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Deus Ex: Human Bullet Sponge

Damn it.

I was planning on telling you guys all about the glorious experience of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I wanted to tell you about the intriguing setting and story, the refined gunplay and stealth, the deep augmentation upgrading system, the engaging hacking minigame, and the surprisingly realistic and intuitive social augment.

I wanted to tell you all this, and then I slammed face-first into a brick wall.


Barrett is the game’s first boss fight, and he’s also a walking tank. I shot him directly in the face with a crossbow and he barely flinched. I unloaded multiple clips of assault rifle ammo on him and he didn’t budge. I know he has augmentations, but I’m pretty sure his entire body isn’t made of titanium, so this kind of puts a strain on versimilitude.

He is also ridiculously, ludicrously, brutally hard to defeat. He deals damage with his gun at such a rapid pace that even one moment out of cover will chop your health bar in half.

I suppose if you built your Adam Jensen to be like Serious Sam it might be a reasonable fight, but my Adam Jensen is not a killing machine. He is a hacker, a talker and a stealther. He’s a thinker first, and a fighter second. If he is forced to face enemies, he prefers to knock them out with a silent takedown or a stun gun. He uses lethal weapons (generally his pistol) only as a last resort. And if he knew he would have been put in a forced combat scenario with the Heavy over there, maybe he wouldn’t have sunk 90% of his augmentation points into hacking upgrades. It’s not easy to outsmart bullet.

Mandatory boss battles were the kiss of death for Alpha Protocol, and now they’re the kiss of death for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This isn’t just unfortunate; this is depressing. This is a horribly disfigured blemish on an otherwise fantastic game.


17 responses

  1. Well that’s depressing. I was looking forward to a game which I could do multiple ways, but it sounds like combat wombat is the only viable path. Once again, we’re onto “one build is viable, every other build is a gimp”.

    I’m hoping that by the time I get to play it, there’s some kind of “fuck boss fights in their stupid ass” patch. Ideally official, but I’ll accept fan-made.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    • JPH

      The odd thing is, if you were to just remove the boss fights, the game actually would work with pretty much any build. Well, so far, anyway. I’ve only reached the first boss, after all. But from what I’ve experienced, the levels do a good job at giving you multiple paths and options for approaching each challenge, much like the first Deus Ex.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM

  2. Icyn

    Deus Ex original Spoilers below (if anyone still cares)

    Didn’t original Deus Ex also have forced boss battles though? I remember you had to fight Anna Navarre at some point or another no matter what. So there you could only postpone the fight. Similarly you had to fight Agent Hermann, who from your description above sounds a lot like the guy above. Though granted that one did have a way to avoid the battle but only if you did something completely unrelated several hours before with no way of knowing it would result in avoiding this fight. And lastly there was that seriously annoying fight with Simmons in the end. If there’s a way to bypass that somehow I certainly never found it.

    Not having played DX3 yet (stupid release date differences) I can’t say how well the new boss fights compare, but DX certainly had it’s share of them. Just saying because from all the talk about the boss battles in this new one I get the idea that there was nothing like it in the first one, when there was.

    So what makes boss fights in DX different from the ones in DX3? I’m pretty sure you’ll be equally hosed in DX if you don’t spend any points on combat skills.

    P.S. Didn’t mean to have my first post as a negative one. I like what you’ve got to say and agree with most of it and this post is meant more as a question than criticism.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    • JPH

      Deus Ex never forces you into situations like these.

      When I had to fight Navarre, Herman and Simons I killed them each with one rocket. This guy does not go down that easily.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      • JPH

        Having said that, it does suck that Deus Ex forces you to kill those people. Deus Ex had a lot of problems, and I was hoping Human Revolution would fix some of them. And it does, but the forced fights are far more brutal.

        August 24, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      • Hell, you technically don’t even have to fight any of them.

        Navarre – Can be killphrased, or you can place a LAM on Lebedev’s plane and blow her up

        Hermann – Can be killphrased

        Simons – Can simply be run away from (to my knowledge at least)

        August 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        • Or on a second and subsequent playthroughs, Simons can be used to prove that infolink messages are pre-recorded. Boobytrap his spawn point, and he’ll be erased from existence before he finishes taunting you.

          August 24, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      • Icyn

        So what you’re saying is that if you had the right weapons and skills the fight was easy? How’s that the same as what you’re saying in the post above? Because fighting Navarre and Simmons without much points in combat skills is far from easy. You could even call them brutal.

        August 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        • Icyn

          That didn’t end up quite where I expected it to be. The above reply was to JPH.

          But I can see that this (DX3) fight is quite possibly different from the ones in the original.

          GiantRaven. Using a LAM on Navarre in the plane is mainly exploiting the game mechanics and not an intended solution, i would say. Since it requires prior knowledge of scripted events to pull off.

          Based on your comments I assume this guy in DX3 is avoidable by killphrase or some other similar trick?

          August 24, 2011 at 3:41 PM

          • It may be sequence breaking in a way, but tell me it isn’t the best feeling when you do it. =D

            And the boss fight in Human Revolution is completely unskippable to my knowledge, you have basically no prior of the guy before you fight him.

            August 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM

          • JPH

            No, he isn’t. It is a completely unavoidable fight.

            August 24, 2011 at 4:26 PM

  3. I had some HUGE trouble with this guy when I played through the beta. What I eventually ended up doing was…

    1. Throwing one of the cylindrical canisters at him, which releases a gas that stuns him
    2. Finding a gas canister that explodes when it hits him
    3. Hide
    4. Repeat

    Also, it’s possible to interchange some stun gun action in there to stun him.

    August 24, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    • JPH

      I had to use the stun gun several times in order to beat him. Now I’m really glad I picked that instead of the tranquilizer rifle.

      August 24, 2011 at 1:47 PM

  4. kanodin

    Tell me about it, I’m doing a pacifist playthrough but I picked up some mook’s shotgun just because I’d been warned about boss battles and one was obviously coming. This guy can take 6 pointblank shots aimed primarily at the head, on normal. The only upside is how effective the stun gun is.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:53 PM

  5. Well, I emailed Eidos to say I wouldn’t be buying it and why, and to tell them that it made me sad. I made sure to mention that everything else was great, but that mandatory combat-only boss fights were a deal-breaker.

    August 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM

  6. Toasty

    I never found them that bad, I just beat the third boss with a similar build (non-leathal, chatty, stealthy hacker), and for Barret all I had to do was take cover, shoot the red barrel behind him, stun gun him when he flinched, riddle him with a combat rifle while he’s down, throw one of the gas containers at him, toss a few frag grenades, and after a tranq and more riddling, he was down.
    2nd boss, jump onto a locker, and shoot out the generators lining the wall. 3rd, gas grenades, Mark&Track, and homing bullets are your friends (though that one did take 7 tries).
    Though the forced boss fights were an issue, they didn’t ruin the experience, and the game is very much worth picking up.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    • “all I had to do was take cover, shoot the red barrel behind him, stun gun him when he flinched, riddle him with a combat rifle while he’s down, throw one of the gas containers at him, toss a few frag grenades, and after a tranq and more riddling, he was down”

      Uh, yeah. About that. What you have to do to take down any normal-ish enemy: shoot them. You MIGHT have to do it again.

      And heck, even in your augmented tough-as-nails form, you can’t take anything like that much damage. One magazine from just about any weapon you choose is liable to leave you dead.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:38 PM

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