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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 2.
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49. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 20:58 Prez
 
PC Gamer supposedly gave it a 94, and the reviewer stated it was the best game he played in the last 4 years. He also claims to be a tremendous fan of the original Deus Ex.

Don't ask me why I remember this, but PC Gamer gave DX IW an 80%, which, considering how much they fawned over it in previews had to be much lower than they expected to give it. The reviewer was Chuck Osborne, and he was always fair in his reviews that I can remember. He left the team about 6 years ago and I haven't heard anything about him since.

EDIT: Woops - it just occurred to me you were probably speaking of the new Deus Ex, not IW.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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48. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 19:29 Icewind
 
I remember every one of you Blues regulars spooging over Invisible War.

I hated the thing, and still consider it a dumbed-down console port with small hub areas and a lack of the tin-foil-hattery that DX was always about.
 
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47. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 18:57 peteham
 
Creston wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 18:36:
JohnBirshire wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 15:16:
PC Gamer supposedly gave it a 94, and the reviewer stated it was the best game he played in the last 4 years. He also claims to be a tremendous fan of the original Deus Ex.

Unfortunately you have to take everything PC Gamer says with a grain of salt, as they have a reputation for being a little...sensational...with their reviews. But it certainly did get me excited, this game might pull it off after all!

Well, it's not an EA game, and I don't know of PC Gamer ever having been bought on a previous Eidos game before, so it might be genuine.

Creston
Don't forget Gerstmanngate, not to mention the whole deal with Tomb Raider Underworld Between the two episodes, I can't think of a publisher with a more well-publicized history of attempted metacritic tweaking.
As for PC Gamer, another game that got 94: DA2

This comment was edited on Aug 12, 2011, 19:04.
 
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46. Re: PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 18:36 Creston
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 15:16:
PC Gamer supposedly gave it a 94, and the reviewer stated it was the best game he played in the last 4 years. He also claims to be a tremendous fan of the original Deus Ex.

Unfortunately you have to take everything PC Gamer says with a grain of salt, as they have a reputation for being a little...sensational...with their reviews. But it certainly did get me excited, this game might pull it off after all!

Well, it's not an EA game, and I don't know of PC Gamer ever having been bought on a previous Eidos game before, so it might be genuine.

Creston
 
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45. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 18:35 Creston
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 16:53:
I'm just impressed that Creston is still butthurt about IW nearly 8 years later.

I was wondering when you were gonna show up.
Edit: Has it really been 8 years since IW? Holy shit...

It just amazes me how Harvey Smith keeps getting opportunities to make games. How many more does he have to fuck up? Then again, so do a bunch of other shitwicks. Like I've said before, the gaming industry is the biggest Good Old Boys network in the world.

Creston
 
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44. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:45 J
 
live link! (no idea how long it's up for, it's about 15 minutes into it now)

Nevermind, it finished.
 
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43. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:22 dheer
 
I'm so excited for this. Had to stop playing the leak because it was so much fun and I didn't want to spoil any more of the game.

Going to try to play thru the series again to get ready.
 
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I wonder if he reads them, or if it's just for show.
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42. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:22 ^Drag0n^
 
nin wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 17:17:
I used to joke with my friends about how Deus Ex needed an inventory defragger button...

I believe this one has an auto-arrange option, no joke.


Thank God.

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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41. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:17 nin
 
I used to joke with my friends about how Deus Ex needed an inventory defragger button...

I believe this one has an auto-arrange option, no joke.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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40. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:06 ^Drag0n^
 
kanniballl wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 14:43:
- Inventory - people hated playing puzzles with their packs

I used to joke with my friends about how Deus Ex needed an inventory defragger button...

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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39. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:02 Rockn-Roll
 
nin wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 13:40:
And I'm trying to get as many people to buy this game as I can. :)

This is just confusing. We are used to inuendo, reverse psychology, and bold faced lies. I keep reading this over and over and I keep figuring there's some hidden meaning in there like perhaps you are trying to get us to buy a game.

I actually thought DX:IW was a decent game...it kept me playing it all the way through. There was just a couple of places where the plot was too linear or the alternate choices too obvious. But, from all the trailers coming from Eidos I can see that DX:HR will not dissapoint me. And given the details they have provided for several sections of the game it is clearly going to be a nice long adventure with lots of replayability. Not like F3AR where being Fettel is relatively boring and all the cut-scenes are for his brother.

But, for me Deus Ex had the same feel as System Shock...not in the fear factor or course, but in the way the story kept you moving and when you moved the story would be rolling along with you. In DX:IW the story would stall and you could spend an hour just to get a small part of the story to get past a blockage, then spend 2 minutes on some section of the game and POW! the story jumps from 1/4 complete to 3/4 complete with the end in sight...like having to go around and collect 4 items and then doing something with them together. I find it more fun if the items do something other than just be an inventory item that needs to be in your pack.

This comment was edited on Aug 12, 2011, 17:19.
 
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Let's Rock!
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38. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 17:00 StingingVelvet
 
Sounds about right... I enjoyed IW and think it's a good game, but its nowhere near as good a game as the original. Sounds like they thought pretty much the same thing.

People who have played the leak have told me HR reaches a sort of middle-ground between the original and IW. That sounds fine to me.
 
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37. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 16:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I'm just impressed that Creston is still butthurt about IW nearly 8 years later.  
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36. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 16:46 Mashiki Amiketo
 
kanniballl wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 14:43:
- Universal Ammo - keep things simpler, focus groups say they hate finding ammo for their favorite weapon
Intentionally makes better weapons better, and stops you from sniping everything to death. More play, more options, more paths, more choices. Don't have any stun prods, but have tranq darts? Kick ass. Better make sure that guy you're going to tranq is away from the alarm. Universal ammo is generally a pretty bad idea and detracts from realistic elements. That's like saying the round from a 9mm will work kick ass in your 30.06. Not only is there a difference in penetration power, but anyone who thinks that going to a universal ammo type like 5.56mm will be the same as 50cal for a sniper rifle.

- Passwords - people hated having to write down passwords for the terminals. Make it an auto-enter
Except in the game, it included a fancy notepad built right in, and you could annotate just about everything including adding passwords, login names, and so on.

- Inventory - people hated playing puzzles with their packs
Dunno, seems fairly decent to me. DXHR does a good option of autosorting. I suppose once you have it setup right you have it setup right. The only real issue I had, was when you lost everything and had to recover it. It meant you needed to take a few minutes to resort it all.

Does DE:HR use passwords and how do they handle it?
Yep. They use the 'human stupidity' method for finding them. But if you know the password, and read it(in your infolink), it'll popup. But sometimes there will be s: sticked on a postit note nearby
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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35. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 16:35 Frijoles
 
kanniballl wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 14:43:
- Passwords - people hated having to write down passwords for the terminals. Make it an auto-enter

I found a notepad of mine a few years ago that I kept near the computer for writing down Deus Ex passwords. Brought back a lot of good memories. I'm torn between having it automatically show it off to the side or something after finding it, vs. trying to remember or writing it down.

Does DE:HR use passwords and how do they handle it?
 
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34. PC Gamer gave it a 94... Aug 12, 2011, 15:16 JohnBirshire
 
PC Gamer supposedly gave it a 94, and the reviewer stated it was the best game he played in the last 4 years. He also claims to be a tremendous fan of the original Deus Ex.

Unfortunately you have to take everything PC Gamer says with a grain of salt, as they have a reputation for being a little...sensational...with their reviews. But it certainly did get me excited, this game might pull it off after all!
 
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33. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 15:07 Creston
 
Tanto Edge wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 13:56:
I see a week (at least) off from life and family coming up in my future.

@Creston
Harvey and Warren are awesome designer/developers and about the only ones whom I say got some of the best talent and worst luck in the industry.
As hefty components of the Deus Ex, and Thief series', they were willing to try new shit, and that means a lot. Warren boned some as bettered some, but he was forging new territory.

Warren Spector I will give the benefit of the doubt. The man had turned everything into gold up until that point, so one disappointing game doesn't make him a bad designer. (And Epic Mickey is actually pretty cool.)

Harvey Smith is a fucking tool who was like a fucking Remora hanging off Warren, and when he was finally given the reigns, he fucked shit up. Badly. Not just with Deus Ex, but with the execrable Area 51 afterwards as well. In both cases he blamed everything and everyone but himself. The guy is a fucking piece of shit who should never be given another job running a project anywhere, much less the gaming industry.

Also, BOTH OF THEM blatantly fucking lied multiple times when questioned about some of their design decision for Invisible War, most notably when they both said that while the Xbox version would have small shitty levels, the PC would just incorporate all those levels into one big one, since hey, you got all this power, right?

Until a programmer actually finally came onto the official forum and said "Yeah, ehhh, that's not happening. We're not dealing with two versions of real estate. It's the same maps."

Tie that in with all their horseshit about how taking away choices and options was BETTER for the game, and how unified ammo made scientific sense (It's a block of shit that can fire either a 9mm bullet, or a liquid stream of lava, OR a heat seeking rocket!), and I don't really see why we have cut them any slack.

They helped make Thief, awesome. Warren was heavily involved in Ultima 6, which was fantastic. They both made Deus Ex, which I consider to be the best game ever made.

They fucked up ROYALLY with Invisible War. I'm not sure why that needs to be shoved under the carpet.

Creston
 
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32. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 14:59 Ratty
 
kanniballl wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 14:43:
- Universal Ammo - keep things simpler, focus groups say they hate finding ammo for their favorite weapon
- Passwords - people hated having to write down passwords for the terminals. Make it an auto-enter
- Inventory - people hated playing puzzles with their packs
Forgot the clear plastic crates so we could all see what was inside before wasting our time lockpicking.

And I said I gave the developers a lot of credit but not that much credit. I'm betting those decisions were all theirs and not from either focus groups or "on high."
 
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31. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 14:59 Creston
 
jacobvandy wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 14:54:
Not all of GMG's games are Steam keys. There are games like this, Duke Nukem Forever, Shogun 2, etc. that use Steamworks, others that just happen to be Steam keys, but most of them are downloaded and installed using their Capsule utility. That site's major feature is the ability to trade in your games for credit when you're done with them, but you can't do that with the Steam games they sell.

All copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, even retail ones, will require Steam because it uses Steamworks. I got the game for $29 from GMG a couple months back, though, hopefully we don't have to wait until release week to get the keys. I remember getting the one for DNF at least two weeks before it came out.

My bad. I stand corrected then.

Creston
 
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30. Re: Eidos Montreal: Deus Ex: Invisible War a Aug 12, 2011, 14:54 jacobvandy
 
Creston wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 13:48:
Every game on GMG requires Steam because all they do is send you a Steam code. You'd then have to dl it from Steam.

It doesn't necessarily mean that a store-bought copy requires Steam. It might, I just don't know. Just saying that GMG games logically require Steam.

Creston

Not all of GMG's games are Steam keys. There are games like this, Duke Nukem Forever, Shogun 2, etc. that use Steamworks, others that just happen to be Steam keys, but most of them are downloaded and installed using their Capsule utility. That site's major feature is the ability to trade in your games for credit when you're done with them, but you can't do that with the Steam games they sell.

All copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, even retail ones, will require Steam because it uses Steamworks. I got the game for $29 from GMG a couple months back, though, hopefully we don't have to wait until release week to get the keys. I remember getting the one for DNF at least two weeks before it came out.
 
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69 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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