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There are two Deus Ex games. The original classic, and the brilliant recent sequel, Human Revolution. Sure back in 2004 there was an ill advised follow up called Deus Ex: Invisible War, but shortly after its release we all agreed that it never happened, and we would never speak of it again. Warren Spector apparently didn't get that memo. Speaking to IGN during a preview of Epic Mickey he said he regretted listening to the feedback of focus testers when making the game.
The devil is in the nerdy details, and the third Deus Ex game is starting to nail them down. We already knew it looked good. We already knew it appeared faithful to the talk/sneak/hack/shoot methodology of the unrivalled original. But there’s an extra dysfunctional pleasure to knowing how many augmentations there are, how many ways you can upgrade them, how the inventory system works, how you get level-up points, what happens when you combine items, and what you can do when you hack security terminals.
The lead designer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution has criticised the second game in the series, saying that its opening was unengaging, and that the setting was ‘too futuristic.’
Update: Mysterious gaming sleuth superannuation is reporting a couplewhois searches for the Human Defiance domain shows CBS Films as the registrant, a strong suggestion that the title is for the upcoming film adaptation from CBS and Eidos Montreal. Previously, director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill said they're targeting a cyberpunk vibe for the film's theme. Original: Time to activate your speculation augmentation. You did all get that particular upgrade, right? Honestly, giant arm swords are all well and good, but they'll hardly help you to deal with the news that Square Enix have filed a new Deus Ex trademark. The trademark application - submitted February 26 and spotted by NeoGAF - is for Deus Ex: Human Defiance, and has a classification class that heavily focuses on words like "computer", "video", "game" and "software". What could it all mean?
One month ago I got to see the third Deus Ex game being played in front of me, for half an hour. At the time I was pretty sceptical, but what happened in that demonstration made me a convert. I wrote my impressions down frantically as it went, so I thought the best way of explaining to you why I got so excited was to write up that mess of typos into a full blow-by-blow account.
Guys, there's a new Deus Ex game. I know, we've been hurt before: the first sequel was claustrophobic and dirtied the name of the original for a lot of people. But now that I've seen it played and interviewed the developers, I'm nowhere near as sceptical about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This week, I'll be explaining why.
We're wrapping up Deus Ex week - our onslaught of features and interviews about the third Deus Ex game, and retrospectives of the first. In this last entry, I talk to the Lead Writer and Narrative Designer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution about how you end a prequel, what 'conversational combat' is, and how the writer of the first game got involved.
The thirty minutes I saw of the third Deus Ex game were exciting, but raised a lot of questions. So although I had time to ask game director Jean-Francois Dugas some wide-ranging stuff about Deus Ex 1 and 2, I was particularly keen to grill him on the ins and outs of how this game's systems actually work when you're playing. Refreshingly, he was willing to answer in detail on almost every subject. Without further ado:
"Cheap as chips" is a throwaway UK saying for something that has plunged straight through the realm of "inexpensive," surpassed the grotty lands of "surprisingly good value" and come to rest in the sugary sands of "tat." Few things in this world are cheaper than the pots of oily polystyrene packs of potato shifted from small shops on street corners up and down this country, but thanks to Steam, one of our favourite games ever, Deus Ex, is cheaper than a small pile of fried potato. How has this happened? It's best not to ask. Instead, just head to Steam and grab yourself a copy if you don't own one already. Eidos Montreal's excellent 2011 follow-up, Human Revolution, is also a steal at £5 / $7.49. If you already own that, Human Revolution's DLC pack, The Missing Link is also available for £2.24 / $3.74. Alternatively, you can buy all things Deus Ex (including Invisible War) for a bundle price of £9.99 / $14.99. The deal's set to last all weekend.
Deus Ex: a game so good it gave us actual neuroses about its sequels. Invisible War, a shonky but interesting and sometimes hilarious shooter, became reviled as a crime against gaming for declaring itself to be Deus Ex 2. And when Human Revolution started looking seriously, seriously good, none of us could quite believe it.
Meaningful decisions were one of the trademarks of Deus Ex, and it ended on a tough one. By the climax, you've got the Illuminati, the Luminous Path triad, and a mysterious AI all barking in your ear. You've come to stop power-mad billionaire Bob Page from taking over the world, and they're all in favour of that. But all three have different ideas about who should be in charge instead, and all three need you to execute them. The decision is yours, and it's fitting that the last one you make in the game is also one of the hardest. Discussing it in the office, we found we completely disagreed on which was the best. This is an article from our print edition about what those choices were, who picked them, and what the consequences were in the sequel, Invisible War.
This month we bring you the world's first review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Is it as good as we all hope? Can it possibly live up to the towering original? We punched criminals, hacked terminals, turned invisible and threw a vending machine off a rooftop at an army of gangsters to find out. You can read all about it in our eight page analysis in the September issue of PC Gamer UK which is landing with subscribers shortly, and will be available in print and on tablets on Wednesday 3rd August. That's not all, of course. There are 122 more pages to account for. Read on to find out what else lies within the golden covers of our latest issue.
Our sister magazine Edge have become so vain that they've built a shrine to themselves in Minecraft, and they didn't even have the decency to do it in the PC version. For shame. Well Mr Edge, anything you can do we, or at least the wonderful guys on our Minecraft server, can do better. Behold! The PC Gamer logo in letters ten foot tall! Framed in purest gold! Tremble at it's magnificent glory! Inside is a collection of magnificently constructed PC gaming news.
We've been here before. Or have we? A troubled writer and his family travel to an isolated coastal residence so he can get some work done. But the summer home has a secret, namely a spectral being that has the power to change the lives of its houseguests. That's the set-piece for The Novelist, a recently announced indie game from designer Kent Hudson (hat tip, joystiq).
The Novelist, an indie game from developer Kent Hudson, released today on Steam. As we described it when we first reported on the game's development, The Novelist is about troubled writer Dan Kaplan and his family, who travel to an isolated coastal residence where Dan hopes to get some work done. But we don't play as Dan. Players take on the role of a ghost in the house, and must stay hidden as they spy on and influence the family. You'll be able to see them go throughout their daily routines, read their thoughts, and even relive their memories, all from a first-person perspective.
The ones we love always hurt us the most, and the roleplaying genre has, over its many years, inflicted its rabid adherents with a few post-traumatic stress disorder-inducing moments. The most infamous occasion was the 1994 release of Ultima VIII: Pagan, the sequel to one of the most beloved RPGs. It completely abandoned the renowned features of its predecessor, and its reception prompted a written apology by series creator Richard Garriott. The simplified Deus Ex: Invisible War was another PTSD moment, as was Bethesda’s transformation of the Fallout franchise (for isometric perspective turn-based combat fans, at least).
Two of the most interesting "free" games this month were, alas, only free for a couple of days each. Eskil Steenberg's ethereal online shooter Lovehad a free weekend, as did blocky-buildy-destructy indie gem Minecraft. They don't make the list below, as they've since had their respective prices reinstated, but they get a mention anyway for being delightful. Meanwhile, here's six more free games without catches, all launched in the final month of our glorious summer.