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Deus Ex: Human Revolution


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I've been watching that trailer since the minute it came out (literally, I was watching the Google feed, and updated the Deus Ex 3 forums and chat myself).


So uh yeah, I've nothing to say. I'm going to go watch that trailer 30 more times.

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Hopefully we'll be staying faithful to the original and not dumbing it way the **** down; Right now I'm kind of disappointed with Alpha Protocol.


Also it looks too futuristic. None of the environments in the first game looked that futuristic and trying to explain it away as further collapse would be silly.

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I don't like how the helicopters in 2027 have two jet turbines mounted on hydraulic arms, while the helicopters in 2052 have a single rotor and a fan in the back. I don't know, maybe the government ran out of taxpayer's dollars when the NSF started dickin' around? :indif:


Though, I must admit, if the trailer is of any indication of the final product, then at least the music sounds reminiscent of the original.

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I know the complaints about the game looking too futuristic, having been one of those critics myself. But the future as imagined in 2000 is vastly different from the future as imagined today. Confining themselves to Deus Ex's collapsing future would seem unrealistic to us now, since despite all the **** happening today, the future actually looks better, with better quality of life, better technology, and a human ambition to get bigger and better.


Maybe it does create a divide between HR and the original game, but I can live with that. Considering the thematic and visual gap between the two games, I find it hard to reconcile them to one world anyway. I'm looking at them as alternate universes, tbh.

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But the future as imagined in 2000 is vastly different from the future as imagined today.
That doesn't make any sense. If anything the future we imagine today would be less technologically advanced than what we would have thought 10 years ago. You really think anyone expects any of that stuff in the trailer to be a reality in a mere 17 years from now?
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Etrange... Seeing the Square Enix logo made me giggle.


Well, I hope this time they work on the gameplay (pokes Sabre),which seems the case. But if they go Silent Hill on me and decide to improve it in detriment to the plot, I'd rather have the clunky mechanics of the previous installments.

That doesn't make any sense. If anything the future we imagine today would be less technologically advanced than what we would have thought 10 years ago. You really think anyone expects any of that stuff in the trailer to be a reality in a mere 17 years from now?


Doesn't matter if we face it as an alternate reality and future. If I want to create an universe where FTL travel is a reality on 1789 what keeps me from doing it stempunkish?

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That doesn't make any sense. If anything the future we imagine today would be less technologically advanced than what we would have thought 10 years ago. You really think anyone expects any of that stuff in the trailer to be a reality in a mere 17 years from now?

Maybe not, but it's no less nonsensical than most other cyberpunk timeframes. But if you're looking for a game that's better researched and intelligently developed than Deus Ex, then I don't think a multi-platform release developed by an upstart developer looking for AAA success is going to cut it. :p I don't think anybody expects this game to match up to the original in terms of *anything*, but if it offers even loosely, the same type of gameplay, then that's something we haven't seen since VtM:B.


Well, I hope this time they work on the gameplay (pokes Sabre)

(charges in with knight armour and 10-foot lance, looking for CAD)

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It's Deus Ex, so I'll definitely play it. The only thing I'm afraid of is that they don't overdo the visual aspect of those mechanical parts. After all, they didn't look all that spectacular, nor could they transform as much in the first Deus Ex - and DE3 is supposed to be a prequel, so from a timeline perspective, they should be even less advanced than those from the original.

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New details, courtesy new magazine. Click the link for new (but grainy) images.


I'm quoting the new stuff here:




Six hours after the game begins, a flying vehicle resembling the mechanical bird from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence approaches Shanghai. On board are Adam and one Faridah Malik. Our protagonist well be keeping in touch with the girl throughout the 25 minute demonstration. We don't know who Malik works for, and why Adam decided to join them. That's not important right now. In shanghai, Adam is looking for a hacker who weakened Sarif's corporate systems on that fateful day. The hacker's being tracked by several organisations, so he will not be easy to find. Adam goes to a clube called Hive, to gather information from a certain Tom, who apparently knows stuff.


At the door, Jensen is stopped by a black bouncer. He won't let anyone in without a pass. Which he can naturally procure for a small fee. So far, the gameplay was shown in first person, but for the conversation it shifts , showing both characters. The player has to decide whether to pay, fight or look around the building for a back door or ventilation shaft. The player doing the presentation agrees to pay. All in all, a wise decision, as fighting might cause trouble. If you want to, you can kill everyone here - remarks JF provocatively - But know that if you shoot civilians, you'll get the police on your head, and those guys are very hard to take down, though naturally it's doable. Law enforcement won't attempt arrest. "They're not nice", JF says, they'll shoot on sight. Makes sense in a world where anyone can become a cybernetically enhanced killing machine. A moment of doubt can cost dearly. In the club, Jensen converses with a VIP zone bartender. Bastard's tough, he won't be scared or manipulated, the conversation doesn't go well for Adam and he gets told off. He needs to find a way to reach Tom. We have several options - talking to a few people we can find someone who agrees to speak a word to Tom for us for doing a small job for him. On the other hand, you can overhear one of the guards mention he lost his pass card to you-know-who's office, so it might be worth searching the club, and just maybe you can find it. Or you can just hack the security, provided you invested in that ability.




When the fighting starts, we can't see whether health regenerates, and if so, if it's thanks to an augmentation, meaning not everyone's Adam may enjoy it. The hero fights through the docks, enemies try to hide behind boxes, the hero also hugs one, and the camera once again switches into TPP mode and stays that way even while aiming. We can also see how Adam jumps from one cover to another, sliding in like Marcus Fenix.


It only gets hot when a helicopter arrives, dropping a box into the warehouse. Instead of putting combat bots into crates for transport, clever engineers have devised a sort of transformer - suddenly the box sprouts legs, a minigun and a rocket launching cannon. We can think of only one scene now: Motoko Kusanagi's robot fight near the end of Ghost in the Shell. Cyberpunk maniacs will cry tears of joy.






Deus Ex looks like a Blade Runner fan's wet dream, but it's even better than that It's set in 2027 - art director Jacques-Belletete reminds us - it's not science-fiction, it's just waiting for the changes the future will bring. Think what it was like 17 years ago - we didn't use cell phones or the internet, LED 3D tv sets, we flew planes that were technologically not much better than cars produced today. We don't want a world totally detached from reality, in twenty years we'll still be driving four-wheeled cars with one steering wheel. This philosophy will be visible in Detroit, one of the many cities appearing in the game, today almost abandoned, but one of the hearts of America in the golden days of the american motor industry. Born in Detroit, David Sarif decided to bring the city back to its former glory by opening his corporation's factories there. He brought a renaissance to Detroit. - Belletete continues.


Sarif bought old, abandoned factories that once produced cars, and started building his cyber-empire there. Walking through the city, the player will notice old brick tenements right beside modern scyscrapers illuminated by strong lights which give them a sterile, cybernetic look. You can already see that in Scandinavia or Japan. We bought thousands of dollars worth of architecture books, and the skyscraper projects we found there... Maaan, they're planning to build stuff so weird within the next 5-10 years that if you saw them in our game, you'd say "you went a bit too far with the sci-fi". And that's the thing, we didn't, do some research, and you'll see the sort of crazy projects starting right now.


Still, the developers allowed themselves some creative madness ("after all, it's just a game") in designing the double-layered city on an island, Shanghai. It's a sort of Silicon Valley of biocybernetics, within a short time dozens of companies have moved there and they ran out of space, and the chinese government did'n allow them to expand to neighbouring islands, fearing monopoly. The solution? Construction of a "second floor" was started, creating a double-decker city. Jensen strolled around the lower part, where sunlight is blocked out. Crowds of chinese-speaking people, narrow, neon-lit alleys, restaurants without walls or windows, outdoors yet indoors, chinese logos - Blade Runner inspirations are felt at every step. The only thing missing is rain.




Square Enix recently acquired Eidos, and immediately turned attention to the Montreal studio, opened merely 3 years ago, the new Deus Ex game being the first of their three planned projects (the second one is Thief 4, the third one is a secret). Deus Ex is not a widely known franchise today, so it's almost like creating a new IP, so logically the studio would be first for a possible shutdown. We were first visited by Yoichi Wada, the boss of Square Enix, he wanted to assess our work culture. - reveals producer Anfossi. That was a stressful experience. Later, we were visited weekly by Square Enix people, even Kitase-san, the Final Fantasy producer, we met the entire FF team. We're great fans, and they liked our game, especially the futuristic technology projects.


Being complimented by Kitase only further convinced Anfossi that everything's heading in a good direction. Making an big-budget game costs 30 million dollars, and that's not counting the marketing budget, so you have to try to reach new audiences. So that's probably why games are getting easier, but I'm not one who believes in hand-holding. Just immerse yourself in our world and learn everything on your own. Anyway, I've got a very experienced crew, on average each of them's been making games for 10 years now. We know what we want to achieve, we stay true to the series and we innovate. And I hope it works. And if it does, we can count on another sequel. Fingers crossed.[]


He updated the little blurbs:




When I write about a game being directed at a mature audience, not necessarily of gamers, and it's an FPS, I always wonder if it doesn't come off as babble. The casual might swallow Heavy Rain, where he doesn't have to master the controls, but a shooter won't convince him even with the best story. But, Human Revolution is not really a shooter. It can be, if you want to, but it doesn't have to. Investing in the "social" class allows you to bypass many obstacles in a peaceful way, through dialogue. You don't have to shoot. Actually - nod to the previous games here - you can finish the whole game without killing anyone except a few bosses. And those fights don't have to be difficult for two reasons. First is the adjustable dificulty level, which lets even sunday players finish the game without breaking a sweat. Second, one of the augmentations presented was a target lock-on - Equipped with a bazooka, Jensen locked onto the target, faced the other way and shot, and the rocket found its way itself. Let's just hope this doesn't spoil the fun for the hardcore. There has to be some challenge.





Moody, slow rhythm, a few bass notes, various strings, but mostly asian. The music will be very atmospheric, unless it's there to stress violent fighting. The composer is Michael McCann, known for his Splinter Cell: Double Agent soundtrack and various TV series scores. Why him? Simple, he's not just a great musician, he also lives in Montreal, so he's available to the three person (in a development team team of 130!) sound team almost 24 hours a day. Apparently, he got so involved that it's hard for him to stop working.


I had the chance of listening to a sample of McCann's work and I'm impressed. Aside from the aforementioned, moody piece with the violin, I was enchanted by the pulsating music in club Hive, where Adam was looking for Tom. I imagined it in a scene like this: people dancing, the hero walks past them through the smoke, the camera alternating between his face and his legs, add shots of the dancers, and all that in slow-mo. It doesn't look as good in-game, barely anyone's dancing, the few clubgoers rather talk than dance. But the music rules, and I haven't even mentioned the best: some chinese girl wailing on the vocals.






Similarily to Ghost Recon, the weapons designs are based on real ones. The designers tried to imagine how weapons will look 20 years from now. The effect, as you can see, is breathtaking.


For the purposes of the game, a hundred fictious companies were created, with their own logos and typography, and this includes weapons manufacturers. Looking at a rifle, the player will see who made it, and may later find containers with the same logo and think "hey, I had a piece made by them". This pertains to everything: cars, phones, TV sets, clothes. Creating all this was required titanic amounts of work, so was it worth it? A different company probably wouldn't allow something like this. - says Belletete - But we wanted to create a believable world. Many players won't even notice this, but subconsciously, your brain will catch that, because logotypes are all around us, they're a natural element of reality. Besides, thanks to them you won't complain about the world's sterility, just like the renaissance elements add awe to the settings.




Writer Mary De Marle knows that think for the players is not the way to go. You should give them the chance to answer questions arising from the story by themselves. It's not our job to tell you, if modifying the human body through technology is bad - claims De Merle strongly and explains: Our themes reference the Icarus myth. Can man become something more than he could ever be and what are the consequences?


The author also tries to explore why people do certain things, to understand their behaviour. Her theory is that it's all because of the need to control something: the market, precious technology, human evolution, even truth and lies. In time, the player will learn to recognize the motivations of all characters, because they will fall into one category or another.


Human Revolution seems like a good book indeed, good thing that the author does not want to stroke her grey beard and moralize.




Deus Ex is being made on the last Tomb Raider's engine and looks great. Maye it's not the most powerful engine around, but where the tech doesn't manage, unique world design helps. Cyber-renaissance is something new, something you haven't seen anywhere else, and that's what makes it compelling and to people, picques their curiosity. - explains Belletete. It was the same with BioShock, I was shocked to see that guy in an early XX century diving suit and a sick looking girl with a giant syringe, and I wanted to know more about that straight away. BioShock's success only strenghtened the Montreal team's conviction that they made the right choice with cyber-renaissance. And where did the insane attention to detail come from? Even if players don't notice the detail, they subconsciously register it, which makes the world seem more believable. Even the smallest details were taken into account, the look of bus stops or washing machines, or even the way parts of different appliances are connected.


I noteced another thing, while Jensen was strolling through the streets of Shanghai, and that's the ubiquitous fog (or was it smog). It's one of the cyberpunk archetypes, we had to have awesome fog, that you can even cast shadows on. Remember Blade Runner, the smokey interiors. And one more thing, the hero will have two sets of work clothes. Commando Adam looks like a futuristic Sam Fisher or Solid Snake, and Urban Adam, dressed in an elegant, navy blue coat, reminds of James Bond. You can walk into a superexpensive hotel in that coat, book a room, and you'll fit right in.[/i] boasts Belletete. The playability is in the details?




Jensen's is voiced by Elias Toufexis. I checked him out on youtube, he sounds completely different in the game. He's got such raspy, mumbling voice I mistook him for Christian Bale. He was supposed to be that sort of tough guy, Bale or Eastwood style. - explains Steve Sczepkowski (his father is a Pole, but Steve doesn't speak polish), responsible for music and sound. The idea was that every character should speak in interesting ways, maybe with accents. I watched X-Files, and by the end of the last season I didn't know who was who, all in black, all work for the government. How do I distinguish between them? I didn't want to make that mistake in Deus Ex, so even if you don't remember the name of a girl you met, when you see her six hours later, you'll say "it's the one with the russian accent". I like this argumentation.

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Eurogamer got a massive three-article preview of this. The first article is the demo, the second article consists of questions by hardcore fans, the third is a general interview.


As always, I'm going to copypasta the new stuff, this is excluding the above IGN link.


In terms of how the game is open, and the experience of playing the game, one example I can give is in Detroit. It's early on in the game and as ever you have objectives: when you've done A you can move on to B and C.


The thing is while you're doing A you can come across something, and can hack it and shut it down. If you do that then right away one of your colleagues will call you and ask, "Jensen, what did you just do?" You say: "I don't know. There was this switch and I shut it off."


But as you progress and do the other objectives it becomes clear that what you've already switched off is actually the final objective for the map - only you did it at the start. So basically we support players that maybe go left when they're meant to go right, when it makes sense, as much as we can.




For instance when you go up to a passer-by, point your gun at him and he cowers. For us it's more like, "You have a gun. You carry a responsibility. You can fire it, but there are consequences."


You're not just going in with a rocket launcher and having people not notice. People will say things like, "You have a gun! Remove it from my face!"




There are between 1100 and 1300 different props in the game, each of them honed and designed to look like something that would be used (and useful) 17 years into the future: from microscopes and electro-photo frames all the way to cars and bus stops.


To add depth to this universe too, there will be a hundred different fictional in-game brands, whose logos you'll see everywhere - from the butt of your gun, to a flashing video-screen on the side of a skyscraper to the side of a cargo crate at the city docks.


Eidos Montreal truly is taking the trappings of near-future capitalism that science-fiction has been chuntering about for so long (Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner, Weyland-Yutani in Alien etc.) and using them to bind together a seamless world in which you simply cannot sense the creative cracks.




On whether the Deus Ex menu music is coming back...


"To be decided. It's still in discussions. I can say that there probably are a few spots in the game where you might hear an NPC whistle it. There's a very subjective argument that goes back and forth. Some people say it's awesome, some people are like: 'Errr? It's a little dated.'


"I don't want you to feel that you need to defend it, because I do like the theme, but I can tell you that there's at least one guy on my team that's saying, 'No!' I think it works perfectly for the year 2000. I don't know if it lends itself to our game. I'd be surprised if it doesn't worm its way in somewhere though."




On multitools and proximity mines...


"We didn't go into Multitools because we wanted to make hacking more prevalent. So we decided that all the unlocking of things like that is done through hacking. As for proximity mines we have different templates where you can put different types of item together - you can attach one grenade to a mine template and stick it on walls and things like that. We have other things that are similar to what's been before too, like the meds and some of the nutrients."


On gas grenades, frag grenades and a few others...


"We have gas grenades, we have frag grenades... we have a few others."




On whether we'll still have that good old-fashioned Deus Ex wobbly aim...


"No, not for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. What we decided to do is start the game with the player skill alone - we don't want to diminish it. And after that it's upgrades."




On how the sparring dialogue gameplay works alongside the usual question and answer...


"It's not complex, that's not the right word. But it's deeper than Mass Effect. In Mass Effect you can skip through dialogue, and ours isn't the usual way to do conversation.


"We wanted to have a form of social fighting, as you can see with Tong in our demo. You need information, and you have to read the character in front of you to deliver the right response to continue, and win the round. You have three rounds, he will have three counter-attacks. You can succeed, fail or have a neutral response. If you restart the conversation, it will move on to a completely different one. You can't learn the path. It's complex to code, very complex!"




On the look and feel of Deus Ex Detroit...


"The interesting thing about Detroit is that it looks quite a bit like contemporary Detroit; this is really all about anticipating what the world will be in 2027. We've designed stuff like objects which recharge electrical cars - we've invented them, and looked at where billboard technologies are going. So it's a lot like today's Detroit, with those added layers grafted over it. Plus there are those interesting and very modern-looking buildings."




On the look and feel of Deus Ex Shanghai...


"Shanghai's Heng Sha is a lot more into the trans-humanist thing. It's a lot more accepted there - it's the Silicon Valley of all cybernetics. The dual layer is inspired by a mockumentary we saw quite a while ago, which appeared to be a real documentary about Hong Kong..."


"In the game the idea isn't that it's the poor at the bottom and the rich at the top; the bottom used to be the Mecca of cybernetics, a lot of the headquarters of the great labs and manufacturing plants are there, it's just that when they built above it they chose a different architectural direction.


"So above they have new universities and new headquarters, but the bottom isn't a slum - there isn't an old school dichotomy. We put a lot of stuff in the game, like you'll see those student-types from the upper level coming downstairs at night to party, and hit the bars and brothels."




On how a prequel can look more technologically advanced than the first game...


"We released the first screenshots and people said, oh man - it's a prequel that's set twenty years before Deus Ex, and it looks more technologically advanced. Well the thing is that if you look at the computer screens or television screens in Deus Ex, then our real-world monitors are already bigger, flatter and of a higher resolution than that in the modern day.


"What do you do with that? Don't get me wrong we are doing this game for the fans and everything, but you can't just make it for the fans. It makes no sense. It's undebatable. It would be weird to make 4:3 ratio screens in the world, just because we want to fit in with the first one."

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They aren't making it for the fans, but they still want their money obviously. Why else would they use the Deus Ex name? The crowd they are primarily pitching it to have no real knowledge or attachment to the universe, so why not just make it a generic futuristic sci-fi world with the same themes where they could make up whatever they wanted? It's the same thing Bethesda did with Fallout 3.

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It has the same gameplay style, the same themes, and a similar setting. I don't see why it shouldn't be part of the series. It's not like you can create a sequel to a game like Deus Ex 10 years after release and market it exclusively to Deus Ex fans who still play games, which would be like 5% of the total video games audience.


It's not like they're demanding that the original game be taken off shelves and replaced with their game. Sucks how people are criticising an upstart dev like EM for taking things in their own stride when the car crash that was Invisible War was invented wholly by the very same minds that made Deus Ex.

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It's not like they're turning it into a space opera about alien impregnation. It still follows the same ideas and themes that drove the first game. I know I wouldn't enjoy a Deus Ex game set 17 years in the future where they still drive 90s-era cars, where blogs never existed, soldiers wearing Gulf War-era outfits or even no cell-phones.


What I do appreciate, is that EM is trying to build the future with the same zeal that drove the original Deus Ex. While not everything is going to be as it is predicted in Deus Ex, the game's events do follow a well-researched canon. Not all of it was perfect, and the flaws are becoming apparent 10 years after the game's release.


EM is trying to update that with the ideas and visions for the future that have come to fore in the past decade, after the release of Deus Ex. I couldn't care less if they outright broke the canon, I already regard the two games as being different universes altogether (it's a bit of a given, after Invisible War).

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A user at the forums got some new info from two previews that I really like.


Some points I haven't seen mentioned yet here, thanks to GetWellGamers on SA:


- There's an inventory, and they said you had to manage it with items having relative sizes, which is cool.


- One of the loading tips talked about "Stop!worms", which is apparently a consumable that would let you essentially pause the countermeasure timer when hacking.


- You can eavesdrop on or initiate conversations to get side-quests, which you'll have a logbook/journal to keep track of.


- Dialogue menus are presented in general terms a la Mass Effect, but when you highlight the response it previews the entire response, which I really like. I hated having to guess the specifics of what I'm about to say.


- I didn't get any sort of "mini-game" vibe from the dialogue, not even any real time limit like Mass Effect or Alpha Protocol. They just hung out 'till you answered.


- You can drag bodies away to hide them. Minor, but I always liked doing it in DX. Also enjoyed tossing them into things/places that would gib them- hopefully the trend continues.


- Looking around corners/cover looked really great. You can really see a good bit down the way from where you're peeping into without exposing yourself. Again, minor, but it's one of those things that always bug me.


- Vent-crawling is still a staple of infiltration, which for those of us fond of ghost runs is a welcome addition.


- People react if you're walking around with your gun unholstered. Civvies will put their hands up or flee.


And from ImpAtom's impressions, also on SA:


- Codes can be entered manually, but if you have the code, it pops up on the side of the screen.


- The crate carrying animation is literally identical to Deus Ex's, see-through crate and all.


- There seemed to be multiple paths through the levels, but we'll see how that actually pans out.


- NPCs talked and gave you hints about stuff without having to talk to them. In general, it seemed pretty good to me. I did think the dialogue sequence they showed off could have used more interaction, but I'll survive.


- You change outfits if you're going to be dropped off in a combat area, but you can still fight in the trenchcoat and such in public areas. The coat is just to hide your cybernetics/mechanical parts better. You basically put on something besides sensible combat gear when you're in public areas and put on something logical when you know you're going into combat. They told me that you don't suddenly change when you get into a fight or something.


- In the demo I saw, the guy got pretty badly injured. It looks like a fairly standard health regeneration system, so if that gives you hives, I don't think there is much you can do.


- I didn't like the takedown animations in the slightest, which was probably my overall largest complaint about the demo. The cover system felt weird, but that was more my preconceptions about Deus Ex then actual flaws with the system, at least from the demo.


- Everything else looked... well, basically pretty Deus Exy. I don't think it's going to win over the people who complaint that (x) (y) and (z) just isn't Deus Ex because it's different, but it seemed to be doing a lot more right then it did wrong. I thought the bomb-explosion aug looked pretty damn ridiculous though, and not really in a good way.

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