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.