Deus Ex Will Be a "Cyberpunk Movie"

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deathbydeath:
Dear Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, please play Deus Ex 1 and 2. Study them, learn their themes, memorize their quotes and examine their characters. Then and only then will you know what Deus Ex is about, and Deus Ex is not about cyberpunk.

Someone is giving good advice... but holy cow either you don't understand cyberpunk, Deus Ex, or both.

Anywho, as long as Carlyle is writing this thing I'm pretty sure the script will be good. If the movie will actually use that script the way it was written on the other hand is something we will only know once it's done.

Rawbeard:

deathbydeath:
Dear Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, please play Deus Ex 1 and 2. Study them, learn their themes, memorize their quotes and examine their characters. Then and only then will you know what Deus Ex is about, and Deus Ex is not about cyberpunk.

Someone is giving good advice... but holy cow either you don't understand cyberpunk, Deus Ex, or both.

Anywho, as long as Carlyle is writing this thing I'm pretty sure the script will be good. If the movie will actually use that script the way it was written on the other hand is something we will only know once it's done.

Paragraph 1: What What in the butt No, no, this site is worksafe...

Paragraph 2: I'm not ranting on the quality of the script, just that they're missing what Deus Ex is about. I know they're doing something off of Human Revolution, but that worries me even further because not even that knew what Deus Ex was about, at least not thematically.

Sounds like this could be a lot of fun if pulled off correctly. Try and make something that captures the aesthetic and tone right and it shouldn't be -too- bad... ;D

For those who don't believe that a good video game movie can be made I direct you to exhibit A (also our only exhibit):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1891974/

'Ace Attorney' (a Phoenix Wright movie) directed by crazy Japanese man Takashi Miike (better known for 'Audition' and 'Ichi the Killer'). Worth checking out.

deathbydeath:

Andy Chalk:
But they also acknowledged that the cyberpunk genre is a difficult beast in its own right, not only because of infamous failures like Johnny Mnemonic but also because of films like Blade Runner and The Matrix, which Derrickson described as "iconic and insurmountable" even though they aren't really cyberpunk films. They're looking at more "grounded" films like District 9, Looper and Inception as "molds" for Deus Ex, because of their more realistic approach to the genre.

I know I'm posting again, but I don't give a fuck.

You are doing it wrong. Christ, these guys couldn't have missed the point harder if they were aiming in the other goddamn direction. MAKE A DEUS EX FILM, NOT LOOPER, DISTRICT 9, OR INCEPTION!!!

Those fucktards should be sent back to a high school video production class.

At no point does he ever say he's going to just copy those movies. In fact, that's a pretty big conclusion to jump to based on what he said. When he says "mold," I'm pretty sure he just means "I really liked what those movies did. Maybe we can find a bit of inspiration in them."

martyrdrebel27:
Excuse me, but Johnny Pnuemonic was freaking awesome. Mr. Chalk, I challenge you to a duel.

i agree its the first and only time ive ever seen a monofiliment whip used on screen

ill watch this, ill like it.. GIVE ME MORE CYBERPUNK !!!!

Honestly, they may have the right idea. I'm sorry, but half the reason some of the video game movies that have failed have failed so hard is because some meddler, usually one attached to the purse strings, said, "Oh, a [so and so] movie has to have [x]." So a character who gets hand-waved in the game gets scripted in, despite the fact that he looks cute in sixteen-bit graphics but wildly implausible in even a stylized version of reality. Or an otherwise realistic narrative suddenly has to deal with the presence of a game-style power-up. Or a trope that's long since become a cliche in movies gets trotted out again because it was relatively fresh in its native medium.

Did the first-person segment make "Doom" worth watching? Did anyone enjoy the second "Mortal Kombat" movie because they crowbarred in "animalities" (a word which sounds ridiculous enough coming off the lips of the announcer in the game, never mind by professional actors?)

Deus Ex has something a lot of other movies based on games haven't been blessed with: a reasonably coherent plot, setting, characters and history, one that fuses with the real world without jarring obvious surgical scars. That, I hope they keep. I don't need to see my fan-favorite powers in use. I don't need to see the main character scarfing down granola bars while crouched behind a desk to keep his energy up. I don't demand to see every mission or even every significant character transition to the main screen; I'd rather that if the film's creators are competent, they get to display that competence without a huge number of onerous restrictions on where they take it. They chose to make a DX movie; presumably, because they had specific ideas about what they wanted to do with that license.

When all is said and done, it may still suck. But I'd rather it suck because the people who made it weren't as competent as their backers thought than because they were told to make a turkey fly by grafting on helicopter parts.

Adam Jensen:
That's exactly what every other major video game movie did and that's exactly why they all suck. They didn't stick to the source material. They all tried to make something original, ignoring what fans expect. Look at Resident Evil, Hitman and Max Payne for example. They are all just shitty movies with the name of the game slapped on them. And these guys want to do the same? We shouldn't be excited for this news at all, because it's exactly what's wrong with movies that are based on video games.

So no. Your aim shouldn't be to make a good cyberpunk movie. Your aim should be to make a good Deus Ex movie. Making a good cyberpunk movie doesn't mean it's a good Deus Ex movie. However, making a good Deus Ex movie by definition means that it's also a good cyberpunk movie.

So if I am to understand your feelings about how this movie was being made, would it be fair to say that....you didn't ask for this?
:D

OP:Lets hope it goes well and its as cool as the cinematic trailer for Human Revolution.

fozzy360:
Did everybody just blaze on past the point of the quotes?

The point they're making is that they don't want to be restricted into telling the game's plot in a movie form. They're approaching the film from a angle that allows them to make a plot that can fit within a film that takes elements from Dues Ex to construct a film that is essentially Deus Ex. Nowhere have they said that they are going to abandon the roots of the game; they're merely trying to make a film that cribs from Deus Ex without just filming the plot of the game and hoping for the best.

Thank you. Yes.

The way I see it, there are three ways to fuck up a game movie:
1. Just follow the plot of a game, ignoring the fact that most games have terrible, derivative plots.
2. Completely ignore the tone of the game, thus making a movie that betrays the game's atmosphere and unique style.
3. Employ cheapo directors, special effects, and choreography, resulting in a film that can't even come close to matching the ambition, action and visuals of the game.

Deus Ex:HR, at its heart, is a pure cyberpunk story with a somewhat silly plot about corporate/government conspiracy, some neat themes about transhumanism/ambition/hubris, a satire of US political debates (from gun control to health insurance), and some cool gizmos that look good in a fight. The way I see it is that the directors and writers want to avoid the silly conspiracy plot (see point 1.), whilst keeping to the general theme and tone intact (see 2.). Lets hope they don't fuck up the hardest part: 3.

trty00:

deathbydeath:

Andy Chalk:
But they also acknowledged that the cyberpunk genre is a difficult beast in its own right, not only because of infamous failures like Johnny Mnemonic but also because of films like Blade Runner and The Matrix, which Derrickson described as "iconic and insurmountable" even though they aren't really cyberpunk films. They're looking at more "grounded" films like District 9, Looper and Inception as "molds" for Deus Ex, because of their more realistic approach to the genre.

I know I'm posting again, but I don't give a fuck.

You are doing it wrong. Christ, these guys couldn't have missed the point harder if they were aiming in the other goddamn direction. MAKE A DEUS EX FILM, NOT LOOPER, DISTRICT 9, OR INCEPTION!!!

Those fucktards should be sent back to a high school video production class.

At no point does he ever say he's going to just copy those movies. In fact, that's a pretty big conclusion to jump to based on what he said. When he says "mold," I'm pretty sure he just means "I really liked what those movies did. Maybe we can find a bit of inspiration in them."

He's already got a wonderful place to draw from. It's called Deus Ex

I am not hopeful, no I am not.

You know how I am seeing (predicting) this movie? Zero Dark Thirty (anti-terrorist shoot-em up) meets The Matrix (circular philosophical metaphysical debates).

maninahat:

fozzy360:
Did everybody just blaze on past the point of the quotes?

The point they're making is that they don't want to be restricted into telling the game's plot in a movie form. They're approaching the film from a angle that allows them to make a plot that can fit within a film that takes elements from Dues Ex to construct a film that is essentially Deus Ex. Nowhere have they said that they are going to abandon the roots of the game; they're merely trying to make a film that cribs from Deus Ex without just filming the plot of the game and hoping for the best.

Thank you. Yes.

The way I see it, there are three ways to fuck up a game movie:
1. Just follow the plot of a game, ignoring the fact that most games have terrible, derivative plots.
2. Completely ignore the tone of the game, thus making a movie that betrays the game's atmosphere and unique style.
3. Employ cheapo directors, special effects, and choreography, resulting in a film that can't even come close to matching the ambition, action and visuals of the game.

Deus Ex:HR, at its heart, is a pure cyberpunk story with a somewhat silly plot about corporate/government conspiracy, some neat themes about transhumanism/ambition/hubris, a satire of US political debates (from gun control to health insurance), and some cool gizmos that look good in a fight. The way I see it is that the directors and writers want to avoid the silly conspiracy plot (see point 1.), whilst keeping to the general theme and tone intact (see 2.). Lets hope they don't fuck up the hardest part: 3.

Cyberpunk and Conspiracy go together like peanut butter and chocolate. You can't have Deus Ex without conspiracies, the whole series is focused on massive, labyrinthine conspiracies, and that -can- make for an awesome movie, if they're willing to embrace that Deus Ex is not and should not be straight action, but more of a mystery with bits of action.

maninahat:

1337mokro:
Then why are you calling it Deus Ex.

If you just wanted to make a cyberpunk movie inspired by Deus Ex, do that.

They don't just want to make a cyber punk movie. They are keenly aware of how easy it is to fuck up a video game to movie adaptation, so they're focusing on the things that make the game good, rather than making something that tries to resemble things from the game. As the game is very cyberpunk, that's the natural thing to think about.

Turning a Book into a movie makes sense, bringing a world that previously only existed in someone's imagination to life is something that takes skill and creativity. A videogame is already a visual medium. The world is already fleshed out in ways a movie can never even come close to.

Whilst both mediums are visual and have their own advantages, the sad fact is that a movies still trump games in terms of story telling, often with only a fraction of the resources, time and effort.

Videogames are often fairly empty and skimpy worlds, in which the illusion of realism or depth can easily broken by what some call the "ludo-narrative dissonance" but what I call the "player goofing around". Games are always being held back by technical limitations which limit how you can tell the story, and whilst we've come to accept that this is how it is with games, we're currently missing out on the stories they can't provide. In Deus Ex:HR, the riots are supposed to be a big plot point...but you don't even see the rioting because the engine can't hack it. Jensen is supposed to be shocked and moved by events in the story, but the limitations of the facial animations fail to bring across the subtle emotional cues. He can only flap his mouth, furrow his brow and gesticulate, whilst the voice actor has to pick up the slack.

What would seeing the riots add? Allot of angry people? Sure you can show more but it's kind of the Star Wars argument isn't it?

"In a movie we can show all of this that we couldn't before... and maybe have deeper storytelling!"

Well they did that once, where events were only talked about and never actually shown. Then Lucas made three movies about a single line of dialogue. "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the force" worst trio of mistakes ever made wasn't it?

Sure you can hold up films as having an edge, but why would you do that rather than make a game using that story? Why not press your own medium rather than abandon it for another because it's easier. Finances? Games sell at 5 times the price of a movie for a reason.

You can drum up technical limitations as an excuse for why films might be better, but a good dev team will work around that (leaving aside that his face is basically 90% polymer and Teflon). Again why push the eject button rather than attempting to push the medium?

It's just smacks of an inferiority complex here.

PrinceOfShapeir:

maninahat:

fozzy360:
snip

snip

Cyberpunk and Conspiracy go together like peanut butter and chocolate. You can't have Deus Ex without conspiracies, the whole series is focused on massive, labyrinthine conspiracies, and that -can- make for an awesome movie, if they're willing to embrace that Deus Ex is not and should not be straight action, but more of a mystery with bits of action.

Sure, a conspiracy is important for a good cyberpunk story, but some conspiracies are more palatable than others. The original Deus Ex had Area 51 and Chupakabras. It's toned down for DX:HR, but there is still the goofy Bob Page new world order business to tie the two games together. I think that the corporate warfare and frame ups are good enough for the two hours of focus a movie can provide.

1337mokro:

maninahat:
snip

What would seeing the riots add? Allot of angry people? Sure you can show more but it's kind of the Star Wars argument isn't it?

"In a movie we can show all of this that we couldn't before... and maybe have deeper storytelling!"[

Well they did that once, where events were only talked about and never actually shown. Then Lucas made three movies about a single line of dialogue. "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the force" worst trio of mistakes ever made wasn't it?

I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that a movie is better than a game because it can indulge in gratuitous visuals, or over-exploit what are supposed to be brief bits of character back story. Both movies and games can serve to tell a story, but sometimes, the ambition of a game's story outstrips what the game can actually show, whereas this is far less of a problem in a film. Whether it is subtle emotional expressions that quietly convey a character's inner turmoil, or a pitched battle between two armies, a film has far less trouble convincingly depicting either.

Limitations can produce much better story telling, especially if a game or movie resorts to a clever way of getting around a technical issue (for example, the music and shark vision for Jaws, or the blinding fog in Silent Hill), but when a game is over-ambitious and bites off more than it can chew, it often completely fails to get the desired result.

Sure you can hold up films as having an edge, but why would you do that rather than make a game using that story? Why not press your own medium rather than abandon it for another because it's easier. Finances? Games sell at 5 times the price of a movie for a reason.

You can drum up technical limitations as an excuse for why films might be better, but a good dev team will work around that (leaving aside that his face is basically 90% polymer and Teflon). Again why push the eject button rather than attempting to push the medium?

No one said anything about abandoning game development so that we can make more movies. The two are hardly mutually exclusive to the point where society can only have one artistic medium.

PrinceOfShapeir:
Cyberpunk and Conspiracy go together like peanut butter and chocolate. You can't have Deus Ex without conspiracies, the whole series is focused on massive, labyrinthine conspiracies, and that -can- make for an awesome movie, if they're willing to embrace that Deus Ex is not and should not be straight action, but more of a mystery with bits of action.

But the conspiracies just serve as motifs for the larger theme, which is the distribution of power and the role of government. Case in point:

Forgetting these themes would inherently keep the film from being a "Deus Ex" film, which is why Human Revolution was such a letdown in the themes and story department. Cyberpunk Dystopia and conspiracies were just there in order to take advantage of the game being set in the present-ish day.

deathbydeath:

trty00:

deathbydeath:

I know I'm posting again, but I don't give a fuck.

You are doing it wrong. Christ, these guys couldn't have missed the point harder if they were aiming in the other goddamn direction. MAKE A DEUS EX FILM, NOT LOOPER, DISTRICT 9, OR INCEPTION!!!

Those fucktards should be sent back to a high school video production class.

At no point does he ever say he's going to just copy those movies. In fact, that's a pretty big conclusion to jump to based on what he said. When he says "mold," I'm pretty sure he just means "I really liked what those movies did. Maybe we can find a bit of inspiration in them."

He's already got a wonderful place to draw from. It's called Deus Ex

Yes... they'll probably do that. But, in regards to making it as a film, they may try and look at other films for some ideas. That's how something called "the creative process" works.

trty00:
Yes... they'll probably do that. But, in regards to making it as a film, they may try and look at other films for some ideas. That's how something called "the creative process" works.

If they were drawing from cinematography, I'd be perfectly fine, as the films they mentioned are all good, but if they are even slightly competent, they should not have to draw themes and motifs from other films to make a something based on a game with literally too many themes and motifs to fit into your average film.

deathbydeath:

trty00:
Yes... they'll probably do that. But, in regards to making it as a film, they may try and look at other films for some ideas. That's how something called "the creative process" works.

If they were drawing from cinematography, I'd be perfectly fine, as the films they mentioned are all good, but if they are even slightly competent, they should not have to draw themes and motifs from other films to make a something based on a game with literally too many themes and motifs to fit into your average film.

Now, I don't mean to insult Deus Ex. I love Deus Ex. But I'm pretty sure that a talented team can fit all the themes of Deus Ex into a film. It's not an impenetrenable bubble that can't be touched.

Also, do you have any idea how many filmmakers draw from past works? It is in no way a sign of incompetence to say: "we were heavily influenced by X's works. You see, we love his films and [insert title here] was basically the main inspiration." I think you're thinking that I'm saying it's okay to outright copy. Well, I'm not. "draw from" is not the same as "steal from."

maninahat:

1337mokro:

maninahat:
snip

What would seeing the riots add? Allot of angry people? Sure you can show more but it's kind of the Star Wars argument isn't it?

"In a movie we can show all of this that we couldn't before... and maybe have deeper storytelling!"[

Well they did that once, where events were only talked about and never actually shown. Then Lucas made three movies about a single line of dialogue. "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the force" worst trio of mistakes ever made wasn't it?

I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that a movie is better than a game because it can indulge in gratuitous visuals, or over-exploit what are supposed to be brief bits of character back story. Both movies and games can serve to tell a story, but sometimes, the ambition of a game's story outstrips what the game can actually show, whereas this is far less of a problem in a film. Whether it is subtle emotional expressions that quietly convey a character's inner turmoil, or a pitched battle between two armies, a film has far less trouble convincingly depicting either.

Limitations can produce much better story telling, especially if a game or movie resorts to a clever way of getting around a technical issue (for example, the music and shark vision for Jaws, or the blinding fog in Silent Hill), but when a game is over-ambitious and bites off more than it can chew, it often completely fails to get the desired result.

Sure you can hold up films as having an edge, but why would you do that rather than make a game using that story? Why not press your own medium rather than abandon it for another because it's easier. Finances? Games sell at 5 times the price of a movie for a reason.

You can drum up technical limitations as an excuse for why films might be better, but a good dev team will work around that (leaving aside that his face is basically 90% polymer and Teflon). Again why push the eject button rather than attempting to push the medium?

No one said anything about abandoning game development so that we can make more movies. The two are hardly mutually exclusive to the point where society can only have one artistic medium.

Well I guess I did misunderstand you. Though I still think that the way the article was talking about the movie was like it was just a cyber punk movie with the name Deus Ex on it. Kinda like Syndicate was just a generic dystopian shooter that got Syndicate slapped on it (and THANKFULLY bombed horribly).

Of course we can have both movies and videogames side by side skipping through the daisies and kicking books in the stomach and laughing and pointing at them, but that was not my point.

A bad movie or a good movie can influence a game or shift focus from the games. For example Alone in the Dark, an old franchise that eventually got it's own movie and then followed it up with what basically amounts to a movie tie in. The two mediums can exist simultaneously but they will always influence each other.

For a more subtle similarity take a look at the PoP movie and the PoP: Forgotten Sands. Seems weird that the protagonists looks so much alike doesn't it? Now this doesn't have to result in bad influences, but the risks are always there.

Especially when this movie apparently has nothing to do with the games initially.

trty00:
Now, I don't mean to insult Deus Ex. I love Deus Ex. But I'm pretty sure that a talented team can fit all the themes of Deus Ex into a film. It's not an impenetrenable bubble that can't be touched.

Also, do you have any idea how many filmmakers draw from past works? It is in no way a sign of incompetence to say: "we were heavily influenced by X's works. You see, we love his films and [insert title here] was basically the main inspiration." I think you're thinking that I'm saying it's okay to outright copy. Well, I'm not. "draw from" is not the same as "steal from."

Which Deus Ex are you talking about, out of curiosity?

I am well aware about drawing from past works and that it can lead to good things, but they are just plain missing what made Deus Ex good in a narrative sense.

SirBryghtside:
Yes, because that worked so well for Max Payne...

I'll say it again, Max Payne wasn't bad because it strayed from source material. It was bad because it was poorly made.

deathbydeath:
snip

I was referring to Deus Ex as a series and the general themes/narrative devices/motifs/etc. that are in all three games.

And again, the conclusion you're jumping to is unfounded. Nowhere in the man's statement does it say: "we are most definitely doing X." At this point, it's all just planning and theories. Additionally, don't you remember that the only reason he was looking at films like Looper, District 9, or Inception is because of their grounded approach to sci-fi? Isn't that exactly what Deus Ex has?

J Tyran:
/sigh, because game movies are always rubbish. Its a crying shame though,

*1 year later, deus ex: the movie is released*

Oh my god JC! A bomb!

A bomb!?

What a rotten way to die.

trty00:
I was referring to Deus Ex as a series and the general themes/narrative devices/motifs/etc. that are in all three games.

And again, the conclusion you're jumping to is unfounded. Nowhere in the man's statement does it say: "we are most definitely doing X." At this point, it's all just planning and theories. Additionally, don't you remember that the only reason he was looking at films like Looper, District 9, or Inception is because of their grounded approach to sci-fi? Isn't that exactly what Deus Ex has?

In Deus Ex, you create a god. Please evaluate your realism parameters.

Also, what mainly bugs me is the title: "Deus Ex will be a 'Cyberpunk Movie'". Deus Ex isn't about cyberpunk, it's about the nature of power and government (At least DX1 is, IW is about power and people and HR has no damn clue what it's about). The fact that the head honchos haven't grasped that has dashed my hopes. If you don't know what something is about when you are planning the project, what in the 7-9 hells makes you think you'll know what it's about at the end?

deathbydeath:

trty00:
I was referring to Deus Ex as a series and the general themes/narrative devices/motifs/etc. that are in all three games.

And again, the conclusion you're jumping to is unfounded. Nowhere in the man's statement does it say: "we are most definitely doing X." At this point, it's all just planning and theories. Additionally, don't you remember that the only reason he was looking at films like Looper, District 9, or Inception is because of their grounded approach to sci-fi? Isn't that exactly what Deus Ex has?

In Deus Ex, you create a god. Please evaluate your realism parameters.

Also, what mainly bugs me is the title: "Deus Ex will be a 'Cyberpunk Movie'". Deus Ex isn't about cyberpunk, it's about the nature of power and government (At least DX1 is, IW is about power and people and HR has no damn clue what it's about). The fact that the head honchos haven't grasped that has dashed my hopes. If you don't know what something is about when you are planning the project, what in the 7-9 hells makes you think you'll know what it's about at the end?

When I say grounded, I mean that it seems plausible that something like that could happen. It doesn't have a utopian future, it's a human future where people still struggle and die, and just because it's the future doesn't mean old attitudes are gone. That's a "grounded" future."

And, while I can now at least see where you're coming from, you're still jumping to a conclusion, and it's an unfair one. Last I checked, creators don't often run with the rough draft, so I doubt they've even properly conceptualized this thing yet. Not too mention, "cyberpunk" doesn't actually give away what the movie will be like. "cyberpunk" has so many friggin' connotations that this movie could go in a billion different directions. Is it just impossible for something labeled "cyberpunk" to explore those themes you just presented.

I get it, you want to see this thing translated properly, but stop being so presumptuous. It's too early for that.

maninahat:
But the conspiracies just serve as motifs for the larger theme, which is the distribution of power and the role of government.

maninahat:
which is why Human Revolution was such a letdown in the themes and story department.

What game did you play?

Last I checked Deus Ex Human Revolution is all about the distribution of power and the role of government. It was just in the context of Transhumanism. What role does the government play in shaping the development of augments? What affect will augmentation have on the distribution and balance of power in the future?

How can you say that Deux Ex is about power and the role of government and then say DE:HR failed?

DjinnFor:

maninahat:
But the conspiracies just serve as motifs for the larger theme, which is the distribution of power and the role of government.

maninahat:
which is why Human Revolution was such a letdown in the themes and story department.

What game did you play?

Last I checked Deus Ex Human Revolution is all about the distribution of power and the role of government. It was just in the context of Transhumanism. What role does the government play in shaping the development of augments? What affect will augmentation have on the distribution and balance of power in the future?

How can you say that Deux Ex is about power and the role of government and then say DE:HR failed?

That's interesting, I wrote neither of those two quotes. I think you're looking for user Deathbydeath.

deathbydeath:
Also, what mainly bugs me is the title: "Deus Ex will be a 'Cyberpunk Movie'". Deus Ex isn't about cyberpunk, it's about the nature of power and government (At least DX1 is, IW is about power and people and HR has no damn clue what it's about). The fact that the head honchos haven't grasped that has dashed my hopes. If you don't know what something is about when you are planning the project, what in the 7-9 hells makes you think you'll know what it's about at the end?

If you don't mind my asking, who the hell died and bequeathed the Cyberpunk Crown unto you?

Deus Ex ticks a lot of cyberpunk boxes. Oppressive atmosphere. Amoral mega-corporations with more power than governments. Artificial intelligences. Pseudo-fascist police force. Private military contractors with the power of armies. Oligarchic conspiracies. False-flag operations to justify repression of the poor. Transhumanism. Deconstructions of transhumanism. Vast gulf between the wealty elite and the impoverished masses. An intelligent, alienated, strong-willed protagonist, who rebels against the established order out of a mix of curiosity and personal investment but is nevertheless manipulated by outside parties through strict control of information until the very end of the plot, where he exercises his agency to determine the nature of the climax. A underlying theme that technological advancement alone cannot solve the flaws of human nature. Giant robots. You know; the basics.

You'll notice I'm not distinguishing between DX1 and DX:HR, because as far as I'm concerned, they both fit. But really - why isn't Deus Ex about cyberpunk? Because the best definition I ever heard of cyberpunk is high-tech, low-life. Deus Ex fits that bill pretty cleanly. The tech is beyond our wildest hopes, but the society using it is bleak and dysfunctional, and much of the action takes place in impoverished and run-down areas (New York and Hong Kong in DX1, Detroit and Hengsha in DX:HR).

I'm not really saying that you're necessarily wrong in your assessment of Deus Ex. Just that your opinion is is far from conclusive. If you want to go swinging it around the Internet like a baseball bat in the hands of an epileptic orangutan, You really have to provide more of an argument in support of it, instead of just...saying that it isn't cyberpunk, devoid of context or debate, and insisting that these people don't get it. I'm actually eager to hear your reasoning if you're willing to provide it.

DjinnFor:
What game did you play?

Last I checked Deus Ex Human Revolution is all about the distribution of power and the role of government. It was just in the context of Transhumanism. What role does the government play in shaping the development of augments? What affect will augmentation have on the distribution and balance of power in the future?

How can you say that Deux Ex is about power and the role of government and then say DE:HR failed?

I'll assume you were quoting me, so I'll act like you were quoting me:

Jump to about 8:55 in the video, that's where the fun begins. Also, you're still wrong: Deus Ex wasn't about what the government does, it is about the nature of government, authority, and holding power over another.

Postscript: For more evidence, check the wikiquote pages of both games, then compare and contrast them.

bastardofmelbourne:
If you don't mind my asking, who the hell died and bequeathed the Cyberpunk Crown unto you?

Last I checked, Ronald Reagan.

bastardofmelbourne:
Deus Ex ticks a lot of cyberpunk boxes. Oppressive atmosphere. Amoral mega-corporations with more power than governments. Artificial intelligences. Pseudo-fascist police force. Private military contractors with the power of armies. Oligarchic conspiracies. False-flag operations to justify repression of the poor. Transhumanism. Deconstructions of transhumanism. Vast gulf between the wealty elite and the impoverished masses. An intelligent, alienated, strong-willed protagonist, who rebels against the established order out of a mix of curiosity and personal investment but is nevertheless manipulated by outside parties through strict control of information until the very end of the plot, where he exercises his agency to determine the nature of the climax. A underlying theme that technological advancement alone cannot solve the flaws of human nature. Giant robots. You know; the basics.

You'll notice I'm not distinguishing between DX1 and DX:HR, because as far as I'm concerned, they both fit. But really - why isn't Deus Ex about cyberpunk? Because the best definition I ever heard of cyberpunk is high-tech, low-life. Deus Ex fits that bill pretty cleanly. The tech is beyond our wildest hopes, but the society using it is bleak and dysfunctional, and much of the action takes place in impoverished and run-down areas (New York and Hong Kong in DX1, Detroit and Hengsha in DX:HR).

I'm not really saying that you're necessarily wrong in your assessment of Deus Ex. Just that your opinion is is far from conclusive. If you want to go swinging it around the Internet like a baseball bat in the hands of an epileptic orangutan, You really have to provide more of an argument in support of it, instead of just...saying that it isn't cyberpunk, devoid of context or debate, and insisting that these people don't get it. I'm actually eager to hear your reasoning if you're willing to provide it.

You seem to be missing my point. I never said that Deus Ex isn't or was not cyberpunk, just that it was not about the things you listed in your first paragraph. As mentioned quite a few times before, DX1 uses those elements to provide context and flavor for the pervading question in the game: "What is the nature of power in relation to authority?" More specifically, "Is the abuse of power by those who wield it inevitable? Are human beings fit to govern themselves? Is entrusting power to only a few good individuals the safest way to avoid corruption and abuse?" I am not against cyberpunk and conspiracies in Deus Ex, but those contribute to the tone and themes of not the game; they don't replace it. The grand mashup the game provided of the Grey Death, Majestic 12, Illuminati, Templars, Echelon IV and Area 51 all serve the purpose of contextualizing the theme of power abuse, as they all signify a select group of people abusing the power granted to them in order to gain more power. Another good way they are used is by demonstrating the relevancy of the issues the game brings up, as the theories the game draws from are as real as the issues it presents.

Saying that Deus Ex should be about cyberpunk tones and conspiratorial plots is like saying that Gunther Hermann's defining attribute is that he prefers orange over lemon-lime soda.

deathbydeath:
Last I checked, Ronald Reagan.

Reagan's claim to the Cyberpunk throne was never valid!

deathbydeath:
You seem to be missing my point. I never said that Deus Ex isn't or was not cyberpunk, just that it was not about the things you listed in your first paragraph.

You'll forgive me for being confused, as that distinction isn't made clear in this paragraph;

Although, now I'm interesting in what you think the difference is between a game about cyberpunk and a cyberpunk game. I don't know how you'd say a game is cyberpunk but not about cyberpunk, given that cyberpunk is really just a collection of related themes composed into a genre.

As mentioned quite a few times before, DX1 uses those elements to provide context and flavor for the pervading question in the game: "What is the nature of power in relation to authority?" More specifically, "Is the abuse of power by those who wield it inevitable? Are human beings fit to govern themselves? Is entrusting power to only a few good individuals the safest way to avoid corruption and abuse?" I am not against cyberpunk and conspiracies in Deus Ex, but those contribute to the tone and themes of not the game; they don't replace it. The grand mashup the game provided of the Grey Death, Majestic 12, Illuminati, Templars, Echelon IV and Area 51 all serve the purpose of contextualizing the theme of power abuse, as they all signify a select group of people abusing the power granted to them in order to gain more power. Another good way they are used is by demonstrating the relevancy of the issues the game brings up, as the theories the game draws from are as real as the issues it presents.

I think it's valid to say that Deus Ex is about abuse of power, but I have two general responses to that.

Firstly, is there anything stopping Deus Ex from simultaneously being about abuse of power and about cyberpunk? The abuse of power granted by technological advancement is a very common - I would say central - theme in the cyberpunk genre. It's hypothetically possible to do a narrative similar to DX1 in a non-cyberpunk setting, but I think it would lose much of its impact, given DX1's expert application of modern story elements such as government conspiracies and false-flag terrorism as well as cyberpunk story elements such as human augmentation, artificial intelligence and technological cynicism. And I don't see how arguing that Deus Ex is about abuse of power disproves the proposition that Deus Ex is about cyberpunk. The two aren't mutually exclusive - in fact, they complement each other harmoniously.

Secondly, the filmmakers have said that they are building the film based off DX:HR, which had a coherent message about how practical human augmentation would affect humanity at a social and individual level. DX:HR isn't necessarily about abuse of power - it's more about how humanity has to come to grasp with the consequences of rapid technological change, using the Renaissance aesthetic as a metaphor - but I see no fault in having two works in a series with unique core themes. More importantly, I see no reason why the core theme of DX1 should have an impact on the development of a film based of DX:HR. In fact, I'd rather it didn't - DX:HR had its own distinct aesthetic and core theme compared to DX:1 while still feeling very much like a Deus Ex game, and I wouldn't want to mix the two in a misguided attempt to be loyal to the first game while adapting the third.

Saying that Deus Ex should be about cyberpunk tones and conspiratorial plots is like saying that Gunther Hermann's defining attribute is that he prefers orange over lemon-lime soda.

I understand you're being flippant, but it's more like saying that Gunther Hermann's defining attribute is his brusque German accent and brutish appearance. His soda preference is a comedic triviality, whereas his Ahnold-impersonation is the outside trappings that highlight his violent inner nature. In a similar way, I would say that DX1's use of cyberpunk themes is intended to coherently enhance the impact of its core message about the abuse of power by authority figures. I mean, if "abuse of power" is the centrepiece of the exhibit, cyberpunk is the exhibit itself.

bastardofmelbourne:
Reagan's claim to the Cyberpunk throne was never valid!

Ah, clearly you never broke into his casket and found his second will, then!

bastardofmelbourne:
You'll forgive me for being confused, as that distinction isn't made clear in this paragraph;

Although, now I'm interesting in what you think the difference is between a game about cyberpunk and a cyberpunk game. I don't know how you'd say a game is cyberpunk but not about cyberpunk, given that cyberpunk is really just a collection of related themes composed into a genre.

I'm so snipping this.

I think it's valid to say that Deus Ex is about abuse of power, but I have two general responses to that.

Firstly, is there anything stopping Deus Ex from simultaneously being about abuse of power and about cyberpunk? The abuse of power granted by technological advancement is a very common - I would say central - theme in the cyberpunk genre. It's hypothetically possible to do a narrative similar to DX1 in a non-cyberpunk setting, but I think it would lose much of its impact, given DX1's expert application of modern story elements such as government conspiracies and false-flag terrorism as well as cyberpunk story elements such as human augmentation, artificial intelligence and technological cynicism. And I don't see how arguing that Deus Ex is about abuse of power disproves the proposition that Deus Ex is about cyberpunk. The two aren't mutually exclusive - in fact, they complement each other harmoniously.

I forgive you, but I explicitly used the word about. Besides, what does it even mean to be "about cyberpunk"? Cyberpunk is an aesthetic design, not a theme or idea. Sure, you can have a story about "what makes someone human" or "the abuse of power" in a cyberpunk setting, but how do you have something that's about "class marginalization in urbanized environments built upon the foundation of prominent and advanced technology"?

bastardofmelbourne:
Secondly, the filmmakers have said that they are building the film based off DX:HR, which had a coherent message about how practical human augmentation would affect humanity at a social and individual level. DX:HR isn't necessarily about abuse of power - it's more about how humanity has to come to grasp with the consequences of rapid technological change, using the Renaissance aesthetic as a metaphor - but I see no fault in having two works in a series with unique core themes. More importantly, I see no reason why the core theme of DX1 should have an impact on the development of a film based of DX:HR. In fact, I'd rather it didn't - DX:HR had its own distinct aesthetic and core theme compared to DX:1 while still feeling very much like a Deus Ex game, and I wouldn't want to mix the two in a misguided attempt to be loyal to the first game while adapting the third.

Heh, you make me larf. Jump the video ahead to 8:55. DX3 never really discusses transhumanism in a meaningful way. It only stumbles over a handful of relevant instances and forgets they exist.

bastardofmelbourne:
I understand you're being flippant, but it's more like saying that Gunther Hermann's defining attribute is his brusque German accent and brutish appearance. His soda preference is a comedic triviality, whereas his Ahnold-impersonation is the outside trappings that highlight his violent inner nature. In a similar way, I would say that DX1's use of cyberpunk themes is intended to coherently enhance the impact of its core message about the abuse of power by authority figures. I mean, if "abuse of power" is the centrepiece of the exhibit, cyberpunk is the exhibit itself.

Skip to about 6:45 in the previous video.

I intentionally used Gunther Hermann and the soda quote because everybody remember him for the "I wanted orange" quote even when he was an utterly fantastic character. People remember Deus Ex for great level design, conspiracies, and cyberpunk while often missing the great interplay of ideas.

A note: this post has spoilers.

deathbydeath:
Besides, what does it even mean to be "about cyberpunk"? Cyberpunk is an aesthetic design, not a theme or idea. Sure, you can have a story about "what makes someone human" or "the abuse of power" in a cyberpunk setting, but how do you have something that's about "class marginalization in urbanized environments built upon the foundation of prominent and advanced technology"?

I don't know if cyberpunk is exclusively an aesthetic. As I've understood it, cyberpunk is a genre defined by its use of a collection of related themes, many of which I listed in my first post, with a common focus on a cynical interpretation of transhumanism.

And secondly...yeah, I think you can have a story about "class marginalization in urbanized environments built upon the foundation of prominent and advanced technology," as you put it. I don't see a reason why not you couldn't make that the central theme of your work if you wanted to, perhaps as a commentary on the failings of the modern economic system. DX1 and DX:HR touch on it in a peripheral, world-building fashion, but I think it's entirely possible to make that a core theme in the same way you could use "abuse of power" or "what makes someone human."

deathbydeath:
Heh, you make me larf. Jump the video ahead to 8:55. DX3 never really discusses transhumanism in a meaningful way. It only stumbles over a handful of relevant instances and forgets they exist.

I watched the video when you linked it earlier. I think the guy raises some good points and I wouldn't call his opinion unfounded, but I would emphasise that it's an opinion, and not sufficiently persuasive that I'd call it conclusive.

For one, his primary criticism seems to be that DX:HR can't decide on what real-world issue human augmentation is supposed to metaphorically represent - private health care, superhumanity, homosexuality, or abortion. He then cherrypicks small segments of environmental dialogues or minor conversations to support his sometimes-tenuous connection (for example, inferring that a reference to control over one's own body is a reference to abortion).

My response to that is that augmentation isn't a clear metaphor for any of those issues. Augmentation is meant to be its own issue. The writers attempted to characterise the controversy that they imagined would ensue from the introduction of practical human augmentation by parroting the boilerplate rhetoric used by modern talking heads in discussion of any number of controversial modern issues. The intent was not to make augmentation a parallel to a real-world controversy, but to convincingly portray augmentation as an issue itself.

If you went in expecting to interpret human augmentation as a metaphor for one issue solely, you're going to be disappointed, because it doesn't clearly fit any of them. How could it? It's meant to be an unprecedented change that society is having trouble coming to grips with.

The Errant Signal video says that all DX:HR had to do was present the pros and cons of human augmentation, but it does that. The heavy antagonists are mercenaries with military-grade augmentations; the prologue establishes that human augmentation can be used to help the disabled and improve lives, but is also being used to develop weapons like the Typhoon. The game shows people whose lives are improved by augmentation, and people who it can't help - the first antagonist, Zeke Sanders, is a military veteran who was put back into service, but his augmentation didn't cure his PTSD, which eventually ruined him. It shows that augmentation comes with the necessary drawback of dependency on an expensive drugs with severe withdrawal symptoms, and posits the existence of a lethal black-market trade in second-hand augmentations ripped from human victims. There's a side quest in Hengsha where a female lawyer tells you that she took loan from a crime boss to get a CASIE aug because she needed it to be competitive.

I don't know how you can say DX:HR isn't really about transhumanism when the entire plot is set in motion because of an old, crippled man was so bitter about the fact that his body was rejecting cybernetic prosthetics that he tried to halt worldwide augmentation research, so that no-one else could enjoy the fruits of the future that he was denied. The main antagonist is a guy who is trying to stop transhumanism because he can't take part in it. The protagonist is a man who was resurrected with a body full of technological implants who is entrusted with making the decision as to whether that was a good thing.

I mean, the ES video doesn't even discuss that. It instead focusses on a few snippets of poorly-scripted conversation from around the game to support his claim that DX:HR can't decide on whether human augmentation is homosexuality or abortion, then picking a brilliant quote from DX1 as a "fair" comparison. The guy even mentions X-Men in the video, which is curious, because X-Men as equally "guilty" of mixing metaphors as he claims DX:HR is. I mean, he's entitled to his opinion, and it's far from a bad review, but I don't necessarily agree with his criticism of the plot.

Here's a good quote from Youtube (of all places!) in response to that video;

But really - why does the fact that DX:HR tries to present human augmentation as a multifaceted, unique, unprecedented issue by not slotting it nicely into a metaphor for a single real-world issue undermine its message? If you see the game's objective as trying to depict what would happen in society if practical augmentation was introduced, I think that approach was highly successful. If you think the game was just trying to make a metaphor for homosexuality or abortion, you're not going to take much away from it. But do you even want that? Would DX1 have been better if it was written as a metaphor for a single modern issue instead of as a multifaceted concept with multiple interpretations?

deathbydeath:
Skip to about 6:45 in the previous video.

I should mention - in case you were unaware, as the Errant Signal reviewer was - that the excreble and forgettable boss fights were designed by an outside studio, hence the severe and jarring shift in tone. Not one of the dev team's best decisions, really. The studio developed its own boss fight in the Missing Link, and it's much better.

deathbydeath:
I intentionally used Gunther Hermann and the soda quote because everybody remember him for the "I wanted orange" quote even when he was an utterly fantastic character. People remember Deus Ex for great level design, conspiracies, and cyberpunk while often missing the great interplay of ideas.

This is actually a little wierd. See, Jaron Namir - the rarely-named mercenary with the full-body, muscle-coloured augmentation - is actually an interesting character, and a convincing foil to Jensen. He's just not fleshed out inside the game itself - which was a major fucking misstep, if you ask me. It's all in the supplemental material or hinted at in emails, and eventually covered in a so-so novel tie-in.

Basically, Namir is a former Israeli security agent who is implied to have lost his younger sister in the same incident that injured him so severely as to require augmentations. Her name is the password to his personal computer in-game. Like Adam, he's lost a loved one (adding context to his final lines that is missing from Adam's perspective) and like Adam, he was heavily augmented to seek revenge. Like Adam, he's barely human, being essentially a head on a robot body; like Adam, he's used as a pawn by more-or-less amoral corporations to facilitated their squabbles. He's basically a darker representation of what a lethal Adam Jensen might become if he simply stayed Sarif's personal enforcer.

But the game doesn't fucking tell you any of that, which is a fair criticism. Though, in the interest of being even-handed, much of Gunther Hermann's characterisation is similarly subtle - an inattentive player would only see him as a generic brute, with most of his defining attributes (his fear of obsolesence, his relationship with Anna Navarre, his jealousy of Denton) told to the player in emails or side conversations.

More on point, though - I don't think it's fair to say that DX:HR has no message, or that it contains no meaningful discussion of an issue. You can consider the discussion in DX1 superior - it's certainly more high-brow - but then you're just talking about how DX:HR could have been better and forgetting that it's a miracle it even exists, much less exists as a good and playable Deus Ex game. And if I was going to pick which one to adapt into a movie, I'd pick DX:HR. It's more recent in the audience's mind, it has a superior visual aesthetic, and its plot is more easily adapted to a conventional three-act structure associated with Hollywood films.

They're trying to make a good movie...
But they're doing it in the mould of Looper, a bad movie...
I think they might want to rethink that...

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