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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A

A GameSpy Reader Q&A talks with Deus Ex: Human Revolution designer Antoine Thisdale about the upcoming action/RPG prequel and includes a recent IGN trailer where Thisdale answers other questions and shows off some gameplay footage. Here's his explanation of why they did away with weapon skills:

That's a very good question, and I have a very good answer. We wanted combat to rely on player skill, and not the fictional character's skill. We wanted to avoid the possibility of just buying the skill for sniper rifles, then you never use a sniper rifle, and later in the game you pick it up because, hey, that's going to be good for this situation -- and you take everyone down because you [bought the skill]. Also, one of the reasons for the skill system not being used is because it really portrays nanotechnology as mechanical. It's more about learning to physically use your body and use the mechanics that go with it, more than a skill-based system. It's kind of the same idea; we just spin it in a different way. But we didn't want it to directly affect combat with weapons. That was a very early choice, specifically because we wanted players to actually train with the weapons.

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67. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 16:09 Raptor
 
Jerykk wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 02:19:

Trust me on these things. I went out of my way to test the stealth mechanics quite thoroughly. For example, I discovered that the AI doesn't account for the Y-axis when tracking sounds. It's really easy to test. Just stand on top of the awning outside the plant in the first level and fire your weapons repeatedly. The guards will move towards your position on the X-axis but they'll never actually look up, even if you fire when they're right below you. Also, their vision cones aren't aligned to their eyes but to their root. It's possible that these things been tweaked since the leaked build but I doubt it.

Excellent observations.
The vision cone then explains why I was detected so many times in a vent when all I saw was their feet.
Although in all fairness I also thought staying in shadows helped, but that's been confirmed false since that.
The vision cone and path finding should be fixed though, if they leave that in then they may as well have a large hitbox around the characters.
Also yah, you move faster sideways, which is weird.

Also yes, time stands still during a takedown (you can get noticed before or after):
Proof from bitchslap montage (which is hilarious btw)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYpuzHyEY8Q&feature=related
Everyone not taking part in the takedown animation are frozen.
 
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66. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 14:11 J
 
Nah, I just paint overly negative people as trolls. It's normally a safe bet.  
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65. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 14:04 Pleco
 
Perhaps if you were to try working with the conversation instead of sniping?

"Kind of" doesn't work too well with words like moot and irrelevant, they are better as all-or-nothing words. It's quite lazy in my view, like your original remarks. Once you put in those details then it all makes sense.

Get over yourself man. I doubt anyone else struggled to comprehend my point. We are all just here expressing opinion on the game. Except you try paint anyone who's not with the 'programme' as a troll. It's a typical way of stifling discussion that you don't agree with.

 
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64. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 13:49 J
 
Pleco wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 12:52:
I haven't made any reference to DX1 with regards to boss fights, only you have - talk about taking words out of context. My point is that it doesn't need context to realise that it's a boring clichéd boss fight.

You claimed it's a boring clichéd boss fight and my point was that it's an improvement over the original Deus Ex. Clear?

It's in the video interview linked in this very article, numbnuts - their gameplay justification for the boss fights is that they "force the player to be as clever as possible". If the game encourages the player to be clever throughout, it kind of makes that point irrelevant. Clear?

Well, they do need a different strategy with the first boss at least, as opposed to the standard levels. So they are still encouraging the player to be clever in a different way. "Kind of" doesn't work too well with words like moot and irrelevant, they are better as all-or-nothing words. It's quite lazy in my view, like your original remarks. Once you put in those details then it all makes sense.
 
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63. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 12:52 Pleco
 
Especially if I'm comparing it to the original Deus Ex to make a point about how the now-romanticized Deus Ex wasn't actually all that great*. But trolling doesn't involve understanding the original context, it's all about taking words out of context and twisting them for your own agenda, yeah? That makes you boring, cliché and unimaginative in my opinion. Perhaps if you were to try working with the conversation instead of sniping?

I haven't made any reference to DX1 with regards to boss fights, only you have - talk about taking words out of context. My point is that it doesn't need context to realise that it's a boring clichéd boss fight.

See above. You're typing junk there, buddy boy. "Kind of moot"? Seriously? What does that even mean? And what developer's justification are you referring to? Citation please.

It's in the video interview linked in this very article, numbnuts - their gameplay justification for the boss fights is that they "force the player to be as clever as possible". If the game encourages the player to be clever throughout, it kind of makes that point irrelevant. Clear?
 
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62. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 12:44 Pleco
 
removed

This comment was edited on Aug 17, 2011, 12:53.
 
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61. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 09:09 nin
 
OK!


Edit: Oh, and if your "traditional retailers" are like ours here in the states? Fuck em.

This comment was edited on Aug 17, 2011, 09:24.
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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60. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 09:06 everyone
 
I'm in the UK, so this crap doesn't affect me either. That doesn't mean I like seeing other people getting fucked over, though. I'm not keen on the evil overlords at Square and Valve working together to put traditional retailers out of business, either but... to each their own.  
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59. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 08:40 nin
 
But no, region locking is definitely something the PC needs more of.

Never said that. Nice try though.

I was referring to my own investment. You're on your own.


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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58. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 08:37 everyone
 
Oh, that's all right then. Never mind all the people that have already been charged for games that square won't let them run for no reason whatsoever. Or the people that prefer to order from overseas because they get gouged in their own country. Or people in Ireland picking up a UK copy from a local shop, and getting home to find steam won't let them install it because they're in the EU... etc, etc.
But no, region locking is definitely something the PC needs more of.
 
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57. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 07:46 nin
 
everyone wrote on Aug 17, 2011, 06:52:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/17/deus-ex-human-revolution-is-region-locked/

Thanks to all the steam fans for turning my PC into an console. 'preciate it. At least you still have your achievements. Yay!


It’s worth noting that codes sold through other digital distributors will not be region locked, it is just the boxed release that will be locked.

Yea!


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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56. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 06:52 everyone
 
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/17/deus-ex-human-revolution-is-region-locked/

Thanks to all the steam fans for turning my PC into an console. 'preciate it. At least you still have your achievements. Yay!
 
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55. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 03:42 J
 
That sounds right. You do risk making yourself vulnerable after an attack, but they are frozen/limited during the melee itself.  
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54. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 03:37 Jerykk
 
If an enemy can see you when you trigger the takedown, he'll be able to see you when the cinematic ends because you won't have enough time to take cover. But I'm 100% sure that NPCs are completely frozen during takedowns, so they can't actually detect or attack you during that time.

In any case, I'm hoping the game has some degree of mod support. Enough to at least edit the game's scripting so things like vision cones, movement speeds, takedown trigger distances, etc, can be adjusted.
 
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53. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 02:32 J
 
You don't need to run away normally, no, but it does take much longer to utilise that strategy without dedicating yourself to it. My point is that the slowness is the trade-off for the power of the melee takedown, which can make it boring for somebody who doesn't specialize. You called it overpowered and I don't think it is overpowered. Overpowered would suggest you could run around doing it to all the NPCs and they couldn't do anything back. It's powerful, sure, but I wouldn't call it overpowered.

No, I was definitely performing silent takedowns when I got caught out. I've been caught out more than once doing it too. Perhaps they were looking the other way when you did it?

I tend to presume the player is 6 feet tall when I do my estimations. If I take that character and place him horizontally I think that would be greater than the reach for the melee.

I'm pretty certain I've been heard whilst crouch-moving in HR before. I'm not sure if it was just because I was moving fast or if I was strafing, as I have since altered my gameplay. I'll need to test that more thoroughly.

I agree the pathfinding isn't perfect, and I also hope that's something that's worked on for the final build. In the original DX once they heard you they could magically find you even when hidden or having moved, so it's still a step up from that - what with them now having a 'last observed at' point to work with.

We'll see for sure in a week or so.
 
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52. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 02:19 Jerykk
 
The other batteries, however, do not automatically regenerate. And if you do not have the faster recharge aug then it does take a long time to fill back up again. In this time you are unable to melee and it makes it harder to cloak/stealth and get away again.

Based on what I played of the leaked build, NPC patrol routes usually don't overlap so you don't need to run away after taking someone out. You just need to take cover and make sure to hide the body behind said cover. Then you just wait until your energy recharges and proceed to the next guard. The energy limitation doesn't make stealth harder, it just makes it longer.

I've been spotted performing melee attacks due to the animation. That would contradict "literally no chance". I have also been subsequently shot at. Maybe we're playing a different version of the game?

Did you perform a lethal takedown? Those make noise and NPCs will hear that after the animation has finished. In the leaked build, if you see another NPC in the background during the takedown cinematic, he will be completely frozen in place. You can try it for yourself but I guarantee the result will be the same.

Maybe four feet? Did you get the Mr Fantastic aug?

No, I just looked down at the floor and estimated the distance. It can be hard to tell because of the perspective and FOV but in real life, the NPC would have definitely been out of arm's reach.

Just like the original Deus Ex. (And I believe you make footstep sounds in HR whilst crouching and moving quickly, unlike DX)

Except in DX, you had to be really close to enemies to land a melee hit so that helped compensate. In DX:HR, you can trigger the takedowns from far away. In addition, your strafe speed is faster than your forward/back speed, so if you strafe while crouched, you move even faster. Finally, no, all crouched movement is completely silent in DX:HR. NPCs will never hear you, no matter how close you are.

Trust me on these things. I went out of my way to test the stealth mechanics quite thoroughly. For example, I discovered that the AI doesn't account for the Y-axis when tracking sounds. It's really easy to test. Just stand on top of the awning outside the plant in the first level and fire your weapons repeatedly. The guards will move towards your position on the X-axis but they'll never actually look up, even if you fire when they're right below you. Also, their vision cones aren't aligned to their eyes but to their root. It's possible that these things been tweaked since the leaked build but I doubt it.

This comment was edited on Aug 17, 2011, 02:25.
 
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51. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 01:53 J
 
Jerykk wrote on Aug 16, 2011, 23:23:
Actually, I don't think the energy requirement really helps make it less overpowered. Your first energy cell automatically regenerates so it doesn't make stealth harder, it just makes it slower.

The other batteries, however, do not automatically regenerate. And if you do not have the faster recharge aug then it does take a long time to fill back up again. In this time you are unable to melee and it makes it harder to cloak/stealth and get away again.

In addition, the game world pauses during the takedown cinematics so there's literally no chance of you being seen or attacked during a takedown.

I've been spotted performing melee attacks due to the animation. That would contradict "literally no chance". I have also been subsequently shot at. Maybe we're playing a different version of the game?

On top of that. the takedowns can be triggered from like 8 feet away,

Maybe four feet? Did you get the Mr Fantastic aug?

your crouched (and completely silent) movement speed is faster than the NPC patrol speed,

Just like the original Deus Ex. (And I believe you make footstep sounds in HR whilst crouching and moving quickly, unlike DX)

NPCs have a 90 degree vision cone with almost no vertical range, the third-person cover system lets you watch enemies without them having any chance to see you

They can still spot you if they walk past. If you're very stealthy then, well yeah, they don't know you're there.

and the radar detects all enemies (and their facing direction) within range regardless of line of sight or sound.

This point I agree with. Part of me hopes that, as it's an aug, it may be optional in the final game. It is possible to ignore it being there, but yeah, that is something that nags me.

 
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50. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 17, 2011, 01:40 J
 
Pleco wrote on Aug 16, 2011, 15:53:
C'mon. You're dropped into a locked arena style setting (with columns no less) where you're forced to duke it out. That's boring, cliché and unimaginative, regardless of what game you're comparing to.

Especially if I'm comparing it to the original Deus Ex to make a point about how the now-romanticized Deus Ex wasn't actually all that great*. But trolling doesn't involve understanding the original context, it's all about taking words out of context and twisting them for your own agenda, yeah? That makes you boring, cliché and unimaginative in my opinion. Perhaps if you were to try working with the conversation instead of sniping?

Great. So, the developer's justification of including boss fights as a gameplay mechanic necessary to force player creativeness is kind of moot then.

See above. You're typing junk there, buddy boy. "Kind of moot"? Seriously? What does that even mean? And what developer's justification are you referring to? Citation please.

*I loved Deus Ex. I went very deep into it and got many hours of enjoyment out of it. I do, however, still see its shortcomings and I am not going to delude myself about it. It was good for its time, but it needs a reboot and development to get it where it should be. It'll take time and who-knows-how-many releases - the important thing is to keep it real and not get lost in romantic notions. Too much sentimentality may lend credence to "Old men are the future". Oh yes. Within six months.
 
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49. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 16, 2011, 23:23 Jerykk
 
The take-downs (with their energy req) are there as well to prevent that 1 approach to be all overpowering, every take-down involves the danger to be seen and attacked while the animation plays, forcing you to rethink your approaches constantly and according to the situation. This is imo good game-design.

Actually, I don't think the energy requirement really helps make it less overpowered. Your first energy cell automatically regenerates so it doesn't make stealth harder, it just makes it slower. In addition, the game world pauses during the takedown cinematics so there's literally no chance of you being seen or attacked during a takedown. On top of that. the takedowns can be triggered from like 8 feet away, your crouched (and completely silent) movement speed is faster than the NPC patrol speed, NPCs have a 90 degree vision cone with almost no vertical range, the third-person cover system lets you watch enemies without them having any chance to see you and the radar detects all enemies (and their facing direction) within range regardless of line of sight or sound.

Stealth in DX1 was definitely more challenging. I'm something of a stealth buff myself and the fact that I'm able to overlook the flaws in DX:HR's stealth implementation is a testament to the quality of the game as a whole.
 
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48. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A Aug 16, 2011, 18:39 Raptor
 
J wrote on Aug 16, 2011, 13:42:
nin wrote on Aug 16, 2011, 13:37:
J wrote on Aug 16, 2011, 12:43:
And here's a video of Squirmer playing the leaked version. He was very resourceful in not using any of his GUNS
(It may not actually be Squirmer, but the idea tickles me)


I had seen someone trying to throw fire extinguishers and wondered if they could be shot and cause dmg...

I don't know, to be honest. I've thrown them and they've started spraying but I've not yet thrown it at somebody to see if it stuns them in any way. I haven't tried shooting them either.


Yah that's all the use I found for them, if you throw it at a wall it sprays for a second and I think at least the player coughs, they don't seem to hurt the enemy much nor create a distraction, suffocate or do anything else. In Dx it was good for avoiding lasers, stun enemies, put you out of fire of course.
Maybe it didn't seem like a worthwile addition after some point but half of it was still kept in ?

Anybody know if there's water in the final game ? (might not have read all interviews), in Dx it was great to swim around, explore and some of the water based levels were excellent (HK flooded tunnels anyone?).
In this one I haven't seen any running water yet (toilets don't flush and water from taps is a sprite), is it another IW style console limitation or ?
 
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