View Full Version : Long or wide?

12th Sep 2008, 23:37
A few people complained that Deus Ex was too long, but I thought that it was somewhere between not long enough and just right. (only not long enough because it never got boring) I also thought it was just wide enough, the choices you make didn't cause too much branching but still allowed for a pretty good RPG feel.
You can't have it all -- the options are either a long game with a small number of branches, a wide one with short and mostly linear main plot but lots of side missions, or something short, dense and with lots of branches.

Myself I'd prefer something reasonably linear but as long as possible, with loads of distractions but a focus on the main plot like in the original. Maybe have the choices you make affect how other characters feel about you, but not so much the overall story until the end.

What's your preference for DX3?

13th Sep 2008, 03:45
I tend to agree, I liked the length of it too and I kinda liked the way that it was achieved - by revisiting levels like Hell’s kitchen and UNATCO, with each visit including something different about it. I guess that way the story was kept complex enough but the devs didn't need to spend ages creating a whole new environment but at least the experience for the player was new. Perhaps an approach like the Knights of the Old Republic series would allow us to visit older levels at will.

The other thing that I think made the game great was the size of the levels which enabled us to spend heaps of time exploring. And there often wasn't just one entrance or exit to buildings which gave more options and depth.

In terms of choices or 'wideness', I think it should be improved upon for the third instalment and I'd imagine that this would be one of the main focuses of the game, especially with games like Heavy Rain for the PS3 due to come out at a similar time. Having said that I remember being extremely impressed by DX1 and didn't expect my actions in the game to have the repercussions that they did. It wasn't until subsequent playthroughs that I realised that I didn't have to kill all the badies, I could have killed Anna Narava on the plane and I could even save Pauls life. This was brilliant, and I loved the way we could actually control which characters we interacted with in the game. It certainly was the first one that I came across this type of interactivity and I remeber it being a pretty unique concept back then.

I guess DX1 will be remembered for taking gaming to a new level for its time; multiple endings, NPCs who's lips actually moved, etc. DX2 also had some good features too such as moving bodies around, unique weaons. I guess this is what we've come to expect from the franchise. At least now we've come a long way since then technologically and graphics are almost cinematic. As long as DX3 comes up with the goods in terms of story, interactivity/customisability, replayability and a nice DX1 style HUD, it's going to be epic :cool:

Can't wait! :nut:

13th Sep 2008, 07:29
I also agree.

I think the key here is to avoid GLOBAL choices. DXIW made you join factions pretty early on, and thats fine, but the choice was never permanent.

A long, linear story with local choice gives the illusion of freedom while still being able to have a GOOD storyline. I want a pretty linear story with HUGE and VERY MUCH UNLINEAR levels. Give us a goal and a complex, with no set "Hitman" style way of accomplishing a task.

I believe this is why DX was such a great game. It provided FOCUSED SANDBOX play. Oblivion provides true sandbox, but its hard to keep a cohesive story with tension. Likewise linear FPS lack the depth that pulls you in.

DX achieved the perfect balance of sandbox levels with a more focused, character driven narrative.

Here's hoping DX3 incorporates some of the same

13th Sep 2008, 13:00
Can't add much here as most has been said. It's a good mix between linear and non-linear progression. What games like oblivion lacked deus-ex did have: a red line through the story. And while choices with impact on later game are a nice thing to have I prefer choice in how you fulfill a job instead of which character in the whole game world lives in the end or not ( makes sense though for major characters like those you can save in deus-ex... those characters are important to the player and therefore their whereabouts are interesting to you ).

So for DX3 just orienting on DX concerning these points should do the trick.

13th Sep 2008, 15:05
In DX we have a main story and secondary minor parts we can change or not.
Many things like the level design, the speech aspect of the game, gives to the player choices and it's sandbox aspect, without to be a full sandbox game.

But I disliked to see each side too early, because it breaks the mystery of the game, in the first game I liked to find a mysterious and unknown enemy in the HK sewers even if I disliked to don't choose to be with the NSF earlier or even later.
but in this part I have some difficulties to choose the "right" thing because but DX games tends to have the right balance between linearity and non linearity even if I prefer to find some clans more during the game than find them too early.

I want a long game like the first game or even more longer, but it depends of the scenario and the gameplay because in DX 2 like DX 1 the size of each game was well adjusted in comparison to the content of them DX 2 have less content then DX 1 and it's shorter 15 hours for DX 2 and 30 for DX 1 (with exploration of course)

13th Sep 2008, 17:29
I want it long, hard and with a big caliber.

Wait, did I just write that?

13th Sep 2008, 19:27
I also hold the view that the length of the original was 'just right' <TM> and that Eidos Montreal should ideally be aiming for the same length (At least in terms of main plot, no reason they can't have side missions that extend things as far as the players stamina will take him/her) and yeah, the way in which all the factions were going "join us, not them" right from the outset of the game was sort of annoying, one of the really refreshing things about DX1 is that you spent so long working for UNATCO and even find yourself wondering why Paul Denton is "afraid to kill" (odd I just heard that in an Anna Navarre voice in my head) and only later do you get the reveal of just why that is.

To put it another way, by going for an open choice of faction from the outset in DX:IW, the opportunity of faction change based plot twists got eliminated almost completely, which in hind-sight may not have been the wisest of moves.

13th Sep 2008, 21:35
I didn't find the original Deus Ex too long. I liked it.

DX:IW was a bit on the short side, but not really too bad either. It just lacked interesting locations so one more or less rushed thru them since the exploration part was pretty much gone.

15th Sep 2008, 04:32
If the choices that we make in Deus Ex 3 are more permanent and "game-altering" then I don't mind if it is a bit shorter than DX1 because the replay value will be high.

I really don't want another COD4 five hour fling. It was great while it lasted, but was hopelessly too short.

15th Sep 2008, 07:54
This game, if it's going to compete with the first, or try to measure up, needs to be about 15-20 hours long. You can't have a comparable experience or narrative in a 10 hour game like IW, and certainly not in these 4 and a half hour Gears of War style games people are pumping out today. Once again, Deus Ex nailed this. It was just long enough to provide a really well fleshed out, engrossing experience.

15th Sep 2008, 10:04
Unfortunately it's very obvious when you reach the final moments of DX that a lot of content was cut. I'm secretly hoping for a lengthier game this time around (even though that's a pretty big undertaking), something that'll last me like 40-50 hours on a single playthrough, but I realise that with today's episodic content and whatnot that's probably unrealistic. On the other hand I will totally feel ripped off if this is to be some 10-hour romp.

As for the long and wide - preferably both, but I guess I'll take a good somewhat-linear lengthy game over a very short but very non-linear game (not that the latter or the former is that desirable, so... preferably both).

15th Sep 2008, 23:32
I like Warren Spector's original design--a series of forward moving events, where you can choose the method of getting to each narrative focal point. The developers choose the what, the player chooses the how.

Deus Ex is not Oblivion or KOTOR, with a bunch of side quests and one main story. Deus Ex is the story, and they shouldn't mess with that original design too much.

16th Sep 2008, 03:13
I like Warren Spector's original design--a series of forward moving events, where you can choose the method of getting to each narrative focal point. The developers choose the what, the player chooses the how.
It's solid game design, when well executed.

Deus Ex is not Oblivion or KOTOR, with a bunch of side quests and one main story. Deus Ex is the story, and they shouldn't mess with that original design too much.
Deus Ex has nothing in common with Oblivion, but KOTOR was heavily influenced by Deus Ex (some say KOTOR took the DX narrative to the next level and I can't help but agree to some extent).

DX does have side-quests actually, as in, 'secondary goals/objectives' that don't relate to the main story in any significant way. Of course others are related to the main story, but I can think of at least half a dozen actual "sidequests" off the top of my head.

I liked DX, and I liked that about DX. I'm not a big RPG gamer, but from what I've played, I don't like games where ALL sidequests are related or significant to the main 'quest'/story. And since we're talking about sidequests (which infers they're optional, not required for advancing the game), I can't possibly see the harm in adding some much needed variety to the gameplay and storyline, not to mention boost replay value considerably.

Having a large selection of sidequests throughout the game wouldn't be tinkering with the DX formula, it'd be taking it further. I don't see why DX3 can't learn from DX in the same way BioWare has done.

Come to think of it, it'd be awesome if DX3 would have sidequests that aren't so easily triggered/obtained (ie, they'd be so far removed from your main objective that they wouldn't even show up on your goals/objectives list, or perhaps are only hinted at in the form of a note in your log, if that). You'd have to really listen to conversations or pay attention to your environment (and datacubes/emails/notes) to pick up hints to these sidequests, and very likely would only discover them on second or third playthroughs. If that still doesn't quite convey what's I'm saying, I'll just dub this "obscure sidequests", which should give you some idea. Like easter eggs in the sense that you really have to hunt for them, only not superfluous to the game itself.

16th Sep 2008, 04:03
I liked how most of the sidequests in DX were character development. They'd add MAYBE a little bit of plot, but were mostly there to give you a little insight into the world. Rescuing Ford Shick, the fates of Smuggler and Sandra, the "thief at UNATCO" all of those very much sidequests, and they don't affect the overall plot, just the lives of the people you come into contact with. i.e. by choosing or not choosing to explore around or intervene you substantially affect the lives of several NPCs. While not plot-centric NPCs, they are lives none the less and you can feel the sense of pride or sorrow when you learn of their outcomes based solely on your actions.

It's kind of like changing some sentences in a book without affecting the story. Sometimes you get attached to characters in a good book and when bad things happen to them you can feel a sense of frailty, like you're just watching them die from behind a glass wall. Playing a game allows you the opportunity to take more of a hold on events and I feel its an angle that shouldn't be passed up.

17th Sep 2008, 00:50
DX1 was a good length, and the side missions always kept levels interesting. Linear is good, but I like the way DX games have always functioned by giving players an objective, but not telling them how to accomplish it.

17th Sep 2008, 05:04
DX does have side-quests actually, as in, 'secondary goals/objectives' that don't relate to the main story in any significant way. Of course others are related to the main story, but I can think of at least half a dozen actual "sidequests" off the top of my head.

True. I also liked how some of the side quests were subtle; like not warning Smuggler about the upcoming raid in Hell's Kitchen and having Jock inform you a few levels later at the oil tanker docks that he was killed in the raid--as if it was just a passing comment. Many people didn't even realize they could have saved him...

I finally went through Deus Ex again and didn't warn Jock about the bomb in the helicopter...it was amazing how after the 'copter exploded about a dozen levels later that other NPC's commented on his death and took his place to tell you information. All of those kind of events could be considered side-quests of a sort...

20th Sep 2008, 19:16
I was not disturbed by the lengh of Deus Ex. Because most games today tends to be really short. Or too give not enough time to some of their parts. Deus ex was great for that for it had its good share of main campaigns and side quests. Also each time you play Deus Ex again, you discover new things. I've been totally hooked by Deus Ex.

When you love a game that much, you always want it to never end. Even when the game is long enough, it's too much short from your point of view. The fact that the game is long has also another good point: the longer it is, the more difficult it is for you to remember everything from it. So that when you play it again, you discover again things you didn't notice at first or you forgot about before.

21st Sep 2008, 17:49
The length issue is very interesting.

I'm currently at the last level of Bioshock, and even if it's a very good game the drama is so badly executed that I can't wait to finish it, it's so loooong.

Deus Ex succeeded in feeding us small events and objectives, but Bioshock let's you believe you're gonna meet the final and charismatic boss any minute and it just doesn't end since it even goes beyond that!

21st Sep 2008, 22:13
If Deus Ex 3 is shorter than the original, I am going to cry myself to sleep over the absolute waste of an idea that was Deus Ex 3.

22nd Sep 2008, 04:14
At the moment I am hoping that it is at least twice as long as Call of Duty 4.

Which is about 8 hours.

22nd Sep 2008, 11:06
have a comparable experience or narrative...in these 4 and a half hour Gears of War style games people are pumping out today.

Ico, Portal, Silent Hill 2 and Shadow of the Collosus.

Meanwhile, you have games like Doom 3, which are fairly long, and suffer for it.
Games do not have to be long to have a rich, emotional story. A short game, with an amazing story is far preferable to, say, a long game with an amazing story and tons of filler.

Also, Gears is longer than people give it credit for, it's of average length.

Besides, it has chainsaw bayonets, "The Hammer of Dawn, and a crossbow that shoots explosive arrows, and that is awesome.

In short, Deus Ex 3's should be as long as it needs to be.

100 hours or 2, however long it takes to tell your story, without us getting bored.