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Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a "Cautionary Tale"

While many gamers revere the original Deus Ex as one of the great games of all time, its prequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War is not held in nearly such high regard (in fairness, Invisible War shows a respectable score of 80 on Metacritic, though this pales in comparison with Deus Ex's stellar 90). With Eidos Montreal on the verge of releasing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, some gamers have expressed hopes that this prequel will be closer in execution to the original DX, rather than the follow-up.

It turns out the developer is sympathetic to this sentiment, as nin sends along a post on the Eidos Montreal Tumblr Blog (thanks VG247) where this point is, quite diplomatically, addressed in an answer to the following question: "Did your opinion on DX:IW change through development? It seems most of the fan community hated it. Did you incorporate any ideas at least in part inspired by Invisible War? Or was it entirely ignored?" Here's the reply from "Frank," presumably game designer Frank Lapikas:

My personal opinion of it did not change, no.

Have I played it? Yes. Through the end.

I’m glad to finally have this question.

We’ve tiptoed quite a lot around the issue of Invisible War, but we’ve never fully answered people who wanted to know how much of it we actually used as inspiration.

I shall do this here and now.

My aim is not to start a flame war. But if we’re to peel back the curtain on how this game was designed, I want to be truthful.

And the truth about Invisible War is that I personally did not get as much enjoyment out of it as I did the original Deus Ex.

Looking at Invisible War was a cautionary tale. The game showed us how some apparently simple design decisions such as universal ammo could alter the essence of what Deus Ex is.

When you look at IW, all the staples are there: the future, augs, weapons, a conspiracy, dialogs, stealth, side quests, etc. Yet it doesn’t feel quite right.

It made us realize that it would be very easy for us to screw up Human Revolution. We had a fine line to thread after all.

So in essence we used IW and compared it to DX1 in order to operate a “course correction”; which means we reverted most decisions in IW in favor of what DX1 had done.

From my knowledge (and sometimes defective memory), there is nothing in Human Revolution that comes from invisible War alone.

Doesn’t mean Invisible War was a bad game.

But it’s not the game we were trying to live up to.

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69 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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69. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 15, 2011, 10:47 ^Drag0n^
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2011, 15:14:
Whoa, ZORK!

Welcome to the Really-Old-Fart Gamers Club, buddy.

Creston

Hahahha! Thanks.

Not sure if it gives me perspective, or twists it.

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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68. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 14, 2011, 15:14 Creston
 
Whoa, ZORK!

Welcome to the Really-Old-Fart Gamers Club, buddy.

Creston
 
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67. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 14, 2011, 05:53 ^Drag0n^
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 15:00:
Dev wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:06:
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:00:
It's my second favorite game of all time.
Whats first?

Morrowind.

The original Fallout is third. I don't really rank below those three.

Showing my age here, but:

1. Zork (I,II,III)
2. Quake(world)
3. Deus Ex
4. Half-Life
5. TIE Fighter

^D^
 
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66. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 14, 2011, 05:48 ^Drag0n^
 
Squirmer wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 21:04:
That post is terrible.

When you look at IW, all the staples are there: the future, augs, weapons, a conspiracy, dialogs, stealth, side quests, etc. Yet it doesn’t feel quite right.

Those are what he considers the staples of Deus Ex? Pathetic.

And universal ammo did not 'alter the essence' of Deus Ex or whatever. That was just something that people latched onto as a simplistic explanation of why IW wasn't as good. If they had never mentioned universal ammo before release, it would have barely rated a mention.

This post just suggests to me that 'Frank' doesn't properly understand IW's problems. He says he only played it once? Come on, if you're making a Deus Ex game you need to have played both games many, many times and understand them better than anyone else. Playing IW once and blaming its problems on universal ammo is absolutely pathetic.

I think you oversimplified what he was saying. he was indicating that while several of the elements that were a part of the original were there, the game lacked the original's spirit. He and his team are trying not to make the same mistake.

I totally get that, and totally agree with him. By acknowledging that fact alone, he's already ahead of the game.

^D^

 
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65. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 15:00 StingingVelvet
 
Dev wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:06:
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:00:
It's my second favorite game of all time.
Whats first?

Morrowind.

The original Fallout is third. I don't really rank below those three.
 
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64. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 13, 2011, 13:52 saluk
 
Reverted most decisions != reverted all decisions, nor doesn't mean they didn't make a bunch of new changes. They just aren't the same changes IW made.

Reading comprehension helps.
 
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63. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 12:55 Creston
 
Dev wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:06:
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:00:
It's my second favorite game of all time.
Whats first?

Origin, of course.

(Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm curious too what your fave game is.)

Creston
 
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62. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 07:20 Jerykk
 
And it was pretty linear. The freedom was being alluded to, through interactivity of the engine, but the narrative itself didn't really seem to branch a whole lot.

DX's story wasn't that memorable but the game's emergent gameplay was. There were so many ways to play through the game, many of which were not intended by the designers. You could hike up walls using LAMs, stack up crates to reach rooftops, jump from great heights and fall on people to kill them, etc. The game also had a remarkable attention to detail. Almost every object you saw could be picked up or used and the game's characters did a great job of acknowledging your actions, even the seemingly minor ones.

Based on the leaked press build, DX:HR's environments definitely aren't as interactive as the original's. Most objects are completely static and cannot be interacted with in any fashion, which is disappointing. As for emergent gameplay, I'll have to play through the full game before judging that. However, I was able to reach areas I wasn't supposed to reach through the very careful stacking of boxes and trash cans. I was even able to escape the level and break the game. It's good to see that the designers didn't put invisible walls all over the levels.
 
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61. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 07:06 Dev
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 07:00:
It's my second favorite game of all time.
Whats first?
 
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60. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 07:00 StingingVelvet
 
shihonage wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 03:04:
And it was pretty linear. The freedom was being alluded to, through interactivity of the engine, but the narrative itself didn't really seem to branch a whole lot.

The original is a linear game overall, but every mission can be done in a dozen ways, which is what people mean when they call it non-linear. Also each of those ways has certain repercussions and benefits, some minor and some not so minor. It was pretty unique at the time, especially for a shooter, and the rare cyberpunk theme was refreshing and downright cool.

It's my second favorite game of all time.
 
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59. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 03:36 J
 
Squirmer wrote on Aug 13, 2011, 02:30:
The thrust of the guy's post is that they took the game back in the DX1 direction instead of what Invisible War did, because even minor changes can change the essence of Deus Ex -- while at the same time totally ignoring the rather dramatic changes they've made to the 'DX formula', like frequent 3rd person, frequently taking control away from the player, having tons of cutscenes, having a less interactive and responsive environment and so forth. I would argue those are much more the 'essence of Deus Ex' than having multiple types of ammo. Jeez.

notsureifserious.jpg

I could argue each point but frankly I think you're just trollin'. Seriously, have you had any hands-on experience with HR?

Also, more Deus Ex!
 
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58. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 03:04 shihonage
 
I'm a diehard fan of the original Fallout, but when it comes to the Deus Ex series... I got through about 75% of the first game at the time before getting completely and utterly bored.

And it was pretty linear. The freedom was being alluded to, through interactivity of the engine, but the narrative itself didn't really seem to branch a whole lot.

The voice acting and writing were passable, but nothing to write home about.

From what I've observed, I think Deus Ex HR stands a real chance of improving on the good qualities of Deus Ex 1 without raping the series too much.
 
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57. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 03:02 nin
 
Again, I was responding to the bullshit in that answer.

Ok, Simpsons Comic Book Guy. Enjoy those rose colored glasses.

This comment was edited on Aug 13, 2011, 03:07.
 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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56. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 13, 2011, 02:30 Squirmer
 
They aren't remaking Deus Ex, they are making a new Deus Ex game. They stayed faithful to the original while putting their own ideas and more modern gameplay elements into it. If you can't deal with that then that's your problem really, the rest of us are going to enjoy it.

Did I say I wanted them to remake Deus Ex? No. I was criticising inaccuracies in the guy's argument. Read my post properly before responding.

The thrust of the guy's post is that they took the game back in the DX1 direction instead of what Invisible War did, because even minor changes can change the essence of Deus Ex -- while at the same time totally ignoring the rather dramatic changes they've made to the 'DX formula', like frequent 3rd person, frequently taking control away from the player, having tons of cutscenes, having a less interactive and responsive environment and so forth. I would argue those are much more the 'essence of Deus Ex' than having multiple types of ammo. Jeez.

Have you played the beta? Because what I played made it very clear it was a DX game.

Yes I have, and where did I say it was not a DX game? Again, I was responding to the bullshit in that answer. That doesn't mean I think the game will suck. This isn't a binary bestgameever/worstpieceofshitever. I think HR will be a good game, but I'm tipping it to be ultimately a pale imitation of DX1. But that still puts it above most of the shit shovelled out nowadays.
 
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55. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 22:40 nin
 

That post is terrible.

Have you played the beta? Because what I played made it very clear it was a DX game.



 
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54. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 22:39 Dades
 
Squirmer wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 21:13:
And also

we reverted most decisions in IW in favor of what DX1 had done

This is bullshit. If they were reverting decisions that IW made, they would have skill points back in. But they don't. They only have augmentations as an upgrade path, which is exactly what IW did. (And if anyone says 'but but you get xp points in HR!' please lobotomize yourself now.)

They aren't remaking Deus Ex, they are making a new Deus Ex game. They stayed faithful to the original while putting their own ideas and more modern gameplay elements into it. If you can't deal with that then that's your problem really, the rest of us are going to enjoy it.
 
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53. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 21:33 Lorcin
 
Icewind wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 19:29:
I remember every one of you Blues regulars spooging over Invisible War.

Actually whilst I did happily track down a post from icewind saying he didn't like IW back in 2007 - I'm not sure if spooging is a good or a bad thing. Honestly - I like sponge cake - but I'm none to keen on poo. So is spoog bad or good????

This comment was edited on Aug 12, 2011, 21:38.
 
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52. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 21:20 Riker
 
I'm not sure one guy's post makes it Eidos Montreal's stance as a whole.  
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51. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 21:13 Squirmer
 
And also

we reverted most decisions in IW in favor of what DX1 had done

This is bullshit. If they were reverting decisions that IW made, they would have skill points back in. But they don't. They only have augmentations as an upgrade path, which is exactly what IW did. (And if anyone says 'but but you get xp points in HR!' please lobotomize yourself now.)
 
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50. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 21:04 Squirmer
 
That post is terrible.

When you look at IW, all the staples are there: the future, augs, weapons, a conspiracy, dialogs, stealth, side quests, etc. Yet it doesn’t feel quite right.

Those are what he considers the staples of Deus Ex? Pathetic.

And universal ammo did not 'alter the essence' of Deus Ex or whatever. That was just something that people latched onto as a simplistic explanation of why IW wasn't as good. If they had never mentioned universal ammo before release, it would have barely rated a mention.

This post just suggests to me that 'Frank' doesn't properly understand IW's problems. He says he only played it once? Come on, if you're making a Deus Ex game you need to have played both games many, many times and understand them better than anyone else. Playing IW once and blaming its problems on universal ammo is absolutely pathetic.
 
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69 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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