May 28, 2013
After a disastrous financial year, in which Square Enix not only failed to make their expected profits, but were hit instead with by massive financial loss, the company's senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda has been looking at Kickstarter as a possible guide to improving "asset turnover". Which isn't to say they'll attempt to raise $100,000,000 for a Tomb Raider sequel via the crowd-funding site. ($110,000,000 stretch goal: add some proper tombs.) Instead, Matsuda wants Square Enix to interact with its customers at an earlier stage.
"One could go as far as to say that in today's times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them," Matsuda said, in an earnings call two weeks ago. "We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations."
"There is a crowdfunding website called 'Kickstarter,'" he continued, "which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development."
Matsuda also pointed to Steam's Greenlight and Early Access initiatives as ways in which game makers are communicating with their community:
"Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs. We are also looking at what initiatives are possible from this perspective. What should we present to our customers before a game is finished, how can our customers enjoy this, and how do we connect this to profitability, is something we are thinking about implementing, and which can improve our asset turnover in the process."
Traditionally these services have been used by smaller developers, with smaller communities, making direct engagement a more manageable prospect. How Square Enix would scale these ideas out onto a much larger scale remains to be seen. But more openness and interaction from the publisher surely can't be a bad thing.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Alec Meer)
We sat out April Fools’ Day entirely on RPS, because we are cheerless fucks who can’t abide even the mere idea of other people having a laugh. Also because it was a bank holiday in the UK, but, y’know, principles.> The upside of this is that I can safely ignore everything which arrived in my inbox yesterday. The downside is that a couple of genuinely lovely things get overlooked. Thus, I shall break all the rules and not overlook a couple of them after all. For instance, Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Defiance, which starts off with the rather videogames industry-stereotypical April 1 jape of ‘hey wouldn’t it be funny if we went retro?’ but winds up, perhaps inadvertently, making a 16-bit, 2D, reductive Deus Ex look hugely appealing. (more…)
A listing for a certain Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut has recently popped up on Amazon US. The Wii U-exclusive rerelease apparently has "a multitude of improvements, features and additional content" over the original game, along with the ability to use the Wii U Gamepad via a brand new augmentation, the Neural Hub. Features list below:
- Ultimate Deus Ex: Human Revolution experience : take advantage of a multitude of improvements, features and additional content that bring this already critically-acclaimed adventure to whole new levels
- Tap into the Wii U's GamePad true potential: Adam Jensen's newest augmentation, the Neural Hub, offers an immersive and empowering experience, right at the tips of your fingers
- Absolute fusion of action and role-play: A unique combination of action-packed close-quarter takedowns and intense shooting, offering a vast array of augmentations and upgrades for the many weapons at your disposal
- Multi-solution structure: Choose how to accomplish each mission using combat, hacking, stealth or social mode to create a customized experience to suit any gaming style
- Diverse customization: Engage in combat and challenges utilizing deep, specialized character augmentations and weapon upgrades
The Amazon page advertises a price of $49.99, and a release date of May 7. We're contacting Square Enix for any comments, and will update this post if we get a response.
Update: Square Enix told us that they do not have a comment at this time.
Mar 7, 2013
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - email@example.com (David Valjalo)
Following his exploration of that murky world of game-to-film adaptations, movie brat David Valjalo finds himself in deep debate with Deus Ex overlord David Anfossi, talking cyberpunk, Sergio Leone and why the forthcoming Deus Ex film will break the trend and be one to watch.> (more…)
Mar 1, 2013
Deus Ex: Human Defiance was trademarked by Square Enix recently, sparking speculation that a follow up to Human Revolution may be brewing deep in Eidos Montreal's fanciest limb clinics. Human Revolution was a faithful recreation of the original shot through a cool, edgy black and gold cyber-renaissance lens. It was a successful modernisation of a PC gaming classic that made our Tom Francis very happy indeed (find out why in our Deus Ex: Human Revolution review). But, like the man who's just received a pair of awesome bionic arms and can't help but complain, we're never entirely happy, so we got our heads together and formed a list of things we'd like to see from the next Deus Ex.
Will you agree? There's only one way to find out, and that's to hack our brains have a read and see.
Bosses like the Missing Link
Eidos Montreal have already figured out how to make a great boss fight in a Deus Ex game, and they did it: just the once. The final bad guy in the Missing Link DLC is just a guy. The challenge is all in getting to him: he's in an office at the back of a large hangar crawling with powerful guards and security systems. But if you can get past them, there's nothing to stop you just knocking out the final boss in a single punch. There's nothing to stop you tazering him, chucking a gas grenade into his office, or anything else that works on normal enemies. There's even a way to steal his awesome custom revolver before the final confrontation, leaving him with a crappy standard issue one when you fight him. More of that, please!
Better living cities
Though most of the action in DXHR takes place after hours, and the streets have a certain appropriate sparseness, the hubs did occasionally feel a little too hokey and static. Detroit is supposedly decimated by riots - but they all happen off-stage. The odd moving car or clump of pedestrians going about their business would make the environments come alive.
New power resource
Why does one energy blip recharge after using a special ability, but the others you’ve spent valuable Praxis points on don’t? Why does punching a man with your awesome blade arms instantly exhaust a blip? If you’ve managed to get that close to a guard, it shouldn’t require a massive energy expenditure to take him down - the hard part is already done. A power resource mechanic that feels less arbitrarily restrictive would be a welcome.
Deeper hacking mechanics
For a fiction totally centered on the potential and threat of interconnectedness, the mechanics which reflected this in-game were spartan. The hacking mini-game was great, but it didn’t describe the range and power of hacking in a way which gave you control over a swathe of disparate systems. If more things were hackable - perhaps even other people - and the things you could then do with them more varied, then it would better realise that fundamental of cyberpunk fiction.
Alternatives to air vents
Deus Ex has to give you multiple paths through every location - it wouldn’t be Deus Ex, otherwise - but Human Revolution relied a little too heavily on air vents for its alternative routes. The act of crawling slowly through a narrow tunnel just isn’t terribly interesting. You could punch through walls, but only in strictly defined zones. It’d be nice to play with more inventive augmentations like this, all designed to let you traverse the environment in unusual ways - cutting openings through bullet-proof glass with finger blades, or rappelling down walls to reach an open window, perhaps.
Human Revolution, like the original Deus Ex, is guilty of suddenly locking you in a room at the end of the game and asking you which final cutscene you’d like to see. The options are interesting enough to create a fraught moral dilemma, but they’re offered offered in such a contrived manner that it’s hard to take the choice seriously. If the competing themes you’re choosing to side with in the final moments have been foreshadowed throughout the game you might have more sense of the impact your choice will have on the world. However it’s presented in the next Deus Ex, it shouldn’t feel like a fire-and-forget button press.
More non-combat augmentations
The social augmentation was a surprisingly neat addition to Deus Ex’ cyborg arsenal. It allowed you to read subconscious cues to better manipulate NPCs, and even release persuasive pheromones to nudge their opinions in the right direction. It felt like a novelty to use Jensen’s cyborg powers outside of a combat scenario. It would be nice to see that more. Denton and Jensen are hard-hitting SWAT types, but there’s no reason they can’t use their augmentations to become great detectives, using new implants to read more of their environment than the ordinary human eye ever could.
Nothing hammers home the gruesome nature of your diminishing humanity better than a cyborg eyeball. In Human Revolution, all of Jensen's augmentations were implanted in one crazy intense game of Operation at the very beginning, and gradually turned on as the game went on. Imagine seeing those augmentations change your character. A Borg-esque eyeball would look a bit out of place given the slick Ghost in the Shell technological aesthetic Eidos Montreal's artists rolled with, but even subtle effects like a change in eye colour or the spidery web of faintly glowing electrodes would map your augmentation decisions onto your avatar and mark their journey from ordinary Joe into a paragon of transhumanism.
You discover that your dog Kubrick wasn’t really put down at all and is living on a farm.
You can flick your futuristic shades on and off with the press of a button at any time.
Retractable knee chisels.
In the next Deus Ex, you actually did ask for this.
Datapads stream from the game onto tablets you own.
When left idle Jensen produces a glass of whiskey and a cigarette and stares moodily into middle distance.
Cancellation of idle animation causes Jensen to accidentally crush the glass and stare in horror at cold metal hands.
And that's all from us for now, but what would YOU like from a new Deus Ex game?
Feb 27, 2013
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Alec Meer)
Now, don’t go jumping to any conclusions just yet. That’s how poor old Richard Kimble ended up having such a hard time of things. All that’s happened is that Squeenix have taken out a trademark in the name of ‘Deus Ex: Human Defiance.’ It could be anything. It could be nothing. It could be a game. It could be a movie. It could be another ropey spin-off comic. It could be a typo. It could be the official Deus Ex pancake mix.
It’s probably a game though, innit? (more…)
Update: Mysterious gaming sleuth superannuation reports a couple whois searches for the Human Defiance domain shows CBS Films as the registrant, a strong suggestion that the title is for the upcoming film adaptation from CBS and Eidos Montreal. Previously, director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill said they're targeting a cyberpunk vibe for the film's theme.
Original: Time to activate your speculation augmentation. You did all get that particular upgrade, right? Honestly, giant arm swords are all well and good, but they'll hardly help you to deal with the news that Square Enix have filed a new Deus Ex trademark. The trademark application - submitted February 26 and spotted by NeoGAF - is for Deus Ex: Human Defiance, and has a classification class that heavily focuses on words like "computer", "video", "game" and "software". What could it all mean?
Best case scenario: a follow-up to the excellent Human Revolution. Worst case? Probably an iPad game/movie tie-in for the upcoming cinematic adaptation. Other possibilities? A port of DX:HR, a standalone time-trial of all the boss battles, an HD remake of Deus Ex: Invisible War...
Okay, clearly my speculation drives have failed. What do you think Square Enix have in store? (And more importantly, if Eidos Montreal are set to make a sequel, where the hell is Thief 4?)
Feb 21, 2013
When the words "videogame" and "movie" appear in a sentence together, it's natural for the stomach to involuntarily knot. Whether or not filmmakers stay true to the source material, there's always a risk of facepalm-worthy adaptations. The secretive Deus Ex: Human Revolution film won't hit theaters anytime soon, but director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and co-writer C. Robert Cargill state in an interview with CraveOnline that the film focuses on its cyberpunk influences over the hurdle of bringing a videogame to the silver screen.
"The chief philosophy is we’re not making a videogame movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie," Cargill says. "We've taken a look at what’s worked in videogames and what hasn't, and really what we've broken down is what we think the audience really wants and the audience that loves Deus Ex is going to want to see out of a Deus Ex movie."
So far, so good. I haven't yet thought a single "Oh God no!" from Cargill's comments, but his next remarks sound a little more hairy: "And it’s not a rehashing of the game. What want to see are elements of the game that they love, but they want to see things that they hadn't quite seen in the game, that the game didn't allow them to see.
"So it’s really allowed us to expand upon the things that happened in the game, and the game has such a great cinematic story to begin with that those elements are very easy to extract. But really, at its core, we just keep telling each other, 'We're not making a video game movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie.' And Scott and I are such big cyberpunk fans from way back in the day that that just really charges us up. Because that’s what’s so great about Deus Ex to begin with, is it really gets cyberpunk. Eidos Montreal really understood the nature of cyberpunk and made 'the' cyberpunk game, and it is just fantastic, and we've just had a great time adapting it."
Eidos Montreal and CBS Films haven't discussed possible casting decisions yet, nor how exactly Cargill and Derrickson's vision jives with Human Revolution's already phenomenal atmosphere beyond a slight tweak to main character Adam Jensen's background from corporate security to cyborg SWAT officer. My skepticism augment stays switched on for now, but as I load up the tech-tones of the Sarif Industries theme to soothe my anxiety, I ask you: who would you like to see become Jensen in the Deus Ex film?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
A dragon gets its own "heeere's JOHNNY!" moment in this Skyrim pic from consistently excellent screenshot taker, Chewiemuse. It's got it all. Fire, a surprised Dark Elf, misty green underbrush tones that set off the inferno and a big inquisitive lizard. Bethesda's dragon designs seem to work better when the beasts are stationary. It's easy to imagine that head mounted on your wall above the fireplace. Perfect for freaking out visiting Jehova's Witnesses.
Alice: Madness Returns
by Nic Clapper
Here's the first of a couple of shots from Nic Clapper that'll be featured in this round-up. Alice: Madness Returns is absurdly colourful most of the time, but this well composed shot captures the darker side of Wonderland rather well. If you like good screenshots I'd heartily recommend having a glance over his Flickr account, which features shots like this one from Mirror's Edge, this one from Rage and this from Chronicles of Riddick. Lovely stuff.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I always wanted to saddle up Skyrim's Saber Cats and ride them across the frozen tundra. They did not prove co-operative, which led to many scenes similar to the shot above. It turns out all I needed was this Saber Cat Mount mod, but don't tell Chewiemuse that or he'll stop fighting them and taking sweet pictures. It's the fine details that really sell this scrap, like the crisp footprints these combatants have left in the snow.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
by Nic Clapper
An artful shot of one of a ceiling in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This shot made me realise that I've obviously never looked up in Human Revolution , and that ceilings are weird in the future. There's something very calming about this one that I can't put my finger on. Perhaps it's the gentle golden gradient that shifts from light into shadow. Perhaps it's the sight of all that pristine geometry at a skewed angle. I have no idea. All I know is that it's now my desktop background.
Deux Ex: Human Revolution
I don't know about you, but I suddenly want to play Human Revolution again. It was never a graphical powerhouse, but Eidos Montreal did a great job of turning their gorgeous concept art into game assets, and created a restrained and elegant vision of our augmented future. There's a slight smokiness intruding on the pragmatic corporate design that hints at the smog outside, and there's a bit of an ENB filter on to up the contrast and deepen those shadows.
It wouldn't be a screenshot round-up without Project Cars, the pretty and intensely detailed racing sim from Slightly Mad Studios, which seems to have spawned more screenshots on our forums than any other game (except perhaps Skyrim). It's easy to see why. Sunshine shots show off the vehicles' reflective surfaces nicely enough but this image from Leviathan demonstrates a different mood more in line with the traditional British weather we've been experiencing recently. But completely uniform blank grey skies can be beautiful too, right> RIGHT?
That's your lot for now. Reckon you could do better? We'd love to see more of your screenshots, and you never know, they might end up in future round-ups here on PCGamer.com. Submit your entries, or peruse our readers' fine works on our forums.