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Human Revolution Lead Designer: Boss Fights And Ending Were "A Big Disappointment"

Jonathan Lester
Boss, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal, Ending

Human Revolution Lead Designer: Boss Fights And Ending Were "A Big Disappointment"

"Should We Have Cut Them?"

In our 9/10 Deus Ex: Human Revolution review, our only major criticisms (apart from some stability issues) regarded the appalling outsourced boss fights and lacklustre ending. Eidos Montreal's lead designer has now spoken out on these two points - and has described them as a "big disappointment." However, the decision to include them was made because they were still considered to be "entertaining in some fashion." Which they were, I suppose.

Slight spoiler alert. You've been warned.

In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, lead designer Jean-Francois Dugas slams the quality of the boss fights (outsourced to G.R.I.P. Entertainment), but suggests that the reality of deadline, tight budgets and design limitations means that we couldn't have had it any other way.

The big disappointment was with the boss fights, because we weren’t able to bring them to the level quality that we had in mind. That is my disappointment, but in the reality of the past few years, and all the other things we have had to contend with, I think it would have been hard to have the bosses otherwise.

When we started the goal was to have those boss fights with the same design and rules as 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. 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.

Should we have cut them? It’s a decision we made, we said “well at least they will be entertaining in some fashion.”

As far as Human Revolution's four-button ending is concerned, Dugas admits that time and design limitations meant that they couldn't facilitate the true multiple story endings that they originally strived for.

There are two aspects to the ending. 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. Just on that basis I can understand why players were disappointed to be faced with a four-button choice.

Oh well. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is still one of the best games of the year, and a staggering achievement for Eidos Montreal. The dip in quality of the bosses and ending were made so obvious simply because everything else was so freaking good. [RPS]

What did you make of the boss fights and the very end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Let us know in the comments!

Add a comment4 comments
Late  Sep. 23, 2011 at 21:08

Whilst I didn't like the boss fights, I'm glad they weren't just cut. They were pretty fun, and challenging (not because they were bosses and supposed to be difficult, but because most folk would find themselves ill equipped for them). That said, though, I would have preferred the release date be pushed back so that the lead team could re-jig things how they wanted. So I didn't like the bosses, but they were acceptable.

The multiple endings thing, though, was completely unacceptable. It seems to me that they had the game perfectly set up for proper multiple endings. Lots of things throughout the story had consequences (immediate consequences is easy - but I'm talking consequences much later in the story) so why couldn't they apply that to the ending?
It's not a case of the ending only looked poor because the rest of the game was so good. (I'm happy with that reasoning for the boss fights.) The reason the ending sucked was that the ending sucked.
As you approach the end you know there's dozens more hours in the game, because you've seen there's an achievement available for seeing every possible ending. I can't adequately express the disappointment that follows a few minutes later when you see you've actually got about five minutes play left. See an ending, reload, see another... An absolute farce.
Fortunately, whilst the ending detracts from the game, it's detracting from a masterpiece - and as such you're still left with a truly outstanding game.

Zeipher  Sep. 23, 2011 at 22:11

Fantastic comment, Late! I'd be interested in reading a review you've written if you have any about.

Late  Sep. 24, 2011 at 15:14

Thank you Zeipher.
No reviews - I haven't the artistic creativity or language skills. I just respond to others' work ;-)

(If, on the other hand, you need accounts or tax returns preparing give me a shout!)

Zeipher  Sep. 25, 2011 at 01:14

Lol, I'll keep you in mind. Think about reviewing, I think you had a knack for it :)

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