Work has been kicking me hard this week, so I haven’t had a lot of time for gaming, or blogging. A few things have been trickling through my head about Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DEHR) and I thought I’d thrown them out into a poorly structured post.
I’m still on my first play through, and apparently only up to the first ‘boss fight’, according to a friend, so you might want to take that into account when reading these ramblings.
Upgrading your Augmentations require Praxis points, which are mostly gained through eXperience Points (XP). I keep feeling that I’m somehow missing things, or doing something wrong as I simply don’t seem to have enough Praxis to get the augmentations that I feel I need. When I say “feel I need”, I often find that of three ways I can discover into a location, I can’t use any of them without upgrades I don’t have. I guess I’ll find out whether I’m right or not as I go along, but I really can’t escape this nagging feeling of not getting it right.
I accidentally blew away a whole group of sidequests by doing something silly without thinking. More annoyingly, I didn’t actually notice until much later when I thought I should get to those sidequests. I’d already wiped over an old enough save by then. Oops. And what’s worse, I can’t even blame anyone other than me!
There’s a conversation Adam has with an old SWAT Team partner. That was the first time this game dragged me out of immersion. Usually with conversations, even the ‘lead in’, before you make choices, you feel in control. In this case, the obvious history between the two came to the fore and Adam was being an arsehole. I actually found myself pressing buttons as if to somehow wrest control back from him before he went further. I’m not quite sure why it felt that way, but it was unexpected and a little disconcerting.
It was also at this point that Adam’s voice changed completely. The accent changed, and he lost that gruff, growly voice he usually uses. It almost sounded like another actor was voicing this part.
I suck at hacking. I’ve read guides, and try to plan strategies, but it appears I just don’t have the right way of thinking about it yet. Some I’ll find easy, others I can’t see a way of doing what I want without using virii or nukes. Or perhaps that’s my problem: I hate wasting ‘resources’ in case I need them later. It does make me wish for a practice ‘level’ at it.
I’m really enjoying the sneaking aspect of the game. Given several different options, I’ll always choose the stealth one, because that’s what I enjoy most. This means, of course, that I usually don’t have much in the way of weapons, and have to keep track of potential hidey holes for when things inevitably turn into a Charlie Foxtrot. It does give me a chance to see (or hear) how the Artificial Intelligence (AI) reacts. I’ve read/listened to a lot of interviews about how AI is made to work (in many games, not just DEHR), and some of the tricks they use, and it’s fascinating to watch those in action. Then again, I’m the sort of person that finds magic even more interesting when I find out how the trick is done. All this, of course, leads to some lovely, tense, moments.
I was suddenly playing Wolfenstein 3D! Atmosphere is a big part of DEHR, and so I was a little shocked to suddenly be in a boss fight that reminded me far too much of the last level of the first ‘Episode’ of Wolfenstein 3D. A long room with pillars to hide behind, a small room off to the side with extra ammo and health, and essentially a run-away-and-shoot-back-when-you-can style gameplay. That felt very strange!
Edit: I’m now past that first bossfight. I really hope there are no more like that. When you’ve chosen the ‘sneaky’ path, a cover/shooter based bossfight is just … bizarre.