Friday, 30 November 2012

A "thank you" to Eidos Montreal for DE:HR

Republishing an email I wrote to Eidos Montreal as a gratitude for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


I want to give a major kudos to Eidos Montreal for the amazing game you have delivered with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It goes both to the development team, and to management who weren't afraid to greenlight a story-focused, single player, non-sequelized game.

In today's gaming industry, companies are increasingly bent on multiplayer-focused franchises with DLCs and microtransactions and subscriptions; bloated publishers with overblown marketing budgets say "a game needs to sell 5 million copies to make profit" (Dead Space 3); studios are forced to dumb down design and storytelling down to "appeal to a wide audience" (abysmal ME3 writing); consolization results in most games being poorly implemented on PC with lack of graphic and controls options; games are ripped into chunks before the release to sell the rest as "bonus content" (Saints Row 3); anything that doesn't relate to sports, "military" stuff, or orcs and elves, is just not expected to sell.

In this environment, Eidos Montreal has provided an astonishingly outstanding and refreshing game.

The quality of storytelling and presentation is amazing and light years ahead of 99.9% of contemporary games, no matter how seriously they take themselves. The writing of dialogies in DE:HR was mind blowing. It is absolutely unique to hear in-game dialogue with so much sense to it! It's really intelligent and deeply touches on the issues presented in the game. It would be not out of place at mouths of world-class experts discussing same issues IRL twenty years from now. In today's gaming, when dialogues in most games are skin deep, when we are expected to feel threatened at "My minions will destroy you!" (D3) or cognitively pleased by the "truth" behind the Reapers (I made them kill you so you don't kill yourselves!), seeing real literatural quality behind the game was incredibly emotionally refreshing and hope-inspiring. The writer(s) have put their minds and souls into this, and please, let it be know, that this does not go unappreciated. And then this is combined with the incredible effort put into making the world live, and make it feel real. The detailed world, the attention to small things, the tiny details that make up the environment. The dialogues between people, the emails you read along the way. The ways the world changes as you progress through the game. The psychological nuances behind every dialogue in the game. The amazing attention and effort put into technological and scientific background for the game, and the myriad ways it shows through. It goes a long way towards making the DE:HR world feel, like none other, connected to reality, like a continuation of our everyday life and the progress we witness. The feel it invokes is like none other.

Technologically, it was just as refreshing a break from bleak staples of the industry, as story wise. The detailed inventory system, and the highly customizable controls make it feel like a game truly made for PCs, with no regard to console control limitations contemporary games suffer from. The custom engine provides the means for the unique gameplay design Deus Ex is worthy of, giving a healthy break from FPS-derivative-saturated market. The sound work is outstanding. The designers were unafraid to unleash an old-school complexity of interface, inventory and items systems to make the experience feel literal and connected, further driving home the "reality" feel of the near-future game world. The pacing of the story was near perfect, with awesome shakeups in the form of the boss fights (which are great, no matter what the whiners were telling you!). The free-world exploration, coupled with the high detailedness of the game world (environments, items, people, dialogues, quests, things to do, places to explore), along with the lengthy narrative tightly packed with the amazing narrative, well timed plot twists, and touching side quests, provided a lengthy experience to truly become immersed.

Special kudos to the music team who delivered one of the most amazing gaming sountracks ever. I haven't seriously appreciated it on my first playthrough, but the music for DE:HR is one of the most astonishingly powerful works of art gaming sountracks have ever seen. It has become a theme for some parts of my life, and hearing the tracks always invokes the immersion with the universe EM has crafted.

I regard Deus Ex: Human Revolution as one of the most amazing and important releases in the computer game industry. It is an outstanding achievement, something that is not afraid to stray out of the pack, and truly does the gamers the justice we deserve while proving the industry wrong, delivering one of the most engaging, thoughtful and memorable gaming experiences ever.

Thank you.

4 comments:

  1. Wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. As a 44 year old gamer who has played since the days of PONG, I share your lament over consolization and an entirely 'dumbed down' final product. Many of the comparisons you cite were well felt from my own experiences, particularly ME3's writing in relation to ME1; seen most readily throughout its horrifically plot-holed, nonsensical, out of left field, tacked on ending (can you tell I didn't like it?).

    Deus Ex is still one of the best games ever made in my book, and Human Revolution lives up to that heritage. No small feat in light of the expectations put upon it. My only regret was that there was not more DLC to extend the enjoyment. Of all the senseless money I've thrown at empty DLC over the years, I would have gladly paid to add chapters to such a well told story.

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  2. Hi Mitranim, thanks for the kind words! Just thought I'd let you know that your post has been forwarded around the studio here at Eidos Montreal, it's always a huge highlight when the team hears such great feedback from our fans. To keep up on all the latest news about Deus Ex check out our Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/DeusEx - and we're also on Twitter as well - https://twitter.com/eidosmontreal - so make sure you drop us a line and say hi!

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    1. Thank you! I've already added the twitter feed, you guys post interesting links from time to time. It's great to hear back from you and know that love is appreciated! Although I wish there would be more positive feedback from players to studios that do amazing things (and publishers who let them).

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  3. I absolutely agree. I hope they approach the Thief series with the same respect and attention to detail.

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