Built Like It Was 1999

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#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I knew it going in, this will be a decent Deus Ex game...

  • Don't you love these mega cities condensed into a block or two? Such wierd anorganic and unnatural spaces. A place where a regular hallway might be electrified. Where climbing into a manhole and emerging elsewhere from the sewers might be the only way to enter some backalley. A place were cars do exist, but do not drive. Where city planers were obviously madmen, building a maze more fit for testing lab rats, rather than a place for living.
  • Don't you love the cybernetically enhanced transhuman god, Adam Jensen - who can't punch more than two guys in the face, before having to eat a powerbar? Though really, he's more of an all-star all-round cripple rather than a god - on an epic RPG-struggle to uncripple himself in a few key ways, slowly unlocking what one day will pass as 'a valid playstyle'.
  • Don't you love silly gamey things, like a box of ammo carrying a single bullet? Or sold in stores 5 shots in a pack?
  • Don't you love how surprised you are by how much the laughable facial animations and sub par voice acting are pulling you out of the experience. I usually don't think of me as a shallow man, but the lack of presentational production quality is troubling me.

...guess I forgot Deus Ex pretty much happend last century.

I'm kinda surprised by how much I find Deus Ex : Human Revolution lacking. I loved the first game, enjoyed the second. This game ain't a bad Deus Ex game, it's true to the source material - it's just... well... it just doesn't work anymore. I'm enchanted by how comparitively badly put together it is. This template of game is so outdated, it's bound to be extinct. It's like the last of the Neandertal. Transhuman my ass.

#2 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

Find me a game you can't nit pick with a magnifying glass that big.

Don't get me wrong the game has got problems... but they aren't the ones on your list.

#3 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

I played a few hour and didn't like it for a lot of reasons. One big one being the incredibly bad voice acting/character movement. The rest being that it didn't play very well. I should try to get a bit further though, I guess.

#4 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

Yeah, once I got to Tokyo I stopped playing. I really wanted to like that game, but it was just too weird. And it played like shit.

#5 Posted by Clinkz (1118 posts) -

Just beat the Missing Link DLC. They took out the dumb boss fights but I lol'd when I stun gunned the "Final" boss. I liked the game well enough, but I recognize its flaws.

#6 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11914 posts) -

I find it amusing that you were such a huge proponent of KoA: Reckoning, one of the most transparently game-y games to be released this year, and yet you criticize Deus Ex for doing a lot of the same things. Yes, it's blatant, and yes, it's not always refined, but I am so glad that Human Revolution is the way it is. Too many games these days are made with focus groups and the mass audience in mind, leading to stuff like everyone's favorite Turn Based Strategy games from the DOS era being turned into yet another goddamn first person shooter. Even if those shooters are good, they can at best offer a only weak reconciliation with the source material. Rather than going that route and making another Invisible War (A masterful display of sheer mediocrity on every front) Eidos Montreal went ahead and straight up made another Deus Ex game, warts and all, and that should be commended*.

*Except for the boss fights. Those are bullshit.

Online
#7 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I knew it going in, this will be a decent Deus Ex game...

  • Don't you love these mega cities condensed into a block or two? Such wierd anorganic and unnatural spaces. A place where a regular hallway might be electrified. Where climbing into a manhole and emerging elsewhere from the sewers might be the only way to enter some backalley. A place were cars do exist, but do not drive. Where city planers were obviously madmen, building a maze more fit for testing lab rats, rather than a place for living.
  • Don't you love the cybernetically enhanced transhuman god, Adam Jensen - who can't punch more than two guys in the face, before having to eat a powerbar? Though really, he's more of an all-star all-round cripple rather than a god - on an epic RPG-struggle to uncripple himself in a few key ways, slowly unlocking what one day will pass as 'a valid playstyle'.
  • Don't you love silly gamey things, like a box of ammo carrying a single bullet? Or sold in stores 5 shots in a pack?
  • Don't you love how surprised you are by how much the laughable facial animations and sub par voice acting are pulling you out of the experience. I usually don't think of me as a shallow man, but the lack of presentational production quality is troubling me.

...guess I forgot Deus Ex pretty much happend last century.

I'm kinda surprised by how much I find Deus Ex : Human Revolution lacking. I loved the first game, enjoyed the second. This game ain't a bad Deus Ex game, it's true to the source material - it's just... well... it just doesn't work anymore. I'm enchanted by how comparitively badly put together it is. This template of game is so outdated, it's bound to be extinct. It's like the last of the Neandertal. Transhuman my ass.

I find it odd that you find this game to be gamey and archaic yet you thought Reckoning was a masterpiece.

#8 Edited by Packie (255 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

Yeah, once I got to Tokyo I stopped playing. I really wanted to like that game, but it was just too weird. And it played like shit.

There is no Tokyo level. Just the Chinese Hengsha.

OP: Do you want to know what's outdated? shoving me in a linear corridor without any care or thought put into level design and art, the complete disregard of player agency and freedom, having shitty, badly voice acted NPCs scream at the radio ordering me to "HURRY UP!"(I'm looking at you Crysis 2) and generally treating like the player is a complete moron. I'm just describing what I hate about most modern shooters. I've never played the first Deus Ex but I'm glad that a game like DX:HR exists in today's market. You think this formula is outdated, to me it's a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the market.

#9 Posted by Commisar123 (1796 posts) -

Eh I thought it was very well made actually. I think the majority of its problems came in the form of framerate and bugs as well as some poor story telling decisions. Otherwise I was really impressed.

#10 Posted by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

I really enjoyed it. It's one of my favorite games. Can see why you wouldn't like it though. Not really for the reasons you said though. But I am also one of the few who liked Adam Jensen's voice.

#11 Posted by blueduck (964 posts) -

This game was awesome and you're simply wrong.

#12 Posted by Nentisys (896 posts) -

I really liked Deus Ex: HR. Yes, it has alot of flaws. The only thing on your list that bothers me is the bad facial animation, I think better facial expressions would really have enchanced some key conversations.

#13 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

It was flawed, but still a great game and a rarity that should be encouraged, not condemned for some incredibly petty complaints that can be levelled at many games.

And the bad voice acting was amazing! "Yo, Adam dude, I'm like, totally the CEO of this mega corporation when I'm not surfing some radical waves, braaaahhhhhh! Also I'm totes a bit morally ambiguous when I'm smoking hella weed, man."

#14 Posted by MethodMan008 (817 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: Dude... I never picked up on that while I was playing the game... But damn, now that I think of it, I would of totally liked the game even more if I had that angle in there too. :P

#15 Posted by hoossy (936 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I loved the first game, enjoyed the second.

oh, that's where you lost me... the second game is better than HR? Are you fo real?

#16 Posted by XChairmanDrekX (297 posts) -

I actually thought a lot of a negatives you posted were charming. I enjoyed that the game kinda had a 90s, early 2000s feel in terms of some mechanics rather than adhering to every modern FPS convention out there.

#17 Edited by Blackout62 (1356 posts) -

@Seppli: Ah yeah baby, that's exactly the nostalgia I'm looking for. Lay it on me hard and thick like the poor modeling of JC Denton's trenchcoat.

#18 Edited by CptBedlam (4453 posts) -

Nitpicking. It was a very good game and a worthy successor (as opposed to Deus Ex 2). My biggest complaint is the kinda boring main plot.

#19 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater: @twigger89: @Packie: @CaptainCharisma: @hoossy: @CptBedlam: @Blackout62:

Never said I didn't like it. I said that it's a baffingly badly put together game, and that I'm surprised by how much I find it lacking. Some are straight-up production quality issues (like the VOs and facial animations), others are admittedly a matter of taste, like the unnatural and anorganic gameworld. In a age where a believable organic and lifelike cityscape, or even full-on city simulation, has been done countless times before - something as wierd as Deus Ex' rendition of Detroit is pulling me straight out of the experience. Why put in a city to walk around in, when it's nothing like an actual city? Doesn't look like one, isn't built like one, doesn't work like one. Hell - in Deus Ex' Detroit, it's 100% nonsensical nonfunctional streets - these streets connect nothing to nowhere. Talk about an immersion killer.

Leveling my fondness for KoA:R against my baffled amusement over DE:HR's lack of craftmanship is a severe case of apples and oranges. One's a 3rd person fantasy action RPG combined with TES scale, admittedly far from perfect, but perfectly cohesive as a whole including all it's gamey contrivances - whilst Deus Ex is all about immersion in a 'realistic' future, set in the real world 15 years from now. If Detroit feels, looks wrong - because in many ways it is built like a Metroidvania level - that's extremely offputting to me. I got no qualms with its 'shooter levels', like that underground FEMA base. Such things being put together like a 'game' is fine by me. Context - that's where I'm coming from.

As I wrote in my OP. It's Deus Ex. It's a pretty good iteration of Deus Ex. Times have changed though. Technical limitations have changed. I have changed. We have spent countless hours in organic feeling lifelike renditions of urban centers. I'm not expecting every game set in a city to have a whole lifesimulation going, nor do I expect every game to be an open world game. In the case of Deus Ex Human Revolution, if I was to create a 'sense of a living breathing urban metropolis - a real place in the real world', with the budget and tools the DE:HR guys got, I'd go the 'map with hotspots' route and simply put up way better smoke and mirrors. Arriving with a taxi on a crowded boardwalk for example, next to a noisy crammed Detroit street - and the level-y bits and gameplay contrivances being exclusive to the building and parcel of land ahead. It's 2012, I expect 'better urban illusion' from your worldbuilding, not a blatant laboratory rat's maze.

Core gameplay and progression systems are equally non-immersive and badly thought out. For example the energy system hamstringing silent takedowns, regardless of character build, to ultimately one - because that's the extent to how much energy replenishes on its own. Simply put, they took out regular 'player skill' silent takedowns, replaced it with a completely skillfree takedown, wherein I can pretty much run up to 1-2 guys, and push an I-WIN button - so that they can add a nonsensical consumable to the game's economy, as well as cripple the player's stealth capabilities extremely, in order to put such things in their extremely lazy progression scheme - a limitation that doubles as another metroidvania contrivance, turning many a room into a simple shooter killbox, unless specced appropriately. It's similarly nonsensical like unlocking AoE swings on Geralt's swords in the Witcher 2. It simply felt wrong to swing my big ass sword at a horde of Nekkers - clipping through countless of them - only hitting the single one I targeted. Such nonsense design doesn't get a pass with me, in games that are about immersion first and foremost.

I guess Deus Ex : Human Revolution is what it had to be. A carbon copy of the original Deus Ex in most ways. By my standards today, that's just an incredibly badly put together game. That's how games were in their infancy. I expect more on every level, not just obvious stuff like better facial animation and good VOs. I expect better worldbuilding too. Better illusion. Character progression that doesn't start out with artificial and crippling limitations to what should be natural player behaviour. I expect empowering character progression, not 'uncrippling' my gameplay over time.

It's Deus Ex, and I play the shit out of it - but 50% of my enjoyment comes from how amused I am by how lacking it is. It's a 100% Deus Ex experience, but it's also laughably outdated.

#20 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Just now questing in Hengsha, it's admittably a much more believable place. It's easier to buy into the pedestrian layout of this Chinese and foreign sci-fi capital, and little touches like the zone transfer via subway are neat. Of course I ran in another prime example of laugh-out-loud bad worldbuilding. I like to share that with you...

Had to punch out a pimp and throw him off a roof for a whore (I've a bleeding heart for prostitutes), to make it look like suicide. Said dude's appartment was only reachable via the appartment complex across the street - I had to leap over the deadly chasm between the two - to get to his appartment's front door. I've thoroughly inspected every inch of that place. There's literally no natural organic way of getting to or from that appartment. Front door to a roof without stairs, ladders, elevators, escalators - nada. My mad giggles of disbelief accompanied me throughout my inspection. Painfully silly.

Built like it's 1999. So terribad, it's almost good again. Retro-chic.

#21 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@Seppli: Wait, what? You can jump the barrier on the stairwell to reach his apartment. Even if you don't do that, there's a backalley entrance to that apartment block.

#22 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

@Seppli: Wait, what? You can jump the barrier on the stairwell to reach his apartment. Even if you don't do that, there's a backalley entrance to that apartment block.

Nope - your memory of that place is fuzzy. Whatever your approach, you'll have to jump buildings.

On another topic - just now had that famous conversation with the Hive's bartender they've showed around all those many years ago. It was actually kinda good. Decent facial animation and good VO. Textbook confidence trick if I ever seen one. Sneaky bastards!

#23 Posted by Vitor (2823 posts) -

@TentPole said:

Find me a game you can't nit pick with a magnifying glass that big.

Don't get me wrong the game has got problems... but they aren't the ones on your list.

No, those criticisms are entirely valid. Whether or not they break the game as they did for OP, that is what's up for debate.

I hated the fact that power cells only partially regenerated. But, if they did fully, it would have broken the game (especially with stealth). To me, it seems like a poor solution to a fundamental issue at the heart of the game.

And the level design was bizarre. The worlds felt stale. Pedestrians didn't walk anywhere, just stood rooted to the spot having the same conversation over and over again and no cars flew by. It felt clinical and lifeless. The world looked the part but only on a surface level

I still very much enjoyed the game but it was definitely lacking in some basic elements.

#24 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

Eh. Despite it's flaws, I still enjoyed it. Except the ending(s).

#25 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -
@Packie said:

There is no Tokyo level. Just the Chinese Hengsha.

Yeah, that's what I meant. It's been a while since I played it.
#26 Edited by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -

@Seppli said:

Leveling my fondness for KoA:R against my baffled amusement over DE:HR's lack of craftmanship is a severe case of apples and oranges. One's a 3rd person fantasy action RPG combined with TES scale, admittedly far from perfect, but perfectly cohesive as a whole including all it's gamey contrivances - whilst Deus Ex is all about immersion in a 'realistic' future, set in the real world 15 years from now. If Detroit feels, looks wrong - because in many ways it is built like a Metroidvania level - that's extremely offputting to me. I got no qualms with its 'shooter levels', like that underground FEMA base. Such things being put together like a 'game' is fine by me. Context - that's where I'm coming from.

It's not apples and oranges you are nitpicking gamey shit in a video game. Amalur was incredibly gamey out of it's ass, it is an incredibly artificial feeling game. The blatant zone separations, expository dialogue, no facial animations for you during cut scenes at all, etc etc... The gamey flaws you attribute to HR those small gamey things can literally be found in every game ever. The small scale of Detroit/Hengsha hub is because there is already a shitload of stuff and detail crammed into them, it's a question of scale vs. detail. You can make huge open world cities but they are entirely just simple architecture for the most part. Immersion is in the eye of the beholder it is an extremely subjective thing, certain people can look past some aspects of games others can't. Immersion can be broken on a dime and never restored. I am not saying your critizisms are totally invalid, only why people think they are somewhat ironic in light of your viewpoint on KoR.

In the case of Deus Ex Human Revolution, if I was to create a 'sense of a living breathing urban metropolis - a real place in the real world', with the budget and tools the DE:HR guys got, I'd go the 'map with hotspots' route and simply put up way better smoke and mirrors. Arriving with a taxi on a crowded boardwalk for example, next to a noisy crammed Detroit street - and the level-y bits and gameplay contrivances being exclusive to the building and parcel of land ahead. It's 2012, I expect 'better urban illusion' from your worldbuilding, not a blatant laboratory rat's maze.

You have not actually put forward how you would limit the player in movement. Where are your barriers? Where's the smoke and mirrors, whats stopping the player from turning around in that crowded street and walking the other way?

Just now questing in Hengsha, it's admittably a much more believable place. It's easier to buy into the pedestrian layout of this Chinese and foreign sci-fi capital, and little touches like the zone transfer via subway are neat. Of course I ran in another prime example of laugh-out-loud bad worldbuilding. I like to share that with you...

Had to punch out a pimp and throw him off a roof for a whore (I've a bleeding heart for prostitutes), to make it look like suicide. Said dude's appartment was only reachable via the appartment complex across the street - I had to leap over the deadly chasm between the two - to get to his appartment's front door. I've thoroughly inspected every inch of that place. There's literally no natural organic way of getting to or from that appartment. Front door to a roof without stairs, ladders, elevators, escalators - nada. My mad giggles of disbelief accompanied me throughout my inspection. Painfully silly.

Umm, there is actually a closed roof access door clearly present.

#27 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@TentPole said:

Find me a game you can't nit pick with a magnifying glass that big.

Don't get me wrong the game has got problems... but they aren't the ones on your list.

No, those criticisms are entirely valid. Whether or not they break the game as they did for OP, that is what's up for debate.

I hated the fact that power cells only partially regenerated. But, if they did fully, it would have broken the game (especially with stealth). To me, it seems like a poor solution to a fundamental issue at the heart of the game.

And the level design was bizarre. The worlds felt stale. Pedestrians didn't walk anywhere, just stood rooted to the spot having the same conversation over and over again and no cars flew by. It felt clinical and lifeless. The world looked the part but only on a surface level

I still very much enjoyed the game but it was definitely lacking in some basic elements.

I do enjoy the game. I'm in the same boat as Vitor. It's not broken, but also not quite whole either. Just because I enjoy a game doesn't mean I cannot be catty about my dislikes. I enjoy that too.

Eidos Montreal's efforts are commendable, but they succeeded merely in creating a Deus Ex game, not in creating a Deus Ex game for the new century. All I did is to tell why I feel that way.

#28 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Tennmuerti:

Of course it's apples and oranges. Like one's set in a cartoonish fantasy world, the other is supposed to depict 'the real world'. Context is important. And of course it's a matter of taste, and I've already admitted as much in the OP.

How I'd limit movement in the urban environment I described in the OP? Simple. Move away from your 'mission area', organically as you try to cross over the street or walk away on the boardwalk or something like that - prompt 'Do you want to leave this area? Yes/No'. Then proceed to map screen or back to the mission at hand.

If you are talking about an 'empty' texture of a door, then yes, there might be such a thing. Doesn't change the fact that there isn't a functional organic natural path to Diamond Chan's front door. A door that doesn't open doesn't count. You'll have to get to the roof of the appartment complex across the street, and then you'll have to jump over the divide and back again. It's silly. No biggie. But it's also monumentally silly. Silly like it's 1999.

Oh - look at Detroit in the opening of Hung... how does Deus Ex exactly succeed in capturing any of this (even if it is set in a semi-dystopian future)? Motor town my ass. More like Pedestrian Town built by a Mad God. Where crouchwalking through some hole in the block passes as a legitimate way of going places.

#29 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

I love both games, but i do think the first one was the better of the two.

#30 Edited by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@Tennmuerti:

Of course it's apples and oranges. Like one's set in a cartoonish fantasy world, the other is supposed to depict 'the real world'. Context is important.

You have to also realize that the context here is also due to your expectations coming in. They are both videogames, one being cartoony does not simply excuse all the artificial bullshit going on in that game that breaks me out of the immertion that I'm actually in a possible fantasy setting rather then a collection of game mechanics. I have an expectation coming in that there will be certain videogame contrivances made, if you come in expecting a "real world" into a game, then once again every game has shit like that that will break your immersion.

How I'd limit movement in the urban environment I described in the OP? Simple. Move away from your 'mission area', organically as you try to cross over the street or walk away on the boardwalk or something like that - prompt 'Do you want to leave this area? Yes/No'. Then proceed to map screen or back to the mission at hand.

See that's just a different immersion braker. Seeing a game prompt me as soon as i cross an arbitrary line. It's not an invalid solution, but just like physical barriers it is just a compromise that is quite contrived. Even more so because you would have to manually feel out the artificial invisible limitations of your surrounding area, instead of just seeing a visible obstruction.

If you are talking about an 'empty' texture of a door, then yes, there might be such a thing. Doesn't change the fact that there isn't an organic way to that Diamond Chan's front door. You'll have to get to the roof of the appartment complex across the street, and then you'll have to jump over the divide and back again. It's silly. No biggie. But it's also monumentally silly. Silly like it's 1999.

Wait wait now you are complainginabout a different thing. You have to get in that way because you don't have access from inside the building, but normaly there is a logical way for ingame characters to get to their homes in theory. Nothing silly about that.

#31 Posted by leinad44 (523 posts) -

Yeah this game feels weird at points. But I personally feel like it was more of an attempt to replicate what made the original game so cool. I think they managed to achieve that, now for the next game they can build on the game and bring it more up to date and not take a horrible turn like with DE2.

#32 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

Haha, the people who criticize the character movement/animations, VOICE ACTING and gunplay in a Deus Ex game... This game is as good as G-A-M-E-S get, it allows so much gameplay possibilities and freedom that it would implode your mind.  
But nooo, we're too stupid to remember that games are about the GAMING, they're supposed to be movies now. 
 
I played Human Revolution earlier this year, took me 33 hours to finish, and I was stunned from start to finish. The things I DID in that game, dear god, so satisfying and fun. Not what I watched or heard, what it allowed me to DO, it's a fucking interactive video game. 
 
 
Here's the greatest moment from my playthrough: 
There's an office across the yard from me, two guards, one on the roof of the office, the other walking back and forth in front of it. And there's a surveillance camera right in the middle of the yard. 

I came from the right side as the bottom arrow shows, PICKED UP the dumpster and created cover from it 
Now that I'm hiding behind the cover I CREATED, I waited for a moment where the guard would be the closest to me while the CAMERA was pointing the other way.  
When that moment came, I shot the guard with my tranquilizer dart, he fell to the floor AS I JUMPED OUT and ran towards him, but I noticed the camera was a split second away from detecting the body, so I quickly pulled out my stun gun and shot it, temporarily disabling it. 
I dragged the body away, paused a moment so the guard on the roof doesnt see me, he turned away and I kept dragging the body, and JUST when I got out of the camera's field of view, it came online again. 
 
This is only one of the hundreds of pure brilliant moments of real interactive challenging gameplay where the game's assets and mechanics allow you to create your own unique scenarios. 
 
 
Meanwhile, I talked to AI in Mass Effect 3 til hair grew on my tongue, I watched probably thee best dramatic cutscenes I've ever seen in a video game, some of the most memorable voice acting as well, and I took cover behind immobile blocks, freeze-sniping hordes of lunging aliens like a boss as I ordered my squad mates to move and attack as I saw fit.  
That, was fun. The movie parts were entertaining and emotional, the game parts were repetitive and "fun", but compared to what I, the player, did in Human Revolution, well, there's no comparison. ME3 is an infant compared to the gameplay mammoth that is HR.
#33 Posted by blueduck (964 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic said:
Haha, the people who criticize the character movement/animations, VOICE ACTING and gunplay in a Deus Ex game... This game is as good as G-A-M-E-S get, it allows so much gameplay possibilities and freedom that it would implode your mind.  
But nooo, we're too stupid to remember that games are about the GAMING, they're supposed to be movies now. 
 
I played Human Revolution earlier this year, took me 33 hours to finish, and I was stunned from start to finish. The things I DID in that game, dear god, so satisfying and fun. Not what I watched or heard, what it allowed me to DO, it's a fucking interactive video game. 
 
 
Here's the greatest moment from my playthrough: 
There's an office across the yard from me, two guards, one on the roof of the office, the other walking back and forth in front of it. And there's a surveillance camera right in the middle of the yard. 
I came from the right side as the bottom arrow shows, PICKED UP the dumpster and created cover from it 
Now that I'm hiding behind the cover I CREATED, I waited for a moment where the guard would be the closest to me while the CAMERA was pointing the other way.  
When that moment came, I shot the guard with my tranquilizer dart, he fell to the floor AS I JUMPED OUT and ran towards him, but I noticed the camera was a split second away from detecting the body, so I quickly pulled out my stun gun and shot it, temporarily disabling it. 
I dragged the body away, paused a moment so the guard on the roof doesnt see me, he turned away and I kept dragging the body, and JUST when I got out of the camera's field of view, it came online again. 
 
This is only one of the hundreds of pure brilliant moments of real interactive challenging gameplay where the game's assets and mechanics allow you to create your own unique scenarios. 
 
 
Meanwhile, I talked to AI in Mass Effect 3 til hair grew on my tongue, I watched probably thee best dramatic cutscenes I've ever seen in a video game, some of the most memorable voice acting as well, and I took cover behind immobile blocks, freeze-sniping hordes of lunging aliens like a boss as I ordered my squad mates to move and attack as I saw fit.  That, was fun. The movie parts were entertaining and emotional, the game parts were repetitive and "fun", but compared to what I, the player, did in Human Revolution, well, there's no comparison. ME3 is an infant compared to the gameplay mammoth that is HR.
I agree. I think the problem is that if you don't play Deus ex Hr on the hardest difficulty the game doesn't make you improvise and find awesome ways to get to the objective. The game is pure awesome because it lets you do what you want to do IN THE ACTUAL GAME PLAY. 
#34 Posted by Brendan (7843 posts) -

I luuurved DE:HR.

#35 Posted by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: There are indeed some great gameplay moments in HR. remember that part where a certain lady screws you over and several squads come rushing in with alarms? I mined the entrances with several gas mines, hehehehe, when the alarms when off no one came rushing in and I got a stream of takedown XP bonuses, entire enemy team eliminated non lethaly in seconds with 0 effort. Walked out of there all nonchalant like.

Rescuing M. while trying to remain pacifist oh boy that was euphoric in terms of empowerment and feeling like a badass.

Another time where you have to wait for an elevator to come up and survive an assault I barricaed the only 2 entrances with several heavy obstacles and just stood there waiting for the lift, no one beng able to get in giggling to myself the entire time.

You know the entrance to the main harvester base in Hengsha? that has like 5-7 dudes guarding it in a relatively small area? I studied the patrol routes and lines of sight for a while then went stealth, dropped down from above them silently, and proceeded to dart/takedown all of them in a few seconds without any alarms. (admitedly not on the first try :P) it wasn't needed and i could have went the other route, but it felt like a cool little challenge and i did indeed feel like the smoothest deadliest mfucker around afterwards.

#36 Posted by BisonHero (6674 posts) -

@Seppli said:

As I wrote in my OP. It's Deus Ex. It's a pretty good iteration of Deus Ex. Times have changed though. Technical limitations have changed. I have changed. We have spent countless hours in organic feeling lifelike renditions of urban centers. I'm not expecting every game set in a city to have a whole lifesimulation going, nor do I expect every game to be an open world game. In the case of Deus Ex Human Revolution, if I was to create a 'sense of a living breathing urban metropolis - a real place in the real world', with the budget and tools the DE:HR guys got, I'd go the 'map with hotspots' route and simply put up way better smoke and mirrors. Arriving with a taxi on a crowded boardwalk for example, next to a noisy crammed Detroit street - and the level-y bits and gameplay contrivances being exclusive to the building and parcel of land ahead. It's 2012, I expect 'better urban illusion' from your worldbuilding, not a blatant laboratory rat's maze.

Have we? Please, list off some games that featured "organic feeling lifelike renditions of urban centers" aside from obvious sandbox games. You're taking issue with video game level design conceits that are still incredibly common; hell, the solution most developers go with is "make the game a corridor shooter, because city streets are hard" or "don't set the game anywhere close to present day so we don't even have to worry about looking like a real city." The fact that you hold KoA: Reckoning and Deus Ex: HR to different standards purely because one takes place in a sci-fi future of Earth is ridiculous. It's not trying to be a sim, and they cut some corners to avoid having to make twice as many empty apartment complexes, but I can live with those cut corners. If that bothers you, you seem like the kind of person that would nitpick literally every game they play. I really don't follow how a "map with hotspots" setup is any less gamey and transparent and immersion breaking than the current setup. "You're leaving the play area, now I will forcibly bring up an overworld map and warp you around" is just as awkward as the setup that you're criticizing Deus Ex for.

@Seppli said:

Core gameplay and progression systems are equally non-immersive and badly thought out. For example the energy system hamstringing silent takedowns, regardless of character build, to ultimately one - because that's the extent to how much energy replenishes on its own. Simply put, they took out regular 'player skill' silent takedowns, replaced it with a completely skillfree takedown, wherein I can pretty much run up to 1-2 guys, and push an I-WIN button - so that they can add a nonsensical consumable to the game's economy, as well as cripple the player's stealth capabilities extremely, in order to put such things in their extremely lazy progression scheme - a limitation that doubles as another metroidvania contrivance, turning many a room into a simple shooter killbox, unless specced appropriately. It's similarly nonsensical like unlocking AoE swings on Geralt's swords in the Witcher 2. It simply felt wrong to swing my big ass sword at a horde of Nekkers - clipping through countless of them - only hitting the single one I targeted. Such nonsense design doesn't get a pass with me, in games that are about immersion first and foremost.

When is any progression system ever "immersive"? That's always the video-gamiest thing in any game that has it, because it's preposterous that you gain dozens of new abilities through magical accrual of XP over the course of a few days or weeks. Nobody ever says "oh man, that menu where I spent skill points was so immersive! I really felt like I was the dragonborn, putting all of those points into smithing."

As for your complaints about them putting in "skillfree" takedowns, when did takedowns in other stealth games ever require player skill? You sneak up to the guy, equip your melee weapon, then click one button to bonk him in the back of the head. In Deus Ex: HR, you sneak up to a guy, then click one button to bonk him in the back of the head. In both cases, it's a zero risk, "I win" button. If you upgrade energy regeneration, you don't have to wait that long before doing another takedown. I don't even follow what you're complaining about. Do you really hate that it's a preset animation, instead of giving you a melee weapon you can swing whenever? That's the only meaningful difference I can see.

You see Deus Ex: HR as "I spent the whole game uncrippling my character", I see it as "oh thank god I wasn't laughably overpowered after finishing the first third of the game like in most RPGs". How are the energy bar consumables any different than RPGs that have mana potions? They both exist to facilitate extended spell/skill use, if you really need to use your abilities a lot and can't wait for the innate regeneration to take effect.

I'm with most of the people in this thread: aside from VO and facial animation issues, your complaints seem entirely unreasonable and arbitrary.

#37 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@TentPole said:

Find me a game you can't nit pick with a magnifying glass that big.

Don't get me wrong the game has got problems... but they aren't the ones on your list.

No, those criticisms are entirely valid. Whether or not they break the game as they did for OP, that is what's up for debate.

I hated the fact that power cells only partially regenerated. But, if they did fully, it would have broken the game (especially with stealth). To me, it seems like a poor solution to a fundamental issue at the heart of the game.

And the level design was bizarre. The worlds felt stale. Pedestrians didn't walk anywhere, just stood rooted to the spot having the same conversation over and over again and no cars flew by. It felt clinical and lifeless. The world looked the part but only on a surface level

I still very much enjoyed the game but it was definitely lacking in some basic elements.

Those are problems that all games have. All games have arbitrary design decisions for gameplay. Arkham City has meter for extra powerful melee attacks. Is that bad design? How many games have meters that control extremely powerful attacks? Your other complaint just comes down to the fact that it is not an open world sandbox game.

#38 Edited by X19 (2306 posts) -

Completely disagree but everyone is entitled to their opinion. The only problem were the boss fights. Apart from that I loved the game and it was a perfect Deus Ex game. The Deus Ex style of game is very appealing to me even today and saying it should be extinct makes no sense to me. I find being on rails for most of this generations games has put me off even finishing most 6-12 hour stories.

Currently playing Sniper Elite V2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory which are incredibly refreshing. Not having a checkpoint every 3 seconds makes me realize how rewarding it is when you do finish a level. Having loads of options, with lots of strategies made me wake up to how most devs are dependent on shooting galleries, which most players could win at in a coma. Most games play themselves these days and I might as well just watch a movie as the interaction seems last of the list of goals apparently.

Exploration, reward for actually achieving something or using your brain to finish a level are what makes games for me. That "outdated" style is the only thing which keeps me interested in single player games.

#39 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@blueduck said:

I came from the right side as the bottom arrow shows, PICKED UP the dumpster and created cover from it
@AhmadMetallic said:
Haha, the people who criticize the character movement/animations, VOICE ACTING and gunplay in a Deus Ex game... This game is as good as G-A-M-E-S get, it allows so much gameplay possibilities and freedom that it would implode your mind.
But nooo, we're too stupid to remember that games are about the GAMING, they're supposed to be movies now.

I played Human Revolution earlier this year, took me 33 hours to finish, and I was stunned from start to finish. The things I DID in that game, dear god, so satisfying and fun. Not what I watched or heard, what it allowed me to DO, it's a fucking interactive video game.


Here's the greatest moment from my playthrough:
There's an office across the yard from me, two guards, one on the roof of the office, the other walking back and forth in front of it. And there's a surveillance camera right in the middle of the yard.
Now that I'm hiding behind the cover I CREATED, I waited for a moment where the guard would be the closest to me while the CAMERA was pointing the other way.
When that moment came, I shot the guard with my tranquilizer dart, he fell to the floor AS I JUMPED OUT and ran towards him, but I noticed the camera was a split second away from detecting the body, so I quickly pulled out my stun gun and shot it, temporarily disabling it.
I dragged the body away, paused a moment so the guard on the roof doesnt see me, he turned away and I kept dragging the body, and JUST when I got out of the camera's field of view, it came online again.

This is only one of the hundreds of pure brilliant moments of real interactive challenging gameplay where the game's assets and mechanics allow you to create your own unique scenarios.


Meanwhile, I talked to AI in Mass Effect 3 til hair grew on my tongue, I watched probably thee best dramatic cutscenes I've ever seen in a video game, some of the most memorable voice acting as well, and I took cover behind immobile blocks, freeze-sniping hordes of lunging aliens like a boss as I ordered my squad mates to move and attack as I saw fit. That, was fun. The movie parts were entertaining and emotional, the game parts were repetitive and "fun", but compared to what I, the player, did in Human Revolution, well, there's no comparison. ME3 is an infant compared to the gameplay mammoth that is HR.
I agree. I think the problem is that if you don't play Deus ex Hr on the hardest difficulty the game doesn't make you improvise and find awesome ways to get to the objective. The game is pure awesome because it lets you do what you want to do IN THE ACTUAL GAME PLAY.

My most memorable moment in DE:HR thus far? That backalley behind the police station in Detroit? Which is a total bitch to get to and from? Well - I built an exit with crates so I can jump one of them artificial boundries. It was oh so amazing. The kind of silly shit that made go 'WOW!' in 1999. It's a fucking interactive dumpster Ahmad. It's not deservant of adoration, but of mad giggles and bafflement.

It's 2012 now. I'd go 'WOW' if 'that depth' came as freeform simulation and not in this extremely contrived form, making me feel like a madman put into a strayjacket (getting losend bit by bit via character progression), put onto a bizarre island prison with LSD in the breathing air. All the amazing 'intelligent' gameplay Deus Ex is known for - it is extremely silly, if put into context of acting naturally in a lifelike environment.

That is where videogames are at - that's the frontier, the bleeding edge. Making freedom of choice - dynamic freeform interaction - less contrived and more natural. Organic lifelike worlds following natural rules filled with infinite simulated interactions, rather than canned ones. No limits but your imagination. If you are still wow'd by the endless possibilities of an interactive dumpster - dude, your standards are too damn low. Albeit it's admittedly sad that an over 10-year old game does more than most games these days. Doesn't make Deus Ex Human Revolution any less outdated though.

@rebgav said:

@Seppli said:

How I'd limit movement in the urban environment I described in the OP? Simple. Move away from your 'mission area', organically as you try to cross over the street or walk away on the boardwalk or something like that - prompt 'Do you want to leave this area? Yes/No'. Then proceed to map screen or back to the mission at hand.

That's so immersivating. I feel immersified just reading it.

All I'm saying is, that rather than some twisted bizzaro open world city, I'd have them rather put on more smoke and mirrors. Seperate gameplay locations with a lifelike illusion of a city, rather than some M.C. Escher-esque insanity of a place.

Nope, not buying it - that's not dystopian future Detroit guys.
#40 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -
@Seppli said:

Albeit it's admittedly sad that an over 10-year old game does more than most games these days. 

/thread 
 
You speak of game design attributes that still don't exist, real freedom and life-like qualities that no game provides, so your point is moot because, as you just said, this 10-year-old game does more than most games these days. 
Is it that you for some odd reason expected Human Revolution to be some kinda of rare futuristic game with unprecedentedly revolutionary game design? Why exactly? When Mass Effect 3 and Arkham City are still as non-realistic, repetitive and gamey as a game could get, I don't really get the point of this thread. 
 
On a side note, by the way, you should keep in mind that HR is a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, so borrowing from that old game and building upon what it introduced is only natural, it's a gift for the fans. 
#41 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Seppli: Yeah, they should try harder to make a better game. I can't believe they didn't think of that.

QFT. Goes for everyone out there. MAKE BETTER GAMES ALREADY! Duh.

#42 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I want more games that take inspiration from 1999 blockbusters. The way DX:HR took inspiration from DX and updated it to feel more modern is great!

Except for the last level -_- I don't know what they were doing there.

#43 Edited by BisonHero (6674 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@blueduck said:

@AhmadMetallic said:
Haha, the people who criticize the character movement/animations, VOICE ACTING and gunplay in a Deus Ex game... This game is as good as G-A-M-E-S get, it allows so much gameplay possibilities and freedom that it would implode your mind.
But nooo, we're too stupid to remember that games are about the GAMING, they're supposed to be movies now.

I played Human Revolution earlier this year, took me 33 hours to finish, and I was stunned from start to finish. The things I DID in that game, dear god, so satisfying and fun. Not what I watched or heard, what it allowed me to DO, it's a fucking interactive video game.


Here's the greatest moment from my playthrough:
There's an office across the yard from me, two guards, one on the roof of the office, the other walking back and forth in front of it. And there's a surveillance camera right in the middle of the yard.
Now that I'm hiding behind the cover I CREATED, I waited for a moment where the guard would be the closest to me while the CAMERA was pointing the other way.
When that moment came, I shot the guard with my tranquilizer dart, he fell to the floor AS I JUMPED OUT and ran towards him, but I noticed the camera was a split second away from detecting the body, so I quickly pulled out my stun gun and shot it, temporarily disabling it.
I dragged the body away, paused a moment so the guard on the roof doesnt see me, he turned away and I kept dragging the body, and JUST when I got out of the camera's field of view, it came online again.

This is only one of the hundreds of pure brilliant moments of real interactive challenging gameplay where the game's assets and mechanics allow you to create your own unique scenarios.


Meanwhile, I talked to AI in Mass Effect 3 til hair grew on my tongue, I watched probably thee best dramatic cutscenes I've ever seen in a video game, some of the most memorable voice acting as well, and I took cover behind immobile blocks, freeze-sniping hordes of lunging aliens like a boss as I ordered my squad mates to move and attack as I saw fit. That, was fun. The movie parts were entertaining and emotional, the game parts were repetitive and "fun", but compared to what I, the player, did in Human Revolution, well, there's no comparison. ME3 is an infant compared to the gameplay mammoth that is HR.
I agree. I think the problem is that if you don't play Deus ex Hr on the hardest difficulty the game doesn't make you improvise and find awesome ways to get to the objective. The game is pure awesome because it lets you do what you want to do IN THE ACTUAL GAME PLAY.

My most memorable moment in DE:HR thus far? That backalley behind the police station in Detroit? Which is a total bitch to get to and from? Well - I built an exit with crates so I can jump one of them artificial boundries. It was oh so amazing. The kind of silly shit that made go 'WOW!' in 1999. It's a fucking interactive dumpster Ahmad. It's not deservant of adoration, but of mad giggles and bafflement.

It's 2012 now. I'd go 'WOW' if 'that depth' came as freeform simulation and not in this extremely contrived form, making me feel like a madman put into a strayjacket (getting losend bit by bit via character progression= put into a bizarre island prison with LSD in the breathing air. All the amazing 'intelligent' gameplay Deus Ex is known for - it is extremely silly, if put into context of acting naturally in a lifelike environment.

That is where videogames are at - that's the frontier, the bleeding edge. Making freedom of choice - dynamic freeform interaction - less contrived and more natural. Worlds filled with simulated interactions, rather than canned ones. No limits but your imagination. If you are still wow'd by the endless possibilities of an interactive dumpster - dude, your standards are too damn low. Albeit it's admittedly sad that an over 10-year old game does more than most games these days. Doesn't make Deus Ex Human Revolution any less outdated though.

No matter what you say to the contrary, it's becoming increasingly clear that you're displeased with this game due to it not being an open world game of same sort. Not all games have the budget to do that, nor do all games have a good reason to allocate so much of their time and resources to accomplish that. The phrases I've highlighted make it sound like you laugh at any game that doesn't have Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto amounts of ambition. That's just impractical for most developers, until such time that AIs can fully generate video games at little to no cost. Deus Ex: HR lacks that level of scale, but that doesn't give you a good reason to mock it. Games don't have to be perfectly believable living, breathing worlds for the game to be considered well made and enjoyable.

Almost no one is agreeing with you, not because they're all ardent defenders of Deus Ex: HR, but because your standards are unrealistically high and you're being naïve.

#44 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@Seppli said:

Albeit it's admittedly sad that an over 10-year old game does more than most games these days.

/thread

You speak of game design attributes that still don't exist, real freedom and life-like qualities that no game provides, so your point is moot because, as you just said, this 10-year-old game does more than most games these days.
Is it that you for some odd reason expected Human Revolution to be some kinda of rare futuristic game with unprecedentedly revolutionary game design? Why exactly? When Mass Effect 3 and Arkham City are still as non-realistic, repetitive and gamey as a game could get, I don't really get the point of this thread. On a side note, by the way, you should keep in mind that HR is a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, so borrowing from that old game and building upon what it introduced is only natural, it's a gift for the fans.

Really? Organic lifelike believable gameworlds don't exist? What was the last Rockstar game you've played? Just saying.

Deus Ex gets praised for its 'intelligent dynamic' interactions, yet somehow I'm at fault to point out how contrived it all is. How artificial and fake the world is put together? How unnatural and crippling the character progression and core mechanics are? Fostering not natural experimental behaviour and acceptable forseeable believable consequence, but acts rather as a save/load experimentation kit, with no immersive qualities whatsoever?

The point of this thread is simple. I've played this before. In 2001 or whenever the first Deus Ex came out. For dramatic effect, I say 'It's built like it was 1999' - like a game of the last century. Whilst games admittedly didn't move forward much in what makes Deus Ex special, they did in many other ways (VOs, facial animations, worldbuilding/world simulation, etc.) - and what makes Deus Ex 'great' (the aforementioned 'rich interactions', like moving a fucking dumpster), is rather silly measured by the standard I set forth.

#45 Posted by bybeach (4899 posts) -

I thought all the AI characters were afflicted w/St Vitus disease..but I gots over it.

Sometimes you have to accept a designed universe for what it is, limited to the strictures and tenets of someones design. You know, that bar you move from 0 to 60, increase/decrease etc? So yes, 2 moves = one powerbar, 6 moves=whole box, etc (I do not remember precisely..). There is a logic. The walls of the logic can be painfully apparent if you focus on them and not what is between them I get the impression that in the deus Ex's there is a very tight economy..there is not much of anything, and the machines don't work no more, thus blocking alleyways, live lines are down and often not repaired, so on so forth. It is a hi-tech world in increasing entropy-disorder. In fact that is one of the main tenets of Deus Ex..the desire to re-establish order.

I enjoyed the game. I didn't approach it as an alternate reality, but as a vision of what the near future might be like with resources declining, population increasing etc. I accepted the gameplay mechanics as they were, because hey I could take apart any game if I wanted too. Aliens with one head, 2 eyes 2 ears and a mouth..get out of here, very unlikely, Space luving..ridiculous( except you Laira). In fact I have yet to finish Mass Effect 3. Deus Ex, Human Rev I will play again.

#46 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@BisonHero:

It's not about 'not being openworld' at all. Its attempt at an 'open world' is completely outdated. It's exactly the same open world-ish way the orginal Deus Ex did it way back when. Techical and economical limitations and wierd design choices make its gameworld, for example the 'Detroit Stage', feel exremely fake and atificial. Nonsensical streets. Static life. Bizarre and twisted. It doesn't feel like a 'real' place.

Ever seen an American city block? It's roads all around. And some more roads inbetween. Built so people can get around. Easily. A real-life city block is not a metroidvania maze, and it's silly to make it as such. By whatever standards Eidos Montreal built Detroit, it's not been by the standards a real city is built, with traffic in mind.

Detroit is not a 'level'. Making it into a level is silly. Getting around in a Detroit level is silly. Detroit is a city. Some block taken over by an anti-aug gang, that's a level. Don't make the two into one. That's twisted and bizarre. Get it now? It could be all seperate places - split by loading screens - traveled to on a map - and it would feel worlds more organic than these wierd ass compacted bizarro pedestrian cities they've slapped together.

It's a pet peeve. I nitpick. I'm allowed to.

#47 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

To put it more eloquently...

A city is a city, and not a Deus Ex level. By turning a city into a Deus Ex level, a city stops being a city.

A videogame city, that is no longer a city, is a laughably bad videogame city, because it misses its point entirely - even if it is a good Deus Ex level. Either you seperate the Deus Ex level from the city; or you change Deus Ex so its gameplay works in context with a city.

In 1999, building videogame cities, that were levels, but not cities, was cool. It's no longer cool anymore.

#48 Posted by mordukai (7157 posts) -

@Seppli said:

...enjoyed the second.

and this is where I lost you. Also, Aren't you the one that defended Reckoning to a fanatical degree even though it does every RPG cliché in the book and is also has parts that are amazingly straight out of 1999?

Personally I liked Deus Ex 3. WHile it was lacking in some departments it was fully fulfilling where it mattered.

#49 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@Seppli said:

...enjoyed the second.

and this is where I lost you. Also, Aren't you the one that defended Reckoning to a fanatical degree even though it does every RPG cliché in the book and is also has parts that are amazingly straight out of 1999?

Personally I liked Deus Ex 3. WHile it was lacking in some departments it was fully fulfilling where it mattered.

Hey - Deus Ex 2 wasn't amazing (I don't remember it much either way), but I remember hacking computers, crawling through vents, and augmenting my body. So it was still a Deus Ex game. As others said, few games do what Deus Ex does, even if it does it badly.

Still don't get what one thing (me liking Reckoning) has to do with the other. I felt people didn't see past the limitations and faults of KoA:R's demo, and was adamant about pointing out how much more there is going to be to it. As far as I'm concerned, I was right. Kingdoms of Amalur : Reckoning turned out to be a BIG HUGE game (pun intented), and many a duder didn't have the foresight to see that on basis of their demo experience. My hope, that it might turn out to become as memorable a masterpiece as Secret of Mana was for me, didn't quite come through - but it certainly was an enjoyable romp for me. Hell - that game's actually Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan. With KoA:R's commercial success, we'll likely get more of Amalur sometime in the future. Could be a future iteration of Kingdoms of Amalur is going to be the masterpiece I clamored for. Maybe KoA:R 3.

Times change. Deus Ex : Human Revolution is a good Deus Ex game, and definitely enjoyable... but it's also painfully contrived and outdated - like it's built in 1999. There's simply put no issue to be taken with that statement, because it's true.

#50 Edited by BisonHero (6674 posts) -

@Seppli: I still don't get what you expect the city portions to look like. You were fine with the "enemy base" sort of areas, but found the city areas too unbelievable - I'm pretty sure that's your position, and I'm not trying to put words into your mouth. But taking the premise of Deus Ex: HR, what do you expect the "NPC hub area where there are no hostile enemies" to look like? It's not a fantastical fantasy or sci-fi game where you can just gin up an environment that is conveniently sized for what you need. Deus Ex: Invisible War had truly horrendous "city" areas that felt an order of magnitude more confined, artificial, and nonsensical than Deus Ex or Deus Ex: HR. What did you think HR should've made the city areas look like then?

L.A. Noire or No More Heroes, where the street layout is fairly faithful to what real cities look like, but there's almost nothing to do?

The Darkness or Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, with city blocks that are laid out slightly more sensibly than Deus Ex: HR, but still exist to house about 4-6 important NPCs, and it's still mostly wasted space where nothing happens and you waste a bunch of time running from NPC to NPC in a realistically sized city block?

You keep saying that it's 2012 and the bar has been raised, but has it? What games have raised the bar? What are you comparing Deus Ex: HR against? The only thing you've said on the matter seems to be "What was the last Rockstar game you've played?", which doesn't fit with your emphasis that you're fine with Deus Ex not being open world.

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