Honest Johns

  • October 21, 2017, 08:35:46 AM
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Deus Ex  (Read 1525 times)

James

  • Bastard
  • Hall Roamer
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2.805
Deus Ex
« on: April 13, 2016, 08:14:00 AM »

I picked up the original Deus Ex, Invisible War, Human Revolution, and The Fall in a recent sale and figured that I would have a go at playing them. The original game was a bit before my time, but I previously played Invisible War and Human Revolution. The Fall was made for mobile platforms and has mixed enough reviews that I may never get around to playing it.

I loved Human Revolution when I played it a few years ago, so I was more than happy to jump right back into it and have another go. Plus, this was the Director's Cut and it was supposed to fix the outsourced boss fights that rained on everyone's parade in the original release. I'll talk about my experience in a moment. Let's start with Deus Ex, if only because I have the least to say about it.

You know those games that throw 'impossible' challenges at you and leave you cursing in frustration because no matter what you do, you just can't progress? Deus Ex is not one of those games. It gives you a reasonable challenge, offers up a few ways of completing that challenge, and then sends you on your way with a pat on the back and a few words of encouragement. And then, if you are like me, you fail over and over and over again.

The moment I realized that I was bad at this game was when I failed the stealth portion of the tutorial for about twenty minutes. That's almost fine, actually, since I suck at stealth. Always have. Always will. I'm too impatient and I don't pay attention to detail. No, I'm forced to take the morally ambiguous path of the hardened killer in these games. The moment I realized that I was completely screwed and unble to play the game was when it was revealed that combat requires skill and you are a lowly nobody who does not yet have any.

I died more times on the first mission than I can count. In fact, I had to stop counting once my deaths went far beyond a number I'm comfortable admitting. I tried stealth, I tried non-lethal, and I waited forever for my targeting reticule to shrink so I could shoot people in my usual manner. No matter what, each of my attempts to play ended in me loading the game again. After a while, you just have to throw in the towel and give up. Kudos to the people who made it through the game; you are better gamers than I.

Back to Human Revolution. No problem with this game. I was running it on normal difficulty, but I probably should have bumped it up because dominating your enemies with just a modified 10mm feels unbalanced. My inability to play stealth was very much supported and that makes me a happy mass murderer, but it is obvious that you aren't really supposed to play the game that way. This is no more clear than in the new boss fights.

The old boss fights were an outright fight. It didn't matter how your character was built, you were going toe to toe against the big bad. For me, that meant I quickly sunk a couple points into the Typhoon augmentation and breezed through. The new boss fights are pretty much the same, but have opened things up to allow for different approaches, increasing the viability of hacking and stealth builds. For me, this meant that I was free to sink a couple of points into the Typhoon augmentation and breeze through them because, as we've covered, I suck at this stuff. It is hard not to feel disappointed when you finish a boss fight and realize how cool it could have been had you a different mindset.

The game goes a step further with the 'not for me' messaging with The Missing Link DLC. This late game character reset was originally a standalone mission that filled a hole in the story and let players who'd already played through the game experience building their characters again. In the Director's Cut, it was made mandatory and jammed in before the penultimate chapter. In terms of narrative, it plugs a hole and therefore works fine. In terms of gameplay, it is a pile of horseshit. It breaks the pacing, takes your character back to zero, and subjects you to five hours of trekking back and forth through a base and its several stop-and-wait checkpoints. If you suck at the game and resort to my play style, you also get to listen to other characters guilt-tripping you for your murderous ways. Shame on you for killing your way through a base of people who have been kidnapping innocent people for human experimentation that leads to horrible deaths.

I'm bad at this game, even if I get through it fine. It is obvious from the above. It is obvious from all the alternate paths that I stumble across after wading through the sea of corpses that once was security staff, paths that would have allowed me to avoid combat in the first place. It is obvious because despite my claims of killing everything that moves, I did do some things differently the second time around and life is so much easier when you can just walk through a building, do your business, and walk out instead of instigating a massacre. Granted, that did not happen much.

Human Revolution isn't meant for me, but it lets me onto the playground and doesn't prevent me from playing how I want to play... though if it does chastise me on occasion. The boss fights are still kind of crap (there is no true non-lethal playthrough because the player cannot bypass or spare the boss), the incorporation of The Missing Link is infuriating, and no doubt others have different problems (when certain weapons are introduced to the game, for instance), but it is still a hell of a game. I had a ton of fun playing it both times through and I'm betting that the people who actually try and don't just blunder through these games have an even better time.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 08:22:39 AM by James »
Logged

Darkon

  • Putting the band back together
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 4.177
  • Fierce Creature
    • Hall of Worlds
Re: Deus Ex
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 09:23:26 PM »

Wasn't sure whether I should be putting this on my wishlist, but after a wiki browse I found out this is a square enix franchise that's cyberpunk themed and even attempted to build 'mechanical apartheid' into its world, which I think is a very real option for future developments. Fairly interesting cyberpunk! How are the game stories? Good or do they contain deadly plotholes?
Logged
A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch

James

  • Bastard
  • Hall Roamer
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2.805
Re: Deus Ex
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 10:41:38 PM »

Wasn't sure whether I should be putting this on my wishlist, but after a wiki browse I found out this is a square enix franchise that's cyberpunk themed and even attempted to build 'mechanical apartheid' into its world, which I think is a very real option for future developments. Fairly interesting cyberpunk! How are the game stories? Good or do they contain deadly plotholes?

Human Revolution is the only one that I can talk about here since it has been thirteen years since I played Invisible War and I couldn't get past the first mission of the original game.

On the topic of plot holes, there are two parts to this question and I can only answer one of them. On its own, I don't think Human Revolution has a problem with plot holes. It had a hole in the narrative, where in the original version of the game you went into a hibernation pod and woke up after a few days having arrived at your destination, but that was plugged with The Missing Link, which gives you something to do during those days. There is potential for plot holes when you consider Human Revolution as part of a series, as it takes place twenty-five years before the events of Deus Ex, but that's beyond me.

Deus Ex chronology
20XX - Fallen Angel
2027 – Icarus Effect
2027 – The Fall
2027 – Human Revolution (comics)
2029 – Mankind Divided
2052 – Deus Ex
2072 – Invisible War

Human Revolution's writing is inconsistent. It does a great job with world-building and a few of the secondary quests are really strong. The main scenario starts strong and grows weaker as the game progresses, eventually turning into a lackluster mess and disappointment by the final chapter. Still a good game, but not as good as it could be.
Logged

Darkon

  • Putting the band back together
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 4.177
  • Fierce Creature
    • Hall of Worlds
Re: Deus Ex
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 09:49:48 PM »

Fair enough. It's the problem with many series though, none of them ever are good all-round. But hey, as long as it doesn't bother you while, it's good! I always enjoyed the Harry Potter series even if that wasn't state of the art or brilliant, it was entertaining. And that goes a long way in my book.

Anyway, it sounds as if Deus ex doesn't underperform to series such as Zelda which also continuity problems. So definitely adding this to the wishlist!
Logged
A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch

James

  • Bastard
  • Hall Roamer
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2.805
Re: Deus Ex
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 06:59:35 AM »

I've gone back to Deus Ex a few times now, playing for a little bit at a time because the gameplay is dated and awful. I managed to get past the first chapter that was giving me so many problems, but then I discovered a mod, Revision, that updated the look of the game considerably and changed the maps some. Playing the Revision mod forced me to start over from the beginning, so I went in and died many more times. Granted, this time it was because the map updates included lighting--the original map was extremely dark--and that worked against stealth. Still, I made it past the first chapter and into the second and I'm taking things slow because I loathe the gameplay.

I also installed Deus Ex: Invisible War, which I had originally played on the X-Box. Let me tell you, that game looks a lot better in my memory. It somehow feels more dated than the original Deus Ex.
Logged

Bacchus

  • The best Bang since the Big One
  • World Nomad
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5.057
Re: Deus Ex
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 10:59:12 AM »

i need to get my hands on The Fall. i heard that its not half decent, but the only in the series i haven't played yet. i even read the novel
Logged
"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie
Pages: [1]   Go Up