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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is great stuff so far

Brad Gallaway's picture

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Screenshot

Finally got my hands on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and currently playing it on 360. As a huge, huge fan of the first Deus Ex, I've been cautiously excited (emphasis on cautiously) at the prospect of getting another entry in the series that wasn't as awful as… Project: Snowblind, and you know what, I think we may just have gotten it.

(I bet you thought I was going to say Invisible War, weren't you?)

I had basically given up all hope that we would ever get another game like the original, but after putting in a few hours today and getting through the first two major "areas", I've got to say that so far I am incredibly pleased and happy with the way the game has turned out.

As is proper, I've seen plenty of opportunity for player choice between combat/stealth, and I haven't yet found a scenario that I wasn't able to complete in the way that I wanted. Although the game is mostly first-person, it's far from being a standard first-person shooter and both requires and rewards thinking and exploration on the part of the player.

In terms of style, I'm playing as the ultimate Boy Scout at the moment... I haven't killed a single person and every major choice that I've come across (at least, that I'm aware of) has worked out in a mostly positive way. Well, I guess I might have knocked out a detective who was minding his own business in one of the upper floors of the police station, but that shouldn't really count.

It's been great, great stuff so far and I've been enjoying every moment of it.

Although I'm still quite early in the adventure, based on what I've seen, I would have no problem recommending this to anyone. In fact, the only word of caution I would share so far is that it seems hacking plays a pretty huge part in getting past obstacles. That's to be expected, but I think that maybe the game puts a little too much emphasis on it too early. Luckily, I put some points into the skill right away, and my advice would be that most players do the same.

(Thanks to @SidShuman for the initial tipoff.)

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3   PC  
Developer(s): Eidos Montreal  
Series: Deus Ex  
Genre(s): Shooting   Stealth  

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I'm like 7 hours in -- and

I'm like 7 hours in -- and so far, I'm pretty mixed on it.

While you can move through just about any situation however you choose, the game rewards you with significantly more experience for not killing people (a knockout takedown earns at least double exp, from what I've seen), which annoys me -- the angel of death incarnate -- greatly.

Secondly, yeah -- the game is fucking full of hacking. This is great if you like the hacking mini-game, but I do not. In fact, I find it annoying that I'm in a game like this, with this gorgeously realized world, and I spend the bulk of my fucking time looking at a stupid hacking mini-game. I like to call Assassin's Creed "the best building climbing simulator I've ever played" -- and DX:HR is on the way to earning the "greatest hacking simulator I ever played" title -- although the hacking isn't even that great.

I loved the original Deus Ex, but I'm hoping HR opens up a bit soon. Between the constant hacking and overemphasis on stealth, I'm not enjoying the game as much as a I could, or should, be.

If you can conform to knee

If you can conform to knee high wall issues.... I miss jumping and couching for cover >>, still cant wait to get the game got it ordered should be in soon and for 30$ new, love you ebay! THo I dub it IW2 and will call it that till I finish the game :P

I was a stealthy fighter in DX, I loved the mini cross bow!I hope I can do that again in DX:HR!!

about 18 hours in...

and I love it so far. I don´t mind the hacking minigame and I found that so many people leave their passwords unattended, that I didn´t _have_ to hack most of the stuff. But I did anyway for the xp. Yeah, powergamer me ;-)

I also wonder how bad are people with conserving ammo that they would run out of ammunition? I have started to sell ammo because it's just taking up too much space in my inventory. I guess those complaining about the ammo constraints never played Resident Evil.

Well executed, but somewhat derivative

Worth the price of admission, for the atmospherics, music and more RPG-like mechanics than most shooters, but not many will feel too nostalgic for this in years to come.

Hacking - BSG (Been there, Seen it, Got the t-shirt)

Stealth - BSG

Security cams, cones of vision, etc - BSG

Shoot from cover to cover - BSG

Cloaking - BSG

Pistol, Machine Gun, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher - erm, BSG

EMP, Frag grenades - BSG

STUPID AI ENEMY- BSG

'World in peril' storyline - BSG

In short, this is another entry in the over burgeoning 'good but not great' shooter/FPS bucket. When was the last time we had a truly GREAT FPS? Modern Warfare 1? Has the genre peaked?

Poor comparison

Alv wrote:

In short, this is another entry in the over burgeoning 'good but not great' shooter/FPS bucket. When was the last time we had a truly GREAT FPS?

Since when is Deus Ex a shooter? It's not even FP most of the time in my case, since all the sneaking puts me in third person perspective. It's an action RPG and has much more in common with Mass Effect than with Modern Warfare. With DXHR giving a much greater degree of freedom than Mass Effect. Comparing DXHR with Modern Warfare is a bit like comparing Ultima Underworld with Doom or Tetris with Commander Keen.

Li-Ion wrote: Alv

Li-Ion wrote:
Alv wrote:

In short, this is another entry in the over burgeoning 'good but not great' shooter/FPS bucket. When was the last time we had a truly GREAT FPS?

Since when is Deus Ex a shooter? It's not even FP most of the time in my case, since all the sneaking puts me in third person perspective. It's an action RPG and has much more in common with Mass Effect than with Modern Warfare. With DXHR giving a much greater degree of freedom than Mass Effect. Comparing DXHR with Modern Warfare is a bit like comparing Ultima Underworld with Doom or Tetris with Commander Keen.

I'll admit comparing it to MW1 is a bit wide of the mark, but my point still stands - this game brings very little that is new to the table. Indeed some of the mechanics are positively outdated - crawling around in vents, faux-hacking (how TEDIOUS does that become), use of emails/ebooks etc to enrich the game world, the usual list of possible armaments (although the option to upgrade them is a good novelty).

And don't get me started on the facial expressions, or rather lack of thereof. Even without the impact of LA Noire, the outcome is very much as we would have expected 5 years ago.

Don;t get me wrong - it's a good game and probably worth an 7-8/10 for the quality of execution. But it's neither great nor ground breaking.

I agree with the above

I agree with the above statement.

At one point for about an hour I wasn't shooting or fighting anyone, I was mostly exploring and finishing side quests. When ever their was a point for me to confront enemies, I sneaked around them punching a guy out here and there.

The original Deus Ex is one of my favorite titles and I was quite surprised on the similarities when comparing both titles. However, I think it is a shame that the game seems biased towards stealth play.

Try it as a shooter

Play the game with lethality, shoot opponents and do some run and gun. The glaringly bad AI and overly simplistic combat will rear it's ugly head and you will see the game in a different light. Also, didn't you have problems with some quest/story elements, as in they don't make any sense?

Alv wrote: I'll admit

Alv wrote:

I'll admit comparing it to MW1 is a bit wide of the mark, but my point still stands - this game brings very little that is new to the table.

Well, you can do exactly the same argument for 99.9% of games published. Each individual element is indeed nothing really new but the combination of them is something I haven't seen in years. What single element did Modern Warfare 1 have that was so revolutionary? Perks? Just glorified RPG-elements and they existed way before. It was the well crafted combination of old ideas and new ways to look at them that made it a great game.

Also I don't care about technical aspects like non-perfect facial animations if the rest of the game is well put together. I'm not a magpie that gets easily distracted by shiny objects ;-)
When I played Crysis 2 I was bored out of my mind pretty quickly, since it was stunning in terms of visuals but not much else. After the first mission of DXHR I immediately wanted to replay it and try a different way to solve it.

syrik wrote:

Play the game with lethality, shoot opponents and do some run and gun. The glaringly bad AI and overly simplistic combat will rear it's ugly head and you will see the game in a different light. Also, didn't you have problems with some quest/story elements, as in they don't make any sense?

To the first part: I played plenty of shooters since the original Wolfenstein 3D. I can safely say I saw my share of ironsight-simulators. Compared to e.g. the whack-a-mole-simulator Call of Duty the AI is pretty good. After all the AI here has to perform not only more but also more complex tasks than in CoD/MoH/Killzone/Resistance/Halo/etc. It won't beat a grandmaster in chess but which video game AI does? AI is a weak spot for many games since it's not really a selling point that sells a lot of units.

I'm also not sure what you mean with "overly simplistic combat". Compare it to CoD or Gears, where the most complex thing you do is aligning the ironsights with your enemies head. So I'd like to know what games you consider as non-simplistic? FPS are being simplistic on their very core. You have a gun, you have enemies, shoot them, profit.

I didn't complete the game yet (24 hours in) so I can't say much about story elements at the end and would ask you not to spoil them. But so far everything was pretty believable and fairly logical.

I mean the AI will line up

I mean the AI will line up waiting to be shot. From cover you can put your crosshairs over their heads and take them all out while they stand in the same place, not advancing. Simply hiding behind a box or around a corner will make enemies stop looking for you. At least enemies in games like the one you mentioned will try to dodge, advance and flank you. These don't. Enemies in very old titles like Half Life 2 or Crysis (newer but still old) are much more complicated.

As for story, right in the beginning an employee comes to you, the head of security and admits to stealing from the company. Then, without reprimanding him or taking him in, you go and do his dirty work for him. This company, btw, as far as you know so far has saved your life. Later the Detroit cops have you doing their police work for them finding weapons caches. Even if you already killed all the cops in the station. Kill the cops, no problem, the rest won't hold it against you. Later in the game it's not any better. If things like that make sense to anyone then reality has taken a serious turn for the worse. I realize the game isn't intended to reflect reality completely, but it should be believable.

syrik wrote: I mean the AI

syrik wrote:

I mean the AI will line up waiting to be shot. From cover you can put your crosshairs over their heads and take them all out while they stand in the same place, not advancing. Simply hiding behind a box or around a corner will make enemies stop looking for you.

That is true, the AI can be a bit thick at times but at other times it was relatively clever. I found the AI has a bit problems with differences in height and they could have increased the original DX cone of vision for them from 90 to 120 degrees. I think a lot of problems come from the narrow FOV the designers gave them, so that I could regularly use one knocked out guard as bait to knock out three more, just because they didn't see me standing right next to them. That said, I also had encounters with guards where they at least seemed to flank me, threw grenades to flush me out etc.

The MGS-syndrome of guards ignoring suddenly appearing cardboard boxes also hits quite hard in DXHR. I remember one case where I was inching my way forward through a room full of guards with 3 cardboard boxes and nobody bothered to check. Or one time I was building a fort from fridges to pile up guards behind it.

Yes, despite the attempts of simulation DXHR is still very much a video game (albeit a smart one) and that comes with all kind of ridiculous situations that would not happen in real life.

from here SPOILERZ! SPOILERZ!

Quote:

As for story, right in the beginning an employee comes to you, the head of security and admits to stealing from the company. Then, without reprimanding him or taking him in, you go and do his dirty work for him. This company, btw, as far as you know so far has saved your life. Later the Detroit cops have you doing their police work for them finding weapons caches. Even if you already killed all the cops in the station. Kill the cops, no problem, the rest won't hold it against you. Later in the game it's not any better. If things like that make sense to anyone then reality has taken a serious turn for the worse. I realize the game isn't intended to reflect reality completely, but it should be believable.

IIRC you can choose to help the guy at the beginning or turn him in, or ask him to turn himself in or something like that. You don't have to do his dirtywork. Actually, you could just kill him right there in your office. Get the vending machine from the cafeteria and smash him with it.

The other issue is a direct result from giving the player so much choice. It is pretty tough to consider every different scenario for every sub-mission. And no, I didn't notice this at all since in my case I talked myself into the police station the first time around. Not a single cop killed or even knocked unconscious. Thus I did of course not have the quest the way you did and there was no irritation. Don't forget: Jensen is an ex-cop after all and has still friends at the force (in your case probably not anymore, after you apparently slaughtered the entire police station terminator style ;-)).

I think the designers intended DXHR to be played more like Thief, Metal Gear or Splinter Cell and less like Call of Duty. Thus they took care of all the issues that arise with the story when played without mass genocide. They probably didn't have the time, money or both, to sort out the story for the possibility that someone just walks through Detroid killing everything in sight.

p.s. since the comments take a while to be approved here, feel free to join the discussion in the forums :)

What player choice?

What player choice exactly?

Mow the guard down with your rifle, snipe him in the head, tranquilize him in the head, use a grenade, reprogram a turret or approach quietly for a take down?

Use a code, use an automatic hacking device, or actually try to hack the computer?

In both cases the option that nets you the most XP is the latter option, hence no choice. Ergo, the XP system is fundamentally broken because it dis-incentivises actually trying to play the game in differing ways.

It fundementally encourages the player not to try out different solutions as the game always suggests a 'best' solution.

It encourages the player to tediously hack *each and every* device in the game, when the hacking novelty factor quickly wears thin after the 5th or 6th attempt.

In the future, the richest corporation is not TYM or Sarif. It is Securexcel, who have somehow managed to install a code entry lock on each and every door in the known universe. Bill Gates, eat your heart out.

Alv wrote: What player

Alv wrote:

What player choice exactly?

Mow the guard down with your rifle, snipe him in the head, tranquilize him in the head, use a grenade, reprogram a turret or approach quietly for a take down?

...or just bypass the whole room or not take on a side mission at all? Look for an alternative route? Ignore the hostages or free them? Tell those people who want you to fix stuff for them to get lost?

Choice in DXHR is not just what weapon you use for the job. Except for the boss fights there are always multiple solution for a problem. I for example chose to ignore the guards altogether in most cases. I don't know how much xp I missed with that but I could still finish the game without much problems. I might not have gotten every single upgrade but who cares?

Quote:

Use a code, use an automatic hacking device, or actually try to hack the computer?

In both cases the option that nets you the most XP is the latter option, hence no choice. Ergo, the XP system is fundamentally broken because it dis-incentivises actually trying to play the game in differing ways.

I see, you're a completionist that is not happy when not getting the maximum available xp? I didn't care for what number flashes up when doing something (and would actually prefer being able to switch of the xp-meter entirely, just tell me when I have a new praxis that's all I need to know). It's not the fault of the game that you seem to have some obsessive xp-collecting urge, don't expect everyone plays the game exactly the same way as you do ;-)

I know someone who completely ignored the whole hacking aspect and only hacked the handful of terminals that he really had to. His first augments were for carrying heavy stuff, punching through walls and jumping very high. That and the fact that many people in DXHR simply let passcodes lying around completely negated any need for hacking, hence any need for putting points into hacking skills (as you might have noticed there are a lot of them). That also left him with more praxis points for everything else and he had no problems.

So just ignore the flashing numbers, even though it might seem hard at first, switch off target highlighting and just look for alternative routes etc. You might be surprised what you can find if you forget about hacking :)

I don't know man. I think

I don't know man. I think it's just bad design in a game about choice if one type of choices always rewards you objectively more than the others. And it's not his fault if he wants to earn more XP, that's how RPGs have educated us. You're weird if you want less XP.

It rewards you more, but

It rewards you more, but it's riskier. Actually hacking a level 5 terminal, even if you have all hacking augmentations, is not necessarily easy. You'll probably need a virus or two, sacrificing a few resources to gain these XP.
Taking down silently every guard in every room is also quite challenging, if not downright nerve-wracking. If you're going combat heavy, chances are you'll be dealing with every enemy in the building as they rush towards you (you're also collecting their ammo and money). If you're going stealthily, you'll avoid most of them. So the differing rates doesn't seem that absurd, I think it should even out in the end.
I also found that the game was so generous with XP, that it was not pushing me that towards compulsive play.

They should have just done

They should have just done what they did in Deus Ex 1. That is give out skill points after completing objectives, so that you don't feel obliged to complete the mission in any one way. When you give out skill points based on the actions themselves, it must become difficult to balance the different styles of play.

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