Although Deus Ex: Human Revolution, on the whole, is considered a success both for its cyberpunk aesthetic and extremely varied options there still exists one glaring flaw within the entire package: the boss battles. Meant to give the player a chance to put all of there knowhow and abilities into one entire experience, these boss battles ended up being a constant source of frustration, nearly “breaking” the entire game.
Since the game’s launch, news has come to light that Eidos Montreal had outsourced the boss battles in Deus Ex: HR, but the developer hadn’t really said anything regarding their thoughts behind the boss battles, mainly why they were presented the way they were. At this year’s GDC, however, Eidos Montreal took a little bit of time to clear the air regarding the boss battles, and to share some of other behind-the-scenes stories from Deus Ex‘s development.
While much of the experience in Deus Ex: Human Revolution was fleshed out, when it came time for the boss battles, Eidos simply didn’t have a game plan. There was no “direction sheet” for how the battles were to go down, the developer only knew that they wanted something that would help break up the pacing of the game.
Unfortunately, in testing, the developer found that the boss battles were a huge problem, but were never made aware just how serious of a problem until after the game shipped. They thought that by filling the boss “arenas” with enough ammo that the player could power their way through it — and that typically was the case, but those players who focused on social or hacking abilities were left extremely ill equipped.
Some of the other items that Senior Game Designer Francois Lapikas addressed were the game’s initial offering of unlimited energy to power Adam’s augmentations. Though it allowed players more options it also took away from Eidos’ desire for the game to focus on scarcity of resources, and so they dropped the number down substantially.
Hacking also took on many different iterations before finally becoming what it is in the final game. The idea was certainly there, but only when Lapikas put the visual representation of his idea to paper did he finally come up with what ended up being one of the most interesting elements of the entire game.
In the future, hopefully with a Deus Ex sequel, Eidos vows to do better by the fans in terms of the entire experience, but most importantly the boss fights. If just a few of the games minor details can get a little bit more refinement and consideration, we may have yet another game of the year contender on our hands, only without the big drawback.
How did you feel about the boss battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Would you have liked more energy bars for your particular playthrough?