Tag Archives: deus ex

Deus Ex Mankind Divided vs Dishonored 2 (Part One?)

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I wanted to finish both Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2 before I wrote this post, but I didn’t have nearly enough time before I had to start thinking about 2016 end-of-year recaps. I managed to get through a healthy chunk of Mankind Divided but only part of the first real mission of Dishonored 2 as of this writing. Still, even from that much I can sense some subtle but important differences between the games.

Dishonored 2 and Mankind Divided are worth comparing because they come from the same roots. The level designer for the first Dishonored was the level designer for the original Deus Ex (I don’t know if he also did the sequel). All these games are about letting players solve problems in tightly designed but open-ended levels by choosing from a variety of methods and playing around with a multitude of tools and systems. In Deux Ex it’s cybernetic augmentations, in Dishonored it’s supernatural powers. Continue reading

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Something Peculiar About Deus Ex Mankind Divided

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I’m pretty far behind on the big games of 2016. I let go of always having to stay on top of the latest thing, so I only started Deus Ex Mankind Divided around the end of September I believe. As I take my time through the game though I’m noticing an odd oversight Eidos Montreal made that some of the reviews don’t mention.

I imagine the reviews don’t mention this because the critics had to run straight through the game’s critical path to get it done in time. For the same reason I don’t have to play all the big games right as they come out I, like most normal consumers, have been able to just mess around in the sole hub area in Mankind Divided. As of this writing after about 15 hours of gameplay I haven’t even started the first mission of the main story. Continue reading

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Deus Ex And Today’s Game Design

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out this week and I’ve already got the pre-load on my SSD. I decided to also finally install the director’s cut version of Human Revolution to remind myself why I liked that game so much five years ago.

Depending on who you ask Deus Ex has a pretty big pedigree in video games. The 2000 original is one of the tentpole immersive simulation games. It helped set a standard for reactive game worlds filled with gameplay options and all kinds of details that made them feel functional and real, along with System Shock or Thief. Arguably games today haven’t even hit that same standard that was established in the 90’s, but Human Revolution came closer than anyone dared believe was possible. Continue reading

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[E3 2016] How Does Deus Ex Stand Out In Today’s Market?

I just got done watching Square Enix’s Deus Ex pre-E3 demonstration, and everything the publisher is announcing during E3 seems to be the culmination of how it’s reconciling the nature of Deux Ex with the realities of today’s blockbuster game market. An article from Zam news criticizing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as being a completely unoriginal amalgamation of everything popular in today’s console game market is pretty relevant in my opinion, even if I don’t completely agree with it and am still excited to play the game. Continue reading

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“SOMA”: The Scale Between Walking Simulator And Adventure Game

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If you’ve read any review or impression of Frictional Games’ SOMA, you probably know how it isn’t really a horror game. People call it a straight-up adventure game where monsters show up every now and again, possibly to appease the YouTube audience Frictional sort of helped create with Anmesia: The Dark Descent. I agree with those sentiments, but I also think SOMA is just about the right mix of adventure game that I’ve been waiting for.  It also might be the best one of these “not really a game” games I’ve played so far. Continue reading

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Do RPG Weight Limits Need A New Approach?

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Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 have made me realize that one problem I’ve never seen an open-world RPG solve is that of carry limits and encumbrance. I talked about it a little bit in 2012 but developers haven’t really done anything significant about it since then and I think the common game mechanic needs to be reexamined from multiple angles.

I understand why we have carry limits of course. It’s not about realism at all, but more like a rule of games because being able to carry and/or sell literally everything could break the difficulty. In many cases managing an inventory is supposed to be part of the challenge. My issue with the system though is that leaving it up to an arbitrary number above which the game restricts the player to walking speed seems like simple and haphazard design. This is especially true when the rest of a game like Fallout 4 or Witcher 3 is so complex. Other, technically smaller games actually tend to have a more measured and nuanced approach. Continue reading

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What I Really Want Out Of Fallout 4

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So I’ve been reading the reviews of Fallout 4, watching a few videos (but not enough to spoil the whole game), and checking out the tech teardowns. They all talk about how much there is to explore in the game, how average the graphics look, how the character building system works, and a lot of other qualities you’d expect to hear about a new release. I kind of just glazed over it all because they spend almost no time talking about the real reason I’m anticipating Fallout 4 — it is basically going to be the first immersive simulator game released on this generation of hardware.

I have made several other posts over the last year or so trying to explain what that term means. In the last one I laid out what I think Bethesda’s games are best at, and it’s this which actually has me anticipating Fallout 4. If you don’t want to read those links, in short, Bethesda’s games, for all their bugs and technical ugliness, provide a kind of gameplay sandbox almost no one else does these days. Continue reading

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15 Years Of Deus Ex, And Its future

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Despite having gone through a fair bit of trouble to put together a big list of gaming-related anniversaries that will occur this year, one occurring today — the 15th anniversary of the original Deus Ex, snuck right up on me. I didn’t have any time to revisit the game, but I think the recent E3 presentation of the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided offers an interesting contrast when thinking about what game that game is shaping up to be and what it could be. Continue reading

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Solarix And Other Indie Immersive Sim Games

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If you didn’t see it in the notes previously, I reviewed a little game called Solarix last week for Paste Magazine. As I wrote in the review, I see it as kind of the beginning of a possible wave of immersive simulators from indie developers. I imagine that’s a relatively difficult and expensive type of game to make, but it seems like we’re finally getting there. Continue reading

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More Games Should Have Limited Inventory Systems

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Usually I’m in lock step with complaints about how retail games from disparate genres have become increasingly homogeneous these days, but the inventory screen is one thing I actually wish was another part of the generally-accepted concoction. It and the itemization of objects it brings gives players more to think about and makes a game’s world seem deeper. Continue reading

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