Deus Ex: Human Revolution Interview – Page 2
THG: Like most of the gamers I’ve disastrously suffered at the boss fights. Moreover those moments feel like they are disjointed from rest of the game. Therefore I wasn’t really surprised when I learned that those fights had outsourced to a third party studio. And I must admit that when I saw the resplendant boss encounter in The Missing Link DLC, I was like “that’s it!”. As far as I understand you weren’t satisfied by that “third party” job in the main game too. Do you want to say something on that matter? On the other hand when you look back are you thinking that you could have done some other thing differently?
Dugas: The outcome of the boss battles had nothing to do with the 3rd party involved. We outsourced them because we couldn’t make them ourselves and even then, the schedule was so tight that we had to reduce their scope drastically. They were supposed to support the same design philosophy as with the rest of the game, but it was impossible given our constraints. So, I decided to keep them anyway because cutting them would have seriously impacted other aspects of the game. Therefore, I said, as long as they’re fun and not frustrating, it’s going to be fine.
During playtests, we received quite positive feedback about them but when the game came out, it was another story. So, we were surprised by the backlash they received even though we knew they were inconsistent with the rest of the game. Lesson learned.
THG: One thing that I felt the absence of was melee weapons. In the first game we had some low tech weapons like crowbars, batons, swords, throwing knives and even pepper spray. Is there a special reason that we don’t have this kind of weaponry in Deus Ex: HR?
Dugas: Yeah, it was a deliberate choice to focus more on Adam Jensen’s abilities, such as the takedowns.
THG: At first sight we can say that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a story of a man named Adam Jensen, but at heart it is a multi dimansional story about transhumanism and class conflicts which has also some moral and ethic dichotomies. And the thing which makes me surprised and deeply satisfied while playing the game was being able to discover my own moral point of view. It’s really amazing to live an experience which stimulate players to think and discover freely without affecting them morally. Considering that the experiences rule over the ethics it’s very hard thing to achieve in a video game. I’m really wondering how did you manage to achieve that?
Dugas: I wish I knew! (laughs)
More seriously, what was important to me was to stay neutral. I wanted players to experience all sides of the conflict without telling them this is “good” or this is “bad”. It’s all a question of perspectives and it is not my place to tell you what’s worng or right.
The same thing goes with the low level gameplay – the game let you do a lot of questionable things and some NPCs will judge you, some others might approve, like in real life.
We built the game around that philosophy hoping we could foster players to set their own moral compass. Your question above and players feedback makes me believe we succeeded, but I would lie if I were to pretend that I have the recipe on how to achieve it. 🙂