Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Deus Ex 3

  • Police are totally cool if you wander into their offices and mess with their firearms. That combat shotgun resting over in the corner look nice? Take it, no worries!

  • Similarly, dropping loaded firearms off in their office will also provoke no reaction.

  • Hacking their computers in front of them, though, that will piss them right off. Other people--generally those with no combat training--are totally cool with you messing with their computers.

  • Feel free to take cash left lying around, no one will ever miss it. Even if it's on a desk someone is sitting at.

  • People embed money in their door locks. I have yet to figure out how or why.

  • Trained military and paramilitary troops find nothing unusual about their buddies abruptly going missing, even leaving their weapons dropped on the floor. Maybe they really, really had to go to the bathroom.

  • Similarly, they either have no gear that can monitor life signs, or they don't really pay attention to it. If you don't see or hear someone get hurt, they're probably okay. Perhaps this is metacommentary on the quality of military equipment. Take that, military-industrial complex!

  • Security systems are best laid out in a decentralized fashion, in such a way that a station has no more than four cameras attached to it. There should be no way for anyone to actually see what's going on at a station remotely.

  • When raiding a company, send in security ninjas to set up all the security gear to notice special people and promptly leave so that no one left knows how the security gear works. The people left should be unable to even tell if the gear is turned on, despite the indicator being big fat glowing circles of colored light visible at long distances... or maybe this is yet another hit on military intelligence. OXYMORON, AMIRITE?

Okay, let me interject here that this list and my further gripes are really testament to how well the developers did with this game. There's a lot of verisimilitude that makes it feel totally immersive, which makes the bits that aren't right stand out a little more than other games. For example, in most other games, I'd guess cops wouldn't have firearms in their offices, though it doesn't seem unreasonable that they would, so the fact that they're there is a point in their favor. That the cops don't care if you dick with them... well, that's just funny.

But I did mention I have further gripes, and they're loaded with spoilers. So stop reading here if you want to be surprised.

There's one real sticking point for me: Adam's kind of dense. There are reveals made much later than I've put the pieces together on, which makes it less of a revelation than a "you just now figured this out" moment.

Take the first real mission: Zeke Sanders, militant anti-augmentation terrorist has stormed a Sarif factory. Midway through the mission, you discover that one of his goons with serious augmentations has been hacking the systems. You get the opportunity to chat with Zeke at the end, and I chose to to see what I could learn and see if I can negotiate him to surrender. He indicates that he's surprised at the hacking, frustration that he and his brother (who was involved in planning, not execution, of the raid) were played by someone, and, if you let him go, he swears revenge on whoever it is. Okay.

Now, at some point, I forget if it's before or after the mission, you can find out that Zeke's got a bit of a background: he shot up a shopping mall at some point. Piece number two of the puzzle.

Shortly after, Sarif HQ is visited by William Taggart, noted and respected anti-augmentation speaker. His aide, Dr. Isaias Sandoval, comes along, and if you talk to him he will talk about how he got into the anti-augmentation movement: his friend shot up a shopping mall due to some sort of augmentation issue he had. Hm, that's familiar. But wait: Sandoval hesitates before saying "friend," suggesting he was going to say something else but didn't. Further, Sandoval is hispanic, and so is Zeke. It's not airtight, but at that point, I was pretty sure Sandoval was Zeke's brother and had been involved in the earlier raid, despite being a public face in a strident but non-violent organization.

Now, it would have been nice if I'd been allowed to act on that realization, or somehow indicate that I knew what was up. However, there wasn't really any way to do anything about it, no one really cared, so it just kind of dropped and I half-forgot. But then, hours later, it is revealed to you by a third party that Sanders and Sandoval are brothers and Sandoval is neck deep in whatever shadowy bullshit is going on... and Adam is shocked. Seriously, Adam? I put this together hours ago and this would have been an "okay, suspicions confirmed" but Adam is dumb as a post.

There are a few other instances of this throughout the game--the tricksy owner of the Hive nightclub, who first misleads you as to his identity and surprises Adam in a later reveal, despite the initial deception being solidly undermined by a psych profile my augmentations put together for me in my first conversation with him. Zhao Yun Ru, corporate overlord known as "the Dragon Lady," cons Adam into believing her a helpless pawn in mere moments, misdirecting him long enough to shove him out the door, since it turns out he's invaded her panic room. It's a little frustrating to be behind the steering wheel in his head allegedly and being completely helpless in the face of his relentless obliviousness. I vaguely hoped for some sort of twist at the end--you're really David Sarif steering around a puppet!--but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Still, very fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment