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On Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC and Boss Battles

A new walkthrough trailer and three new screenshots are now available for The Missing Link, the upcoming DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There are also previews of the DLC on Ars Technica, Joystiq, G4tv, PC Gamer, and Shacknews, and an article on Eurogamer focusing on how it will include a new boss battle which was created in-house at Eidos Montreal, since it was recently revealed that the boss battles in the action/RPG prequel were outsourced. "We have a boss battle at the end, but it's different from the main game boss battles," Marc-Andre Dufort, producer of The Missing Link told them. "You can actually not kill the boss. You can do a non lethal takedown on him. And you can kill him from afar. You can even kill him without him seeing you. It's more of a bigger challenge than a standard boss fight like we have in many games."

On that subject, there's also an interview with Jean-François Dugas of Eidos Montreal on Rock, Paper, Shotgun where the project lead on Deus Ex: Human Revolution answers questions about the the upcoming DLC, endings, the PC version, transhumanism themes, ideas they cut from the design, and more where he also offers his take on those outsourced boss fights:

When we started the goal was to have those boss fights with the same design and rules as the rest of the game. We had our pillars of stealth, of non-lethal actions, and everything else, and we wanted to make sure that was reflected in the bosses, but in the end it was not. It’s the place where people were surprised because they would equip themselves in a certain way and then they got their and everything they’d fought for disappeared. You have to change your mindset, which can be upsetting. I think the biggest weakness there wasn’t the concept of having boss fights, it’s just that our boss fights are not Deus Ex boss fights and that’s why people are complaining about them. I guess we live and learn.

Should we have cut them? It’s a decision we made, we said “well at least they will be entertaining in some fashion”. The biggest surprise, actually, was having released the game and finding that people thought they were frustrating. Not just that they weren’t that interesting, but that they were frustrating. The playtesters internally gave us a lot of good feedback for the game, and on the bosses they felt that the fights were entertaining and making you use what you had learned. They didn’t say they were frustrating. We knew it was not in step with the rest of the game, but the surprise for us was that the playtesting was correct everywhere but the bossfights. So lesson learned.

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40. Re: On Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC and Boss Battles Sep 23, 2011, 22:03 Rockn-Roll
OK...lots of comments from me on this.

1) Play testers are usually hired from temp agencies with little or no experience...I'm sure they "attempt" to find people that have played games before and "attempt" to find people that have played that kind of game before. But, the bottom line is that they contract out to a temp agency in order to get 20 or 30 cheap game testers that they can use for a couple of months and then dump without notice. I know because I was hired to test a game for Nintendo and they didn't require any previous gaming...they do see it as a plus...and my skills did allow me to free-form test while everyone else had to follow scripts, but game testing gets the smallest budget and is the poorest quality stage of development. And, also when someone is paying you to do something it is not a good idea to say that their product sucks...everybody that I have game tested with was desperate for the minimum wage job and afraid that they might lose their job if they made honest comments...testers tend to only make comments that they have absolute proof that there is a problem. And, if they say the game sucks then the developers might just figure that they didn't have any fun because they aren't interested in video games or whatever.

Developers that rely on temp hired game testers obviously don't care about the final product. If they really cared then they would hire at least one of us gamers for a decent wage and get an experienced and honest opinion...if they game sucked then we would tell them and help them build a game that would be fun.

2) When they outsourced the boss battles they failed to specify that players must be able to win using stealth and non-lethal attacks. The failure was on Square Enix and Eidos.

3) The boss battles do have some tricks you can use such throwing barrels to kill the first one, or for the second boss if you purchased the dermal plating preventing electro-shock and destroyed the nodes or just jumped up onto one of the sub panel boxes, or cloaking for the last, or just typhoon them all. But, the point is that for example I played non-lethal stealth my first play through. I didn't carry any weapons other than a Tranqulizer gun with just a few ammo...most of my inventory was concussion grenades, gas grenades, health items, and power bars. I honestly didn't think about any boss battles because I wanted to play Deus Ex on Deus Ex mode and have fun. I didn't think about using the barrels in the first one because I didn't even know I could since I only used them to hide behind all the previous 10 hours of the game. Tranquilizer darts did absolutely nothing to any of the bosses. I had to restart the game from the beginning (I didn't know we could save our progress anywhere because it had that auto-save thing and usually games that auto-saved don't allow user saves).

Requiring a kill to the boss meant that I needed to carry some heavy weaponry with me all through the rest of the game just so I can make it past the boss battles! That sucked! I had to purchase the full inventory and I still barely had enough ammo to kill the rest of the bosses...yeah there are tricks to kill them, but I didn't know what the tricks were the first time through and since I was being forced to fight then I chose to use weapons. Eventually, and even though I wanted to play stealth and non-lethal, I had to carry the rocket launcher and all the rockets I could find or buy all through the game just so I spent as little time as necessary in the boring boss battles.
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