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Author Topic: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Impressions and stuff! [Official Review too!]  (Read 19394 times)
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« Reply #280 on: August 27, 2011, 11:21:23 PM »

I ghosted that mission easily. There's got to be something wrong.
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« Reply #281 on: August 27, 2011, 11:29:45 PM »

Ive found that stealth for me is much easier, most times, than duking it out. Also using a take down and hiding bodies has given me success too.
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« Reply #282 on: August 28, 2011, 12:01:08 AM »

Yeah, stealth really, REALLY seems to be the way to go. If you get into a gunfight against multiple mobs, odds are you're going to get slaughtered unless you can exploit your cloak (if you have it) or line of sight (where they think you were last) in general.

So far at least, run and gun will just get you killed.

Also, about the crouch thing - there is two speeds of crouching. Crouch 'run' seems to work just fine (I can walk right up to somebody no problem), but maybe on higher difficulties you have to use a silent augment or the crouch 'walk' (hit the toggle button). For sure you have to use crouch walk to get up to mines to disarm them.
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« Reply #283 on: August 28, 2011, 12:08:02 AM »

I had a blast helping the police capture a thug they needed to drill for info.  there were about 6 other guys around him, and I couldn't kill him, so I had to pay attention to the faces and pick them off one by one without hitting him as they all milled around him while firing at me.  after the last gangbanger went down I charged in and used my takedown on him.  it felt awesome watching the takedown sequence with all the bodies laying around.

so far I haven't had any issues with stealth; part of the sidequest that also involved that incident was to sneak in and out of a gang controlled area, with bonus points for not being detected, and I made it through OK.  you just have to study their patterns, and if someone is watching a spot then chances are they'll move at some point, so you also have to be patient.

that said, I'm feeling the need for some violence, so the police station is probably about to get a visit from the Terminator.
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« Reply #284 on: August 28, 2011, 12:17:23 AM »

I just noticed this on the main menu screen:

Special message Incoming:  Be Ready / 2200 GMT 29 Aug.
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« Reply #285 on: August 28, 2011, 04:04:25 AM »

I have had it with this game, unless someone has a suggestion for a fix....

I love the gameplay and story, when I can play it.  I get really, really bad lag spikes all the time, then it just crashes.  It will only crash sometimes, but the constant video lag makes the game unplayable for me.  The even more frustrating part is it does it on both my laptop and my desktop, regardless of what setting I use.  Even on the lowest possible setting and resolution.  Both of my PC's are more than capable of playing this game.  Specs are as follows:

Desktop - Windows 7 64bit, Intel i7 930, 16GB DDR3 1600 RAM and a Radeon 5970.  Drivers are current.

Laptop - Widows 7 64 bit, Intel i7 2630, 12 GB DDR3 1333 RAM, nVidia 560M.  All drivers are current.

The Deus Ex forums are zero help and I am quite upset at the major performance issues on both of my rigs.  I wish I could return it on Steam and go buy a console version =/
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« Reply #286 on: August 28, 2011, 04:23:39 AM »

I apparently need to watch some gameplay videos then, because I'm obviously doing something seriously wrong.  Playing on Easy (which I would think lowers AI sensitivity), and constantly getting spotted.

Perfect example:  I come into a room with three guards and have to get to a doorway that's down about 10 feet from my hiding spot.  I patiently wait until all three guards are all the way on the other side of the room and all three have their backs turned, then crouch walk up to the door.  The second I approach the door, all three guards immediately go into alarm mode, rush me, and I'm dead.  How they saw me sneaking up on the complete opposite side of the room with their backs turned, I have no gorram idea.   icon_evil
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« Reply #287 on: August 28, 2011, 04:30:11 AM »

Quote from: Grimwar on August 28, 2011, 04:04:25 AM

I have had it with this game, unless someone has a suggestion for a fix....

I love the gameplay and story, when I can play it.  I get really, really bad lag spikes all the time, then it just crashes.  It will only crash sometimes, but the constant video lag makes the game unplayable for me.  The even more frustrating part is it does it on both my laptop and my desktop, regardless of what setting I use.  Even on the lowest possible setting and resolution.  Both of my PC's are more than capable of playing this game.  Specs are as follows:

Desktop - Windows 7 64bit, Intel i7 930, 16GB DDR3 1600 RAM and a Radeon 5970.  Drivers are current.

I'm using  Windows 7 64bit, Intel i7 930, 6GB DDR3 1600 RAM and a Radeon 5870 x 2, but with 11.4 drivers, and haven't had any issues.  trying some older drivers might help.

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« Reply #288 on: August 28, 2011, 05:31:32 AM »

is vsync on?  Try turning that off
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« Reply #289 on: August 28, 2011, 06:40:41 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 28, 2011, 04:23:39 AM

I apparently need to watch some gameplay videos then, because I'm obviously doing something seriously wrong.  Playing on Easy (which I would think lowers AI sensitivity), and constantly getting spotted.

Perfect example:  I come into a room with three guards and have to get to a doorway that's down about 10 feet from my hiding spot.  I patiently wait until all three guards are all the way on the other side of the room and all three have their backs turned, then crouch walk up to the door.  The second I approach the door, all three guards immediately go into alarm mode, rush me, and I'm dead.  How they saw me sneaking up on the complete opposite side of the room with their backs turned, I have no gorram idea.   icon_evil

That definitely shouldn't be happening.  They shouldn't see you unless you're close to them and if they somehow hear you, they should only go into Alarm mode and come to investigate.
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« Reply #290 on: August 28, 2011, 07:11:47 AM »

Quote from: ibdoomed on August 25, 2011, 04:38:34 PM

Quote from: Asharak on August 25, 2011, 02:58:05 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on August 25, 2011, 02:35:19 PM

I totally agree that the fight was stupid and the guy just stood there in the middle of the room so when he reloaded, I shot him in the head with my pistol a few times and he died. It was like playing a completely different game. Duckhunt homage?

Do you mean the pistol actually killed him in just few hits? Or do you mean he stood there through multiple ammo-reloadings and you were able to get lots of shots in on him that way? Because in my game, he only stood there for the first barrage. After that, he started ceaselessly stalking me around the room, making it almost impossible to get a shot in because I had to keep changing cover (and the reloading window of time was so small).

If the pistol really did kill him in just a few hits, I may owe them a little bit of an apology -- I know my pistol had an armor-piercing upgrade on it but I didn't think to use it, assuming big guy = use biggest gun was the better approach. If he only seemed to have nearly infinite health because I was using the wrong weapon, that's a little better...

- Ash

I did reload the pistols 10 round clip once and who knows what kind of accuracy I had. Everyone else has been a one headshot kill with the pistol so far. He never moved through 3 or 4 reloads from that one spot in the middle of the room. Had he stalked me like he did you, then I wouldn't have considered the battle pathetically simple but all I had to do was cover behind the concrete thing you spawn behind and do the up aiming between reloads.

just encountered him, and he was definitely moving.  took me 4-5 tries, first time the pistol didn't seem to scratch him, second time I noticed the combat rifle seemed to be drawing blood so I used that on all the other tries.
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« Reply #291 on: August 28, 2011, 11:28:36 AM »

I have this, not played it much but have a question. I'm playing on easy and really can't be doing with too much sneaking around, is it not playable without doing the majority of it sneaking!
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« Reply #292 on: August 28, 2011, 11:33:36 AM »

Quote from: Reemul on August 28, 2011, 11:28:36 AM

I have this, not played it much but have a question. I'm playing on easy and really can't be doing with too much sneaking around, is it not playable without doing the majority of it sneaking!

Its quite playable, but certain missions require you to not be seen. That said, there are huge incentives for sneaking, and huge bonuses' as well, so most assume the game is geared towards sneaking more than shooting.
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« Reply #293 on: August 28, 2011, 07:39:52 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 27, 2011, 09:40:19 PM

Quote from: Razgon on August 27, 2011, 09:38:40 PM

Stealth is highly dependant on the sticky cover - if you use that, you are very well covered

See, that's what I thought, but I keep getting spotted even when I'm behind sticky cover and out of the line of sight.  It's like the enemy somehow knows I'm there, but I can't figure out why.

if you move sometimes your head appears above the cover. you can't really move around if they are in your sight.

Quote from: Gratch on August 28, 2011, 04:23:39 AM

I apparently need to watch some gameplay videos then, because I'm obviously doing something seriously wrong.  Playing on Easy (which I would think lowers AI sensitivity), and constantly getting spotted.

Perfect example:  I come into a room with three guards and have to get to a doorway that's down about 10 feet from my hiding spot.  I patiently wait until all three guards are all the way on the other side of the room and all three have their backs turned, then crouch walk up to the door.  The second I approach the door, all three guards immediately go into alarm mode, rush me, and I'm dead.  How they saw me sneaking up on the complete opposite side of the room with their backs turned, I have no gorram idea.   icon_evil

did you open the door? were there other guys around that saw that door open? opening doors make sound. if they notice the door is open they get suspicious too. if you had to hack the door that stands you up. lots of reasons they would have spotted you.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 07:43:15 PM by jersoc » Logged
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« Reply #294 on: August 28, 2011, 08:44:06 PM »

Quote from: jersoc on August 28, 2011, 07:39:52 PM

did you open the door? were there other guys around that saw that door open? opening doors make sound. if they notice the door is open they get suspicious too. if you had to hack the door that stands you up. lots of reasons they would have spotted you.

Something very similar happens at the 4:35 mark of this walkthrough.  I have no idea how he opened the door and walked right in - with a guard about 10 feet away - without triggering them at all.  Any time I have tried something even remotely similar to that, every guard on the level starts going apeshit and chasing after me.  Same with the takedown at 5:15.  He comes out of stealth, walks right up to the guy, and stabs him.  Even approaching them in a crouch, I would get totally busted.

Hoping a little practice will help me get used to it, 'cause I can't figure it out for the life of me
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« Reply #295 on: August 28, 2011, 09:20:27 PM »

Just trying to help you out here...when you go into cover....do you keep the cover button(on mine right mouse) pressed when you try to have a look or move around your cover?
If you don't keep it pressed you'll pop up when you move.
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« Reply #296 on: August 28, 2011, 11:03:08 PM »

Batteries...

I have a question, probably dumb..

The 2nd battery is always depleted and never recharges, unless I eat something.   The first battery recharges over time, bu that 2nd one is always dead.

Whats up with that? 
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« Reply #297 on: August 28, 2011, 11:08:23 PM »

If the only battery that recharges on its own is the first one, not sure I want to buy any battery augs..  The extra batteries will be sitting there empty too...

Hopefully I am missing something..
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« Reply #298 on: August 29, 2011, 12:19:30 AM »

I paid for one battery aug, its nice to have multiple if you have several things you need to do that need power, otherwise I tend to agree. The recharge augs are worth it, I have all of those, it significantly offsets power consumption.
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« Reply #299 on: August 29, 2011, 01:02:45 AM »

Quote from: Morgul on August 28, 2011, 11:03:08 PM

The 2nd battery is always depleted and never recharges, unless I eat something.   The first battery recharges over time, bu that 2nd one is always dead.

Whats up with that? 
Well, the point is to make sure you always have SOME battery power so you're not a completely gimped, aug-less Adam. But they also don't want all your batteries recharging, or you'd be able to use powers like invisibility, silent movement, etc., simultaneously and ceaselessly, rendering the whole game essentially a cakewalk.

That said, while I understand the system, I agree with you that it's not very good.

- Ash
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« Reply #300 on: August 29, 2011, 01:31:28 AM »

I'd rather they come up with some way other than to use expendables to recharge. Something like in Splinter Cell Conviction's marking system, where you have to get a melee takedown to store up marks.

Or if anything, just make encounters more difficult, requiring a lot of aug use.
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« Reply #301 on: August 29, 2011, 04:12:29 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 28, 2011, 07:11:47 AM

Quote from: ibdoomed on August 25, 2011, 04:38:34 PM

Quote from: Asharak on August 25, 2011, 02:58:05 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on August 25, 2011, 02:35:19 PM

I totally agree that the fight was stupid and the guy just stood there in the middle of the room so when he reloaded, I shot him in the head with my pistol a few times and he died. It was like playing a completely different game. Duckhunt homage?

Do you mean the pistol actually killed him in just few hits? Or do you mean he stood there through multiple ammo-reloadings and you were able to get lots of shots in on him that way? Because in my game, he only stood there for the first barrage. After that, he started ceaselessly stalking me around the room, making it almost impossible to get a shot in because I had to keep changing cover (and the reloading window of time was so small).

If the pistol really did kill him in just a few hits, I may owe them a little bit of an apology -- I know my pistol had an armor-piercing upgrade on it but I didn't think to use it, assuming big guy = use biggest gun was the better approach. If he only seemed to have nearly infinite health because I was using the wrong weapon, that's a little better...

- Ash

I did reload the pistols 10 round clip once and who knows what kind of accuracy I had. Everyone else has been a one headshot kill with the pistol so far. He never moved through 3 or 4 reloads from that one spot in the middle of the room. Had he stalked me like he did you, then I wouldn't have considered the battle pathetically simple but all I had to do was cover behind the concrete thing you spawn behind and do the up aiming between reloads.

just encountered him, and he was definitely moving.  took me 4-5 tries, first time the pistol didn't seem to scratch him, second time I noticed the combat rifle seemed to be drawing blood so I used that on all the other tries.

Frag mine and 2 or 3 rockets opened a nice big hole in his chest for me. Quick fight.  I like big guns for big targets....pistol vs the hulk...yer funny people.

i'm much further on now...in 3rd major area.  I have been doin allt he side quests though so praxis never an issue now credits so i just bought all the extra inventory slots.  I carry around an assortment of grenades, a sniper rifle, a crossbow, a rocket launcher, a super awesome upgraded silenced pistol and a slightly upgraded combat rifle:)  Cause i just have so much fun using them all in different situations.  I end up using a variety of stealth and combat to beat everything and variety of lethal and non lethal combat....

So when things like the big bad dude mentioned above came up....he was certainly no trouble...i can see how he'd be a lot of trouble though for someone with a different style and setup...which totally makes sense...it is what it is.  I thought the encounter was well done....he's like an augmented hulk with massive armor on...it's like fighting the terminator...not supposed to be easy.
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« Reply #302 on: August 29, 2011, 04:56:07 AM »

When the rest of the game is pushing you towards stealth, not being seen, no combat - its a weird design decision to make combat bosses.
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« Reply #303 on: August 29, 2011, 07:11:17 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 29, 2011, 04:56:07 AM

When the rest of the game is pushing you towards stealth, not being seen, no combat - its a weird design decision to make combat bosses.

Yeah, that's the complaint in many reviews I've read. Or as one site put it: "The boss fights are SO different than the other 99% of the game, they all had to be designed by an entirely different team that didn't get a chance to see, play, or even be told about the rest of the game."
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« Reply #304 on: August 29, 2011, 01:31:07 PM »

Spoiler about Malik


Spoiler for Hiden:
Saving Malik brought a smile to my face for some reason. Btw, I blew my pacifist achievement saving her


Awesome . Awesome, Awesome game
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« Reply #305 on: August 29, 2011, 07:01:27 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on August 29, 2011, 01:31:07 PM

Spoiler about Malik


Spoiler for Hiden:
Saving Malik brought a smile to my face for some reason. Btw, I blew my pacifist achievement saving her


Awesome . Awesome, Awesome game

Spoiler for Hiden:
Wow, I didn't know that could be done. I avenged her death and thought maybe she'd pull through but then I found her dead body later...
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« Reply #306 on: August 29, 2011, 10:43:42 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 28, 2011, 12:17:23 AM

I just noticed this on the main menu screen:

Special message Incoming:  Be Ready / 2200 GMT 29 Aug.

hmmm..... 

on another note, I had my first crash last night while talking to some whore in the second hub.  it was probably sound related- the sound just started repeating and the PC hard locked.
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« Reply #307 on: August 29, 2011, 11:14:19 PM »

I had one random crash seconds after loading the game.  A second after the first time I beat the first boss (that angered me).  The cut scene started to play with no video or sound, just subtitles.  After a while the text stopped but the scene (or black screen in this case) never went away.

On a happy note I had no trouble killing the boss once I figured out the trick.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Open with any grenade.  Run right and back and throw the gas tank at him while stunned.  Now while he is stunned in gas grab a red barrel and throw it.  Throw a second if you can, if not run to the forward right and grab another gas tank.  Between the long gas stuns/confusion you have plenty of time to pelt him with red barrels.

Now I have an awesome armor piercing, laser sighting, and silenced pistol.  I have gone from the nice guy that tranqs everyone to just putting a quiet bullet in each head.  I might drop the tranq gun entirely to free up space for something else.
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« Reply #308 on: August 29, 2011, 11:18:01 PM »

The only crash I've had so far was when I was trying to skip past the cutscene before the first boss fight because it was my 14th attempt or something.  And then it just locked up, not a CTD.

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« Reply #309 on: August 30, 2011, 12:53:20 AM »

and another 'code' appears:

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« Reply #310 on: August 30, 2011, 12:59:49 AM »

I found a patch that lets me skip the intro credit scenes and now the game loads in seconds.  I found it in the steam forum thread for the game.  Works great.

Got to the second boss battle and had to try about 10 times to win and I only did that because they got stuck in the environment.   
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« Reply #311 on: August 30, 2011, 02:34:54 AM »

Whoops.  Instead of hitting F8 to reload I instead hit F5 to quicksave after accidentally triggering an alarm in a room with about 6 heavily armed and armored TYM guards.  Oh, and a robot. 

Naturally, an actual save slot is about an hour and a half's worth of work in the past.  Don't think I'm going to sneak my way out of this one.
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« Reply #312 on: August 30, 2011, 02:35:57 AM »

Quote from: TK-421 on August 30, 2011, 02:34:54 AM

Whoops.  Instead of hitting F8 to reload I instead hit F5 to quicksave after accidentally triggering an alarm in a room with about 6 heavily armed and armored TYM guards.  Oh, and a robot. 

Naturally, an actual save slot is about an hour and a half's worth of work in the past.  Don't think I'm going to sneak my way out of this one.

what about autosave?  that is normally a separate slot and shouldn't be from that long ago.
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« Reply #313 on: August 30, 2011, 03:43:21 AM »

Quote from: shon on August 30, 2011, 12:59:49 AM

I found a patch that lets me skip the intro credit scenes and now the game loads in seconds.  I found it in the steam forum thread for the game.  Works great.

Link?
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« Reply #314 on: August 30, 2011, 09:01:24 AM »

I should finish this game tomorrow or wed night. It's been pretty good so far. I'm amazed that there are actually real multiple paths to the encounters. Even after I think I found the best stealth route sometimes I find a better one. blows my mind how much exploration pays off.

I think my biggest gripe has to be the AI. they are absolutely retarded and extremely easy to exploit, especially with a silencer and a nice crouched position. You can pick a few guys and hide for a bit and repeat. They rarely ever look far past the bodies. Other times they spot your instantly in vents lol. so yeah, I don't know man. I'm on normal difficulty so maybe the next one up isn't like this, but I'm willingly to bet the AI is exploitable in any difficulty. I still try to stealth around, but in a pinch like a certain penthouse escape I basically did that and it made it trivial. Plus hey, more ammo. Head shots work wonderful.
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« Reply #315 on: August 30, 2011, 10:17:06 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 30, 2011, 02:35:57 AM

Quote from: TK-421 on August 30, 2011, 02:34:54 AM

Whoops.  Instead of hitting F8 to reload I instead hit F5 to quicksave after accidentally triggering an alarm in a room with about 6 heavily armed and armored TYM guards.  Oh, and a robot. 

Naturally, an actual save slot is about an hour and a half's worth of work in the past.  Don't think I'm going to sneak my way out of this one.

what about autosave?  that is normally a separate slot and shouldn't be from that long ago.

Didn't think about that, I just cleaned house.  Used up pretty much all my ammo though.
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Open the blast doors!  Open the blast doors!
MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #316 on: August 30, 2011, 01:24:04 PM »

I'm enjoying the "conversations" that I'm having with people or eavesdropping on, nice that they don't just parrot the same line over and over. I didn't save the hostages the first time through the factory mission and the conversations were all influenced by that, including the random NPCs I 'talked' to. Decided to go back to an earlier save and actually find and save them, which I did and which changed most of the post mission comments. Nice. Heck, I even got an invite over to someones house out of it.  icon_wink

When I walked back down by the receptionist, she was in conversation with someone else and the other person was talking about how they weren't sure they could still work here. What if the terrorists attack again? What if they came in the front door? The poor receptionist would be the first... "The first what?" "The first to..., ummm" "The first to what?" Nice lady but not the brightest bulb, it seems.  slywink
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-craig

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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #317 on: August 30, 2011, 02:15:15 PM »

Does anyone know if Gratch figured out his stealth problem yet?  I started playing around the same time that he did, except I haven't had any problem slipping around undetected.

I keep waiting for the big reveal when Gratch sheepishly admits he's been constantly hitting the "Loud Fart" hotkey or something....

-Autistic Angel
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Tokek
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« Reply #318 on: August 30, 2011, 02:50:52 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on August 29, 2011, 01:31:07 PM

Spoiler about Malik


Spoiler for Hiden:
Saving Malik brought a smile to my face for some reason. Btw, I blew my pacifist achievement saving her


Awesome . Awesome, Awesome game

Just past that part a little bit and I went back and replayed it. Didn't know that could happen. Thanks! I also blew that achievement but no regrets doing it.
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Asharak
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« Reply #319 on: August 30, 2011, 07:11:05 PM »

--- Cross posted from OO ---

OK, my after-one-complete-playthrough thoughts about DEHR, otherwise known as a "review". Warning: this will likely be [Bloody Long] and for the sake of putting everything down in one place (which helps me organize my thoughts), will probably reiterate much of what I've said in earlier posts mixed in with some new stuff. I won't talk about plot specifics, so no need to fear spoilers.

Summary: Objectively, 6/8 tentacles; subjectively, 7/8 tentacles (call that a "reviewer's tilt" or whatever you like but it just feels like more fun than what we typically think of a 75% game, despite the flaws that make me rate it that way).

Recommendation: Absolutely a "buy" for fans of DE1 in particular or the stealth genre in general. People who don't like the "interactive movie" trend in video games, where narrative is arguably more important than mechanics and much of the plot develops in conversations and/or cutscenes, should be more cautious.

Playtime: Approximately 30 hours. A pure completionist (I missed a bunch of stuff in the first hub) could certainly use 35 or a bit more; I could see a run-and-gunner finishing in 20-25.

Technical comments: I had one CTD, the very first time I played the game, but it was rock solid for me the rest of the way. I encountered a few very trivial in-game bugs: a couple of times I tried to shoot "over" cover and my bullets hit the top of my cover; one side quest didn't update properly at one stage, making me hunt around an entire city (or Google, as the case may be) for what I supposed to do next; a couple of times I tried to drag bodies and they refused to go over very minor obstacles, like cables on the ground. These were minutiae, though, and by modern standards this appears to be a very polished release.

Review:

The most important thing to know about Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that this is, absolutely, gloriously and occasionally frustratingly, a multi-path cover-based stealth game in the mold of the original Deus Ex, Thief, etc. That's not to say it plays exactly like them but it tries to be like them in a lot of ways and there's a persistant feel of "retro" gameplay, or being an homage to those games, throughout DEHR.

The game's greatest asset is that it is about something more than just objectives or achievements. It has an issue it wants to explore - unsurprisingly, that of the risks and rewards of using technology to improve the human body and/or mind - and almost everything Jensen experiences or is asked to do is intended to inform some aspect, positive or negative, of that discussion. I've read criticisms that DEHR is not as intellectual as the original Deux and that is probably true; there are no lengthy texts in the game preaching about philosophy or political-economic theory and the "science" of augmentation that is presented is very much out of the Star Trek school of technobabble. But the question of augmentation as a social issue is handled very adroitly: what could it do? How would different segments of society react? Most importantly, how would you react? Another criticism I had read is that Jensen doesn't editorialize at all throughout the game. I think that, however, is very intentional, as it frees you to assign to Jensen your own feelings about the issue and motives for "his" decisions.

The game has plenty of the traditional physical obstacles for you to overcome but where this focus on having to grabble with and resolve an issue, at least in your own mind, really shines is in the conversation system. As has been discussed, this takes the Alpha Protocol "stance" system for dialogue and runs with it. You will have multiple entirely verbal confrontations with key characters in the game, where your only goal is to convince them of something. There's an augmentation to help with this, letting you know whether someone can be charmed, or pressured, or is likely to try to dodge difficult questions, or a dozen other types of responses (not all offered at once, fortunately), but the takeaway is that this is the most interactive dialogue system I've seen. It's also, very pleasantly, a mobile one: Adam and his interlocutor will actually move as the conversation progresses, almost giving the feeling of the blocking in a stage play. It's a surprisingly simple addition that makes a big difference to the feel of it all, as Adam will physically move in on someone as he presses his point.

More concretely, the levels and environments are phenomenally designed. This applies not just to the hub locations but to the separate mission maps as well. They are packed with detail, such as spilled coffee cups in a hastily-evacuated office building (the sort of stuff that Bioware used to be known for, before Dragon Age 2), riddled with alternate passages, be it via rooftop, ventilation duct and/or sewer, and full of incidental things to discover, both relevant to the main plot and not (in the latter case, such as a lab manager's e-mail to his subordinates to check their volumetric mass density {or some such} with regard to the specific tensile strength of any impromptu seating apparatus -- or to "please stop breaking things with your fat asses"). Most importantly, all of the areas feel designed with a careful eye towards credibility: there's plenty of cover for you to skulk around but all of it makes sense in the environment, without any of the "oh hey look, a convenient but completely illogical stack of boxes is sitting in the middle of this room" antics that games like Mass Effect rely on.

Many of the game's core missions take place in isolated sections of the hubs or on entirely separate maps but the side quests make very good use of the expansive hub maps. You'll visit someone in their third floor apartment (no loading screen required), head across town to meet their contact in an alley behind the police station, descend into the sewers, and so forth. Detroit has more physical space - much more, once you consider the vertical, and only a couple locations involving loading screens - and vastly more to explore/find/do than the entire Citadel in Mass Effect. Sure, it's far smaller than Oblivion is or Skyrim is going to be, but for a hub location in a closed-world game, it's tremendously well realized and well populated. I can only recall one side quest that boiled down to a fetch quest, and even that ended with a conversation challenge that provided a key bit of foreshadowing about the game's climactic scene. Aside from being varied, interesting and well placed in the world, none of the side quests in DEHR are throw-away fluff; they all add to your understanding of Adam and/or the augmentation debate.

For all the things that DEHR gets right, however, it does a few things significantly wrong. The first and most egregious of these - and we've talked about this at length in this thread already - are the boss fights. I'll summarize the problems with them as follows: 1) their style (forced, single-path combat) is completely at odds with the rest of the game; 2) their difficulty is completely immersion-breaking (bosses can withstand entire clips of bullets emptied into their skull, when even a fully-augmented Adam cannot); 3) they are entirely gimmicky, in that once you discover the "trick" to beating them, they can be done in less than ten seconds without taking a single hit; and 4) they are repetitive, in that the same "trick" wins all three boss fights in exactly the same manner. The fact that they are so easy to exploit once you know the mechanics is the only "redeeming" feature of the boss fights, since you can blow through them in barely more time than it takes to skip a cutscene, letting you get back to the much better rest of the game very quickly.

I also felt that the game leaned a little too heavily on its stealth mechanics at the expense of its augmentation system. You're only given a limited amount of "battery" power, which you need to perform any augmented task, including takedowns, invisibility, seeing-through-walls, etc. One of these "batteries" recharges for you, so you always have the minimum level of power needed to for a takedown, but the others can only be replenished through consumables found throughout the game, but in very limited quantities. This forces you to ration your augmented abilities for the larger setpieces and, as a result, you spend much of the game skulking around in the more mundane fashion of a Sam Fisher or Michael Thorton. I can sympathize with Eidos' design difficulties here - too much power and it would be impossible to create a challenge, and the limited power does create some more variety in the gameplay - while still being disappointed that I didn't get to feel like as much of a half-cyborg badass as I would have liked.

The AI is "good for a stealth game", but that's a very backhanded compliment. The AI is still incredibly moronic in some regards. Jensen-in-a-vent is an unstoppable killing machine because they will never find you. Despite the abundance of vents and their usefulness in getting into supposedly highly secured areas, none of the vents have any security whatsoever except for the occasional vending machine that you have to move to find them. And while guards will do some intelligent things, like check out nearby doors that open on their own or revive an unconscious ally if they find one, they're still completely oblivious to "missing" comrades (hey, gee, where did that buddy I used to walk past every fifteen seconds on patrol go?) and follow the "six people may be dead but if we can't find the killer in two minutes everything must be back to normal" mechanic.

I promised I wouldn't talk about the plot but I don't think I'm spoiling anything to say that there's a conspiracy involved and, in general terms, I want to mention that I was...slightly...disappointed in it. For one thing, I'm on record as finding two of the major twists entirely obvious and predictable, which robbed my playthrough of a couple of should-have-been powerful moments. For another, I thought some elements were a little under-developed. There's an entire half of one hub that you basically never see. There are e-mails and memos that hint at mid-level players (or pawns?) in the conspiracy that you never get to explore. To be fair, this gives the world a welcome sense of depth but it made the conspiracy seem shallow to me: the game presents the players at the very top in a fair amount of detail but I never saw enough of their mechanisms of power to believe that they really could control the world.

Lastly, the game follows the nothing-you-do-until-the-final-moment-of-the-game-really-matters format. The entire game up until that point boils down to a series of case studies that are designed to inform you about the various perspectives the game offers surrounding its core question...and then it lets you answer that question. This format does have some appeal, but in the post-Mass Effect/Witcher era, a plot that has no significant decision points until the last seconds of the game is a little underwhelming. To be clear, there are different outcomes to some missions but the results affect flavour, not function: someone may live or die by your hand, you may uphold the law or free a vigilante, you may even convince an enemy to make one of your objectives a little easier, but the core of the story is going to lead you to the same pivotal moment regardless.

Conclusion: Re-reading that, I feel a little bad that I ended up with roughly a 50/50 split of praise versus criticism in that review, because this is, for me, one of the best games of the year. I intend to start another game later this week (although the opening up of the SWTOR beta may have something to say about that) and I'm very curious to see some of the other outcomes. That said, I don't know that it's worth more than a second playthrough, as many of the early decision points do have clear right-and-wrong answers, and once you've explored most of the nooks and crannies and seen all the endings (which is really easy to do by saving right before the very-obvious choice), I don't get a sense of true longevity here. Still, a very solid, thoroughly enjoyable 30-60 hours of high quality gaming is something of which Eidos should be very proud.

- Ash
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