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View Full Version : Story, the universe, generally fleshiness



Icky6
28th Jun 2009, 21:59
I hope I can remember all I was thinking about while on the toilet before posting it here.

Anyway, here goes. I just wanted to express my concern for what I feel is the most important aspect of this game - the story and universe. I've heard a lot of people complain about regenerating health and the like. I don't necessarily agree with RH, but I do think that there are more pressing matters about the game that need to be taken care of.

When I think of Deus Ex, what most often comes to my mind is actually not the gameplay. What I really loved about the game was the way the universe was fleshed out. The story was quite deep and layered. The levels were fun and complex to explore. There were even subplots within many missions that existed on their own but also contributed to the universe. When I think about it, these are all things that Thief did quite well, too.

I don't want to ramble, but I hope some of you feel the same way about these things. Obviously Deus Ex is the sum of many elements working together, but these are the ones to focus on IMO.

Ninjerk
28th Jun 2009, 22:16
I really hope they don't go off Tolkien-izing the universe it's set in. It seems like that's been happening in a lot of franchises I've been a fan of for the last 7 or 8 years. All the events, choices, and motivations of whatever the original iteration was end up getting watered down.

FrankCSIS
29th Jun 2009, 02:44
I really hope they don't go off Tolkien-izing the universe it's set in.

This is ever so true. What was both so great and conflicting about DX is that none of what you did seemed to be truly the right thing, or the heroic outcome. Contrary to other RPG's, there were no good/neutral/evil paths, but rather a constant stream of difficult decisions, none of which promising a sure or defined outcome.

I'm a little worried as well that this may disappear, in favor of a more standardised paths system. Not because I'm pessimist about the project, but rather simply because this is the only system we've been having in RPG's for years, and I see no trend towards a change.

Helegad
29th Jun 2009, 03:44
Tolkien-izing? Cough, cough, Invisible War? Simplifying? Watering-down? Dammit, been there, done that. And while I did have a blast with DX:IW, it certainely was no DX1.

Icky6
29th Jun 2009, 06:05
Yeah, I gotta say though, I remain cautiously optimistic for the Eidos Montreal team. They have a great game and a not so great game to compare and contrast to make the third entry in the series, so they have some nice guidelines.

gamer0004
29th Jun 2009, 12:29
I agree with the OP. However, in one respect Tolkien is a very good example of how to do things right: the whole story is very cohesive. Which is the most important part of any fantasy/sci-fi/cyberpunk universe. Because if it isn't, nothing of it matters anymore. If you're not immersed, there is no reason to do anything, and if the universe isn't cohesive you're not immersed, because it doesn't feel real.

IOOI
29th Jun 2009, 13:42
This is ever so true. What was both so great and conflicting about DX is that none of what you did seemed to be truly the right thing, or the heroic outcome.


I'm not into Tolkien, (don't even like LoTR) i'm just expecting intricate plot decisions.

gamer0004
29th Jun 2009, 13:59
As long as it doesn't become "choose between 4 extreme acts of evil" (IW) I can't be very bothered.

Icky6
29th Jun 2009, 14:53
I agree with the OP. However, in one respect Tolkien is a very good example of how to do things right: the whole story is very cohesive. Which is the most important part of any fantasy/sci-fi/cyberpunk universe. Because if it isn't, nothing of it matters anymore. If you're not immersed, there is no reason to do anything, and if the universe isn't cohesive you're not immersed, because it doesn't feel real.

Exactly. This was the wonderful thing about datacubes, newspapers and the like. It really gave the universe a background even though you didn't play through those particular events.

Ninjerk
29th Jun 2009, 20:46
I agree with the OP. However, in one respect Tolkien is a very good example of how to do things right: the whole story is very cohesive. Which is the most important part of any fantasy/sci-fi/cyberpunk universe. Because if it isn't, nothing of it matters anymore. If you're not immersed, there is no reason to do anything, and if the universe isn't cohesive you're not immersed, because it doesn't feel real.

What I meant, more pointedly (and let me say I'm not knocking Tolkien, quite the creator I think), is that when a powerful work of literature has an entire universe built around it after the fact I believe it has the effect of diminishing the original work's potency. Once you can buy the RPG Companion Player Guide and read about how Billy Badass was able to turn his car into a fusion bomb the nuts and bolts of the whole thing end up crowding out Billy's motivation, what the effect is on the various characters, what this action means about Billy as a whole character, why the author/creator CHOSE to have him blow up a car instead of throwing a grenade (in the same vein as the old art direction gunshot motif in which a protagonist who fires only one shot is implicitly justified whereas emptying the gun implies maliciousness and guilt), and so many other things. I understand the expanded universe thing might appeal to a certain type of consumer, but it isn't for me.

What Tolkien did that all of these other expanded universes--what DX had but not with nearly the same investment and resultant effect--didn't was that he had this gigantic universe built years and years ahead of the popularizing of the original works. The expanded universes tend to build upon established franchises because they can sell books and such about them, and industry people wanting to throw their own spins on a franchise they like.

All that said, to the person I quoted: I would argue that verisimilitude is enough to create immersion. The fluff isn't required for me personally.

lumpi
30th Jun 2009, 15:34
Well, they clearly fell for the "omgwz, let's be original and do a PREQUEL" trap.

It's set a meager 18 years in the future, a time frame that doesn't make a lot of sense for the major differences to our current world. Compare today to 1991, we're not exactly an exotic utopia compared to 18 years ago. Cell phones and the internet are nice, but otherwise, everything's pretty much the same.

Overtime
1st Jul 2009, 20:53
Well, they clearly fell for the "omgwz, let's be original and do a PREQUEL" trap.

It's set a meager 18 years in the future, a time frame that doesn't make a lot of sense for the major differences to our current world. Compare today to 1991, we're not exactly an exotic utopia compared to 18 years ago. Cell phones and the internet are nice, but otherwise, everything's pretty much the same.


I think on the political level things are vastly different today compared to 18 years ago. Technologically maybe not, but thats not what matters imo. That's what Deus Ex 3 will take advantage of and they have even more leeway today with the current financial crisis. (i.e, it's a credible start to the dark, gloomy world that is Deus Ex.)