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Deus Ex: Human Revolution – More on Barrett

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS FOR DEUS EX AND DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION FOLLOW.

Commentators of my last Human Revolution post made a good point: Deus Ex 1 also had a few “boss fights.” Anna Navarre, Gunther Hermann, and Walton Simons each attempt to ambush JC Denton at different points in the game. They’re all avoidable if you play the cards right, but if you don’t, you could get stuck in an unavoidable and potentially tough fight.

I had to reflect on this, but after some thought, I still think DX1 did those fights better than DX:HR.

Mind you, that doesn’t mean I think they were good. They were still pretty needless and can go dive under a tractor. But they aren’t quite as bad. It’s the lesser of the two evils.

Firstly, all of them are avoidable in certain ways. With Anna and Gunther you can find “killphrases” that will cause them to explode. It requires some searching and hacking, but they aren’t extremely hard to find. An observant and thorough player will probably find them on his first run through the game. I’m not criticizing anybody who didn’t find them — I certainly didn’t on my first playthrough — but at least there’s a chance.

I don’t know about the rest of the bosses in Human Revolution, as I haven’t reached them yet, but I’m pretty sure the fight with Barrett is 100% unskippable. This is the first time you’ve ever interacted with him, and the game doesn’t give you any opportunity for dialogue, so I don’t see how you could talk your way out of it. You have to defeat him for purposes of the mission at hand, and there’s no way to sneak up on him. You have to fight this guy, whether you like it or not.

Secondly, there are ways to make the unskippable fights in Deus Ex exceedingly easy. All three of the Big Baddies can die from one rocket, one LAM (LAM = mine in the Deus Ex world) or even a few grenades. If you don’t have any of those then you might have some trouble. But while I can understand why you wouldn’t have a rocket launcher, since it takes up a ton of inventory room, if you don’t have any LAMs or grenades by that point I would suggest you stock up.

In the case of Barrett, there’s no way to make the fight easy as far as I can tell. There are certain weapons you can use to get the upper hand (I ended up extensively using the Stun Gun) but those don’t make the fight a cakewalk by any means. You have to be fairly close to Barrett to use your stun gun on him, and if you get too close he’ll grab you and punch half of your health bar off.

In my other post I said that Barrett might be a reasonable fight if you use a combat build, but I’m actually not so sure of that. I’ve been pretty thorough in my playthrough so far, searching every room, hacking every terminal, completing every sidequest. And I hadn’t acquired that many augmentation points by the time I fought him. As a rough guess, let’s say 10. Unless you spend almost all of those points on combat upgrades, you probably won’t notice a very significant difference in the fight against Barrett.

In Deus Ex it’s unlikely that you’ll be forced into a brutally hard combat situation. But it’s still possible, and that’s very unfortunate. In Human Revolution it’s unlikely that you won’t be forced into a brutally hard combat situation.

For the record, I did eventually beat Barrett. It took me around ten tries, but I beat him, and now I’m back to loving the game. And as a fair warning, I’m probably going to gush a lot about this game in the coming week or two. But this really is a reprehensible flaw.

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16 responses

  1. Uh, I’m hoping you mean the rifle’s grenades. The LAMs are dual-purpose; get close enough to a wall, and they’re mines (and/or climbing tools, but that’s somewhat of an exploit), while otherwise they’re grenades. Same explosive power either way. The 20mm grenades for the assault rifle are less powerful, but easier to use and a LOT rarer – until you realise that you need to keep the assault rifle set to use them when looting AR-using enemies…

    I seem to know far too much about how to ruthlessly exploit Deus Ex. I blame the author of the Sunglasses at Night anti-walkthrough…

    August 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

  2. kanodin

    I’ve just fought the 2nd boss, she doesn’t even get any lines let alone some way out of fighting her. She’s also as big a bullet sponge as Barret. I’m not even avoiding using her name out of fear of spoilers, they don’t even bother telling you it, it’s just beat this random woman up until the plot can get back in motion.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM

  3. Icyn

    Now that I’ve actually played the Barret bit, I have to agree with the rest of you, to a degree. (Just goes to show that I shouldn’t comment on things before playing them, I guess.) It certainly was annoying. I was sort of expecting them to offer a secondary way of fighting him: turrets or some such. And his capacity to contain bullets in his body was a bit over the top.

    On the other hand I didn’t find the guy all that difficult (medium difficulty), apart from the bullet sponge aspect. I ended up winning the fight with a pistol, rifle and a couple EMP grenades. Didn’t take more than a couple tries either. And I had no combat upgrades at all, just some gun mods. In the end my objection to it comes from the resemblance to different old video game bosses. The ones that you beat by performing one action after another: Shoot from behind a pillar, run to next pillar, rinse and repeat. I took some damage from running from pillar to pillar, but the health regen took care of that. So my experience wasn’t of a brutally hard boss fight. In fact my most common cause of death was grenading myself….

    In conclusion: Fights in DX1 weren’t that different, but the ability to bypass them was certainly useful.

    P.S. DX3 does actually have a spot where a bypass for the Barrett fight could be offered: You can find and hack his computer in the complex before the fight. I certainly expected it to contain some sort of useful information.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    • I went looking for a video of how I beat Barrett (using minimal weaponry) and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RriLutbiBTg
      The guy can soak headshots like there’s no tomorrow! Pretty ridiculous really.

      My way of beating him was more like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5hUC3H5_To&feature=related
      The only difference being that I used the stun gun a couple of times, rather than the grenades.

      It’s an absolute bastard of a boss fights but there are ways of doing it that don’t involve shooting.

      It’s also worth noting that at points Barrett seems to completely lose sight of where you are, pointing his gun where you aren’t, indicating that it’s possible to fight him somewhat stealthily as well.

      August 27, 2011 at 1:14 PM

  4. Mr Jack

    The boss fights feel like they were imported from some other game. The fact that the achievement for not killing anyone has an exclusion clause further emphasises how poorly integrated they are.

    I think they could have been improved by:
    – Allow the player to sneak past them. Stealth is supposed to be a viable option.
    – Allow the player to explore the combat zone before hand.
    – The poster above me posted videos of some unconventional ways of dealing with Barrett, I never had time to discover them. I can’t remember seeing the gas canisters earlier, there were too many elements introduced at once in this fight. Unfamiliar room, enemy and mechanics all at once.
    – Allow the use of social skills and hacking to discover useful information about Barrett beforehand. Nothing as extreme as Kill-codes, but allowing you to hard reset some of his augments could have crippled his abilities temporarily, giving the player the advantage.

    I just completed the game for the first time on the highest difficulty. I died sometimes, but it was only in the boss fights that I felt frustrated with my deaths; all the others felt justified.

    The Boss fights dropped you in an arena, without time to explore it, and against an unfamiliar foe. Using a stealth build on the highest difficulty, I would die when exposed for anything more than a couple of seconds. When Barrett lobbed three grenades at once, I had to be at the other end of the hall to avoid dying. I didn’t have any time to develop strategies or explore the arena.

    It was jarring to be dragged out of my stealthy, talky game and forced to play cover shooter for a while.

    August 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

  5. arron

    The yellow gas canisters and red explosive barrels are the easiest way to take Barrett down if you’re a non-combat stealth character. You run to the right in the corner with two gas bottles and throw one at Barrett. Cross the room and use the red barrel on him. Move up on the left and cross the room to the right to find another gas canister which you throw his way. The next red barrel is in the middle of the room, then you move down the room on the right hand side to where you found the two gas bottles originally and use the other one you hadn’t collected to throw at him. He’ll die after that final gas cylinder.

    So the sequence is yellow – red – yellow – red – yellow. With practice, you’ll nail it every time.

    The Yelena and Jaron fights have similar sequences that you can exploit to finish off the bosses with minimal augs and weaponry. Yelena can be fooled by running around in a loop around a wall. If you stand in the corner of the fight area and keep looking left and right, then Jaron will usually jump over a wall and you can shoot him. Once you’ve got them trapped (as their invisibility is lost after shooting them), you can gun them down using a rifle from around the corner.

    I was surprised with the Jaron fight especially as having no augmentations, you can’t see him, but you can force the game into making him appear in one of two possible locations to attack you. The only other issue is grenades, but you can move from one corner to another if he starts throwing them at you. Hope that helps!

    August 31, 2011 at 8:27 AM

  6. ThirteenthLetter

    Dealt with Barrett by bringing along the rocket launcher you can find in the room with the giant robot (it’s on the left hand side), hitting him with it three times, and also tossing a grenade or two; the fight was over very quickly. Which is good, because any time I spent attempting to move to another set of cover meant I’d lose half my health to that crazy arm gun.

    But that said I agree one hundred percent on this fight. It’s just… absurd, how much it doesn’t fit with the game. I looked around the room after the battle and there was ammo stacked in every corner. I felt like I’d been teleported back to 1992 and was expected to circle-strafe around the room shooting Hans Grosse with my chaingun.

    September 4, 2011 at 8:49 AM

  7. Deadpool

    EMP Grenade -> emptied a clip of Combat Rifle on his face -> Threw explosive at him -> emptied another clip (out of ammo) -> Threw a frag. End fight.

    I was pretty surprised at the number of people complaining about this fight.

    For the record, no Dermal Armor, no upgrades for the Rifle, Give Me Deus Ex mode…

    September 8, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    • JPH

      You had an easy time? Congratulations. That doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:39 AM

      • Deadpool

        Well, the argument is that you’re forced into a brutally hard combat situation with a non combat build.

        If there are ample ways to win this fight without a combat build, then the argument of being forced into “Brutally hard” combat situations kinda falls a bit…

        What the game DOES with its bosses is change things up. If you don’t build a high armor, high accuracy, run and gun kind of character, then facing the boss in that manner is suicide. The boss provides you a different engagement that you must think of a way other than “headshot with a pistol while behind cover” to pass it.

        Honestly, I think the combat would have been pretty boring without the odd shake up…

        September 8, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        • JPH

          Yes, there are ways to defeat the boss without a combat build, but those ways are too unclear to most players.

          You said you were surprised by all the people complaining about the fight, but I think that if so many people are complaining about it, that’s a clear enough indication that the boss fight is just badly made.

          Once again, just because YOU had an easy time, that doesn’t mean anyone who didn’t is an idiot.

          September 8, 2011 at 11:42 AM

          • Deadpool

            But in the same token of that, just because a large group of people believe something doesn’t mean it’s TRUE.

            What the game did is require lateral thinking. And it required it QUICKLY. To be fair, the quickly part might’ve needed some work, but then again, I was on hard mode. Maybe on normal you ARE given more than a split second to devise a plan…

            Ultimately, I think so many people had a problem with this boss not because it was HARD, but because it was DIFFERENT…

            September 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM

            • JPH

              The issue is absolutely lack of time. Even on normal mode you’ll die if you take longer than a split second to think. It’s ridiculous.

              September 8, 2011 at 12:21 PM

          • There are ways to defeat the latter two bosses without using overt combat? How? I was stumped at those points.

            September 8, 2011 at 5:50 PM

  8. Yeah so… on Hardest difficulty this guy took 2 rockets, 7 revolvershots (with all upgrades I’ve been able to find so far) and one red barrel. Guess what? He was alive and I wasnt. He even shot a fire extinguisher by mistake and stood around coughing allowing me to get those revolvershots to his head with ease.

    I’d say Deadpool is just a troll…

    September 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

  9. In Deus Ex you could defeat Anna Navarre with a single LAM placed on the stairwell she comes down to ambush you.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

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