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Spyhopping
11th Sep 2011, 20:11
I'm going to keep this OP short(ish). I did begin to structure a wall o' text, but I would rather stimulate open ended discussion on this subject than try and restrict it, or bore you all with my waffle.

We had a lot of time to form pretty strong opinions. Every aspect of the game was dissected, analysed, viewed under a bright light and rotated 360 degrees till we were all sick of reading about it. But post release, I want to hear more.

In the sober, clever and well reasoned way I've come to expect here, I want to hear if the firmly held beliefs you've discussed on this forum have been challenged at all by this game. Or were you right all along? That's equally interesting. Was health regen such a big deal? It didn't bother me too much. Third person cutscenes? Highlighting? Endless other things I can't remember?

Flexibility, openness of opinion and the ability to change firmly held beliefs are all decent human traits. I know it's the internet, and it's risky to show weakness, but please don't be afraid to express yourselves.

JCpies
11th Sep 2011, 20:17
When I first heard about the changes like 3rd person and health regen, I was kinda disappointed. I ranted a bit like most people here do, but in the months before release the people at Eidos Montreal really began to interact with us and speak about the game. I still wish they had gone about certain gameplay mechanics differently, but I know that it's hard to balance a game like this and I know that the team put a lot of effort and soul into the game to make it as good as possible. It may not have turned out as perfect as planned, but they've made a beautiful game and they've been good to the community while the community hasn't been so great to them.

A bomb
11th Sep 2011, 20:19
It seriously lacked dinosaurs in this game.
I was really disappointed when I heard the news.

Jordasm
11th Sep 2011, 20:27
It seriously lacked dinosaurs in this game.
I was really disappointed when I heard the news.

Ah...Battlefield 3.
This is exactly why it will triumph over MW3

JacobBHE
11th Sep 2011, 20:35
I want to hear if the firmly held beliefs you've discussed on this forum have been challenged at all by this game. Or were you right all along?

Yes, I firmly believed this game was going to be complete console dross, especially with the third person elements and the all too popular waist high cover.
The reality is a lot better than I dare hoped. In fact, you don't have to use third person at all which suits me fine. There is waist high cover, but I think the way it has been portrayed (varied) is pretty damn good. The only thing that bothered me really was the fact that both the Sarif labs and the FEMA installation had identical, waist high, smoked glass panels on staircases and landings.



Was health regen such a big deal?

Sadly yes - before release I actually hadn't put much thought into the health system - my concern being third person. But after having played the game, it's quite clear that removing health packs and locational damage, has reduced the experience to a simple: hide, wait, try again rinse and repeat. To read it as I've written it, it sounds pretty simple, but actually it's taken a huge chunk of quality game play out of HR. You no longer have to think about what you are doing which is pretty sad, especially when the original DX is seen as such a 'thinking persons game'.

This is what I have so far as I have yet to finish it.

Jerion
11th Sep 2011, 20:40
It seriously lacked dinosaurs in this game.
I was really disappointed when I heard the news.

BF3 will obviously be superior.

http://ology.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/post-image/203466-bf1.jpg


I'm going to keep this OP short(ish). I did begin to structure a wall o' text, but I would rather stimulate open ended discussion on this subject than try and restrict it, or bore you all with my waffle.

We had a lot of time to form pretty strong opinions. Every aspect of the game was dissected, analysed, viewed under a bright light and rotated 360 degrees till we were all sick of reading about it. But post release, I want to hear more.

In the sober, clever and well reasoned way I've come to expect here, I want to hear if the firmly held beliefs you've discussed on this forum have been challenged at all by this game. Or were you right all along? That's equally interesting. Was health regen such a big deal? It didn't bother me too much. Third person cutscenes? Highlighting? Endless other things I can't remember?

Flexibility, openness of opinion and the ability to change firmly held beliefs are all decent human traits. I know it's the internet, and it's risky to show weakness, but please don't be afraid to express yourselves.

I'm really not the best person to be answering this, but...

All in all, I look at this title as a worthy addition to the DX family. I established some firmly held beliefs from my own experience, and they've only changed for the better as certain options were added towards release.

unbeatableDX
11th Sep 2011, 21:12
Then and now? lets see



THEN
Very important to my experience
NONE OF THIS MADE IT INTO THE GAME:(
1. lockpicks
2. ATMs
3. swimming
4. xp earned the same way as dx1
5. lots of different colours and level variety just like dx1
6. skill system
7. music similar to dx1/good music
8. interact with everything just like in dx1
9. transgenics & animals
10. medbots & repair bots.
11. ability to mess around at sarif HQ like at unatco
....

AND NOW ill also add that the game is lacking interesting encounters with NPCs, lacking weapon mods, has a terrible final level, a story that doesnt stray alot from the subject of augmentations. lack of usable items, the game is filled with invisible walls. the game is lacking choice and consequence-mainly the augmentation system and finally the game hardly reacts to my mass murder playthroughs. what a shame.

then there is all the other things that others whine about- graphics, fixed controls on console, bosses, cover system, regen health, xp inbalance, game too easy, press A to win(takedowns), no melee & so on.

DX:HR is still one of the best games this generation though and probably a new favourite of mine. the only way the "industry has grown up" is graphics, iron sights mechanic, AI and physics

MaxxQ1
11th Sep 2011, 22:14
I still maintain that they should have used a health/damage system and energy system like that of DX - main reason being, now that I've played the game, is that the reason they went the route they did was to keep the action going and not require people to backtrack for health items or batteries. In the end, if you wanted to keep your health at 200, or keep all five batteries charged, you still needed to scrounge or hoard painkillers, hypostims, and Cyberboost bars, jars, and automobiles...errr... boxes.

Granted, if you're not concerned with keeping health and energy maxxed out, then you didn't have to worry about that, but the fact that they still needed to place items for those mechanics all over the place kinda defeats the original intent.

While I still dislike the highlighting, I find I pretty much have to rely on it, because the interactivity of the game world is so inconsistent. Some boxes can be moved and other, similar (or the same) boxes cannot. Some photocopiers can be moved, and others cannot. Some crates can be moved and others cannot. I would rather have more consistent interactivity, as well as more interactivity - this is being discussed in another thread I've posted in, so you can look there for more on how I feel about it.

The game practically screams, "PLAY ME STEALTHILY WHILE HACKING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!" Again, I've discussed my views on the stealth vs. combat imbalance elsewhere. If it weren't for the fact that damn near everything in the game required hacking to access it, the balance might have been better. Sure, as a combat player, you could blow up or shoot doors, weak walls, and such (using up valuable ammo and explosives that would be put to better use against actual enemies), but the occasional mechanical lock requiring a key or lockpicking would have been welcome, as well as being another choice for getting into an area. More choice is good, right?

No choice you make had any real consequences. Augs, for example. In DX, you could only ever get half the augs available in the game, and only fully upgrade about 1/4 to 1/3 of the ones you *did* pick. In HR, you can get every single aug available, and fully upgrade 2/3 to 3/4 of them, depending on which ones you wished to upgrade. There's no, "****! I should have gone for *that* aug before when I had the choice." moments in HR. IN DX, if you feel you made a wrong choice in selecting augs, you had a decision: go back to an earlier save, or look for an alternative way to do whatever you were trying to when you realize you screwed up. In HR, it doesn't matter if you made a wrong choice because all possibilities will work, no matter what aug you have.

Oddly enough, despite all these issues I have with it, I still enjoyed the game (currently on my second playthrough). It definitely has a DX-vibe to it, and I think it's a much better addition to the series than Invisible War was. If there is to be another full game made, I hope EM are paying attention to what a lot of us are saying and consider changing a few things to more closely match the original.

Spyhopping
11th Sep 2011, 22:59
This is a general response to save a chopped up post quoting everyone.

I had a surprise when I found myself really enjoying third person take downs and heavily using third person cover. The waist high cover is a bit convenient, but it was done creatively I thought. At it's best it felt like Adam was just utilising his environment well. I understood why so many people thought third person cover/takedowns would be "immersion breakers", but upon use I found that it really added to the experience in that sort of way. I felt I forged more of a connection with Adam's character model, and got a tangible feel for the space he occupied in the game world.

On the other hand, I am so very, very glad they made highlighting and other visual hand holders optional. I left it on for a while to give it a chance, but it just wasn't for me at all. It didn't seem to allow free, natural inspection of your environment, which is a key freedom when you have such a wonderfully rich, cluttered and visually stunning world. They allowed you to alter your gaming experience quite nicely on the menu, which was a big, big positive. It is quite true that the interactivity level could be confusing, and the highlighting was important for that, but you could still gain item information on approach, as in DX.

unbeatableDX
11th Sep 2011, 23:08
yeah all in all its a great game, but it doesnt match up to the greatness of DX1. really disappointed

Spyhopping
11th Sep 2011, 23:15
Really disappointed? That's a pity, I'm certainly not. In some aspects it outstripped DX by a mile. Well, so I thought. In most ways they are both such different games they are difficult to compare. Being released 10 years apart does that I suppose.

exmachinad
11th Sep 2011, 23:31
My gripes:

The writing / characterization continues to be (mostly) bland in HR. That's my biggest problem. It is such a shame that most of the good or real good stuff is only in e-mails and e-books but never spoken.
Bring Sheldon Pacotti back please. :flowers:

There's also the "design plilosphy," behind games, and it is quite different between DX and HR. DX tried hard to be an "immersive simulator", to let players come with some their own ideas to achieve their objectives as much as possible. HR has the 'multi path' approacch, but it is only about the 'muti paths' the devs think the player should follow. It is a lot more rigid than the "organic" feel DX strove for.

The augs seem inbalanced. Some are very desirable (higher levels of hacking, posion gas immunity etc), while others seems to be there just to... fill the "skill trees" (Hacking analyze? what for?)

The music. Uninspired and dull, never memorable, except maybe the main theme.

Well, these are probably my main complaints (right now :D). HR is not a bad game, in fact I rate it as very good, but as I say, it could have been so much better. There are things that DX did better, or in a better way, eleven years ago. And please don't call me nostalgic. ;)


In some aspects it outstripped DX by a mile. Well, so I thought. In most ways they are both such different games they are difficult to compare. Being released 10 years apart does that I suppose.

Could you please elaborate these aspects?
And "such different games"? Sure, the design principles behind it are different, IMO, as I said before, but they just "seem" to be even more different because, being a new game, HR developers probably felt the game needed some "modern sensibilities" attached to it ("cinematic" takedown, 3rd person cover, hacking as a minigame and cinematics everywhere) to make it feel more 'modern'. I wish games nowadays, in general, didn't try so much to be movies instead of, well, games.

unbeatableDX
11th Sep 2011, 23:32
Really disappointed? That's a pity, I'm certainly not. In some aspects it outstripped DX by a mile. Well, so I thought. In most ways they are both such different games they are difficult to compare. Being released 10 years apart does that I suppose.

in terms of graphics, combat, stealth, AI and the hacking mini game, yes it did outstrip it, but everything else didnt even come close.

Frag Maniac
11th Sep 2011, 23:33
As expected I think they made the right choice to have the art direction follow current day vs predate the look of DE 1. I didn't expect the graphics to be so underwhelming though. The performance is also shockingly bad, lots of stutters, a thread verifying that it's widespread, yet no talk of a fix.

As for regenerating health, it would be a lot easier to take if they'd not made the game so easy to play. The AI don't even come after you very aggressively. In DE 1, even if you shot a stealth weapon from close in the shadows they'd run after you.

The game doesn't have much feel of range like the first did. All areas are fairly compact. In DE 1 there was wide open spaces with good range, which was needed to keep out of response range of the adept AI.

The use of 3rd person view gets annoying at times. The main reason being the camera angle is fixed unless you aim around or over something. IMO moving while in stealth requires just as much looking around as aiming does. It's mainly a problem right after rounding a corner and the view quickly switches toward the wall, fence, railing, etc, you'e hugging.

Besides limited camera angles when taking cover the cover system also feels mechanically bugged. There are lots of places where it seems like you should be able to take cover but you can't. There are also lots of places where when you DO take cover, you can't aim around it.

Mines are FAR too easy to disarm. As long as you're crouched and in walk vs run speed, they won't blow. In Deus Ex 1 even if you were crouched and going slow, when you got to within a certain distance they would start beeping and you had to immediately disarm them.

Some of the comparisons mentioned above don't seem fair. I don't feel the graphics are better for their time then DE 1's were for it's time. Hacking is better, yes, an actual mini game vs logins and codes. I don't feel stealth is really better either because it's FAR too easy to sneak past enemies. As for combat, depends what you want. DE 1 was very skill based. If you didn't have certain skill upgrades or use specific weapons and tactics, it was a chore. Some feel that's the way skill tree, RPG based shooters SHOULD play though. My feeling is that like stealth, combat is FAR too easy in this game.

I guess I could summarize by saying that overall this games feels to be more fluff and hype than solid gameplay. I've done one play through and all but the final battle of my 2nd and for the last several days I've put it aside to play the much more engaging Dead Island, which is by far better in graphics, effects, AI, performance, and depth of weapons, skills, and quests. Despite a very bugged digital DL version being released, some are calling it the best zombie game ever, a few the best game ever. I feel it's a solid contender for GotY at the very least, but the rants against it for a rather botched launch and the hype toward other games won't allow that of course. I have the PC hard copy version of DI btw and it's sp play has been literally bug free.

rokstrombo
12th Sep 2011, 07:05
I was usually one of the optimists pre-release, and although I think the game is fantastic I think I have come around on a few points. Here's a few of my observations on some of the more controversial features of the game:

I think the object-highlighting is visually impressive and very useful given the amount of clutter and interactivity in levels. The game is huge and I think it would negatively affect the player's feeling of immersion in the game world if they were required to sort through piles of useless objects for rare loot. Ideally though, there would be fewer items that were nailed down.

I think showing more of Jensen's augmentations is a good idea, but I don't particularly like the third-person take-downs because they are too slow, disorienting and easy. The high movement speed of Jensen while crouched, the lack of a requirement to be standing and hidden when initiating the attack makes these attacks, and regenerating bio-electric energy are some of the reasons why they are easy. The inconsistencies between the positioning and awareness of Jensen and NPCs during these takedowns make them seem like they follow different rules to the real-time sequences of gameplay. There appears to be no way for the player to select which take-down move will occur and this makes the moves seem more repetitive and less cool as the game progresses.

I don't mind the cover system because the patrols and AI are generally more difficult than in Deus Ex, and stealth is better rewarded. Combined with the forced radar though, and the game is often rather easy.

Although I found that forced regenerating health didn't really make Human Revolution any easier, I felt less vulnerable and less committed to a decision than I did in Deus Ex. The reduced hitpoints in Human Revolution seem to promote painkiller spamming which I think is more detrimental than backtracking and scavenging which are still very prevalent in this game anyway.

The visual style and level design are phenomenal. The game is huge and full of areas to explore, conversations and computers that are secondary even to the side quests. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into making the locations not just believable and coherent with the futuristic setting, but creative and extremely well balanced in terms of gameplay. This is an amazing accomplishment given the complexity that the augmentations, weapons and varied approaches can add to the design.

The audio and music are awesome. The music is more dynamic and less intrusive than Deus Ex although it is still sensitive to the original soundtrack. There is a lot of detail in the sound effects and background tracks, although the sound engine doesn't seem to cope very well sounds or effects when transitioning between different areas. The voice acting is generally good for a video game, and the dialogue is generally responsive to the events of the game.

The merging of skills and augmentations is fine, but it's too easy to max out the most useful augmentations.

Darnel
12th Sep 2011, 07:25
My take on some of the controversial features:

Object highlighting is optional; as it should be. I like it on, others don't. Problem was solved, no?

Health regen. When you compare this to other games it's not as 'casual' and obvious. I do think it should've been an unlockable Aug than unlocked at the beginning of the game, although that would mean the game would have to be littered with health objects for those players who don't unlock it until late in the game (or never). So I understand why they chose it to be 'unlocked' at the start. The fact that it is even there to begin with I don't mind, when you consider the health regen aug from DX1. That aug may consume electricity, but it is also more effective in regen as it has no delay and heals even when being shot at. I liked how the regen in this game wasn't instantanious and the delay was longer than the usual bloody-screen regen we get nowadays.

Takedowns. I like them visually, even if they do get old eventually. I didn't like how they stopped time. I would appreciate them more if enemies could still shoot at you whilst performing them.

Cover system I have no issue with at all. Very helpful for stealth. It even felt more natural to me than the cover system in Rainbow Six Vegas.

unbeatableDX
12th Sep 2011, 07:27
My take on some of the controversial features:

Object highlighting is optional; as it should be. I like it on, others don't. Problem was solved, no?

Health regen. When you compare this other games it's not as 'casual' and obvious. I do think it should've been an unlockable Aug than unlocked at the beginning of the game, although that would mean the game would have to be littered with health objects for those players who don't unlock it until late in the game (or never). So I understand why they chose it to be 'unlocked' at the start. The fact that it is even there to begin with I don't mind, when you consider the health regen aug from DX1. That aug may consume electricity, but it is also more effective in regen as it has no delay and heals even when being shot at. I liked how the regen in this game wasn't instantanious and the delay was longer than the usual bloody-screen regen we get nowadays.

Takedowns. I like them visually, even if they do get old eventually. I didn't like how they stopped time. I would appreciate them more if enemies could still shoot at you whilst performing them.

Cover system I have no issue with at all. Very helpful for stealth. It even felt more natural to me than the cover system in Rainbow Six Vegas.

yeah the health regen in this game was ok, because it has delay and takes a while. id still prefer the old way though(takes battery), just with regen aug toned down.

Tverdyj
12th Sep 2011, 07:38
hmm

not through the game yet (back in Hengsha), but here are my impressions

the game does some things well. others, not so much.

prior to the game coming out, I had 2 major gripes--health regen, and cover shooting.
with regards to regen, I was alleviated prior to release, when we were told it's a slow, witcher-style regen. while it's not exactly that, due to the combat dynamics, it's not really something you can heavily rely on--you still need to be able to beat down the enemies in front of you to get the breather necessary to recharge health. Also, although they are rare, there are health-fixing consumables--which I admit to spamming during boss fights.

with regard to the cover system--I have no comment. I tried it in the beta, whcih I got prior to purchase to see if the game will run on my laptop--used it in the fight in the prologue. it's not bad, as far as such things go.

however, in the actual game, I have seen no need to use it. I'm perfectly capable of playing stealthy with 0 kills with crouching and the radar alone. (Note-having sunk many hours of my life into bloodlines, I've never had a serious problem with 3rd person takedowns. Also, I seem to be spared the issues of inconsistent takedowns that plagued some people here--I can't remeber a single one that didn't fit the context. If I stunned 1 guard and then ran in to punch out his partner who saw it and was turning, the game gave me an approporiate cutscene of Adam punching out the guy from the front).

Unlike the poster above me, I was dissapointed by the music.

there are other issues, ofc, but i'll adress them in the appropriate thread once i'm done my first playthrough.

Jason Parker
12th Sep 2011, 08:02
As my join date shows I only just came in here after the release and even after finishing my first playthrough. Seeing the live gameplay footage of last years Gamescom was the first bit of info I've let past my personal firewall regarding DX:HR. I pretty much decided after the first announcement that Square Enix were to create a new studio exclusively to produce a new DX game that I would ignore all news and leaked/publicated footage to be able to enjoy and judge the game pretty much unbiased for what it is. I also did not do another Deus Ex 1 playthrough allthough there were times it was hard to resist for lack of other good single player games.

In the end that decision payed off. I'm realy having tons of fun playing it allthough or maybe even partly because there are some differences to the first installment of the series. I personally like the new cover system better than the first person leaning. I also like the fact that the skill system was ditched completely and character development is solely controlled via the augments, that principle idea is great though they kinda failed to find a good balance. Just to give two examples on differences that make the game more enjoyable for me.

Spyhopping
12th Sep 2011, 09:07
Could you please elaborate these aspects?
And "such different games"? Sure, the design principles behind it are different, IMO, as I said before, but they just "seem" to be even more different because, being a new game, HR developers probably felt the game needed some "modern sensibilities" attached to it ("cinematic" takedown, 3rd person cover, hacking as a minigame and cinematics everywhere) to make it feel more 'modern'. I wish games nowadays, in general, didn't try so much to be movies instead of, well, games.

Different "modern" design principles and a distinct individuality on other levels. HR is personal, it concentrates on human, emotionally driven issues, bonds you with the protagonist more. I certainly like Adam more than I liked JC. I felt more strength and richness in the conversation system, and the different ways you could approach things socially. On the other hand, the original went much deeper into conspiracy and provided you with much more detail and background on what you were investigating. The people behind the scenes felt like more of a threat, and they had clearer, better justified motivations.

Course you can compare them, I just think it just makes it harder to cleanly say one is "greater" than the other when the focus of each game is so different.

Ashpolt
12th Sep 2011, 10:05
To get the obvious two out of the way first, health regen and third person cover / takedowns / ladders / typhoon: they worked fine within the context of the game, but only because the game was designed around those aspects. I still maintain that a better game could've been made without them, or with ways to avoid them. They caused all the problems I expected: health regen did ensure there were no long term consequences for your actions - I frequently screwed up, but never felt that I had to be extra clever to make up for that later. Third person did make stealth too easy: I'm fully intending to do a perfect ghost run of this game, but I don't expect it to be much of a challenge at all - the same thing in DX1 would've been immensely difficult. Takedowns, while not quite the "instant win" buttons they could've been (though not far off) certainly weren't anywhere near as satisfying as proper melee combat. Yes, they worked fine - but that doesn't mean they were the best choice.

What surprised me though was that those were not the things that most bothered me about the game. I went into the game expecting to dislike those things - and I did - but the parts that most dragged down the experience for me were things that I hadn't really had any significant concerns about prior to release.

The biggest of these is the story: during the three years or so I've been on these forums, I don't know how many times I said that I didn't have any concerns about the story. The trailers all put particular emphasis on the characters, as did many dev interviews, and then the novel (Icarus Effect) pretty much cemented for me that I didn't need to worry about the story. And yet, this is the thing I found most lacking: many key characters are completely underdeveloped, the plot pretty much collapses in the last stage, the entire thing is too one-note, and the main "spine" of the story - Adam and Megan's relationship - is left woefully unresolved. I'm really not sure what happened here: the actual writing was top-notch, so EM obviously have a talented team on board, but they seemed to get too bogged down in the plot and forgot the story, as well as forgetting to expand the world beyond the strict limits of what the central narrative required. And where was the philosophy? Why didn't the game make me think like Deus Ex did?

Other than that, the XP system was a constant jab in the ribs, prompting me to do things that I wouldn't do otherwise, and which made little or no sense - such as hacking a computer I already had the password for, or using a vent shaft to get into a room I'd already unlocked - just to wring out the extra XP. Also, even though my preferred playstyle happens to be stealthy / non-lethal, I still disliked the fact that playing that way rewarded me more than others, and there were times when I chose to stick to that playstyle where I might not have otherwise, just for the XP. Yes, you can say that this is my fault for being a "power gamer", and that the game doesn't force me to play in such a manner - and to a degree, you'd be right - but the fact remains that while it doesn't force it, it does encourage it, and encouraging any playstyle over another is contrary to what a Deus Ex game should be about. But while I may have had some slight concerns about this after a couple of gameplay videos, I never thought of it along the same lines as third person or health regen, and yet in the end product it ended up annoying me more than both.

Highlighting, I have to admit, didn't end up bothering me that much: I actually left it on. It really isn't as intrusive as videos made it look, and it's pretty necessary to help you distinguish actual items from non-interactive scenery "clutter" - so yes, it's a band-aid over another bad design choice (lack of interactivity) but it wasn't as obnoxious as I expected. I'm glad the option is in there to turn it off though.

Objective markers are much the same: they didn't bother me too much (except when I had about 7 of them on my screen at once in Detroit) as it turned out, and were necessary because NPCs often didn't give you enough information to know where to go for your objectives without them. So again, they were fine, but I'd much rather the game had been designed in a way that they weren't necessary. Funnily enough, I mainly ended up using them for the exact opposite of their designed purpose, and avoided heading for them until I'd explored the rest of the area: they served as a "keep out!" sign, in effect.

To summarise: I haven't really done a complete 180 on anything, barring the story: I disliked the things I expected to dislike, and liked the things I expected to like. However, the degree to which each aspect affected my experience is different to what I expected.

rokstrombo
13th Sep 2011, 15:31
What surprised me though was that those were not the things that most bothered me about the game. I went into the game expecting to dislike those things - and I did - but the parts that most dragged down the experience for me were things that I hadn't really had any significant concerns about prior to release.

The biggest of these is the story: during the three years or so I've been on these forums, I don't know how many times I said that I didn't have any concerns about the story. The trailers all put particular emphasis on the characters, as did many dev interviews, and then the novel (Icarus Effect) pretty much cemented for me that I didn't need to worry about the story. And yet, this is the thing I found most lacking: many key characters are completely underdeveloped, the plot pretty much collapses in the last stage, the entire thing is too one-note, and the main "spine" of the story - Adam and Megan's relationship - is left woefully unresolved. I'm really not sure what happened here: the actual writing was top-notch, so EM obviously have a talented team on board, but they seemed to get too bogged down in the plot and forgot the story, as well as forgetting to expand the world beyond the strict limits of what the central narrative required. And where was the philosophy? Why didn't the game make me think like Deus Ex did?

I just completed the game and I have to agree with you about the story. I don't want to use too many spoilers, but I too thought the plot fell apart towards the end of the game. I am almost reluctant to criticise because it seemed like such a complicated project and there were some very interesting ideas, but I didn't feel like the protagonist's motivations throughout the game (which were presented as personal and emotional) were particularly relevant to the final conflict (which was technical, of massive scope and not very well developed). Similar to Invisible War, the main characters obscured the extent of their agendas until the final level when they just blurted it out, which made me feel like my experiences throughout the rest of the game were largely irrelevant.

I noticed also that a significant part of the plot and character development was revealed in the cutscenes and mission log. Regardless of how the player decided Adam should cope with his augmentation (and what information they managed to dig up on Adam's background and Megan's reseach), Adam always seemed to come up with his own interpretation (which was often different to my interpretation). I felt as though a lot of the exploration and hacking that I'd done throughout the game was unneccessary, because Adam seemed to have different knowledge than I did but only he could decide when to acknowledge it.

Romeo
13th Sep 2011, 23:01
Yes, I firmly believed this game was going to be complete console dross, especially with the third person elements and the all too popular waist high cover.
The reality is a lot better than I dare hoped. In fact, you don't have to use third person at all which suits me fine. There is waist high cover, but I think the way it has been portrayed (varied) is pretty damn good. The only thing that bothered me really was the fact that both the Sarif labs and the FEMA installation had identical, waist high, smoked glass panels on staircases and landings.

Not really, no. Want to use a ladder? Third person. Like XP? Third person. Icarus Landing System? Third-person.

Hell, ladders and the ILS don't need to be third-person. Any moron can see the bars and tell if they're going up or down.



As for the waist high thing people keep asking about (Windows, tables and railings): Walk around an office. Note the level that everything sits at. Windows are at waist height and up usually. Tables are pretty much always waist height for comfort. Railings are usually waist height for comfort, or just a little higher (The railing, for example, is usually made low enough that your arm can grab it at full length). Unlike most games I found, the cover options in HR didn't feel like they were there specifically to provide cover to me. If that table is there, or that window, or that railing, I usually found it made sense in regards to the atmosphere.

I'm going to keep this OP short(ish). I did begin to structure a wall o' text, but I would rather stimulate open ended discussion on this subject than try and restrict it, or bore you all with my waffle.

We had a lot of time to form pretty strong opinions. Every aspect of the game was dissected, analysed, viewed under a bright light and rotated 360 degrees till we were all sick of reading about it. But post release, I want to hear more.

In the sober, clever and well reasoned way I've come to expect here, I want to hear if the firmly held beliefs you've discussed on this forum have been challenged at all by this game. Or were you right all along? That's equally interesting. Was health regen such a big deal? It didn't bother me too much. Third person cutscenes? Highlighting? Endless other things I can't remember?

Flexibility, openness of opinion and the ability to change firmly held beliefs are all decent human traits. I know it's the internet, and it's risky to show weakness, but please don't be afraid to express yourselves.
Things I was correct about

The Story: I had fairly high expectations for the story, and while it did get a touch cluttered up towards the end, ultimately it was still one of the better narratives I've seen in the last few years.

The Atmosphere: I really liked the aesthetic and feel of every single environment in the game. The environments themselves were a dream to play through - possibly the highlight of the entire game.

Third-Person: This is one area where area where I wish I had been wrong. Although third-person could be avoided in some circumstances, ultimately it couldn't be avoided forever. Just as predicted, the perspective switching dragged me out of the experience every time...

Things I was happily incorrect about

Cover: When the game was in devellopment, this was tied only with health regeneration as the thing I was the most outspoken about. I was happy to find out that not only could the game be played just fine without cover, I never felt like I was missing out on anything in avoid it.

Health Regeneration: Now, I'm still not sold on the concept, I'd have much rather they avoided health regeneration in it's entirety. However, that being said, it was not as rapid (And ridiculous) as I had anticipated.

Augs: Some of the earlier augs looked... Terrible, if we're being honest. I was pleasantly surprised to find the system was actually quite nice (Although too easy to unlock). Sure, there are a couple pointless ones, but overall, most things have their purpose.

Things I was sadly incorrect about

Takedowns: When takedowns were announced, I assumed they'd be a special action, not a total replacement for melee. When it was announced they had replaced melee, I thought, fine, I will simply avoid using them. For those of you who understand the XP system, you recognize that puts you at a ridiculous disadvantage.

XP System: Horribly imbalanced. No other way to say it. If you don't play to hack everything under the sun, keep everyone alive and stealth your way through an area, be prepared to sacrifice a ton of XP (Hell, just avoiding being seen nets you 1250XP per mission between Ghost and Smooth Operator). I had assumed the devellopers had maintained the Deus Ex theme of choice, but it is clear that a pacifist stealth player is the way they intended you to play.

Console Controls: Ok, granted I never really put out an opinion on the control scheme, but never would I have imagined them to be so bad... And not allowing alteration of them is just another slap in the face.

badwolf
14th Sep 2011, 10:38
I havent been around this forum for a while as I have been trying to avoid to many spoilers. I came back from my holidays this weekend and so last night was the first chance to play the game I have been waiting years and years to play. The only real complaint I have so far is kinda pathetic but it bothered me enough to type it so here goes....

I put the game in and wait for the famous (at least in my head) Deus Ex theme tune, and then I wait some more.......and a little more, I am still waiting. This might be a tiny thing but a little bit of my heart sank.

rokstrombo
14th Sep 2011, 10:59
It's possible to hear the original theme after the credits on completing the game.

There are also a few musical tributes throughout the game, but I would recommend that you are careful reading threads here until you finish the game

App33
14th Sep 2011, 12:10
There seems to be lot of similarities with Half-Life 2 and DEHR, as the whole experience seems to rely heavily on how player perceives a game. This is not accurate, it's just a thought.

If you live and experience games strongly through characters, and interaction between them, chances are you consider DEHR as just a mediocre shooter with good RPG elements.
If you play games to achieve goals, grind levels and enjoy the character progression, you probably consider DEHR as just a mediocre shooter with RPG elements.
If you experience a game through their environment, levels and exploration, you probably consider DEHR as one of the best games released this millennium.

Levels are not without faults, they often end up to be linear and multiple paths / solutions are most of the time even too obvious (just like in original Deus Ex). However, in terms of level- and architectural design in games, I'd say that DEHR belongs to the throne with Half-Life 2 and Thief 2. It's so good.

Edit: On a side note, I really hoped they had a reward for no-takedown runs on missions. Generally avoiding all-fighting would make quite a lot of sense in many circumstances, and it was already a source of a lot of fun in Thief-series.

badwolf
14th Sep 2011, 13:04
It's possible to hear the original theme after the credits on completing the game.

There are also a few musical tributes throughout the game, but I would recommend that you are careful reading threads here until you finish the game


Yay! Thank you, I do wish it was on the opening of the game somehow though.

Ilves
14th Sep 2011, 14:22
Even now after 3 play-throughs I find it hard to organize my thoughts on HR, as they range from utter love &
admiration to stinging disappointment.

Biggest surprise for me though was the way all coherence just went out the window for the entirety of the final act. The game put me in a state of desperate WTF are you guys doing?! starting from the plot twist in the white chamber all the way till the lazy credits sequence.

Handling of story and themes was my biggest unknown going into the game, and at the end of the day turned out to be the most unsatisfying aspect. I really expected the game to show more love for the original DX fiction than it did, with its mere references and nudges.

Also, some gameplay aspects I was doubtfull about going into the game: (I'll be brief)

- Health and battery systems were cramping my style constantly. Health depleting permanently and battery life replenishing over time would have made so much more sense, both in allowing for more creativity gameplay-wise, and within the game's fiction.

- I really miss mêlée. Really miss it.

- RPG elements, erm, "streamlined" beyond all recognition.

- Mini-map every bit as aggravating as I feared. Case in point: finding Hengsha Court Gardens by just automatically gravitating toward it, rather than soaking in the amazing environment & city layout. Really spoils the stealth experience as well. Nothing a bit of rigorous modding won't fix though:

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7743/hrmod.jpg


I really recommend doing a play-through with mini-map OFF and the Xray Aug: fun times ten!


edit: All in all I feel EM painted a realistic picture of the final product. The only aspect that was hyped unfairly was the impact your actions have on the actual finale of the game.

Namely zip.

Jordasm
14th Sep 2011, 16:00
Before the game was released:

-Nervous as hell about the health regen and cover system. I was really peeved about it being added to a Deus Ex game, I was pretty much expecting CALL OF DEUS or GEARS OF DEUS. I'd actually grown pretty fond of the locational damage in the original, and HR having health regen and a cover system pretty much made it imo "Wait, try again, if you get shot - repeat" taking away any sort of challenge

-The opening E3 trailer, whilst being very cool, made the game look like a reskinned scene from Metal Gear Solid 4, and I was worried they'd take more from MGS than Deus Ex.

-The early gameplay videos I saw made it look mainly combat oriented, pretty much completely ignoring stealth and hacking, again making me think it'd be more aimed at the "Call of Duty" audience.

-I was, at first annoyed at the lack of melee weapons, but then played the original again and released that the dragon tooth sword is basically the same as a takedown, only it didn't cost energy.

-Highlighting I thought was quite intrusive and pretty much made the game easy mode.

After
-Health Regen wasn't nearly as bad as I'd imagined takes a good long while to get you back upto 100%, and usually if I was being attacked I'd died before I had a chance to heal up anyway. Cover system, I didn't actually use that much... e.g for enemies round corners I pretty much just worked off the radar.

-Choice: This was a major gripe for me. None of your actions really felt like they had any effect, except for getting a small mention on the Picus Blog (I.E, murdering everyone in the Police Station/Hive). Hell, even saving Malik does **** all, she disappears, then all that happens is she appears and picks up the scientists, and vanishes again. Tactics wise As much as HR boasts about freedom of choice, the game really, really, really encourages you to go through stealthily and using hacking. It's pretty much "Do I walk into this room full of enemies, OR, go through this conveniently placed vent leading to a computer which I can then hack and turn of cameras/turrets!" It's incredibly biased. The XP system is also horribly unbalanced, favoring stealth over combat, when really they should be on somewhat equal footing. The beauty of Deus Ex was that you could go through however you liked, I'm a stealth person through and through, but with HR I felt I was practically being forced to use stealth anyway.

-Layout: The maps were okay, far better than those in IW. But even then, they are still just "Corridor-open room-corridor-open room" over and over again. There were no big open areas like Area 51, Vandenberg, or the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard, etc. Regardless, the levels in HR are still far better than those in most games today.

-Theme: Didn't really have that much of a strong grasp on conspiracy, more Transhumanism, which I don't mind. In some parts, I have to admit, I felt more of a MGS vibe than a Deus Ex vibe. Specifically near the end with the aug zombies, reminded me off the early part in MGS4 where Liquid turns off the nanobots (I think, can't remember, it's been a while) and everyone goes mental.

-Art Direction: Brilliant. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, and it's actually an important part of games for me now. Absolutely loved the whole Cyber-Renaissance thing.

-Music: Loved it. Thought it fit really well. Not too intrusive. Just right.

-Story: probably the biggest disappointment for me. All the trailers I'd seen had lead me to be believe it'd all be alright.
It was great. Up until Panchaea, where it pretty much collapses. After which point it's a very stupidly done zombie game, I actually said "wait...what?"
It was ridiculous, if felt, so, so out of place, like it was made by a completely different team or EM just went "**** it, all gamers love zombies in their games!" It gave me a really strong Farenheit (Indigo Prophecy) vibe, where the story is great, then just does a complete U-turn and goes full retard and makes no sense. Character development was a strong issue. Particularly with Megan. Adam spends the entire game looking for her, hell, it's basically his main motivation during the game, and the only thing keeping him going, but we don't know ANYTHING about her, we speak to her for 5 minutes at the start and all we know is that they used to date, after that, she's not involved at all, by the time I found her my reaction was pretty much "Oh..well I guess that's nice..." It's very hard to care about someone you talk to for 5 minutes, during which they complain about how you read their emails!
I feel the same with the bosses, their backgrounds aren't covered AT ALL in the game, only in 'Icarus Effect', which was a huge mistake. Don't get me wrong, it's fine to have extra bits about characters in the tie in book, but to have to read the book to get even a smidgen of development on them is ridiculous. In the original Deus Ex, you grew to hate Gunther and Anna, but with these guys, I just thought of them as slightly tougher guards who were stopping me progress through the games, I felt NOTHING towards them.

-Hubs: Really would have liked to have seen 1 more. Detroit and Heng Sha were cool, but the Montreal concept art looked brilliant, and from looking out of TYM at Upper Hengsha, it looked AMAZING.

-Bossfights: Naff, should have been avoidable. Another scenario where I felt it was more MGS than Deus Ex.

-Takedowns: Were alright.

-Hacking minigame: Cool at first, but after a while got kind of annoying.

-Highlighting: grew on me, don't mind it now.

-Graphics: Looked abit rough at points, but with great art direction, I forgot all about it.

-Gameplay: Pretty solid, haven't actually had any glitches at all :D

-Endings: Hugely disappointed. Would have liked something more than "Push button, receive ending" I know it was a similar thing in the original, but at least you had to work for it. That and the endings were just stock footage with a monologue about morality. I'd have rather I actually get to see what happens to each character and had gotten a little bit of closure.

Overall, despite some of the negative things above, I really liked the game, and I think it's a worthy sequel that gave me the same feeling the original did. But still, in my opinion, Human Revolution just goes to **** right after you leave Singapore. Naff level design at Panchaea, whilst it looked cool from the outside, it's largely just corridor after corridor, with ******* annoying zombies in between, then the worlds easiest, anticlimactic bossfight and a "Pick an ending" scenario. It just became so far fetched and ridiculous.





I guess I could summarize by saying that overall this games feels to be more fluff and hype than solid gameplay. I've done one play through and all but the final battle of my 2nd and for the last several days I've put it aside to play the much more engaging Dead Island, which is by far better in graphics, effects, AI, performance, and depth of weapons, skills, and quests. Despite a very bugged digital DL version being released, some are calling it the best zombie game ever, a few the best game ever. I feel it's a solid contender for GotY at the very least, but the rants against it for a rather botched launch and the hype toward other games won't allow that of course. I have the PC hard copy version of DI btw and it's sp play has been literally bug free.

Off-topic, but this, I completely disagree with. My experience with Dead Island has been full of bugs, the game is basically "Fetch this for me" over and over again, and it becomes INCREDIBLY repetitive, the AI are equally as retarded as those in HR, and I thought the ending was TERRIBLE. It just seemed like a poor Borderlands/Dead Rising hybrid if anything. For me, it's far from the best zombie game ever, and was massively overhyped. It's an okay game, but not GOTY material. Not that the title has any meaning any more anyway.

pha
15th Sep 2011, 00:23
Was health regen such a big deal?

On the large scale of gameplay balance the health system isn't horrible, but after playing the game a few times I still believe it would be better if it involved some more micromanagement, like limb injuries, energy cost for healing, tiers for the healing aug, etc. instead of free auto regen and some consumables.


Highlighting?

Didn't use it more than 60 seconds. Did I miss any good items and other hidden details because the game was designed to be played with highlighting all along, and it was made optional not much before release? Absolutely. Do I regret my decision? Absolutely not.

I know this whole "augmented reality" jazz was supposed to be artistic, and it takes too long to find usable stuff among all that static clutter, but I'll be eternally grateful to Eidos Montréal for making highlighting optional.


Endless other things I can't remember?

Takedowns: I get the impression that EM decided to use "takedowns" with supposedly stylish animations very early at the development stage, and as the game shaped they tried too hard to fit them into the game, and they had to overhaul the entire energy system for balance. If there is too much ammo to loot, you can just lower the numbers from loot to balance it (which they did) but the takedown system isn't like that, because it's tied to all other augs which use energy. If there was a manual melee system either with armblades or separate melee weapons, and the takedowns could only be used on unaware targets, it would make much more sense.

Third person perspective: The 1st - 3rd person transition isn't very smooth, but I liked it, even while climbing ladders.

Experience system: The game encourages you to remain hidden, perform non-lethal takedowns and hack everything even if you know the password or the access code. As suggested by several people here including yours truly, it would make a lot more sense if quest progress was the only way of getting XP.

Inventory: I love small inventories which force the player to make hard choices but the size and stacking number of items in the inventory is a bit unbalanced and inconsistent.

Cinematics: It totally ruins the immersion when the eye candy is interrupted by an ultra low res FMV with different contrast and continuity problems, e.g. position of "bosses". Adam suddenly unequips his weapon or does ridiculous stuff like just walking into a room after the player uses stealth until reaching that point.

Story: I really enjoyed the main story and the additional elements provided by conversations of third people, e-books and e-mails, but some aspects and especially some characters felt shallow. Near the end, very important issues remained unsolved.

Miscellaneous: There could be usable vending machines and (guess what) ATM's. Buying consumables from vending machines would serve as an alternate money sink and make it much less of a hassle for takedown oriented players.

As far as I'm concerned, the melee and energy systems require a complete overhaul, let's keep our fingers crossed for DX4 which will hopefully be SO GREENLIGHT someday, but in DX:HR buying ProEnergy Bars from vending machines would be great. Besides it wouldn't require EM to scrap the entire energy & takedown systems and start from scratch.