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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 60: Deus Ex: HR, Gears of War 3, Dream HD Remakes

Tim Spaeth's picture

This week: The moderate highs and not-so-moderate lows of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, plus we remember what made the original so special. Also: Gears of War 3, Tim takes five minutes off, and we share our picks for dream HD remakes. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard "The Logician" Naik, and Tim Spaeth. Special thanks to RandomRob for composing this week's break music!

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3  
Developer(s): Epic Games   Eidos Montreal  
Key Creator(s): Cliff Bleszinski  
Series: Deus Ex   Gears of War  
Genre(s): Stealth   Shooting  
Articles: Reports   Podcasts  

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Great 'cast, guys. The title

Great 'cast, guys.

The title I'd most like to see an HD remake of is Knights of the Old Republic. Brilliant as brilliant can be, but in dire need of updated visuals and animations. Remember the part where your character and Bastilla's kiss is represented by a fade to black because they couldn't animate it? That glaring cut could also be restored in an HD remake.

After Hengsha, I've had no temptation to go back to Human Revolution. The battery system is driving me nuts.

the best thing

about the last half of this podcast was having all of you sandwiched between my old podcast theme and the sublime Horst Jankowski. What more could a guy want? Thanks, Tim! Maybe I could send you short tracks for your intermissions? That'd be fun!

I did want to make one comment while I'm thinking of it: props to CHI for suggesting 'Elemental Gearbolt' for an HD makeover. Great old Working Designs Guncon game that came out for the PSOne. It had this wonderful moody backstory, fantastic art design, lovely music..

The best thing about it I remember was since you were a avenging angel/zombie/cyborg, you character could fly over the terrain at high speed. The fourth chapter in particular was a fave of mine, as you circle an enormous airship in the desert.

Never happen, but nice thought, Chi. Great game.

good epp but

I think there's a little rose-tinted glasses towards the original Deus Ex, I mean yeah the first game had a great amount of little details in the beginning that made me go "whoa" even first playing it 9 years after on my lousy old Gateway. But man Hen g-sha in HR got nothing on that drab section in Paris, or the latter levels being mostly tedious or forgettable (aside from the underwater base and Area 51). That being said the pre-order missions in HR are convincing me to wait 6-12 months before purchasing any new game from now on.

Human Revolution

While I wasn't surprised to hear some sharp criticism of Human Revolution, I was surprised by the unanimity of it, and thereby how glowing the original sounded. I went back and re-played the original after Human Revolution. In fact, much of the criticism leveled at HR concerns issues equally present in the original:

1. The Game Ending options, all available to everyone regardless in both games
2. need bars/packs to restore energy for augmentations - taking room in the inventory grid
3. not all aguments are equal - not every one from DeusEx is helpful either
etc etc

In fact, I'd say the most valid criticism is Mike's - that Human REvolution was built for stealth. Since I played HR stealthily, I didn't really notice it very much. However, gunbattles did seem more of a viable option in the original - in fact - much of the original makes stealth unplayable imo - I thought Deus Ex had the oposite problem, especially towards the endgame.

Not to say that these are not valid criticisms of it. What I do want to point out is that these are criticisms of the entire series, not simply Human Revolution. I thought the panel was far too big on the orginal, overlooking all of its many flaws, to attack HR.

Quite frankly, I found HR to be a much more convincing narrative - more closely tied to good science fiction which critiques modern socety. And the art/sound design I really liked. Human Revolution succeeds, not on technical prowress, but on spirit. The amount of criticism leveled at the game in the podcast made me think it must be terrible. Just felt unballanced is all. Sure, the original is a classic - if anything, Human Revolution stumbled by trying to incorporate too many out of date ways of thinking that were present in the original. That's my reveral-take on this coversation.

Hi Chris, Thanks for the

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the comments. I understand where you're coming from completely. I think, for me, the thing is that we're looking at Deus Ex (the original) in the context of where games were when it was released over a decade ago. Were there problems with the game? Yeah. I even pointed some of them out in my review. My issue is like your last point -- HR tries to incorporate a lot of out of date mechanics and concepts into a modern game. The developers should know better in 2011, I'd think.

As far as the augments go, I always felt like at least in the original you had enough useful augments to build a character who matched your preferred play style. Not sure about stealth, exactly, since I didn't play that route, but hacking/shooting augments were good for turning your character into whichever build you preferred. It's been years since I played, though -- so maybe I'm remembering it differently than it really was.

HR, on the other hand, offers me so many useless augments that I found myself wondering what the point even was. Aside from jump and cloak, most of the augments had very little impact on how I played the game. That was a bummer for me.

I think the problems of the original are mostly forgivable for everything the game did right -- particularly in that era. HR doesn't feel like it does anything particularly well to me, which makes the faults that much harder to accept.

I don't know that I'd call HR a terrible game -- but I meant it when I said it's the most disappointing thing I've played all year. I'm glad some folks have enjoyed it, but it just didn't work me.

Remakes

My wish list would consist of
Deus Ex
I was late to the party and I haven't finished it. Not exactly because of the graphics but improving them beyond what graphic mods can do might have made it easier to dive into its atmosphere.

Because it seemed to be loved by the podcasters: Did it really push the limits?
I entered PC gaming much later, and i didn't play any of those but Wolfenstein, System Shock and Thief already existed, and as i understand it DX took System Shocks core added a Thief layer to it, got a great soundtrack and it was more or less done with genre innovation?
DX was more like the Doom refinement incl. MP after Wolfenstein than the real genre breaking redefinition that the rather ignored System Shock was?

Vampire Bloodlines
While i think it looks very ok still today, a redo without the bugs, with all quests working that are somewhere on the disc and a graphical improvement would be great.

Forsaken
What happened to the Genre?

Jungle Strike
EA was big in the (sort of) Tom Clancy genre before Ubisoft and Activision. They somehow managed to not continue that sort of games.
A xy Strike (or Comanche) with todays graphics, a spectacular destruction engine, two Stick controls. I think i would like it.

Star Trek Elite Force
the second one destroyed the series, but fighting the Borg with upgrading two levels of id tech. Madness to not make that.

Aquanox
Never played it. But i think underwater is now ready to be visualized. Dark, with sun rays, all sorts of whatever swimming around and explosive lighting. That should look awesome today and deliver a creepy atmosphere.

I was kinda harsh to Tim on

I was kinda harsh to Tim on Twitter regarding his love for Gears 3, but his words regarding the game(s) made me regret my words. ;p ... So Tim, I'm sorry! CliffyB has proven himself a big, massive tit, however.

Anyway, regarding remakes - I think the GameCritics' universal choice is great, but for me Deadly Premonition would benefit so much it's not even funny. For me personally though a remake of both Shenmue I & II would be stupendous, pretty much for identical reasons (e.g. the combat could use some tweaking, the controls more refined, and better visuals).

Oh yeah, and although I think some HD updates are lame -- mostly those from the Ubi-Soft tag, but that doesn't surprise me at all since that publisher has sucked @$$ for so long now -- I'll be first in line for FFX update. The game is in my top 5 of all time (or there abouts) and although I already beat it once and sank 200 hours into it, it's that damn good I can't wait to play it again. =)

No worries....

Crofto wrote:

I was kinda harsh to Tim on Twitter regarding his love for Gears 3, but his words regarding the game(s) made me regret my words. ;p ... So Tim, I'm sorry!

Haha, not to worry. I maintain it's the best Gears game, though now that I've finished it, there are certainly flaws to be debated. Hopefully one of my colleagues will play it and we can rehash it on the poddy. ("Poddy" is a hip term for "Podcast.")

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