Deus Ex: Human Revolution questions answered
At the start of Deus Ex week - now in its eleventh day - I said I'd answer any questions you might have about the game. As it turned out, you asked some good ones, and about stuff I was mostly able to answer. Here are all the questions, all the answers, and all the screenshots and art we've been putting up over the course of the week, in delicious high-res.
Nervous about story
One of the things that made Deus Ex stand out was the amount of detail in the story… the way it wove together a huge range of conspiracy theories (corporate thugs, government cover ups, aliens, Knights Templar, etc) and had books, emails, letters, and conversations all related to the backstory. I know that’s not the kind of thing that gets demoed, but I didn’t even see a hint of that level of detail in the demo, and that makes me nervous.
You're right that this stuff doesn't come across in a demo - if the sections I saw were riddled with datapads and e-mails, the devs likely wouldn't have stopped to read them with a room full of journalists watching. But as my interview with the game's writer hopefully shows, there's a lot of thought and complexity in the back story of this world. Regardless of how much written material there is lying around, there's a lot of talking.
I asked the game's producer David Anfossi specifically how much: "You can talk to everybody. Everybody in the game. It's not 'it's raining today,' we want to be sure they can support the world, give you more information about the city."
All we've seen is a little of the Sarif corporation, a little of the Triads, and mention of another faction called the Castle. There's also another major cybernetics firm in the plot, and we've seen nothing so far of the humanist factions who oppose augmentation. It probably won't be as comprehensive as Deus Ex 1 in incorporating almost every conspiracy theory you can think of - right down to grays - but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
Living up to the name
Can you give us any more insight into whether this feels like a “real” Deus Ex game? Independent of whether or not it’s a good game, does it make sense that it has the Deus Ex name?
Yes. There are some big visual differences between this and the first Deus Ex game, but as Adam snuck around the shipyard, it brought to mind nothing so much as my own antics in Deus Ex. There's that sense of a large, hostile, open environment: lots of guards and security measures standing around waiting to spot you. And you're alone, unseen, trying to figure out what to do about them.
What I couldn't get from the demo, though, was a sense of how much danger you're in. For me Deus Ex is about dying a lot, and I didn't get to see what happens when the player screws up in combat. That's the biggest part of being a real Deus Ex game that I can't vouch for first-hand yet, but the game's director Jean-Francois Dugas says you'll die in just a few hits.
Show me the art
Dumb question maybe, but where can I get those art files? I’ve had a few I’ve found on the net as backgrounds and I’d love a more complete collection :S
Right here! I'll put up everything we talk about in that video at the end of this post - just click them for the full size versions.
Can you guys tell us though if the demonstration was run on pc? it sounded like they did it on the 360.
Stupidly I was too engrossed with what was going on on-sceen to remember to peer round and check what the game was running on - I think it was a PC, with a 360 pad plugged in. That's pretty normal for demonstrating early code, because they tend to get the console controls ironed out first, but still don't have the game running well enough on the console itself yet.
The only question I could ask is does it feel like a PC game?
Good question. For the most part, yes - the basic movement and viewpoint system are just like Rainbow Six: Vegas, and that feels very much at home on PC, to me. The very cinematic, third-person melee kills, though, are a little more reminiscent of games like Manhunt which feel primarily console focused. And the inventory we saw, while probably just a placeholder, was a crossbar-type menu clearly designed with a gamepad's directional nudges in mind. These are pretty minor things, I think so long as the mouse movement is nice and responsive, it'll feel like a PC game.
Original score by...
BTW, can anyone confirm or deny if they will keep the original theme music? Who is handling the sound track?
I asked the lead audio director Steve Szczepkowski whether the original theme would be in there: "If I get my way, it will be present in the game in some form, I don't know what yet - unfortunately it's not totally my call. I'm gonna fight and push as much as I can."
The game's music will be by the same guy who scored the trailer, Michael McCann. People loved the trailer music so much - myself included - that Eidos Montreal have actually released it as a standalone track. Here's the direct download - it's ace.
Hard to kill
One thing that bothered me about DX2 was the way they said no character was going to be magically invincible, like they were in DX1. But they just made it that you could never get to a person while they were still important. So, how is DX3 going to handle it?
I don't know whether they're invincible or otherwise protected, but I did get to see a critical character, and they weren't stuck behind unbreakable glass or just out of reach. You get to talk to them face to face.
oh sweet question time! Will DX3 provide drivable vehicles? weapon customization? and will your character be accompanied by other soldiers or is it always solo?
I didn't ask specifically, but I'd very very surprised if there were drivable vehicles in the game. I also doubt you fight alongside AI allies for any length of time, because it's not really what Deus Ex is about. Apart from that bit with Miguel. Sniff. Miguel, so brave, so obedient.
But as for weapon customisation: absolutely. Weapon mods are things you buy, like in the first game, and they can be incremental upgrades to a weapon's accuracy or power, or they can offer whole new targeting modes. The example we got to see in action was a lock-on system for the rocket launcher: acquire a target and your missiles will home into it when you fire. Deus Ex 1's GEP gun had this built in, but your Heavy Weapons skill had to be pretty high before the lock-on time got reasonable.
Thanks for all the questions, everybody. If you still have something burning to ask, chuck it in the comments here and I'll do my best to get to it. Hope you've enjoyed Deus Ex week, cheers for reading.