Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Editorial - Sequel Slump: Deus Ex

  1. #1
    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    10x10 room with treasure chest
    Posts
    1,020

    Editorial - Sequel Slump: Deus Ex

    In the original Deus Ex players put on their trench coats and found a conspiracy. Subsequent iterations featured varying degrees of trench coat but the exact same conspiracy in some form other. Settle in and find out how these different ratios fail to live up to the original.

    swimming will never be useful, ever though.

  2. #2
    New Member Member SachielOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    12
    And now I'm reinstalling Deus Ex. Time to see what the New York level is like. AGAIN.

  3. #3
    Member Jitawa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    665
    The article link off the archive page (where it takes you if you click on the actual article title) brings you to a 404 error.

    On topic, I think the games necessarily had issues because of the nature of the first game. Playing through it on the PC originally was great, but the PS2 version abandoned some sense of subtlety when tacked on the subtitle "The conspiracy".

    In the second game, they abandoned a lot of the agency the first title offered. It also made it seem as if your ultimate choices in the first game didn't matter (which happens in any direct sequel with plot forks and no importing). The game was a shadow of the first because it attempt to mime at best what they seemed to think was the significant part of the first game (multiple ways to do something). They wound up not doing that as well, stunting the advancement system in an attempt to simplify it for mass consumption, and the plot was like an afterthought aside from "needs to be like the first game"... conspiracy!

    I agree with you mostly on the third game. The prequel idea wasn't bad, and they established a new aesthetic better than the 2nd game had, which gave the game some legs. However, the whole desire to directly tie it into the first was a bad idea, and it seemed to diminish the impact of many plot points. I too cared for Malik a lot more than I ever cared about Megan... even more so as I learned more about her. The game allows you to learn all sorts of things about Megan before you see her, but it doesn't seem to really let you do much with that information. The game would've been better suited without any direct tie to the first game, or indeed.. any conspiracy at all.

    The idea with twists and that sort of thing is they can surprise you and become this aspect of the world you explore. One of the shortcomings of the subsequent Deus Ex games in my opinion was the failure to subvert this expectation. There can be suspense, climaxes, and tension without any damn conspiracy. The desire to shoehorn in something like that and connect it directly to the other games comes off cartoonish, like where they pan out at the end to some guy stroking a cat or pull the mask off some villain.

    The team on HR was obviously talented, and I think they did a great job with production values and establishing several of the characters (they make a point of having you interact with several key players, and that was a good thing at least), but the need to retread previous material in some respects holds the game back. Malik would've been a better love interest.

    I did enjoy the game, and I'm excited to see what they'll do with a new one. I can't say the same of Dragon Age after the execrable Dragon Age 2. So, they did something right.

  4. #4
    Huh. The first game's handling of characters, and the general feel really, sounds a lot like Alpha Protocol.

  5. #5
    Member Jitawa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    665
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    Huh. The first game's handling of characters, and the general feel really, sounds a lot like Alpha Protocol.
    The first game, while great, isn't nearly that nuanced. It was great for the time... I think they were just better about not locking you into predetermined outcomes with many of the characters (almost everyone can be killed).

  6. #6
    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,613
    The real issue with these games, in my mind, is not late development cycle console ports or outsourced boss fights - it's that both games try to use the original as a template without fully grasping what made it all work.
    I agree with this, but I think this issue affects way more than just the story. Every single design change Eidos made in Human Revolution compared to the original was a bad decision. Like, I can't think of a single thing they improved, besides the graphics. Of course I still enjoyed Human Revolution a lot, since a gimped Deus Ex is still better than most games. Invisible Wars was a bit too far gone though, and I seriously doubt I'll ever work up the enthusiasm to finish it.

    But yeah, in regard to HR's story, the article is dead on. Using social issues surrounding human augmentation as the main theme was a great idea, and they do practically nothing with it. I remember when details first began to surface, they mentioned that one of the core decisions the player would have to make is whether to go all-out with argumentations, or try to avoid them as much as possible. I thought that meant there would be some kind of draw back to taking them, such as the more you took the more you'd have to pump yourself full of anti-rejection drugs, but apparently all it affects is the ending slides. And the game is filled with missed opportunities like that, with no real attempt to marry game mechanics with the narrative, which reaches its zenith in the much-maligned boss battles against villains you know practically nothing about. What Eidos should have done is start you off working for Sarif like they did, but keep the main conflict against Taggart and the Humanity Front, while perhaps subtly implying that the whole conflict is being influenced by the Illuminati without ever actually making it a full plot thread. After beating a few missions you'd see Taggart's point of view more clearly, and half way through you'd be giving an option to join him. The game would then branch off into two different paths, with different draw-backs to following either of them (such as a lack of access to augs, and the anti-rejection drugs you need to survive, on Taggart's path). Maybe that's more ambitious than what they budgeted for, but if CDProjekt can do it, I don't see why a company being bankrolled by Square Enix can't.

    Huh. The first game's handling of characters, and the general feel really, sounds a lot like Alpha Protocol.
    It isn't like Alpha Protocol at all.
    Last edited by Drav; 11-10-2012 at 08:33 AM.

  7. #7
    It isn't like Alpha Protocol at all.
    Your interactions with characters can alter how they feel towards you by the end of the game right up to the point they become villains? And those interactions can also impact the storyline or the gear you receive? May not have been the exact same execution, but the idea sure sounds the same; otherwise, Fowl did a terrible job of describing the game.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 11-10-2012 at 12:55 PM.

  8. #8
    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,613
    Not at all.

  9. #9
    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    10x10 room with treasure chest
    Posts
    1,020
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    Your interactions with characters can alter how they feel towards you by the end of the game right up to the point they become villains? And those interactions can also impact the storyline or the gear you receive? May not have been the exact same execution, but the idea sure sounds the same; otherwise, Fowl did a terrible job of describing the game.
    AP namechecks the original deux ex as influence hard. it extends some of the ideas present pretty far via their usual obsidian ways. think of it as DE via Planescape design prinicples. at least in terms of character interactions.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •