Tag Archives: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Lawrence Barrett is no more, and that’s no bull

“Bulls do not win bull fights. People do.” – Norman Ralph Augustine

That’s right, Grinding Down readers. I did it. I did this:


The Bull (25G): You defeated Lawrence Barrett, elite member of a secret mercenary hit squad.

After failing time after time after time–his grenades kill you instantly on the middle difficulty and are quite hard to avoid, considering he throws them in groups of three and the room is small, cramped, with few choice hiding spots–I decided to look up some walkthroughs online to see how others tackled this annoying fellow with a machine gun for a hand. No, not that one. That Barret cusses more. And he would be on my side to begin with, making this boss battle a non-necessity. Anyways, I found a video of someone beat him by tossing a gas canister at him, then an exploding barrel, and then did that twice more, all under sixty seconds. Whaaaaa. Not a single shot was fired, which means that this would be the best way for me to go about it, considering running into the room and trying to equip a lethal weapon was clunky and a waste of time.

Well, it took me three more attempts to figure out the best way to move around the room and toss these deadly items, but I did it. I got him caught in a gas cloud, choking, growling, saying something repeatedly about “playing dirty.” Whatever. You have a gun for a hand. I was so pleased to have finally gotten past this roadblock–and yes, for stealthy players, that’s exactly what he is–that I exclaimed loudly that I had conquered he who seemed unconquerable. Tara was upstairs watching Cheers, but she responded and even gave me some kudos love via Twitter:

According to forum grumblers, there’s a few more of these sorts of boss fights to look forward to. Great. Freaking superb. I can’t wait. However, I do like that this boss battle had two vidoegame references tied to it: Final Fantasy VII and the Metal Gear franchise in calling these elite soldiers The Something. I just didn’t like how it fit into the grand scheme of playing the game. For now, I’m off to China, I think. Well, not me. Jensen is. Place your bets below in the comments on what part I’ll get stuck at next.

Hack and slash through dungeons in Crimson Alliance, but don’t pick up loot

I gave up trying to beat Barrett in Deus Ex: Human Revolution last night well after my twenty-fifth save reload and decided to scour the Xbox Live games marketplace for anything else, to see what was new, to find an easier experience that would get me muttering or wringing controllers’ necks. And I found it relatively quickly with Crimson Alliance, a new downloadable game that gives off a Diablo/Torchlight vibe, but with a co-op slant.

And it is that. It’s totally a Diablo/Torchlight clone. Minus the great loot. There’s little loot to speak of. More on that in a moment.

Actually, the main reason I downloaded Crimson Alliance was not because it looked like a simple, mindless hack n’ slasher–one that would not get me even more worked up inside–but because it was FREE. That’s right. It’s a free game. Says so on the tin. Well, maybe. The lines between free game, trial, and demo are significantly blurred here, and I’m sure this is all just a big trick being played on consumers by Microsoft Studios and Certain Affinity to get folks in for an appetizer and then staying for dinner. To add even more words to the mix, if one purchased all Summer of Arcade games this year–Bastion, From Dust, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and Toy Soldiers: Cold War–then one definitely got a free–and full–version of Crimson Alliance.

So, I downloaded this free game as a storm began brewing outside. Rain and lightning and rumbling thunder. Wonderfully atmospheric gaming sounds, so long as the power doesn’t cut out. Upon starting up, I was given the choice of one of three characters: the mercenary Gnox, the wizard Direwolf, and the assassin Moonshade. I went with her, and the game informed me that if I wanted access to all things Moonshade, I’d have to buy her. See, you can either buy the game completely, purchase classes individually, or, uh, play the free version with little to no fanfare to speak of. And it seems like you can play about the entire first level, a little bit of a shop, and a smidgen into the second level before being booted back to the main menu. The game constantly reminds you that, hey, you can unlock the full game if you want, just press here to do so. You want Achievements or better equipment or the nudity code? Unlock full version here.

Speaking of Achievements, for some reason, I now have Crimson Alliance added to my list of owned games. This means I can look at the list of 12 Achievements, something you don’t get to do with game demos, and see what there is to unlock. However, can’t unlock anything. Gotta upgrade for that sweetness. Which leaves me no choice but to delete the game from my hard-drive and hopefully permanently remove it from my owned games list. Cause I’m not interested in owning it, and that’s mainly because it’s more Gauntlet than Torchlight, and I’m all about the loot over social beatdowns. There’s less focus on loot and RPG elements here and more on slashing at waves of enemies and solving room puzzles with a partner.

That said, the game has some striking still art, strong narration, and an easy-to-get-into feel. Just a lack of crazy cool gear. Not for me, but your mileage may vary.

No sneaking past those boss fights in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

From the very beginning of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I neglected all lethal weapons. Sneered at them, in fact, as I crept on by. A tranquilizer rifle and close-quarters takedowns were my tools of destruction. And, if need be, a flash grenade to confuse and create chaos. Surely those guards that I knocked unconscious were a bit confused to find their shotguns and deadly assault rifles still by their sides when they came to, but that’s just how my Jensen rolls: secretively, silently, stealthy.

Unfortunately, you can’t sneak past everyone. Specifically, the game’s bosses, and the first one, Lawrence Barrett, that meathead with a machine gun for a hand, has proved extremely troublesome so far. Upon entering the door that starts the fight, I realized that my wholehearted dismissal of all lethal weapons was going to hurt me here. Hurt me hard. I tried hitting Barrett with a few tranq darts as he blew my cover to shreds. Nothing happened, and by that I mean he came up, grabbed Jensen, and punched half his health away. A few more shots later, and I was reloading my latest save. Which, sadly, is right before I go through the door that starts the boss fight. Sigh…

If I run over to the left, in a small side room is a pistol and some bullets. However, before I can pick it up, I need to rearrange my inventory to make room for such a murderous entity. And then comes the arduous task of trying to shoot somebody, with a gun made for shooting on repeat; see, with the tranq rifle, it was pop out, fire, pop back into hiding spot, wait for body to drop. That strategy doesn’t work here. Barrett has to reload his machine gun-hand thing, giving you precious seconds to either fire or move to safer cover. Staying in that room for too long isn’t wise as he eventually begins tossing grenades your way.

I’ve tried beating him now three times with no luck. Contemplating backtracking far enough to maybe pick up a better weapon. Or maybe giving up my dream of being a sneaky Jensen, restarting the game, and putting all my Praxis points into combat skills instead of hacking skills. That would be lame, but if I can’t get past Barrett soon, it’s my only option.

If the developers wanted this to be the next Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, maybe they should have played that game and saw how awesome boss battles should be crafted. Specifically, The End. One day I’ll talk about how I tackled that fight. One day.

Remember, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a game that lets you play any way you like, except when it’s time to take down some cheesy super soldiers.

FIRST HOUR REVIEW – Deus Ex: Human Revolution

A little later on this than I hoped to be, but my coverage of Deus Ex: Human Revolution‘s first hour is now yours for the reading over at The First Hour. Either click the previous sentence or the image above to get there. Go ahead. I’d rather you read my article than the toss-able two paragraphs below.

I struggled–and am still struggling–with the game’s difficulty, even on that middle difficulty choice, which I guess some folks would call “normal.” A lot has to do with the in-game radar and how troublesome it is to walk creep the stealthy route. I have to imagine that going into a room and popping everyone in the head with a pistol shot before an alarm can be sounded would make things a lot easier…but that’s not how I like to play. Hopefully I get better as the game goes on and Jensen gets crazily customized, but I’m not holding my breath. Currently stuck on the very first boss battle, which I’ll save all ranting about for another post.

But yeah, Deus Ex: Human Revolution‘s opening sixty minutes. I died five times. Top that!

Achievements of the Week – The Zippily Squat Edition

As predicted during last week’s Achievements of the Week, I did not get to play any Xbox 360 this week. Strangely, it was not just due to not getting Internet set up in our new home, but more of the blame goes to Hurricane Irene, who flooded our basement and restricted us from having power restored. Meaning we couldn’t live in our new home unless we liked staring at the walls and sitting in the dark and drinking lukewarm water. Even today, nearly a week later, power has yet to come back to Grimmauld Place, and that makes me sad, frustrated, and a host of other adjectives that I will refrain from spewing on Grinding Down. Especially considering that there’s an untouched copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in my messenger’s bag just begging to get some attention. Soon, my dearie. Soon…

I guess I did unknowingly unlock this little zinger:


Hurricane’s a Big Ol’ Pain (0G): Survived Hurricane Irene in 2011, but had to live without your Xbox 360 for like a week straight.

It’s something. Next week’s edition should hopefully feature a ton of cyberpunk-themed Achievements. If not, I’m blowing up the universe. If I can’t have power, none of y’all can.

What have you guys and girls unlocked during these past seven days? Speak up in the comments section below!

Hurricane Irene, the weekend, and gaming

Well, we all knew she was coming ahead of time, and thankfully many of us paid heed to the warnings, but things were still pretty rough this weekend. In terms of things hitting close to home, the house we literally just moved into on Friday…well, it’s currently without power and hot water and the basement had about two to three inches of water in it. Plus, branches of deadly size were breaking off and dropping on the back deck:

Ugh. Yeah…don’t even know what’s going on in our other place–the Leaky Cauldron–but most likely not much, just power loss. Or extensive leakage. Trying not to think that way. Won’t be able to check on that for a little bit though. Pray that the remainder of our stuff remains dry and safe and…dry. Dry is the important factor here.

Tara and I spent the entire weekend at her parents’ place in Sparta, NJ, which still got hit with a lot of rain, heavy winds, and power loss. Honestly, prior, I thought that there was too much media hype about Hurricane Irene–my mother would’ve called me days ago and told me to pay attention and be prepared and that there was no hype, that this was a major storm rolling up the East Coast–and I probably would’ve just carried on as business as usual. Thankfully, everyone else freaking out began freaking me out and we smarted up, moved as much as we could into the new home, and then hunkered down elsewhere.

Before the storm rolled in, I made a quick swing by GameStop, interested in picking up a “get me through the hurricane” game, as well as rewarding myself for all that heavy lifting and stress that comes with physically moving from one place to another. I figured that if the power went out, I’d at least have my fully charged 3DS for a few hours of distraction/entertainment. I had a slight interest in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, the first true Japanese RPG for the Nintendo 3DS since its launch, and that’s interesting, considering the DS was always playing host to this JRPG and that JRPG. So I grabbed it, looking forlornly at the numerous copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the shelves behind the counter. My friend Greg had ordered me a copy, and I was hoping to get it in time for some weekend gaming, but Amazon was late shipping it, and then factor in the slim chance of being at the house to actually play it…wah.

But then DE:HR arrived on Saturday! I have read the game’s manual twice. That’s kind of like playing it, right?

Other than that, I played some Braid, VVVVVV, and more The Sims Social to help pass time as we *ahem* weathered the storm. Will probably have some posts up this week about these games, as well as some other goodies. Stay tuned. And please, please…stay away from falling branches.

JC Denton versus byzantine global conspiracies and time

Everyone was playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution last night, as well as tweeting some funny things about that East Coast earthquake. If anything, when the end of the world does come, it’s going to be freaking hilarious. Thank you, my fellow tweeters. But yeah, earthquakes. And Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Between all the positive reviews and extensive coverage at GiantBomb, I’m salivating.

Well, my copy is on the way, thanks to the generous Greg Noe, and it should hopefully arrive by weekend time so that I can sneak and augment and take notes like a cyberpunk pro after moving a hundred boxes and heavy furniture. Will be doing a first-hour review, as well as some random musings here at Grinding Down. Until then, there’s always…Deus Ex: The Conspiracy. Y’know, that PlayStation 2 port of the 2000 PC classic, featuring horrible load times, awful model animation, and strange sounds when you walk across grass. Yes, it’s true. I have a copy. See:

If you’re curious, my hand has the following augmentations: extra glow, resistance to radiation,+2 damage, and death chop.

I’ve played the opening of Deus Ex: The Conspiracy at least three or four times since purchasing it for a sweet $8.99 way back in the day, and there’s a good reason for that: many paths. For me, the Liberty Island mission is what sums up the Deus Ex experience (Deus Experience?) the best, with a ton of options and variety. Your goal is to locate and interrogate the NSF commander, most likely atop the Statue of Liberty. You can go in guns blazing, you can sneak around the back, or you can kind of do both. And then once you’re inside the Statue of Liberty, there’s even more things you can do. The game is always asking you to decide, sometimes on the fly. Like, this time around, I used my crossbow with tranquilizer darts to sneak around the back to the docks, climb my way up to the statue’s base itself, and creep on in; unfortunately, I set off a gas grenade, alerting two guards to my position, and had to switch from non-lethal tactics to oh-so-lethal. I could’ve reloaded a save file, but it’s a better experience to just roll with things.

I always end up trying for stealth…for as long as it’s possible. Sometimes, when the going gets rough, I have to shoot it out, which is not fun because the game’s shooting mechanics are iffy. It’s a more rewarding experience to lockpick doors, hack security cameras, and crouch around corners. There seems to be a point where I stop playing though, and that is right after the LaGuardia Airport mission. Can’t really pinpoint why that happens, but it does. You’re supposed to head off to Hong Kong, but instead find out your brother Paul (hey, that’s me!) is in trouble, and off you go to Hell’s Kitchen. Despite me trying to save me, I lose interest here. Or something more shiny distracts me.

More than likely, this time around, I’ll stop playing Deus Ex: The Conspiracy the moment my copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution arrives, and that’s okay. It was a nice refresher of what I like about the franchise, as well as what I hope gets an upgrade in the new prequel from Eidos Montreal.

30 Days of Gaming, #25 – A game you plan on playing

As with many other topics for the 30 Days of Gaming meme, there are always a number of choices. Or at least I assumed there would be for today’s topic train. But when I sat down and took the time to mimic Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculpture, I found very few game titles coming to mind in terms of “playing soon.” Especially in terms of new releases. Sure, there’s two big blockbusters dropping in November 2011–The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations–but to me, that’s not soon. That’s a couple months away. That’s an entirely different season.

And as a 3DS Ambassador, I’m getting a boatload of games over the next couple of months, but all of those titles are nothing new. Most pre-date fire. I’ve already played a majority of them at some point in my sad, little life, and I kind of suspect that–while I will download them all–not all will get love and play-time. I’m too busy for even 10 new games at once, and it might very well just break me in half.

Looks like the next game coming out soon that I’m gonna get to play is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That pops up towards the end of this month, August. I’m quietly interested in it simply for the fact that it will be as close to a new Fallout experience as I can get currently. And probably won’t have as many bugs as that game does. Though I’m a little worried about how blurry it looks, with a lot of bloom and lens flare effects, and whether or not I’m going to be able to read its text. It gives off the tiny text vibe.

Funnily enough, weeks ahead, I already know that I’m going to play it as stealthy as possible. According to developers, with a combination of certain skills and augmentations, it is possible to play through the entire game killing nobody, but the bosses. I’m down with that, regardless if there’s an Achievement linked to it or not. Confrontation is for kids–or braver people than myself. I’d rather talk my way in or entirely avoid danger or just walk around in another universe, happy to be elsewhere. Might have to pop back in Deus Ex: Invisible War to refresh myself on how this series ticks.

So, yeah, this is a game I plan on playing. What an exciting meme topic. For my next trick, I’ll share with y’all some food I plan on eating.