Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Deus Ex replayability

I abandoned Deus Ex: Human Revolution in the middle of my second playthrough. The first time I played the game in non-lethal sneak mode, trying to see every corner and every side-quest with a minimum of violence. Played that way, Deus Ex is a long game, it took me over 50 hours to finish. But then I wanted to play through the game again, the lethal way, and that goes a lot faster. And easier. And turned out to be a lot less interesting to me.

Having said that, I thoroughly support the idea that a game like that should have different options on how to play through it. The sneaky version played a lot like some sort of puzzle game, where observation and timing were a lot more important than aiming. The shooter variant requires a set of different skills, being more about aiming. But ultimately clearing a room with 4 guards with a gun always goes a lot faster and requires a lot less thought than trying to knock them each out individually without alerting the others.

I wouldn't have minded playing through Deus Ex a second time in fast shooter mode if it wasn't for the story of the game. If the action is fast, the dialogue, story, and running around become the slow part of the game. And the second time around all of these aren't really all that interesting any more. I experienced some minor variations due to doing things differently, but overall all the main and side stories were just the same. I would have had to pay for DLC to get a few new missions, and I'm not a big fan of the DLC model. Especially not if a DLC only offers "the Double-Barrel Shotgun, the Silenced Sniper Rifle, and 10,000 extra in-game credits" as one of the available DLC for Deus Ex does.

On the other hand the lack of replayability doesn't really matter. I looked it up, I originally paid €16.99 for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and right now it is even cheaper on Steam. I consider that excellent value for money for 50+ hours of good entertainment. Replayability would just have been the cherry on top of that.

I also never cared about weapons/credits DLC, but I liked "The Missing Link" because it tells part of the story.
I never really expect re-playability in a single player game all I want is a strong engrossing game. In fact I positively dislike when a game tries to add fake re-playability with achievements and high scores. The constant pop-ups that these tend to generate can be very immersion breaking.
For me, it's not so bad if the story is the same. I am more interested in the gameplay. If there is good replayability in the gameplay, I'm fine with playing through the game a few more times. Just like a good movie, it's okay to see the same story again sometimes. But I also tend to rush through games the first time just, so I can talk with friends without getting spoiled. Then future playthroughs I take my time a little bit more.
Just got it for less than 3€ ... I guess I'll be happy whatever it offers, for that price :)
I am impressed that you even finished it. Not because it is hard or anything but because I got bored after the third mission or fourth mission (depending on whether you count the first one in the lab).

It wasn't a bad game but it didn't grip me enough to want to pump 50 hours in to it. If it had been a relatively short and shallow game (no RPG talents etc) like COD/Max Payne/Spec Ops The Line etc I'd have probably kept going but I made a decision quite early on that I'd never stick with it to the end so I might as well cut my loses and quit.

Shame really because I was keen to find out what happened with the story but wasn't prepared to invest so much to see it out.

I really disliked my character and thought he was a pretentious little so and so. This is why in an FPS I'd prefer the character to be faceless (so I can pretend it is me) and not have third person cover mechanics - because I am not a dweeb with designer facial hair. If the developers make me play as someone else then I have to like that someone else. I didn't like Jensen.

I did like that tech guy who he didn't get on too well with but who was helping him out and I warmed to the character of his ex missus too.

I am surprised you still had enough interest remaining in the game to consider an albeit slightly shorter second play through in lethal mode.

But then I loved the two Batman games so we obviously have different tastes. I never replayed them either and didn't even continue hunting collectables or doing side missions after I finished the main story. I rarely replay any games these days. In fact I don't think I have replayed a single player game for over 15 years!

My main driving force in single player games is the story so unless a replay offered a dramatically different story or perhaps alternative locations that you can't see all in one run I probably wouldn't bother. Ironically the games I did replay 15 years ago didn't offer a different story or indeed much of a story at all by todays standards. But I was a different person then and enjoyed playing games for the "playing".
Tobold, when was the first time you played this DE:HR? Is there a large difference between the time you replayed?

Could it be possible people replay games for nostalgic reasons and then become disappointed when they find out it wasn't as good as they remember?
I didn't play Deus Ex when it came out. I did the two playthroughs one directly after the other, so nostalgia wasn't a factor.
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