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Maybe you should introduce your lethal takedown.
February 18, 2012 12:30 AM   Subscribe

"The GEP gun? But that would require the Explosive Mission Pre-Order DLC available only at GameStop!"
Deus Ex: Unreal Revolution is a mod for the original Deus Ex that spoofs Deus Ex: Human Revolution while critiquing the video game industry and modern gameplay mechanics.
posted by dunkadunc (32 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hate to be the 'meh' guy, but ... I think this sort of falls between the stools of making weak jokes about changing interface conventions and being rather dull in its own right.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:56 AM on February 18, 2012


Oh come on, the footprints on the metal crate? Or the 'Metaphor' graffiti? "Your medical situation is critical, you gotta crouch behind cover"?
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:27 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a spot-on commentary about the sad state of modern gaming, as well as an awesome homage to a truly legendary game.

A pity that the video and mod has been out for months, this is one of those things that falls in the uncomfortable grey area between "good find from way back" and "late to the party, aren't you?"
posted by Apocryphon at 1:41 AM on February 18, 2012


Does everything have to be new?
posted by dunkadunc at 1:48 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


It helps to keep the hipster snobs away.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:49 AM on February 18, 2012


Here's my idea that I am throwing out to game devs and modders. You create a "designer's commentary" combined with a companion mod. This idea was initially concieved for Skyrim, but would fit most any kind of open sandbox/world type game. You release it with the GOTY / special edition.

So the companion is dressed completely anachronistically. Instead of Throgdal the half-elf in chainmail, your travelling buddy is Sanjay Gupta in khakis and carrying a PDA. He is part of the subcontracted Bangalore dev team, because sorry (main designer) was not available for this much voice acting work as he is busy with the first big DLC.

Sanjay is constantly breaking immersion, talking about the behind the scenes design and build process. When you are in the opening scene, about to be executed, he is standing behind the Imperials, waving and trying to get your attention. "Don't worry, you are immortal at this point, the hit point and damage system doesn't kick in until the first interior cell." When the dragon starts flying around breathing fire and everyone is panicking and screaming that you should run for it, he's telling you to take your time and look at the detailed dragon flight animation. "We wanted to really wow the player right out of the gate, and what could be better than a dragon attack?"

When you arrive at the ruins of Mzalft he tells you how many man hours it tooks to put together this dungeon, and warns you that in the first room of the interior cell there are a lot of particle effects - best to save now if you are using a graphics card at the low end of recommended hardware.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:01 AM on February 18, 2012 [33 favorites]


Meatbomb: "He is part of the subcontracted Bangalore dev team"

This fails the smell test. I know many game dev subcontractors in Bangalore, and they're all working for Zynga.
posted by vanar sena at 2:09 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


What is with the regenerating health in modern shooters?

I've only played a few shooters in the last 6 years.. I just don't understand why.
Who asked for this? Who LIKES this?

It used to be a triumph just to shoot them at all.. now you have to shoot them often enough?
posted by TheKM at 2:10 AM on February 18, 2012


On topic - I think I came away with the wrong message from this video, because as much as I enjoyed Deus Ex, I really want those Become an Idiot goggles in real life now.
posted by vanar sena at 2:10 AM on February 18, 2012


I think that regen health is just an outgrowth of the fact that level designers got tired of putting health packs after every enemy encounter. Also players want to just watch a movie with shooting gallery sections.
posted by jonbro at 2:46 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Never played Deus Ex, but coming off a thread where Gordon Freeman was considered wishful nerd thinking, I don't even know what to make of this cool guy too-long leather coat matrix dude.
posted by Hoopo at 3:16 AM on February 18, 2012


...bring back light guns?
posted by LogicalDash at 4:07 AM on February 18, 2012


"Don't worry, you are immortal at this point, the hit point and damage system doesn't kick in until the first interior cell."

This is amusingly untrue. If you wanted to trick the player into seeing what it is like to have a dragon bite your upper half, shake you around like an overgrown alligator, and hurl you across town, this is also a brilliant way to do it. You know swinging a battleaxe at Sanjay will just result in an unsatisfying sound effect or graphics clipping.

"Nearly two thirds of our play testers chose me as the first target to swing at, despite the presence of hostile enemies."
posted by Saydur at 4:12 AM on February 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Never played Deus Ex, but coming off a thread where Gordon Freeman was considered wishful nerd thinking, I don't even know what to make of this cool guy too-long leather coat matrix dude.

It was 2000. A different age.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:47 AM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just started playing the original last night in anticipation of Human Revolution's Mac release; such a great game. Really looking forward to HR. I'm with Sebmojo in the 'meh' camp on this video, but maybe that will change once I play the new game.

This is how a Deus Ex mod is done right, IMHO (best watched while under the influence).
posted by soy bean at 5:18 AM on February 18, 2012


I love that the presumably stealthy "Lethal Takedown" is just sneaking up behind someone and then brutally beating them to death.
posted by basicchannel at 6:19 AM on February 18, 2012


This is the version of Deus Ex I'd really like to play.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:27 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly, it's easy for me to get behind regenerating health as a game mechanic, for several reasons: So unless we're going to start conveniently putting healing/merchant NPCs right before major difficulty spikes, I think health regen is a decent enough equalizer.

I'll say this, though: I'm sympathetic to the idea that there should be a way to disable it, for people who want a hardcore challenge. Maybe at the highest difficulty you have to feed raw ammo to the nanobots in your body in order to regenerate. That'd be a decent tradeoff.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:22 AM on February 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Instead of Throgdal the half-elf in chainmail, your travelling buddy is Sanjay Gupta

But how does he have the time to develop Skyrim mods AND be a practicing neurosurgeon AND do regular medical segments on CNN? The man's energy is unbelievable.

(Of course, while we're on the subject of South Asian media personalities and Skyrim, I'd love it if they tapped noted Skyrim-devotees Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily Gordon to do their own in-game avatar commentary along the lines of what Meatbomb described above.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:43 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oi, that name did seem familiar... OK, let it be Kumail Nanjiani then!
posted by Meatbomb at 7:56 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's no more preposterous than medpacks or painkillers or instantly eating a bunch of roast horker meat as a way to offset severe bodily injury.

No. It's actually more preposterous than that -- because it implies that a few seconds of rest is all one needs to overcome injury, rather than aid from an outside source. (Some of us are precise about the amount of ridiculousness we consume each day. Be sure to read the ingredients label folks.)

It mitigates two often-tedious minigames: the powerup scavenger hunt, and the inventory management game.

The ruthlessly ferreting out of anything that someone might consider "tedious" is hurting gaming. Particularly, this strikes me as a problem that didn't need solving. By putting everyone a quick breather away from full health, they greatly decrease the need to manage health as a resource, and they additionally reduce the impact of previous encounters upon current ones, making game play more into a sequence of unvarying setpieces.

The power of previous events on a level to affect the current event is something that I call the continuity of the game. Games with more continuity tend to be more replayable, because later situations in a level vary more due to earlier events. Games with less continuity tend to feel more like a sequence of isolated events, like individual levels in a puzzle game.

if damage sticks with you, then the scaling of that difficulty becomes even more skewed than it already was.

Yeah, but if you don't have to search for pickups, thus making the action cycle of combat more like fight-rest-fight-rest, rather than fight-search-fight-search. With the difference that searching takes longer and requires you actually move around, making tactical evasion a much larger part of the game, as well as the strategic advantage of control of pickup spawn points. Not to mention, if you heal completely after a few seconds, there is the drawback of EXTREMELY STUPID.
posted by JHarris at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's no more preposterous than medpacks or painkillers or instantly eating a bunch of roast horker meat as a way to offset severe bodily injury.

Try Fallout Wanderer's Edition for the hyper realistic opposite of these lame game mechanics. Limping, disabled arm, concussion with blurred vision, it's all there. It is fucking excellent. Even if you have a bunch of meds, you aren't doing anything about that leg without a medical brace... time to limp back to the nearest doctor.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:23 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


unvarying setpieces is a contradiction in terms. Unless you meant you can't approach the same level in different ways, which might be a desirable feature.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:14 AM on February 18, 2012


You could have it both ways, with a regen health as long as you are not hungry, and the food that you find around the dungeon / wasteland would be the thing that forces you through the game. I have been playing too many roguelikes recently.
posted by jonbro at 12:11 PM on February 18, 2012


Regenerating health would be marginally less immersion-breaking if more games had an accompanying animation to go along with it. Far Cry 2, for instance, has your character applying first aid on yourself, which is more interesting and immersive than simply a blood-red screen slowly returning to normal colors. FC2 had other health mechanics of note as well, which this article covers explains well. The embedded video is also worth watching.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:15 PM on February 18, 2012


I felt that Deus Ex:HW had the potential to be a great game, but there was a decision by management to lead the player through by the nose because they didn't want the less-dedicated gamers/console market to get frustrated and bad-mouth the game.


-Crouch-behind-cover instead of keeping to the shadows meant that there wasn't open-ended sneaking: Instead of tiptoeing through a room hoping it was dark enough that the guard couldn't see you, there was a clearly-defined path of waist-high wall, boxes, crates, et cetera that you were supposed to follow.

-Regenerating health got rid of resource management, which is a big part of games like Deus Ex. There just wasn't as much motive for scrounging anymore.

-The little targeting thing in the HUD that told you exactly where you were supposed to go? Please.

-"Press X to Win" takedowns?

-Everyone knows about the mandatory boss fights. No killphrases, no running past them.

-The "different endings" that basically amounted to pressing one of four buttons to view a different endgame movie? No changes in late-game gameplay, just... a different button, then the game's over.

-The bad guys weren't shadowy government officials, they were just plain assholes. The guy who wanted to make sure that nobody could have augs, because he couldn't? The macho cybernetic bro-dude bosses? Nasty, passive-agressive, PONYTAILED Pritchard? The characters were painted with a wide, wide brush- probably again because they didn't think their audience would be kept engaged by subtlety.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:27 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


if quake was done today, If Doom was done today .
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been quite out of the loop of PC gaming for quite some time. But I really enjoyed DX1 and even DX2 to a lesser extent. Should I even consider giving DX3 a chance? From what I'm reading, the answer is no.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:03 PM on February 18, 2012


I've been quite out of the loop of PC gaming for quite some time. But I really enjoyed DX1 and even DX2 to a lesser extent. Should I even consider giving DX3 a chance? From what I'm reading, the answer is no.

The answer is yes. There are fair things one can critique about it, but it's an excellent game.
posted by sparkletone at 1:13 PM on February 18, 2012


unvarying setpieces is a contradiction in terms. Unless you meant you can't approach the same level in different ways, which might be a desirable feature.

I don't follow. "unvarying" means "to not change," "setpieces" I'm using, and to my knowledge it is a compatible meaning, to mean a tightly designed place in a level that is set up to provide a highly-specific challenge, or at least experience, to a player. Setpieces by their nature are difficult to change without breaking the intended challenge/experience, so they tend to be unvarying.

Yes, I mean the same level, although it's less a matter of approach and more of gameplay situation.
posted by JHarris at 2:06 PM on February 18, 2012


This comic seems somewhat apropos to the regenerating health discussion.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 3:54 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, this is kind of funny in a way.
I don't gave much anymore and there are many younger games who are playing the new games and I'm in the position of thinking their newfangled FPSes are crap.

However: My oldfashioned FPSes were actually more extreme.
Kids these days are playing slow clunky games where they have to creep around on rails, watching cutscene after cutscene, and crouching behind cover. (In Quake you couldn't even crouch! I remember reading a joke on some fansite written in the voice of Sarge to the effect of 'A marine doesn't crouch, why are you trying to find a way to make yourself smaller?')

It's like Romero said the appeal of Doom was in the sound, the violence, and the speed.
I'm sure the sound has advanced.. but, while the violence is more realistically rendered the consequences of it are lessened(press E to begin enemydeath-cutscene, crouch behind cover to heal when you get hurt), and the speed just vanished.

And really regenerating health does make the story less interesting. Not the plot of the game, but my narrative as a player! Playing through a tough session poorly, all fucked up, got 10 health left.. gotta figure out how to make it through. So exciting when you do, and replay value when you don't.
posted by TheKM at 10:41 PM on February 18, 2012


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