Deus Ex Human Revolution EP39:Plot Rocket

  By Shamus   Mar 20, 2012   193 comments


Link (YouTube)

So, as far as we can tell, Megan lives in the pure white room, which is directly between the naked muscle man room and the launch pad with the space rocket. Does she even have a bathroom? What does she do on the weekends?

I can just picture what life must be like here: She and Namir are having a fiery argument. Namir is naked, trashing the room because he can’t find his penis and he just knows she moved it again. She’s always doing that. Moving his things. Then their shouting stops. A handful of guys in red and black body armor shuffle through on the way to the helipad. They’re embarassed to walk in on the couple like this, but this room is the only way to the spaceport. They’re in a hurry, because Bob has to go to the bathroom and the nearest one is on the mainland. He’s going to have to use the rocket if he wants to make it in time.

Back in my Human Revolution first impressions post, some people were a little amused or confused that I decided to share this screen shot:

deusexhr_mopbucket.jpg

I mean, it’s a mop bucket, right? What the hell?

But what I loved wasn’t the mop bucket itself, but the line of reasoning that put it there. Someone was designing the Sarif facilities, and they tried to think of the building as a real place. Where do people work? How do they move around the building? Where do they eat? What kind of items would you expect to find in an office?

This is a long way from the room/hallway/room approach that most games give us, where rooms are nothing more than a place to have combat encounters and follow no other logic, reason, or pattern.

The game has gradually been moving away from the sensible, detailed, and interesting spaces we saw at the start of the game and degrading into generic FPS encounter space. This area where Megan’s conversation takes place is a notable example of this ongoing damage to the verisimilitude of the world.

And yes, I think Chris nailed it: It feels like they ran out of time / money here at the end.


A Hundred!2020202013I bet you won't even read all 193 comments before leaving your own.


  1. Brandon says:

    I have to admit, I was really unsatisfied with this part of the game.

    You go through all of this effort to sneak into this super secret facility, Malik dies (in my case, anyways) to get you this far, and there is very little reward for the player. The scientists don’t really want your help, you have to convince all of them, and Megan has just flat out betrayed you.

    I want an option where Jensen says “Screw it, Megan left me, I’m just going to stay here in Detroit and marry Malik, rather than continuing on this insanely dangerous and rather useless effort of uncovering this ridiculous conspiracy.”

    Or something? I don’t know. I think the ending sequences of this game could have and should have been done so much better.

    • Tim Van den Langenbergh says:

      But if AJ would settle with Malik (or Prit, if you’re so inclined), the innocent player who doesn’t know any better wouldn’t get to see the rest of the game, in which so~ much effort was put. You couldn’t do such a horrible thing to those poor innocent, stupid players, could you?

      Anyway, I think the trope that pertains to this post is called Just eat Gilligan.

    • Luhrsen says:

      This is when my brother looked at her room and said, “She betrayed me!” And I told him it couldn’t be like that. Obviously the real badguys were keeping her in a nicely appointed office to get the most productivity out of their most important prisoner. It’s not unheard of. Certainly the game designers after going this far subverting expectations wouldn’t pull out that tired old trope…

      And then the ending bonus scene that invalidates the game as a whole: So not only could she have been tempted away from Sarif willingly, along with at least a couple of these scientists, without any need for the extensive destruction and death; but she apparently also rebetrays(?) all the scientists and Malik into enemy hands, making your actions except for pushing the ‘end game’ button pointless. :(

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      They do want to be rescued.That one lady that says she doesnt,is just frustrated that she has been waiting for months for help to come.You have to convince them,however,to help you get in the part of the base where megan is.

      • Luhrsen says:

        Yes but only because of the kidnapping. It definitely sounds like if they had offered something called ‘money’ most of them would have gone readily. Except for one or two. One of which they killed anyway making his kiddnapping double pointless.

        Edit: It just seems like they only put in the kiddnapping so there would be an excuse to give you a combat tutorial at the very beginning and they didn’t think about how it tied in to the rest of the story.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But the kidnapping wasnt so they could snatch some scientists,it was to stop megan from giving her patient x research to the world,and to potentially grab it for themselves.Few extra scientists were just a bonus.

          • Luhrsen says:

            Which again they could have done by sending her an email saying, “Come work for us we will give you a billion dollars and no government oversite to do what you want” without kiddnapping her first.

            It’s like they didn’t even consider a non violent solution.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              That is a bit moot.We dont know if she ever had such an offer.And she does seem loyal to sarif,to a degree.

              • Thomas says:

                It’d be easy enough to take the interpretation that she did have that offer. She seemed even during the attack more in control than she should have been. We know Sarif is on his guard, he has trackers installed in Megan. She could have been in on it from the beginning

  2. Abnaxis says:

    What kind of items would you expect to find in an office?

    Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to work in Square-Enix, if the item placement is representative of their corporate office. There is an inordinate amount of booze in the Sarif offices.

  3. Jeff R. says:

    There’s one more shop left. It’s a fairly inexplicably open LIMB clinic…

  4. W.D. Conine says:

    You know, I don’t mind the game going into the abstract about technology. I feel like transhumanism was the topic but technology was the big picture and that conversation was the closing paragraph of an essay, elaborating on the original thesis about transhumanism.

    The only problem is that the essay became incredibly sloppy and gave up on flow by the end. I like the concepts and goals of the conversation but I found it to be so dramatic without any effort at being subtle.

    It also didn’t help that the game had literally put the entire world on the line without any idea of how much time was left, hours or seconds, and then proceeded to shove us into this conversation.

    • FalseProphet says:

      I mind, because it falls into the same lazy argument most anti-technology screeds do. “Oh, all the technology that was invented before last week that I use every day is perfectly awesome, but this brand-new thing is an abomination that will be the ruin of humanity!” No one ever says, “gee, wasn’t it better before hygiene, sterilization and vaccinations prevented 40% of children dying before they were 5?”

      There are arguments against progress with intellectual heft to them (e.g., Heidegger), but this is just another watered-down “beware of golem/Frankenstein’s monster!” story.

  5. Tim Van den Langenbergh says:

    A real nerd would’ve known that the Enterprise self-destruct originated in the third season of the original series, episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”

    Also, did I mishear things or was it Rutskarn who said they might’ve run out of time/money? (Time seems more likely, by the way.)

    Anyway, what I was meaning to say before getting sidetracked, even if the conversation with Megan was interactive, I wouldn’t have been happy without a “I’m dumping you” option.

    This game needs Renegade interrupts.

  6. Vegedus says:

    I always figured they were making some kind of symbolic point with the white room. Not that I know what that symbolism IS (“Megan is as innoscent as snow” doesn’t really fit), but I think it’s there. Like, notice how the color of Jensen, or his hands and weapon, outside the cutscene, is also bled away. I think it’s a more metaphorical white light, than a literally white room.

    • Thomas says:

      I never noticed the hand thing before. That’s very cool, I’m also fine with a piece of work using colour for a purpose rather than just ‘realism’ but I never worked out where they were going with the white. Maybe sterility? Ivory tower? That could be possible, Megan ignoring the consequences of her actions in this high up people far apart from the real world. Or maybe it’s just meant to be white in contrast with the dirty yellow world you’ve lived in. Megan and this is suddenly in a completely different place than you’ve been

  7. Gamer says:

    I agree that this part of the game felt rushed, particularly with regards to plot and motivation.

    Darrow’s motive seemed incredibly petty and really pissed me off. I won the debate and proceeded to try and punch him out anyway (I don’t remember if I was able).

    I was also mad at Megan. I thought Jensen’s reaction to what she was saying was completely justified. In fact, he was downright reasonable with regards to his reaction.

    • AbruptDemise says:

      Yes, Jensen’s reaction was the best part of this end sequence. I was fully expecting him to be completely forgiving of her or something, but Adam just calls his (former?) girlfriend out on working with the people who kidnapped her. Sure, he’s not against her by the time the cutscene’s over, but even then he just seemed like he was moving on to more important things.

      And then rocket to cyborg zombie iceberg station happened.

    • silentStatic says:

      You should be able to punch him out (as with any of the other faction heads). At this point you can do anything to them that you can do to normal civilians. Saving, shooting them, and then reloading was a good stress relief for all the **** they put Adam and the player through.

      • Destrustor says:

        I was in front of sarif, proceeded to save, and then rapidly pressed the circle button numerous times to back out of the menu. I pressed one too many times and knocked him out. It was hilarious.

    • Eric says:

      Darrow is just not a good villain. The motive actually isn’t bad, as far as villains go, but he isn’t given nearly enough setup. Sure, there’s foreshadowing in one or two places and it’s obvious he’s big in some way, but he never comes across as a rival or even remotely relevant to the plot of the game until the last minute. The things that Adam is fighting for aren’t really directly his fault and anything he may or may not have done is kind of rendered moot by his zombie outbreak.

      I don’t really like the ensuing conversation with him either – instead of coming up with an articulate debate touching on all the game’s core themes, we have Adam emotionally bullying an old man and making appeals to popularity. Next to the original Deus Ex, Human Revolution really does come across as grade-school stuff, both in terms of the depth it explores its themes, and the finesse and tact it musters for that end.

      • Thomas says:

        This digs into my theory that the game was quite consciously split into a character tale and an augmentation debate. The augmentation stuff was all completely optional/subtle and was meant to come off from just general actions/sidequests/setting and was resolved as a bonus with the choice at the end. The character storyline was the non-optional stuff and culminates with Darrow and his evil plan.

        But here I’ll agree with you (not about DX:HR being grade school compared to the original, especially since Warren Spectre himself said that he feels the DX world with it’s stupid conspiracies and sunglasses, shadows and long trenchcoats was a bit… immature? itself) they didn’t finish the Darrow line well. The conversation doesn’t feel like any great victory over him, shutting down the Hyron doesn’t feel like an ending.

  8. Xanyr says:

    Can’t wait for the next season (assuming it’s ME 3) it’s been awhile since I saw a game get eviscerated.

    • Piflik says:

      Probably not ME3…I’d assume Skyrim.

      • IFS says:

        I would like to see ME3 next but it is probably too recent. If they do skyrim what race would Reginald Cuftbert be? I’m thinking Orc, or maybe Khajiit.

        • Gamer says:

          High Elf, just to be contrarian.

          Reginald Cuftburt, the High Elf Two-Handed specialist.

        • Shamus says:

          Definitive answer: ME3 is NOT next.

          We’re going to do 1 other full game, THEN Mass Effect 3. We’re eager to cover it, but it really is too soon.

          Trivia: Josh and I are currently working on our final, definitive series play-throughs. For me, I think this will close out the series. I think both of us went FemShep.

          For the curious: In my game Ash is dead, council is dead, charmed the reporter instead of punching, ignored Conrad. (Actually, FORGOT about Conrad.) Anderson is the human council member. Wrex is alive. Didn’t romance anyone.

          Now onto ME2.

          EDIT: You know, I might have considered doing a romance, but my ME2 foreknowledge tells me it will only make that game more infuriating.

          • Xanyr says:

            Thanks for the reply Shamus! Let the wild speculation on the next game commence!

            • Keredis says:

              My vote is for Metal Wolf Chaos. Never ever ever happening. But it would be the best thing ever.

              I’d say “Or something equally ridiculous,” but there is no such thing.

              • Lovecrafter says:

                Even though it isn’t possible, MWC would be awesome.

                Perhaps Borderlands or something similar would be best suited as an interlude between the two big seasons. Lots of opportunities for Josh’s Chaotic Stupid playstyle to run rampant.

          • NihilCredo says:

            Romance Garrus. You won’t regret it.

            • Gruhunchously says:

              …Mumbles?

            • MatthewH says:

              Seconded. While I liked the Thane romance slightly better, the Garrus romance is more natural across the 3 games. Liara is a close second.

              Tali strikes me as vaguely obscene given that you meet her prior to completing her pilgrimage (ie: when she is still technically a child). Liara is young, but at least out of school.

              The downside is that you disallow the Tali-Garrus relationship from the last act of ME3, which I considered one of the high points of my “vanilla paragon” (default Shepard, romance Ashley, all paragon -well, I did accidentally shoot Udina, but I didn’t feel bad afterward) playthrough.

              • krellen says:

                Tali-Shepard can never last. It’s based entirely off her hero-worship and his being a giant creepster.

                • Dude says:

                  Actually, they do horrible things with Tali and the whole Quarian-Geth feud in ME3, retconning/spit-polishing everything that happened in ME2 if you chose the sensible decisions. There is only one point in ME3 where the major decision in Legion’s story from ME2 feels like it’ll actually have a negative consequence for a good-intentioned decision (imagine that! Good intentions going bad!), but it’s swept away under general AI-101 stupidity.

                  ME3 basically goes downhill post-Tuchanka. Except for the Thane bits, and that little shooting contest up on the Presidum with… you’ll see.

                  I really, highly, totally recommend everybody to do one playthrough with your ME1/2 save, and then do another with a pristine 100% paragon, everybody lives through everything (except Kaiden/Ashley) save file from the net; you miss out on a ton of character content, especially from ME2, if you don’t.

                  Also, the From Ashes DLC character is basically Grunt from ME2. And Grunt in ME3 is… well, everything about the Tuchanka missions except the logic is awesome.

                  Also, Mordin sings. You know when.

                  Oh, and the way they handle Conrad Verner is abysmal. Absolutely unforgivable.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    What about talis picture?With asari at least they painted them blue,and gave them tentacles on the head,they didnt make them just humans,with painted nails.

                  • Simon Buchan says:

                    Rannoch is after Tuchanka, and it has what could be the best scene in any Bioware game ever, depending on how you play it (It’s probably too early for me to tell though). In particular, avoiding using charm to magically make things right means things can go *real* bad at the end of that. On that note, I hope the Spoiler Warning run takes some of the more messed up options, I suspect most people didn’t try them.

                  • anaphysik says:

                    What?! Dr. Conrad was one of the most hilarious moments of the game!

              • How do you “accidentally” shoot Udina?
                Isn’t that the kind of thing that everyone would do the moment they got the chance?

                • MatthewH says:

                  Well, I was screaming at the screen “Would somebody please shoot that son of a…” and then the renegade interupt happened and before I knew what had happened Udina had a smoking hole in his chest. But I swear, officer, I didn’t do any other renegade actions.

                  Well, except for the Illusive Man -but they make you do that one.

            • AbruptDemise says:

              You know what romance really deserves the limelight?

              Ashley

              Trust me.

          • Indy says:

            But what did you do to the Rachni? That decision has a HUGE impact on ME3.

            • Shamus says:

              I knew I was forgetting something.

              Yeah, I let her go. That false-binary choice never sat right with me, since clearly the smart option was to leave her caged but alive. Anyone who has spoken the words, “Who are the Rachni?” in the last hour is manifestly unqualified to make decisions regarding the last remaining Rachni.

            • ehlijen says:

              It does? Since when?

              As far as I can tell you get the exact same mission to kill/free the reaper rachni queen in ME3 regardless of whether you set her free or not. Only change is whether there’s a hamfisted explanation about how the reapers jurrassic parked her back to life.

          • Packie says:

            Can you pwease cover Alpha Protocol? *puppy eyes*

            I assure you the boss fights are more fun in this game! real honest.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            How about sands of time?A linear game would be a nice break,plus its a good game actually.And you have all those sequels to talk about during the playthrough.

          • Gamer says:

            The sad part is that some of your choices don’t matter.

            For example: If you pick Anderson for Councillor, he quits and the job falls on Udina.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      I’m personally hoping it’s not Mass Effect 3 because I still haven’t got a chance to play it, have kept my mind spoiler-free, and I still think there’s a lot of other titles that they can destroy after this relatively tame season.

      My suggestion? The one, the only…the game that many say was the appendix of everything wrong with modern Bioware…Dragon Age 2. I know Mumbles mentioned it in the Assassin’s Creed 2 playthrough, and I’d love to see the Spoiler Warning team tear apart the terrible plot and horrible social commentary (The Traquil Solution, it’s like the Nazis, get it? GET IT?).

      • LunaticFringe says:

        Though I remember them mentioning at the end of the Fallout 3 playthrough Dragon Age was out so maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

      • IFS says:

        I actually liked most of DA2, it did have its problems but it also improved in several areas. I don’t think either of the dragon age games would work for spoiler warning though given their length and amount of dialog.

        • ehlijen says:

          I agree, while DA2 had lot’s of problems steming from trying to appeal to players from different genres it tried to do a few very interesting things:

          By setting the action in just one city and showing how the plot changes that city as it advances they partially avoid the problem that RPG twons tend to mostly consist of static questgivers and meandering filler people. The downside is that it makes the world feel much smaller.

          By setting most quests in familiar areas, they reinforce that it is in fact the same town you keep doing stuff in (though they went too far with excessive recycling of maps).

          And making the plot about a social problem rather than a big bad was a welcome change (and no, it’s not really ‘they’re nazis get it’ as the nazis never oppressed people with the actual power to kill cities with their minds alone). I thought the plot was much more about terrorism than anything else.
          But again, they ruined it by just making you fight the boss of both sides anyway, regardless of which you pick :(

          I think it has many discussion points for a few spoiler warning episodes, but too much mook slaughtering filler to make the season interesting to watch.

          • LunaticFringe says:

            The problem is that the city doesn’t really develop in any meaningful way. Things pretty much stay the same until the end-game (except how people address you). Plot threads are picked up and dropped rapidly, some appear later and make even less sense while others just disappear altogether (only one I can say was pretty successful was the serial killer quest, I thought that was a legitimately interesting development). The ‘renegade/paragon’ morality dichotomy bogs down any attempt to construct an effective social commentary, characters from the first game show up for no reason other then to just be there, many of the companions are incredibly one dimensional, and hilariously bad missteps in plot and dialogue occur all the time (my personal favourite was when, as a mage, Cullen told me that mages ‘aren’t like you and me!’). The social issue would have been interesting if it wasn’t so badly structured and built on a ‘we need a fight here, here, and here’ logic.

            The ‘Tranquil Solution’ isn’t actually the main mage/templar conflict by the way. It’s Anders’ side quest, where the enemies are actually rogue Templars, the game specifically tells you that the mainstream Templars rejected the proposal. Either way, the terrible social commentary of referencing the Final Solution and then inferring that the Templars were going to rape a mage after ‘tranquilizing’ her is so ham-fisted it comes off as as an insult to the audience’s intelligence. “GRRR, Be mad at these guys, they’re Nazi rapists!”

          • IFS says:

            I heard that the writers did not want to have the players fight both bosses regardless but it was forced in by other groups.

    • GiantRaven says:

      I still think Vampire: Bloodlines is the way to go. Even if the bugs would melt Josh’s machine.

      • Deadyawn says:

        That would be awesome. The perfect bug storm. A bug singularity.

        OT: wow josh, you really fucked up that conversation. Just saying.

      • krellen says:

        It would be interesting to see a Spoiler Warning on what is not a recent AAA game.

      • monkeyboy says:

        I have a huge soft spot for this game and still play it occasionally. The writing is good, and the gameplay isn’t that bad. The fan patches cover a lot of sins.

      • Grudgeal says:

        They would have to play malkavian. At least I should hope they would.

        • Raygereio says:

          Reginald Cuftfangs is clearly a Brujah. I don’t know how anyone can think differently.

          Besides playing a Malkavian is only really fun if you do it yourself after at least one playthough; then you can appreciate the fact that a Malk pretty much knows everything and is messing with everyone, player included.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            Yeah, I kinda agree. I mean, I do personally think a Malkavian playthrough is the best one but I don’t think it would work well really well for SW. I could see how the manner of speech could get on some viewers nerves and it could make commenting on stuff slightly difficult at times.

        • Tim Van den Langenbergh says:

          Considering the use of cloak in DEHR, I’d think Nosferatu might also be an option. Especially considering the importance sewers get.

        • NihilCredo says:

          No. Malkavian is designed for people who have already played it with a “regular” clan. New players, and new viewers, will get either very confused or very spoiled.

          But Vampire Bloodlines is indeed a fantastic idea for Spoiler Warning. Just DON’T FORGET THE FANPATCH!

    • droid says:

      I’m hoping one of Octodad or Envirobear.
      Not a whole season but still awesome games.

  9. Exasperation says:

    I would like to point out that Caveman Science Fiction is a thing that exists.

    Also, here are two different re-enactments.

    • Grudgeal says:

      I couldn’t find the rest of that page (only the first one on That Wiki That Shall Not Be Linked). Good to know there were more of them.

      And for the record, I found Darrow’s argument to be completely silly. Even Taggart had an argument against augmentations that was at least halfway sensible by comparison, even if it should be fairly obvious by that point that backing him was just handing the future of an entire branch of science over to the illuminati gift-wrapped.

      Which is not really saying much; the game itself doesn’t seem to know how it wants to treat augmentation. Sarif starts talking about ‘unlocking the potential of our DNA’ when what he’s doing is *sawing off* the pieces coded for by DNA and sticking better machines in there instead. The humanity front starts talking about how ‘less than human’ makes you soulless, when today nobody’s saying that about people with pacemakers, or, heavens forbid, eyeglasses (well, ok, maybe a little about the eyeglasses).

      As for the whole endgame it is, I’m convinced, designed this way intentionally so that blowing up the whole darned platform and all the idiots on it would by then be an all-too tempting prospect to the player and elevate that option from “why would I EVER do this, this makes no sense at all” to “meh, second-most logical outcome to this lunacy”.

      • Thomas says:

        I think you are confusing human speech and thought for cold-blooded rationalism. Your criticisms are valid but I could find exactly these things in almost any movement and in the speech of any person you care to name. The game was right to include them.

        The same with Darrow, Darrow wasn’t presenting an argument. He was presenting the way he’d rationalised his own bitterness and insanity to do horrible dehuman things to everyone else.

        • silentStatic says:

          While not optimal I actually kind of liked how Hugh Darrow turned out to be a twisted bitter old man, throwing a wrench in the plans for the Illuminati, even if what he says could easily come from a JRPG villian .

          One of the problems I had with Hugh Jelly was that despite his importance, we never got to see him souring on augmentations before the very end (yes, I know his missing arm and his bad leg, but), making seem like it came out of left field.
          This also extends to the e-books he is in, where I found his role as pro-augmentations clumsily handled.

      • guy says:

        “The humanity front starts talking about how ‘less than human’ makes you soulless, when today nobody’s saying that about people with pacemakers, or, heavens forbid, eyeglasses ”

        But people are totally saying that about cybernetic limbs today. Those people are also stupid, but they do exist.

        • swimon1 says:

          But they’re also not very fun to listen too.

          I think my major complaint with Hungarian Retribution is that it is themed poorly. In DX1 the choice at the end was really just an opportunity for you to answer the question the game had asked since the start. In Hurried Recreation the final choice is a completely vapid question tangentially related to some of the “self help book” platitudes espoused by some of the characters.

          And can someone tell me how any of Helping Resolution’s mechanics tied in with anything? In DX1 the stealth mechanics tied in with the Icarus sub-plot to make arguments about privacy rights, the levelling system gave you an enormous amount of choice to create a sense of freedom to tie you closer to the discussions of civil-rights. Also while DX1 was about an 18th century like discussion about government foremost and only tangentially related to transhumanism it said more about the subject than Hunger Reduction ever could simply by dividing the levelling mechanics into human experience and technological prowess. By doing so it created a clear dividing line between what any normal human could do and what only transhumans could, the pros and cons of that was mostly implied.

    • swimon1 says:

      Also from the same author: A thinking ape’s critique of transsimianism.

      It seemed fitting, also it’s very good.

  10. Piflik says:

    To be fair, you exit Megan’s room via an elevator, so there should be plenty of other ways to the hangar…

  11. Gamer says:

    I just had a thought. There are several parallels between the reason people hated the endings to Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the endings to Mass Effect 3.

    (Intentionally Vague Psuedo-Spoilers)
    Think about it: Shark-jumping plot, End-o-tron 3000, Ass pull.

    Perhaps, Bioware had a similar budget problem. But EA would almost definitely let them have money since it was guaranteed to move units.

    • Raygereio says:

      Counterpoint:
      Remember the leaked scripts of ME3? Most of it was still a rough draft, but the current endings we got now are pretty much the same as they were in those documents.

      Then again, ME3 was already delayed (it was originally supposed to be a christmas title). Regardless, to me ME3’s ending didn’t feel so much as rushed, as it did as the incoherent, shoddy product of crappy writers.

      • Gamer says:

        I didn’t learn about the leaked scripts until after I played the endings. If that’s true, then I’m disappointed. At least Eidos was willing to admit their faults.

        • Raygereio says:

          It was rather funny how BioWare released a press release stating they might tweak the script a bit after the feedback they got of the leak (said feedback consisting mainly of people complaining about how bad the ending was) and nothing was changed.

          The only major difference between the leak and the finished game that I recall (other then scenes that didn’t make it in the final version) was the motivation for the reapercycle. The one in the leak was actually better then what we got; it’s also really weird considering that the leak-motivation got build up for it in ME2.

    • DirigibleHate says:

      I suspect Mass Effect 3 was a release date problem, between their press releases promising vastly different endings depending on what choices you made throughout three games and their apparent willingness to discuss changes with the, er, protests? Even if EA gives them all the money they need, I doubt such a company would give them all the time they needed.

      • Sumanai says:

        They could’ve stopped talking about providing different endings depending on your actions over the course of the games before January this year. According to what I’ve heard online they kept talking about it and promising various things that ultimately weren’t true, so I’m having trouble sympathising with the people at Bioware. At least with those who handled PR and marketing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      At least human revolution gives you a conclusion,different video and different narration each time.

      • ehlijen says:

        Or even just any narration.

        I still don’t understand how blowing up every system with a ME Relay (which according to the galaxy map includes all the major races’ home systems, ie all the worlds you worked to save in the game) will make the endings any different (remember Arrival, which told us that destroying relays blows up the system it’s in?).

        • Sumanai says:

          Apparently it’s either a “directed explosion” or an “explosion of force that changes things in a controllable manner”. Except that the galaxy map part shows the explosions expanding equally to every direction. And the Normandy seems to be a bit damaged there, at the end.

  12. silentlambda says:

    I agree that the plot gets reeeeally lazy here, but I liked the quiet creepiness of this sequence. Feels really reminiscent of the System Shock games, which is nice, considering that it’s something of a spiritual descendant.

  13. Thomas says:

    I really really liked exactly half the things that went on here. I loved the whiteness, I loved Jensen’s reaction. I loved the sunglasses thing. I loved that you’d spent the game chasing after a princess to realise life doesn’t work like that and things are so much more complicated.

    I like that Jensen hardly reacted to anything in his world, took everything in his stride until right _now_ where he decided everyone else be damned, he was going to do what was right, expose what he really felt.

    I liked the old fashionedness of Megans stuff.

    Later on I’ll intellectually like the character of Darrow and wish they’d spent some time showing us that stuff instead of making us do all the work to empathise.

    But I hate the way Darrow does what he does, it’s no more stupid than conspiracies or mind control but still zombies feels more stupid. I hate the gameplay that the zombies enforce and I hate the way Megan is still telling you stuff towards the end. I would have preferred more interesting happened to the scientists than Megan took them. Also the Zhao thing is fair enough

    EDIT: And the tech thing is normally what this comes down to. DNA, the bomb, GM crops. This is how people talk. Adding a robotic limb is really only another form of technological advance, identical to the invention of the gun and the question is always, should we progress even though we’ve got no idea where we’re going or what we’ll achieve? Or shall we step back and refuse the power we’ve been given. Fire was this same choice

    • Sumanai says:

      Fire was not this same choice. I don’t know if it is by the game’s arguments against it, but it’s not so in the real world. You need to pick a technology, no matter how simple, that is reasonably exclusive so it represents the same widening of the gap between rich and poor.

      Computers and internet access are good examples, as they widen the gap of knowledge between people who have access to them and those who don’t, while being hard to get your hands on in certain places. I’m certain there are older things, it’s just that now I can’t think of anything.

      Writing? Back in the “good” ol’ days paper was hard to come by and books were expensive. Most didn’t even know how to read.

  14. george says:

    The game did seem like it ran out of time, a bit like dragon age (except then they just seemed to leave everything in), but they were so busy testing what worked and what didn’t that they had the barebones of their game layed out (why give credits for the end sequence, sort of seems pointless, and tai young medical is obviously way too long to the next shop), so they just had to ship it like this or else risk bankruptcy.

    Also, Josh being the only one who watches star trek… that seems creepy.

  15. Hal says:

    Um . . . why wasn’t Malik going bananas like everyone else? I’m assuming she would have gotten the “upgrade” like anyone else.

    • Raygereio says:

      No real reason to asume that. Pritchard wasn’t going haywire either. Discounting the theory of her being as genresavy as the player, the excuse could easily be made of her not having had the time to stop by a clinic.

      • Hal says:

        It’s just one of those things I wish had been addressed. The call goes out that “everyone” should get this upgrade. Presumably, Malik would be concerned about the bugs to her augments since they help her to fly that craft. But it’s just assumed that all the people you need to be safe (Malik, Pritchard, Sarif) are just fine and never say a single word about their lack of an upgrade.

        Incidentally, what was the source of the problems in the first place? If it was a ploy by the Illuminati to get people to “upgrade”, then why didn’t they use the “bug” as their weapon in the first place? It’s not mind control, but having that at your fingertips looks like it’d be just as effective.

        • guy says:

          They were broadcasting some disruptive signal via satalite. This was discussed in the opening cutscene.

        • DirigibleHate says:

          Actually, Pritchard does mention that he’s too busy to get to a LIMB clinic when he first tells you the patch is available.

          For that matter, at that time Sarif is on a plane with… Darrow? (Or else in his office with him – I haven’t actually played DE:HR, this is just from what you can see in Spoiler Warning) and Malik is standby to fly Jensen around.

          • Indy says:

            Pritchard said he was busy but that was 6(?) days before the world goes nuts.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Indeed.It could be possible that pritchard was suspicious enough to warn everyone at sarif,but at least it shouldve been addressed.For example,when you start the secret base,a small conversation could go like this:
              – By the way jensen,did you get that upgrade?
              – I did.Why?
              – Well I was poking around a bit,and it seems fishy.I didnt find out exactly how,but Ive warned everyone not to get it.Hope youll be fine before you can come back to get fixed.

          • He also says he’s going to look into it so presumably he’d have to OK it before anyone in Sarif got it. I mean, it’s being rolled out by their competitors, nobody there should have compatible hardware, or at the very least they should be negotiating implementing their own bugfixes.

            If nothing else he must be suspicious that all hardware including Sarif augs are getting these bugs at the same time as everyone else and that only Tai Yong has a patch.

  16. Minor point for conspiracy buffs: during the dialog sequence, Darrow is repeatedly flanked by American flags on both sides. We get several nice views of Darrow in front of the flags.

    If you look closely at the flags, they have a gold fringe.

    One of the weirder strains of conspiracy theory in the US holds that when a court uses gold-fringed flags, it is actually an admiralty court under the law of the sea, not a court of US law. Such courts, supposedly, have no jurisdiction over sovereign US citizens unless the citizen surrenders his rights and consents to the jurisdiction of the court. (Most people are assumed to have consented by virtue of having a drivers license or signing up for social security).

    As the theory goes, if you haven’t consented to the authority of the court, you can’t be judged by it. The government would have to try you before a non-admiralty court, and of course, it doesn’t have those anymore, because they would have to give you a fair trial under the constitution and we can’t have that and so on and so forth. (Don’t try this in real life, the court will eventually grow bored and stop listening).

    Metaphorically, what does that tell us about this sequence?

    Darrow is arguing for his defence. We are judge, jury, and potential executioner. We are judging him for his crime in using his mind-control augments to slaughter thousands of people. But what authority does Jensen, a near-soulless corporate executioner who has in the course of reaching this point in the game almost certainly killed hundreds of people with his own augments, have to judge Darrow? They are guilty of the same crime. Only the scale is different.

    I thought that was a rather nice touch by the developers, and given the prominent placement of the gold-fringed flags, I can’t imagine it wasn’t deliberate.

    • Also, I wanted to add: Jensen and Darrow are not just guilty of the same crime, they have both set themselves outside and above the law.

      • Sumanai says:

        I think “mass murder” and “murder”, since you’re not forced to kill everyone and there’s a general feeling you’re not meant to, aren’t quite the same thing. Even in front of a court.

        • Actually, I was thinking about asking someone who had done a pacifist playthrough whether that scene had anything different about it. Like maybe you can call Darrow on his BS. “I used my implants to accomplish my objectives without hurting or killing people” or something like that. But since I didn’t try a pacifist playthrough I don’t know.

          I think if you haven’t done a pacifist playthrough, though, it’s like the old joke — both Jensen and Darrow know what they are, they’re just dickering about the price they are willing to pay.

    • X2Eliah says:

      ARe the flags really gold-fringed, or is it just an effect of the pervasive gold-filter on the screen that gives everything a gold sheen? Because it would make edges have that effect even when not technically modelled in the texture.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        They are gold lined.

        Thank you for that TriggerFinger,its nice to learn about such subtle touches in this game,even months after its been released.

    • Jarenth says:

      “Don’t try this in real life, the court will eventually grow bored and stop listening”

      I’m going to assume you know this because you tried.

  17. Tony Kebell says:

    (Fat Tony)

    Is my new E-mail working? (Gravatar wise)

    Can’t keep using FatTony@gmail.com, not for job and college couse aplications, setting up new online life.

  18. Marlowe says:

    I hoped the voice of Karras would emerge from the gramaphone horn and the dummy would turn out to be a servant. Alas not.

    • Neko says:

      Praise Karras!

      … and the Builder.

    • Naota says:

      Cybernetics are The Builder’s purification. Blessed are those who are born of the circuit. The flesh is sinful. Woe to those who are born of it.

      Blessed are the metal ones, for they were born of fire, and they alone are sinless.

      A child of flesh is loathsome and ill-tempered. But for what they lack, Darrow has forged a child of metal that is constant, and true. I am that child.

  19. LurkerAbove says:

    I don’t do well with things jumping out at me (Fallout 3 ghouls are awful) so exploring the seemingly empty Pangea was incredibly effective.

    • Sagretti says:

      I have the same problem, and I think I snuck around every single corner trying to avoid being surprised by something. I think it took me like 4 times as long as Josh to get through this section.

  20. Zombie says:

    Is it suppost to fell like a sorta survival horror enviornment when we’re walking through the hallways? Because to me it kind of feels like I just stepped onto a L4D(2) level. Throught that whole section I was waiting for something to pop out of one of the doors and attack Josh. Also, wasn’t Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock? Because if Josh knows the self-destruct code from that movie, he really is the biggest nerd I have ever seen. No offence Josh

  21. GiantRaven says:

    For me the quintessential enemy-free level is Vampire: Bloodlines’ Ocean Hotel sequence. Never has a player felt so terrified and vulnerable yet been so completely safe from harm.

  22. Rayen says:

    problem for me. Megan conversation is supposed to be serious and tense and stuff, and on the news crawl in the back all the lines are nerd jokes. Most noticable one; “pirates sighted near Tortuga.”

    Game, decide on a mood please.

  23. Johan says:

    The rocket shuttle sequence was awful, but I liked the music for it

    Actually, playing it again the rocket sequence would have worked fine in my opinion if the chute had happened and he was lowered softly onto the landing pad where you start the mission, a shot of his getting out of the pod, and then the pod as a static object once you regain control

    It doesn’t fix any of the other problems, but there was nothing inherently wrong with “send hero to arctic via rocket” as a sequence.

    • X2Eliah says:

      Myeah, retty much – it was just a means of getting him across the world fast. But, seriously, what was the point of the crash-sequence? Why did it have to happen, and what possible benefit was there?

      • Because it was Icarian symbology. He flew basically up to space so of course he had to crash land into the ocean.

        The Spoiler Warning guys seem to not notice it but this game is saturated with Icarus allusions whether its necessary or not. That’s the point of all the aug debating – “is humanity flying too close to the sun?” etc.

        Even the vertical progression that goes on – Jensen climbs to the top of TYM (of course the aug companies have towers), then goes to the bottom of the ocean etc. He flies to the top of Picus then goes into the subbasement to find Eliza. This game is always making those allusions.

        • X2Eliah says:

          Okay, that is pretty cool. And it makes some sort of meta-sense.

          • Master Jedi says:

            I don’t know, I think if you have to make a sequence make no sense just for symbolism you are doing it wrong. I mean, why does everything in games and movies have to have some sort of allegory to some ancient story or legend. Come to think of it, wouldn’t Prometheus be a better Greek legend to allude to? I mean he stole fire,aka technology, from the gods and gave it to mortals and was punished for it. so Jensen could be Prometheus, because his body is the key to a more wide acceptance of augments. or something. Whatever, I think that the symbolism would have worked better if the game actually talked about the big augmentation debate more.

            • Sumanai says:

              SYMBOLISM! is basically SCIENCE! except it’s closer to reality, in a sense. In fiction characters use Science! on something, it transforms something into something else, without any real explanation how. A piece of fiction, or its writer, goes Symbolism! and everyone is supposed to, and some do, praise it for it. Never mind if it makes sense.

              That said, I imagine it’s fun to insert symbolism in a story as you’re writing. Which I suspect is the biggest reason why it happens. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong in liking symbolism, but I don’t get why, in some cases, a story gets put on a pedestal for it, and it alone.

  24. MatthewH says:

    It’s probably getting a bit burried down here, but this seemed relevant to the let’s play.

    Wired science on bionic prosthetics.

  25. Winter says:

    So okay, regarding the ending coming from nowhere: this is clearly supposed to be the denouement from all this talk about whether cybernetics/transhumanism is a good idea or not. We can see all of this stuff all over the game, from Neuropozyne druggies and anti-aug gangbabngers to authoritarian personalities salivating at the prospect of electroshocking people until their brains hard reset and can then be reprogrammed–a real thing that the military tried back in the '60s or something, though sources are eluding me at the moment. It's just that, as the crew kept pointing out, this line was never really well established anyway and was clearly abandoned by the main thrust of the story until that story sort of aborted itself to be replaced by what was probably the original intent all along.

    I have a feeling they did the ending first–or at least early on–and then didn't have the cash to change it when they realized they were writing a different story.

    Ultimately, the problem is that in video games you can't really come to your own conclusion about things except independently. Like, the game sort of gives you two really stupid viewpoints and is then like "okay, now draw your own conclusions!"… except you're not allowed to draw your own conclusions in the game itself because that would be impractical. The game doesn't give you the necessary tools to evaluate the decisions you're being asked to make and realistically those decisions don't make a whole lot of sense to begin with. You’re being asked to pick sides between fascists and druggies, and there’s no particular reason for siding with either except that they are really insistent about it. I dunno.

    In other news:

    That story Chris was talking about writing has already been written by the excellent and weird Dresden Codak.

    Interesting to note that the game itself sort of avoids this, as we’re free to reject Darrow’s mental breakdown.

    On the Darrow note, the whole “he’s doing it because he was driven insane because he can’t be augmented and is thus the anti-Jensen” thing is really unnecessary and it harms the argument the game is making about augmentation. Sure, it could be… but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a needless complication. I guess maybe they were worried this guy who basically wasn’t in the game proper at all wouldn’t be seen as having a motivation? I don’t know.

    Anyway, i’d say more but i suspect this thread is already too long for anyone to notice this post.

  26. Packie says:

    Aaaaand this is the part where the game had officially jumped the shark for me.

    Going back to Chris’ previous criticism regarding enemy variation, This part could’ve used more than freaked out zombies. imagine instead of only crazy zombies, you had to fight people with their augmentations going haywire. Like an enemy that’s constantly leaping from wall to wall, random invisibility, or heck hack robots with their minds…

    Okay, that sounded silly and stupid but we could’ve used more variation.

    • X2Eliah says:

      This is a good idea.. Have only the people with neural implants go crazy, and the rest should have severely malfunctioning prosthetics/upgrades. For instance, people with cybernetic legs can’t control where/how they walk, people with arms, er, flail/grab/hit wildly, maybe even themselves (or the leg-guys walking into them), icarus stun-augs firing randomly, invisibility on/off-ing, people with eye implants going blind.

    • Eric says:

      The zombies were dumb, but I think the bigger issue is the presentation. If the camera simply went dark and implied catastrophe, only for Adam to encounter gradually more and more messed up people in the next level, etc. and finally uncovering exactly what was going on and who was responsible, it would have worked better. A little mystery goes a long way. Instead we get “everyone’s going CRAZY!!!!1″ in the most unbelievable and stupid way possible. If they absolutely had to go this route there were plenty of other ways they could have made it work.

      • Sagretti says:

        Not revealing the zombie-crazies would have made the sequence before Darrow all the more unsettling. At that point all you would know is that something has gone wrong, and finding all the bodies and nobody else would be intensely unsettling. Instead, you know what’s coming, you just don’t know when exactly.

        I will say those enemies did freak me out a bit for a while… until I realized they could only melee and couldn’t navigate obstacles, thus making them a living shooting gallery even for my non-lethal character. Hello, bowling with P.E.P.s!

  27. X2Eliah says:

    On a slight tangent.
    Suppose that Jensen does pick up the ‘upgrade’ in Hengsha when the game offers you the chance to. That mens you have the new control chip that’s the cuase of all this insanity. So, when darrow fires his signal, why doesn’t Jensen go mad? He has upgrades all up in his body, and with the control chip, he’d make an absolutely and totally screwed victim, no?

    • Exasperation says:

      They bring this up in the video. Apparently, if you had the “upgrade” Megan fixes your chip when the insanity signal gets sent.

    • Indy says:

      In regards to getting the chip, The cutscene with Zhao and Namir has Zhao press the ‘glitch’ button and Namir kick Jensen around the room. Then the boss fight happens without your HUD working. After you get into Megan’s room, she gives you some form of cure and THEN Darrow makes everyone insane.

      • LunaticFringe says:

        The cure is also based off of nanobots, which I think is meant to infer Megan’s research goes onto to be the precursor to nano-augmentation from the original Deus Ex. That, and the hidden ending where Megan and Bob Page are discussing the beginning of the Gray Death project.

  28. James says:

    Throughout the game I had looked at the Pro-Human faction as well, naïve. I had no problems with their objections, there are good arguments for not using augments, but they were trying to do more than just not use it. They were arguing to make an already widely used technology to be outlawed.

    I call the argument naïve because this idea that once it’s made illegal it’ll go away is the height of foolishness. Not only do you cause the technology to go underground and under the supervision of very unscrupulous individuals, but also the fact that this pro-human ideal would not be universal in the world.

    There is actually a moral argument that goes on in western countries (I’m not gonna say what it is) that is based on our shared cultural history. But in the east this same thing is a complete none issue for most. Witnessing the diffirence can be a little jarring at first, but it’s a good reminder that our ideals are not nessasrly global.

    Anyway, back on topic. So looking at all the Pro-human guys all I could see were people who were trying to close Pandora’s box, which is a waste of time because it’s an empty box now and you can’t just stuff augments back into it. Then Darrow does exactly that! He tries to throw it back in the box.

    So I had to convince him he wasn’t a jrpg villain, and that you can’t actually do that.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “I call the argument naïve because this idea that once it’s made illegal it’ll go away is the height of foolishness. Not only do you cause the technology to go underground and under the supervision of very unscrupulous individuals, but also the fact that this pro-human ideal would not be universal in the world.”

      Humans are like that.Just look what people are trying to ban everywhere:Movies,games,cigarettes,abortions,guns,…And the fact that when someone managed to ban alcohol it became really bad,doesnt seem to even cross their minds.

      • Congroo says:

        Perhaps. The question is, however, what else can they do? Assume you’re pro-human, and want to change/minimize/get rid of the augmentations. How would you approach the problem?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Cant be done.At least not without completely screwing the humanity,like darrow wanted.

          • Congroo says:

            That’s quite a fatalist approach. I’m not going to argue that, though. Too many variables and too little historical data to make a call for me. I think I would at least try to do something, myself.

            However, I will point out it would make for a poor story if every pro-humanist just jumped off a bridge. And I think it’s worth including their point of view just so you can think it over and determine its validity by yourself.

            • Thomas says:

              I think providing you’re willing to create a dictatorship it can be done. At least for quite a while. If augmentation is an expensive process that takes a lot of science knowledge (at least to initially create the things, and to manufacture neuropozyne) then it should be possible to eliminate it or at least severely reduce it with laws and policing.

              However less than that, I’m not sure, you can create scares and stigma but there will always be people willing to push those aside and take the risks to get ahead.

              I think the humanists wouldn’t become depressive though. The vast majority of humanity carefully avoids the implications of a finite existence day-to-day despite it being equally as pointless (those that believe in a finite existence of course :D). It’d be like the way extremists factions know in their heart of hearts they’re never going to stop people doing X but do it anyway. It defines a community and gives you narrative of a struggle. Fighting futilely for something right is seen as something cool by humans

  29. Nick says:

    Never saw that you can go in through the rafters like that – I always dropped into the electicity, robot and mine-filled sewers instead as I couldn’t see any way to go.

    Now I feel vaguely silly.

  30. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,did anyone but me hear the self destruct code in futurama before in star trek?

  31. webrunner says:

    I like how the computer there has white wallpaper to go with the rest of the room… It’s the ONLY computer in the entire game that doesn’t have the same orange wallpaper.

  32. Neil D says:

    What I want to know is, what is the point of having the computer read the secret launch code to you?

  33. Zlan says:

    The guy with the rocket launcher forgot that he wasn’t the soldier. If only you could do that in more games. That would make a lot of games hilariously broken though. If only.

  34. Cahoun says:

    I’m willing to concede that yes, Sarif Industries should have some cleaning supplies. However, there are like 5 janitors in Sarif industries cleaning it when you’re there. Its pretty insane, every other office is having its glass scrubbed. They still need more variety. A step in the right direction, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

  35. Bodyless says:

    When i played the game, i thought the signal Darrow sent only affected panchea. He said he wanted to “show to the world” and so he did when you saw the people go crazy on TV. I dont think he meant to conduct a genocide by turning every second human into a zombie. That would defeat the enitre point of saving the world from augmentation.
    Of course the new bio chips had to be distributed according to the illuminatzies plan, but like the signal Zhao tried to shut you down, this one had a limited range and panchea is probably a long way from the nearest human settlement.

  36. Jarenth says:

    Christ, Josh, you messed up that Darrow conversation something fierce. Almost had me yelling at the screen, because I called that you were making the ‘wrong’ choices.

    Almost.

    • anaphysik says:

      I haven’t even played or seen this part of the game (got meh’d in the middle of Detroit I) and *I* was almost yelling as well. I like how he skipped over the interesting (and presumably good) option that the others were discussing at the time.

      I loved the incinerator, and Josh’s playing normally makes me laugh not groan, but this was just silly.

  37. Even says:

    I never thought Megan as evil. I mean, she does express some regret and a sense of guilt. She just seemed sort of.. distracted? I don’t know the word I’d use to describe her but she came off to me as someone who can really loose herself into her work, putting other concerns aside momentarily. (Possible coping mechanism?) Like she chose to ignore her own inner concerns (especially given that she might not have really had much choice at the time anyway) and rather focused on her work. It’d explain why she was caught so off guard when confronted with literally almost everything she’d ultimately chosen to ignore up until that point.

    I’m probably just diving too deep here, but there’s just a whole load of seeming subtlety going on with the characters if you pay attention, like in the in-game emails. It really is a shame the game cuts the whole Megan plot so short.

  38. Tobias says:

    Chris mentioned wanting some anti-technology caveman. Here are some:
    http://dresdencodak.com/2009/09/22/caveman-science-fiction/

    Oh man that game got downhill pretty fast. It does remind me of FF9 in that matter.

  39. Adam says:

    You know what? I figured out why all of that stuff after the boss battle with Namir feels so rushed and incoherent. All of that would have felt more emotionally-resonant and make the game’s timeline less compressed if they had given Adam a bit of a denouement with Megan. Think about it: things feel less coincidental she and Adam hook up and they happen to be watching TV hours later when Darrow’s super-crazy hack-bomb goes off, Adam and Megan FINALLY get to show off their true feelings for each other, and Zhao has a way of sneaking out. (Well, I could chase after the evil CEO lady who sic’d a squad of mercs on me TWICE, or I could have kinky cyborg sex with my long-lost (ex)girlfriend…)

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