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Deus Ex HR, the bosses
September 6, 2011 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the prequel to the legendary PC classic developed by a freshman team at Eidos Montreal, received universal acclaim, but one point that many people seemed to dislike were the boss battles. While they have their defenders, Rock Paper Shotgun described them as "Feeling as though they were programmed by another team, from another planet, they absolutely, unequivocally do not fit in this game." As it turns out, they actually were designed by a contractor, the AI specialists GRIP. Here's a promotional video with GRIP's president, explaining their sins. (via Sesquiculus on MeFightClub)

Having trouble? Here's some spoilerific help: The first boss can be defeated just by throwing the items scattered around the arena, and all the bosses before the much fairer final boss can be defeated through spamming an attack called the Typhoon. That might not be an option for the third boss battle, where decisions made earlier in the game could make the Typhoon unusable. In that case you can carry a turret into battle with you.
posted by The Devil Tesla (140 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought the boss battles did feel like they were from a different game. Closed arena, much more frenetic than the cautious atmosphere of the rest of the game. However, I have to agree with the analysis from Ben Kuchera: sometimes sneaking through air vents just isn't an option, so try to pack some heavy ordinance.
posted by demiurge at 9:24 AM on September 6, 2011


I almost stopped playing during the second boss battle. I actually had to go back to an old save so I could re-level my augmentations and choose one that could defeat her. Had I not had that old save, I wouldn't have bothered playing the rest of the game.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:24 AM on September 6, 2011


That sounds pretty atrocious. Anyone working on a mod that bypasses the boss battles yet?
posted by Zarkonnen at 9:25 AM on September 6, 2011


I'm considering not starting my playthrough until someone's found out how to use the debug mode to turn killphrases on.

lilleputian machine
posted by permafrost at 9:26 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never asked for this beat.

Me and my SO were talking about the bosses earlier - I had a real bite-through-the-keyboard experience with the first (as a purely stealthy/hacky Jensen), but no real trouble with the subsequent two.

In retrospect I don't really mind the bosses: it's kind of obvious that the Typhoon is specifically meant for bosses (or military-augmented humans, at any rate), in-universe as well as in game terms. The game puts the thing right up in your face during the intro as a really important part of Adam's augmentations so many times, I kind of feel like it was my own stupid decision not to activate it. And then Jensen has so many ways to deal with ordinary mooks, and ammo for the Typhoon is so limited, that saving it for exceptional circumstances only seems prudent.

In a way I respect that design: people criticised the boss fights for punishing non-combat characters, but finding things harder due to choosing not to take an augment that's so obviously presented as important, or blowing all its ammo for lolz on random security guards, seems like exactly the kind of punishing decision and consequence people profess to want from Deus Ex.

Also the second one is trivial if you've got the stun gun and any sort of lethal weapon, and I am genuinely astonished by how many people seem to have fallen for the most obvious trick in the world and ended up hamstrung on the third.
posted by emmtee at 9:29 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm playing high stealth and hacking and the third boss royally pissed me off.

I finally beat him using corner cover, a slew of grenades, two full laser rifle batteries and about a hundred rounds from the heavy rifle while popping painkillers. Every walkthrough video I've seen uses the Typhoon which I never used since I was playing no-kill as much as possible. I was so relieved to finally beat him that I got a bit of a rush when he went down.

Yes they are hard fights, no they are not impossible for someone without a ton of combat augs, and although they don't really match the tone of the game perfectly, DE:HR is *still* one of the best games I have played in years.

There is a reason they are called 'boss fights'!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:30 AM on September 6, 2011


I hate it when developers confuse long and elaborate boss battles for epic boss battles. Particularly when bosses have to be 'solved' (shoot the weak point with a missile, fire a charge shot in to it's eye and pull the pilot out of the cockpit and do the quicktime sequence with the right items equipped, etc) and then I have to go through the process several times.
posted by fuq at 9:30 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


My first playthrough was mostly* pacifistic, so I took down the bosses with non-lethal weapons. Specifically, the stungun, which reloads fast enough to get another stun in on both of #1 and #2 before they unstagger. Do that about ten times and they fall over (and, per the subsequent FMVs, somehow manage to bleed profusely from taser-induced gaping bullet wounds and head trauma).

But, yeah, Typhoon spamming is sort of a ridiculous technique: blink and cause your torso to explode a bit, maybe eat a candybar if that tired you out too much, and repeat until angry cyborg in the vicinity is dead. In an otherwise perfect version of DEHR, I'd complain about the Typhoon system, but in this slightly-more-imperfect version we got, it is precisely the correct fire-with-fire antidote to the stupidity of the boss fights, as it makes them utterly skippable using tools the game provides, all for the cost of 3 praxis points.

*Killing people in the tutorial mission where you don't have your full skillset and are armed only with a machine gun: still counts as killing people. You're gonna play through again if you want the Pacifist achievement. The good news is that the game is awesome and making a second playthrough as a goddam ninja doesn't take all that long.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2011


It's hard for me to imagine working on a project of this type and contracting out a big chunk of user-facing content in this way. Can you imagine Updike hiring Hunter S. Thompson to write a few chapters of Updike's latest book? Or Spielberg hiring Michael Bay to shoot a few scenes for Spielberg's latest movie? How could the result not feel like patchwork?

Disclaimer: I've never worked on a large software development team, I've never worked on a game, and I haven't played DXHR.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2011


Huh, I'll be damned. That explains it.

DE3 is an awesome game, but the three boss fights in it are incredibly jarring. In normal play, almost all enemies in the game can be approached in multiple ways; you can go in, guns blazing, you can find another way around, you can sneak right through if you're careful, or maybe you can hack your way past security and go around that way. It's not as flexible as the original DE1 was, but it's way better than most games, and they understood the visual language of that game so well that it's almost creepy at times. It absolutely, utterly, feels like Deus Ex 1, even though it's been completely reimplemented from scratch. They clearly understood that first game better than just about anyone ever has... it's like they deconstructed it, learned its language, and then used that language to write a new story. They probably got a bit too slavish at copying sometimes, but I don't blame them, considering the disaster that was DE2.

So, anyway, you're coming off this multi-path approach, and you get funneled down into several boss fights that you HAVE TO fight. Especially with the first guy, you often won't have even turned your combat augmentations ON yet, having chosen to specialize in stealth and hacking, and suddenly there is only one way to proceed in the game. You have to kill the bad guy, period.

One of the achievements in the game, in fact, is "pacifist", which you get if you go through the entire game without anyone dying by your hand. But that achievement comes with a footnote: * except bosses.

I'll tell you, that first fight just absolutely pissed me off. I was trying to go through it without killing anyone, not for the achievement, but because I didn't want to have to kill anyone to finish it. I thought that was fucking awesome. And then all of a sudden, like it or not, if I want to proceed, I have to murder someone. And not only do I have to murder him, all the skills I've been focusing on are suddenly useless, and I have to turn into Combat Jensen.

It is quite winnable, but only way I found to do it reliably was by exploiting a couple of AI bugs. That guy is REALLY tough, but you can take advantage of some stupidity in his programming to eventually whittle him down and kill him.

It just doesn't fit with the rest of the game. It violates the, um, hmm. I want to say "the contract with the gamer", even though there's obviously no such thing. Both the marketing and the game itself set up strong expectations that there are multiple paths to success and multiple approaches to any given problem, and the boss fights completely violate those expectations. It is an intensely frustrating experience if you don't know about it ahead of time, and even if you DO, it's still annoying.

And lo and behold, they were designed by different companies. The little light goes on. That's exactly what it feels like... that you were taken out of one game and dumped into another one that looked just like it, but played all different.

What an absolutely bizarre thing to do, though. Why would you farm out your boss fights? That's just so.... it's so weird. If you're going to have boss fights at all, which REALLY don't fit well in the Deus Ex universe, why would you give them to a different company to do?

That makes no sense to me at all.
posted by Malor at 9:33 AM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Did the original Deus Ex have boss fights? I can't remember at this point. I'm not a big fan of boss fights--particularly the closed-arena, two men enter one man leaves, kind.

Tell me straight up: are there greasels?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, hacky/stealth build and I had trouble with the first boss. The second not quite as much, but I'm getting better at setting part of my inventory aside for a few seldom-needed necessities. I also didn't activate typhoon despite all the attention paid it... because I think it's stupid.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2011


The oddest thing for me about the boss battles (I only Typhoon'd the third boss) was that they were boss battles. That is, with the mooks in the rest of the game behaving like reasonable facsimiles of people, suddenly you got into a fight with someone who would get into their boss battle pattern and zip about largely without reference to where you were or what you were doing, like they were giant metal worms in R-Type or something.

I'm just bitter because I missed out on the no-kill achievement after I absent-mindedly killed someone during the intro. Got foxiest of the hounds and give me deus ex first time, though!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard for me to imagine working on a project of this type and contracting out a big chunk of user-facing content in this way.

Me too, and it does stink of weird Corporate Meddling. That said, it's worth noting that while they are Boss Fights and ergo pretty high profile, they're also very small portions of the overall game. That they're badly designed enough that many characters will be poorly equipped for a non-exploitative fight and will have to hit their heads against the goddam things for way too long is part of the problem, because with a quick typhoon-spamming approach (once you know that that's an option) they are the least blips in an otherwise long and sprawling gameplay experience.
posted by cortex at 9:35 AM on September 6, 2011


Having only seen the first boss so far: yes, it felt like a different game. But aside from violating the sanctity of the 'no-kills' gameplay style, I appreciated the change of pace and thought it was fun. It was actually kind of terrifying for someone to stalk me so relentlessly. It had my blood pumping, and I had to get clever to defeat him (I figured out how to use the environment on my own, thanks, no spoilers needed. I think that's what you're supposed to do if you're the type to sneak around and carry only a tranq gun.)

So I might change my mind later, but the outrage over this on every game forum really seems exaggerated to me. It's not like the developed completely sold out the game to the Call of Duty fans: the rest of the game is as smartly made as anything released this year.
posted by naju at 9:35 AM on September 6, 2011


I might even pay a couple bucks (less than 10) for some DLC that removed the boss battles entirely.

...dear god, don't tell any devs that!
posted by aramaic at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]



DE1 had unavoidable boss fights, notably the fight against Walton Simons in the Submarine base.

The other "boss" fights - against Gunter and Anna Navarre are avoidable if you make certain choices, but are otherwise unavoidable.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2011


It's not as flexible as the original DE1 was...

I think one of my favorite video game moments of All Time was a stage in DE where I realized I was in a position where the only way to get out of where I was -- I think a tower? -- was to either shoot my way out, or sneak my way out. Then I noticed the window in the room, turned my leg augments on, jumped out, broke both my legs, and crawled my way to safety.
posted by griphus at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



I might even pay a couple bucks (less than 10) for some DLC that removed the boss battles entirely.

...dear god, don't tell any devs that!


What..

What have you done?

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!
posted by curious nu at 9:38 AM on September 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cortex: You're gonna play through again if you want the Pacifist achievement.

Oh god I've been wanting to rant about this. I got Pacifist on my first playthrough, but missed out on Foxiest of the Hounds (I'm not usually bothered about achievements, but MGS reference, man!), because of this fucking evil door in the TYM building.

There I was, in the room with the laser grids all over the place, happily cloaking and walking through the beams without setting them off and generally feeling very clever. 'Ooh, a door!' thinks Jensen, eager to indulge his sick fetish for reading other people's email. Cloak on, nip through when nobody's looking. However, this door is in fact a clever Jensen trap. On the way into the room he opens it inwards. On the way out, he'll only open it outwards, straight through the lasers. Cue alarm. QQ.
posted by emmtee at 9:39 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wasn't there a Penny Arcade comic about exactly this issue a couple days ago?
posted by Archelaus at 9:41 AM on September 6, 2011


suddenly you got into a fight with someone who would get into their boss battle pattern and zip about largely without reference to where you were or what you were doing

This behavior, combined with the fact that I was robbed, is why I turned off Dragon Age halfway through the final boss battle and never looked at the sequel.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:43 AM on September 6, 2011


The fight with Simons was avoidable, although it still killed him, if you mined the hell out of the area where the Karkians were and placed all the explosive barrels around. I'd enter the area that lead me back up, the screen would shake, there'd be a muffled boom and Simons would be dead. Not that that stopped him from criticizing me over the infolink as I moved towards his gibbed remains.

So yeah, you could avoid all of the boss fights in DE1, if you didn't mind being cheap.

Going to get this soon. Looks amazing, sounds amazing, etc.
posted by Hactar at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2011


I've played through DE1 multiple times, and I have never fought Walton Simons. I'm not sure where he is, but I think he must be avoidable.
posted by Malor at 9:45 AM on September 6, 2011


DE1 had unavoidable boss fights, notably the fight against Walton Simons in the Submarine base.
Nope. Use enough invisibility or speed and you could sneak or sprint right past him. Do so, and you get treated to some annoyed-Walton conversation later and he shows up *again* to fight you at Area 51, but even in that fight it's possible to get past him without killing him.

I think there's at least one unavoidable boss kill in Deus Ex 1, but even there it's possible to avoid much of a fight, by figuring out the boss's self-destruct code phrase before the encounter.
posted by roystgnr at 9:45 AM on September 6, 2011


Assuming we're just doing some spoilering in this thread:

Stealthy/hacky me had trouble with the first boss fight because I didn't bother to bring along non-lethal weapons really - even though the stun gun makes it easy to disable whathisface, I couldn't do any damage (also, my aim sucked). Second one was bad because I didn't have the EMP shielding augmentation that removes damage from electricity, so I couldn't take advantage of the arena.

Third one was trivial because I had preordered and had the grenade launcher. Seriously. The damn thing's rapid fire, the explosions stun the boss, and it took maybe one clip to beat him. Which made the whole thing seem stupid, but was also kind of funny in a Indiana-Jones-shooting-the-swordsman kind of way.


*Killing people in the tutorial mission where you don't have your full skillset and are armed only with a machine gun: still counts as killing people. You're gonna play through again if you want the Pacifist achievement. The good news is that the game is awesome and making a second playthrough as a goddam ninja doesn't take all that long.


This, and there's the spot on your last trip to Hengsha (again, spoilers) when the helicopter goes down where I resorted to the sniper rifle rather than sneaking off. I'm sure it's possible to do that in a nonlethal way, but I couldn't figure it out and figured I was screwed on the pacifist achievement anyway.

Also, if I remember correctly, it is possible to just run the fuck past Simons in Deus Ex (using cloaking?) and make it the elevator without killing him.
posted by dismas at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hactar: "Going to get this soon. Looks amazing, sounds amazing, etc."

It really is. I thought Portal 2 was a no-brainer for my GOTY until I played DXHR. I was absolutely astonished by how good it is. I played the leaked alpha and thought it a good game with the potential to be great, but it really delivered almost everywhere.

It could have been harder, though. I played on "Give me Deus Ex" and I would have loved a "Give me two Deus Exes sellotaped together" setting.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:47 AM on September 6, 2011


The fight with Simons was avoidable, although it still killed him...

Anna Navarre was the same way - attach a couple lams to the hallway walls on your way in to meet with the NSF leader.


It seems to me that the original boss fights were lost in the discussion, possibly because they were easy to cheese if you wanted to and these fights are harder to do that on.

Still, the boss fights are a joke on easy mode. Unless you're going for the hardmode run, just drop the difficulty for the boss fight and move on.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:50 AM on September 6, 2011


Warning: Stereotyped caricatures ahead.
posted by kmz at 9:53 AM on September 6, 2011


****SPOILERS****

Oh hell yes, the downed Helo in Hengsha.

That's the one where my non-lethal play through went out the window. Threaten my pilot? It's heavy rifle time!

I don't think you can 'win' that fight with strictly non-lethal weapons, and if you take advantage of the distraction, you lose Malik. Ugh.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:53 AM on September 6, 2011


The other "boss" fights - against Gunter and Anna Navarre are avoidable if you make certain choices, but are otherwise unavoidable.

Now those were "bosses", completely part of the storyline. Not just Who's-This-Guy-Now?

On preview, oh I went lethal much earlier than that. These are the guys responsible for the lab attack? I'm sure? Right, then. FEMA, schmema, you're all dead; you just don't know it yet.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It really is. I thought Portal 2 was a no-brainer for my GOTY until I played DXHR.

No shit? Oof! I gots to find me some time to pick this up. I loved DX1 (DX2, meh). I remember playing a demo of DX1 at MacWorld NY when Aspyr was porting it. So much fun.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2011


lilleputian machine

Hah! It's Laputan machine! Prepare yourself for horrible skull-crushing cyborg-induced death.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2011


Oh, I lied. I DID fight Walton Simons. I looked up the fight, and the first hit was a Youtube vid of encountering him at Area 51. I've never done that one. But then I looked some more when someone upthread said there were two fights, and sure enough, I've done the regular one.

Claim retracted, sorry.

Note, however, that that is very late in the game, and you're pretty thoroughly amped by then. It feels like it fits much better. (it fits well enough, in fact, that I forgot it was even there.) He's hard, but you have a ton of ways to deal with him. The first boss in DE3 is probably tougher than Simons, and he can drop even a fully combat-modded Jensen in seconds. (Jensen is nowhere near as tough as J.C. was in a straight fight... he just regenerates.)

Worse, it's very easy to walk into that fight with nothing but a tranq rifle. There are guns there you can use, but you're getting shot at, and it's a bit dicey to be trying to find a gun.
posted by Malor at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2011



I don't think you can 'win' that fight with strictly non-lethal weapons, and if you take advantage of the distraction, you lose Malik. Ugh.

You can. Get the reload mods on the tranq gun and use gas grenades.

The hard part - if you drop one of the heavies too close to the bot, when it self destructs, it kills the unconscious dude.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:58 AM on September 6, 2011


WinnipegDragon: "****SPOILERS****

I don't think you can 'win' that fight with strictly non-lethal weapons, and if you take advantage of the distraction, you lose Malik. Ugh.
"

It's possible (emmtee and I both did it) but it took me a couple of tries. If I'd been doing a no-reloads-unless-you-die playthrough I would have been screwed.

I basically put on invisi-stealth and sprinted straight at the heavies, stungunning them before they even got close to the bot, and after the bot was dealt with just legged it about stungunning/meleeing the snipers on one side and then tranqing the snipers on the other side.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:00 AM on September 6, 2011


I didn't even use gas grenades. If you have the aim correction mod for the tranq rifle (and reload speed mods, as you say) it's actually not that big a deal to just tranq everyone out and then use an EMP grenade to put down the bot.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:00 AM on September 6, 2011


That's the one where my non-lethal play through went out the window. Threaten my pilot? It's heavy rifle time!

This, to me, was the moment when I realised that this really was the sequel to Deus Ex I'd always wanted both in gameplay and character.

I'd been playing pacifist all the way through, until that moment, but there was no way on earth I was leaving a comrade behind like that.
posted by garius at 10:04 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


and there's the spot on your last trip to Hengsha (again, spoilers) when the helicopter goes down where I resorted to the sniper rifle rather than sneaking off. I'm sure it's possible to do that in a nonlethal way, but I couldn't figure it out and figured I was screwed on the pacifist achievement anyway.

It'd doable. I haven't done it, but it's doable. Take out key heavy hitters early on with tranq rifle and/or closeup takedowns, EMP the boxbot as soon as it deploys, and then just get ninja about cleanup for the rest of the dudes using various non-lethal methods. You could probably do it with just the tranq rifle and an EMP if you were a crack shot.
posted by cortex at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2011


dismas and WinnipegDragon -- I have a friend who swears he saved the pilot by tranqing and takedowning all the goons (on hard difficulty, moreover). I have yet to try to do this, but I'm going to see if it can be done my second time around.

Actually, what I found most frustrating about the boss fights was that I didn't get a sense of story-related satisfaction out of them the way I did in the first game. Even with Namir (the guy who shoots you at the beginning), I felt like I was just killing a random bad guy, not advancing the plot or settling scores, because I'd seen these people for all of two minutes beforehand. Contrast this to the boss fights in DX, where you're fighting two old partners with very clearly-defined methods and personalities, along with a couple of major conspiracy players. When I took out Anna Navarre, it wasn't just because she was trying to kill me: It was personal, because I hated her methods of conflict resolution, but I still felt a little bad, because I'd seen her chatting with Gunther over getting the wrong soda from the vending machine.

Even though they're nowhere near the traditional arena fight, I consider the social battles the definitive boss fights of Human Revolution. They're with people you actually care about, there are a couple of different methods, and what you do influences the outcome much more significantly than any of the Tyrants or the Big Bad at the end. The downside, of course, is that you can pretty easily win them with pheromones or just quicksaving.
posted by Tubalcain at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, as for going lethal...I was trying to be minimally violent, sneaking my way past most guards and such and doing non-lethal takedowns when I had to. But then--

SPOILER They killed Malik. /SPOILER

Oh shit, son, it was ON. Armed only with a sniper rifle, retractable carbon-fiber arm blades, and a gaping void that used to contain all the fucks I gave, I proceeded to fuck some shit UP. I killed four mercs in the middle of the streets of Hengsha and dragged their bodies into a decorative pile in an intersection. If the game let me, I'd have put their heads on poles and done a puppet show with them.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


I've just started my second playthrough and I'm revelling in being dick-Jensen this time. I made sure to grab the sniper rifle in the Detroit hub asap and I'm having a whale of a time jumping up from behind cover and popping people in the head. It has such a different feel to my initial non-lethal stealth play, and I'm loving the variety.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2011


garius: "I'd been playing pacifist all the way through, until that moment, but there was no way on earth I was leaving a comrade behind like that."

Oh totally. If I hadn't been able to save her I would have been tranqing everyone there only to line them up and drop them off the edge of the building. No-one threatens my pilot!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2011


Still playing through, and the boss fights are a touch infuriating, but not for the same reasons I think they are for everyone else. Most of the game you can approach as a puzzle - 'observe carefully, figure out patterns, form a tactical approach, execute plan like a goddamn ninja YES'. However, both the boss fights I've done so far (Barrett and Federova) start you off with a fully armed lunatic bearing down on your face as soon as the cutscene ends, and there's no time to plan. THAT is what I found jarring - you have to trial-and-error-and-error-and-error as you die over and over again trying to put together a strategy with no time for reflection. It took me something like five deaths alone just to figure out how to escape Federova's first area explosion charge unscathed (sprint forward straight past her, superjump at the end).

However, there are several things that allow you to handle the bosses pretty simply, even if you come in with next to no 'lethal' weapons. First off, against the first two - concussion, gas AND EMP grenades stun them up righteously for several seconds. If you've got the visual compensation for the concussion grenades, the EMP shielding (less likely, since it's third in the 'bulletproofing' aug chain) and/or the rebreather for gas, you're golden. Second, there are environmental factors you can use to your advantage to really mess up the bosses as well - they're just not as obvious as 'big red barrel marked Explosive!' rot13 - Oneergg'f punzore unf ynetr tnf pnavfgref ylvat nebhaq - fubbg bar juvyr ur'f arneol (be gevpx uvz vagb fubbgvat bar) naq ur'yy pubxr ba tnf sbe ybat frpbaqf, naq nsgre n pbhcyr pnavfgref ur pebnxf. Srqrebin'f neran unf ovt pbzchgre onax ybbxvat guvatf nebhaq gur bhgfvqr bs gur punzore - fubbgvat gurz, uvggvat gurz jvgu na RZC be yrggvat ure oynfg punetr bar jvyy pnhfr gurz gb rehcg jvgu ryrpgevpvgl, selvat ure... ohg nyfb selvat lbh vs lbh'er naljurer arneol naq qba'g unir gur ryrpgevpny fuvryqvat.

Barrett's chamber also has a large number of small arms and ammo just scattered around like a bossfight in Doom, and the door RIGHT before Federova's chamber has a heavy rifle with something like 200 rounds of ammo. So even if you've been crawling around with nothing but tranq darts and a stungun, you can still make a mess if need be.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:10 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or Spielberg hiring Michael Bay to shoot a few scenes for Spielberg's latest movie?

I agree with your point about Deus Ex, but just for the record: it's both normal and expected for directors to hire other directors to film scenes, especially on large film shoots. The person they hire is the second unit director, who is responsible for a lot of the shots that don't involve the main characters, as well as the big stunt setpieces. Spielberg's preferred second unit director for the Indy movies was a guy named Michael D. Moore; he'd probably still be Spielberg's choice if he weren't, um, 96 years old.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:11 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hate it when developers confuse long and elaborate boss battles for epic boss battles.

Seriously. It's idiotic to think that a final boss should just be a really hard speedbump to keep the game from ending too quickly.

A final boss should be where developers go through their game, pick out the stuff that is the most fun for the player to do, and mix it together. Maybe add some great writing, amazing artwork (NOT a long elaborate cut-scene), an entertaining story beat, or a crowning moment of awesome for the coup de grace.

Players should finish it and say, "Wow that was fun" rather than "Wow that was hard." They should immediately re-load their save and replay the boss battle 3 times--successfully--because it's so much fun, rather than being forced to re-load their save and replay several times unsuccessfully because it's so hard and frustrating.

Portal and Portal 2 are the only games that have pulled that off for me. Both times I lots the boss battle the first time because I was having too much fun to end it. Then I won the battle, then I replayed it a 3rd time because it was fun.
posted by straight at 10:15 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


----SPOILERS----

First boss: concussion grenades, combat rifle.

Second boss: aug up your armor to EMP resist, EMP grenades, heavy rifle.

Third boss: don't get the updated chip, frag grenades, heavy rifle.

Final boss: 4 autohacks for security terminals, sprint boost augs, any weapon.

The first boss is the hardest, IMO. The second and third will drop in seconds if you get your first round of grenades well-aimed. The fourth is a pain, but if you time your sprints and first go around tossing autohacks on the terminals and then make a second circuit to activate them, not that bad. The Typhoon is handy for insta-killing the crazies who rush you, but if you're fully armored you can take them down with pistol headshots while they paw at you.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:17 AM on September 6, 2011


I've just started my second playthrough and I'm revelling in being dick-Jensen this time.

Isn't your protagonist basically always dick-Jensen? Sure, he can do a fair amount of good deeds, but especially at the beginning he's like a big ball of antihero grouchiness no matter which answer you pick in the conversation trees. "Hi Adam? Need some directions around the place?" "I might be augmented, but I still have a memory goddamnyouwhydoyouthinkI'munqualifiedformyjob..." "Uh...I just meant that we'd moved a bunch of stuff around."

Not that it isn't justified, what with the massive trauma and all, but he's basically like Phineas Gage with wrist-blades.
posted by Tubalcain at 10:17 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Now everyone will see why I need a skull-gun."
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


An hour on the fist boss, and then three hours on the second boss yesterday. I finally gave up. Probably not going to bother until I get a cheat code, and then I'll just crank the story to finish the damn thing. Right now, feels like I've pissed away the $25 I spent on it.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:23 AM on September 6, 2011


As an aside, I also gotta say that they whiffed the ending on DE3. Don't expect too much, because it's just about the definition of anticlimax.

Goddamn great game, but the bosses suck, and the end made me want to take a rolled-up newspaper to the devs.
posted by Malor at 10:23 AM on September 6, 2011


Isn't your protagonist basically always dick-Jensen?

Insofar as its out of your control, he's mostly Tetchy Jensen. With the exception of his running dialogue with Pritchard, most of the actually dickish discursive moves are choices you can make (so while you're a little defensive with Malik in that first conversation, you can choose to be less than OH FUCK YOU about it when the branches come up).
posted by cortex at 10:24 AM on September 6, 2011


I actually just started playing Alpha Protocol (which I got for two or three quid in the Steam sale), and it's really surprised me with how incredibly similar a lot of its mechanics are to Human Revolution. Except, obviously, that DX un-derps every single broken thing about it. Apparently I should expect some infinitely worse boss fights from Alpha Protocol.

"Now everyone will see why I need a skull-gun."

(**SPOILER**) There's a great little callback to that on David Sarif's computer.
posted by emmtee at 10:25 AM on September 6, 2011


Oh shit, son, it was ON. Armed only with a sniper rifle, retractable carbon-fiber arm blades, and a gaping void that used to contain all the fucks I gave, I proceeded to fuck some shit UP. I killed four mercs in the middle of the streets of Hengsha and dragged their bodies into a decorative pile in an intersection. If the game let me, I'd have put their heads on poles and done a puppet show with them.

This is going to be a giant ass SPOILER.

I managed to keep the pacifist mode going through that, barely escaped. But later, you sneak through a warehouse looking for one of the missing doctors and more spoilery shit happens. If you do a little post level recon, you find Malick's body in a room off in the corner, ready to be butchered for her implants. That pissed me off. I don't get emotional about video games, but I knew at that moment I was going to play through again and level that entire fucking building.

So, yeah, even with the boss battles, strong contender for GOTY for me. (Though Portal 2 is really hard to beat.)
posted by eyeballkid at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex: "Tetchy Jensen."

In-Need-of-a-Cough-Sweet-Augmentation Jensen.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


An hour on the fist boss, and then three hours on the second boss yesterday. I finally gave up. Probably not going to bother until I get a cheat code, and then I'll just crank the story to finish the damn thing. Right now, feels like I've pissed away the $25 I spent on it.

What's your approach? Having ANY kind of stun grenade (conc, gas or emp) helps treeeeemendously.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:29 AM on September 6, 2011


eyeballkid: if you're good enough, you can save her.
posted by Malor at 10:31 AM on September 6, 2011


Was I the only person who just Typhooned the bosses into oblivion? Seemed the obvious choice, to me, as it essentially stops time (like a takedown).

OK, I'm lying. The first playthough, I only typhooned Namir. Barrett I grenaded into sparkly bits and Yelena I heavy rifled every time she charged at me. I still don't understand what exactly was going on in the final boss battle, but I seem to have beat it (twice now).

The second run through I had a lot more experience from finding all the stuff I missed the first time and basically just typhooned the bosses, as I mentioned before. Boss haters should try this approach out (only tried on regular difficulty, running through Deus Ex difficulty now). Stun gun works great on Barrett (first boss) if you don't have the Typhoon yet.

Garius mentioned above that his Deus Ex moment was when they were trying to kill Malik. It reminds me of the original DX when they kidnap Tiffany, hold her in the abandoned gas station, and kill her if you botch her rescue. Even in my pacifist playthroughs I always go lethal for that mission; I figure the baddies deserve it.
posted by Palquito at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


FatherDagon: "What's your approach? Having ANY kind of stun grenade (conc, gas or emp) helps treeeeemendously."

Alternatively SPOILER there's a rocket launcher waiting to be found in the map prior to the first boss.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2011


The boss fights were jarring but still maintained enough variety for me to not feel disappointed. That said, the idea that a "AI specialist" company wrote them is laughable, their AI was limited in the extreme. Spoilers for how my boss fights went:

First boss I chucked stuff at him, he went down like a chump. Second boss, shot the electric wall things, she didn't last long. Third boss, used the xray vision, tossed a few frag mines around, he kindly killed himself on them with his wallhopping antics. Final boss, just ran around out of the view of the turrets, killed enemies as they appeared, opened up them human computer things and shot their faces off.

Pacifism is for herbivores, but my second runthrough I am using the magic of the stungun to finagle my way through the bossfights. Stun gun, unload assault rifle in face, rinse, repeat. Not sure how I will finish off the final boss, but I will burn that bridge when I get to it.

Far worse than the bossfights was saving Malik without killing anyone. That damned robot was my bane for about three hours. I didn't want to fail my pacifist run, but neither did I want to ever see her body on a slab or whatever it was. People were making some emotional posts on other forums about finding her dead, I don't need that in my video game fun time.

Next run (assuming Space Marine ever releases me from its ceramite grasp) is going to be the Exploding Revolver Extravaganza.
posted by Sternmeyer at 10:34 AM on September 6, 2011


In-Need-of-a-Cough-Sweet-Augmentation Jensen.

Inexplicably-Turns-Into-3D-Glasses-Agent-From-Heavy-Rain-With-Horrid-Jersey-Accent-When-Shaking-Down-Haas Jensen.

If you do a little post level recon, you find Malick's body in a room off in the corner, ready to be butchered for her implants. That pissed me off.

That was quite a moment, yeah. I thought the coughing-blood radio goodbye from her was the games way of saying "oh, nice job saving her, jeez", and then I skulk my way into that lab and was all oh shiiiiiit.

I hid her body down a ladder just on principle. And then saved the SHIT out of her on my next playthrough.

posted by cortex at 10:38 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex: "Inexplicably-Turns-Into-3D-Glasses-Agent-From-Heavy-Rain-With-Horrid-Jersey-Accent-When-Shaking-Down-Haas Jensen."

Press X to Jensen.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:40 AM on September 6, 2011


Yeah, Malik can be saved (and there's an achievement for doing so).

Jump down from the platform and use the heli as cover while taking out the heavies advancing on the chopper. The snipers are mostly by exploding barrels -- shoot them and solve that pesky sniper problem. When you clear the first wave of ground troops, a heavy bot drops. It is intent on destroying the chopper. But an EMP grenade reduces it to rubble, and if you're lucky, takes out a few of the second wave troops. Then mop up, earn Malik's gratitude, and remember to explore the electrified pit (on your left as you start the level) for a couple more grenades.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:40 AM on September 6, 2011


I just wish/hope they('d) patch in a higher difficulty level at some point. I'd love to play through again as a purely stealthy/hacking-y guy, but with really observant enemies, cameras/robots/heavies that see through cloak, guards who alert each other if they see anything, extra enemies, etc etc etc. I love me some tense stealth. Possibly it's something the PC mod community will manage, in a Stalker Complete sort of way.
posted by emmtee at 10:42 AM on September 6, 2011


Oh. Saving Malik WITHOUT killing anyone. Um, yeah.

Fuck that. NO ONE MESSES WITH MY PILOT AND LIVES.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:42 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's your approach?

Dying a lot, apparently.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:43 AM on September 6, 2011


If metafilter likes it, it is probably pretty good. I'm going to get this game.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2011


Buy it! Everyone should buy it! Squeenix need to make loads of money off this, so when they get done making Thief 4 (a game which, thanks to DXHR, has shot from meh to OH MY GOD NOW PLEASE for me) they can make more Deus Ex!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It really is a great game.

I'm curious how far the outsourcing of the boss battles went. The GRIP promo video linked above makes it pretty clear they did the Boss AI. The AI is bad, but not the only badness in the boss fights. It's also weird how they're separate scenes in separate rooms, and how the fight is so swift and brutal. The whole game design feels different but I gotta think GRIP isn't entirely to blame for that.
posted by Nelson at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2011


Yes, totally get it. It's one of the most fun things I've played in ages (it's a pretty close call for me between this and Portal 2 in terms of quality.)

And, well...we're going to be getting more Deus Ex soon, right?
posted by Tubalcain at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2011


I appreciated the mention that state-based anti-terrorist forces were too tied down by restrictions, and there needed to be more help from the UN - the first mention of what would become UNATCO in DX1. Still haven't finished the game, but pretty damned close to it. Having too much fun being ultra-stealth-killer-Thief-guy.
Spoiler for boss 2 (that i dropped the difficulty to easy because i was having a harrd time transitioning from stealthy guy to Dirty Harry): you can have her attack you when you're standing near a power junction on the wall. She'll go claymore, you sprint away, take a bit of damage and she'll get zapped by the power surge as you shoot her.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:05 AM on September 6, 2011


Hah! It's Laputan machine! Prepare yourself for horrible skull-crushing cyborg-induced death.

Shit. Knew I should have gone with Flatlander Woman.
posted by permafrost at 11:12 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't your protagonist basically always dick-Jensen

Actually, I think his attitude is legit. I actually started this game thinking I was going to non-lethal it, but about halfway through the first hour I realized that I was up against the people who blew my limbs off and killed (?) my ex-wife.

Then I started blowing their heads off. I feel that's fair.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:15 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just keep remembering the part later on, where you've just convinced (spoiler) one of Hugh Darrow's underlings to let you in on the super-secret lair of global-warming solving. The next thing you do, no choice whatsoever, is tell Darrow that his underling told you about the secret project. It's not even like you know Darrow or his underling are doing anything sinister and his underling deserves to be exposed; Adam just apparently really wants her to lose her job.

That, my friends, is dick-Jensen. Being a cold-blooded murderer is one thing, but when you start messing with people's livelihoods after they've done you a favor? Well that's just crossing a line.
posted by Tubalcain at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The reason I'm playing full pacifist the first time around is, if I wanted to play a shooter, I'll play a shooter. And as shooters go, there are certainly better ones out there. I love that this game has a pretty fully realized stealth system that's (mostly) fair and really fun to play. I die a shit ton, but tenacity is pretty well rewarded.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2011


I'm curious how far the outsourcing of the boss battles went.

The narrowly excised fifth boss fight.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


FYI, if you're doing a pacifist run AND trying to save Malik, the biggest problem is the bot. Not the bot itself, which is easily dispatched with an EMP grenade, but the fact that it explodes after you fry its circuits, which can kill the troops near it. Try to let the heavies get closer to the plane before you stun/gas/whatever them and then fry the bot as soon as it drops.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:41 AM on September 6, 2011


I haven't yet played DEHR, but will soon - but the talk of the Typhoon reminded me of the final few boss battles in Dead Rising 2.

There came this moment when I realized you could spam the dropkick attack, if you had it, and the bosses could not counter it or block it or do anything at all during the animation. After playing through that game with its maddeningly cheap bosses, it was pretty great to be able to do to them what they'd been doing to me for the whole game.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2011


Okay, let's talk a little bit more about dick-Jensen. There's the early police mission where one of the ways you can get into the station to do a couple of quest things is to talk to the Wayne Haas, your former SWAT teammate who has been busted down to desk sergeant after a thing went bad a couple years back that you were both involved in.

If you play your cards (and maybe augs) right, Haas will help you out and get you access to the stuff the police don't actually want you to have access to. You promise it won't come back to him, and go on your merry way.

Much later, if this all went down (that is, if you didn't just sneak in the back way and do the copshop stuff in ninja mode), Wayne will confront you in the lobby of your apartment building, and you'll have the opportunity to play it nice or be a dick. Play it nice and things resolve in a happy enough way—you offer Wayne a job at Sarif, and he's super thankful, and goes and sits down to think.

Be a dick and he immediately attempts to murder you. Right there, just pulls out a gun and starts firing, point blank.

So the game is not wholly agnostic on the consequences-of-being-a-dick thing, at least if that little (but potentially very deadly) interaction is any indication.

But! There's also the troubling implication that, if you go the nice route and promise him a job, you just hired a man who, unbeknownst to you, had every intention of publicly executing you in your home right then and there. He didn't sit down after the job offer to think "what a great opportunity, Jensen's an okay guy!", he sat down to think "man, good thing I didn't murder that guy after all".

Knowing that, pretty much the only savvy response to the situation would be for Jensen to talk Wayne down and then taser and frisk him before dumping his body back at the precinct with a note.
posted by cortex at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


It really is. I thought Portal 2 was a no-brainer for my GOTY until I played DXHR.

And there's still Rage, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Skyward Sword, Uncharted 3 and Arkham City, which all will be out in 2011. Any one of these might dethrone both Portal 2 and DXHR as the Game of the Year.
posted by ymgve at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I don't remember selecting particularly dickish dialogue options in the lobby. Seems to me that Haas flat out tries to gun me down after I engage in conversation with him, period. Is it possible that I chose an even more dickish route in dealing with him originally such that there's no way around the later violence?

I note he spends the rest of the game face down, unconscious on the lobby floor.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2011


Maybe! I used the social aug on my first playthrough and so my social dealings are poisoned a bit by the whole well-worn path thing—I remember this working, so I'll do it again, etc.
posted by cortex at 12:11 PM on September 6, 2011


I don't have a problem with ME UG ME BASHUM gameplay, except that DE spends a lot of time rewarding you for non-violent gameplay and encouraging you to look creative solutions and then goes "Oh man, I am so sorry, I forgot that you'll need to TURN INTO THE HULK to beat this boss! Sorry dude!".

It's 101 crappy design, the kind of thing that'd get you an F in an Game Design class in the world.
posted by GilloD at 12:20 PM on September 6, 2011


Course, Haas left me with some kind of "Don't make me regret this" parting word, and I cleaned out that police station, eventually knocking out Haas as well and leaving him in some ventilation shaft to sleep it off.

People have a strange sense of gratitude.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


And there's still Rage, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Skyward Sword, Uncharted 3 and Arkham City, which all will be out in 2011. Any one of these might dethrone both Portal 2 and DXHR as the Game of the Year.

GREAT year for games. And don't forget Dark Souls (the sequel to Demon's Souls).
posted by naju at 12:31 PM on September 6, 2011


And there's still Rage, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Skyward Sword, Uncharted 3 and Arkham City, which all will be out in 2011. Any one of these might dethrone both Portal 2 and DXHR as the Game of the Year.

GREAT year for games. And don't forget Dark Souls (the sequel to Demon's Souls).


AND don't forget Red Orchestra 2!
posted by Carillon at 12:41 PM on September 6, 2011


I'm still getting to that part on my second run-through, so I haven't confronted Haas yet at my apartment (I went through the sewers first time). I was fairly kind to him, so who knows what'll happen. Maybe he'll be mad at me for cleaning out the entire upper floor of the station and stuffing them into vents.

In general, I think Adam being tetchy makes a lot of sense, besides just being a common antihero trope. At mildest, Adam has just quit/gotten kicked off SWAT for not shooting a fifteen-year-old, been made virtually unhireable because of it, and finally gotten a job for a company he seems to despise, where his ex-girlfriend is promptly murdered and he's nearly killed himself. Then he comes back after a ridiculously short recovery time, with his employer's logo tattooed on his forehead, and becomes everyone's errand boy. It would be weird if he weren't a little on the defensive all the time, especially as one of the few people he seems to talk to with any regularity is constantly insulting him.

There are plenty of places where you can use the nice option and get good or mediocre results, or insult somebody and have it come back to you (or just pheromone-spam them). That said, I get the feeling at some points in the game that they're just thinking of the coolest thing to say and not quite recognizing that it makes him come off as a prickly jerk.
posted by Tubalcain at 12:42 PM on September 6, 2011


At least on "mouseover" you can see the start of your actual dialogue choices. I forget which review mentioned this by way of contrast, but it avoids the aggravating Mass Effect... er, effect, of thinking you're making one kind of dialogue choice and having it come out very, very different.

And yeah, Adam's been dealt a shitty hand. It feels wrong to unfailingly choose the generous options when available.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:46 PM on September 6, 2011


Honestly the boss fights were cake with the Typhoon. I leveled it up and carried around Typhoon ammo for no other reason than to quickly waste the bosses.
posted by killdevil at 1:11 PM on September 6, 2011


AND FOR GODS SAKE WOULD YOU FIX THE FREAKING MIRROR ALREADY?!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:12 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, I don't think their engine can do reflections.
posted by killdevil at 1:13 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The lack of unbroken mirrors made me sad. I spent many minutes making JC disco-strafe in front of them in the original. Although I did think it was clever that, in the public bathrooms at least, they've been replaced by advertisements.
posted by Tubalcain at 1:17 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]



Or swimming.

Flushable toilets though, but not healing water coolers. Heh.

There is a basketball hoop, however it will not suggest you get signed with the knicks.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:17 PM on September 6, 2011


Also, I have to say that I respect Eidos Montreal for the decision to make DX:HR on hard mode, well, hard. No targeting reticule, ironsights only, enemies can kill you with one shot, you will be destroyed if you try to run and gun (at least until you can level up your dermal armor augmentation, and even that doesn't help very much), impossible to do anything except fire wildly from behind cover so you've got to expose yourself to take enemies out if they're aware of you.

So many of the other FPS games that have come out over the past few years have focus-tested their levels to the point that they're effortless for a decent player to get through. Deus Ex was tricky.
posted by killdevil at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the little touches about the limitations of the engine (broken mirror, and a janitor in the convention center who complains that the escalators look great but don't work - be blames it on budget cuts).
posted by dismas at 1:23 PM on September 6, 2011


For all the playing and reading I've done, I know jack about engine programming -- how hard is it to make a reflective surface?
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on September 6, 2011


Also, as for going lethal...I was trying to be minimally violent, sneaking my way past most guards and such and doing non-lethal takedowns when I had to. But then--

I've had to skip most of this thread to avoid spoilers (including the second half of this comment), but the first part charmed me in that it it sort of describes my approach to every day life; be as friendly and non-violent as possible, try not to cause too much of a stir, but when all else fails, be ready to switch into adverse mode and go loud. I just spend most of my time trying really, really hard to see that switch never gets flipped, because I don't know that unflipping it is ever going to be an option.

I'm so looking forward to finally playing this game. It's been too long since the first one...
posted by quin at 1:40 PM on September 6, 2011


AND FOR GODS SAKE WOULD YOU FIX THE FREAKING MIRROR ALREADY?!

One thing I would have liked is for email to be not so read-only. As an extension of the hacking concept, it'd be nice to be given at least occasional misinformation/misdirection options with the email accounts you're getting your augmented paws on, nothing crazily ambitious but enough to have another means to either (a) approach subquest problems through non-confrontational means or (b) just add some extra sense of flavor to non-quest stuff.

Because, for example, Jensen, having heard the bigoted landlady's complaint that the mirror supplier is dropping the ball on getting her a replacement for his apartment, and having then hacked into her computer to discover that she has in fact been ignoring email from the mirror supplier asking her when she was going to come get the damn thing?

He ought to have the option to drop a note to the mirror supplier, "from" the landlady, saying "Oh gosh, we're just slammed right now, sorry for the delay. If you can get it here and install it, I'll gladly pay time and a half for the labor. Here's the keycode, please just get it done as I really am too buried to discuss it further."

Or the option to format her box as a retributive tactic instead. And have either option have some subtle repercussions.

Little things like that would be a nice gradient of responses to situations which otherwise exist as "know NPC is a jerk but do nothing" and "know NPC is a jerk and murder them for it". I don't like Adam's landlady, but I also don't like being left with those two options and nothing else.
posted by cortex at 1:44 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't like Adam's landlady, but I also don't like being left with those two options and nothing else.

Did you try this?
posted by Rangeboy at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


to add to the year of great games, i'm holding disgaea 4 in my hands right now, just waiting to get it home, drop it in the ol' ps3, and possibly come up for air on 11.11.11.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:51 PM on September 6, 2011


oh my fuck I totally forgot about disgaea 4
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2011


well thats that one bought, i trust my fellow mefites judgement.


im very into sandbox games at the mo and rage and even elder scrolls are tempting me.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:54 PM on September 6, 2011


One thing I would have liked is for email to be not so read-only.

That's something I was really surprised to find in Alpha Protocol - you can reply to some of the email you get from other characters, with the same friendly/hostile/suave (or whatever) dialogue choices you get in conversations. There's actually a typed-out response from the player character for each of those, and you get further replies from the NPCs according to what you send.

It also tracks the number of people you kill in orphans created, and the total medical bills you've caused if you go non-lethal.

It's a total mess of a game in loads of ways, but there's a hell of a lot of ambition there too.
posted by emmtee at 1:56 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like the little touches in Adam's apartment - the unpacked boxes, the medicines, all the cereal boxes. And the smashed mirror. All of this looks like it belongs to someone who really hasn't come to grips with what's happened to him. Has been done to him. Without his permission. "You're part of the problem, aug." is what he gets from people on the street. Man, I'd be carrying a big ball of "go fuck yourself or I'll stabinate you with these blades housed in my mechanical forarms" too.

Also. The richest person in the world is the person who makes those boxes. Think about it. Yeah. Scary, huh?
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:20 PM on September 6, 2011


And those boxes are tougher than you think! Hurl one at a TV and watch what happens.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:32 PM on September 6, 2011


Has been done to him. Without his permission.

If you read the Detroit LIMB clinic doctor's email, you find out that David Sarif had them remove one of your arms and both of your legs unnecessarily; only the left arm was damaged enough to need to be removed and replaced by a prosthesis. Apparently, the terms of your employment contract gave Sarif permission to do this to you, without your direct consent.
posted by killdevil at 2:35 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, absolutely, Zack_Replica. I would love for the game to have gone a bit further with that, in two directions. The first is the way it hints that as horrible as things are for Adam, he's actually one of the luckier ones--he's not saddled with Neuropozyne treatments and his augmentations are actually pretty useful for himself as well as his corporate masters. It's implied that there are very few places to work (especially in Hengsha) and that most of the available jobs require you to get augmented, and even in Detroit the employee stealing Neuropozyne tells you (somewhat ironically, given your character) that not everyone gets augmented by choice. The LIMB clinics are full of people talking about how they hope their augmentations will get them jobs, even though they're nervous about them. It's got this almost class-based angle to it, like Adam is coming to grips with something terrible, but still doesn't realize that this is just standard operating procedure for even a lot of the people who ostensibly have a choice.

The second thing is that I was really hoping for the game to address the impending tragedy of the mechaugs. By the time DX rolls around, the shininess of mechanical augmentations has worn off, and mechaugs aren't seen as frightening so much as sort of decrepit. Considering that it must be pretty difficult to upgrade some of the implants, the best Adam can hope for is that his stuff is future-proof enough to last most of his career before he's hopelessly obsolete. It's not so much a case of it being bad that humanity plays god, as HR likes to talk about, so much as the fact that we're not even very good gods, and that even when we're making things that boggle the mind, you have to give up a lot more than your abstract humanity for them. I kept wanting the game to turn up something like "The Death of Element Girl" instead of another speech about the nature of humanity.
posted by Tubalcain at 2:40 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you read the Detroit LIMB clinic doctor's email, you find out that David Sarif had them remove one of your arms and both of your legs unnecessarily; only the left arm was damaged enough to need to be removed and replaced by a prosthesis. Apparently, the terms of your employment contract gave Sarif permission to do this to you, without your direct consent.

Paul Verhoeven called, he wants his twisted corporate machine grinding down the working man in the graveyard of industrial America metaphor back.
posted by biffa at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2011


Wow, lots of Deus Ex fans at MeFi.

Great game, but I have to agree, I hated the boss battles. After the first one, I decided I'd had enough. I pumped a few points into the Typhoon. The rest of the boss battles became trivial with the stun gun in combo with the Typhoon.

I suggest getting the dermal armor that gives you electrical immunity, made things much easier in several spots.

I have to say I did get tired of the constant hacking.

Hopefully you all saw the nod to Kevin Mitnick in-game.
posted by Argyle at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Is DXHR the kind of game that is best enjoyed on a PC, or will my Xbox 360 suffice?
posted by ben242 at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Paul Verhoeven called

yes, well
posted by cortex at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2011


you know, they were going to allow you to not kill anna or gunther at all

there's leftovers from a scrapped path that allowed that in the game but they didn't go for it :(
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:44 PM on September 6, 2011


Oh sweet, leaked footage of the high-class Alice Garden Pods analogue in the nixed Kyoto hub.
posted by cortex at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2011


Did anybody else play through on Give Me Deus Ex mode first try and deliberately avoid the Social Aug and the Typhoon? 'Cause I thought it made things too easy.

and I am genuinely astonished by how many people seem to have fallen for the most obvious trick in the world and ended up hamstrung on the third.

Heh, me too. I was all like "Seriously? You want me to WHAT? Fuck you very much". I thought that bit was handled quite well.

The typhoon isn't at all necessary for the boss battles even on the top difficulty and without any combat augs. Using grenades and, especially, frag mines makes very short work of the bosses. 3 or 4 frag mines and they topple. Actually, if you EMP the second boss she'll just stand there motionless for a while and you can shotgun to the head or whatever.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2011


ben242: "Is DXHR the kind of game that is best enjoyed on a PC, or will my Xbox 360 suffice?"

The Eurogamer face-off may help you -- although watch out for the comparison videos, as some of them touch on places you don't go to for many hours and as such are mildly spoilery.

The 360 version has some frame-rate issues. Some PC players have found the PC version a little buggy -- I had a persistent hitching effect that I had to cure with science -- but the system requirements are reasonably modest if you don't mind not having everything turned up to nightmare levels.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:25 PM on September 6, 2011


Oh, as with others I had been playing a pacifist playthrough. Until the chopper bit. What? Threaten Malik? O NO YOU DIN'T. Out came the sniper rifle, off went their heads.
posted by Justinian at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2011


and I am genuinely astonished by how many people seem to have fallen for the most obvious trick in the world and ended up hamstrung on the third.

I "fell for it" on purpose because it was a pretty blatant setup and I was curious what they were going to do with it. And they could have done a number of interesting things with it, instead of doing a hardcore nerf of my character for precisely the duration of half a cut-scene and one already-stupid boss fight. It has literally zero effect on the game other than the way-too-potent, unrectifiable second scoop of shit it adds to that penultimate shitcream cone of a boss fight.

A lot of "I wonder..." stuff in the game rewarded me, in one way or another, for putting a what-if into action or really weighing a decision. That bit, though, worked exceptionally poorly: arbitrary decision made game hours earlier, with no interesting consolation or alternate approach to dealing with it, that just fucks a dumb part of the game even harder.

Which comes back to the idea of lack of boss fight flexibility, and how much that sucks the air out of the game. Hack Jensen's brain? Fine, I've poured a ton of effort in that playthrough into hacking skill, give me a tricky-but-workable way in the fight to hotwire my augs, or something. Make the chip gimmick be a setback, not an end-of-discussion Fuck You sort of thing.
posted by cortex at 4:36 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Add my name to the "impressed with this game" list.

As for the boss fights - I heard about the horrors for those playing stealth/pacifist, so I decided that if the game was making me do something like this - augmenting myself to one way of play yet demanding I play another way that my set-up doesn't suit - I'd fight back through the infinite experience glitch gained by continuously hacking Jensen's office computer.

Details here

I spent some time hacking, got lots of extra experience, and used the extra points on covering augmentations that would help me take down the bosses, but which I'd normally not have purchased. The typhoon being the most notable example.

That said, I'm loving ths game and I really don't like a lot of FPS games to be honest.
posted by chris88 at 5:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is DXHR the kind of game that is best enjoyed on a PC, or will my Xbox 360 suffice?

Been playing on 360 with no real issues. A couple of very minor framerate issues / stutters, but we're talking probably less than a minute total in hours of gameplay.

The exception is that when you unlock an achievement, the game freezes for like a minute. If everything freezes (can't even bring up dash), don't reboot -- you probably just got an achievement. It's pretty weird but it's not like you get them often, so it's not really a big deal.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2011


Is this the thread where we complain about the engine? GOOD. Because a large part of why I tried to use my weapons as little as possible was because they just felt so... unreal and pointless. You could shoot up an entire office and nothing would change in the environment. Papers stay in neat piles on the desks, computers stay intact. NPCs don't react to a frickin GSW to the chest.

Most egregious was the tranq rifle. How the HELL am I supposed to figure out how to shoot with that thing when I have no idea where the dart went? What could have been a really fun mechanic to master (bullet drop) just ended up being capricious and random. (Yes I got the tracking upgrade, and no, that made things even worse.)

I enjoyed the game immensely, but every time things Got Real and I had to teach people some lessons, my suspension of disbelief dissolved completely.
posted by danny the boy at 6:55 PM on September 6, 2011


Most egregious was the tranq rifle. How the HELL am I supposed to figure out how to shoot with that thing when I have no idea where the dart went?

Its probably a graphic setting, but the darts have a little smoke trail that they leave, and the best part is that it continues after it lands - so the dude walks around with a little smoky thing on his back until he falls over.

The best is when theres like 5 peeps and they're helping each other back up as fast as you can tranq them down.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2011


Looks fun, but I don't know if I should I play the first one first, or this prequel.
posted by BurnChao at 8:12 PM on September 6, 2011


Looks fun, but I don't know if I should I play the first one first, or this prequel.

Well, you've got options, depending on what you chose for your starting inventory. If you didn't choose the time machine, the first option is probably out but that depends on how dedicated you are.

Ideal plan:

You should play the first one first, and play it three or four times over the period of a couple months before putting it down for a while. Then come back to it once every year or two, sometimes for a serious playthrough, sometimes to just fuck around for a bit.

After two or three years, hear about a second game coming out. Get excited. Hear that it's been nerfed really badly by console-target concessions and a desire to appeal to a broader, less patient demographic. Get cagey. Ultimately give it a pass when it comes out, if only because the demo keeps crashing your otherwise reliable gaming machine.

Continue playthroughs of the original, with maybe less frequency. Repurchase the original on Steam after seven or eight years because it's five dollars and you have no idea where your original disks are and who knows if they'd even install to Win7 anyway.

Pick up the badly-panned second game after all while you're at it, because it's a combo pack and costs you all of fifty cents at that point. Give the game a fair shake. Realize that it's not as terrible as you had sort of imagined based on all the excoriations. Stop playing it after about five hours across a couple sessions because you realize it's also just not very good, either, and sort of confining and boring and not really a good sequel to such an ambitious original.

Then, after about ten years, hear about a new third game. Get cagey. Read good things from trustworthy internet people. Get less cagey. Hear about a leaked dev version. Hear it's really fucking good. Get a little excited maybe.

Buy the new one. Play it a bunch. Contemplate all the things it carries over from the original; acknowledge the bits it markedly improves on; mourn the bits of unrepentant quirk and conspiracy chic that didn't really make it into the more polished new iteration. Holler about the awful boss fights. Play it a bunch more. Force yourself to stop replaying it.

Start thinking seriously about giving the original another playthrough.

Backup plan: patient version

Play the original first to get a sense of what they were going for ten years ago and what sort of ambitions were realized (and not-quite-realized) at the time. Let it gel a bit. Then play the new one.

Backup plan: who has time for that version

Play the new one first, because it's really great and why wait. And then go back and play the original and pretend it's an unusually ambitious indie browser game some genius college student made as a nutty sequel to a game he liked.
posted by cortex at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


And once again, Cortex read my mind. But better than I could.
posted by gofargogo at 8:46 PM on September 6, 2011



It's like Cortex was writing my biography. How did he know so much about me ?

ZOMG Cortex is Daedalus!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:05 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


*spoilers*

I'm surprised at all of you people who were playing with the kid gloves on until Malik was in danger. Was Alice Gardens skippable or something? That's where my sense of outrage kicked in. I pulled out my heavily-modified but seldom used 10mm and went to town like it was double coupon day at the head shot store.
posted by quillbreaker at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, there's a sequel also? (I've skipped a lot of the thread to avoid spoilers) Maybe I should start with that if it's not so hot. That way it keeps getting better and better as I progress from 2, to 1, to 0.
posted by BurnChao at 9:20 PM on September 6, 2011


There's Deus Ex, then Deus Ex : Invisible War, then Deus Ex : Human Revolution. The first is revolutionary, and the third is at the very worst a very solid game. The second is *seriously* hindered by catering to the console port. You just can't do a game like this without a decent amount of virtual geography, which the last generation of consoles just could not handle.
posted by quillbreaker at 9:28 PM on September 6, 2011


Was Alice Gardens skippable or something?

Down a flight of stairs at a crouch, and then cloak and silent stepping on for the five seconds it takes to jump a balcony to the first floor and hoof it to the lobby hallway. Without cloak I'd have had to work harder to locate whatever the vent was that clearly emptied out over the said hallway.

That's where my sense of outrage kicked in.

Nobody said being a pacifist was easy. Killing those goons wasn't gonna bring any civilians back to life.
posted by cortex at 9:49 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "Its probably a graphic setting, but the darts have a little smoke trail that they leave, and the best part is that it continues after it lands - so the dude walks around with a little smoky thing on his back until he falls over."

I played on the 360 so, my experience was: no immediate feedback to where my dart landed, other than knowing immediately that I missed his head. NO idea if I was shooting high or low. It's possible I was consistently shooting high, overcompensating for bullet drop, resulting in no vapor trail. But how hard is it to animate a visible dart blur?

As hard as making a reflective surface, I guess.
posted by danny the boy at 11:03 PM on September 6, 2011


I like all the small graphical tricks in this game, like having a texture overlay on billboards etc so they look pixelated, and absolutely stunning use of envmaps to make it look like flat buildings have rooms on the inside.
posted by ymgve at 6:24 PM on September 7, 2011


Deus Ex: Vent Filling Simulator

Sarif: "Jensen! We have a lot of vents, and not enough stuff in them. The police station vents are entirely body-free! Later you will need to travel to China to fill all their vents! They're like Sparta out there, those vents!"

*Jensen uses his social augmentation*

Jensen: "Just what are you playing at, Sarif? I have a feeling there's more to this than just empty vents."

Sarif (all suspicious-like): "What? No, no, nothing untoward, I just...god, I can't stand to see an empty vent. It makes me feel like you must have felt when you got all smashed to pieces and woke up half-robot. How are you feeling, anyway?"

*Jensen dumps pheromones in the air*

Jensen: "Boss, stop being evasive. Answer my question about the vents!"

Sarif (breaking down): "Oh god, you're right! I ordered those vents to be emptied!"

Jensen: "Then I guess we can all look forward to a new...VENT HORIZON!"

*Jensen removes his opto-shades*

YEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH!
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:36 PM on September 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


*Jensen dumps pheromones in the air*

We've been imagining them misting out of his ears with a sort of FSSSSSSHHHHH sound, like he's a massive Glade Plugin. No-one complains, though, because he smells so nice.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:22 AM on September 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, that would be rough walking into Jensen's office, his eyes start flashing and he goes FSSSSSSHHHHHH. I hope he has a timer so it doesn't happen all the time.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:28 AM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


LOL, that is a freaking hilarious image.

*still laughing* hahahahaha :)
posted by Malor at 3:45 AM on September 8, 2011



ZOMG!!!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2011


Anyone else here find it way more hilarious than it should have been when Jensen completely deadpanned the correction of Pritchard's pronunciation of "cholo"? Jensen is such an awesome dick to Francis (he says sneeringly).
posted by Justinian at 9:01 PM on September 8, 2011


I did. It was hilarious.

I also really like the way that their relationship ever so subtly improves over the course of the game. Its one of the places where the voice acting and the dialog really nail it.

I've said before - the game has it's flaws, but the flaws are made all the more egregious because the successes are so successful at succeeding.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:35 PM on September 10, 2011


Haven't read the thread yet, but here's my thoughts on it after finishing it last night:

The fundamental game mechanic of the game isn't stealth, it's the quick save, and it takes forever to reload, so the game is kind of broken.

The main problem with the stealth game play is that there is just too much of it, without enough variation. It's like, okay, another room full of chest high walls and people walking in completely predictable patterns. It's fun the first 10 times, but i mean once you've established that you know how to do it, why keep going back to the same exact mechanics over and over again with no variation. Every once in a while you find a vent, and later, you can turn robots against people to make it easier, so I guess that's something, but generally, it's just dull and frustrating, and the other game mechanics generally just make it easier to not do the primary mechanic of the game.

I liked the room with lasers, and switching it up with crazy people towards the end, but generally it was just the same thing over and over again. Why should I be so relieved when I find a breakable wall so I don't have to do the next stealth section -- there's something wrong with your game when the most enjoyable moments in the game are when you find out you can basically skip part of it. Climbing through vents is okay and all, but it's not exactly 'game play'.

The boss fights, except for the end one, were terrible-- i felt like the only way to beat some of them them was to abuse glitches (like the second to last one, the boss got stuck in one corner and just let me poke from behind the wall and unload one clip at another at him -- on the 20th time I fought him (he was one-hit-killing me every other time), and there were some other situations where the only way out seems to have been 'to get very lucky' rather than to figure out some rational, thoughtful, way to do it.

The story and setting was pretty fantastic, though-- I'll give it that-- and it got better as it went along.
posted by empath at 10:54 AM on September 12, 2011


What I will say I liked about it is that the game ties in the game mechanics realistically to the setting and plot in a way that most games don't bother to do. I was really impressed by that part of it, thought it would have also been better if the characterization was up to the same level that the exploration of theme was. They had some interesting ideas for characters, but they weren't really fully drawn out with realistic motivations and character arcs, etc --- even the main character.
posted by empath at 11:10 AM on September 12, 2011


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