Sessler's Soapbox: Best Foot Forward

Posted: August 30, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Best Foot Forward
Sessler talks about the how the beginning of a game can often make or break your gaming experience, like in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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  • Geofyzzix

    I can certainly understand what Adam's point is, but I would have to ask for a list of games that actually meet this level of criteria. I think this truly does speak more about the individual's projection into the game than it does about the lack of good design by a company.

    However, the game's beginning didn't thrill me over either. Not because I was too worried about spending talent points incorrectly, but because it didn't have that Original Gangsta feel of what I know Deus Ex to be. That was completely forgotten by the time I finished all the quests in Detroit and went to China the first time. I haven't finished yet, so the story might tank, but the feel and handling of this game is as epic as a game with the title Deus Ex needs to be.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 11:10 AM
  • HeartlessCloud

    I don't understand why so many people are having issues with the beginning of the game. What exactly did they spend their Praxis points on that they couldn't move forward?

    I knew the moment I looked at the skill tree NOT to start spending my Praxis right away. Instead, I held on to them as I made my way through the first few sub-missions, and once I saw what I needed, I'd spend accordingly. I don't get why people jumped the gun and just started splurging on augments they didn't really need right off the bat. To me, that speaks volumes more than anything about the lack of patience people have, and their unwillingness to allow themselves to take the time to figure out the game world before deciding they know exactly how they're going to handle the game.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 10:15 AM
  • 4Aces

    Happy Brithday Adam!

    Some seem to have missed Adam's point. It is called foreshadowing in story telling, but in the real world it is called basic training. We had basic back in DX, and probably in DX:2 (but those brain cells were deleted long ago). With no ability to test out what skills are going to do, we need a very explicit description of how they are going to work in a fully immersive environment like DX:HR. We did not get that.

    We do not know is what was changed between DX and DX:HR in gameplay mechanics. For example, I relied heavily on the mini-crossbow which is mostly useless in this game. I was also pretty annoyed when I discovered that a take-down costs energy. So if I cannot count on basic things like those, what are skills going to be like? The answer cannot be - test them all unless I get an early opportunity to do just that (aka in the first fifteen minutes).

    Abandon all Hope, ye who do-not-hack here!
    Hacking is so critical to the game that is should have been a free/automatic skill that upgraded at certain points in the game. Anything that is this critical, cannot be optional to the player. This is an Alpha level error, but one of those rare gameplay ones based on logic not coding. So if you have not played then remember this - you will upgrade hacking. If not ASAP then on the next point that you get. There are 10^16 guides on DX:HR and they all agree on this point.

    Now, as for a few of the latest respondents - Adam was not talking about being spoon-fed the story at the start, that would be ridiculous. He was talking about the gameplay. You need to ease us into the basic concepts, then the intermediate, and finally the advanced gameplay mechanics, over the first few hours. Of course, if you break the gameplay by making us restart, our view of the game will seriously diminish, and we all know that leads to the darkside (and Adam's soapbox). ;)

    Posted: August 31, 2011 10:09 AM
  • bdemell

    First, Happy Birthday Adam.

    Second, I disagree completely with everything you said in this soapbox (game related not book) and that's a first. No good RPG lays its cards on the table from the beginning and lets you know everything about the gameplay from the start. It also doesn't tell you everything about the game world at the start. Take Final Fantasy 7. This is a classic example of just jumping into a game story. There's no backstory told via a voice over or screen text. You got literally zero hints or tips when it came to menu options and the materia that you can use. Yet that is how an RPG should be because you should be allowed to experiment. I'm wondering if your argument is more tied to the fact that new games don't have as large an instruction manual anymore to give us those pages and pages of backstory and menu explanations and so the feeling is those games are required to give us that information right at the start.

    Third, I don't understand why people are complaining and making such a deal about the augmentation system. It worked perfectly. One, you can read the description of every augmentation and what it does. Two, each auqmentation is its own tree so I'm not required to spend unnecessary points to get the skill I want. Three, you gain a Praxis Point every 5,000 xp....which was a brillant move and completely different from other RPG's. Four, your weapon damage is in no way tied to augmentations so if your weapons, another brillant move to make every play style have powerful weapons. Five, why are you stealth and hack builds not getting any dermal armor? Really, you never think your going to get shot? I can understand not going in guns a'blazing but why would you not get better armor. Six, boss battles do not require combat oriented augments. You have grenades, you have mines, you have P.E.P (best tool for killing bosses quickly by the way), you have the environment (exploding barrels, CO2 bottles, water on the floor to shoot stun darts into, etc...) to use.....you can beat the bosses without being Rambofied.

    I agree that the decisions can be a bit daunting and at the start of the game you have no clue which augmentations you will need to get through a scenario. But I ask you......isn't that a good thing? Don't you want to be surprised and see how your choices effect your gameplay? Why do you want to be spoiled by knowing that you need certain augments to deal with the challenges ahead? More and more we as gamers keep saying we know too much about a game before it comes out. Trailers are too revealing, cheats and spoilers get posted waaaaay to early before the general population gets a chance to play it. The age of the internet has taken away the surprise a game can give us. So when we get a game that doesn't let us know what may come of our decisions and can both punish and reward us for the choices why are we still complaining and not saying thank you instead? Does this kind of choice suspense need to go away for the sake of general game audiences or can we have a game that does the best job possible of showcasing one of the greatest truths in life....you can't know what will happen in the future so can only decide what to do in the present. That to me makes the world of this game feel alive and real and gives me that emotional attachment you pointed out so well in the last Feedback.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 8:37 AM
  • godofstuff101

    Happy Birthday Day Adam. Anyway I have no idea how you can screw up your character and have to restart. There are so many paths through each section that any augs help. Through my main play through I played stealth on Give me Deus Ex and thought that augs would be rare, well at the end of the game I was only missing 12 and of those 12 I didn't even want to waste points upgrading one them. Yeah you may not get a more useful aug earlier when it helps early on, but you can still get from point A to B easily and eventually upgrade almost everything to where it does not matter what you choose.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 8:22 AM
  • chas42fuchsel

    READ PEOPLE..sheesh..they describe each AUG..i didnt get the strat guide or anything and my character is a major killing machine!!

    Posted: August 31, 2011 7:09 AM
  • Severnik

    I think putting a gamer into the position where they're not quite sure what's down the road is a good thing. It adds a sense of mystery which i believe is essential to the first playthrough of a game. Plus I get a great sense of satisfaction when I win against a surprise that I didn't see coming.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 6:16 AM
  • SonyNmbrOneGuy

    This game has multiple save files in addition to latest and previous save. If you ruin your skill tree by selecting stupid things....well, actually..everything can be useful depending on how you choose to play. I knew I wanted to hack everythings and not get caught doing it so I dumped most of my early points into to hacking related trees.

    I disagree with Adam here. It sound like he wants his hand held. The game explains every skill. So what if most gamers don't read.....

    Posted: August 31, 2011 5:48 AM
  • RPG-fan

    I don't have a problem with this. I'm a guy who like living with the consequences based on the choices you made. If you can change at will, important decisions you make in games loses its impact. When it comes to Deus Ex, I always save some points, just in case when I need a certain skill to get past a level and make it easier for me to hack, sneak, etc.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 4:00 AM
  • Mad7295

    Happy Birthday Adam! Keep Up Being Awesome.

    Posted: August 31, 2011 2:51 AM
  • chach7171

    This game lasted 5 minutes in my xbox. If I had known most of the game would be spent crawling looking at guard's asses, and using mass effect gameplay I never would have bought it. If this was a straight up third person game, and didn't require me to crouch and again stare up the whole time I might've tried it,I'm sure the story is good but the gameplay would've annoyed the crap outta me. Ohh well lucky for me a gamestop mgr is cool dude and let me return it for full price no harm no foul, and no gamerscore screwed up...Adam lay off the high test nerd coffee..

    Posted: August 30, 2011 10:56 PM
  • Fergulator

    Well I can say that after beating this game there isn't really a reason to worry about this. This game is meant to be mostly stealth its not COD.
    I had zero combat augs and beat all the bosses no problem. Sure I had to reload a few times. Im sure they would have been easier fights if I had combat augs. But that made the fights even more fun for me.
    You end up with a lot of praxis points and I definitely wasted a few but it didnt hurt my game or my fun. In other words loosen up a bit. This game is tons of fun.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 10:33 PM
  • chubi-_-

    adam it wasnt your birthday it was your manufacturing anniversary get it because they call you the sessbot 3000

    Posted: August 30, 2011 9:27 PM
  • Lawrence123

    By the way Adam Happy Birthday

    Posted: August 30, 2011 8:41 PM
  • BoydofZINJ

    I have that feeling with allot of RPGs. I remember being massively into pickpocketing into New vegas. Stopped playing it for a week and came back and realized... WASTED SKILL POINTS.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 7:03 PM
  • Lawrence123

    I don't know what game you were playing Adam but there was plenty of weapon upgrade kits, like ammo capacity kits, damage upgrade kits, reload speed upgrade kits, laser sight upgrade kits. Also special weapon upgrade kits for specific weapons like exploding rounds for the revolver and a silencer for the 10mm pistol and the burst fire for the shotgun that makes it so the shotgun shoots two barrels at once and it even had a on off switch so it can be used only when necessary like boss fights. I would still rate the game a 4 out of 5 but different reasons. Like I wish the world was a bit more open and I would have liked it if everything was interactive. I get that the boxes and garbage cans were there for the sake of the gameplay, to find other routes, but when there the only thing I can ''touch'' the world starts to loose its atmosphere.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 6:48 PM
  • R3$0n8

    One thing i liked about Deadspace 2... and there was just so freaking much to love about that game, but this is one of the things i liked. You have the freedom to at any time, at a cost, retrospec your weapons. This is important because in dead space, like every game that has multiple weapons.. people are going to naturally gravitate to one to 3 weapons that just.. fit.. their play style. Its an organic thing. "This is how i will fight the hordes." And you don't really get to decide which gun you like best until you try them and find out "well this sucks... but i have already invested into it.."

    What i am saying here is, when the player screws something up, make them pay. But don't make that price to be having to start all the way over because of a few bad decisions. Okay, you cannot unlearn a magic spell, or a combat technique... usually... But considering the situation where a number of this character's skills are probably based on prosthetic modifications, sorry, you can uninstall a dirver, or change out a piece of hardware. it isnt set in stone.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 6:33 PM
  • g4fan247

    Happy birthday Adam.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 6:03 PM
  • camel51

    Very true

    Posted: August 30, 2011 5:55 PM
  • Jtoon

    The only thing I wished at times in Deus Ex was that I wished I was given two points at a time when you earned a level or praxius point. I am not sure if it would have made the game too easy but would have been nice to use some of the main upgrades which took two praxius points to originally purchased.

    Posted: August 30, 2011 5:40 PM