Deus Ex - Boss Fights

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poiumty:
You really don't need those augs. At no point in the game are you ever forced to get augs unless you REALLY want to restrict yourself somehow.

I disagree. The rediculous boss fights forced me to drop points into combat because my stealth setup was woefully inadequate to deal with them.

Combat was the only way to deal with the bosses. At no other point in the game was this the case, there was always another route, you just had to find it.

Stabby Joe:
How much more can this site rip on Human Revolution? Its not like the game was bad...

I'll admit the game has issues but it's sure a step above most at the moment.

It's not ripping on DX:HR. No one is ripping on DX:HR. The game is universally well received and seemingly loved by all.
What they are ripping on are the unnecessary, immersion breaking boss fights. And rightly so. They are a major detraction from an otherwise (to my mind) near flawless game.

WaysideMaze:

Stabby Joe:
How much more can this site rip on Human Revolution? Its not like the game was bad...

I'll admit the game has issues but it's sure a step above most at the moment.

It's not ripping on DX:HR. No one is ripping on DX:HR. The game is universally well received and seemingly loved by all.
What they are ripping on are the unnecessary, immersion breaking boss fights. And rightly so. They are a major detraction from an otherwise (to my mind) near flawless game.

The criticism is fair, but after the video and article by Yahtzee... I'm waiting for a new video and/or article on it.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Deus Ex - Boss Fights

Shamus lists his frustrations with Human Revolution.

Read Full Article

Thank you for putting so fine a point on it. This has really given a lot of focus to the complaints, and raised some issues that can be resolved.

(Unfortunately, it's one of those design-by-committee problems our current climate seems to love. You lose the unity of tone and focus when you leave pivotal moments of your game to the whims of someone else.)

FredTheUndead:
Funny thing is, there actually ARE crazy things you can do with these bosses, it's just not obvious without foreknowledge. The first boss can be cheesed easily just by using the stun gun, the 2nd boss can't actually kill you if you've got EMP shielding, and the 3rd boss can be beaten by reprogramming a turret to attack enemies and carrying it with you to the fight so it kills him in about 5 seconds.

poiumty:

Fair enough, except that the combat character can just stroll by those locked safes and secure doors and find some other way through. The hacker doesn't have that option.

Of course he does, what are you talking about. Anyone can take any augs, it's not like you can't have points in both hacking AND wall-punching/lifting. A hacker who prefers stealth will likely get the Ghost and Smooth Operator bonuses, thus enabling him to get more augs than someone who goes in guns blazing and gets a measly 10 xp per kill.
Also, the combat character can't always stroll past. The game has some forced hacking sections.

The boss fights are one-dimensional, obvious, and boring. You do a tiny bit of damage to the bad guy. He does massive damage to you. Chip away at his health bar without taking more than one consecutive hit, or its game over.

Chuck a gas, emp or concussion grenade at him to stun him. Use the enviroment against him (explosive barrels, electrified floors and so forth). Activate your invisibility and/or Typhoon. Position yourself so he has to jump over cover to get to you. These aren't all the same thing.

Pretty sure the complaint is that YOU CAN'T HIDE BOYSCOUT. In the first game, every bossfight could be avoided in some fashion, even if it was just running the fuck away.

I was shocked(and happy that I didn't do/know that on my first playthrough) when I discovered a way to instantly kill the last boss!

Yay, Shamus is back! And a triumphant return too, great article.

Akalabeth:
Why isn't there a similar asterisk after Batman Arkham Asylum?
Play the same boss fight like SIX times? Pretty much convinced me to lay off Arkham City until it hits bargin bin prices

There is a disclaimer. This is pretty much mentioned in nearly every discussion of Arkham Asylum I've ever seen.

Pretty much agree except for point 2, I honestly found all the bosses to be a joke. The 10mm pistol upgraded is the most silly overpowered gun in the game. Seriously, I used every upgrade I found on it and only pulled it out for boss fights, and I didn't spend a single point in any of the related praxis abilities (in fact I usually ran around the game with 6-8 available praxis points because I filled out hacking off the bad and really wasn't interested in anything else and only really invested in things when the game semi forced me to (ie leaving the Tower after meeting a certain lady and her guards filling the room).
But I digress, first boss I just threw every barrel at him, then a few shots with the pistol while he was in the gas and he was dead, second boss stun and unloaded the pistol into her head...dead within like 10 seconds; and I was playing on Give Me Deus Ex.

Hmmm I wonder how much Shamus' return has to do with Extra Credits departure...

OT: I think the worst part of this forced boss fights thing is that it makes you look like a punk - you're supposed to be a state of the art bad-ass, a prototype with cutting edge intel-inside biology, and then some guy pins you in a corner for half an hour taunting you. Admittedly, you win eventually, but it does kinda ruin the feel of the character for me...

DustyDrB:

Akalabeth:
Why isn't there a similar asterisk after Batman Arkham Asylum?
Play the same boss fight like SIX times? Pretty much convinced me to lay off Arkham City until it hits bargin bin prices

There is a disclaimer. This is pretty much mentioned in nearly every discussion of Arkham Asylum I've ever seen.

A lot of the reviews I saw were like "this is the greatest batman game ever, 10/10" blah blah.
Though I do recall yahtzee mentioning it VERY briefly

I winced every time there was a poorly rendered muddy cutscene showing Jensen doing something outstandingly stupid. Not only is stupidity immersion breaking, but the cutscenes are of such low quality it boggles the mind.

I love how most people seem to be taking a stealthy/non-violent approach to the game rather than wading in guns blazing. Is that because the game favours it? Because the gunplay is bad? (I haven't really fired a gun yet, even on the bosses) Or because people have been crying out for a stealthy game with a lot to explore? I really hope it is the latter and we get a few more like that, with clever ways to work around bosses that actually have some characterisation.

I recognize all of the points. And it got me really confused when I in the hubs could toy around and test my abilities chat or ignore people as I wanted. But boss fights bam shot them and thats it... wait what just happened.. I sneaked around everyone and could easily hid from this one but no not gonna happen...

I got down to my most boring and unreal way of dealing with the first bosses "run-and-gun" really I ran around fired a shot whenever I saw the boss and then just kept on running, by doing that I kept on healing. I think this is a waaay to boring way to deal with hard enemies works in to many games, you-fire-then-duck and repeat.. why do they not lay out a mine or two to stop me?

PS. first time I just lazed the last one (did not want to kill "it" because I had some guns saved for the final big bang,,,) when testing how the laser worked and went: Wait I'm done..? where is the real final? I hadn't realized how you could use the laser before.. It felt like a "glitch" or bug more than anything else..

Oh well I should really stop repeating what everyone else says "good game but the boss fights..."
O well using the ahem "burger-menu" I can replay what I really liked..

Cleaned.

octafish:
I love how most people seem to be taking a stealthy/non-violent approach to the game rather than wading in guns blazing. Is that because the game favours it? Because the gunplay is bad? (I haven't really fired a gun yet, even on the bosses) Or because people have been crying out for a stealthy game with a lot to explore? I really hope it is the latter and we get a few more like that, with clever ways to work around bosses that actually have some characterisation.

Melee knockouts give the most experience of all interventions (50 vs 20 for an instant kill, or just 10 for a non-instant kill). Not being seen/heard gives a large bonus. Exploration/traveler bonuses add up, and are natural when seeking stealthy ways to approach enemies for melee, or avoid fights. I don't doubt that the game can be completed while firing a non-silenced gun all the way through, but the mechanics clearly favour a different approach. It could be argued that such a character simply requires fewer augmentations, so less experience isn't a hardship.

Personally, I prefer to play it stealthy anyway, and think that makes more sense from a role playing perspective. A lot of what you're doing is gathering data and meeting people, if it becomes clear to the antagonists that you are approaching an obvious goal, they could delete the data or relocate/kill the person. Mechanically, I can't survive a lot of bullets, so sneaking makes sense that way.

So I would say it's probably both.

DustyDrB:
The boss fights were cheesy, but not hard (I played on Hard and earned the Pacifist achievement. I was very stealthy). I'd say the boss fights are actually probably easier for nonlethal players. Why? We're more likely to have the Stun Gun in our inventory, and that weapon makes bosses trivial.

Not to mention that the last boss is pretty much instant win if you got the electric guard powerup thingy

I'm confused at why people had soo much problems with bosses... I played the hardest difficulty getting Foxiest of the Hounds and Pacifist with only 2 weapons in my inventory (The Tranquilizer Rifle and Shotgun) and EMP grenades. all except the 3rd boss never hit me once... It's not impossible to have a full out Stealth/hacker character from the get go and own every boss in the game. Never Bothered with Typhon or Stealth enhancer either. Honestly if your going to have a cloak and tons of energy bars for bosses why not? shotgun does insane damage point blank with the burst round system and can level any boss in around 5-6 shots.

SonOfVoorhees:
That really was a stupid list.

1. Forced to talk to bosses, even when playing game stealthfully.
2. Forced to fight bosses with guns only.
3. Damage your gun inflicts against bosses is weak.
4. Bosses lack intelligence nor reacts to your actions.
5. Bosses are flat, bland characters.

You had one opinion which was "i dont like the bosses or boss fights" which is fine. I hate the bosses, hate the way you have to fight them with guns, fact your cant sneak attack them or bypass them. Why you needed to make 5 points is beyond me. Hope your previous posts are better than this because this really wasnt good at all because no one liked the boss fights.

You could have just said "I don't like this article", why you spent so many words is beyond me. I hope your previous posts were better than this. CWUTIDIDTHAR?

I didn't have too much trouble with the bosses. I used Grenades on the first one, a heavy rifle on the second one and the grenade launcher on the thrid one... I should get around to actually finishing the game though...

Also, I don't have any combat augs, all my points are in hacking and movement stuff.

From the article...

Boss fights have been like this for years

And from the link...

This could have been the next Deus Ex, but it feels Serious Sam.

Dude, you're like a fucking prophet! You should start a religion or something. BTW, great to have you back - please rite moar Experienced Points!

I guess none of you stealthy guys decided you'd be Ninjas? The Typhoon makes these things much easier, and because you won't be needing any guns and ammo you'll be forever fine for health items, grenades and anything else you might want...

Gamers these days sure are pussies... Anyone else remember the days when games would be so bastard hard not finishing them at all was a serious problems?

They weren't that much of a hassle. I spent almost the whole game sneaking around and I redid the first fight maybe 5 times before I got it, the second only two, and the third maybe 4 (though to be fair, on that one the dude kind of stopped up in a corner and let me shoot him from cover). It changed the pace a little, brought me out of hiding, shook up my routine. I agree that they're the weakest part of the experience, but that's kind of like complaining about back seat leg room in a Lamborghini. They weren't impossible and since there's some nice achievement you can get on subsequent playthroughs, you can just go again and be better prepared. I'm not saying we shouldn't be critical, but let's not overdo it just to sound like we have refined tastes.

I think this horse has been beaten enough. I mean, he does raise good points, and I'm not saying he's wrong, it's just that EVERY SINGLE reviewer, critic, fan, gamer, and newborn child has listed the boss fights as being one of the scarce bad parts of Human Revolution. Maybe it's just me, having paid attention to most Deus Ex news since it came out, but I can't help but feel we're beating a pile of giblets with these same criticisms anymore.

I wish to know why boos fights like this exist. I remember back in the day (around the early 90's for me) when boss fights meant something, and had a vital role. Now, they are just one dimensional baddies with lots of health and cheap, high-damage attacks.

God... GOD WHY!? WHY DO DEVELOPERS MAKE THESE POINTLESS BOSS FIGHTS!?

I think many games could have been 98% better if they didnt have some arbitrary boss fight.

It's interesting. I, of course, heard about the boss fights before I purchased the game, but I figured they couldn't be all that bad, and they aren't. However! That being said, I did initially build my character as most seem to have done as a hacker/stealth guy. The problem was that when I got to Yelena, I hadn't taken enough dermal upgrades and didn't have the EMP protection (or the jump augs). Result? Even when I was able to avoid her attacks, when she whalloped the power nodes and sent the electricity arcing through the coolant fluid on the floor, even with hypostims, painkillers and leaping around like an idiot I couldn't mitigate the damage enough to survive. Consequence? I had to return to a much earlier save and use my aug points to get the dermal upgrade. After that, it was a breeze. That scenario was pretty akin to having, as Shamus says, a combat character that can't pass a locked door because he can't hack it.

Overall the game is pretty darn good, but yes indeedy, the boss fights are poorly designed, shoehorned in and unbalanced. It's a pretty terrible oversight and it's pretty strange that the designers, play testers and anyone else that had a shot at the game before it went gold didn't pick up on that enough to say "Hey, wait a second here, maybe we should do something about these boss fights".

poiumty:
That would mean you're forced to take a certain aug before doing something, which simply isn't true with bosses.
edit: to elaborate, all the bosses require by way of augs is having a certain item in your inventory. I.e. something that can kill things. If you don't, one will be lying around the place you fight. I checked.

Hmm... okay, so I've not quite finished my first playthrough yet, but two things:

1. I did not see one single weapon/item in the Yelena fight location.
2. Without the EMP protection upgrade, or possibly the leg aug for jumping, I could find no way to avoid the electricity in the floor when she hit the power nodes. Yes, I could have missed something, but as noted in my previous comments, when that electricity was going, I was cooked. I must have tried the fight two dozen times before I went back and got the EMP protection. After that, the fight was almost a joke. I did die twice through poor play, but as I was completely invulnerable to electricity, Yelena was pretty useless unless she got a direct hit on me.

So tell me what I was doing wrong, without the leg and dermal upgrades.

Yay! I thought this feature was dead!

Huzzah~! I hope you're back for good, I really do enjoy reading your articles Shamus~!

I have yet to play Deus Ex but I can relate your criticism to other gaming experiences I've had. It always frustrates me when I'm able to ace a section of a game only to completely fail at the end in a non-interactive cutscene. Likewise I really really hate bosses that force you to play a certain way when the rest of the game allows so many legitimate options to get through it. Bosses should be a clear highlight of a game but more often than not they're the worst part of it. (See: Most fighting games)

Hello....when did you come back?

Welcome back anyway Shamus, I shall read the article forthwith, but was a shock to see you here. We've missed your DRM inspired ranting. You would have loved "From Dust". ;)

On the subject of Boss Fights:

I think it's a throwback from the Arcade Era: With memory low and speech technology just coming in - the only way to provide an easy end of Act Turning Point was with the super-powerful bad guy.

It's a trick they do in the movies as well that can stretch back to the Pulp Era, where you need to show that the brave hero is totally outclassed by the bad guys but survives purely on his wits.

Case in point:

Now Gorn, in Star Trek, aren't anywhere this clumsy or stupid - they couldn't be if they were a star-faring race - but it gives Kirk a Boss Fight. Each of Shamus's points come in here.
Forced Kirk Stupidity (He's a Lizard in the Desert...), Forced Gunplay (Can't charm the pants off this one), Bad Gunplay(REALLY bad), Bad Combat Taunts (Rrrrsssssss!), Bad Storytelling (HUMAN GOOD, GORN BAD!)

BUT...it works because the audience understand this. It plays directly into the black/white world they live in.

Equally:

How about firing at them? Make a much shorter film.

To do this for a Stealth character though? You'd need someone who could out stealth you. So you'd be creating a new Boss character. And remember he needs those taunts to be memorable. Old Scorpion got huge fan recognition just out of "Come Here!".

Actually, I'd be interested to hear your Stealth Boss, Shamus. How WOULD you go about making a Stealth based boss that wasn't just "I can go invisible except when I'm firing"?

Nice article, welcome back. The point about the crappy taunts is one that I don't think we should have to be making in this world of high end gaming rigs and long cutscenes. It just immediately makes the whole boss fight look a lot more cheap.

WaysideMaze:

poiumty:
You really don't need those augs. At no point in the game are you ever forced to get augs unless you REALLY want to restrict yourself somehow.

I disagree. The rediculous boss fights forced me to drop points into combat because my stealth setup was woefully inadequate to deal with them.

Combat was the only way to deal with the bosses. At no other point in the game was this the case, there was always another route, you just had to find it.

I never dropped points into any combat augs until the last boss, and I was playing on the hardest difficulty. With a stealth setup. So it can be done.

Outsourcing is no excuse. A bad result is still bad.

Akalabeth:
Why isn't there a similar asterisk after Batman Arkham Asylum?
Play the same boss fight like SIX times? Pretty much convinced me to lay off Arkham City until it hits bargin bin prices

Batman had it's combat sections, and it's stealth sections. It never pretended that you could play the entire game as stealth and then lock you in a room with Bane.

The complaint with DX is that it the boss fights force you to change your play style (provided you weren't already combat). Batmans repetitive boss fights are a seperate issue.

poiumty:

WaysideMaze:

poiumty:
You really don't need those augs. At no point in the game are you ever forced to get augs unless you REALLY want to restrict yourself somehow.

I disagree. The rediculous boss fights forced me to drop points into combat because my stealth setup was woefully inadequate to deal with them.

Combat was the only way to deal with the bosses. At no other point in the game was this the case, there was always another route, you just had to find it.

I never dropped points into any combat augs until the last boss, and I was playing on the hardest difficulty. With a stealth setup. So it can be done.

Fair enough, you managed it. I struggled.

The complaint still stands. The boss fights force you to take a combat approach. Whether or not you took the combat augs or stuck with just using stealth augs, it doesn't matter. There was no stealth, hacking, or social approach to any boss.

I didn't want to play combat. I wanted to outsmart my enemies, and sneak around them without being seen. Jensen walking into a spotlight, letting enemies get the jump on him, and having to run around a room throwing frags and shooting really wasn't the play style I wanted.

good article, though it´s just exclaimes the obvious it nonetheless spot on.

Weclome back!

WaysideMaze:

The complaint still stands. The boss fights force you to take a combat approach. Whether or not you took the combat augs or stuck with just using stealth augs, it doesn't matter. There was no stealth, hacking, or social approach to any boss.

I didn't want to play combat. I wanted to outsmart my enemies, and sneak around them without being seen. Jensen walking into a spotlight, letting enemies get the jump on him, and having to run around a room throwing frags and shooting really wasn't the play style I wanted.

The complaint that boss fights aren't avoidable like they were in the original Deus Ex is very valid. However, there's comments on Shamus's blog from people who thought the steahtly approach to the boss fight (the first one, at least) was the easiest, with the lots of explosive barrels in the area making short work of him and the invisibility aug being used to get them without him seeing you.

So from a game mechanic perspective, the fights are diverse, with bosses being more than just beefoed up NPCs that you cover-based-shoot until dead.

Hate to plug my own videos but seriously this topic is so overly whined about and so often badly reported.

First boss, Deus Ex Mode, No combat augmentations... Oh no so difficult.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S4wEa5CowE

Second boss, Deus Ex Mode, still no combat augmentations
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eAnigO3tUA

By the third boss I had so many praxis spare I couldn't buy anything else without wasting points in stealth mind augments (total waste of points for anyone who has played metal gear or tenchu) or analysis hacking (really eidos, really?)
However here is my third boss run:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjyZiXHFYng

And finally the joke of the end boss, beaten in 3 seconds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR9t2J3NPJ0

I agree these bosses are bad but they aren't bad because they impede a stealth-er or hacker (Of which I was both). The whole concept of a game built on 4 pillar concepts is that you can focus on one of the four pillars and it'll unlock new routes and tactics for you. But at some point you will have to delve into all four pillars. After all pillars support a structure... The boss fights were obviously the unavoidable combat pillar element.

I can demonstrate this by pointing out that you cannot talk your way out of every fight... In fact there are only 8 or 9 vocal exchanges that really change the progress of the game. And yet diplomacy was supposedly one of the 4 pillars. Yet if you spec for the social enhancer you will still have to stealth, fight or hack most of the game.
The same applies to hacking, combat or stealth... At some point you will have to delve into all four aspects of the game. So how is a boss fight such a huge injustice exactly?

That aside... As shown in my vids above the boss fight mechanics were a joke... Seriously Eidos... In future if you can't afford to do it in house, don't bother. You outsourced the boss fights and still didn't give us upper heng, India or Montreal. :(

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