We've heard GRIP's side of the confused, rather depressing saga that is Human Revolution's not-so-revolutionary inclusion of boss fights, but what about Eidos Montreal? Well, the developer hasn't augmented its ears to tune out all criticism.
Speaking with Rock Paper Shotgun , project lead Jean-François Dugas was refreshingly open about the whole mess. Don't take that to mean he's done with boss fights altogether, though. Rather, Dugas feels that his game's boss fights weren't quite comfortable in their own skin.
“When we started the goal was to have those boss fights with the same design and rules as the rest of the game. We had our pillars of stealth, of non-lethal actions, and everything else, and we wanted to make sure that was reflected in the bosses, but in the end it was not... I think the biggest weakness there wasn't the concept of having boss fights, it's just that our boss fights are not Deus Ex boss fights and that's why people are complaining about them. I guess we live and learn,” he admitted.
“Should we have cut them? It's a decision we made, we said 'well at least they will be entertaining in some fashion'. The biggest surprise, actually, was having released the game and finding that people thought they were frustrating. Not just that they weren't that interesting, but that they were frustrating.”
And yet, the encounters – ultimately responsible for many a crushed keyboard and irate, all-caps tweet – stuck around for the long haul. But why? Surely someone noticed that dying 17 times in a row against the first boss wasn't fun, right? Apparently not.
“The playtesters internally gave us a lot of good feedback for the game, and on the bosses they felt that the fights were entertaining and making you use what you had learned,” said Dugas. “They didn't say they were frustrating. We knew it was not in step with the rest of the game, but the surprise for us was that the playtesting was correct everywhere but the bossfights. So lesson learned.”
Fingers crossed that Eidos Montreal irons out all the kinks next time around. Or at least throws in a boss who loves nothing more than to lean obliviously next to air vents.