Deus Ex: Human Revolution 'object highlighting' and 'objective locators' made optional

Eidos Montreal reveals a few changes made to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, in response to fan concerns over gameplay immersion.

24

The hardest of the hardcore spoke up and the team behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution has listened.

In a video blog posted on the official Deus Ex: Human Revolution Facebook page, Eidos Montreal's David Anfossi and Jean-François Dugas have announced that the upcoming title's 'object highlighting' (or the default 'Augmented Reality' ability) has now become a feature players can toggle on and off.

Prior to the announcement, players traversing the futuristic world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution would have been greeted by a thin yellow outline of objects with interactive properties, enemies, and NPCs. Though the game's producer (Anfossi) and director (Dugas) believe the outlines found throughout the world help thrust people deeper into the newly augmented world of protagonist Adam Jensen, Eidos Montreal heard the various screams to give players the option to disable the visual addition. And now it is.

In the video, Anfossi and Dugas show off the game with the feature disabled--as well as the ability to disable objective locators--giving the game a look some might find favorable.

The game's three difficulty settings--labeled as "Tell me a story" (Easy); "Give me a challenge" (Normal); and "Give me Deus Ex" (Hard)--react to the change. The first two settings will have object highlighting and objective locators switched 'On' by default, whereas the hardest setting will disable both features when selected. Settings can later be manually swapped.

Dugas, who we recently interviewed regarding the highly anticipated reboot of the Deus Ex franchise, said the change "this late" in development was a risk; however, they took the risk to give fans what they wanted. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is scheduled to arrive on August 23 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Anfossi and Dugas ended the video by thanking fans for the comments, citing the "constructive" comments specifically. Thanking people for poking holes? Those Canadians are just too darn nice.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      April 18, 2011 2:18 PM

      Hooray! Now I can get back to freaking out about HOW AWESOME THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE without listening to everyone and their brother complain about the highlighting!

      FUCK YEAH

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 2:19 PM

      This is good news. I am glad they came to their senses. We are not all children and/or inexperienced at video games.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 2:43 PM

      Also of note in the options menu they showed: you can turn off cover/takedown prompts, and there is also an entry for "cover style".

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 2:53 PM

      "It is our vision of the game, it is not hand holdey, you can't criticise it! Everyone who used it loved it!"

      But that's petty of me - there are plenty of developers who would have ignored the complaints. I really have no issues with the game now, kudos Monttreal.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 2:55 PM

      Got to say, fair play to them for listening to views and giving the option to the player. Cant wait for this game. Looks so awesome.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 3:00 PM

      HALA-FUCKIN-LUEYA!!!

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 3:06 PM

      Fuck. Yes.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 4:50 PM

        Now I want news of the next Thief game disabling the sparkle on stealable things.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 3:09 PM

      More unfff

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 7:51 PM

        Updating: still stroking ole painless.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 3:55 PM

      These guys are great, thanks for the option!

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 3:57 PM

      If it's on by default I'll probably leave it on.

      Reminds me of how Bioshock had the option to disable vitachambers and glowing items and stuff, but I don't really know of anyone that actually disabled them. Everyone was too busy bitching about how dumbed down the game was and stuff because of the glowing items and ease of vitachamber abuse. Or something.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 4:07 PM

        I could never turn off hints in Bioshock, even when setting the option to "Off" in the menu. That and the other wonkiness in Bioshock makes me fear for the quality and configurability of Bioshock Infinite.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 4:09 PM

        the only thing I really turned off was that dumb arrow, I left everything else on.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 5:11 PM

        I did a playthrough without vitachambers. For achievements. :( It was a slightly different game since I was not fixing everyone's guts with my wrench.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 9:32 PM

        I played with VitaChambers disabled. They made the game too easy.

      • reply
        April 19, 2011 5:48 AM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:08 PM

      I love the names of the difficulties because, frankly, that's what they should be and it's nice to have them flat-out described like that.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:09 PM

      OMG AMAZING!!!!!

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:11 PM

      This is cool - It was kind of annoying, but I'd have been more than happy to play with it; but as there is an option, I'll probably turn it orrrf.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 4:12 PM

        I still wish there was a third option to have the objects highlighted only when you are targeting them for interaction (like when that little button prompt pops up).

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 4:39 PM

          Or an option to control translucency and color. I get that they see the aug as part of Jensen's vision, but the implementation looks too gaudy, between the color (yellow) and the thickness of the outline.

          That said, it's good they added the option.

          • reply
            April 18, 2011 9:38 PM

            I imagine the color and thick outline was done so that it can be seen from the couch when gaming on the console. The fact that they left it in for the PC version and required an outcry from PC gamers does not bode well for the port of the game to the PC.

            • reply
              April 18, 2011 9:42 PM

              I think it does bode well. Compare and contrast Quearbox with Borderlands. People kept asking them before release "what does your game look like on PC, show us" and they wouldn't specifically cause they knew it was fucked up. Afterwards? No support, certainly never fixed the games many problems.
              That Eidos Montreal actually put the effort in to address concerns as the game was in development is something not many developers would do these days.

              • reply
                April 19, 2011 6:07 AM

                The PC support in borderlands really was friggin retarded.

                I dont min issues but at least acknowledge and try to fix them, dont just ignore your customers!

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 5:48 PM

          That would be optimal, but I think the button prompt is sufficient. The by far best news is that you can turn off the breadcrumb, holy shit that would be annoying in a game where I'm supposed to discover my own path.

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 9:47 PM

          Yea, and I wish there was a fourth option where the objects only get highlighted when you press and hold CTRL+Use. Also I want a fifth option where the objects get highlighted for 5 seconds when you do a 360 movement in front of it.

          • reply
            April 18, 2011 9:56 PM

            I see what you are trying to do, but you're really bad at it.

          • reply
            April 18, 2011 9:58 PM

            I want an option to have a dude with methmouth hold you down and lick your eyeballs for five minutes.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:38 PM

      Thank god, I still have hope!!!

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:51 PM

      PRE-ORDER CANCEL CANCELLED

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 4:57 PM

      I bet you the FOV is still 45 or something. :D

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 5:29 PM

        fov keeps getting smaller and smaller. i dont get it :/

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 5:50 PM

          Simple answer is: less stuff to render.

          • reply
            April 19, 2011 5:49 AM

            [deleted]

            • reply
              April 19, 2011 6:11 AM

              What doesn't work which way? Fustrum culling is one of the fundamental elements of scene optimisation in games. A smaller fustrum encompasses less of the scene at any one time.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 6:23 PM

        Oh come on. TELL ME YOU'RE KIDDING! please..please

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 5:37 PM

      they'd be daft to respond to every online complaint, but it's pretty smart of them to make this change, given the overwhelming reaction

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 8:11 PM

        I'm surprised that they even addressed it. I was expecting to have to download a hack or something for it.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 8:39 PM

        Of course, and in this case it seems like a pretty trivial thing to just let you turn off what amounts to a "help" feature.

        Now if only other devs would respond to complaints like this and let us set FOV.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 5:52 PM

      I'm happy they did that cause man that highlighting is ugly and jarring as shit. Wouldn't have minded it so much if it was just toned down a little.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 5:57 PM

        Did you watch the new video? It was toned down.

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 7:33 PM

          yeah, i thought so too

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 8:17 PM

          Yeah, it's not like EVERYTHING is highlighted. It's only when you're looking in the general direction that the outline pops up.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 6:40 PM

      Thumbs up for this. Watching the clip I saw two guys, a door and a box. With highlight turned off I saw two men, lots of boxes, a door, items in the background, an air vent above the door with a bit of paper billowing in the exhaust, a wire coming out of the wall with sparks, a hand cart and a traffic cone. I didn't think this would make that much of a difference, but it does.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 7:37 PM

        Of course. Highlighting, tooltips, icons, all that shit heavily skews the visual hierarchy of a scene. It's like screaming over some acoustic guitar. It tweaks your gameplaying so instead of being inquisitive you just follow the breadcrumbs in the UI. It becomes such a mechanical way to play the game, and far less immersive. I'm actually surprised that people argue about this.

        • reply
          April 18, 2011 9:41 PM

          It's scary how many gamers want the game to play it for them.

          • reply
            April 19, 2011 2:33 AM

            I can understand it in some sense though. In real life, when I walk into a room, I don't need anything highlighted, every object has a purpose, I understand it's purpose, and can interact with it if need be.

            In a game, since the entire space is constructed, you'd like to think any and all objects in a room might be used to contribute to the playing of the game, but in most games, they're not at all. I can understand wanting the game to let you know in no uncertain terms "this object has a meaningful interaction in the game world".

            Otherwise, you get many players who will try to click on, pick up, or whatever the main means of player-environment interaction is in order to determine what is and is not part of the game. I know from playing a lot of older adventure games that playing pixel hunt in order to figure out what was a thing you could pick up and take to later solve a puzzle, and what was part of the background wasn't particularly fun, at least for me.

            I don't know for sure if I'll use this option or not...I'll probably see how it plays without first, but if I find myself attempting to "use" things which the developers didn't bother to make a use for, I'll probably turn it on.

            • reply
              April 19, 2011 6:09 AM

              If the items were highlighted the moment they came into view/range the plausibility of them just sitting on the shelf amongst other items is destroyed, the pretense that you found them on your own cause you're such a resourceful secret agent is also destroyed. Not missing the items, and distinguishing them from world decorations is harder tahn just having the items highlighted, but it is not actually hard. It's a simple, easy skill to learn, and in the process of learning it you become more attentive, and start observing your envrionment. If the designer can rely on you being so attentive, he can leave clues for you in the environment, design it subtly to tell a story, or build an elaborate and clever puzzle for you to solve, with elegant clues along the way. All kinds of cool things can be done by the developer (and have been done) on the assumption that players will be attentive. There is a whole questline in Vampire bloodlines that you discover only if you notice a light in a window is shining, in an otherwise condemned building. That sort of stuff is cool.

              But if he cannot rely on your attention, he might still build highly detailed envrionments, but not necessarily very meaningful ones, he will certainly not involve environmental design in the gameplay. Whatever clues he puts in the envrionment to puzzles will also have to be neoned out for you, the subtlety will be gone, and your game will be dumber.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 8:47 PM

      Now if we could only get Gearbox to address DNF's 2-weapon limit.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 9:05 PM

      That's fantastic news. I'm much more looking forward to the game now than I was. From watching videos and diaries and what not the highlighting just seemed to completely ruin submersion in the universe. I love the fact that it's an option and not forced on you. Will be very helpful for people who want to use it and others like myself won't have to.

      Great decision.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 9:21 PM

      Kind of sad that they had to get push back from the public to make a change like this. Designers should have known well enough to make something like this optional, especially considering the franchise's reputation.

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 10:35 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      April 19, 2011 2:17 AM

      Awesome to see the fans catered for, for ages i've been saying i dont mind these streamlining this such as in DA 2, ME2 etc if it means more people can enjoy the game BUT make them optional.

    • reply
      April 19, 2011 2:45 AM

      I just finished the novel and am now super excited for this game. The book was surprisingly not terrible, the tie-ins to the original were nice.

    • reply
      April 19, 2011 8:21 AM

      That's great...now all they need to do is make the exclusive Gamestop DLC pre-order content available to all (at launch or down the road) and I'll be happy. I refuse to support Gamestop and their shady practices.

Hello, Meet Lola