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Old 03-31-2004, 02:17 AM
fn0rds fn0rds is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Default What happened to DX1's "non-lethal takedowns?"

Hey all,

I'm enjoying IW a lot more than I thought I would after playing the demo. I'm still kind of bummed out that so many of my favorite aspects of DX1 seem have to been tossed out the window for the sake of simplicity, but for the most part, I think the developers have done a decent job of creating an interesting, open-ended playing experience. The game just lacks the polish of minor details that helps to really emerge the player into the game's world.

One thing that's really been bugging me, though, is the apparent lack of the trademark Denton "non-lethal takedown." In DX1, it normally took several whacks of the baton to take down a NSF or MJ-12 trooper, but if you snuck up on them and delivered one, solid strike to the middle of their back, you could get a silent, one-hit knockout (or kill) with just about any melee weapon. I thought this feature was extremely cool, and it's sorely missed in IW. So far, I've been relying on a tactic by which I give them a good shock with the riot prod and then smack them in the head repeatedly with the baton. I guess it gets the job done just the same, but it's not nearly as badass (and what's with the riot prod, anyhow? That thing doesn't deliver nearly as strong a shock as it should). And it's not really silent, either; even a guard who's just been shocked with the prod will still yell out (though apparently no one hears him), and he'll still almost always draw his weapon on you before you can bring him down.

The one-hit takedowns of DX1 provided a tangible incentive for playing stealthily, which I feel is missing from IW. It allowed players to quickly and silently eliminate enemy resistance. Especially early on in the game, when your skill with weapons was generally pretty poor (another thing I'm missing in DX2--perhaps not necessarily a skill system per se, but some sort of measurable progression in weapon skill), being able to knock out a NSF trooper was a valuable ability, since even one of them could give you trouble. IW provides you with no such incentive.

If I might digress a moment, I'd like to make one more somewhat obscure observation before I call it quits: I just don't feel like nearly as much a badass in IW as I did in DX. JC had attitude, and he had quite a few well-written, intimidating, very cool lines of dialogue. IW perhaps provides a more open-ended approach to navigating obstacles (the ability to knock out laser trip-wires or block them with objects, for instance), but it offers much less appealing methods for dealing with adversaries. There were say many cool ways to fight in DX; if I came across a MJ-12 trooper guarding an office, for example, there were dozens of ways I could go about eliminating him. I could pump him full of lead, or blow him to bits, or scramble the nearby security bot, or turn the room's turret against him. Or, if I wanted to go about it stealthily (and non-lethally), I could throw a gas grenade into the room (which stuns in DX, unlike in IW) and then bring him down with tranqulizer darts while he's still under the effects of the gas. Or, one of my personal favorites, I could pepper spray him in the face and then prod him. Granted, you can do a lot of this stuff in IW too, but there just don't seem to be as many innovative ways to own biatches as I would have liked.

Okay, I'm done ranting.
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Old 03-31-2004, 03:39 AM
Le`Sauveur`De`Ces`Dames Le`Sauveur`De`Ces`Dames is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Paris, Catacombs
Posts: 1,202

actually, you can still take ennemies down with one hit of a melee weapon. you will have to use the augmented strength biomod, though
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:14 AM
oohwha oohwha is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 42
Lightbulb great post - good points...

I couldn't agree more with this post. JC was a bad@$$ and Alex does seem very 2 dimensional in comparison. Had they not brought JC into this story there would have been no game at all - it would have felt like playing Super Mario Bros. or something.

And where is the cool villain? Great villains ALWAYS make the movie - same goes for a good game. I remember the original Batman movie. Jack Nicholson MADE that movie. He played the Joker perfectly. We needed someone like Bob Page or one of the other more "haunting and ominous" villains from the first one.

DX2 didn't have to be a clone of the first one. It just feels to me like they tried so hard to avoid making it a clone that they went overboard a bit. No more silent takedowns (without maxed strength), no more hit location, no more realistic inventory restrictions (carrying 12 rocket launchers that each weigh what about 30 pounds???), no more RPG-like skill system.

I don't know, maybe it was impossible to make a sequel as great as the first, but to remove so many great things... I'm honestly shocked that this game still qualifies to be in the "Role Playing Games" section at all the websites.

It feels much more like a generic FPS now.
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:52 PM
Random Random is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,043

You need to install the right biomods for your playstyle. If you want non-lethal takedowns, you definately need the strength biomod. One hit with the baton (to the head) will take them down, and with the strength mod you can also kill people by throwing objects at them.

I think there are more interesting ways to kill people in IW than there were in DX1, but I guess it depends on how you play.
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Old 04-01-2004, 12:33 AM
fn0rds fn0rds is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8

I suppose that's true. I think I'll have to play through the game again with something like strength and electrostatic discharge and see if I feel more at home. It just really bummed me out the first time I crept up on a bad guy, whacked him in the back of the head with a baton, and then got shot when he immediately turned around and stuck his pistol in my belly. I can't really explain why, but sneaking up on a guy and knocking his ass out cold is just so much cooler than running up and shooting him. I can't wait for Thief 3.

I think the lack of realism in general in IW kind of bugs me. I can see how they'd want to make one-hit takedowns depend on the player's selection of biomods for gameplay reasons, but I'd still like to be able to do that without the need for strength. I like people to die when I shoot them in the face, too. Or at least flinch or something, instead of just calling me an *** and immediately firing on me. Again, I think the developers have the whole emergent gameplay thing down pretty pat. They just need to fine tune and polish the details and presentation for the next installment.

And I definitely agree about the villian comment. Even if they were push-overs, the "boss" battles with Navarre, Gunther, and Simons in DX were very entertaining, and they left you with that "ohhhh damn..." feeling going into the fight. I'm sorry, Billie, but you're about as intimidating as schoolgirl wielding a piece of floss.
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:47 AM
Crawlius Crawlius is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3

I like people to die when I shoot them in the face, too.
Yeah.. You would think the 'realism' difficulty would be realistic. I tend to shoot people up-close and in the head with a shotgun and they STILL live. I don't really have a problem with two headshots though, I can get any enemy in a second or two with the pistol...

As for non-lethal takedowns, though.. Walk upto said person, equip baton, aim at head, hold mouse, wait until you have struck three times, hide the body.
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Old 04-01-2004, 05:54 AM
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Catman Catman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Ames, IA, USA
Posts: 1,215

Most people not wearing helmets are easily killed with one head shot. Most people wearning helmets take multiple head shots.

What's not realistic about that?
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:13 PM
Pleco Pleco is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 9

Maybe he is playing a pre-patch version. Didn't they modify headshot damage with that?
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