudebros swamping the area.

But that'd be a bit different of a game, and this like Deus Ex before it treats stealth more as a kind of open-ended puzzle than a security force sim. The AI is necessarily stupid in a couple notable ways because that's what the tone of the sneak-and-kill-and-clear gameplay needs. It's a kind of thing I enjoy, so the above isn't a complaint about the core gameplay so much as an acknowledgement of the mismatch between attempts at apparent realism and the practical heft of some of the AI behavior, but I can totally see how it'd annoy some folks.

Right now I'm trying a pacifist, foxiest of the hounds play through on Hardest, so no kills and no alarms allowed. (I sort of wish I could make these explicit game-over requirements, I'm terrified of missing some stupid little detail somewhere.) Not clear to me if the switch to Hardest is actually affecting anything in the enemy behavior other than the first boss being maybe more durable than he was last time; choosing not to get in any fights may be a smart approach to making Hardest not so much harder after all.

Hardest also autodisables a bunch of the hint stuff -- no glowing items or doors or vents, no map markers superimposed on the HUD, that sort of thing, which is like having the rug pulled out at first but does help with the immersion. I suspect the game might be sort of frustrating to play without that stuff the first time, but now that I'm familiar with the game it's actually kind of nice.

I'm also doing a complete no-touch runthrough, which makes pacifist a gimme but foxy houndness harder since I can't disable a troublesome patrolling guard to create a sneaking window. I only pick up guns to sell them for cash to buy praxis kits and typhoon ammo; I don't do takedowns or use non-lethal weapons; boss fights get typhoon spammed because fuck the bosses. Otherwise I leave no evidence I was ever even in any of the places I've been, which is surprisingly satisfying if also something that requires a few reloads in the trickier sneaking spots. It has helped me really appreciate how well they've done the guard pattern layouts and the cover system.
posted by cortex at 7:28 AM on September 1, 2011


But that'd be a bit different of a game, and this like Deus Ex before it treats stealth more as a kind of open-ended puzzle than a security force sim. The AI is necessarily stupid in a couple notable ways because that's what the tone of the sneak-and-kill-and-clear gameplay needs. It's a kind of thing I enjoy, so the above isn't a complaint about the core gameplay so much as an acknowledgement of the mismatch between attempts at apparent realism and the practical heft of some of the AI behavior, but I can totally see how it'd annoy some folks.

Yeah, and this is my problem with a lot of games -- GTA IV being another notable example, where they attempt to tell a coherent story while giving you a lot of freedom to act, and it's like you're playing two different, completely unconnected games on parallel tracks. It's jarring. There are very few games that do it well -- Red Dead Redemption being the only one I can really think of off the top of my head. Especially since the game doesn't make it easy to role play appropriately, or it makes it too easy to ignore what your character would or should realistically do. I think the way I'm playing Jensen would be clinically insane by any reasonable measure.
posted by empath at 7:47 AM on September 1, 2011


I don't know -- I think reaction to discovery of bodies (live or dead) is a fairly considered compromise between reality and playability. If you design a system wherein that building you're infiltrating goes into irrevocable lockdown the moment a body appears (which, really, it should), you're simply going to force reload after reload as you push players to achieve a perfect stealth run. This destroys any possibility of a multi-path aspect to the game.

What I do think needs improvement is NPC reaction to simply missing colleagues. I'd like to see patrols break from routine ("alarm" mode) and go calling out for, then looking for, missing partners.

The taking stuff off/out of desks while cops are sitting there is both ridiculous and completely unnecessary.

The only clear cut flaw I'd site so far, accepting the game's design as is, is that a certain boss who can be stunned, inexplicably regains her senses the moment you try a takedown. That she can counter the move normally is cool, but going from a, say, 5-second stunned state to instant capability because some designer decided they didn't want to let you knock a few hp off without ammo really isn't on. But then I agree with RPS that the boss fights feel really tacked on (and I'd be really chocked to win one through non-lethal means only to see a cutscene of a bloodied foe dying).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:53 AM on September 1, 2011


Yes, there is no sufficient amount of dismissal available for the boss fights as implemented. They're just crap.

(and I'd be really chocked to win one through non-lethal means only to see a cutscene of a bloodied foe dying)

I did that for bosses one and two on my first playthrough, and you better believe I was cursing at the goddam screen once the FMV started up. At least with the first boss you can sort of pretend that he just cracked his head when he fell but didn't die of his wounds, but the second one there's literally no other interpretation available than "you killed that person on purpose", which, gah.

Stupid boss fights.
posted by cortex at 7:58 AM on September 1, 2011


Egads. Site? Chocking? Coffee needed.

I had trouble getting through the boss fights, honestly, so I was using whatever I had to hand (mine template eventually won me through the first; concussion mines plus my own concussion immunity the second). But it's a great image: tranqing the overpowered boss until he/she falls... provided the game acknowledges the tactic. RPS also noted that only first-mission feedback from NPCs acknowledges your style of play, which I hadn't noticed, but maybe that's what made me feel ok about later mugging cops and selling their weapons for spare cash.

Erm... first playthrough?!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:14 AM on September 1, 2011


I work from home, and there's been a relative dearth of shitstorms the last week or so.
posted by cortex at 8:23 AM on September 1, 2011


This is where the (modern) Metal Gear games, my all time favorite series, really shines. You always had a choice, to kill the boss or just disable him. Which is kind of the overall philosophy of those games: they're anti-war war games, where it's much more challenging to play as a pacifist. But it's a recognized and rewarded style of gameplay.

It's interesting that Deus Ex chose to make all boss fights into forced FPS portions. The forced-ness isn't what I find objectionable, it's the lack of variety. I think it would have been really interesting to have stealth-only bosses, and hack-only bosses. Of course this would somehow need to be scaled to, or independent of, where you've invested praxis points.
posted by danny the boy at 12:57 PM on September 1, 2011


This is where the (modern) Metal Gear games, my all time favorite series, really shines. You always had a choice, to kill the boss or just disable him.

Except ***SPOILER*** the end of Snake Eater, where you're forced to execute the final boss with a point blank shot to the head. I actually love the way the game makes you do this; it drives home how Snake has been the unwitting catspaw of various shadowy forces the entire game. Of course, this experience is what drives him to seize control of his destiny and ***MORE SPOILERS*** become Big Boss.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:40 PM on September 1, 2011


Ultrapacifist no-alarms Hardest run complete. It was fun! I recommend trying it some time! As with my murder run, I largely ignored sidequests after the first few, because I'd hit my core aug needs already and the game kept me more than stocked on praxis points thereafter, between basic quest-progress XP and all the bonuses for getting Ghost every time and Smooth Operator on the bits that actually had any alarms.
posted by cortex at 5:14 PM on September 1, 2011


Those score google hits for me, Pogo, so I'd go thataway if you really want to be told what it's about.

Yeah, the first post here has the results. Between that and the secret ending (after the credits, there is a short - ominious - cutscene), I suspect either an expansion or a follow on.

I do wonder which game ending choice they will pick to become canonical.

I just finished my second playthrough - this one on hardest and I tried for a pacifist run, but I must have killed someone somewhere without knowing it. Headshots from tranq darts can do that, sometimes. It would be much better if the game gave you some feedback on that - and Ghost/Smooth_Operator failures, too. Also, while I'm wishing for things - an update log would be nice; some of them scroll by too fast.

The thing I dislike most about the boss fights (and this was an issue in DE, but less so) is the cutscene end--> fight is immediate. It would be better on the whole if there were a save point after the cutscene so I don't have to see/skip it a bunch of times.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:00 PM on September 3, 2011


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