Currently Deus Ex: Human Revolution is running in the background. I tabbed out to write away my anger. That having said, the only reason I would like to do that is because Deus Ex is a good game. Bad games get discarded, not cursed at.
There's a lot Deus Ex does right. And I won't list it, because the post would grow much too long. The reason I'm angry is that I just discovered that I cannot trust the game to lead me to the fun. Instead I need to actively ignore where it leads me.
More specifically, I criticize the character power progression, CPP. In Deus Ex you gain the usual experience for doing quests or disposing of enemies. These experience points are automatically invested in upgrades of your nano su .. erm, augmentations. In addition to that you can buy some augmentations if you have the money, which you have.
So as I venture into the world of Deus Ex I am tasked with missions. These are really fun. You can reach the mission goals in many ways. I really feel like a special agent. I try to stay silent whenever possible, if there's no other way I dispose of an enemy silently. Great fun. But wait ..
I realize that killing in silence gives more experience. And knocking them out instead of killing them gives even more. Just before I finish the mission, I realize that there are a lot of enemies left. Sure, I could finish the mission now, but enemies are a rare resource. There are only so many in the game. If I want all my augmentations as soon as possible, I figure, I should knock them all out silently. And irrespective of the mission goal.
Some hour later I realize that I am not having any fun. Instead of playing special agent I am farming experience points. I don't fear enemies, but welcome them. The simulation has been turned upside down. Also, I should restart the entire game, because I didn't maximize my experience points from the beginning. DAMN.
Now, I already know that some commenters will tell me that I have a choice and choice is good. Well, no. Choice is not always good. Some choices are bad. For example the choice between playing like the game was meant to be played and maximizing experience points by knocking each enemy out with my fists. Actually I'm not using my weapons any more: That would be inefficient. And even at hardest difficulty it's just not necessary.
I don't understand why games like Deus Ex have a character power progression when the incentive it induces makes the game less fun. CPP is all right, but the incentives that are created by the CPP have to align with playing in a fun way, or at least in a reasonable way. Trying to find the last enemy in the mission isn't fun - can't be fun. But it is incentivised by the CPP.
So, you say, I should ignore the CPP. Yeah, right. I intent to do this. I just decided to ignore it completely and play from the beginning as if I were a special agent. I hope I am strong enough to resist the temptation to gain extra experience. Anyway, I already know that the constant resistance will make me enjoy the game less. I should be able to focus entirely on the game, and not on gimping myself.
Last but not least a few other points:
- The energy is a terrible game mechanic. The game would even be better if they had removed it completely, let alone iterated it a bit.
- How many air shafts can a police station have ??
- Police starts to fire at me if I try to hack into their computers, or pick their doors, but if I jump into air shafts inside the police station in front of their eyes they couldn't care less ...
- Gather weapons to sell them for easy money. But only do it if you don't want to have fun.
- My pistol is about as good as my sniper rifle and much better than any other rifle at a distance. Since the pistol is the only weapon in the game that can be upgraded to ignore armor, it's even better than the sniper rifle when headshotting helmed enemies.
- If I'm head of security .. where's my team ?
- I like Deus Ex. It is a good game. Yes, really !!