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Extra Punctuation: What Human Revolution Got Wrong

So for those of you who don’t know, Yahtzee doesn’t just do Zero Punctuation — he also does Extra Punctuation, a written column on The Escapist. He generally uses it to reiterate and elaborate on some point he made in the previous ZP episode.

So this week he talked about ways in which he thinks Deus Ex 1 is better than Human Revolution. And since I still ardently believe Human Revolution is the superior game, I thought I’d offer my own response.

I’m not under the illusion that he’ll ever even see this blog, but whatever.

1. You know who the danged boss characters are

This I absolutely agree with. Despite my immense fondness for Human Revolution, I have to admit that the boss fights are clumsily done, in terms of gameplay and story. They’re entirely needless and entirely horrible. I’ve heard that some spin-off novel explains who the boss characters are and what they have against Jensen, but fuck that shit, seriously. We shouldn’t need additional media just to know what the hell is going on.

2. There are danged melee weapons

I honestly couldn’t care less about this. Yeah, there’s a complete lack of melee weapons, but there are takedowns, which I think more than make up for it. They make more sense and feel more realistic, just like the rest of the game. One aspect of Deus Ex 1 that screwed with my sense of immersion was the ability to charge up and smack guards with a knife until they fall over. It didn’t really feel right, and something tells me Human Revolution wouldn’t have felt right with melee weapons either.

Also, he compares the takedowns to God of War’s special finishing moves, but the major difference to me is that the takedowns in Human Revolution aren’t quick-time-events. If you ask me, that makes them infinitely better.

3. There’s danged specialization

I agree with his point that Human Revolution basically gives you enough points to specialize in everything by the end, but truth be told, I wasn’t very bothered by this. Yes, you can take almost any approach in the final level, but the point is that all those choices are there. To me the whole RPG thing is less about how you build your character and more about how you play your character. Like I’ve said before, what matters most to me is what you’re actually doing during the gameplay, and Human Revolution has quite a variety of player choice in that regard.

4. The danged endings actually danging mean something

I don’t think Human Revolution’s endings are quite as bad as he described them, but I do agree that Deus Ex 1’s endings are much better. I’ll probably have to devote an entire spoiler-filled post to this subject, but for now let me just say that I sort of agree.


Now, this is the point I disagree with the most. How could anyone possibly prefer orange over lemon lime? That just bewilders me, and it really makes me question Yahtzee’s validity as a critic.


6 responses

  1. When I go to my local game store, I’ll generally pick the orange soda over the lemon-lime because the orange is Sunkist, which has caffeine in it. Other things being equal I prefer the sharper flavour of the lemon-lime, but I’m an addict.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

  2. I’d like to point out that in the promotional materials released prior to game sales, it’s shown that the boss fights were essentially outsourced.

    September 17, 2011 at 5:00 AM

    • JPH

      Yeah, I’m aware of that. It doesn’t really excuse it, but it does explain a lot.

      Quite unfortunate.

      September 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

  3. Babitz

    My issue with takedowns is that they’re cinematic and unnecessary. I would prefer if they stayed in first person and were quick. They also become boring after a while, just like in God of War. The next problem with it is that you can slam a guy really hard, but the other enemy standing five feet away won’t hear it nor will he react to it. It’s immersion breaking.
    I agree that melee was kind of clumsy in the original mostly because you don’t know your reach, but it was fun to use speed + ballistic protection and kill everyone like a jedi.

    And well, the lack of a build may not bother you, but I miss it. I guess I don’t have an argument for this one so it’s down to personal preference. Also, In the original your augs would basically transform you and your tactics to a huge extent, but in HR you don’t change that much in regard to your combat tactics. Sure, you become more durable and accurate, but that’s about it.

    I’d say the difference between the original and HR mirrors the difference between System Shock 2 and Bioshock. Except that I enjoyed HR a lot, unlike Bioshock.

    Lemon lime is better, btw. I’ll take it over orange any day.

    And how’s Ultima IV going?

    September 18, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    • JPH

      I disagree with the Bioshock comparison. Bioshock was severely stripped down compared to System Shock 2. No inventory management, basically no specialization whatsoever (say what you will about HR but some of the augmentations DID make quite a difference in terms of where you can go and what you can do in each area), much more linearity, etc. Not to mention the setting and premise were completely different.

      Human Revolution might have a bit less specialization, but it still has specialization. It might have marginally less freedom than DX1, but there’s still a great deal of meaningful player choice in it.

      Although the irony here is that I do think I enjoyed Bioshock slightly more than System Shock 2, though that’s mostly because of Bioshock’s unique setting and SS2’s severe imbalance issues.

      September 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      • Sumanai

        “Although the irony here is that I do think I enjoyed Bioshock slightly more than System Shock 2”

        When I got to the comma, I immediately thought “the skill system”. Which I don’t like in SS2 at all. Also partially because of the news about the Nu-Syndicate, which I heard will have “RPG elements” which makes me fear for the worst and therefore I’ve been thinking about skill systems and the sort lately.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM

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