About games and gaming thereof!

Human Revolution: Rampaging Gunman

I’ve now completed two playthroughs of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. First was my “normal” playthrough (I try to sneak around, but use whatever weapons feel satisfying and natural to me and if I get caught or put in a particularly difficult situation I’ll use lethal force and kill the enemies) and second was my no-killing, no-detection, hard-mode playthrough. For my third playthrough I’ve decided I’m going to rampage through and murder every threat. I’m going Gears of War style on these bitches.

I will confirm that what other people have said is true; if you play a lethal, non-stealthy character, you will be penalized for it. Well, you won’t be “penalized,” but you’ll be given less rewards. The game lets you play either way, but it favors the careful, sneaky player.

But tell me something: was that last paragraph a description of Human Revolution, or Hitman: Blood Money? Because the truth is that the Hitman games work in exactly the same way, and nobody complains about it in those games.

And do you want to know why? It’s because it makes sense that way. I happen to agree with what Krellen said in the comments for my previous Deus Ex post:

“This isn’t a war scenario; you’re not a soldier. The “psychopathic” playthrough is, explicitly, doing it wrong. Why should it be rewarded?”

Having now played part of Human Revolution shooter-style, I can confirm that if you’re doing so, you’re deliberately playing the game incorrectly. It’s great that the game even allows you to do so, but I think that rewarding the sneaky player that refuses to kill makes perfect sense. When I noticed this gameplay mechanic the first thing that came to mind was Hitman, since it does the exact same thing; you can run through and shoot down all your targets, as well as any security guards in the way, but doing so will have the game slap you across the wrist and tell you that you’re doing it wrong. And that’s as it should be, because you are doing it wrong.

I’m sure the reason people are angry about it in this case is because they say the first Deus Ex 1 was all about letting you play how you want and not rewarding or penalizing you for it, which makes me wonder if people played the same Deus Ex I played, because the game I played gave the non-lethal player extra rewards a number of times. Just as an example, I remember the weapons expert at UNATCO refusing to give me the reward he had planned once he heard that I’d killed all the NSF guards in the previous mission. See there? The game explicitly said “You’re playing shooter style; you’re doing it wrong.”

Deus Ex may not penalize you as much as Human Revolution, but people need to stop describing it as the game that never judges you based on your playstyle, because it most certainly does.

And besides, just because Deus Ex did it, that doesn’t mean Human Revolution has to do it the exact same way. Human Revolution is not Deus Ex 1. This may be where I lose some of you, but the reason why I was excited about Human Revolution in the first place was because it looked so incredibly different from the first Deus Ex. I don’t want more Deus Ex; I want new Deus Ex. I want a new experience with new concepts. That’s exactly what Human Revolution is, and I love all the changes they made.

Except, you know, boss fights.


2 responses

  1. yeah people hugely mis-remember DE1 I think. I saw some complaints about the ending of HR and after experiencing it for myself I was like “uh that was actually way more reserved than the first game”. which goes back to your earlier, excellent point about focus and scope. Yeah, HR is smaller-scale – but it also doesn’t have, for example, Greys or those effing mutant lizard things living in the sewers.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM

  2. I have a theory about the boss fights. A large majority of the augmentations are of a non-confrontational in nature; outside of the dermal armor, Typhoon & recoil control, there’s little else directly useful in a firefight. But having hoarded most of my Praxis points for the entire first Hub and most of the second, I can verify that a stealthy playthrough isn’t difficult even without most of those enhancements. Now, given that, if someone was to focus on making a purely stealth character & focusing their augs for that, it’s easy to see how the game could be TOO easy. And while those boss fights certainly do change that, I think the developers took an easy out.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM

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