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Deus Ex Human Revolution EP8:
Venting Our Frustrations

By Shamus
on Tuesday Jan 24, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Weeks before this series began – almost as soon as we announced we’d be covering Deus Ex: Human Revolution – people were already listing all the things they wanted to see in a DEHR play-through. As the series has gone on, the number and specificity of these demands has grown. A great deal of the comment threads are dedicated to expressing outrage over items we missed or listing things we MUST do in future episodes. It has now officially gotten out of hand.

So: Relax. If there’s some particular way you want to see things done, feel free to boot up the game and have a go at it. If we overlook something that you enjoyed, feel free to talk about it in the comments without passive-aggressive (or even explicit) insinuations that we’re playing the game wrong.

When you get on a public bus, you don’t shout routing advice to the bus driver. It won’t change where you go, but it will piss off your fellow passengers. And in this analogy, I’m passenger #1, sitting right behind the driver and biting my tongue the whole time. If I have to do it, so do you.

On one hand, I suppose this is to the credit of Human Revolution. No other game in our two-year history of Hobbyist Spoiling has ever elicited so much direction from the audience. There are a lot of interesting bits to see along this particular funhouse ride, and it’s good that people are invested in both the show and the game.

On the other hand, this needs to stop. There’s no way we could satisfy all of the conflicting requests, even if it was the goal of the show. Just accept that we’re not going to see everything, and we may miss that one thing you thought was really important.

One final note is that I had the same holster weapon / throw grenade problem. I think it only happened once or twice, but dang if it wasn’t annoying when it happened. In this game, pretty much any errant grenade is a “reload from last save” situation. You’ve either killed yourself, blown your cover, or killed somebody you didn’t want dead.

I have this problem in other games as well. Pretty much any time I have to move my hand off of the WASD region is one where I’m going to have something like a 5% chance at nailing the wrong key. In most cases this ends up being an unwanted weapon switch or other silly action, but in some cases you end up in a “throw grenade, die” scenario.

For me the counter-intuitive solution to this is to re-bind the dangerous keys (like grenade) CLOSER to the WASD pad. I’m less likely to hit it at the wrong time if it’s close than if it’s halfway across the keyboard.

Comments (114)

  1. Mormegil says:

    Never had the holster/grenade issue – ergonomic keyboards have a good inch of space in between g and h. So you should play the game with one of those.

    Too soon?

    • Drew says:

      I played DX:HR on the 360, and I too accidentally tossed a grenade a couple of times when I didn’t mean to when first exposed to them, so it’s not just a WASD keyboard issue.

      • Eruanno says:

        Yup. Same here. Adjust seating position in armchair -> Accidentally hit RB -> OHSHITKABOOM

        • Adam says:

          And I have a similar problem in that I am a huge fan of Saint’s Row, and in that game the sprint function is RB and grabbing someone is LB. So in my brain-damaged head, these buttons are tied in some way to those functions in all games. I can breed the impulse out after a few hours playing, but they reassert themselves whenever I go back to SR2 for any length of time between DXHR sessions. (Which is often, because I hold SR2 up as the pinnacle of the series, and it’s ridiculously fun.) So no fewer than eleven times in my current playthrough, Adam Jensen has hurled a grenade at an enemy five inches away from him, and then sprinted into the explosion. (grapple apparently translates to takedown in my head, despite the button for takedown being clearly labeled onscreen.)

    • Dragomok says:

      As a left-handed mouse user, I always have to rebind each and every key before launching an FPS or a 3D platformer, so I usually have all ergonomics problems solved before they actually arise.

      On the other hand, if it turns out the devs didn’t include rebind option or don’t know HOW THE GODDAMN MOUSE ACTUALLY WORKS IN WINDOWS SINCE ’95, I am practically unable to play the game.

      Too soon?

      That’s probably the luckiest first comment I have ever seen.

      • The Hokey Pokey says:

        Same here. In this day and age, there really is no excuse for leaving out basic features like custom key binding.

        • Sumanai says:

          Some take it as a sign of “consolification” or whatever it’s called. I’d say it’s just a lack of thought on the designers part. Maybe too much rush in the company so no-one has time to just stop and think for a moment if they’re forgetting something.

          • Velkrin says:

            If it’s a PC port then it’s “Consolitis”.

            • Dys says:

              Problem is, few AAA games are ported these days. Most are developed in parallel on the various platforms, and design decisions on one track tend to be applied across the board. You don’t include keybinding in the xbox version, so you also don’t include it in the PC version.

              • Sumanai says:

                The thing is, there’s no reason not to include keybinding in the consoles. Sometimes the player just wants something to be elsewhere. Maybe another game had it there, maybe their mind keeps telling it is somewhere else, it doesn’t matter. I can sort of understand not having keybindings on the Wii stick, but even then I think I’d rather have the choice of shooting with the A or the B.

    • I had many problems in Half-Life 2 with F / G being too close. So often I’d lose my weapon when all I wanted to do was switch the light off…

  2. Alex says:

    Grumble grumble, piss and moan.
    It’s my life’s purpose to groan.
    My message may be solitary,
    But I persist to be contrary.

    Whine and nag, complain and pout.
    I’m a critic, I’m a lout.
    Nothing’s good enough for me,
    And I suck at poetry.

    The title makes me wonder if “vents” will be this season’s “elevators”…

  3. Infinitron says:

    I get the impression that Windmill’s control over the hacker (Yune) was tenuous at best. Yune was resisting him, and Windmill couldn’t aim the pistol well enough to blow the augmentation. He probably tried, though.

  4. tjtheman5 says:

    The ending there was perfect.

  5. ShinyShez says:

    I remember being so annoyed when I found the sewer access in the Police Station. I spent all that time sneaking from the roof to find I could have bypassed it all!
    Although I did get most of Megan’s mum quest done on the way down. so there’s that.

  6. Phil says:

    Kinda disappointed it wasn’t Ted “Theodore” Logan, heh.

    Oddly, second B&T reference I’ve seen today. Something special about the day?

  7. chah says:

    Have I gone crazy, or has Josh changed his voice!? For a while I thought your new host was making an appearance (or, uh, soundpearance or whatever).

  8. Jason says:

    I approve of this episode. You guys are doing a good job. :)

  9. Wandring says:

    I had problems tossing accidental grenades on the PS3 version as well. Sometimes I’d just bump that trigger and I’d have to reload after blowing something/someone up.

    Eventually my “solution” was to always set my grenades to concussion-mines so that I could re-collect them, or just skulk away embarrassingly from whoever I just blinded.

  10. Fede says:

    “You just punched Butters!”
    Nice one, Rutskarn!

    • Wintermood says:

      Wow… I honestly did not think _anyone_ would get this reference. That is: If we are talking about the same butters – come to think of it, Jensen enters the room and Butters playing polka? awesome scene…

  11. arron says:

    As regards “whining to what the SW crew should do on their playthrough” – I’m fine with whatever you feel is good to do. It’s the synergistic gameplay commentary experience that makes the show.

    If I want a different playthrough or commentary on the show, I’ll do my own.. :D

  12. littlefinger says:

    Josh, you should use TNT boxes to open locked doors. Also, grenade climbing is a great way to get up the Maggie Chow building in Hong Kong.

  13. Eldiran says:

    Enh. I was expecting you to address viewer demands using simile instead of analogy. Guess you did it wrong, you should do it over.

    Kidding :p

  14. Cookie Of Nine says:

    Re: The badly typed emails,

    While I was skulking about the Sarif building waiting for the hostages to die, I broke into the office of the company lawyer and read his emails to/from Mr. Sarif. For the founder/head of a technology company, he sure has atrocious spelling, typing, and general overall messaging skills.

    Although I think I remember another game where they use the exact same joke, I do agree that it isn’t very common in games to have people who leave poorly written text messages, or such. Usually, when something goes wrong in a message, it’s entirely for a plot related reason, such as in Bioshock, when Suchong is interrupted by a little sister in his last recording, and faces the wrath of her big daddy when he kicks her.

  15. silentlambda says:

    I was considering criticizing the playstyle in this series, but I have obsessively looted the police station in every one of my playthroughs. No hypocrisy for me. Of course, Josh grenading himself has never gotten less hilarious, even without VATS immortality or Holy frag grenades.

  16. Trix2000 says:

    Funny story, when I was watching one of the previous episodes I thought about how I would have done things. So I went and did another playthrough doing said things (namely, actually going for ghost and being a pacifist). *Hipster glasses*

    I am however less concerned with how you all play it (its interesting to watch how other people handle things in games), but more interested in the commentary anyways. It reminds me both of what made the game so fun and interesting but also what could have been done better.

  17. Friend of Dragons says:

    I want that grenade in the end credits sequence.

  18. Andy_Panthro says:

    Re: knocking people out…

    It always amuses me how easy it is in games/films for people to be knocked unconscious with no repercussions.

    I like to think that every henchperson falls to the floor and pretends to be unconscious, because the alternative is actually fighting the protagonist, and he might kill you!

    • decius says:

      I wonder about the ‘no repercussions’ part. I see the pacifist Jensen as an augmented limb salesman, from how bad the ‘non-lethal’ takedowns are.
      “This guy looks like he can afford… a knee *snap* an arm *twist* and a new face *pow!*. Now I want a candy bar.”

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Indeed.Jensen is pretty violent,and even in the scenes where he knocks a guy out with just a punch,you have to wonder what happens to someone when they get punched with a metalic fist capable of breaking down walls.

        • Raynooo says:

          I seem to remember that in the “Missing Link” DLC, someone calls you out on this. I only made non lethal takedowns and the enemy chief of security asks me if I’m proud of myself, having put their entire crew into a coma…

          So yeah, non lethal but still pretty bad.

    • Dys says:

      I like to think that the non lethal takedowns are less humane than they are meant to be, and some percentage of victims will suffer side effects ranging from persistent headaches to severe disability. This is still considered to be the moral choice.

  19. Jokerman says:

    I think you guys should bunny hop more, im sick of all this running crap….hop dammit! hop hop hop. That’s my only request.

  20. Hale says:

    From my experience watching Spoiler Warning, or any Let’s Plays, I try to act like I do when watching someone play a video game next to me. Let them work everything out their own way and try my darnest not to control their actions or tell them about things that I know that they don’t unless asked. Although, thanks to the funny moments induced by the way Josh plays, combined with the fact that with most Spoiler Warnings I was watching them long after they were released, it has been easy to keep silent.

    However, whenever I watch Let’s Plays done by OMFGCata, I find myself cringing more whenever he misses something or does something that could be done better a different way, even when it adds some more hilarity to the video. (I don’t get myself either)

  21. McNutcase says:

    All I demand from Spoiler Warning is entertainment, ideally including gratuitous violence to both NPCs and the English language.

    You’re doing very well so far. Keep it up.

    I do want to know whether it’s possible for Cuftbert Jensen to shove grenades into people’s trousers in this game, though…

  22. ONE. MORE. TIME!

    – Josh, what the hell is up with your voice? It’s like you finally replaced that tin can on a string with an actual mic!

    – I ended up grabbing the corpse too, but I didn’t fling it, I accidentally grabbed it and dragged it off the table. I didn’t even know I’d tripped up until the guys in the hall started shooting at me. It flowed so well to the point where I assumed it was a script trigger, which actually pissed me off until I figured out what happened.

    – “It’s the one by Paul Verhoeven man!” “Uh…Total Recall?”

    – Yes, yes they will shoot you. It never even occurred to me that getting out of the vent RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, would prevent them going hostile. Silly me right?

    – Did he just…yes, yes he did.

    – Prepare to fast forward! No! I said FORWARD, not FAIL!

    – Now that the alarms finally abated Josh, might be a good idea to holster that gu–no wait!

    – Some may call it assault, I call it establishing brand recognition.

    • Gamer says:

      “- Yes, yes they will shoot you. It never even occurred to me that getting out of the vent RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, would prevent them going hostile. Silly me right?”

      Don’t worry, I thought the same thing. Never even bothered to leave the vent.

  23. Irridium says:

    You know, this episode kind of reminded me of the Kingdom of Amalur demo. You guys joke about “hey remember when Jenson came over and all of a sudden things were stolen? Did we ever catch the guy that did that?”, but in the Amalur demo, that’s actually how the people think.

    It starts like this: You are revived by a well that brings back dead people. The bad guys attack. All the friendly NPC’s go “why are they attacking us? There’s nothing here except dead people and a well that brings dead people back to life. Why are they attacking us?”

    And they are all completely serious.

    • Gamer says:

      This isn’t really related to Deus Ex, but what did you think about the Amalur demo? I thought it was good, but I’m not sure if it sold we on the game. Something about it just seemed slightly off (barring the visual and audio glitched that they claim to have already fixed in the final version).

      • X2Eliah says:

        Call me shallow, but I can’t believe just how wow-like the feeling of the game is.. graphics, style, sounds, movement, combat animations, everything just screams an mmo-rpg design :[
        If you thought Dragon Age Origins was bad-looking… Well, you’ll be surprised.

    • Sumanai says:

      Dear god. I have to try that demo.

      • Sumanai says:

        I am disappoint.

        One: every NPC who goes “why are they attacking” says that they are both away from the front lines and that they shouldn’t know about the well, so their reaction is in fact reasonable. Especially since they’ve been taken by surprise and the thought of someone leaking info might not come to them due to shock. So no unintentional, or intentional, humour from there.

        Two: I read Gabe’s (Penny-arcade) opinions on Kingdoms of Amalur and so thought I would be getting into something similar to the Elder Scrolls, but instead it’s more like Fable 2 (or an MMO), but with better writing. The Skill table made more sense than in most games though. It seems my experience with combat was damaged by my keyboard apparently having strange delays, but as it was I’m not impressed and mildly annoyed.

        Also there were control problems that can’t be my keyboards fault. I couldn’t actually play using my gamepad (it’s a 360 pad) and the game is clearly designed for it. I couldn’t “use” things or initiate sneaking from it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The demo is out?Uh,Ive got to check it out.Also,I was wondering if that game will be worth buying,but now I know.Thanks.

  24. Dante says:

    That episode was hilarious. Truly a great example of chaotic stupid.

  25. Amazon_warrior says:

    Loved this episode! I find it fascinating to watch how someone else approaches a game, and Josh is just hilarious to watch playing. Reminds me of a truly excellent weekend I once had playing Halflife with three other people. Brilliant fun!

    I can’t remember many self-immolations during my play-through, but I did do accidental box-throwing next to the spilled lightning an embarrassing number of times. D:

    My biggest problem currently is the fact that this series is *really* making me want to play the game again, but I’m afflicted with that damn stuttering issue. I thought I’d sorted it, but nooooo. . . >:-\

  26. Paul Spooner says:

    When I played the game I could never seem to talk to the guy at the front desk. I really didn’t want to sneak in, but that seemed to be the only option. I also didn’t have any stealth augs, so it was really difficult. I ended up building a pile of about seventeen stunned cops on the second floor. I think this station was the hardest part in the whole game for me.

    Oh, and I only had hacking up to level 1 at the time, so I couldn’t hack into the plot advancement computer and had to come back later. What a pain!

  27. Slipshod says:

    IMHO, you guys are doing a fabulous job. I’m really enjoying this season.

    (and I’m still hoping we’ll hear the infamous “stop shooting me!” make a comeback one of these days…)

  28. Sumanai says:

    When you started talking about a webcomic, I got something else in mind.

  29. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Before I watch this one,I want to say that Im not a terrorist,you are the terrorist…Err,wait,thats not what I wanted to say.Right,I wanted to say that you should definitely play missing link dlc.And if Josh doesnt have it,Josh why the hell did you buy fallout 3 dlcs,and not human revolution dlc?

    • Even says:

      It wasn’t that good DLC to be honest. The story worked, but wasn’t very inspiring and it kinda felt like a major sequence break when thinking of the overall plot of the game. Only thing I really felt was cool about it was the ending. Gameplay-wise it’s just more of the same and the aug reset just feels so gimmicky. It doesn’t really make it that much more challenging, it just limits your choices. On the good side, the boss fight did actually make sense for the game once. And I got it cheap too, thanks to the Steam holiday sales.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Actually the reset of your augs is a pretty good solution for people who got it much later and didnt have any saves at the right spot.This way you can play the dlc as a separate game at any time you want.

        But yes,this isnt a dlc you get for changes in gameplay,but for additions to the story,and a satisfying boss battle.

        Also,I want to see how others react to that easter egg in the last dialogue.Especially Shamus,if he doesnt play it before they do it on the show.

        • Even says:

          There are other ways they could have handled it. It still throws you off no matter what and you only regain a little praxis initially. For the rest you have to either find hidden praxis points or abuse the exp system. Import a save feature or start the game with a set amount of unallocated praxis points would have worked just as well. Better yet, have a difficulty slider to let you choose how much initial points you want. If you want the “challenge”, take none. You could explain it away with the chair in all cases. Maybe the chair malfunctioned, maybe some hardcoded EMP protection kicked in and saved half of your augs from resetting or maybe you were just out of luck and it’s a hard reset like it is now.

          “But yes,this isnt a dlc you get for changes in gameplay,but for additions to the story,and a satisfying boss battle.”

          That’s the thing though, I’d rather not go through another Dead Money/Honest Hearts sans a stupid boss fight. The DLC is long enough to cover at least two weeks worth of episodes and in all likelyhood it’s gonna be just another huge bitchfest.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            With the style of playing Josh is using,it wouldnt take long.That mission is long only if you are going for pure stealth.When you know what youre doing,and you dont care about the enemy seeing you,you can do it in an hour or less,which is 2-3 episodes.

  30. Sydney says:

    So I was listening to Josh talk about how he wished everyone would stop being alarmed. Then my brain tuned back into what everyone else was saying, and the first thing I heard was:

    Rutskarn: “…and party clowns are always setting themselves on fire. I don’t know how cool that is.”

    For the first time ever, I had to rewind the video to find out just what the hell was going on.

  31. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah,grenades and holsters.Thats why I always bind grenades to mmb.You cant accidentally press that one.Plus,its easier to get to mmb than to stretch your finger to the g key.

    Rutskarn,why did you talk over the robocop guys?I thought Josh was the troll in the cast.

    Josh,what were you looking for in all those offices anyway?If you wanted to do sidequests,those were bellow you.

  32. Packie says:

    Josh turned one of my favorite and most exciting stealth levels into a farce. Thanks Josh…

    Also about the key mapping, it’s better to map the holster/hide weapon into F. I knew I was gonna run into a situation where I accidentally threw a frag grenade in a room full of civilians.

  33. Zaxares says:

    0:10: Don’t you just love it how you can walk around in a POLICE STATION with a weapon drawn and nobody says a WORD to you? XD

    2:23: Actually Rutskarn, the doctor specifically mentioned that. Jensen got lucky in that the hacker’s aim was slightly off (presumably because he didn’t actually want to kill himself); if the bullet had been just a few inches higher, it would have destroyed the brain chip.

    5:56: NPCs in the game basically get alarmed/go hostile if they see you attempting to break into a restricted area/item. If you know the keycode for a computer or door, for example, and use the keycode to unlock it without hacking, you can waltz right into the room and NPCs watching won’t say a word (unless it’s a restricted area you’re not supposed to be in, like the police station armory).

    6:40: You know, Shamus, you may have a point! If you gain extra XP from nodes during hacking, it’s classified as “Sensitive Information”. Makes you wonder just what kind of sensitive information they’re hiding, hmm??

    9:48: My only complaint with the way Josh did it is that he should have come up from behind so he got the unique “choke you in your chair” animation. That way, the guy never sees you and thus can’t identify you in court. 8) (EDIT: Never mind. Josh does it the right way in the do-over. XD)

    11:20: Yeah, you’re right Rutskarn. Most games make a lot of fuss about non-lethal takedowns because you’re “not killing them”. But the truth is, knocking somebody out by giving them a concussion is actually VERY dangerous. There’s a reason why medical staff go into panic mode whenever a sports athlete is knocked out on the field. The body is not designed to be turned on and off like a switch; if you get knocked out, it means your body or brain has suffered so much damage that it can no longer function properly. Since in nature, if you get knocked out it likely means you’re going to die (either because you’re getting eaten by that predator that just inflicted enough damage on you to make you pass out, or you’re getting crushed by debris or asphixiated by smoke), your body will fight to the last to keep you awake and conscious.

    The result is that for people who are knocked out, there are usually permanent, long-lasting side effects. Batman may have his rule about never killing anybody, but he seems to have no problem breaking the limbs of people or putting them in comas, actions which could have debilitating effects on them for the rest of their lives. If given the choice between death or life as a locked-in paraplegic, is the latter really a better option?

    Oh, and tranquilisers have their own share of risks too. Like anesthesia, it has to be carefully calibrated to suit the target’s age, gender and body mass. Too little and the drug will only make them groggy. Too much, and you’ll kill them. That’s why surgeries always have a fully-trained anesthesist whose sole job is to monitor you and increase/lower the dosage as necessary. (And sometimes they make mistakes too. People HAVE been known to wake up in the middle of their operation. Even worse, operations usually use two types of anesthesia; one that puts you to sleep, and another that paralyses your muscles so you don’t flail wildly during the operation. Sometimes, the sleep drug is insufficient and you wake up during the operation, but the paralysis drug is still working so you can’t move or scream or alert the doctors that you’re fully conscious and aware of the blades slicing into your flesh, or the lasers burning shut your blood vessels or the saws cutting through bone… And people wonder why I’m afraid of hospitals. XD)

    12:38: … BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! XD Josh, little tip to avoid stuff like that happening again in the future; take your grenades off your quickbar. Grenades need to be equipped before you throw them, and you do so by selecting them on your quickbar.

    19:20: Wait, was the myth true? So you CAN punch people hard enough to leave imprints of rings in their skin/flesh? O.o

  34. Dev Null says:

    When you get on a public bus, you don't shout routing advice to the bus driver.

    You don’t? Damn; knew I was doing it wrong.

    One day, with the help of bionic prosthetics and symbiotic AI, I will get my lifetime ratio of enemy kills to self-kills with grenades in video games up to parity. Its a crazy dream, but you gotta follow your heart.

  35. RCN says:

    Aww… I was part of that.

    Now I’m sad.

    Oh, wait, Josh lobbed a grenade at his feet while trying to hoist his weapon.

    Now I’m happy.

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