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Thread: Woah... guess what I just found

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Grimsby, England

    Woah... guess what I just found

    I just found PC Gamer 87, October 2000, the review of Deus Ex.

    Thanks for the 95% KG lol. Also thanks for taking the piss of Daikatana in the first 3 (non bolded) letters.


    He's laughing on the inside. Actually that's a lie. Inside he's metal. And wants to kill you.
    Thats a caption on Gunther.



    ROFL On the next page I found a caption

    These spidly crab/spider things adopt the 'Kieron after 12 Red Bulls' pose.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Grimsby, England
    Wow there is also an advert for edge with the then new X box on the cover and one of the spotlighted consoles is the "Nintendo dolphin" Also in the spy it said that bungee were making a more fantasy based game on the halo engine, but only for X box. I think Halo was still destied for Pc at that time. Damn microsoft.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: England
    "damn microsoft" is probably not the wisest thing to say in a DX related forum. who knows what might crawl out.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    What a beautiful issue of PC GAMER that was.

    I wasn't taking the piss of Romero though. I was entirely genuine. He was right. Whether or not he could follow through with the credo is neither here nor there.

    KG

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: England
    jesus you still have your old pc gamers. I used to keep the magazines but it started to dwarf the house so i got rid.where do you keep them all?
    Last edited by daveodeth; 5th Dec 2003 at 17:24.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    I doubt it, but that review doesn't happen to be available online somewhere does it? I'd love to see it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: England
    i've been looking for it but no joy.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Dublin
    There was an unedited first draftish version of Herr Gillen's review on the old pcgamer.co.uk site.
    Unfortunately, I searched on archive.org, and couldn't find it.
    shame, I remember it being really good.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Grimsby, England
    Yeah Romero was definately right in that first bold bit. But if only Ion Storm had put a little more advertising into DX instead of Daikatana ,or at least released it at a different time. It will probably never be known as one of the best games ever as half life is, because it was so overshadowed by Daikatana, the big game which was the source of many a quip about the armageddon. I recall a timeline in one PC gamer putting armageddon on new years eve '99 and Daikatana released January 1st 2000.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Originally posted by Mahakala
    Yeah Romero was definately right in that first bold bit.
    IIRC, was this a slogan like "Design is everything" ? Or something else.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Lost in transit.
    'Design is law', I believe.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    For those who are interested, I trudged through archive.org and, well, here you go.

    Archive.org is brilliant, everything that was old is new again.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    Man, I used to be pretty hot stuff, didn't I?

    KG

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001

    This is the Future of PC Games!

    I have PC Gamer #1, (December 1993) featuring that Pratchett bloke, who apparently wrote some books that some people can bear to read.

    Ok, so I have lots of cupboard space. Any offers?

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Cumbria, England
    ...

    What?

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    I'm sorry Kieron, but I have to disagree:

    Deus Ex had three major ways of defining your abilities:
    [list=1][*]Skills[*]Augmentations[*]Equipment[/list=1]

    Skills and Augmentations were the major ways due to your massive inventory (you could lug around a heavy weapon, a rifle and a baton, so what's the point of choosing between them?) with weapon mods only really affecting this area (you're going to put them all on your favourite weapons rather than those just-in-case ones, aren't you).

    Some combinations of augmentations were hard to acquire, such as the subdermal augs Cloak and Radar Transparency. Both came in the same canister and were vying for space with the EMP shield and Ballistic Protection. Most players would have one from both canisters, such as Cloak and Ballistic Protection. Stealth players, however, could ignore the other canister and collect both the Cloak and Radar Transparency, rendering them invisible to both cameras and organic beings. Meanwhile, a real brute force player could select both the EMP shield and Ballistic Protection and absorb bullets and throw EMP grenades around with impunity.
    The torso is another place where this can happen, with the synthetic heart and power recirculator. Both combined form a powerful tactic, but one which is harder to obtain. It is this that allows you to truly define yourself though Deus Ex's augmentations.

    Skills, however, have no such combinations like equipment or augmentations. Instead they are defined in terms of what equipment or augmentations you were carrying. Combining a high weapon: rifle skill with a rifle weapon, be it an assault gun with 20mm ammo or a silenced sniper rifle, was inevitable. Hence, skills were just an extension of your inventory, which was affected by the sheer amount of equipment you could squeeze in. They worked like weapon mods in that you had to choose which was your favourite weapon, and hence playing style, and modify that.

    What was supposed to happen, evidently, was that players chose between brute force skills (heavy and demolitions weapons and medical) or stealth skills (pistol and low tech weapons, lockpicking, electronics and computer). But, like the inventory, you could always take 'just-in-case' choices.

    There's also the aforementioned ludicrous position where you're a highly trained uber agent, and yet you started off being rubbish at almost everything. And the fact that while in the game very little time passed (despite international globe-hopping it never changed from night) you were able to learn everything about rifles, ever in so short a space of time (you could achieve master-levels after two missions if you neglected everything else)

    Skills were pointless. They brought nothing to the party. Going to the skills screen was what happened when you'd already decided what you were, or what you wanted to be, carrying in your inventory. Even the multitool and lockpicking skills were pretty much for stealth players only, brute force players always had the option of blowing open the door and anyway, they had skilled tools coming out their ears for when they actually wanted to pick open a supply container because they'd saved them by blowing stuff up. Environmental training and Medicine were even worse, they could be used by any type of player. In the case of Environmental training this was ballistic armour and thermoptic camo, brute force and stealth respectively. Even so, these were rapidly superseded by your augs. Why bother with medkits when you can just flick on regeneration? What's the point of hazmat suits when you can just use environmental resistance?

    So why not just substitute skills for weapon mods and an improved inventory system?
    Invisible War has.
    And it's had flak poured into it for doing so.

    Sorry, but I just had to get it off my chest.
    Last edited by O'Shuva; 8th Feb 2004 at 16:31.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Oxford, England
    You are right. In fact, DX Invisible War is in terms of character set up, DX made unbroken. I don't think you will find many Invisible War detractors on this particular forum.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Cumbria, England
    I make up for everyone else. Was absolutely disgusted by IW.

    Anyway.

    Character defintion system: there's only a proble with the Deus Ex method if you assume that all anyone will ever want to be was either a brute force player or a stealth player, and that brute force involved blowing up everyone in sight and that stealth meant harming no one. In actual fact, the way people played was *far* more veried than that - it's pretty rediculous to begin talking about types of player or how tool X would only be used by 'sealth' players. The way people actually played the game was far more veried.

    Even tools which were inferior versions of something else had a place - case in point is medikits vs health regeneration. Yes, *broadly* they do the same thing, however they do it in different ways which means they're useful in different situations. Case in point is Med Kits vs Rengeneration. Med Kits have two important advantages over Regeneration A: Med Kits have one use - restore health. Regeneration uses bioenergy to restore health and bioengery has lots of other uses. If you need to save bioenergy, then medkits are invaluable B: Med Kits restore health in one big chunk, while regeneration restores it peacemeal. If you're low on health and in a combat situation, med kits are superior. Oh, yeah and the fact that you might not actually take regeneration or environmental resistence shows why medkits and hazmat suits are not redudent.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    Sorry about that. Keiron's DX review spent a lot of time ranting about how good it was, and his IW review spent a lot of time smacking it back down ("In fact, sometimes it was a bit rubbish"). Which is a lie. Sometimes, it was a bit average. Which is at least 30% different (50% to 20%). In his old DX review, he spent a lot of time talking about the skills in a positive tone.

    I didn't mean to sound like I thought medkits and hazmat suits were redundant, they're not, but they are inventory items, not skills. Which means you decide "I'm going to carry hazmat suits instead of going for the Environmental Resistance aug so I can squeeze more useful augs into my torso, which means I'd better upgrade my environmental training" rather than "I'm going to upgrade my environmental training skill now, so I'd better find some hazmat suits to go with it". But if you did think the latter, then I'm sorry.

    My personal opinion is that, and this is really going to hack you off, The Cassandra Project is, in terms of design decisions, more what people might have expected from a Deus Ex sequel than Invisible War. And that either shows how awesomely great the Entity is (obviously) or how much of the "sometimes, it was a bit average" stuff Ion Storm have spent years shaving away (yeah, I do want to get flamed by a subroutine of the Entity. It's a childhood fantasy).

    TCP shifts the focus in exactly the opposite way from IW, by making your choice of augs far more restricted (and balancing it by making them more powerful), you have to rely on your skills. Which is why you get a whole raft of skill points at the start, rather than the puny amount you got in DX. This, also, shifts the focus towards the individual's talents rather than the mechanical stuff they've plugged into themselves (as you would expect from anything involving drug makers, drug takers, bisexuals, polymaths, anarchists, egotistical hackers, murderous Russians, bureaucrats, talking cars, Johnny Casino and, worst of all, gossip columnists. How I hate them. Pacifism can go to hell as far as they're concerned).

    Oh my God, I'm discussing games design.
    spoiler:
    I feel like the mentor on the fifth paragraph of the hacker's manifesto.

    I'm saying it where they aren't any detractors from IW so that I'm not flamed to death like Jo next to a casually thrown napalm grenade. Or ten. I'm new to forums (as you might have guessed).
    And I'm being a know-it-all show-off.
    Last edited by O'Shuva; 9th Feb 2004 at 16:44.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Cumbria, England
    Originally posted by O'Shuva
    I didn't mean to sound like I thought medkits and hazmat suits were redundant, they're not, but they are inventory items, not skills. Which means you decide "I'm going to carry hazmat suits instead of going for the Environmental Resistance aug so I can squeeze more useful augs into my torso, which means I'd better upgrade my environmental training" rather than "I'm going to upgrade my environmental training skill now, so I'd better find some hazmat suits to go with it". But if you did think the latter, then I'm sorry.
    [/b]

    Actually, I didn't do any of those because the radiated sections didn't occur enough to make it worthwhile. Regeneration was always much more effective for crossing radioactive sections anyway.

    But, for mean, skill choices were always determined by the character I wanted to be. Priority always went to the inflitration displines, snipering and close combat - even though I generally had explosives ("just in case") I rarely upgraded heavy weapons or explosives.

    My personal opinion is that, and this is really going to hack you off, The Cassandra Project is, in terms of design decisions, more what people might have expected from a Deus Ex sequel than Invisible War.
    I concur.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    What I suppose I'm trying to say, and have forgotten to say implicitly, is that TCP has the potential to be is a half-way house between DX and IW, the best of both Design Briefs. Can we have mantling and leaning, Thief style? Please?

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    O'Shuva: You may note you spent about 1000 words explaining the problems with Deus Ex's set-up regarding character personalisation. I don't disagree with any of it - however, with Deus Ex there's far much to concentrate upon talking about in a six-page (2400 words or so) than that weakness. In fact, concentrating on the fiddly awkward natures in bits would have undersold the game entirely.

    (There's a difference between a review - which acts a buyer's guide - and criticism - which is about tearing stuff for shredds for shits and giggles)

    Of course I *did* talk a fair bit about the character personalisation and how IW's removal of skills wasn't really a removal of character personalisation in that particular review.

    (Of course, as useless as they are, people seem to like gradual improvement of stuff they're already doing. In a game like - say - Diablo, you're twatting things in an identical manner from the first second of the game until the last, but you can guarantee it would get a tad boring if they just removed the skills system for twatting)

    So while I believe that IW is a far more elegant, integrated system than DX which allows deeper expression, I can certainly see the merits of the original DX's.

    I tend to think the idea of "Better" approaches is one of the things that's dragging down games. Lots of choices can be fun in lots of different situations, and settling on a dogma's just stupid.

    (The smacking down DX in the IW review was necessary because it had got a little rose-tinted around these here internet forum parts about it. When people are seriously arguing IW's AI is worse than the originals, you know someone hasn't got their objective hats on.)

    Now: To Cassandra:
    "TCP shifts the focus in exactly the opposite way from IW, by making your choice of augs far more restricted (and balancing it by making them more powerful), you have to rely on your skills. Which is why you get a whole raft of skill points at the start, rather than the puny amount you got in DX. This, also, shifts the focus towards the individual's talents rather than the mechanical stuff they've plugged into themselves (as you would expect from anything involving drug makers, drug takers, bisexuals, polymaths, anarchists, egotistical hackers, murderous Russians, bureaucrats, talking cars, Johnny Casino and, worst of all, gossip columnists. How I hate them. Pacifism can go to hell as far as they're concerned)."

    Hmmm... not sure you rely less on what's plugged into you *completely*.

    My original thought when approaching Cassandra was ways that character advancement in terms of raw statistics could go fuck itself. We'll give the characters access to virtually every piece of equipment in the beginning. We'll give you powerful augs immediately - but keep them more tied down, and have certain "Superpowered" style ones as standard (A unified strength, speed). We'll hugely reduce the use of energy to encouarge turning them on.

    Deus Ex abstractly put you in the shoes of a Superhuman. You didn't often feel like that. I wanted to go the other way entirely, up to the point of unbalancing it. I wanted you to feel a little like a God.

    (Also, by standardising certain powers we could build more elaborate expressions of those powers into the levels. We were taking a few blades off of Spector's Swiss Army Knife)

    The Guns were another extension of this. They're *all* grossly powerful bastards, much like real guns. Some of the rounds are grotesque.

    (We had several ideas of how to get around that unbalnacing later in the process. If you ever see the mission proper you'll see some of them. The most obvious one is that your relative vulnerability. They die quickly, and you do too)

    In place of character development in a statistical sense, we planned to put the weight of character development in an emotional sense - hence the ridiculous amount of script work, immediately iconic, over-stated characters and all the other jazz.

    (Planescape was my other main videogame influence when sitting down to think about this)

    Clearly, a lot of stuff changed from the initial ideas of Cass in the process of Narcissus talking to itself, but I was surprised by how much core elements reached what we put out.

    Mantling is, sadly, beyond our programming power.

    KG

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    You probably want to pour Depleted Uranium rounds into me by now, but I have to apologise and thank you:

    Sorry, I was going off on one. I was hacked off. Most of the post is the design brief for my (now defunct) DX mod CT2 ("Because everyone knows the sequel's always better than the original").

    I didn't mean to attack your journo skills - I realise the constrains of space. I have a deep respect for anyone who can make words do that kind of thing. I just thought it was strange that in one you talked about the skills as the core to the DX system and then said they were an addition in the IW scheme of things. I suppose time changes everything.

    I've taken Charlotte out to play in some Deus Ex levels and, yes, she is very powerful, more so than JC. I can put a DU round though the head of any nominated MJ-12 trooper in view. However, part of that, I imagine, is the ability to decide not to kill everyone you come across. Like the 'real' Superman, only with a gun instead of that Freespace-2-beam-cannon-laser-coming-out-of-eyes thing.

    My own view of Cassandra is the Organic, and hence individual, over the Mechanical, the exact opposite of what IW has revealed itself to be. Hence the greater empathises on skills rather than augmentations. While the augmentations are more powerful, you have less choice on how to combine them and so on, meaning that sense of self definition comes more from your skills and inventory and how you choose to use them.

    But thanks for the insight into Cassandra's gestation. And again, I apologise:

    Sorry.
    Last edited by O'Shuva; 13th Feb 2004 at 14:53.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    I'll write a proper reply anon, but - dude - there's nothing to apologise for. If only half my critiques were as well thought out.

    KG

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    Hey, where's that reply?

    BTW, do you mind if I borrow your text for various scenarios for attacking the NTF base in Hell's Kitchen as a basis for a spoof of those 'Friend's wedding or airplane bathroom?' questionnaires? Please?

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