PC Gamer

Fluorescent tubes? Dark, yellowy palette? Derelict futurism? It's all looking a bit Deus Ex to me.

The screenshot isn't confirmed to be from a new Deus Ex game, but is an in-engine shot of the engine behind the new Deus Ex game. It's called the Dawn Engine, and it's a modified version of IO's Glacier 2—the engine powering Hitman: Absolution.

"In the past, we ve relied on existing engines for our games," writes Eidos's Sacha Ramtohul. "But in the end, we found that our creative vision was somehow limited. So we decided it was time for us to invest in creating an engine tailored for our needs."

"Keep in mind despite any hints you may pick up from this image, this screenshot was only taken in order to display the level of detail and artistic fidelity that is possible with the Dawn Engine."

Fine, fine, so it's definitely not new Deus Ex. But the upcoming Universe project is further detailed in the post.

"As you can imagine, the Dawn Engine will form the cornerstone for all Deus Ex Universe projects at Eidos-Montr al," Ramtohul writes. "Some of you have had concerns that 'Universe' meant 'MMO'. Rest assured, it does not.

"Deus Ex Universe is the name we are giving to the fictional world and the rich lore we are creating for it, which will of course include core games, as well as any other projects that will help bring the world of Deus Ex to life."

Personally, I don't really care for the transmedia fudge DE:Universe is hinting at. But "core games"? I'll take some core games, especially if they live up to the light-hell promise of the above screen.

PC Gamer

WHY I LOVE

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Tom can't stop falling off buildings, climbing up and falling off again.

Sometimes an ability feels so good it changes the way I play a game, and the Icarus Landing System from Deux Ex: Human Revolution feels amazing. It's a meagre tool compared to Jensen's arsenal of bionic gadgets. He can spray tiny warheads from his shoulders and brutalise guards with spring-action swords that pop out of his elbows. An ability that reduces falling damage ought not to compare, and yet it is Jensen's most graceful manoeuvre.

Film, comic and game characters who love showing off have been using the three point landing for years. It's visual shorthand that implies a high level of martial skill. It can be quite expressive when used well. Spider-Man slaps against walls in a lithe, springy motion. Pavements everywhere fear Iron Man's crunchy fist-first variation. In Ghost In The Shell Kusanagi's heavy three-point landing shows the surprising weight of her augmented body, reminding us that she's beyond human.

Like Kusanagi, Jensen's landing is obviously augmented, but the characterisation is different: more delicate and controlled. You can upgrade it to deliver a concussive blast with the downward thrust of a palm, but it's an upgrade I never take—the standard animation is too perfect. Ten feet from the floor Jensen summons a gold aura with outstretched hands. As the ground approaches he folds into a crouched pose and the electromagnetic field cushions his landing. His trenchcoat settles around him and he casually stands, as though dropping three storeys from a rooftop is perfectly natural.

It has become completely natural for him. He poise of that landing shows that he's mastered his synthetic body. At two Praxis points, it's a surprisingly expensive upgrade, the sort you're likely to take later in the game when the environments shift to multi-tiered complexes. By fortune or design, acquiring the Icarus Landing some way into the game completes Jensen's traumatic evolution from regular Joe to robo-Joe. It also riffs on Human Revolution's fondness of the Icarus myth, used as an analogy for the perils of transhuman progress. It's a punchline. The modern Icarus' wings can melt away and he'll still come back to earth in a halo of golden light and land unharmed.

For all that, I mainly love the Icarus Landing system as a piece of sensory design. It's a prime example of Human Revolution's vision of an ornate black-and-gold cyberpunk renaissance, complemented by the best noise in the game—a sonorous "fvvvwoooomph" that's both gentle and ominous. The overall effect is one of coiled power, which is fitting for a man who's had every inch of his being weaponised.

Outside of its opening hours, Human Revolution's plot isn't too concerned with issues surrounding human augmentation on an individual body-horror level, spiralling quickly into a tale of conspiracy and corporate espionage. Human Revolution lets you frame Jensen's reaction to his implants—using the famous "I didn't ask for this" line if you wish—and then moves away from the topic. But abilities like the Icarus landing and the Typhoon Explosive System do offer a stance, and the stance is: human augmentation is really fucking cool.

When you activate one of these abilities, the camera pops out of first-person to spin cinematically around Jensen's mo-capped animation. After the Icarus landing he pauses for a moment and looks up before standing—a touch of flair you'll see in any big-screen three-point landing. The artifice of the whole thing is compounded by the total lack of reaction from nearby pedestrians.

This carefully manufactured sense of cool is an essential prerequisite for the player character of a big-budget game, but in Human Revolution it comments directly on one of the central themes. Never mind the immunocompromised early adopters of bionic technology, or issues of identity concerning the replacement of natural limbs with superior robotic versions, look at this man who can shrug bombs and jump off buildings. Look at his retractable sunglasses. Look at his lovely coat.

I wouldn't have it any other way in this instance. Heroes are designed to be aspirational figures, and achieve that in problematic ways in some cases, but I've fallen for Adam Jensen. It's not because of the coat, or the shades, or the beard that could double as a can opener in moments of need. I want to jump off a building and land in a haze of electromagnetic energy, and go "fvvvwoooomph". It's the only reason I bother to navigate the fiddly rooftop walkways of Human Revolution's city environments, climbing up and jumping off repeatedly to the impassive stares of passing citizens. Bring on our augmented future. My body is ready.

PC Gamer

WHY I LOVE

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, stealthing around ships. We don't know why all the best stealth levels are set on boats, but they are.

Due to the popularity of military shooters, the ship level has become clich . It's the genre's lava level. Inevitably, it has a TV Tropes page.

I don't care. I love them. Specifically, I love them in stealth games, where they act as a setting, rather than a set piece. That bit where you're running through a semi-cinematic disaster movie, an invisible trigger sending the next wave of flooding water crashing through a door? I'm not a fan, thanks Tomb Raider. Scripting robs the setting of that sense of separation from the outside world; the idea of a small, confined, claustrophobic space with no escape and no backup. Not just for me, but for them—the guards.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Missing Link DLC opens on a ship, and it's one my favourite sections of the game. There is a very functional design philosophy to a big floating boat that sits at odds with the game's stylised futurism. In the open cities and sprawling office complexes, Deus Ex could lace its environments with high-tech design. The ship is just a ship. The scale is different—narrower, more linear. It's filled with plain, metallic walls. The doors are bulky slabs of mass. It feels solid. Real. 

See also: the original Deus Ex, or Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. These levels stand apart as standalone vignettes contained with the overall flow of their respective campaigns.

It's pure coincidence that I'm writing this on the week of Alien: Isolation's release, but it's fitting. That is, to all intents and purposes, a stealth game set on a ship. But it occupies a different mental space than what I'm talking about here. In many ways it's the opposite. The film Alien is about a crew trapped in an inescapable place with a unstoppable killer. It is a film about being hunted. But take the opening Tanker chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2—it flips the concept. Your enemies are the ones trapped in an inescapable space, and you are the unstoppable killer.

I was about 17 when the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo came out. It was around the same time I was discovering horror films. The demo—containing the first section of the Tanker prologue—felt like a powerful, cathartic inversion to the stories I was watching. It manifested as a fascination with toying with the guards. First, I'd shoot out their radio, disabling communication with the ship at large. Then, I'd move. Give them a glimpse that something is out there. Finally I'd strike.

I should probably point out that I'm not a psychopathic monster. Games can, to the outsider, be horrifying. My repeated MGS2 playthroughs probably looked like sadistic torture sessions—another young mind corrupted by violence and giant seafaring transport vehicles. That's not the case—if anything, the experience felt more like I was directing a movie. None of it was real, so what story can I tell? How about a story where the monster wins.

In Hitman: Blood Money, the monster is even more insidious. He hides in plain sight.

In Hitman: Blood Money, the monster is even more insidious. He hides in plain sight. Here, 47 is essentially the Thing—another film based on horror in a remote environment. In the Death on the Mississippi level you discover members of different social strata scattered throughout compartments of the ship including workers, revelers, and, of course, your intended victims. With care, you can move through them all, a powerful subversive presence that, if you're playing as intended, passes unseen. I always play stealth games as perfectly as possible, often reloading if the fantasy of hunting through these spaces is broken.

The ultimate example is Coloratura, the winner of last year's Interactive Fiction competition. In it, you're a literal monster—pulled from the deep and tasked with finding your way home. The monster's actions are initially obfuscated by its alien thought patterns, but eventually, as you work out what you're doing, you'll realise the effect that you're having on the ship's human inhabitants. And then you'll keep doing it anyway.

To an extent you can pull this off in any remote setting. But there's something about the sea that makes the concept so irresistible. In every direction is a vast and inhospitable ocean, and I'm the most deadly thing on it.

PC Gamer

Not only was Deus Ex 3 in development at Ion Storm before its closure in 2005, but the studio mocked up six possible narrative arcs for the title. That's according to a presentation delivered by

journalist Joe Martin

at a recent VideoBrains event. Martin has original design notes for the canned project, as well as short synopses for two of the six optioned storylines.

"The first is about an augmented Black Ops soldier who goes AWOL upon discovering he's been used for dodgy dealings," Martin

wrote on his blog

. "His handlers find him and threaten him with either court martial or his wife's execution if he doesn't do one final job." According to Martin, this option would have seen missions switch between flashbacks and current day stories.

"The second story begins immediately after the ending for Deus Ex in which you destroy all global communications. In this story you'd investigate the collapse and try to save your sister from a cult which arises in the chaos."

Martin has gathered the information as part of a project to save the 'deleted scenes' of iconic video game projects. His post touches on the early design stages of Doom as well, and is

well worth a read

.

Deus Ex 3 did end up happening in the form of Eidos Montreal's

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

, but it bears few connections to the teams responsible for the original Deus Ex and its poorly received sequel Invisible War. If the history of games which never eventuated piques your interest, then maybe you'll enjoy these

early concept images

for the original Deus Ex.
PC Gamer
deusex


Not only was Deus Ex 3 in development at Ion Storm before its closure in 2005, but the studio mocked up six possible narrative arcs for the title. That's according to a presentation delivered by journalist Joe Martin at a recent VideoBrains event. Martin has original design notes for the canned project, as well as short synopses for two of the six optioned storylines.

"The first is about an augmented Black Ops soldier who goes AWOL upon discovering he s been used for dodgy dealings," Martin wrote on his blog. "His handlers find him and threaten him with either court martial or his wife s execution if he doesn t do one final job." According to Martin, this option would have seen missions switch between flashbacks and current day stories.

"The second story begins immediately after the ending for Deus Ex in which you destroy all global communications. In this story you d investigate the collapse and try to save your sister from a cult which arises in the chaos."

Martin has gathered the information as part of a project to save the 'deleted scenes' of iconic video game projects. His post touches on the early design stages of Doom as well, and is well worth a read.

Deus Ex 3 did end up happening in the form of Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but it bears few connections to the teams responsible for the original Deus Ex and its poorly received sequel Invisible War. If the history of games which never eventuated piques your interest, then maybe you'll enjoy these early concept images for the original Deus Ex.
PC Gamer
steam sale day 9


There aren t any big surprises in today s Daily Deals (how many times has GTAIV been discounted?), but cheap games are cheap games and there are some good ones today. There are also some holdovers from previous days, such as the BioShock Triple Pack, which has only lost 8% of its discount since Wednesday. Peek at our picks from previous days to see if any former Daily Deals are still discounted.

Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.
5 - Resident Evil 4: Ultimate HD Edition
40% off: $11.99 / 8.99 - Steam store page

Resident Evil 4 got a terrible PC port once, long ago. It's a sensitive topic. We don't like to talk about it. But the Ultimate HD Edition does justice to one of the greatest shooters of all time, with cleaned-up textures, a 60 fps option and responsive keyboard and mouse controls. The game is just as intense and brilliantly crafted as it was in 2004. The port has even gotten some substantial updates since release to fix bugs, improve some graphical effects, and eliminate a few of our complaints, like allowing us to remap the keys used for QTEs. RE4 is always worth playing again, and this is the version to play.
4 - Grand Theft Auto Complete Pack
80% off: $9.99 / 6.24 - Steam store page

Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, and Grand Theft Auto IV that s a lot of Grand Theft Auto. If you re only interested in GTAIV, the Complete Edition is also 80% off and half the price of the Complete Pack. It s been a while since GTAIV released (has it really been six years already?), so there s a decent chance you have no need for it, but it s a nice gift for anyone who hasn t yet seen a horse take it to the limit.
3 - Age of Empires II HD
75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page

Teutonic Knights. In HD. What more can you ask for? If that isn't enough, there are a few more benefits to this HD port of one of the greatest strategy games of all time, like online multiplayer and Steam Workshop support? How about a new expansion with five new civilizations? Twitch streaming? Modern Windows support? If you like Age of Empires II, well, you should probably own this.
2 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut
75% off: $4.99 / 3.24 - Steam store page

It was no small feat to bring back a franchise as beloved as Deus Ex. Eidos Montreal took on the task in the best way possible, creating a prequel that hints at the future from the first game, but puts its own stamp on the world. The director s cut here includes the full game and its Missing Link DLC, plus optional developer commentary. It s a great package for very little money.
1 - System Shock 2
85% off: $1.49 / 1.04 - Steam store page | Flash deal: buy before 8 p.m. EST

A bonafide classic of PC gaming, Irrational s first game set the template for its modern shooters, BioShock and BioShock Infinite. There aren t a lot of moments in the halls of the Von Braun when you don t feel vulnerable and alone, listening for the groans of mutants or worse, the babbling of cybernetic midwives and wondering how you ll get past them. Yes, the game is 15 years old, but this new release includes an improved engine, and the game s passionate fans have made plenty of mods that improve textures and models. If you ever wondered where the seeds of Rapture come from, you can find out here for less than the price of a cup of coffe.

Other deals today
Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.

Payday 2 (80% off) $5.99 / 4.59
BioShock Triple Pack (75% off) $14.99 / 9.99
PC Gamer
Deus Ex The Fall 1


I played The Fall on a tablet and thought it was pretty good. It did a solid job of translating Human Revolution to a mobile platform, at the expense of some complexity. But on PC it s like watching a 240p YouTube video on an IMAX screen.

Its mobile roots are obvious, from the tiny environments, blurry textures and low-poly character models, to the on-screen prompts, which use the old touchscreen icons. It s an unforgivably half-arsed port.

You play Ben Saxon, a gravel-voiced English war veteran and mercenary who joins the Tyrants, otherwise known as those annoying bosses from the main game. Your missions still revolve around a city hub, in this case Panama City, and it s filled with the requisite sidequests, chatty NPCs, vents, hackable doors, and hidden items. But it feels so small, even compared to the not-even-that-massive Detroit and Hengsha. The streets are bizarrely narrow, and there s no sense of it being a metropolis that s sprawling and alive. This wasn t such a big deal on a mobile screen, but on PC it feels claustrophobic.

This goon will vanish when he hits the deck.

It might look like Human Revolution at first glance, but it won t take you long to discover that it s a stunted and hamstrung version of the game you like. The AI is dismal, guards patrolling in slow, predictable patterns and standing motionless in firefights. When I was wrestling with the laggy touchscreen controls on the mobile version that was a blessing; here, with traditional FPS controls, the lack of intelligence is wholly unsatisfying. Enemy bodies vanish, even if taken out nonlethally, which was presumably to save memory in the mobile version, but makes no sense on a modern PC. Robotic animations, weedy shooting and floaty movement don t help.

The menus have been streamlined, the inventory Tetris elements removed, and you can buy anything you need at any time from a magical shopfront. This is, of course, the microtransactions store from the mobile version, which has been brought over unchanged except for the removal of the real-world money option. Ridiculous. And why are the menus so unresponsive? Often you ll have to click on a button several times before it registers. Something as simple as upgrading your gun is rendered frustrating by the sticky, messy menus.

Panama City, capital of bad voice acting.

It s a shame, because this could have been a very decent slice of DLC had they remade it in the Human Revolution engine. There are a few good missions in here, and fans of HR s story will appreciate learning more about the motives of the Tyrants, whose backstories were only touched on in Jensen s story. Don t be fooled by the black-andgold screenshots and the familiar interface: this is not the Deus Ex you know and love. It s a bad cover version, and truly one of the worst PC ports I ve played in some time, and I ve played Deadly Premonition. I definitely didn t ask for this.

Details
Expect to pay: 8 / 10
Release: Out now
Developer: Eidos Montreal, N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Multiplayer: None
Link: www.deusex.com/thefall
PC Gamer
Deus Ex


We never asked for this reportedly shoddy PC port of the Deus Ex mobile game The Fall. We never asked for this impressive Human Revolution short fan film, but we're glad it got made anyway. We also never asked for this Deus Ex expanded universe thingy, but we'll be glad if it results in another PC game as good as HR. That day may be sooner than we thought, if a recent filed trademark is anything to go by. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is its name, and there is a modicum of evidence to suggest it may be a proper HR sequel, rather than another mobile game. We never asked you to join us after the break.

The trademark details have been collected here by NeoGAF user R sti, and suggest that it relates to "Computer game software", "Printed matter" and "Entertainment services", ie the sort of things that tend to encompass your average Square Enix release. That admittedly sketchy evidence involves the following quote from Eidos Montreal head David Anfossi, taken from an old blog post regarding a future Deus Ex game.

"I want to leave you with a piece of concept art from our next-gen Deus Ex game that shows trans-humanism segregation, which is a backdrop to our vision for the next Deus Ex. It represents a "ghetto-city' voluntarily built in order to separate the classes. The people in this segregated class have reshaped their environment, nostalgic for their ideal of Cyber Renaissance. This dark and dystopian vision sets the tone for things to come in Deus Ex." Trans-human segregation, eh? Sounds a bit like Mankind is Divided.

Let's not get our hopes too far up about this trademark, seeing how the last one resulted in a mobile game, but still: I'd say we're long overdue a proper Human Revolution sequel. And with E3 around the corner, the timing seems about right too.

Thanks, NeoGAF.
PC Gamer
Deus Ex film


A short minute-long teaser for the Deus Ex: Human Revolution fan film was released back in December 2012. Fifteen months later, and you can finally see the short film's extra eleven minutes. They contain improbable hair, piercing arm-spikes, and the non-standard use of a cigar clipper. As was the case back then, it's still a brilliantly realised recreation of the looks and feel of the game.

Okay, so not quite the look and feel of the game. For that to happen, every frame would need to be filtered through an unhealthy yellow sheen.

PC Gamer
Deus Ex The Fall


Square Enix have announced that mobile game Deus Ex: The Fall is being re-released on Steam in a new and reworked PC edition, to be released on March 25th. Did anyone ask for this? Probably, because The Fall was supposedly a competent if somewhat unremarkable extension of the atmosphere and ideas of Human Revolution. As you'd hope from a PC port, the game has been augmented to support keyboard, mouse and controller. The mobile version's in-app purchase options have also been removed.

Here's the feature list that Square Enix have released alongside their announcement:


No in-game purchase options
28 Steam achievements
Adjusted AI
Steam Trading Cards, Badges and (TBC)
Revised tutorial
Full keyboard and Mouse control optimisation
Rebalanced game economy taking into account no IAP
Microsoft Controller support
Removal of auto target options
Reduction in aiming recital size
Choice in cover style as DXHR (HOLD or Toggle)
Resolution options
Anti Aliasing option
Vsync
Control maps for keyboard and gamepad


Basically, they're doing everything that would be required of an iOS to PC port. Will it be enough? It's hard not to be massively sceptical about a mobile port, but, if Square Enix can deliver a quality conversion, The Fall should be a nice slice of Deus Ex to tide us over until the mysterious Deus Ex: Universe is further revealed.

Deus Ex: The Fall will release on Steam this March 25th, priced 8/$10.
...

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