Eidos Outsourced Those Deux Ex: HR Boss Fights

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sravankb:
- There are four boss fights in Deus EX: HR, each ranging from anywhere between 1-5 minutes.

- Total amount of time spent for boss fights = 20 minutes, max.

- The game lasts for about 25 - 40 hours. Let's say 20 hours.

- The boss fights amount to 1.67% of the entire game, worst case scenario.

- Now here's the best part - people are complaining about it. Not criticizing, not pointing out a flaw, we're talking about full-on bitching here.

That's what the internet is for. Porn and bitching.

I'm not certain what "Eidos Montreal was overseeing his work" really means in this context. If they didn't have the time and resources to put the boss fights under their own roof, am I really supposed to believe that the crew behind whatever scant work-hours and resources were left for this "oversight" had the authority to make a decision as big as "you've completely missed the point, this doesn't work at all, start again"?

And, yeah, it sounds like that was a mistake on Eidos' part, but at the same time it sounds like the group responsible for the boss fights didn't really even bother to do the leg-work to gain the understanding of what Deus Ex was like, or supposed to be like, as an overall experience. And what I'm hearing repeatedly is that for any player whose character wasn't designed with battle in mind, they out-and-out failed.

How much oversight could Eidos have actually employed, that Grip so failed to grasp the context of these sequences? Seriously, I'd like to know.

Saucycardog:
I don't know about that. The boss fights are easy if you know the cheap strategies to defeat them.

The third boss didnīt even manage a single step. I just took out that grenade launcher tong gave me and shot him three times. Done and done. Good thing I didnīt have chance to sell the thing at that point. But even if I had the boss fights wouldīve still been easy as hell. Thereīs always a bunch of guns lying around and all three of bosses can be defeated with a couple of headshots from the Handgun. I really donīt know what the big deal is there.

What bothers me a lot more is how utterly boring they were as characters.

I like how he's all "Lets try with the machine gun! lets try with the shotgun" At no point did anyone say "lets try as a stealthy non lethal type!"

Seriously? That's a bad idea covered in Bad Idea Sauce.
But they weren't hard fights. At all. Even on Hard, and even as a Pacifist.

Yeah, not really this guy's fault. I am now more annoyed with Eidos Montreal for outsourcing the boss fights. To echo everyone else in the thread, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Lovingly craft a complex gameplay experience that is heavily dependent on atmosphere, pacing, and choice and then hand the climaxes off to a self described "shooter guy" outside the company. That makes so much sense.

Heres the thing: Boss Fights in DX:HR were not bad. Not really. They were like Mayo on Milk Chocolate. Not bad in and of itself, you could have a variety of opinions on it, but fundamentally it was a terrible fit. Boss battles are there to contextualize gameplay, provideing major high points in both skills and narrative. Outsourcing seems to make sense: Get people better with shooter mechanics to provide a shooting encounter. The problem was that while pushing players outside there character builds bubble is all well and good (a combatitive build has to hack every now and then and that just provides variety, its fine to make a stealthy character be forced into a firefight) when its not handled by people with an understanding of the rest of the game, it feels too out of place. The encounters don't feel rooted in the game itself and feel like they marginalize choice the players made rather then simply being a consequence of certain build choices. THey didn't set the pace for the game, they were a part of a different game that ruined the flow.

One thing I must commend them on is how despite complaints, a person with no combat ability CAN defeat the bosses without too much difficulty. I had nothing but Stealth and hacking and only non-lethal weapons in my inventory and the bosses were challenging but do-able.

Also, it is interesting how a tiny fraction of gameplay gets so much attention , but realistically, Bosses are memorable, peak experiences, and carry weight not in proportion to time. There's high and low points in all media.

The boss fights ruined the game for me. I don't care what anyone says. This guy fucked up by designing them so terribly, and Eidos fucked up for not actually thinking about what they were receiving from him.

This doesn't surprise me, although I think someone mentioned this before. Eidos did its part by not providing the bosses with ANY characterization, while this guy and his company did its part by making terrible boss fights. Then Eidos went and managed to miss the whole point of what a game about "options" is supposed to be.

Oh, and I was trying for a no-kill run. Then the boss fights happened, and I'm the complete opposite of what I'm trying to be. Way to go, morons.

Nicolaus99:
This sounds like a job for the Spanish Inquisition!

Well, I didn't expect somebody mentioning the Spanish Inquisition.

sravankb:
- Now here's the best part - people are complaining about it. Not criticizing, not pointing out a flaw, we're talking about full-on bitching here.

Well, when the rest of the game is great and pretty much lives up to its promise of playing the way you want to play, it kind of leaves a bad taste in one's mouth when they're forced to start blasting away at completely arbitrary bosses. They may take up only 2% of the game, but it's quality over quantity, and their quality isn't really that great.

Feylynn:
Well then I thank that guy, I really enjoyed the boss fights.
They were a lot of fun and they were completely in design for me, sometimes pacifist stealth types are forced into situations they can't complete.
Adapt and survive.

Any other game has a challenge for all archetypes, the fire mage has trouble with dragons, the normal type has trouble with ghosts, the stealth hacker has trouble with direct confrontation, the guns blazing guy has trouble with delicate situations and being surrounded by many bullets.
Not all battle is fair, not all men control when they fight and die.

It's perfectly within your capabilities as a role player to pronounce Science Jensen permanently dead at the first boss fight and his story unexplored if it's more believable to you.

I don't think that quite holds up. If a part of the story of the game was "you have to get your hands dirty, sometimes. Death is unavoidable." whatever, then yeah, you'd have a point. Even a pacifist must be challenged in their views.

But, see, that's not really the case. The game touts choice in many styles of play, including a complete pacifist run, and yet we're just dumped in a room with a guy wielding a rocket launcher and chain gun. We're given absolutely no background on the boss characters, they're just grunts who are locked in the same room as you who fire on sight. Take them out of the game, and you lose very little in terms of story, gameplay, etc...

If you went through the game as combat, you'd have no trouble going through the bosses because that's exactly what they were designed for, straight up combat. There are few, if any, situations where going in guns blazing would be difficult as it's just another way to play it.

Overall, though, they just feel out of place. There's no way to beat the bosses except disposing lead in them. You can't hack turrets to be on your side, you can't incapacitate (not kill) him with gas grenades, you can't be sneak up behind him and pop some caps in him. He tosses grenades left and right and unloads his machine gun in your face. It's just not that great of a boss fight, at least in my opinion. If it was really "adapt and survive", we'd be able to adapt to the situation no matter our initial play style and solve the situation our way.

Ldude893:

Nicolaus99:
This sounds like a job for the Spanish Inquisition!

Well, I didn't expect somebody mentioning the Spanish Inquisition.


That was a trap, wasn't it? But I can't leave a reference/joke unfinished.

Earnest Cavalli:
"We've finally figured out why the boss fights suck! It was this guy! He did it!" the collective says, likely while rattling sabers, or gathering pitchforks.

Hey, let's be fair now, Nex. We're not rattling any sabres... We're sharpening them.

I thought they were supposed to be mysterious. After all, the only thing you know about them for a large percentage of the game is that they're some kind of mercenaries. You have no idea who they work for or why that person/group wanted to attack Sarif. I don't need to know their personal motivations or that Johnny has a family and that's why he's doing this type of work. It's not important. It makes sense. They're just doing their jobs, a small part of which is stopping Sarif's attack dog.

I also agree with the guy above who said that hey even a stealthy pacifist character is going to run into a barrier that he just can't pass normally and has to adapt and change his strategies. Well done, sir.

Why on earth would any development studio hand off what's supposed to be the climax of their game to an out-of-company third party to develop? I blame Eidos/Square/whoever made this decision. It's one of the most appallingly stupid moves I have ever heard of.

And the committee who didn't immediately stare slack-jawed at the moron who proposed this idea should be fired.

double post again.

pretty much the reason why i dint buy this game. if you are forced to fight bosses when you want to use stealth, this is sure the wrong move. i rather play splinter cell for this. at least you can kill some one if you want to.
if i want boss battles, i play either serious sam, or even hard reset.

Jumplion:
*snip*

I don't think that quite holds up. If a part of the story of the game was "you have to get your hands dirty, sometimes. Death is unavoidable." whatever, then yeah, you'd have a point. Even a pacifist must be challenged in their views.

But, see, that's not really the case. The game touts choice in many styles of play, including a complete pacifist run, and yet we're just dumped in a room with a guy wielding a rocket launcher and chain gun. We're given absolutely no background on the boss characters, they're just grunts who are locked in the same room as you who fire on sight. Take them out of the game, and you lose very little in terms of story, gameplay, etc...

If you went through the game as combat, you'd have no trouble going through the bosses because that's exactly what they were designed for, straight up combat. There are few, if any, situations where going in guns blazing would be difficult as it's just another way to play it.

Overall, though, they just feel out of place. There's no way to beat the bosses except disposing lead in them. You can't hack turrets to be on your side, you can't incapacitate (not kill) him with gas grenades, you can't be sneak up behind him and pop some caps in him. He tosses grenades left and right and unloads his machine gun in your face. It's just not that great of a boss fight, at least in my opinion. If it was really "adapt and survive", we'd be able to adapt to the situation no matter our initial play style and solve the situation our way.

That's fair enough, I guess I'm at a sort of bias point where I wasn't dedicated to pacifist Jensen, I was more Grim Specter Jensen. For the first boss I had no weapons sure enough but as the game progressed I devolved to cloak, silenced pistol, headshot, headshot, headshot, decloak in cover.
Point being though, I really enjoyed the change of pace from more of a puzzleish "Which guy to take out to dismantle this room without alerting anyone" to ridiculous "One wrong step and you're dead action duel".
I'm probably just overreacting to a perceived overreaction since this is the only 'flaw' anyone ever talks about and I can't see it the same way.

The flaws I'd more commonly note are the significant lack of being as good as Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines (bias here) and another three mission hubs.

Adam Jensen:
Eidos is still responsible. I didn't mind the boos fights. I mind the fact that I don't know anything about those bosses. If they were more fleshed out characters I wouldn't care much for the actual fights. The lack of characterization of boss characters is my main gripe. Still, an option to not kill them would have been nice as well.

I agree with this man. Sure, I think it is lame you HAVE to kill 'em. But it didn't bother me too horrid, and I could easily accept an idea like that which was stated by someone else on here, that perhaps there are just some situations that are kill or be killed. A lame excuse, but one that I can live with.
What bothered me is that the boss characters were so... random. I mean, I guess I could kinda see why the first boss tried to kill you. You threw a wrench in their plans and had been a royal buttload of trouble. You even tailed them all the way home. Sure they'd want to kill you, clean up loose ends, and get rid of a thorn in their sides.
But as for the others... I couldn't help but feel like it didn't make sense. But what bothered me more than the illogical waste of resources that the boss fights felt like, was that it wouldn't have been that hard to find a way explain why it was so. But they didn't.
Really, the only thing that made it not seem too bad was simply that, having read the book released with the game, I was already familiar with all the characters. If I hadn't read the book though... I'd have been completely lost.
But especially knowing the characters in the book, it felt like the game just weakly presented shadows of characters that were far more interesting in the books.

While some of the boss fights were really hard at first, frustrating even in one case, that was only until I learned how to defeat them. Then they all got ridiculously easy. First boss killed me once, second try beat him in under three seconds. Second boss killed me several times until I got it figured. She also died fast, under 10 seconds (took a moment to lure her next to the generator. Third boss didn't last two seconds. Final boss took a bit, mostly because I was confused as heck about what I was supposed to do.

I just wish that, if they were going to force me to kill them, they would at least give me a good reason to want to.

David Bray:
DLC is needed to fix this

It had better be free, be damned if I will pay to fix a game if it was shipped broken. That's extortion.

It seems like Eidos hanged this guy out to dry. They had oversight, they could have stepped in and said we don't like the way you are doing this.

I just remembered - Eidos are the same people that got Jeff Gerstmann fired over his review of Kane and Lynch over at Gamespot.

While I don't personally think the boss battles are all that bad, it just seems like these shitheads never want to take the blame for anything.

Ok, while i detest the boss fights and IMO they are not well designed or balanced, i blame Eidos, not this guy. WTF were they thinking outsourcing a part of their game? did they just not give a rats ass?

This guy did what he was hired to do. ALL of the blame rests on Eidos, period, for outsourcing them in the first place and supervising them about as effectively as a bunch of drunk baboons. It was their game, their call, their design decision. Whether or not they hired someone else to do the work doesn't matter if they saw what was happening and threw it in anyway, they may as well have done it themselves.

008Zulu:

David Bray:
DLC is needed to fix this

It had better be free, be damned if I will pay to fix a game if it was shipped broken. That's extortion.

It seems like Eidos hanged this guy out to dry. They had oversight, they could have stepped in and said we don't like the way you are doing this.

I think we're getting a little overdramatic here. Just because part of the game sucked does not mean it was 'broken'. It just sucked.

Shycte:

sravankb:

- Now here's the best part - people are complaining about it. Not criticizing, not pointing out a flaw, we're talking about full-on bitching here.

Yep

I really don't understand the distinction, even after checking the dictionary definitions. As a consumer you're unlikely to be pleased with a fault so if you indicate a one (criticize) the implication of your dissatisfaction is a given (complaint).

Anywho - semantics, and my quite possible ignorance, aside. I was up shite creek without a paddle during the first boss fight, I'd poured all my points into hacking and stealth, all my weapon upgrades into the tranq rifle, only to face a walking tank with a machine gun arm and infinite grenades. A possible game breaker. Once that, particularly irritating, re-start heavy, lesson was learned I understood that game was forcing me to change my build, and therefore, my play style - there was a 13 level investment in subdermal plating, recoil reduction and carry capacity for the lethal additions to my arsenal. On top of that I had to drop most of my upgrades into my new selection of lethal weapons - again altering my non lethal effectiveness.

As Yahtzee put it, in a game where you're supposed to be able to play however you like, injecting portions where you have no option to go toe to toe, guns blazing, is a betrayal by the game devs. If the game was a FPS the boss battles wouldn't have been an issue but during a pacifist run in a stealth game? That's a different story.

sravankb:
- There are four boss fights in Deus EX: HR, each ranging from anywhere between 1-5 minutes.

- Total amount of time spent for boss fights = 20 minutes, max.

- The game lasts for about 25 - 40 hours. Let's say 20 hours.

- The boss fights amount to 1.67% of the entire game, worst case scenario.

- Now here's the best part - people are complaining about it. Not criticizing, not pointing out a flaw, we're talking about full-on bitching here.

well welcome to gaming culture full of nerds who dammed games reach the level of "hand crafted by jeaues" where even the slighest spot of dirt on the game is a crime aganist humanity. honsetly i yet to play it myself so for all i know they won't be as bad as every says they are.

Saucycardog:
I don't know about that. The boss fights are easy if you know the cheap strategies to defeat them.

The problem was that nothing In-game hinted at these cheap strategies. Nothing you learned in thee previous level hinted at the cheap strategies. The average gamer will go in there and get overwhelmed with no clues whatsoever. So you just die until you get lucky and find out that you can toss the barrels ( no clue that barrels are movable until this) at the first dude or go online and read a strat.

David Bray:
DLC is needed to fix this

Agreed!

Eh, they were obnoxious and didn't really contribute shit to the story, but I don't bin an entire game because of one small element (and really, these are insignificant elements in the grand scheme of the game).

Though this does explain the jarring shift in tone (and quality) for each of those encounters.

EDIT:

Dendio:

The problem was that nothing In-game hinted at these cheap strategies. Nothing you learned in thee previous level hinted at the cheap strategies. The average gamer will go in there and get overwhelmed with no clues whatsoever. So you just die until you get lucky and find out that you can toss the barrels ( no clue that barrels are movable until this) at the first dude or go online and read a strat.

Is it really too much to ask the average gamer to experiment even a LITTLE? Are they really that retarded now? I could go on an "old man rant" about how games used to give you table scraps for clues, but I'll spare everyone that mess.

In the first two boss fights (and the fourth), the solution is practically handed to you.
1) Gee, I wonder why he's standing next to an explosive barrel, or why they're spread across the room? NEVER SEEN DAT IN A SHOOTER BEFORE.
2) The other "entity" in the room flat out gives you the hints as you fight.

3) Ok, this one actually isn't obvious, but by this point you should have a huge pool of resources with which to attack him. Failing that, Gas Grenades and the Laser Rifle kept in one of the containers will end him easily on any difficulty (it passes through the glass).

4) Same as #3 if you have it. Otherwise, they literally just HAND YOU a loaded Plasma Rifle (and heavy rifle rounds) at the proverbial boss doors. It's not hard to figure out where to go from there.

I think the issue here isn't that the boss fights themselves were bad. I had a combat-ready character and found them a little dull, but they weren't the issue. The issue was that combat was the only solution. Pretty much every other part of the game let you make use of several different tactics (sneaking, cloaking, hacking, alternate paths, et cetera) for a given problem. Bosses you had to fight. You couldn't sneak around them, you couldn't hack their augmentations, the best a non-combat character could do was throw things at the first boss, electrocute the second boss, and... well, you had to fight the third one.

I don't think the design decision to force combat was made purely by this third party developer. Eidos Montreal had to have some input on this, and almost certainly had to at least approve the idea to make bosses combat-only problems. They also certainly made the decision to contract the development of the bosses to this studio that one can plainly tell is used to doing combat work.

The other issue with the bosses, that Yahtzee and others have brought up, is the lack of characterization, but that's also squarely on EM's shoulders.

Dr. Paul should have been better informed/looked into the fact that the game was supposed to give you multiple options to complete it. Eidos shouldn't have outsourced the game's content in the first place if they wanted to keep a consistent feel. There, that's done.

At least now we have a concrete reason the boss fights felt so out of place, and the characters had no weight.

sravankb:
- There are four boss fights in Deus EX: HR, each ranging from anywhere between 1-5 minutes.

- Total amount of time spent for boss fights = 20 minutes, max.

- The game lasts for about 25 - 40 hours. Let's say 20 hours.

- The boss fights amount to 1.67% of the entire game, worst case scenario.

- Now here's the best part - people are complaining about it. Not criticizing, not pointing out a flaw, we're talking about full-on bitching here.

Interesting point. I wonder if people liked the game so much they got more angry that just one flaw was holding it back from greatness.

The problem with the boss fights isn't the boss fights themselves; they're not stellar but they're sure not worthy of the hate they've been getting.

The problem with the boss fights is that they don't fit in the context of the game. Deus Ex makes a big deal about there being multiple ways to get past every obstacle. The boss fights are the glowing exception to this rule. I don't see how this is the fault of the outsourcing company; it sounds like they delivered exactly what was asked of them.

Yes, it's stupid that Eidos outsourced the boss battles. It's stupid that they apparently approved of what was delivered.
That's not saying this guy didn't fuck up enormously though. Maybe I'm being silly here, but if I was given a job to create a part of a game, which is the third in a franchise, and I didn't know much about it, I'd make it my business to play the other games in said franchise before doing anything so that I knew what the hell I was working on.

Kojiro ftt:
Eidos is still responsible. These guys just did what they were told. Just like all the other bazillion contracts put out with software every day.

Yeah, what he said.

All I did for the first boss fight was grab a fire extinguisher throw unload guns and rinse wash repeat, but, for shits and giggles.
image
What was I thinking this is some:
image

Outsourcing the boss fights just seems odd. Isn't that as close to outsourcing an ending as you can get, without actually outsourcing the ending? What a bizarre decision.

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