Deus Ex Human Revolution EP20:Lunacy!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 16, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 118 comments

Link (YouTube)

Okay, so what game logic drives the decision regarding what weapon you can offer Windmill? I did this twice, and both times I could only offer him my silenced, capacity-upgraded, damage-upgraded pistol. Now we get here with Josh and we can only offer him the revolver? Gah! Will he only accept your #1 weapon? Or is it random? Or will he only accept sidearms? This was a very frustrating part for me, not just because of the restrictive choice, but because of the words (attitude, really) the game put in my mouth for saying no.

And as we said in the episode: The bad guys are very, very stupid here. Accepting that they have unlimited power and no accountability, this public murder spree is just a bone-headed way of going about things.


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118 thoughts on “Deus Ex Human Revolution EP20:Lunacy!

  1. Entropy says:

    Pretty sure it’s only sidearms. I played a pacifist Jensen, and he took my spare pistol I had on me just fine.

    It’s more than worth it though. Him surviving = credits = more guns

    1. evileeyore says:

      You could do what I did:

      Dropped all my weapons right outside his coffin, grabbed the spare 10mm pistol from the coffin down the hall, and then he had to accept the 10mm pistol.

      But then I had to do it that way as I had uber modded my 10mm pistol to be the 10mm silenced sniper shoot-through-walls pistol.

      1. Slippery Jim says:


        Jim :)

  2. CannonGerbil says:

    Windmill will only accept either a Revolver, a 10mm Pistol, or a machine pistol. I think he might also accept a shotgun if you have it, but I’m not certain of that.
    This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, since there’s a free 10mm pistol in one of the pods somewhere, if it weren’t for the fact that if you pick up a copy of a weapon you already have, it automatically disintegrates and gets converted to ammo, so if you are using it as a weapon of choice, well, sucks to be you, pal.
    Though I suppose if you know that’s coming beforehand, you could drop your weapon, pick up the spare copy laying around, then pick it back up again after the commandos show up, but that means that it’s designed only to trip up first time players. Plus, you know, metagame Knowledge.

    1. s951 says:

      I’ve definitely given him a shotgun before.

    2. Chris B Chikin says:

      I’ve given him the combat rifle in the XBox version.

    3. Trix2000 says:

      Gave him a machine pistol I’d happened to pick up the first time, a shotgun the second time (again, just had it laying around sorta for this purpose). I think it only allows for regular lethal weapons (ie: no stun or tranq, and nothing big like rocket launcher).

      1. AbruptDemise says:

        Yes, he seems to have only tagged Small Guns, and will only use lethal weapons. My first time through, he could take any of the weapons I had on me (A silenced pistol, machine pistol, and shotgun). I just gave him the machine pistol, since I hadn’t upgraded or used it, and really only kept it around ‘just in case’. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

        I wonder if it’s possible to give him a heavy rifle, though I’m pretty sure those don’t show up until a bit later in the game. Maybe through cheating?

        1. Wandring says:

          I gave him an assault rifle and I could have sworn I had the option to give him a shotgun too… I don’t suppose what he will accept is randomized?!?

        2. MatthewH says:

          On my first time through, I had a highly modified combat rifle and a highly modified pistol. I had the option to give him either. Turned him down and then went Fortress Pod Bay (which didn’t work near as well as I thought it would because the Belltower guys hadn’t come over to my defensive position in a couple of minutes, so I had to go hunt them down).

          So yeah, I make a note to carry an unmodified shotgun or something just for this moment.

          Question: Does he actually use the thing to help you escape, or does he still go disappear into the wall?

  3. Keredis says:

    I think in my game, I could also offer the shotgun or the assault rifle, even. Yes, I carried around far too many guns. Why do you ask?

    1. MrPyro says:

      I got the option to give him the 10mm pistol or the combat rifle; both of which I had upgraded significantly, so I said no. I was hoping that if I wiped out all of the attacking guards he would survive, but sadly not.

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        These were my options… I had the same situation as well

    2. Gamer says:

      Windmill will only accept lethal weapons. The stun gun and tranqs are a no-go. The only reason you and Josh could only give your best weapons was because that’s all you had.

      Edit: Whoa, how’d I get a new image!?

      1. Eärlindor says:

        Did you have to type in your email address before commenting? If so, you may have misspelled it; it will give you a new image if you do that. It’s happened to me a few times already.

  4. Uscias says:

    I never saw the point in giving him anything since I always take down the soldiers anyway. But as far as i can tell you can only offer him non-dlc, bullet-based weapons (though there might be more restrictions I haven’t noticed yet).

    1. Infinitron says:

      He’ll die if you don’t give him a weapon, no matter how many soldiers you kill.

      1. Chris B Chikin says:

        Do you actually know for certain that he dies? Like, does someone state explicitly that he’s dead? I gave him a gun on my playthrough (and then went on a killing spree versus all the guards) so I don’t know, but isn’t it possible that if you kill all the guards then he does live, but since it was no thanks to you he feels no obligation to get in touch and pay you back?

        1. Trix2000 says:

          If he doesn’t die, he contacts you and drops some money in your account later (like 2000 I think). I assume if you don’t give him one (I haven’t tried) this does not happen.

          Also, he sort-of just disappears after you give/don’t give the gun to him anyways so I always assumed he tried to get out on his own…and my own escape really wouldn’t affect anything for him.

          1. Zagzag says:

            It’s possible that if he survives after you didn’t give him a weapon he simply doesn’t feel like giving you any money…

            1. Gamer says:

              Well, you did screw him over in that case.

        2. Michael says:

          Tong will tell you later if Windmill died.

  5. zob says:

    Actually they could’ve spin this way into a plausible thing, I think. When you first talk with the hacker let some suspicious guys approach in the background just to show that they stopped and and turned back when see jensen and hacker speaking. That way we have a clever operative notices when he is out of his depth and calling back up. That also explains their boneheaded shock and awe approach to a simple grab.

    1. Wandring says:

      They could have “justified” storming in and killing EVERYONE by saying that had the hacker’s LOCATION only, but not his appearance.

      One line of dialogue would clear this up, and no game changes would need to occur.

  6. peter says:

    i dropped my weapons, got the spare 10mm lying around, and picked my weapons up again after giving him the spare.
    adam also doesn’t taunt if he doesn’t have any weapons to give.
    not a neat solution though, not HR’s best moment.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Im not sure,but I think my jensen gave the same response,and all I had was the tranquilizer.

  7. Hal says:

    Is Josh ever going to remember the “take all” button?

    Also, just for curiosity’s sake: Are you saving up all the booze/painkillers/stims for boss fights, or are you forgetting it’s there?

    1. peter says:

      and, for that matter, that people without loot have a different icon than those with? checking all the guys is really not necessary.

      1. Z says:

        Also, Josh: you made explicit reference on how the revolver was awesome with the exploding rounds upgrade, and then failed to pick up that very upgrade from the vendor in this building (he’s gone after the fight, but shows up elsewhere later in the game, I think).

        But yes: bodies with loot have the loot icon lighted up on their tooltip. Bodies without loot have it greyed out. You don’t have to open up their inventory to figure it out. And the “take all” button will close the inventory pop up even if it was empty.

        Finally, those times you were being shot in the face almost to death would have been perfect for you to yell “shot shooting me!” Why you not yell it!? Do you enjoy torturing us? (yeah, of course he does).

        You’re playing it wrooong!! Heh. Just kidding. I’m loving this season!

        1. Michael says:

          He killed the other Explosive Rounds vendor a while back, though that was around the time Chris joined so he may or may not actually still be alive.

        2. guy says:

          There’s a vendor in this building?

          I never bothered looking because it makes not the slightest sense that a vendor who sells anything Jensen would be looking for would be there, and checked more sensible places like the Hive instead.

  8. Xakura says:

    Gave him a plain assault rifle I luckily had in my inventory.

  9. Anorak says:

    You’re right about the stage acting thing. Motion capture (especially markerless motion capture) is really only good for large, full body gestures. A lot of the finesse is lost in mapping the data to a virtual skeleton, and small, subtle movements are lost.

    Part of the problem is that the skeleton and mesh you are mapping to is very unlikely to match the person who was the subject in the capture process. This manifests visually as limbs moving or bending in weird ways, and even warping through each other. I think this kind of thing is actually seen whenever Jensen crosses his arms (which is all the time – doesn’t matter. Still better than Oblivion).

    The best process is often to use the motion capture as the base, and then add detail manually later on.

    On Clear Skies 3 (sorry to keep on about it), this was the system we used. Large body gestures would be done through motion capture, and then it would be passed to an animator to fix up problems or add slight variations that were lost or never captured.

    We were using Ipisoft for the capture, and it had big problems with crossed arms, or miming holding guns. It would get the arm positioned completely wrong, quite often, and this had to be fixed up manually.

    The process we used (and some silly videos) can be found here.

    1. Anorak says:

      Good grief….this is such a shameless plug. Great episode!
      I never knew that Windmill gave you extra stuff later. When I denied him a weapon, it’s because I was hoping I could make him keep out of the way and not run off and get slaughtered. Instead I turned unleashed my sarcasm beam on him, and he ran away crying like a small child.

      Speaking of sarcasm beam – I really like the options you get when talking to Anonymous X.

      1. tengokujin says:

        Gotta love Anonymous X’s hat.

      2. KremlinLaptop says:

        Oh holy fuck what, dude.

        Don’t apologize about the shameless plugging. I wish I’d heard about this before. I’m watching this Clear Skies thing right now and it’s FANTASTIC.


        Edit: No seriously, how the fuck have I not heard or seen this before? I love sci-fi stuff. I love machinima stuff. This is fucking excellent and I’d expect half the internet to be aware? Seriously! This is cause for profanity.

        Honestly, it is a constant source of amazement to me that so many incredible things online just tend to go unnoticed.

        1. Anorak says:

          Cheers! You just about made my day.

  10. Infinitron says:

    1) As somebody mentioned in the previous episode comments, Windmill’s probably from the Netherlands Antilles.
    2) Were you trying to give him the DLC shotgun? I had no problems giving him a shotgun I’d picked up somewhere.
    3) Possible explanation for TYM’s use of overwhelming force – they were afraid Tong’s Harvesters would be defending Van Bruggen.

    1. Thanatos Crows says:

      During my first playthrough I gave him the DLC shotgun and immidiately knocked him out and took it back. Such neat engravings

    2. MatthewH says:

      I just assumed Belltower has “excessively awesome dynamic entry” written into their contracts (sort of like the joke about Green Beret’s jumping out of airplanes at 100 feet without parachutes). But I like the “the harvesters might be protecting him” idea better.

  11. Infinitron says:

    The dark-skinned Belltower guy in the lobby is Narhari Kahn, the commander of TYM’s Belltower forces. If you don’t kill him, he reappears later on in the game – several times, in fact. He shows up in his office at TYM HQ in Upper Hengsha, at the attack on Malik’s downed helicopter if you escape without rescuing her, and finally at the Hengsha Port warehouse.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Jensen doesnt seem to spas out like the people he is talking to however.And besides the crossed arms thing,he looks ok in conversations.

    Also Josh finally took the jump aug.

  13. 4th Dimension says:

    Did Josh just forget to check that pod Malik told him about? Isn’t this going to prevent him from finishing that quest?

  14. Mersadeon says:

    In german, “Praxis” is simply used as the counterpart to “theory” – as in “in theory, this could work. In praxis, we simply don’t have the parts necessary”. (Also, it’s what we call the place of a doctor – his “Praxis”, because he practices medicine there.)

    Though I do wonder if PRAXIS in all caps in Deus Ex is also supposed to be an acronym for something.

    Also, are these… Pod-Hotel things fiction?

      1. Lawton says:

        No, but yes. They are based on a concept from Neuromancer called Coffins. It was supposed to be the logical conclusion of skyrocketing real estate prices, but… as a parody. Now they actually exist.

        1. KremlinLaptop says:

          I’mma quote some wikipedia here: “With continued recession in Japan, as of early 2010 more and more guests””roughly 30% at the Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 in Tokyo””were either unemployed or underemployed and were renting capsules by the month.”

          The dystopian cyberpunk future? We livin’ it now, bitches.

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            My question is, why don’t we have these in the US? I’d rent one, hook up ma computer, all set! I’ll bet the real estate developers convinced the health department that it’s “bad for you” or something, so that people would have to keep buying big houses that cost a lot to build and maintain. That, or USA people are too proud to live in a little box. Either way it’s too bad these are uncommon other than in Japan.

  15. Thomas says:

    There was a similar problem in the original DX, when the hotel owner asks for a weapon to protect himself, and often your only choices were the weapons you heavily modded. Seems to be a tradition now.

    1. Infinitron says:

      Also, Gunther Hermann at the beginning.

  16. Gamer says:

    One of my favorite scenes occurs if you use pheromones on Malik.

    Jensen: “Malik, I know something’s bothering you.”
    Malik: “Jensen, I swear to god if you use that CASIE implant on me!”

    1. Trix2000 says:

      That scene made me laugh so much when I tried it.

      As weird as her conversation animations might be, I liked her as a character. She was pretty funny.

  17. Irridium says:

    Windmill can accept whatever lethal weapon you have in your inventory. Or, the first three the game sees in your inventory, at least.

    I was able to give him my pistol, combat rifle, or shotgun.

  18. kuyo says:

    I had a playthrough where the gun offer options included pistol, machine gun and assault rifle. he seemed happy even though the rifle had no ammo.
    The problem I had was the first time, I didn’t have a gun specially prepared for him, so I thought I could just grab one from an incapacitated soldier. He is just hiding in his cubby.

  19. X2Eliah says:

    Hm. Wasn’t Belltower a PMC, though? I mean, they really aren’t “The Police”, they are just a well-armed group with enough influence to ‘rule’ over lower districts. All the talk about handcuffing/arresting feels wrong..

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      No, the local government of Hengshaw ‘outsourced’ law and order enforcement in lower part of the city to Belltower.

      1. Gamer says:

        And besides, in Human Revolution, it is a continuing theme that corporations have much more power than the government does.

        1. Irridium says:

          Plus, the Chinese Government isn’t exactly the most caring towards their citizenry.

  20. TJ GoofyFoot says:

    This episode is the first time Anonymous X’s name sounded like “anonymous sex” to me.

  21. Tzeneth says:

    Great moment:
    Josh: “Why do I remember him being Jamaican?”
    Me: “Because you’re racist”
    Less than 2 seconds after I say that.
    Rutskarn: “Because you’re racist”

    It’s funny when they say exactly what you’re thinking

  22. Thomas says:

    I didn’t have anything to offer him so I never knew the option was possible, now I feel bad, I always wanted to take him with me or hide him better.

    I’m certain they don’t actually know where Van Brugen is, which does rule out some of your plans. That building was messy and very hard to effectively cordon off. Van Brugen was specifically hiding from them and I guess they followed you to the hotel or heard you were going to the hotel or something (you normally have to visit him multiple times which would give them time to get set up)

    Also although it’s not logic I gave you, I’m almost certain the soldiers wouldn’t know what he looked like personally, because whats the chances a mook was working with a hacker? And I think it’s 50/50 whether they had decent pictures of his face, because he was a hacker who specifically always worked at arms length from the task at hand.

    So that is the one way this works, they knew he was in the hotel, but had no idea which person in the hotel he was. He had compromising evidence of their larger plot and so they decided the most effective method was to eradicate every person in the hotel.

    However I’m not certain if it’s true they don’t know what he looks like, in which case this wouldn’t be at all justifiable and if they don’t there probably was some way they should have been able to find out without so much destruction. I guess they might have worried that he was going to leak information and needed to deal with him quicker (I mean they were too late as it was) but it wasn’t well established. If they’d done the thing they did later where the whole area was on lockdown by belltower, first then it would probably have seemed more reasonable

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      Van Brugen worked for Tai Yong, in their building! They had to have a picture or two of him.

      1. Thomas says:

        Yeah I wasn’t sure about that. It could have made sense and I thought there might have been something that suggested that Zhang was his only point of contact but you’re right. So yeah stupid.

        I’d say they could have just changed that bit but then they’d have to come up with a more silly way to get you to TYM

  23. Jock says:

    It’s actually very Cyberpunk to work with people that you never meet, especially hackers, so it’s quite possible that they didn’t know what Van Bruggen looked like, thus necessitating the wholesale slaughter.

    Also bear in mind that their raid on VB’s apartment block was very professional, very cop like….and failed to catch him. One could easily imagine it would have been by the skin of his teeth, which would lead to a bit of internal “Ok we tried it your way, this time we go in hard and fast.”

    As for jumping in through the skylight instead of walking in the door? They had guys who did that too. Partly the jumpers let you secure the upper levels quickly, partly it’s shock and awe, partly it’s if you hit hard from every angle then you leave no way to escape. Would you have complained if they were in a helicopter and ziplined down instead?

    1. swimon1 says:

      I at least would have complained less. I seriously have no idea why after you spend so much time and research on making all Jensen’s little gadgets believable you would include an augment that is so cartoonishly implausible and try to cover it up with tech magic so lazy and nonsensical Voyager blushes. Is “magnetic lensing fields” what you think about before “a rope”, really? I’m sorry but that part just bugs the crap out of me.

      1. guy says:

        Electromagnetic repulsion is tech magic these days? Are you transplanted from the 17th century or something?

        Sure, the power density required is implausible for 2027, but it’s not like it is a transporter, a warp drive, a phaser, a lightsaber, etc.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its way less implausible than the stealth system.Heck we already can levitate objects with magnets in the real world(though it takes insane amounts of power),but Im not sure if we can bend light like that with anything(the stealth suits that were made consist of cameras and projectors).

        1. anaphysik says:

          (Not saying this is practical for a stealth suit, of course. But it is really cool!)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            It is cool.So it could work,but it would have to be in jensens coat,and not in his body.

            1. swimon1 says:

              Perhaps, but it’s plausible enough. There are actually a lot of techniques being currently researched that could make stuff invisible. Like negative index materials or the somewhat more crude method of a “bumpy” view screen on your back that shows what a camera on the front records (having the screen be bumpy means you see different things from different angles otherwise you would only be invisible from one specific angle).

              Yes we can make frogs levitate with magnets but that takes enormous amounts of power and giant magnets. Way more than would be feasible to strap to a human being and power by candy bars with the tech level they have in human revolution. It’s also not what Jensen is doing. See levitating a frog is done by subjecting it to such a strong magnetic field that the frog becomes magnetic and then pushes the frog upwards harder than the gravity is pushing it down. The reason the frog stays in mid-air instead of drifting ever upwards is because as it keeps ascending it gets further and further away from the magnet, lessening the force that pushes it up. That’s why it stays in mid-air and it’s also why it wouldn’t work for Jensen. See if you strapped the magnet to the frog and then dropped both it wouldn’t slow the fall in any way. The force from the magnet pushing the frog up would also push the magnet down with equal force and you would have gained nothing.

              The way they get around this in the game is by saying it creates a “magnetic lensing effect” and pushes against the magnetic field of the earth slowing you down. This is pretty much star trek tech babble, magnetic lensing has nothing to do with this and is only here because it sounds “sciency” and we’re supposed to hear a tech term and go “Clearly they’ve done their research”. The idea itself of pushing yourself up by using the earth’s magnetic field doesn’t sound theoretically impossible, but it sounds impossible from a practical engineering perspective. The earth’s magnetic field is very, very weak and making a magnet that can be reasonably carried by one person (along with it’s power generator) and strong enough to take advantage of it seems impossible without “indistinguishable from magic” levels of tech. It would also make anyone using it into more or less an EMP bomb considering how much induction such a magnet would create even at low velocities. Those three mooks falling from the ceiling should destroy all computers in half of Hengsha.

              In the end the most annoying part is how easily this could’ve been made plausible. Simply attach a grappling gun in Jensens arm and you could leave the gameplay intact with no need to shatter your own scientific credibility. I guess practicality wouldn’t have looked as “cool” tho :/

    2. MatthewH says:

      I thought that too -take the building from top and bottom -but it looked to me like they missed the top floor and rocketted all the way to the foodcourt downstairs. When I came out of the pods, I saw them coming up the stairs and going into the next pod bay over.

      1. guy says:

        I think some of them wound up on the middle level, and it did grant them the element of surprise over any potential ground-level opposition. This would matter a lot more if there were any ground-level opposition, but it’s probably SOP for this sort of thing.

        Personally, I liked the scene because it demonstrated that Jensen was not the only person in the world who used augmentation for military purposes.

  24. Hal says:

    As for TYM/BT storming in and killing all the civvies, I suppose it could just be a consequence of those two entities controlling Hengsha with an iron fist. Sure, they could spirit him away, but with the manpower at their disposal, as well as the degree of immunity, why wouldn’t they storm the place and shoot everything that moves?

    It reminded me a lot of Paris in DX1, when MJ12 was in control of the country at large. In retrospect, however, I think it would be a legitimate question to ask why a group like that would spend the manpower to occupy an entire country when they had an alternative means of global takeover at hand, but whatever.

    What irked me about that section was the locker rooms with the security setups. Exactly how long was Jensen hanging out after BT stormed in? Apparently long enough for them to establish patrols, set up security networks, etc. And apparently BT’s SOP isn’t to find choke-points on the exits and point 12 guns at the doors, but to spread their troops out 2-3 in every room of the building.

  25. Sumanai says:

    Since the whole point of regenerating health is preventing players from getting stuck, I wonder why it’s so rare to have regenerating ammo. And I’m not talking that it should be just like Mass Effect. Maybe with magazines, but the ammo in the backpack is slowly restored.

    Or why nothing similar seems to really be going on in other fields.

    And no, infinite ammo on a particular weapon is not the same thing. If someone sucks with it, he is put in a disadvantage, like when getting into a situation with lower health.

    1. Destrustor says:

      Borderlands had a few skills(mostly for Roland) that gave you ammo regen. Some guns and class mods did it too.

      1. Gamer says:

        It made the game so much easier too. In single-player mode, ammo regen broke the game for me and made it way too easy.

      2. Sumanai says:

        Sounds like it should have worked, just too bad if it ruined the difficulty curve like Gamer says.

    2. Even says:

      To be fair, the original Deus Ex had health regen too, but it was a nano-augmentation and you needed to use your bioenergy for it. In Human Revolution the regen health is also given some leeway by Jensen having an aug that automatically repairs suffered damage.

      Regenerating solid materials would probably fall into nano-augmentation and the tech during the 2020’s isn’t just there yet, if it’s even considered possible.

      1. Reet says:

        That’s the thing though. Once your health regen expends resources whether it’s medkits or bioenergy, it’s still entirely possible to be hobling around on 1hp with all your limbs blown off and 10 guys trying to kill you with no way out.
        Granted, if that we’re to happen you probably deserve it for being a terrible player but still…

        It’s difficult to tell which is better.

      2. Sumanai says:

        Just in case there’s a misunderstanding, I’m not complaining about regenerating health, nor am I against it in general. Also I doubt many games could explain regenerating ammo in the lore, even if they have a way for regenerating health. You could have energy weapons I guess, but those rarely have a good feeling.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It was a great system in mass effect 1.That was one of the few gameplay changes that I hated in 2.

      1. anaphysik says:

        The first things I did before booting up ME2 were 1) finding a regenerating ‘ammo’ system, and 2) editing out the stupid fuel system (set fuel consumption rate to 0). Made basic gameplay so much less annoying.

        I mean, really, Mass Effect even has the proper lore for regenerating ammo! Not only was it a neat idea, but it actually made sense!

      2. Sumanai says:

        It helped the feeling of being part of an actual military since you don’t end up scavenging for ammo and allowed you to use your favorite gun all the time.

  26. Bentusi16 says:

    I really think this was dumb. This is their way of establishing that Belltower and Weyland-Yutani (or whatever the heck the corporation is called.) is a generic evil corporation that does generic evil things in order to…make…money?

    I mean, they know exactly where he is. They know exactly what he looks like. There’s only one way out of there. They could’ve just locked down the door, and swept the place from bottom to top.

    Instead they murder everyone in cold blood.

    And this is the point I decided to mete out some karmic justice and murder the life out of everyone, since they already killed all the civilians and I was feeling a little angry.

    1. guy says:

      Belltower and TYM are just providing thug-power to the secret masters. This has absolutely nothing to do with money. I mean, a truly outlandish amount of money is at stake, but that is not actually their motivation.

      I’m pretty sure they were simply in a hurry to kill Van Bruggan before anyone could get information out of him. If they’d arrived like ten minuites earlier they would have succeeded.

    2. swimon1 says:

      Worse than being nonsensical is that it completely gets the tone wrong and misses an obvious chance to hammer home the game’s message about corporations having too much power.

      If the Belltower people simply arrested van Brugen and you, perhaps while refusing to state what crime you committed, it would have gotten the right tone. It’s a very powerful enemy that plays in the dark, they know about you and they can make you go away without anyone finding out. The argument about corporate power also becomes more overt, corporations can do as they want as long as they’re rich enough.

      Instead they loudly crash through the ceiling and guns everyone down in broad street light. Instead of being an all knowing enemy that works in subtle ways it becomes a loud militaristic force that likes to show off its power. Don’t get me wrong that short clip where they crash down is a powerfull “oh shit” moment (or it would be if I wasn’t thinking “so now they’re using the stupid fantasy tech too?”) but it’s a wrong sort of “oh shit” moment for the sort of villain they’re trying to create. The argument about corporations also gets kinda lost here. I get that what they’re trying to do is a “they’re so powerful they can get away with even this” but I’m not buying it. I can buy foxconn having people arrested for no reason but I’m pretty sure that if they hired mercenaries to storm a hotel and kill everyone inside, well someone would be having a talk with the manager.

      I’m sure it could be argued that this is the smartest way for the illuminati (or is TYM/belltower majestic 12? I never quite understood) to handle this, and maybe that’s true I’m certainly no expert on running conspiracies (as far as you know). For Human revolution tho I think this is thematically and tonally a bad move.

  27. Gamer says:

    When I first did the Windmill scene, I only had an (extensive upgraded) pistol that I had since the game’s start. I told him I wouldn’t give it to him. I thought that I could just punch out a guard and him Windmill one of their guns and was sorely disappointed when he vanished after the scene.

    1. Even says:

      Actually he just goes back to hiding in his pod. Which just made it that much more stupid when there’s no way to interact him after the scene.

  28. Jakale says:

    Would have been interesting if they pulled something along the lines of Rutskarn’s scenario. You get your info and get going, then in the lobby you see a couple Belltower guys show up to unobtrusively make an arrest and you have an option of getting rid of them publicly or secretly, before they get to the Hacker or after they’ve started to arrest him, or just leave the building and not deal with it and your choice would impact the story a little in some way.

    Granted there’s not much excuse to set up a big firefight unless the guys have tons of backup nearby and a chance to call them in, but quiet seems kind of the point of conspiracy, unless it’s a large group they have to deal with and cover up, or one guy over a large area, which requires something like a claim to quarantine the area to prevent an outbreak.

    Also, Josh, I don’t know about Faridah’s eyes going funny, but her mouth certainly got grumpy.

  29. Gruhunchously says:

    Josh killed the head Belltower guy in this section. He’s called Khan, and you can see him talking to Tong if you don’t talk to him yourself. The interesting thing is, if you don’t kill him in the hotel, only knock him out or avoid him altogether, he shows up again the Tai Yong building and if you don’t kill him there, he shows up again the second time you visit Heng Sha. As far as I can tell, he’s the only enemy who does that in this game (Walton Simons did it in DX1 though), and I wonder why he got so much attention.

    1. Even says:

      Yeah, he’s a little odd that way. There’s at least some comedy to his role if you play non-lethal and knock him out every time but beyond that it’s kinda hard to figure what his actual purpose is.

  30. Eärlindor says:

    I actually got the TYM ID Card right off the bat as well, but when I talked to Van Bruggan, the game forced me to go back and get the stupid card again. >:(

    Also, I can’t decide if What DX:HR does in conversations is better than Oblivion. To me, it’s a different kind of bad, but probably on the same level. I can’t stand watching the characters twitch around like that; the Uncanny Valley is too great for me. It’s very hard for me to watch. I feel like I’ll go insane or something.

  31. Zaxares says:

    1:40: I think Jensen’s cranial augmentation might have a built-in translator, but on the other hand, every single Chinese national that Jensen ever talks back to is always speaking to him in English, so maybe he honestly has no clue what they’re saying to him.

    2:45: Aww, Josh! You missed out on the chance to hear some funny dialogue from Malik for using your CASIE aug on her! Shame on you! :P

    8:45: I know you probably skipped it due to lack of time, but it’s really interesting to walk around the pods and listen to the people who have to live here. Almost to a man, they all HATE the cramped, sardine can-like conditions here. I mean, look at those pods! Could you imagine living in something like that for years on end?

    11:08: Yeah, that threw me for a loop the first time I got to that part. You CAN give Windmill larger guns, but apparently in the following order of preference: pistol, revolver, machine pistol, combat rifle, shotgun. Only three weapons can be displayed in the list, so if you have too many of the early weapons, you can’t give the later weapons to him. He will not accept explosives or non-lethal weapons (and since you can’t legally have the energy-based weapons like the laser or plasma rifle by this point, I’ve never tested those). Fortunately, if you go around exploring the pods, there are a pistol and a machine pistol lying around that you can give to Windmill. Just make sure to drop your existing weapon on the ground first so it doesn’t convert into ammo if you’re already using one of those two.

    11:35: Later in the game, you can read the e-mails of the officer in charge of this assault. The executives basically tell him to do whatever it takes to take out Van Bruggen, and so I imagine they weren’t concerned about civilian casualties or collateral damage. Still, it seems bizarre that they gun down EVERYBODY in the building. Especially the women, since they should definitely know that Van Bruggen is a man.

    12:34: Also, if you let Windmill die, you get a chewing out from Tong Si Hung the next time you see him.

    16:46: … Obviously he was operating on the child’s theory of “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me!” XD

    19:44: I don’t think TYM knew that Jensen was here. HOWEVER, I think TYM knows that Van Bruggen had help from the Triads to escape, and so they might have expected there to be armed guards in the pods that could protect Bruggen and help him escape, hence the massive deployment of force for this. Likewise, if Tong has bought off the staff at the hotel, Belltower could not necessarily expect cooperation from the people in Lower Hengsha. Especially if they KNEW that they were disliked by people down there.

    Also, I still prefer the DX1 method of health regeneration. Auto-regenerating health (outside of special augments or upgrades that grant it) just feel like too large a break in my suspension of disbelief. I get around it by just consuming health items like painkillers in the middle of battles though.

    1. Jock says:

      To be fair the health regen DOES come from an augment. It just starts the game unlocked, like your HUD and your Arm Blades. I think it would be kind of interesting if the ability existed to unlock further levels of it, so that it boosted you faster or to a higher base line, but I can imagine how much of a pain that would be to balance.

    2. Z says:

      Auto-regenerating health (outside of special augments or upgrades that grant it) just feel like too large a break in my suspension of disbelief.

      But it is an augmentation! The Sentinel RX Health System.

      Edit: damned ninjas…

      PS: Shamus, this place really needs a “preview” button for comments…

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I dont mind health regen in games where its plausible,like halo and deus ex.I mind it a lot in games like call of duty.

      1. KremlinLaptop says:

        To me regen seemed like a method to do away with one unrealistic game mechanic by replacing it with another. Instead of an arbitrary number of hit-points dwindling away as you take a magazine worth of 7.62x39mm to the face you instead get an acute case of Elmo-face that requires hiding behind a box for x-amount of seconds before you recover.

        I’ve never liked either in my FPS games, really. It’s a pity that development of damage systems and modelling in games has taken a back-seat, since to my mind there’s so much that could be done with how damage is taken and how it effects the player immediately and in the long term.

        And imo that could be done without going off the deep-end into absurd amounts of realism.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well in original call of duty,the highest difficulty removed all the health packs,and you could would die if you got shot at most 3 times.I liked that one the most,despite it being so hard.

          1. Thomas says:

            I think gameplay wise regen suits CoD fine. Especially since the Modern Warfare era where the focus has been on elite soldiers taking names.

            But it doesn’t suit the style well at all. And so much of CoD is style and experience they could do with being the ones to rethink the mechanic and find something that works similarly but makes it feel like you aren’t actually being hit, or you’re dealing with your wounds with the weight they deserve.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              But call of duty didnt start like that.Health regen was introduced while the game was still focused on the trenches and massive fights of the second world war.And heck,why does it have to be an elite squad anyway?There are plenty of soldiers in modern warfare,so why are they there just in passing?Also,there were levels in original that were about british commandos,and those were also quite playable on the hardest difficulty.You just had to play them more carefully,instead of rushing in the middle of the enemy,and then covering behind some wall while your health goes up again.

              Also,modern warfare tries too much to pull on the emotional strings,and fails almost every time(the nuke explosion being probably the only part that works).Original,however,did it much better with its stalingrad level.Heck,even the beginning,with the paradrops was also very well executed.It just paints the chaos of war much better.

              1. KremlinLaptop says:

                To my mind the originals presented the chaos and madness of war in a neutral, detached manner, mostly without comment in set pieces like the air-drop, the Stalingrad mission, etc. These moments did a good job of making the player feel like one soldier among many, instead of a supercharged one man army like you were used to in so many other shooters at the time.

                The nuclear explosion was a turning point, it did still retain some of the idea behind the original moments like this but played far more heavily on shock value. Then MW2 came around with ‘No Russian’ which was an unashamed emotional gut punch calculated to stir up controversy and garner attention and MW3 with the car bomb taking out the family might as well be jumping up and down going, “Look at me! I’m so SHOCKING.”

                In fairness what I wanted from a shooter set during modern times would be more along the lines of Generation Kill than what MW is, so it’s just not to my tastes.

       Some scenes from Generation Kill if you’ve not seen the mini-series. Obviously the series is a bit biased, based on the book by a Rolling Stone writer, but good nonetheless. Book’s worth reading too.

    4. Thomas says:

      I think if they were planning to kill every man because they didn’t actually know what Brugen looked like/didn’t want to risk missing him then killing all the women too is easier. Cover stories are fine if no-ones left alive to know the truth

  32. guy says:

    2:42: Malik had some really interesting adventures in Hengsha at some point. Apparently involving copious quantities of booze and good-looking men, if I’m reading the implications of her previous dialogue right.

    6:12: That is a hilariously over-the-top sign-countersign set.

    8:57: Man, yeah, the bits where Jensen forgets what setting he is in are kind of painful

    11:30: I dunno, you have to consider the following: Firstly, this isn’t a terribly democratic region and none of the people in the building have any kind of pull. Secondly, this is not going to make the news watched by people who both care and can do anything about it, because Eliza will not permit it to be broadcast. Thirdly, it’s make-or-break time for the conspiracy. Within the week they’ll probably be masters of the world or on trial for crimes against humanity.

    15:00: They want this guy dead. He knows too much, and if they arrested him and he shouted incriminating evidence about neural hubs or a certain biochip before they downed him they could be in serious trouble. For that matter, everyone who is in the hotel potentially also knows too much.

    18:54: Van Bruggan and the Triads/Harvesters, probably.

    As a more general note, the conspiracy has kind of kicked into massive overdrive as of the prologue. I mean, they sent Belltower black ops in a direct attack on Sarif Industries already. And they covered that up with relatively little difficulty.

    1. Thomas says:

      I never thought about that before, I mean yeah I guess they’ve already orchestrated a lot of attacks. Subtlety is out the window and they can basically choose to blame it on you or terrorists. Considering everyone is either dead or a soldier that wouldn’t be hard. I can’t remember but there might be newspapers/TV reports or something you see when you return that shows what they did to cover it up

      Still I think the moment is jarring. Shamus is right, they needed to add one subtle clue, a personal following you who you catch a glimpse of just once (with a 1/1000 chance to actually take that person out) when you’re wandering round the hive or going to the towers. Maybe the receptionist or a guard in the lobby could have made a suspicious phone call, and it would have felt much better.

  33. MatthewH says:

    On the motion capture things, being someone who can’t talk if he’s tied to a chair, all the motion doesn’t bother me -and Malik is agitated enough for it to be taken up to 8 or 9.

    What bugged me was that David Sarif does this thing with his right hand -actually, he does two things. The first is the cradled across the chest holding the elbow of his left arm thing, and the second is touch the right hand to his forehead, look right, flick wrist thing. And I had associated both of those actions as David Sarif non-verbal tics (I even went so far as to wonder if the touching head thing was a tell for when he was evading an answer, since it allows him to conveniently break eye contact). I associate the arms-crossed-hip-shrug thing with Adam.

    Then I saw someone else do both of those “Sarif” actions.

    And I remembered -oh right, going through the motions.

  34. The_Unforgiven says:

    I’d like to say that I was able to give him a different weapon. When I went to him, I had the choice to give him my pistol, my shotgun, or my SMG. I gave him my shotgun.

  35. Kelly says:

    So Shamus, putting aside good games for a moment, have you been reading any of the Mass Effect 3 leaked spoilers?

    Because you probably shouldn’t. They would drive you to drink.

    The endings are literally the endings of Deus Ex 1. Not even kidding.

    1. Lord of Rapture says:

      What? Seriously? No. They wouldn’t. Not with Human Revolution this strong in people’s minds. No. I don’t like Bioware at all, and I still refuse to believe this.

      1. Kelly says:

        The endings according to what I’ve read are:

        One where you destroy the reapers for good but also the Mass Effect relays, beating the baddies but also crippling society, aka the Tracer Tong ending. The 2nd is where you warp the reapers into dark space again for 50,000 years, hoping that things will eventually get better, kind of like the Morgan ending. And one where you fuse with the reaper core and take them over, ala the Helio endings.

        1. Irridium says:

          Huh. The ending I read involved a magical macguffin that made everything better. More or less.

          Or perhaps that’s just another ending that’s floating around.

    2. Even says:

      And then there’s this

      I’m growing day by day more glad for deciding not to bother with this game.

  36. Mormegil says:

    One point in defence of this whole sequence – it handles violence against children in a subtle way.

    You can see that there are kids in the pods when you are wandering around at the start. Then it tells you that Belltower have killed everybody and lets you draw your own conclusions about what happened to the children. I worked it out and then stopped using non lethal weapons for the first time in the game (one of only two occasions I went lethal, you can probably guess the other).

    Compare and contrast this with the Mass Effect 3 demo where the kid says “sorry lady, not going with you, I’m just going to fly into the vaporising beam of death just in case you weren’t already mad about your home planet being invaded”

  37. Bryan says:

    Like I said earlier, the actions of the illuminati don’t really make sense in this game. Though I was wrong about Hugh Darrow, his motivations do make more sense than I thought.

  38. Sanguine says:

    If you read Narhari Kahn’s emails in his office in TYM tower, then it becomes apparent that Belltower’s intel on Windmill is “He’s somewhere in the Alice Garden Pods and has been receiving support from the Triads.”
    They should logically know what he looks like, but they might reasonably assume that if they turn up at the front desk and ask which room he’s in/start conducting a full search, that he’ll be tipped off immediately (if the place is affiliated with the triads who are supporting him)

    1. Mr Guy says:

      Even simpler answer. Van Bruggen is a computer hacker who knows his way around video equipment. Why wouldn’t you assume he’s placed a surveillance camera in the lobby (or hacked into one that’s already there)?

  39. Vipermagi says:

    This is where I stopped playing the game; right beside that turret Josh tossed about, too. Interested to see what I’ve misseed, and glad I don’t have to shoot all the dudes that require shooting.

  40. Johan says:

    Weird, I couldn’t offer him any weapons

    Although I had the peps and the prod, so maybe he won’t take non-lethal options

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