In which I discuss Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It can’t possibly be worse than Invisible War, so at least the worst is behind us.
For the love of god, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOOT BARRETT. YOU CAN TAKE BARRETT DOWN WITHOUT FIRING A SINGLE SHOT.
In fact, all of the boss fights can be done with without much shooting if you’re smart and use your augments properly.
Spoilers if you want to figure it out yourself, but whatever.
Barrett can be taken out by the use of explosives. If you have a stealth build, stun him with a taser or an EMP grenade and then throw the red barrels and yellow gas canisters at him until he is dead.
Second boss fight, don’t remember her name. If you have the EMP/electrical shielding, you can destroy the power generators and electrocute the floor. If it’s not an option, lay some EMP mines on the floor (they are scattered in cabinets in the room) and shoot her in the face when she’s stunned, then cloak and repeat. This one is a real bitch, but it’s not THAT hard.
Third boss fight, Namir. There is a laser gun in one of the cabinets with plenty of ammo. Cloak, pop up behind him and shoot him in the face until he turns around. Then, run out of there and wait for your cloak to recharge and repeat. Takes about 2-3 times of this. There’s also a glitch that helps you take him down in one shot, but go to youtube if you want that explained.
By the way, they do mention that it’s his dad if you preorder the augmented version-It’s in a bonus mission.
I think it’s telling that they outsourced the bossfights to another studio. The bosses were so poorly integrated into the plot; they show up a few times, but like, who do they work for? I didn’t even know the names of two of the three because they are never introduced in any way. I only found the woman’s name when I read a walkthrough, and I’ve already forgotten it. They have no motivations whatsoever.
And I never really got the benefit of the power generators in the second fight, since destroying them electrocutes yourself more than it does that chick, since the whole room is covered in water – aside from the platform the generator is on BUT THEN YOURE STANDING ON A GENERATOR THAT IS EXPLODING.
I can’t hear aynitnhg over the sound of how awesome this article is.
Bit late to the party, but I do want to disagree about the game’s thematic consistency, at least with respect to the examples you provide. Yes, effectually Human Revolution’s transhumanist themes are window-dressing and are far, far more interesting and relevant in the original game, I won’t argue that. The game also could have done far better at marrying its ludological and narrative concepts – heck, even Space Siege handled it better, and Space Siege sucked (primer: ending and plot elements influenced by how many machine upgrades you got to your body, with a range between pure human and Terminator).
However, in this same video you also show all the different opinions possessed by different characters? Uhm, okay? How exactly does that add up to a lack of discussion? Human Revolution does kind of turn the entire thing into a straw man debate, and is far too pro-aug in most cases to make the “purist” types look like anything other than conservative nutjobs, but what the game does right is show the upsides and downsides of augmentation.
Consider Upper and Lower Hengsha, and how it quite literally portrays the socio-economic stratification that has occurred as a result of augmentation. Several quests even revolve around this, including both in the lower and upper classes – prostitutes being forced to get sexual augmentations, and students debating whether to get augmentations to give them the upper hand. There’s also the discussion about Neuropozyne dependance, which unfortunately goes nowhere in the overall plot, but still highlights the pros and cons of augmentation in a world with an ever-growing division between rich and poor.
Great video essay other than that, I just wanted to bring that up as it struck me as a pretty strange oversight. I find myself agreeing with much of what you have to say (even though it’s clear by now that the boss fights were outsourced and Eidos didn’t really have much influence in their development). I have to wonder about the post-credits reveal and how much of that was done for the sake of keeping sequel doors open… or maybe an attempt to nip fan backlash in the bud? In any case, thanks for the informative and enjoyable video.
I actually enjoyed DX:HR quite a bit and agree with themes and plot pretty much unraveling and not going anywhere interesting, but I don’t think all gameplay elements were implemented better than original or well at all.
First, character development in term of stats is poorly balanced due to relatively few upgrades being of much use and you accummulate enough of Praxis points to get all that are worthwhile. Additionally you get XP for killing or taking down enemies and bonus XPs for particularly effective takedowns, which penalizes two otherwise legitimate playstyles – complete ghosting and Rambo style slugfest. You also get XP rewards for hacking which penalizes not hacking everything you see even if you know the password.
Second, both shooting and sneaking gameplay got crippled by the addition of IWIN button in the form of TPP cover system. With stealth the advantage is obvious – you can see them without them seeing you. In combat, while you can’t blindfire with any degree of accuracy, you still know where exactly the enemy is and when they reload, so it’s all matter of popping out at the right time and taking potshots.
Third, takedowns suck. Ok, they are spectacular and feel good, but they suck mechanically. First, with nonlethal takedown you can punch guy really hard several times, dislocate about every joint he has, then throw him hard onto the ground. All those actions may be a bit quieter than firing a gun, but they are still pretty damn noisy, yet you can perform them several steps from another enemy who will not notice anything if he’s facing away. Second, takedowns (and Typhoon) effectively pause the game – if you can approach a group of several enemies you can pummel or stab them all as long as you have energy and click the takedown button as soon your previous takedown ends. The remaining enemies won’t do anything constructive while you’re brutalizing their friends, whether it would be shooting you dead or running for cover/better firing position. No, they stand there and wait for their turn to be curbstomped by a cyborg.
Finally, yeah, boss battles suck horribly. So does forced cutscene ineptitude.
I also hated how the shuttle failed to open parachute – it was pointless and stupid, because Jensen would not have survived landing at such speed, even in the water and they could have very well replaced it with parachute only partially opening or attitude jets malfunction if they needed you to land not exactly where you wanted.
Great review of my favorite game. First “errant signal” that I see, now off to see the others ones. Keep up the good work.
I think that the bad thing with this game is that they focused in the less interesting part of the cyberpunk genre: the big bad corporations, the endless chains of conspiracies and the messed up social order. I mean those are very interesting subjects, but in a game in which humans can be hacked, conspiracies, corporative wars and a shitty society are just a good setting.
Is kind of what you already said, but bad redacted because English is not my first language.
Also: really good cinematography. This game is, visually, a fucking movie.
“Neuropozyne dependance, which unfortunately goes nowhere in the overall plot”
It goes nowhere because that’s how the plot starts. Neuropozyne prevents rejection of augmentations and is thus essential, Neuropozyne is produced by VersaLife which is owned by Bob Page who at this point is still a big-shot of the Illuminati. So Neuropozyne is a tool to maintain an acceptable level of augmentation for them. Megan’s discovery renders Neuropozyne obsolete so the Illuminati need other means of control, both through political channels and their biochip, thus starting the plot.
Cheap digs on Invisible War, eh? I’m used to it. The game actually contains some good elements, but is rendered almost unplayable due to the almost constant load screens.
I disagree that the story and themes were shallow and weak in HR, and I also disagree that gameplay wise it was an improvement! I really enjoyed the xp system in Deus Ex, and how it was contrasted by the nano aug upgrades you could get. The shooting and stealth parts of the original were stronger than I think you give them credit for, with smart use of the lean buttons being essential to having a system that rewarded conscientious play. HR also really lacked in having the melee component offered in the original, where a melee-focused character was a strong, rewarding, and entirely different way to play the game. Sneaking behind a character and getting into the right position to thwack them with a baton at the exact right point to knock them out immediately was harder, without being unrealistically difficult, and more rewarding than just pressing ‘q’.
That said, the gameplay of human revolution was pretty good. Where it suffers, to my mind, is in its overall length and depth of content. The original story offered so many more levels, more varied locations, etc. Ah, Deus Ex, we’ll always have Paris. In Deus Ex you have the big locations of NYC, Hong Kong, and Paris. Human Revolution gets by with just Detroit and Hengsha. I’ll admit that Hengsha is very well done. But there just needs to be more of the game, to better incoporate it into the illuminati/mj-12 story arc and to immerse the player in the world. I attribute this mainly to the budget being more focused on graphics than on adding new experiences to play through.
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