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Sturgeon

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   On surface levels you can see battle scenes pretty frequently

 

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   For some reason it feels like enemies are exploding from anger rather than from a hit by a wrist blade that looks like a middle finger.

 

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   Shooting in the "head" part of Super droids will take out a piece of their armor, but i'm not sure if it really makes a differences.

 

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   You and clones have a shield that protects you from some amount of damage. All soldiers under your command are not invincible and can be downed. If you get downed, you can call for help and AI will revive you.

 

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   Super Disassembled Droid.

 

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   Just usual re-planning of room layout with explosives.

 

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   One of short defence against waves of enemies moments, although it is not as bad as usually they are in action games. Player can control how long it will annoy him by closing windows faster/slower.

 

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   All actions you can do your squadmates also can do (if ordered).

 

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   SBD with chest and head plates taken out by our fire.

 

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   Clone troopers sometimes after firefights check dead bodies. In case of Sev he make sure that those bug things are dead with additional shooting (while others don't do that), which fits his character.

 

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   2 SBDs are pain in the ass. Sniper rifles and grenades are capable weapon to deal with them.

 

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   You can give a command for a squad to use this turret or jump inside by yourself. Thanks to devs to not forcing me into those things, i have a freedom to jump in when i want that.

 

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   SBD deployed shield to annoy us even more.

 

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   Surprisingly easy enemy to deal with, even with high amount of HPs, thanks to arena layouts and pre-placed points to put your troopers in. 2 SBDs are harder to fight.

 

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   Teammates and their AI are pretty well designed, they are usefull and as capable as main hero, not getting in the way and quick to react to your orders. Also provide humour, tone for situation, etc.  

 

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   Accidently activated one of Super Duper Droirds.

 

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   Hello, bug creature.

 

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   I like how clones are making their entry points.

 

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   SBD without some of its armor plating.

 

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   Sniper shot took out half of droid, kek.

 

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   Not bad dismemberment system.

 

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   Anti-armor attachment for main weapon of clones. Fire like a 20th century grenade launcher.

 

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   When you are down, you have 3 options, which is good.

 

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   That is a bit advanced weapon for bug things.

 

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   Is this Ghost in the Shell?

 

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   This operation was a bit unusual for SW: RC, it began as a light horror with empty Republican ship.

 

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   First soldier you see is attacked by a flying droid that captured him.

 

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   Enemy finnaly appeared.

 

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   Those droids that tries to capture you sometimes are sitting on walls and roofs in attempt to ambush ship's crew members.

 

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   Slaver executes soldier in front of you.

 

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   You can pick up 1 enemy weapon. This is a shotgun of one of slavers.

 

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   A bit of inequality between clones sparks some angry feelings

 

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   That guy with knifes, kek.

 

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   Droid almost got me.

 

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   Electrical grenades stun enemies.

 

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   Mines. You need to slowly crawl to them to disarm.

 

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   Another violent execution

 

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   Another enemy weapon - belt-fed MG.

 

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   Those cylindrical things are endless spawn points for certain enemy types. Annoying as hell, but not too hard (until you get to SBD spawner).

 

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   Pushing together with Fixer. AI in "advance" mode.

 

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   In such moments it feels like you are going shoulder to shoulder against baddies.

 

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   Custom melee animations are pretty cool, they are not just generic "hit thing in front of you with a stock" animation.

 

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   Ammo counter gives you total number of shells you carry with this weapon, while amount of ammunition in weapon's magazine is shown with individual rounds that you can count, near build-in ammo indicator.

 

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   Flashbanged myself, heh.

 

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   Downed allies can be put back in action by you, or by your teammates.

 

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   Prepared for Trandos attack.

 

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   Sometimes you will encounter static turrets.

 

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   2-3 rounds left in a mag out of 21 total.

 

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   Sev (07) is covering me with his sniper rifle. Sometimes feeling of depending on your squad mates is getting pretty strong in moments when you are placing bomb/hacking things and vulnerable to attacks, while soldiers are taking out enemies around you.

 

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   Preparing for entry.

 

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   SBD arrived. I found them to be less interesting with times as they are overused.

 

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   During firefights squadmates usually don't run around like idiots in 12 random directions, so you can fire at baddies while being very close to friendlies. Works (mostly) well in tight enviroments or when you push through chokenodes.

 

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   Turrets are easy to take out with sniper rifle.

 

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   Fuck you too!

 

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   We are getting in

 

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   ... while Slavers are getting out, not without our help with HE grenades.

 

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   Another such melee animation. Knife blade is now his tongue, kek.

 

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   You forgot to put some blaster shots to make sure that he is dead!

 

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   The only way to destroy spawners is to put explosives on them (takes 10 seconds of standing in front of it and pressing buttons)

 

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   With time player gets more and more tactical options to place squat members.

 

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   Attacks started to stop us as our objective is almost complete.

 

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   Done.

 

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   New enemies to deal with - our evil "twins". Mercs are spawned in squads and have somebody that acts as teamleader, making all tactical hand gestures and stuff.

 

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   Better equipped than Slavers.

 

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   I suspect they are using generally same AI as your squad members.

 

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   This one is annoying - Super Battle Drods spawner. You need 20 seconds to put a bomb on it, and it is the only real way to take it out.

 

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   Shocker grenades are not terrible way to stun those droids. Teammates sometimes comment your cool or dumb actions.

 

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   Gas used to clear tunnels from Trando rats.

 

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   Those flying droids in the begining of this operation were capturing/killing crew of this ship and dumbing bodies here.

 

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   Shooting some of those Trando mercs in their backpacks/jetpacks make them cosplay fireworks.

 

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   New gun, not very enjoyable to use, though.

 

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   Soon this ship will spam us with spawners. We need to prepare for this.

 

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   Setting up some mines on explosive barrels.

 

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   Here they come.

 

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   Mines detect movement in certain radius from them. Those droids got inside of it, heh.

 

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   SBD spawner arrived.

 

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   Moving to next hangar. When squad is in "advance" mode, clones are moving ahead and one of them giving orders (playing animations showing tactikewl hand gestures)

 

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   This gun have some amount of special effects made for it.

 

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   Setting up another ambush.

 

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   3rd hangar. Sometimes there is way too many explosions, haha.

 

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   Thanks for not forcing me to clear 3rd hangar in the same way as first 2.

 

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My new addiction: 

 

https://www.satisfactorygame.com/

 

factory building and management game, made by the same people who made goat simulator! Looks good, plays pretty good (it is alpha, though), and is surprisingly satisfying (forgive the unintentional pun) to get everything properly running. Would recommend at least a look at it. 

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   And i'm continuing to post my playthrough of Republic Commando.

 

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   That was pretty cool moment, being on minefield and getting showered by hail of grenades.

 

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    ...and also being under pressure of a wave of Trandotian slavers and mercs.

 

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   Games gives you ability to put someone else into turret section istead of suffering through them, haha.

 

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   *Wookiee noises*

 

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   Hacking minefield, on top of which droids parked.

 

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   Cool fireworks as an award. Me like!

 

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   Delta squad decision making is revolving around "blowing shit up" and "using bigger explosions to blow up even bigger enemy shit".

 

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   Heh, spawning point for SBD arrived. Time to unwrap my Wookiee rocket launcher.

 

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   Unusual thing about this linear console shooter is that you can swap roles and be one to place bomb on mobile factory while your squad is covering your ass.

 

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   Funny thing is that this enemy feels easier to destroy than 2 SBDs.

 

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A warning- If you run into a "Meplat" on a game like WoT, etc, who is acting like a kid, it well may be.

I've decided to let my nieces and nephews play on my account (s), since their parents are very tight about 'net games.

 

It's just a way for me to be "the evil uncle" while keeping the kids from going crazy with my Brother's credit card.

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   Getting close to the end.

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   Wookiee smash!

 

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   "Red" Barrels in this game are used a bit more clever way than in other shooters - you can place proximity fuzes on those things. 

 

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   Wookiee gun, works as sniper blaster thing.

 

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   A bit tired.

 

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   Destructible terrain/surroundings would fit this game very much.

 

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   Without few upper body armor plates.

 

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   You encounter those mobile factories/spawning points way to often IMO.

 

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   Visor cleaning is automated, unlike Metro games, kek.

 

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   Placing proximity mine on this barrel with explosive materials.

 

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   Sam Wookiee

 

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   Bossfight with those assassin droids. Not really hard, they are just massive HP bars that are jumping around time to time.

 

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   Completed original Mass Effect trilogy. Will do "short" review/notes about it instead of yeat another full review, because there are more of those about ME than extraterrestrial planets known to humanity, lol. 

 

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   As a trilogy

 

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   Overal it was a good trilogy with high points, emotional moments, memorable charahters, places and situations. It could have been better, but it reached pretty high grounds anyway. I played all of them with almost all DLCs, BTW.

   As action/shooty-shooty game ME reached highest levels in ME3 with improvements to movement, cover system, camera, weapons and weapons mods, side missions, enemy design and so on. Quality of writing was all over the place in ME IMO, in ME 2 it peaked, in ME3 it dropped down somewhere in between ME1 and ME2 levels of overal quality of writing. ME 1 was at time awkward to play (MAKOOOOOOOOOOOO!) and felt generally cheap and quickly put together with copy-pasted side objectives (for example). ME3 have polish and budget behind it with more eleborate cutscenes and locations/maps. 

   As RPG both ME1 and ME2 are noticeably better than ME3, they have more situations to use dialogue system potential. In ME3 it feels more like you are just pressing "unpause" button during cutscenes. ME2 had "suicide" mission as a check/test of what you have done with your dialogue tree and hero/renegade interactions, which ME3 lacks (it was one of main reason for a blacklash to ME 3endings).

   Generally Mass Effect is Star Trek put through Star Wars grinder, with first being closer to Star Trek and 3rd ME closer to Star Wars.

 

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   Mass Effect 1

   It felt like both a game and a proof of concept. Raw/unrefined game designs like Mako missions (wheeled death trap trips on planets surface), copy-pasted side objectives, Citadel quests, elevator simulator, 100th versions of weapon with 1 visual models, a lot of crap in your inventory accumulated as most of "loot" you get is worthless, automatical cover system and so on.

 

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   Mako missions at first were not so terrible, even fun, but gameplay in them for majority of playtime were exactly the same with very few changes toward the end of ME1. Most of those missions are side objectives with maps that feels like they were autogenerated and not fit for driving through them. Sometimes you can see part of those maps that were obviously touched by human hand (like geometry morphed to make an easy road to objective and similar). Hand-made missions on Mako felt much better, but gameplay in them is generally same as during "exploration" of planets surfaces in side objectives.

 

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   Leveling up was not so interesting in ME1, as most of skills upgrades are "make 1% more damage! Run 0.5% faster!" and similar shit. Few skill upgrades gave you active abilities to use, but a lot of them were same across several characters.

   Action parts are mediocre at best. Awkward cover system when Shepard automatically enters cover is not very responsive, as his movement is severely decreased when near cover. Shooting don't feel good as well, stiff animaitions and long HP bars of enemies probably main reason for that. And low number of weapons (a lot of guns in games are copies of each other just with different stats). 

 

   Story is not too terrible, but writing is...  well, i understand that dialogue tree have option to say something that will change people mind, but most of the time it feels like i was interacting with proof of concept of dialogue system rather then a system that tried to emulate human dialogue and give me option to move converstation to some destination.

   "Hey Shepard, i am going to do this bad thing!"

   "Don't do this bad thing, because it is bad and not morally good!" 

   "... Uh Shepard, you are right. I will not do this thing because you showed me it is bad"

   

   Overal i would not recommend ME1 for most players, only for those who are very interested in Mass Effect. Try to not do a lot of Citadel missions, they involve too much elevators and loading screens, most of them are waste of time. Not sure about Mako operations, some of them are not too bad.

 

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   Mass Effect 2

   Better than ME 1 in every way. It feels like budget was increased by a lot, much more interesting locations/maps, better gameplay, better use of dialogue system and hero/renegade acts, tighter directions for missions, interesting side objectives that exist for more than just "loot", less junk to go through in inventory, generally less time sitting inside of menus. On top of that you have a clear goal to work to - preparing to Suicide mission, a lot of your actions and even side objectives are taken into account during this last mission. More emotions, more interesting characters, side quests grounded in game world/lore, way better music and so on and so on.

 

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   Action bits are better thanks to improvements in covr system and movement/firing, overhauled weapon system and way better enemy design/mechanics. On top of that improved squad commands and power use menu make fights flow in ME2 in much better way than in ME1.

   Hammerhead missions (hovercraft with a gun) are generally better than any of Mako activities in ME1 as none of Hammerhead ops felt like autogenerated level with crap sprinkled across the map randomly. Jumping and flying on Hammerhead is way more enjoyable than what wheeled death trap could do.

   More memorable characters. Legion was most interesting for me as it was way less "it is just a human with different colored skin!" and more like something alien. Unusual in the way it thinks, interacts, view events. I wish ME went futher in that way. Sadly Legion story arc is not keeping true to what character represented, as it became yet another "robots become humans!" trope instead of interaction and development of consciousness that in concept is alien to human.

 

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   RPG was improved with better writing for dialogue wheel, option for hero/renegade actions at times, longer dailogues (thanks for bigger budget) allowed to somewhat avoid un-human changes of mind from ME1 and so on.

   Skills also were streamlined, and not in a bad way - developers cut all the "+0.1% to fart louder! crap and left only what matters for gameplay - skills/abilities that you can activate and use during shootouts. 

 

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   General structure if ME 2 was more interesting - you are working for not entierly trustworthy organisation lead by charismatic, powerfull and idiolistic figure against unknown enemy that is doing something terrible and you can take them out on your own, so you need to recruit/bring on your side outstanding personalities with unique skills to bit your enemy in dangerous mission, while navigating though problems that came from those personalities background problems/disagreement and hostilities. I would really recommend ME 2 on its own for players to play.

 

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   Mass Effect 3REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

   Better than ME 2 in few places, a bit worse in others. Higher budget allowed for even more spectacle and eleborate memorable cutscenes, but RPG elements suffered. Less new charactes and almost all of them were meh (Protean was entertaining, but he is part of DLC). Lack of ME3 equivalent of Suicide mission made plenty of your decisions to feel less impactful. Citadel DLC is a must for ME 3 playthrough, it was very, very fun and showed that even small stories with this collection of characters could be very good.

 

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   Action bits were futher improved compared to ME 2 with better interaction with cover, weapon mods and number of very different guns with unique mechanics, cover penetration, better enemy design (several unique variants per faction with number of abilities that unique to each of them) and even some sort of not-totally-crap AI in case of Cerberus troops made ME3 to be really enjoyable as a shooter.

 

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   Writing is more bland this time. A lot of talks about how heroic is Player_1 umm i mean Shepard and that Character X don't need to blame him/herself for event Y as he/she could not do anything about it. You will hear those 2 things way too often.

 

   Generally ME3 was talked to death on those "internets" that kids like this day, so to be short i would recommend it only after getting through ME2. It is fun to play through as shooty-shooty 3rd person action game but don't expect as "interactive" payoff as was in ME2.

 

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   "Mess Effect Andromeda"

   DIdn't played it, from what i saw it is a degradation of RPG elements and writing and further improvement of action part of ME package. If you can endure all the bugs and cringe, lol.

 

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   Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshots. Review will come realtively soon, when i will end my second playthrough.

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   Rest of screenshots from 1st playthrough. 

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   Turret status: stolen and nobody noticed.

 

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   Typhoon STRNG.

 

 

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   This is a combat robot in "storage" configuration.

 

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   Icarus system allows to land safely from any height.

 

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   You will see this a lot.

 

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   Second playthrough.

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   Going through screenshots of DE:HR found older screenshots of fan-made patch for Far Cry. Posting here for those who are interested, changes and some random things.

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   Weapons got iron sights/ADS.

 

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   Test firing using ADS

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   Results of shooting at sub-100 meters range for handgun.

 

   Also guns got physical models, unlike original Far Cry

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   AI also received some changes. They can now go prone, which first time took me by surprise, makes them harder to see in grass. Increased damage on max difficulty (without armor single shot in the head = dead) coupled with nerfed cheat-binoculars made this game more "realistic".

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Spoiler

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   Died when was firing from prone position.

 

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   I feel like enemies became a bit more aggressive.

 

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   Without bodyarmor direct firefights are very dangerous.

 

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   Fucking with AI

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   Those indoor guards are now even more lethal than before, thanks to damage changes in that mod.

 

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   Smoke grenade not only obscure LOS, they also fucks with eyes if you enter smoke cloud.

 

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   Physics object used to block a path for computer opponents - classic move.

 

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   This is just bad level design - AI have no choices but either to push player or to stand on other side of doors, which would mean player would have to go through this kill zone.

 

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   Fighting on remains of shot down V-22.

 

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   Another example how to use some of "physics" objects

 

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   Sadly, AI is not capable of understanding this situation, not capable of detecting moving objects blocking his path and so on.

 

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   Another fuckery - you can push some of things in front of you as mobile cover.

 

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   And turn that thing into mobile door block.

 

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   Mutants and Mercs were fighting here, in real time.

 

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   First time craters from explosions were relevant to gameplay.

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   Bullet/tracer flying over main hero head, using crater as cover.

 

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   And here is a bad guy.

 

 

   Some random crap. Mutants on monitors look more interesting than what we got as 3D models.

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   Proper Far Cry driving - like a moron.

 

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   Ian left it here after making FW episode with it, kek.

:ian:

 

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   Dead tired

 

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   Mod creators added lots and lots of rocks, enough to feel FPS dropping to sub 20 on my old notebook.

 

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   No free passangers, you dumb monkey fucks! 

 

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   Indirect fire from AGL/Mortar... thing.

 

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   I think i shot down this helicopter!

 

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   Wait what? 

 

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   It was not moving for a minute, slowly decending (part of collision model hit a slope, first time i see this glitch with choppers)

 

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   And of course it explosed, this is B-action movie: the game, after all.

 

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   That is not how you use it...

 

   And part 2:

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   Probably playing too much of this game, perfect neck shots on both of them, heh.

 

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   Aren't those guys supposed to be elites?

 

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   AI is really easy to mow down once you understand their vision/memory system aka "EVERYBODY RUSH LAST KNOW POSITION OF PLAYER!"

 

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   "He was in that exact corner and i'm not going to look anywhere else!"

 

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   This is way too close.

 

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   Are you sure that you are dead?

 

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   One of less boring use of Havok engine

 

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   Boulder of death! One merc is down below, waiting for it, hehehe.

 

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   They definitely increased aggressiveness of enemies, even rocket launcher guys rushed my LKP.

 

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   Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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   DE:HR is cyberpunk action/stealth RPG developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix in 2011. It can be described as a "soft-reboot" of Deus Ex series and it managed to get pretty high ratings across different game journals. I played it way back in 2011 and now, 8 years later reviewing it. I know, very timely review (as always, kek).

 

 

   Visuals

   Technically DE:HR is nothing surpising or advanced by 2011. For example most of this game levels light sources don't cast dynamic shadows from objects, which is a bit strange taking into account that back in 2004 Far Cry (indoors), DooM 3 and 2005 FEAR already did light system that rendered shadows from all light sources. At times this produce "flat" feeling picture. In-game engine facial animations for majority of dialogues are pretty basic in execution and in number of avaliable animations compared to Half-Life 2 and Mass Effect 2/3. Majority of talking is animated using just few body-stances\head movement animations put on endless repeat (sometimes changes if you take certain option in a dialogue tree). In that regard DE:HR feels... cheap, like some corners were cut to save animators time. 

 

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   No object in this screenshot cast shadow, looks like things were photoshopped into scene. Like that white motorcycle. Or reflections from that animea poster make it look like it was taken from somewhere else, as light sources is located below posted, but glare is on top of it.

 

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   Even if light source was added by devs in Jensen's room and paper pages glued to window leave shadows, things inside of that room don't cast shadows. That yellow box feels like it is floating because of that effect, at least for me.

 

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   This feels very flat, even if i understand shape\space of that place.

 

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   That box robot and several crates around it don't live shadows, while box to the right of Adam's gun have shadow. This is a bit strange looking.

 

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   Sometimes enemies do have shadows, but in this case rifles for some reason don't cast shadow, kek. This is not some sort of pirate broken version, official Steam game.

 

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   Note how rays of light from window covered with planks don't correspond to actual shadow on the ground. Call of Duty Ghost was trashed for similar thing, heh.

 

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   This scene could be better if they used TV screen to light up this room with cold blue-ish light isntead of warm yellow (cold light would be better for a scene with armed guy ready to kill somebody). Well, at least shadows are now casted by objects. 

 

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   Really, really flat and boring looking scene.

 

   Example of how to work with light in stealth-action games:

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   Those screenshot feel like they have depth and volume, they are more visually pleasing and immersive because of that.

 

   Where Human Revolution take points back is art design, style and general looks of locations. Sometimes it feels like you are walking through art exhibiton instead of level in action RPG. A lot of levels are very detailed, have lots and lots of attention put into them.

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   A lot of objects were put around by map makers, and not only in rooms of major characters.

 

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   So overal visuals are kind of mixed bag - a lot of levels are just warehouses and industrial-looking places that are pretty boring thanks to their overal looks and technical unimpressive render (although detailed), but at times "appearance" of Human Revolution jump above many other games of it's time, in some moments - by a lot, thanks to art direction. Yellow piss filter don't really help to create diverse visuals of this game, although it does make screenshots and footage from Deus Ex HR to be recognizable pretty quickly.

 

   Gameplay

   This game can be described as stealth-action RPG, where you can seamlessly jump from stealth to action and back, RPG elements like "talking" will allow to avoid some of action/sneaking section or will help to make action or/and stealth easier via upgrades to some of Adam's cyber-abilities like hacking, shooting, jumping, sneaking etc via specific upgrades. Game have dialogue tree system, at times you will use it to confront/convince major character of story to do something that will change your path in story (get upgrade for social interaction to understand that system better), although don't expect that your choices will matter for the ending. Most of the time it is rather useless, although it allows to get your sidequests and briefings in a bit more "natural" way. I should note that there are several "serious" conversations in HR where you need to convince character to tell you or do something, which can be done if you pay attention to hints and understand character's psychology. Those were fun, especially several of them (one where you need to convince a doctor to not commit suicide and few others).

   

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   Stealth and action can be done both lethaly and non-lethaly, you decided each time how to take out our opponent with exception of boss fights (although was changed a bit in Director's cut). Human Revolution as an action game is rather mediocre cover-based shooter with few "superpowers" that you get with upgrades, like vision through walls, guided bullets (upgrades for weapons), 3 meters jumps, no fall damage and so on. AI is mediocre at best, so don't expect tactical gameplay or "sandbox" entertainment. Sneaking around and taking down enemies non-lethally is probably preffered way to play Human Revolution as it is both give you more points and you spend less resources. Upgrades support it with plenty of options like upgrade that allows to hack computers and security system (cameras, robots, turrets), make yourself invisible for 7+ seconds, silent running, silent takedowns of 2 opponents and so on.

 

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   This rifle is singleshot tranquilizer. Enemies can find sleaping comrades and wake them up.

 

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   Thats why you need to move bodies away.

 

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   Tranq. rifle with scope upgrade that allows to predict how much lead you need to take to hit enemies (darts have low speed and ballistic arc)

 

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   Took them out non-lethally.

 

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   Each level have plenty of opportunities for different playstylies - you can kick door, unholster your revolver loaded with explosive bullets and start to kill everybody or you crawl like Gordon through vents and skip chunks of levels (in some cases you can complete quests by sneaking through side paths and getting around every single opponent right to your objective). Shortcuts, hidden vents, hidden secrets with resources and upgrade kits for main character and for guns are always present, even in hub areas.

 

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   Few words about guns - they are boring for the most part and there are not enough non-lethal options IMO. You get all non-lethal weapons before middle point of HR, so for the rest of story your non-lethal arsenal don't really progress, while action-orientated player have plenty of toys to get right until very end of this game. Most of lethal boomsticks are functional as tools, but not interesting - pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, MG, rocket launcer - plays as mediocre as it sounds. Plasma gun took me out of gameworld and broke my immersion for a moment by simply existing in this universe, on top of that.  

 

   Upgrades felt... i don' know how to convey this strange feeling so i will explain it using jumping upgrade. If you install it, Jensen can do 3 meters jumps, allowing him to get to new places. But getting to those new places didn't felt "genuine", as level makers went with easy way and placed things at such hight that you could obviously see where you are supposed to use this ability, like vent shaft is exactly 3 meters above the ground and stuff like that. It doesn't feel like a new tool, but it left impression as something from CoD Advanced Warfare, where main character each mission was getting new toys to play around and levels were designed accordingly. Deus Ex level makers just didn't took those toys away so they continued to place time to time sections specifically for one of those contrived abilities. Hell, jumping in Crysis felt like a one of several tools for players to use in game world, in HR those things are backwards - sections of levels are made to fit your ability. Anything outside of that exact capability is haram. Like if you are fall 3 meters down with that jump upgrade unlocked - everything is fine. If you fall down for more than 3 meters you take full damage and instantly die because of 3.5 meters fall,  probably to avoid you getting into places you were not supposed to go.  

 

   Overall both action and stealth are not deep in their implementation - for example stealth system don't take into account level of light, how well your chachater is lit up, so you can't hide in dark corners. Only LOS and LKP are relevant to stealth and those 2 are what AI is capable of understanding to support sneaky-sneaky gameplay. Action is also somewhat basic - get to cover, shoot from cover with blindfire or aiming your gun and run when grenade lands. AI is also not really great in firefights, they are easy to funnel into deathzones. But what does make Dues Ex:HR gameplay better than "completely mediocre" is choices, how interconnected your options are to get from point A to point B, even if part of those choices are hand-crafted and rather linear on their own. 

 

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Not all of your choices are supported, though.

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   Sound

   Usually i don't bother with sound, but i would like to note that soundtrack for Human Revolution is very good, voice acting at times is top-notch for main characters, main hero and sometimes secondary characters as well.

 

   AI/enemies

   As a stealth/action hybrid with plenty of options avaliable for player to mess around AI should have been able to deal with it, but sadly local computer bots are not really capable to handle game mechanics well. For stealth playstyle enemies behavior is really easy to exploit and during whole game AI doesn't get smarter or get new abilities to counter player's insreasing sneaking skills (both real skill and in-game upgrades). Their active searching behavior is basically "check LKP", it doesn't take into account layout of place or anything else, actually. You can funnel them into one place and take them out non-lethally without problems. AI don't notice missing comrades (hell, even Splinter Cell Chaos Theory managed to partially/mostly solve that problem in 2005), open/closed doors, broken things, missing components of security systems and so on.

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   I used just stun gun and tranq. rifle and baited each of those idiots to sleeping gang members.

 

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   Here is a turret that covers one of entrances to a building. You can try to hack it via computer on the left, but that heavy soldier with MG is periodically looks back and give you no time to actually hack that turret. 

 

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   If you time things right, you can steal this turret with no problems. This time i wasn't lucky, he saw me.

 

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   But 2nd attempt was better - turret is no longer there and now i can take them 1 by 1 with just a stun gun. Enemies didn't noticed how big ass turret disappeared right under their noses.

 

   Remember Skyrim bucket trick? Deus Ex Human Revolution have it's own version of it.

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   Same for action - enemies don't have any noticeable squad-based tactics or abilities to deal with increasing main character powers. Their combat behavior is relatively basic, enemies loudly announce every small detail that they are going to do, so they feel like baddies created for really bad players, or for game journalist difficulty level. They appear to sometimes "rush" you, with obviosuly terrible result for them. Most of the time AI acts as in generic cover based shooter - duck behind box, pop to fire rounds, get shot and die.

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   AI had problems with physics object from 2003-4 (Half-Life 2 or Far Cry), they are still the same in 2011. This section of game is supposed to be defence against attacking crowd of baddies, so i decided to just block entrance to the room. Openning above this box is covered by hacked turret.

 

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   Although after several minutes of nothing i got bored and jumped through window to shoot at those soldiers.

 

   Plot

   Human revolution looks like cyberpunk game, have all checkmarks of cyberpunk game but for some reason story for me felt empty, devoid not only of cyberpunk but it had not much of meaning. Cyberpunk in HR is more of cologne, like a smell rather than substance. Story in few places just gently touches themes of augmentation and humanity, but never goes deeper than "yeah, those things will exist and it will be complex thing". Show me how augmentated people do work better or/and do more of it, how companies prefer them over normal "natural" humans, don't just hint at those things in some e-mail buried somewhere in a computer. Themes of humans opinion manipulations using tech also gets very very little attention, everything in Human Revolution is surface level, nevers gets deep under your skin. The whole game i was waiting when story will cross from Sci-fi augmented Sam Fisher adventures to something mind-stimulating or meaningful but game never did. Taking into account that themes was there, plot points that were basis for such cross were there, game even made a step in proper direction... it feels frustrating, it was a missed opportunity. 

 

   Just look for example at moment when Adam found out that there is an AI system that controls biggest media outlet in the world and influence public opinion. It was very good opportunity to show how future tech will affect humans, when technology will outgrow and out-power/outsmart natural parts of humans. But in game this was just quick "oh, you are AI?" "Yes, i am and i can affect what people think. Also, here is a boss fight and you will never hear about me being AI in any way and it will not affect anything in game story after that boss fight, k?" You never feel or experience capabilities of that AI through game mechanics. You never get explanation of how and what that AI can really do. You never really feel or experience results of that AI beyond plot points that could be easily reached without that character being AI, that whole "i am AI" thing was useless for both story structure and situations before/after reveal. 

 

   This section of plot could be good base to show how information tech enveloped human interactions, so much that AI system could track, collect and analyse what people think by looking at their social network posts, tweets, construction of sentences, subcontious elements of speech, what kind of words used, how often, special lexicon, how much of what was used, from where information spreads, how and through what ideas and rumors are comming, how well information is consumed from different sources, get understanding of meta sitaution better than any human can, understand climate, social structure, what is acceptable by them, where are borders to not to cross, where are grey zones to sneak around and then based on psychological theories/practicies move public oppoion to point when it will be beneficial to AI's creators/masters, by allowing player at least some basic interaction with that system. For example in Mass Effect 2/3 there is a charachter named Shadow Broker, who collects all info on big players, factions and so on and sells it to others. Before playing DLC about taking down Shadow Broker, i never was interested in that guy as he didn't affected my playthough in any way. After playing it i felt something about Shadow broker, he still was comic-like character for me but with a bit more into his role as in DLC devs allowed Shepard to look into private and closed information about different characters, including from his own team. Like about Legion playing online games, personal conversation and dirt about few other individuals on you crew and so on. On top of that you could start to gamble and sell information to different factions for your personal gains via terminal on Shadow Broker ship, and i even started to think about what and to whom sneak/sell/hint information. It was simple, basic, but it somewhat worked. Sadly, nothing like this happened in Deus Ex. Ow, and on top of that ending was same as in Mass Effect 3 - press one of 4 buttons for a bit different cutscene.

 

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Only today! You get 4 endings for a price of 1! Save your budget, buy Endtron 9000!

4th ending not pictured, endings may induce coma, seizures, pregnancy, suicide, fanboism outburst, violence against developers, coming of Satan. 

 

   And this surface level of actual story is what was disappointing for me in Human Revolution. Game creators hinted at themes, slightly poked them in few places but never exploited them, never played and/or relished them. Setting don't really matter as story told here could be told in 18th Century. it is like if Ghost in the Shell movie from 1995 was about actual investigation of some politically-motivated crime that was different from all previous crimes of that sort only by more advanced tools used in it. It probably would be not bad, but would not leave me with anything close to what i felt for 1995 GiTS.    

 

 

   Conclusion

   Deus Ex: Human Revolution is game carried by art direction and overal feel/look of it, but under well-crafted nice looking skin you get pretty mediocre or slightly above mediocre package. Only amount and interconnection of those ~average game meachanics allows Deus Ex HR to be more than just an "average" game, but those elements still limits it, holding it back.

   I watched some reviews before writing my own in order to understand few aspects i was conflicted about and saw several things that helped me make my mind. Saw a review of DE HR by one of russian journals which gave it 8.5 (pretty good score) but their youtube review got plenty of dislikes from angry fans. Did we played different games? Maybe i'm just not in mindset of those people but i don't understand why some of gamers thought HR is masterpiece of some sort, it is not by a long shot. Very well made game, but rather generic gameplay mechanics and surface-level adventure plot wrapped in sci-fi skin with few gizmos is not something i would call a masterpiece.

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   Next game - Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 from 2006. It is strange mix of Call of duty and Arma-like realistic shooter in urban conditions.

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   Maps are pretty big. A lot of urban missions, all of which feels tense as maps are open and you can get shot from several directions. This is where this Ghost Recon excels - urban fights.

 

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   Sadly majority of buildings are not enterable. Like in Arma 2.

 

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   XM8 is in this game.

 

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   Enemies equipped with G36s and you can take their mags, but can't use their guns.

 

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   Will probably die first, this is 2006 game after all.

 

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   AI for 2006 wasn't terrible, at times it is very capable, but overal they are very inconsistent in how well they perform - from really good to really fucking dumb, hitting both ends of this stick way too often to rely on those guys.

 

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   Their ability to find cover and use it is good enough - they can use cover without needing to "attach" themselvs to it like in cover based shooters.

 

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   Your team is just 3 soldiers. MG gunner, sniper and normal soldier type.

 

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   Enemies use basically same AI routines. Enemies can be suppressed (they react very quickly when bullets start to land around them) and they are trying to avoid getting shot for the most part, but closer to missions in middle of singleplayer devs (looks like) turned up their aggressiveness.

 

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   You can give orders from this tactical screen that shows areas around you in real time. You even can see enemies in the open sections of map from this view.

 

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   Enemies spotted by AI are showed on your HUD, but if only you see them - they are not marked. For Cooperative this rule don't work - all enemies are marked anyway if they are spotted by any Ghost team member.

 

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   Drone sometimes is given to your team when devs feel generous.

 

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   Drone can spot enemies from far way and mark them.

 

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   You also can access cameras on drones and team members.

 

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   As i said sometimes this AI shows pretty competent formations, but they are not realiable.

 

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Vl6v8Yr.jpg

   Pre-mission screen where you can equip different guns and some attachments to them. You have primary and secondary guns + 1 extra slot for additional ammo, grenades or for single shot compact ATGM.

 

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Spoiler

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   Insertions are a bit cinematic and looked cool for 2006.

 

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   You need to give at least 4-6 orders to get them in such formation.

 

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   Timer on right upper corner of video feed shows how much time this mission (and recording) is going on. Nice touch.

 

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   Death animations are pretty realistic in GRAW - enemies don't fly 10 meters from leathal shot, they just fall dawn like bag of potatoes.

 

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   Chain of orders. You can give orders to each member of your team and then hit "execute all" to make them all do their orders. It is not as detailed as in R6 games of that time, but still pretty good.

 

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   Under suppressive fire

 

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   You can easily see what windows are just cosmetics. A bit sad about that, if those were looking like there is space behind them, game would be even more stressful, haha.

 

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   Don't know how to make sniper use his secondary gun. So this was no-scope from close range, kek.

 

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   Just standing in this place is enough to feel tension and danger. Lots of angles and places from where you would be send back to previous checkpoint.

 

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   HMGs are hard to deal with, thanks to armor plates that make gunner to be harder target to take out and their trigger-happy nature.

 

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   Armored cars are easy to blow up if you have UGL. Thanks to physics engine by Ageia (later was bought by Nvidia and engine became PhysiX) car spreads a lot of pieces around and explosion damaged some scenery objects.

 

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   If you reload while magazine still have ammo in it character will throw this type of mag model on the ground.

 

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   Surprise flank attack on those enemies.

 

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   One tried to push me, died and his hand managed to propel his G36 high enough to be seen by me, haha.

 

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   Some of them die in weird poses.

 

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   This game can be played in coop (4 players), but you will need to use LAN-imitating software for that AFAIK.

 

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   Usual range of firefights in GRAW

 

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   Mexican Army in GRAW have Abrams tanks.

 

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   1 Ghost team member is down, at this point i didn't know that they can magically heal themselvs and appear in next operation like nothing happened.

 

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   Re-started last checkpoint and blew up this thing without taking casualties.

 

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   Next op. Devs like to give you very different objectives during single operation, each of those objectives could be their own missions if developed futher.

 

Spoiler

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   AI sometimes look at given waypoints in a stupid way.

 

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   Nice change of color palette from brown and grey to green-ish and grey.

 

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   UGL at work. Those armored cars need 2 grenades to be destroyed

 

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   Ups, sorry.

 

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   Sometimes you have chance to shoot first.

 

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   HMG or AGL position on building roof. After first 2 missions this type of location for enemies become frequent thing, especially snipers and later RPG gunners who can 1 shot you.

 

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   Armored car gunners can be pain in the ass, but they don't have protection to survive.

 

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   Slow movement pays off - you can spott enemies before they can do even in CQB situations.

 

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   Whean AI come close to a wall, they turn and look in opposite direction, so frequently enemies are looking in directions that make some sort of sense. Mostly the same with your AI buddies.

 

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   Throwing hand grenades against MG position and checking results using tactical view, heh.

 

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   Each part is an object with collision model, BTW. Ageia's engine was put to work in GRAW.

 

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   Maps give you impression of being in urban enviroment, not just in thin corridor that pretends to be a part of bigger city.

 

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   Tanks are very random in their damage dealing - i either was 1-shoted or didn't get even a scratch from near miss.

 

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   Awkward, lol.

 

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   One of rare operations set outside of city, at least half of it. Wasn't good, though.

 

Spoiler

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   Moving through village.

 

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   Attacking rebels, moving in the middle of road. One of many scripted events that devs through at you during missions, not a fan of those as they are either dumb or not fitting for setting/situation.

 

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   Suppressed by HMG. They can fire full auto for long time at place where they saw you last time.

 

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   Clearing a bunker. There are 2 of those in mission overwatching middle village and main road

 

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   Taking out small patrol on the way to second bunker. Giving orders in this view on that map with very tight corridors is not exactly comfortable - soldiers can sometimes move to places that you didn't intended to mark, misplacing marker is easy because of persepctive of view and "snapping" of cursor to AI nav grid.

 

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   Big building with partially avaliable internals. 

 

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   Not unusual to fire at enemies from that range. 

 

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   MG gunner is sometimes very easy target to kill, especailly when doors are open and you are located in right spot to take advantage of that.

 

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   When enemies (and your allies) run and bullet starts to land they sometimes dive to prone position. 

 

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   Mi-28s in Mexican Army. At first i thought that they were just for immersion, background stuff. Also, they could have hinted on Evil Russians involvement, but it didn't happened.

 

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   I like how bullet hit don't produce fountains of blood.

 

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   Firefight through vegetation. Rebels were firing through it probably based on sound or us being spotted by other enemy soldier AI.

 

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   Apache strike on SPG position.

 

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   In this game Aparches are faster than their missiles, :lol:

 

 

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   Night operation with no allies on the ground, only player.

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Spoiler

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   Battleground - park in the middle of city.

 

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   At least they gave me a recon drone.

 

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   Kids train and death in amusement park is strange mix

 

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   Jammers take out your compas and target markers.

 

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   Armored car spawned from thin air, lol.

 

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   UGL make short work of that armored car.

 

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   Such an Arma 3 moment.

 

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   Walked too close to edge of the map and ground have bugged collision.

 

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   SPG blowing up objective, again.

 

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   Next mission began with Stryker falling into the ground and below map. When i turned tactical view on it showed things map from POV under it, lol.

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   So i downloaded save files and found several checkpoints saves already inside actual map, to avoid ground collision bug that i experienced during previous mission.

Spoiler

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   We again were leaving "main map" area and ground was bugged, while you could use road to move around. Tank decided to cut a corner...

 

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   Both tanks, actually.

 

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   I went futher and was confronted by 2 Mi-28s. ZUES launcher have only 1 missile in it, heh.

 

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   Well, looks like bullets will be enough.

 

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   Found next savefile - with tanks already moved down that road where they managed to sunk into sand.

 

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   At this point i decided to go for next operation, was fed up with mix of bugs and difficulty spikes of that particular operation on top of junky controls of tanks . 

 

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