Jump to content

ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: DEUS EX - HUMAN REVOLUTION

Recommended Posts

I still find it interesting everyone's cought up in the game we forget how scary the whole oil thing is.

Share this post


Link to post

There's been doomsayers about oil every year since we started using it. Them being wrong about a 2015-2016 crash is only the latest of dozens of examples of this happening.

Share this post


Link to post
There's been doomsayers about oil every year since we started using it. Them being wrong about a 2015-2016 crash is only the latest of dozens of examples of this happening.

 

How much longer do you think it can go on? There isn't an infinite supply of oil.

Share this post


Link to post
I actually like the yellow filter thing in the original HR. I feel it's on of the few games that actually uses color filters for real artistic style purposes, and not just blindly cramming it into the stack of cargo-cult "must have" features like other games. I feel like a lot of the hate it gets is basically a case of all the jackass devs misusing a thing causing people to be so sick of it that they can't enjoy it even when it's done well. It's victim of a "this is why we can't have nice things" situation.
I'll just give some quick points to this:

 

-I get into the atmosphere of a game I play. If something throws me off, that affects my enjoyment of the game. Tinting it all one color halfway ruins the game for me. Almost every game I've seen do this universally I think looks very bad. So you can reason with me all day, it doesn't matter if I immediately hate what I'm looking at when I play the game.

 

-Besides detracting from my enjoyment, I see tinting largely as both ugly and lazy. I feel if you want to create a mood in the game, do it with the LIGHTING. HR did this also, but I suspect they modified the base textures themselves in addition to that, which is almost a roundabout way to achieve tinting (which they also did). For example, Silent Hill 2 uses fog and overcast lighting to achieve a dreary effect and it looks pretty good. Tinting the whole screen is just a sloppy way of achieving a certain mood unless the director really knows what they're doing.

 

-Scale matters. This is a mainstream 30 hour game, I'm bombarded by yellow the entire time. If this was a short indie game with stylized graphics, I wouldn't be so hard on it.

 

-Once again, this is a prequel to an established game. Deus Ex had no universal tinting. IW went kind of overboard with teal lighting and I though it looked a little ugly for it. This is turning that upside down, and it makes me increasingly critical of it. I feel like if you really want to do something original, it should be something original, not deforming established IP unless it was obviously broken in the first place.

 

-We'll just have to agree to disagree that making your entire game tinted a specific color adheres to an artistic vision. I think it's the art director being full of themselves and trying to find a way to stand out, not because of some actual clever perception. Honestly, while I wasn't crazed about the green tinting either, I can respect The Matrix's use of is, because it's only done inside the matrix. So it's a clever way of communicating it's a separate reality, whereas outside things look normal. Sure, the art director SAYS yellow is meant to symbolize the golden age, but those are just words. I can say the polygon edges in DX symbolizes the rough nature of humanity; there's nothing inherently true about it. And this comes at the expense of having to stare at bombarded yellow for 30 hours. There's no contrast to this where HR is only yellow for SOME parts. There's no scene in this game that is not yellow. It's all yellow, just varying degrees. I honestly think this is garbage, but hey, art is subjective. Point is, I'm of course not against variation, but I hated how it was handled in this case.

 

can be ruined if it's overused, or used in the wrong contexts.
Pray tell, since you liked it, what would Human Revolution have to have done in order for the yellow effect to be OVERUSED?

 

There's been doomsayers about oil every year since we started using it. Them being wrong about a 2015-2016 crash is only the latest of dozens of examples of this happening.
Well once you get past the 70s alarmism, the predictions for conventional oil have been pretty spot on for the past couple decades. Once you move to unconventional oils, the price rises substantially. As the price of oil rises, it starts to drag down the economy after a point. Now I've heard some optimistic views that electric cars will pick up the slack, but most projections I've seen show it not happening nearly fast enough to meet the demand for a drop in CHEAP oil. I would compare it to geologists getting earthquake prediction dates wrong 5 times in a row in one area, then getting one right (in the same area). Predicting exact dates is difficult, but looking at enormous trends can tell you a lot about where we might be headed.

 

Ross, I just can't understand why didn't you like the DEHR music. So far our tastes were essentially identical in this regard (e.g. I'm a diehard fan of Alexander Brandon, just like you).
It's not that I DISLIKE it, I'm comparing it to Invisible War's, which I said was pleasant. HR feels like a pure halfway point between Invisible War and Tron Legacy. Tron Legacy has some obviously distinct themes. Human Revolution "fades" almost EVERYTHING. I don't know what the appropriate term is, but instead of the music sounding like you can hear every subtlely, something is done so that it sounds like it's in the next room and less defined (maybe a music major knows what I'm talking about). It's not BAD, but I don't find that especially memorable. I think part of the deal is I've seen people PRAISE the soundtrack up and down, and in my eyes, it's not THAT different than Invisible War's, except for a couple tracks. I feel like Tron Legacy's soundtrack was similar, but was much more distinctive and pronounced than this.

Share this post


Link to post
take a break and do a follow-up episode 2

I'm pretty sure that's an oxymoron, Ross said that follow-up episodes take a lot of work.

IMHO the better course of action would be (1) have a nice sweet sleep, (2) catch up on everything he was neglecting while he was rushing the Deus Ex reviews trilogy, (3) do some preliminary work on the Halloween episode in order to not have to rush things again when November comes, and (4) concentrate on The Movie.

 

Three 40-minutes-long GDs in the course of a couple of weeks is a completely legit excuse to go silent for at least a month or two (with the exception on Planetside and chats, maybe).

Share this post


Link to post
Pray tell, since you liked it, what would Human Revolution have to have done in order for the yellow effect to be OVERUSED?

 

I actually think it was in some areas, just not enough to harm the game for me. But asking what this game could do is moving the goalposts. The argument I was addressing was "what if every other game also had a yellow filter", not "what if DE:HR had even more yellow filter".

 

There are things DE:HR could have done to make the tinting disruptively overboard for me, but it didn't, so the question is as meaningful as asking "would it have hurt the game for you if Adam Jenson had the voice of Elmo?". And to be fair, there are other things HR did do that I found as disruptive as you found the tint, but those aren't the topic at hand.

 

You always find tinting disruptively unpleasant regardless: fair enough, just personal taste, and doesn't need justification. The other points are all good, just insufficient or irrelevant without a taste-based dislike to rally behind. You think it's technically lazy: I agree, but again, the result is enjoyable enough for me that (again, for me) this criticism is merely academic. You don't think it really means or symbolizes anything connected to the story or themes: I agree, it's a purely aesthetic choice with no deeper meaning, but that doesn't make it automatically bad (it does not symbolically contradict anything), it just kicks the ball back up to "personal taste".

 

For me, the strong black-and-yellow color scheme of the game meshed very well with the other design elements, and contributed to the atmosphere and the distinctive flavor/character of the game. With most games that use tinting, that isn't the case: the tint clashes with the other design elements and/or mood of the setting, and/or is nakedly there for no reason other than because one of the devs thinks "more is better" when it comes to postprocessing, or because a suit at the publisher has a cargo-cult checklist for what's makes a good game.

 

The fact that it's built into the textures and lighting rather than just being a filter is part of this. It makes it look and feel more integrated, rather than just a superficial filter, which is part of what makes it feel like an actual considered style. And there's a lot of stuff in the game where the colors underneath the yellow were clearly chosen for how they intact with the yellow, and this in turn is used to effect how shapes mesh and contrast compositionally. Even though it doesn't tie into the theme, it definitely does tie into the overall visual design.

 

Having never played the original Deus Ex, I can't fairly comment on a comparison. However I can think of other series I like that changed or reinvented their visual style to IMO their detriment, but also others where I either didn't mind, or thought it was an improvement. So again this feels like something that, as a principle, is not really about the fact of a change, but rather the nature of the change. It only seems like it's the fact of a change when focusing on a specific example in isolation.

 

Basically the only points that matter are 1) you just don't like tinting in general, period, and 2) you find it physically uncomfortable for your eyes during long play sessions. To someone who likes the the tint (like me) all those other points at best fade to irrelevance without that initial dislike to anchor them.

 

You even sort of admit it without realizing:

 

So you can reason with me all day, it doesn't matter if I immediately hate what I'm looking at when I play the game.

 

Well, you set the tone by bringing reasoning into it in the first place. Everything I've posted has just been rebuttal to reasoning arguments you've proposed. Can't act like I'm the unreasonable one for playing along.

 

To be clear: I'm totally cool and on-board with you not liking the tinting. And I'm cool with you having supporting logic for that dislike. There's stuff I feel & think similarly about. But by putting those reasons forward, you're treating it like it is or should be to some degree more objective than just an opinion, and that means asking people to consider it is asking them to peer review it, not just accept it.

Share this post


Link to post

Ross, since you did the Deus Ex Fashion show, what do you think of Adam Jensen's sunglasses augmented directly into his face?

Share this post


Link to post
And I say that no cop worldwide, be it Canada, the UK, France, or Japan, would be shocked and scornful of another officer shooting a terrorist...

Does it applies to random paramilitary corporate security guys as well? I'm just curious.

 

We're basically in agreement here. For me, that's a big downgrade, for you, it obviously worked.

 

No, it didn't. I'd just say that it's a good game (and I think we're an agreement here too), but it's story is flawed for different (or, in your case, additional) reasons. Not (only) because it isn't true to the original IP, but because it's not true to the original message.

 

And, BTW, I've just finished DX: MD and I may say a few things about it (no spoilers):

1. It's not yellow

2. It's story arc style has a lot common with The Rise of Tomb Rider (binary good/bad characters, west vs. east (west is good, obviously))

3. It pushes the line of "good elite" vs "bad elite" even further, also pointing out that in "good elite" "elite" is being the main word.

 

Overall the story has a tint of schizophrenia as it tries to mock things and practices it's using. And while it has a very slight scent of various philosophical questions and things, overall it what you can expect from a modern blackbuster like CoD or Battlefield with a slight mix-in of conspiracy theories.

 

It has also a thing of a bad detective - you, the player, are shown all the main bad guys from the very beginning.

 

-----

 

BTW, on a different topic - oil shortage. Oil shortage problem isn't a exactly a problem. You see - 90% of transport is works on oil, right, but it doesn't mean it can't work on something else, if there gonna be no oil. And oil is not going to just end up instantly - once oil production will go below consumption (and that's not the case right now by a far value) prices will go up and people will be forced to seek another fuel sources. And they do exist already, along with technologies.

 

The most obvious replacement is a natural gas - propane or methane. There are mass-produced cars that already come with hybrid oil-gas engines. Most of Russian municipal and commercial mass-transportation and heavy duty vehicles are already using propane for a fuel (most of cars could be converted to use propane - so it's not like you need to buy a new car).

 

Natural gas is obviously isn't much different from oil - it's just pushing the problem further away. But we have more technologies! You see, the problem is - there is no fuel/energy-storage with mass-to-energy ratio better than oil and gas AND is easily obtainable. We have hydrogen fuel cells and pretty much a production ready technologies - we may start producing hydrogen-running engines in a year or so. But you can't "harvest" hydrogen, you need to produce it by spending electricity. And due to imperfections in the process you gonna spend more energy producing the hydrogen than you may later extract from it. Compare that to the whole oil situation, when you spend like $10 to extract a barrel of oil and then sell it for $60. Who's gonna replace 600%+ profits with something that will give you like 5-10% profits (producing and selling fuel cells). And yes - access to oil fields is restricted, while hydrogen might be produced by anyone with access to the right technology, water and electricity.

 

Another possible solution are advancements in energy storage designs - better accumulators. If you can charge the thing and then extract approximately the same amount of energy out of it (unlike fuel cells), it can hold a lot of energy (better mass-to-energy ratio) and can be used for a few years without replacement - suddenly it doesn't matter how you get the energy - it all the same. Shortage of one energy source will be substituted by an another.

 

And oil or gas is not gonna end instantly - it will take many years of extraction decline to really spend it all. During that time other sources and technologies will gradually replace the failing market and that it. So no economical tragedy for the whole world. But a shift from oil to something else will really tip of all existing power balances. So it may simply end up in war, but not for oil, but for who will control the new power source, whatever it will be

Share this post


Link to post

This was my first look at Human Revolution, and I was strongly reminded of Yahtzee's essay on Mary Sue protagonists.

 

It kind of sounds like the emotional core of the game is "people are being constantly unfair to me." I'd like to think it's not so juvenile, but man, it's not looking promising.

Share this post


Link to post

"This game wants to be Metal Ghost in the Akira: Yellow Bladerunner Edition..." icon_lol.gif

 

I actually just got around to watching this and I really enjoyed it. I thought much of what Ross had to say about the less than believable character conduct and the suitability of "high sci-fi" elements in a prequel to a much more sober and speculative game were rather good. I did have a few thoughts to share on his criticisms of the world's fashion sense. My art-ponce senses are tingling and I hope nobody views this as an attack on his review. Maybe I just see this from a different and less technically minded point of view, because I'm used to the nebulous and often pigeonhole-proof circular evolution of art, but there was a couple of things I felt I ought to be rigorously contextualised.

 

I feel Ross wasn't taking into account how in an increasingly globalized and non-centralised world, historical and cultural appropriation are strong underlying elements in artistic and creative industries. The market for clothing, apparel and adornment is by far the most unironic and enthusiastic proponent of this tendency towards multicultural hybridity than perhaps any other medium, both for commercial and purely artistic (not that those two things are mutually exclusive) means and ends. I personally have no problem with the idea of seemingly unlikely motifs and formalized flamboyance appearing within future clothing trends. Human nature being the fickle thing that is, tendencies and tastes are unfixed and unpredictable aspects of mass consumption. And even if we can argue that the extraordinary fashion on display is mostly the preserve of ill-defined elites, avant provocateurs and it's attendant middle-classes champing at the bit to tag along, you must take even the lowest earners and working classes into account in regards to it's subcultural clothing - especially when it's consciously made in opposition to the aforementioned stylistic excesses of fashion. Even then those deliberate attempts at rejecting/deriding high fashion are later appropriated by the very field that it saw itself as distanced or apart from.

 

One of the reasons that The Fifth Element rates among my top twenty favourite films was the absolutely inspired decision to take on Jean Paul Gaultier as the movies costume designer. As a flagship member of a high fashion field of creativity he was deeply entrenched in the actual multifaceted nature of modern apparel, and was well versed in the complexities and possibilities of clothing. Given that The Fifth Element's lurid future setting effectively permitted Gaultier to go bananas on the way the cast attired themselves, Gaultier was never going to resort to the rather limited and often tellingly misinformed aesthetics of science fiction, a genre often filled to the brim with boring one-piece silver space suits and little else. By comparison to that film the apparel on display seems positively modest. I'd argue however in an age that presumably has made enormous leaps in 3D printing and manufacturing, in conjunction with the cultural and stylistic "levelling" I previously alluded to, I find the likelihood of the clothing in Human Revolution appearing in the near future extremely probable. The normalcy of origami hairstyles, lacy spot printing and outrageous collars on otherwise formal clothing don't seem so far off from reality in my mind.

Share this post


Link to post

BTW, on a different topic - oil shortage. Oil shortage problem isn't a exactly a problem. You see - 90% of transport is works on oil, right, but it doesn't mean it can't work on something else, if there gonna be no oil. And oil is not going to just end up instantly - once oil production will go below consumption (and that's not the case right now by a far value) prices will go up and people will be forced to seek another fuel sources. And they do exist already, along with technologies.

 

The most obvious replacement is a natural gas - propane or methane. There are mass-produced cars that already come with hybrid oil-gas engines. Most of Russian municipal and commercial mass-transportation and heavy duty vehicles are already using propane for a fuel (most of cars could be converted to use propane - so it's not like you need to buy a new car).

 

Natural gas is obviously isn't much different from oil - it's just pushing the problem further away. But we have more technologies! You see, the problem is - there is no fuel/energy-storage with mass-to-energy ratio better than oil and gas AND is easily obtainable. We have hydrogen fuel cells and pretty much a production ready technologies - we may start producing hydrogen-running engines in a year or so. But you can't "harvest" hydrogen, you need to produce it by spending electricity. And due to imperfections in the process you gonna spend more energy producing the hydrogen than you may later extract from it. Compare that to the whole oil situation, when you spend like $10 to extract a barrel of oil and then sell it for $60. Who's gonna replace 600%+ profits with something that will give you like 5-10% profits (producing and selling fuel cells). And yes - access to oil fields is restricted, while hydrogen might be produced by anyone with access to the right technology, water and electricity.

 

Another possible solution are advancements in energy storage designs - better accumulators. If you can charge the thing and then extract approximately the same amount of energy out of it (unlike fuel cells), it can hold a lot of energy (better mass-to-energy ratio) and can be used for a few years without replacement - suddenly it doesn't matter how you get the energy - it all the same. Shortage of one energy source will be substituted by an another.

 

And oil or gas is not gonna end instantly - it will take many years of extraction decline to really spend it all. During that time other sources and technologies will gradually replace the failing market and that it. So no economical tragedy for the whole world. But a shift from oil to something else will really tip of all existing power balances. So it may simply end up in war, but not for oil, but for who will control the new power source, whatever it will be

One thing I want to emphasize is civilization running on CHEAP oil. We're not going to "run out" of oil in our lifetimes. But once demand outpaces supply, it causes a negative feedback loop. High prices of oil drag down the economy, which in turn makes it harder to transition to something else. So even if we have more electric cars on the road, if the economy has become so depressed people can't afford them, that doesn't solve the problem either. While alternatives are conceivable, everything I've read says that it's highly unlikely we'll be able to have a smooth transition in time. In the USA especially, we're decades behind where we should be ideally. If we wait until prices are high enough to warrant further investment, then that's too late, we're already entering a second great depression. In game turns, it's like discovering in an RTS that you should have been upgrading your buildings and conducting research 15 minutes ago.

 

I actually just got around to watching this and I really enjoyed it. I thought much of what Ross had to say about the less than believable character conduct and the suitability of "high sci-fi" elements in a prequel to a much more sober and speculative game were rather good. I did have a few thoughts to share on his criticisms of the world's fashion sense. My art-ponce senses are tingling and I hope nobody views this as an attack on his review. Maybe I just see this from a different and less technically minded point of view, because I'm used to the nebulous and often pigeonhole-proof circular evolution of art, but there was a couple of things I felt I ought to be rigorously contextualised.
I feel like you would have some points if only some workers were dressed like that, but figures like Elisa Cassan and Zhao Yun Ru throw it out the window. Even as fashions wax and wane, they haven't DRASTICALLY changed for televised news reporting since its conception, and for business executives in what, since the 1800s? When you look at it in perspective of everything else, I think it's more obvious that the game just doesn't care about the believability that much and simply wants to have a more expressive look. Which don't get me wrong, I'm not against that whatsoever, I just think they picked the wrong game for it.

Share this post


Link to post
I feel like you would have some points if only some workers were dressed like that, but figures like Elisa Cassan and Zhao Yun Ru throw it out the window. Even as fashions wax and wane, they haven't DRASTICALLY changed for televised news reporting since its conception, and for business executives in what, since the 1800s? When you look at it in perspective of everything else, I think it's more obvious that the game just doesn't care about the believability that much and simply wants to have a more expressive look. Which don't get me wrong, I'm not against that whatsoever, I just think they picked the wrong game for it.

This never occured to me as I played it, but I can see where you're coming from, especially since the dress code in the original Deus Ex was so much closer to reality.

Share this post


Link to post
I feel like you would have some points if only some workers were dressed like that, but figures like Elisa Cassan and Zhao Yun Ru throw it out the window. Even as fashions wax and wane, they haven't DRASTICALLY changed for televised news reporting since its conception, and for business executives in what, since the 1800s? When you look at it in perspective of everything else, I think it's more obvious that the game just doesn't care about the believability that much and simply wants to have a more expressive look. Which don't get me wrong, I'm not against that whatsoever, I just think they picked the wrong game for it.

I hope even if you disagreed with me I'd at least like to be able to claim to have some points... ;)

Share this post


Link to post

I just got to the point where Ross is talking about oil in the video during my subtitling. I may be the odd man out on this, but I don't agree with Ross on peak oil. Not that his facts are wrong--peak oil is a real thing, but our response to peak oil is where I differ.

 

Once we get to the point where the amount of oil is higher than what we can produce by any method, there will be innovation and alternative energy, which Ross sees as "decades" off, will suddenly become the forefront. The electrical infrastructure probably won't be "decades" away. People rely heavily on transportation and infrastructure and if oil becomes the problem rather than the solution, that will be fixed in a virtual jiffy.

 

In the "Invisible War" Game Dungeon, Ross said, "If we blew up every core router for the Internet today, we would have major areas back up in a couple of days, most of the world back up in a few months." I agree. "The Tracer Tong ending simply wouldn't happen." I believe these peak oil doomsday scenarios are the same. "Mad Max" simply wouldn't happen after peak oil. Humankind is more resilient than that. Sure it might take longer than "a couple of days" to "a few months" if major portions of our oil infrastructure were destroyed or collapsed, but "we will persevere", as that one Vortigaunt said. And we're not even talking about sudden collapse or destruction. It would be a slow, decadal drop-off whereupon alternative energies will take up the slack.

 

Sorry, Ross, but I think you're wrong on this one. The Internet cannot be blown up and the economy won't collapse post-peak oil.

 

Edited to add: The subtitles are all typed up now and I am a third of the way done with placing the placemarkers. I just ran out of time tonight. I will have these up sometime in the next 12-16 hours. Thanks for your patience, all.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in the community.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.