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Default Finished Deus Ex: HR - Thoughts.

August 29th, 2011, 22:07
Finished it on hardest difficulty. I would have managed 100% non-lethal, except I kinda got sick of being that careful towards the end.

GOTY so far, definitely. I think it exceeds the first game for me, though it's not without flaws:

Spoiler – Spoilery-doo
Last edited by DArtagnan; August 29th, 2011 at 22:19.
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August 29th, 2011, 22:20
That was quick. I've only played the tutorial and parts of the first mission and so far like it. How long was it? I think I've read that it would take around 20 hours to complete.
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August 29th, 2011, 22:29
Originally Posted by stealth View Post
That was quick. I've only played the tutorial and parts of the first mission and so far like it. How long was it? I think I've read that it would take around 20 hours to complete.
Around 35-40 hours. I was VERY thorough for ~80% of the game, but as the end came nearer, it was obvious that I wouldn't really need the extra XP and I just wanted it to be over at that point. It takes its toll to play 100% stealthy on "Deus Ex" difficulty

If you "run and gun" - then 20 hours is probably about right.

I think you might squeeze out 50 hours, if you go totally anal with stealth/hacking/non-lethal.

There's plenty of content in the game, and I think it's actually bigger than the first Deus Ex.
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August 30th, 2011, 07:40
Usually I'm not patient enough to stick with the stealth approach. I'm trying to currently but if the game is that long it will be a challenge
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August 30th, 2011, 11:04
The Witcher 2 is GOTY by a mile for me, at least for now, but it's interesting to see that people have such high thoughts on DX.

Good read overall. Oh, and don't mind the spoiler tag folks - the majority of the content within it is not related to the story of the game. Only a few bits and pieces.

Originally Posted by stealth View Post
Usually I'm not patient enough to stick with the stealth approach. I'm trying to currently but if the game is that long it will be a challenge
Same, I lack the patience. It's why I never really enjoyed the DX, Thief, M&M: Dark Messiah, etc. I rarely play stealth characters in general, no matter the game.
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August 30th, 2011, 11:40
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The Witcher 2 is GOTY by a mile for me, at least for now, but it's interesting to see that people have such high thoughts on DX.
Witcher 2 was very, very good - but unfortunately it didn't hold up for me after the first act. It's definitely ahead in the story department and it remains the best looking game I've seen - but I'm just too much in love with the Deus Ex gameplay

That said, Witcher 2 is my number 2 candidate. Maybe Skyrim will top them?
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August 31st, 2011, 02:35
I just finished it, what follows is of course very spoiler-heavy (I intend to be much more specific about story things than DArtagnan).

Spoiler
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August 31st, 2011, 09:33
Originally Posted by Tilean View Post

Spoiler
Well, I admit I exaggerated somewhat when I said I could have easily done it, but if it's not doable - I'd be very surprised.

Especially if you take out the absolutely useless augs, like basically the entire "Stealth Enhancer" tree and the "Fortify" hacking tree.

But, yeah, it does take some effort. I almost exclusively took out guards with take-down, for instance, which will grant 50 XP. If you use double take-down, you get a bonus on top of that. I took out ALL guards for most of the game, until I got tired of the non-lethal overly pedantic playstyle. So, that's a nice portion of points right there.

Then you need to get "Ghost" and "Smooth Operator" for all missions, and you should naturally hack everything and NOT open doors from the inside, as it will unlock them. There are many little ways to optimise which will yield significant extra XP - and I was very meticulous and thorough for most of the game. I had around 38 out of 51 augs towards the end of the game, and I'd skipped at least two side missions, and semi-rushed 4-5 levels. On top of that, I haven't explored Hengsha thoroughly and I'm sure there are a few praxis kits I've missed due to exploration. I may be wrong, but going by the rest of the game - it seems very reasonable to assume you can max everything if you invest in it. Perhaps not easily, as I said, but I think it's possible. The "easy" part is applicable in terms of the actually useful augs. I'm sure there are people out there arguing that Stealth Enhancer and Fortify augs are useful - but I most definitely can't see it.

I'm not saying the XP balance should be changed, as much as they entire augmentation system. Even if you can't max out every single augmentation, you can MOST certainly max out ALL the "good" ones even without being all that thorough. Meaning, you can try all playstyles in the same playthrough - which is a huge no-no in a game like this. That's just my opinion, of course.

Personally, I think they should have kept the original augmentation system, meaning you had to EXCLUSIVELY choose which ones to focus on - and they should have let the XP be for upgrades only, not the actual augmentations. That way, they could ensure replayability and the proper rewards. There are, of course, a million other ways to handle this - and I simply don't think they did it in a good way. Coupled with a significant amount of near useless augmentations and a stupid energy system, we're talking some pretty serious design omissions. But that's pretty standard, even in the best games.

Anyway, that's my take on it.
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August 31st, 2011, 10:02
Only just finished the first boss, so I have a long way to go. That said, that boss was every bit as bad as some of the ones in Alpha Protocol, which I recall was a tipping point for you.

It's still a great game (so far) but I'm surprised you didn't comment on that.

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August 31st, 2011, 10:49
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Only just finished the first boss, so I have a long way to go. That said, that boss was every bit as bad as some of the ones in Alpha Protocol, which I recall was a tipping point for you.

It's still a great game (so far) but I'm surprised you didn't comment on that.
No, the boss fights in themselves weren't the tipping point for me in AP. It was that specific "druggie rockstar" fight that tipped it for me. I can't remember specifically, but there was another fight that also pissed me off, but it was definitely that drug guy that made me quit the game.

That's because the normal rules of the game stopped applying totally, and my "headshot master" guy was useless. The guy was basically immortal unless you did what was in the "design script". That's the kind of fight I hate. Of course, it does count a lot that I didn't much like the game overall - and I absolutely hated the "humor" and fabricated/obtuse dialogue. That kind of thing doesn't make your disposition any brighter for detrimental aspects.

I'm none too fond of boss fights, that's true - and I didn't like them in Deus Ex HR either. But since I could use my powers with great efficiency in them, I didn't mind them as much. It also helps a bit that I'm fighting super-human guys, rather than normal human beings. AP had no such excuse - and it was especially jarring in that game, seeing as how it went out of its way to establish a realistic spy-themed tone. At least, that's how I perceived it.

I don't want to spoil the fights for you, but they are all very easy and your powers are vital to taking them down. That's exactly how a boss fight should be, if they MUST have them in there. It still doesn't make any sense that they can survive so many shots, even if they are heavily augmented - but my approach and build helped a lot.

But no, they didn't bother me all that much - mostly because none of them required me to figure out a stupid puzzle or something. So, I'm left with the unrealistic nature of boss fights, which - while still annoying - doesn't ruin the game for me or anything.

I've read about people having trouble with the fights, and I suppose if I'd had that experience - I might have been more annoyed with them. I think I reloaded a total of 3-4 times for all boss fights combined.

With all that said, I think it's a completely idiotic "requirement" that developers somehow feel they must adhere to. I'd much rather they worked on a couple of extra levels, than stupid staged fights like that.
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August 31st, 2011, 11:07
@Dhruin - What was so bad about the first boss? The only issue I had was that your only course of action was to kill him, which isn't really a big deal imo since it fit with the circumstances.

If you're referring to the battle itself, I found it challenging, but not hard, using normal tactics. There are ways to make it pathetically easy though.
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August 31st, 2011, 12:31
I'm playing on Deus Ex difficulty too and I'll tell ya… You think sneaking around takes its toll? Run and gun pretty much equals 'hiding in an airvent with a shotgun' since you can't even live through 2 shots. Its really no harder when you're sneaking, its only when they're hostile the difficulty kicks in.

I'm not that far in, but I've killed everyone so far with the exceptions of letting the Zekes dude go and then not killing him after he gave me more info and not killing any police when I was sneaking around in their station.
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August 31st, 2011, 12:58
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
I'm playing on Deus Ex difficulty too and I'll tell ya… You think sneaking around takes its toll? Run and gun pretty much equals 'hiding in an airvent with a shotgun' since you can't even live through 2 shots. Its really no harder when you're sneaking, its only when they're hostile the difficulty kicks in.

I'm not that far in, but I've killed everyone so far with the exceptions of letting the Zekes dude go and then not killing him after he gave me more info and not killing any police when I was sneaking around in their station.
I didn't mean take its toll as in particularly difficult. It just requires a LOT of patience to play it like I did, and since I'm a very impatient sort of person - it was really quite taxing. I just like roleplaying people who don't kill, and I'm a min-max'er in a big way, so I have to optimise most things to get my pleasure

About the "run and gun" approach, I don't know what to say. I've tried that for a few levels later on - and I found it to be very easy. Maybe it's harder in the beginning? I'm not sure.

Of course, when I'm "running and gunning" - it's not exactly Rambo style. More like a combination of stealth and force. I don't think the game is meant to be played as a straight up Doom-type shooter at all.
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August 31st, 2011, 14:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That's because the normal rules of the game stopped applying totally, and my "headshot master" guy was useless. The guy was basically immortal unless you did what was in the "design script". That's the kind of fight I hate. Of course, it does count a lot that I didn't much like the game overall - and I absolutely hated the "humor" and fabricated/obtuse dialogue. That kind of thing doesn't make your disposition any brighter for detrimental aspects.

I'm none too fond of boss fights, that's true - and I didn't like them in Deus Ex HR either. But since I could use my powers with great efficiency in them, I didn't mind them as much. It also helps a bit that I'm fighting super-human guys, rather than normal human beings. AP had no such excuse - and it was especially jarring in that game, seeing as how it went out of its way to establish a realistic spy-themed tone. At least, that's how I perceived it.

I don't want to spoil the fights for you, but they are all very easy and your powers are vital to taking them down. That's exactly how a boss fight should be, if they MUST have them in there. It still doesn't make any sense that they can survive so many shots, even if they are heavily augmented - but my approach and build helped a lot.
If you didn't like AP, you didn't like it - which is fair enough. I'm not seeing that much difference between the boss fights from where I'm sitting. Brayko had an "excuse" in AP - he was on drugs and there were actually several ways of completing the fight, so the script wasn't that exacting. That said, I do understand your point of view.

But I'm not seeing DXHR as much better at this point (admittedly, I ran out of playing time and patience today, so I put it aside). I have stealthed everything so far and not fired a single shot. I do have a tranq gun that he doesn't respond to but I don't have bigger firepower. It's seems obvious you need to use the [objects] - I get that - but it is a jarring change of gameplay rules. It certainly doesn't benefit from my powers (at least, not that I'm seeing). Being able to see through walls or tag and track NPCs doesn't help with a forced cutscene and combat.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
@Dhruin - What was so bad about the first boss? The only issue I had was that your only course of action was to kill him, which isn't really a big deal imo since it fit with the circumstances.

If you're referring to the battle itself, I found it challenging, but not hard, using normal tactics. There are ways to make it pathetically easy though.
See above. The ease isn't the point - the game encourages me to play a variety of ways (even asking whether I intend to take a no-kill approach) and then snatches it away. The "circumstances" are forced - they could have provided the chance (even a very hard one) to stealth in but a cutscene breaks all that.

It's not an uncommon problem - Vampire: Bloodlines, AP etc - but DXHR is so good otherwise, it makes this failing all the stronger to me.

Perhaps I'll change my mind when I have time to go back to it.

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August 31st, 2011, 14:42
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
It certainly doesn't benefit from my powers (at least, not that I'm seeing). Being able to see through walls or tag and track NPCs doesn't help with a forced cutscene and combat.
You can actually just cloak and kill the first boss with a handful of headshots. He won't be able to see you - so you just sidestep a bit, which is what I meant by powers working during boss fights.

There are two fights later in the game where see through walls becomes VERY handy, and the cloaking ability remains very powerful during these fights.

I accept that you're not seeing much difference, but that's just where we differ. I see a LOT of difference between how the two games handle boss fights, but we can certainly agree that they don't add anything positive to either game.
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August 31st, 2011, 14:49
Agreed.

I don't have cloak, by the way.

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August 31st, 2011, 15:27
Brayko simply uses an ability that makes him immune to damage for a short amount of time. Beyond that, all regular skills apply just like they would every other fight.

Such abilities are hardly unheard of in RPGs, ranging from Divine Shield in World of Warcraft to Stoneskin in D&D.
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August 31st, 2011, 15:42
You can still beat that first boss easily without cloak. I beat him on my first attempt using nothing but the stun gun.

Assuming you have a stun gun and plenty of ammo.. once you manage to get behind him, the fight is over. Just hit him in the back of the head and he'll be stunnned just long enough for you to reload and hit him again.
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August 31st, 2011, 16:39
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Brayko simply uses an ability that makes him immune to damage for a short amount of time. Beyond that, all regular skills apply just like they would every other fight.

Such abilities are hardly unheard of in RPGs, ranging from Divine Shield in World of Warcraft to Stoneskin in D&D.
I would never complain about such immunity if it made any kind of sense in the context of the game.

It completely ruined the sensation of it being a semi-realistic spy game. I most certainly didn't expect magical powers from a human being.

But it doesn't matter now. AP is history as far as I'm concerned, and I'm glad so many people enjoyed it despite what I consider glaring flaws.
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September 3rd, 2011, 02:53
Finished! After 33-34 hours according to Steam. I don't let the game run while I'm not playing so it should be pretty accurate and it would include the reloading (plenty of that).

I also played mostly stealth + none-lethal (mostly takedowns). Played on normal, but I'm kind of an impatient player, so I kind of got seen often and reloaded. Next playthrough, I will be using a lethal weapons and will be making different decisions.

I hated the 3 boss fights (I don't call the last one a boss fight…), mostly because the "rules" are different and you don't really care about the guys facing you. Although, they are short and far apart, so they don't damage the game gameplay that much. I had the most trouble with #2. Those characters are well presented in Icarus Effect (DX:HR based novel, really good), too bad they didn't use some of the info in the book for the game.

As for the NPCs. I liked Malik and Prickchard. I wanted to punch every other characters though. And I did punch some of them. OK, I wanted to punch Malik and Prickchard at some point too. I think that Malik had the best side quest as well…
Spoiler – Spoiler about Malik


I really liked the different "endings" and the credits. The game might be a bit too serious and lacked sarcasm/joking present in the 1st DX game.

Spoiler


I kind of agree with DArtagnan about the lack of 3rd hub. I'm sad they couldn't finish Montréal.

Best game I played this year so far too.
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