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View Full Version : Quick Thought for Deus Ex 4: Fifth Pillar of Gameplay



SDF121
15th Mar 2012, 21:06
Everyone here is familiar with the four pillars or guideposts that Eidos Montreal used in creating Human Revolution: i.e., STEALTH, SOCIAL, COMBAT, and HACKING. Following these guidelines, Eidos Montreal was able to create something that genuinely felt and played like Deus Ex. In some instances, Eidos Montreal was able to implement these features so well that Human Revolution was able to surpass the the use of some of these pillars by its predecessor.

However, there was still something missing (or should I say poorly implemented) which brings me to what I believe ought to be the fifth pillar in making the next Deus Ex, PERSPECTIVE.

The lineage of Deus Ex can be traced back through a series of Looking Glass games like System Shock and Thief which were designed around the concept of being an 'immersive simulation game'. In addition to these four pillars which helped in creating an immersive world teeming with life, everything that was experienced by the player was done through a first person perspective to further facilitate the players sense of immersion.

While hybrid perspective systems like the one used exceedingly well in Human Revolution are fine, there is something about the use of such a mechanic that seems out of place and ill suited for a series like Deus Ex. This is because the use of a third person perspective or a first person/third person hybrid tends to work against any sense of immersion that the player may develop while playing the game. A player's sense of immersion as well as suspense is far greater when confined to a strictly first person perspective. Something that games like System Shock, Thief, and the original Deus Ex did very well. For instance, think of all the times in Deus Ex or Thief that you were either too weary to peek around a corner to see if the enemy was near or venture into the open for fear of being spotted.

Aside from breaking a players sense of immersion, the use of a third person perspective can be too empowering by providing the player with an unrealistic sense of omniscience. Such an ability tends to destroy a players sense of vulnerability which a game like Deus Ex attempts to instill. The difference in perspectives with respect to immersion is the difference between that of a player feeling as if they are the character and that of a player feeling like they are simply controlling an avatar.

Because of this, I think that it would be wise to consider making the matter of PERSPECTIVE into the FIFTH pillar in making the next Deus Ex.

Thoughts?

McFlabbergasty
18th Mar 2012, 14:50
While I mostly agree with the first-person-only argument, you seem to have misunderstood what those four pillars represent. Those were ways of accomplishing objectives in the game world. How does "PERSPECTIVE" help get you into a secret underground base patrolled by mercenaries and robots?

SDF121
19th Mar 2012, 04:18
While I mostly agree with the first-person-only argument, you seem to have misunderstood what those four pillars represent. Those were ways of accomplishing objectives in the game world. How does "PERSPECTIVE" help get you into a secret underground base patrolled by mercenaries and robots?

Excellent point. Although the four pillars were primarily with respect to gameplay, I've always looked at them as a sort of deconstruction of 'what made Deus Ex, Deus Ex?'. Perhaps that is a mistake on my part. Although the third person mechanics were done exceedingly well, I would have preferred the ability to lean since the cover mechanics would not allow you to use your iron sights unless your weapon was equipped with a telescopic sight. Besides, I think the in game radar coupled with the sonar optic augmentation were more than enough for providing the player with situational awareness.

SDF121
29th Mar 2012, 05:14
Speaking of ways to provide the player with a better degree of situational awareness while still maintaining a first person perspective...

http://superbossgames.com/node/14

I always thought that it would have been interesting for Human Revolution to have had a tool similar to the mirror cam but I always had lingering doubts as to whether or not such a tool would even be feasible to implement within a game. Seeing that the makers of Intruder have been able to implement such a feature in their game with relative ease makes me think that that something similar would be most welcome in the next Deus Ex game. After all, it could be another kind of augmentation which consists of some kind of fiber optic cable which extends from the players arm or be an item/tool that one can carry with them. Thoughts?

Zerim
29th Mar 2012, 10:09
The SWAT series already did that a long time ago.

I think lean keys are perfectly sufficient in most cases for first person.

Also, I think that pressing the two lean keys at once (E + Q) should make your character stand on their toes, or otherwise "lean UP" to peek over low cover etc. (think the lean system in MGS3.)

SDF121
29th Mar 2012, 17:52
The SWAT series already did that a long time ago.

Wasn't it confined to doors though? I thought the SWAT games used a tool similar to how the fiber optic cable was used in the original splinter cell.

I am perfectly content with lean keys as well but thought that something like the mirror cam would be an excellent tool to include if Eidos Montreal insists on having a means to view your enemy without exposing yourself. After all, the original Deus Ex had the sentry bot augmentation.

Solid_1723
29th Mar 2012, 18:18
In SWAT4 at least, the optiwand could also be used to look around corners.