Deus Ex: Human Revolution endings 'simplified' due to constraints

Deus Ex: Human Revolution lead Jean-Francois Dugas talks about some of the criticisms of the game, and the decisions that led to them.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution received plenty of critical praise, but a few common criticisms dogged the game. Namely, the way the multiple endings were triggered, and the boss fights. In a new interview, project lead Jean-Francois Dugas talks about the team's decisions on those elements, and admits that production constraints forced their hand in some ways.

"There are two aspects to the ending," Dugas told Rock Paper Shotgun. "The first aspect has to do with the buttons. In the original design we did not want it to just be you facing four buttons and you just press one, end of story. We wanted the players to get involved in doing something more that would make the choice mean more in their minds, but again it was just a constraint of production at some point. We simplified the ending to make sure that we could do it, that we could ship it."

He says that he understands players' disappointment with the way the choice was presented, but he says he's completely happy with the actual ending videos. "That was the vision we had, and we fulfilled it. When I look at the endings and the feedback, it’s not unanimous that people hate them. Some players love them, other players feel disappointed because they just think 'what happened next?'"

The much-maligned boss battles were another stumbling point. He says the team originally wanted to make the bosses more consistent with the rest of the game. "We had our pillars of stealth, of non-lethal actions, and everything else, and we wanted to make sure that was reflected in the bosses, but in the end it was not," he said. "It's the place where people were surprised because they would equip themselves in a certain way and then they got their and everything they’d fought for disappeared. You have to change your mindset, which can be upsetting. I think the biggest weakness there wasn't the concept of having boss fights, it’s just that our boss fights are not Deus Ex boss fights and that's why people are complaining about them. I guess we live and learn."

That said, Dugas says the team was surprised that people found them "frustrating." He says the team decided to include them thinking "at least they will be entertaining in some fashion." If anything, the team expected fans to criticize them for being uninteresting, rather than difficult.

If you're hungry for more Deus Ex, the Missing Link DLC is coming in October. Check out our new hands-on preview of the upcoming story mission.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 23, 2011 6:30 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Deus Ex: Human Revolution endings 'simplified' due to constraints.

    Deus Ex: Human Revolution lead Jean-Francois Dugas talks about some of the criticisms of the game, and the decisions that led to them.

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      September 23, 2011 6:38 PM

      What a shame. The way you triggered the endings just paled in comparison to the way the first Deus Ex did it.

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        September 23, 2011 7:16 PM

        Agreed. I actually liked the fact that the endings didn't provide an epilogue to the story, merely examined the moral implications of your choice. But the way the choice was presented was simply too streamlined.

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        September 23, 2011 8:53 PM

        I haven't finished HR yet, but so far the way ending(s) are handled sounds similar to the original DX, in that you basically determine which ending you get in the same room. I'm not quite sure why there's a big fuss about this, it's true to the original in that respect!

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          September 23, 2011 9:56 PM

          Indeed, it was only trivially more "complicated" in the first game to arrive at the different endings.

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            September 24, 2011 2:16 AM

            "What do you want? You're just a machine." - JCD

            That line always cracks me up the way he says it.

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              September 24, 2011 4:02 AM

              JC's voice actor should've done what St. John did. Selling voice recordings in-character.

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          September 24, 2011 2:57 AM

          Exactly. People are not remembering the original Deus Ex right. It was done equally lazy there.

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            September 24, 2011 2:59 AM

            No, it was not. You had to go through distinct sets of actions to achieve the goals. They may not have been far apart, but they made sense and took advantage of equipment in the facility.

            Tell me, what purpose did that three-button broadcast console serve before it became the Ending-tron 4000?

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            September 24, 2011 12:06 PM

            i don't give a shit about DX1. i'm playing DX:HR and it's the end of 2011

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      September 23, 2011 6:42 PM

      i don't think the story or the endings had anything to do with what made the game cool...

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      September 23, 2011 7:09 PM

      nice follow up article. I enjoyed that. It's also what I suspected ever since I heard about the hubs being cut. Considering the art, story, depth and breadth of the entire gameworld, it's something I can forgive.

      I would have liked a question about the in-game advertisement decision, how they feel about it and what their reasoning would be... oh, and the purity first trailer. I'm so incredibly impressed with how they managed to recreate in those that saw it ... well, those that saw it and played the game, and what it means in the game world will know what I mean. That must have been the most clever trailer idea I've ever seen.

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      September 23, 2011 8:25 PM

      I liked the endings. That said, I didn't like the way you chose it, but that's okay.

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      September 23, 2011 8:55 PM

      I'd certainly like to see a directors cut patch/DLC that added back in some things they originally had to axe due to time/money (the latter more likely) constraints. Boss fights that are more true to the overall game, which the he eludes to originally wanting to make, would be really appreciated.

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      September 23, 2011 9:02 PM

      the ending videos sucked too. you get presented with 4 paths to choose from in such a retarded manner. you choose them and there's no resolution. some lame video plays and you never even get a hint at the repercussions, especially how they relate to the characters and their relationships. it really doesn't matter what button or choice you pick. it really doesn't. just garbage. liked the game entirely except that.

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        September 23, 2011 11:01 PM

        Not only that but there really isn't much mention of anything from HR in the original Deus Ex so it kinda just ends up being Deus Ex side story prequel rather than a true point A to point B prequel.

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          September 23, 2011 11:47 PM

          I think people would have flipped if there weren't multiple endings. Honestly they weren't even endings, just multiple perspectives and I personally dig that. We already know the future. Why convolute that with 3 or however many endings that don't logically fit the timeline.

          This works much better. Also, I'm not sure why you would bring up the "isn't much mention" of the story in the original. It was clearly written after and it also clearly takes place 25 years before Deus Ex so the story may not be all that relevant. Augmentation by then wasn't a huge issue. They had kind of moved on. Themes were different too.

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            September 24, 2011 12:51 AM

            The world had kind of moved on from every augmented person on the planet turning into mindless zombies for a day or whatever? I think that would warrant a mention in a newspaper or something. For that matter, focusing the majority of the prequel's narrative on how augmentation technology is controversial is an interesting idea but not worthy of being the main focus. A more appropriate way to branch the story would have been to show first hand how and why the various important characters (Tracer Tong, Bob Page, etc.) eventually embarked down the paths they chose would have been the true core reason to have a prequel rather than just a generic (but interesting) side story diversion. I enjoyed the game but the story really doesn't hold a candle to the original's, so hopefully they can do another one that fits more properly in connecting the dots between now and Deus Ex.

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              September 24, 2011 1:19 AM

              newsflash! horrible event 25 years ago still happened 25 years ago! everyone in shock, read more on page 8.

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              September 24, 2011 2:45 AM

              I'd like to see Bob Page as a kid, and see the robot he built, and also podracing. This post is the worst possible way to do a prequel that exists.

              The suggestion of the augzombies being in the paper in Deus Ex is like saying 9/11 should have been breathlessly reported in Human Revolution's papers; the same amount of time has passed.

              The Dentons, nano-augmentation, the Illuminati, and the persecution of mech-augs are all set up in the main plot of HR, with MJ12 and other things hinted at in the periphery. All of this is done while telling a new story to which we don't already know the conclusion, with characters that aren't just a network of references to future events. This is a Good Thing.

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                September 24, 2011 2:54 AM

                This. It doesn't make sense to somehow have everyone be doing interesting things 25 years earlier, and all somehow involved in the same plot; that just comes across as contrived.

                The way they chose to go, where we see the seeds for some parts of the first game but the plot is largely distinct is much better.

                That doesn't mean it doesn't fall apart a bit at the end; as much as I very much enjoyed DXHR it did suffer from it's development constraints.

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            September 24, 2011 12:07 PM

            i would have been fine with 1 ending if it resolved the end of the story and dealt with aftermath

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        September 23, 2011 11:04 PM

        yeah he said he liked them? they were kinda similar and crappy

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      September 23, 2011 9:53 PM

      The buttons didn't bother me as much as the bosses. They felt so out of place in the game.

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        September 24, 2011 10:38 PM

        Not for me so much. The original 2000 game had bosses too. You had to fight Bob Page, Gunther Hermann, & Anna Navara. They all had their own specific moments when you just KNEW that it was a boss fight. The only differences here were that DEHR's fights were preceded by cinematics and the bosses themselves were only _marginally _harder than those from DE1. (You could actually defeat Anna Navara just by firing a single GEP at her before the fight officially started.)

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      September 23, 2011 10:01 PM

      First boss fight was a PITA. After that I just Typhoon spammed them to death. So much easier.

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      September 23, 2011 10:05 PM

      I'm preparing for a replay of DX:HR and used to have the old no intro / trainer mod. But that seems to have disappeared over the last couple of weeks. Any replacements out there?

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          September 24, 2011 1:43 AM

          thx, i forgot this existed. the options are extremely cool. you can disable the stamina depletion which is awesome (annoying as fuck to have a sprint limit in the non combat zones). also being able to chose the maps is great (i kinda forgot to save in hengsha and other places on my playthrough).

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      September 24, 2011 8:11 PM

      The endings sucked. Stock video? Very cheap. While the narration was interesting, the video reeked of a cost & time cutting concession. If this is REALLY what they had planned then they didn't learn from the mistakes of the previous Deus Ex games. After investing, 20, 40, or even 60 hours, you don't want to watch a montage of stock video. You can do that on YouTube.

      The endings didn't live up to the production values of the rest of the game. The rest of the game had a smattering of well constructed pre-rendered CG video. I expected something along those lines for the ending. What we got..... It was like playing Metroid on the NES and being rewarded with that short blob of text for your efforts. It was an insult. You could explain that for Metroid, being at the dawn of modern gaming. DEHR has not excuse in 2011.

      Nevermind the fact that the spirit of these 4 endings didn't prove to be substantially different from what we got in the previous 2 games. It was bad enough that all of our gameplay choices amounted to nothing, thanks to button press endings. To essentially rehash the issues presented in the other games... Blech!

      The only reason I played through as many times as I did (3) was because I wanted to rack up more achievements. DEHR is, honestly, a very easy game. You literally have to turn off all of the helper features like the goals & reticule to even up your challenge. Even then, it's easy once you've beaten it once.

      As far as the BOSSES go.....

      I know that people complained about the bosses and I do agree that they force you to change your stealthy mindset quite quickly. However, even on hard mode, they're actually VERY easy.

      - BARRETT: Don't bother taking him head on or getting too creative. Once the fight starts, there's a room to your left. Run to it. There are some crates next to the door. Hole yourself up on top of them and right in the corner. Give yourself a minute to heal up, as you probably took a hit or two running into the room. Crouch down so that you can just see the opening of the room. Wait it out. This is a blind spot for Barrett. Provided that you're in that corner and crouched, nothing he can do will tag you. Not even frag grenades. He's powerful, but stupid. Eventually, he'll pass by the doorway. Don't reveal yourself. Just take aim and keep shooting him in the foot with your pistol. Yep. Shoot him in the foot. It's a cheap tactic, but it works. I've beaten the game 3 times and it never fails.

      - YELENA: She's actually the second easiest boss. Take a hypostim before fighting her. She'll hit you pretty hard in her opening attack. Not a big deal. Just burn off that excess health. Even without the track & mark upgrade, you can tell which direction she's coming from so that you can plan your attack. She still has a silhouette that you can see through the translucent walls. Now, make sure that you've got that EMP shielding upgrade. WHY? Simple. Blast the f*** out of the closest generator things on the wall. It'll electrify the floor. You won't get hurt, but she'll get cooked like a X-Mas goose. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

      - JARON: This is the one most people complain about. They claim that the new biochip upgrade screws you over. Not true. It does mess with your upgrades, but defeating Jaron Namir is butt easy. The grenade launcher is your key. Make sure that you have it and have it equipped before the fight starts. As soon as it does.... Unload on him. You don't need to run. You don't need to move. Just fire. He never gets a shot off an never recovers from each hit. Shockingly, it only takes 4 or 5 hits.

      - ZHAO: She is THE easiest boss. There are a lot of steps to beat her, but they're all easy. The carousel of turrets as the opener? From the safe cover of that wall where you start the fight, a few well placed grenade shots will take them all out. The horde of zombies? Wait for them to get close and typhoon their asses. The mechs? Just EMP them. Zhao herself? A couple of good blasts from a heavy rifle will undo her since she doesn't put up a fight. The rest is just button pushing and some hacking. If you're afraid of taking hits, there are some well placed punch-through walls and passages that'll give you some time to breathe.

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