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Thread: Deus Ex was "overly complicated and deeply flawed"?

Deus Ex was "overly complicated and deeply flawed"?

  1. #1

    Deus Ex was "overly complicated and deeply flawed"?

    The Escapist seems to think so.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...-Epic-Gamble.2
    (once you get past this discussion, you should read the rest, it's pretty good)

    Who would believe that Spector, a veteran of the infamously bombastic Ion Storm - whose biggest hit was the overly-complex and deeply flawed Deus Ex - was telling the truth; that Hollywood studios were actually lining up at his door to shower him with cash? Who would believe that Hollywood was turning sour on the silver screen? Or that Spector, one of the most mild-mannered developers you'll ever meet, would be the future of gaming?
    Well first, I'd like to say... Really? Is this really what the general gaming public thinks of Deus Ex? I mean, obviously Deus Ex had its shortcomings, but to sum up its entirety as being "deeply flawed"? I don't think that ANY of the issues were anywhere NEAR that bad, to be honest with you. And "overly complex"? I played Deus Ex when I was in middle school with no issues. I don't really see what they're getting at here. What do you guys think?

    Secondly, I'm pretty *** sure that ALL OF US knew Warren Spector was the future of gaming. Deus Ex made it pretty obvious, I think.
    Speed up the accelerating returns, 'cause carbon doesn’t work, I want to evolve and operate at terahertz.

  2. #2
    This thread "overly stupid and deeply useless"?
    The man has an opinion, get over it. He doesn't represent the entire site and plenty of Escapist writers think that DE is a great and classic game. And Spector's not God.
    "Jensen if you even think of using that CASIE aug on me I will hit you." -Malik

  3. #3
    You're right, I should have just made another thread complaining about how terrible the new game looks. I forgot that discussion wasn't allowed unless it's about burning Dugas an effigy.
    Speed up the accelerating returns, 'cause carbon doesn’t work, I want to evolve and operate at terahertz.

  4. #4
    It was flawed but still it's complication (for the most part) was one of it's strengths.


    But the escapist sucks anyway.
    I SERVE NONE BUT KORROK
    "It's not the end of the world but it is the end of fine dining"

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by hem dazon 90
    It was flawed but still it's complication (for the most part) was one of it's strengths.


    But the escapist sucks anyway.
    It's good for yatzhee. He relieves stress.

    And yeah sorry Shralla, go on.
    "Jensen if you even think of using that CASIE aug on me I will hit you." -Malik

  6. #6

    This was brought up in the comments as seen below:

    You considered Deus Ex to be overly complex and deeply flawed?
    I did, yes. Also, so does Warren Spector, as he wrote for us several years ago, and as I quoted in the above article.:

    Too much choice is a scary thing, capable of paralyzing people. (As I learned to my chagrin on Deus Ex!)
    Perhaps "deeply" flawed is an overstatement, but not by much.

    Granted I haven't played the game over and over like you have, and the last time I played it was in 2001 or so, but I found the game's assertion of open-endedness and unrestricted player agency to be broken past a certain point. Once it became clear to me that a lot of the "choice" was an illusion and that the game would play out how it was written to play out regardless of your actions, I lost interest.

    That said, it was a milestone of game design, and considering there weren't a lot of games made in 2001 that broke as much new ground as <i>Deus Ex</i>, I can see why it garnered so many GOTY accolades. But it's not a perfect game.

    I feel I'm on pretty safe ground espousing this opinion considering it's shared by the creator


    My reply to him; if I felt the need to reply to that would be that:
    it wasn't feeling like the game was going to turn out a different way that made Deus Ex so great and replayable. It was all of those little changes, hidden pieces of dialogue you could still have never heard after playing the game 20 times and trying to do it different each time. It's all oft hat attention to detail that makes Deus Ex so great, and why so many of us see it as something much the opposite of a "flaw"

  7. #7
    Watching one of my friends play deus ex has enlightened me a bit. ultimately the game has things that simply do not fly in today's world. They are not even the things your thinking of.

    Take skill points, the method they are presented in deus ex means it's incredibly easy for players to miss that they even exist. while i'm sure some of you have done a no skill run it's not what i would call a great time for a new player.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by super...
    Take skill points, the method they are presented in deus ex means it's incredibly easy for players to miss that they even exist. while i'm sure some of you have done a no skill run it's not what i would call a great time for a new player.
    Easy to miss?
    A big window in the middle of the screen, where you have a portrait with arrows beneath it, a place to type your name and a set of skills, with two large buttons beneath them that say "Upgrade" and "Downgrade" and a square that says "Skill Points"?

    That's not something wrong with the game. That's something wrong with how that person has learned to play games.

    If you see that window at the start, and don't see the need to experiment, then Deus Ex is probably not the game for you, at all.
    "Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else." G'Kar, Babylon 5.

  9. #9
    I bought and completed DX when I was 12. Overly complicated? no. If too much choice is daunting then real life must be pretty terrifying for those people that couldn't handle DX! Deeply flawed? Maybe there's an argument that DX's action section was flawed to a certain extent, but then again, the combat was supposed to be 'flawed' at the start to force you to consider other options in approaching missions.

    So no I wouldn't agree with that at all. And if Spector said much the same I think he's selling himself and the game short in a big big way.
    So, ten seconds wait, and then thirty seconds for health regeneration... colour me surprised. Moderately happily surprised.

  10. #10
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    The game was undoubtedly difficult. I have seen people fail the tutorial more times then not and I would probably say that the first map is the hardest part in the game. Yet isn't that why it's such a good game?

    Take System Shock 2 for example. You had crazy ass zombies with shotguns and killer robots running around spawning randomly that would mess you up. You also had to deal with things like guns jamming on you at exactly the wrong time and the necessity to buy bullets even when everyone on the ship was dead. However if all that stuff was removed to make the game more assessable to a wider audience... I.E. Bioshock. The end result is the game is no longer scary and the fun factor is decreased.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by hem dazon 90
    It was flawed but still it's complication (for the most part) was one of it's strengths.


    But the escapist sucks anyway.
    Deux Ex complicated?

    Wow, what low opinions you have of the game playing public in 2010.
    Dwight Schrute: Every weekend I volunteer at the local animal shelter and they need a lot of help down there. Last Sunday I had to put down a hundred and fifty pets by myself.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Russ Pitts
    Too much choice is a scary thing, capable of paralyzing people. (As I learned to my chagrin on Deus Ex!)
    Originally Posted by Russ Pitts
    Once it became clear to me that a lot of the "choice" was an illusion and that the game would play out how it was written to play out regardless of your actions, I lost interest.
    Hard to please some people, eh Goldilocks? Can't handle too much choice, won't be happy with too little.

    As for me, give me all the choice in the world! I still enjoy a good script with a passing interest, but it can never compare to a web of fully fleshed out possibilities. Paralysis is for old pandas!

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Fluffis
    Easy to miss?
    A big window in the middle of the screen, where you have a portrait with arrows beneath it, a place to type your name and a set of skills, with two large buttons beneath them that say "Upgrade" and "Downgrade" and a square that says "Skill Points"?

    That's not something wrong with the game. That's something wrong with how that person has learned to play games.

    i know this person has at least missed the skill point screen twice, he even told me once that he wished the game had skill points. and he plays a whole lot of american rpgs and jrpgs.

    You know how lame it is to blame the audience. I mean your never going to make something that works for everyone but this kid IS the audience for deus ex.

    Deus ex is great but its age shows.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by super...
    i know this person has at least missed the skill point screen twice, he even told me once that he wished the game had skill points. and he plays a whole lot of american rpgs and jrpgs.
    What...? You really mean he missed the character "creation" screen? It's the first thing that pops up when you start a new game!

    Originally Posted by super...
    You know how lame it is to blame the audience. I mean your never going to make something that works for everyone but this kid IS the audience for deus ex.
    Well, obviously he isn't. Deus Ex is a game where "trying things out" is how you succeed. Just tell the guy to RTFM.

    Originally Posted by super...
    Deus ex is great but its age shows.
    I can't even begin to understand how a kid missing the character creation screen at the start of the game, can be translated into Deus Ex being too old.

    You're actually starting to scare me with this example of how hand-holding has gotten so common in modern games.
    "Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else." G'Kar, Babylon 5.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by super...
    i know this person has at least missed the skill point screen twice, he even told me once that he wished the game had skill points. and he plays a whole lot of american rpgs and jrpgs.

    You know how lame it is to blame the audience. I mean your never going to make something that works for everyone but this kid IS the audience for deus ex.

    Deus ex is great but its age shows.
    If this kid missed the character creation screen and didn't have the sense to even look through his in-game menus to discover the Skill pane, then... no. I think it's safe to say he is not the target audience for Deus Ex, and god forbid he ever will be.

    I understand that DX never really screamed "HEY BUDDY, GO SPEND YOUR *** SKILL POINTS, YOU HAVE LIKE 500 OF 'EM" like some games would be tempted to do today. But you really can't blame the game for such a lack of player attention. I started my brother off on DX (after he finally expressed interest in it after hearing me wax about it endlessly), and while it remains to be seen how his mileage will fare with it, he at least managed to understand things like that. And he's not exactly somebody with a deep personal history with sims, RPGs, or anything much more complex than your average third-person fighting game or FPS.

    I don't know what any of that has to do with Deus Ex being an aged title. I don't need to be reminded that a ten year old game is, in fact, old. But here it seems like you're employing it as an excuse for the player's abject failure to pay attention or even show some curiosity. Deus Ex had its flaws, but surely this was not one of them.
    YOU CAN'T BEAT ME

  16. #16
    As I've said in earlier posts, I never even ran through the Training Mission until this year. I've been playing Deus Ex since 2000, and I learned how to handle this "overly complicated" game without so much as a tutorial. Every portion of its mechanics were rather intuitive, actually.

    A Lockpick will open a locked door. A Multitool... never heard of those. But it's clearly a "tool", so... Oh! Look! It works against electronic things! A computer terminal... hmm... no password. But there's a clearly-marked function to Hack it, right there.

    Deus Ex was fairly easy to learn. But it did require you to learn it. And it was always fun! If the base notion of "learning" suddenly makes a thing "overly complicated" for certain people... that's probably not something they should advertise.
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  17. #17
    I picked the skill presentation because it's a simple problem to fix without any compromises. simply just present it better.

    games are an entertainment product. it's only natural that the people making it want more people to like what they make. so if that means presenting gameplay in a method that is easy to understand i see nothing wrong with that "hand holding".

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by super...
    I picked the skill presentation because it's a simple problem to fix without any compromises. simply just present it better.

    games are an entertainment product. it's only natural that the people making it want more people to like what they make. so if that means presenting gameplay in a method that is easy to understand i see nothing wrong with that "hand holding".
    I can't really see an easier way to present something, than a window that takes up half of the screen at the start of a new game.

    Could have added some neon arrows and a sign that says "Here Be Skills!!!", I suppose.
    "Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else." G'Kar, Babylon 5.

  19. #19
    there are a number of better ways. j rpgs are great at this kind of thing. they layer the games complexity over the first few hours of play making sure to introduce new elements in a clear and understandable manner.

    I mean if the goal of skills to to build a unique character during play why front load so many skill choices before the game even starts?

  20. #20
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    I started Deus Ex when I was seven. It is not overly complicated.

    But man, the spy drone pissed me the off.

  21. #21
    Originally Posted by Fluffis
    I can't really see an easier way to present something, than a window that takes up half of the screen at the start of a new game.

    Could have added some neon arrows and a sign that says "Here Be Skills!!!", I suppose.
    And a loud voice screaming 'push it to see skills!!'

    I must say if this kid really missed something that is so *obvious* as the skill screen, I mean thats saying 'I want to drive to work today, but I cant find my car!' While standing in front of it. And what you are asking for is ' blinking neonlights for all cars so we can see the cars'.
    The kid you are talking about has no experience playing PC games, and is probably trying to play 'console style' encourage him to slow down an look more closely instead.
    Go for the eyes bo! Go for the eyes!!

  22. #22
    Originally Posted by super...
    there are a number of better ways. j rpgs are great at this kind of thing. they layer the games complexity over the first few hours of play making sure to introduce new elements in a clear and understandable manner.
    That's not necessarily a better way. It's just different.
    Me, I'm partial to the "Into the Deep End" thing. It forces you to learn quickly, in order to survive. It adds intensity to the game and when things go from "bad" to "worse", you're prepared for it.

    DX is not the kind of game where you're supposed to feel on top of everything. You're supposed to feel like you're in completely over your head, from the start - because you are in over your head. You have to struggle to even stay alive - either by shooting and popping medikits like they're candy, or taking your time by sneaking around things.

    Originally Posted by super...
    I mean if the goal of skills to to build a unique character during play why front load so many skill choices before the game even starts?
    RPG convention. That's how any ordinary PnP RPG works. You get a couple of skills to start with, but you can choose them from a variety of different skills. Then it starts to differ between games. Either you continue to build up the ones you have, you get new ones all the time or a combination of the two.

    In most PnP RPGs you have a load of skills to select from. Far, far more than in DX.
    "Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else." G'Kar, Babylon 5.

  23. #23
    Back in the day no reviews said the game was over complicated.It just shows the effect of the console dumb down of recent times.

  24. #24
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    I can see a point of view that DX was overly complex.

    I can see a point of view that it was flawed.

    But if you call it both, you either have schizophrenia, or you say stuff without thinking it through first. In either case, you are off your rocker.

  25. #25
    Now this is just my opinion.But in all honestly if anyone truly believes DX1 was deeply flawed maybe they could stand to look at it from the standpoint that perhaps DX1 was so close to reality in certain aspects that is perhaps the reason why it appears flawed,as opposed to other games that weren't so realistic thereby keeping the flaws less apparent.Kinda like a telescope can see the creators on the moon so much better than the naked eye.I believe DX1 was a victim of itself in some ways it was so good.
    If you want to make enemies, dumb something down

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