Deus Ex: Human Revolution was one of my favorite games this year. It was a great addition to one of my favorite game series. It was a much-needed dose of proper Cyberpunk. Just about everything was just right; the augmentations, the variety of missions, and the different city districts all felt like part of the same world.
But within Deus Ex is hidden another, very different game. Hidden inside this intricate, fascinating world is an incredibly boring shooter that comes up every time Adam Jensen fights a boss. And there’s a reason for it.
As it turns out, the boss fights were outsourced to another developer. A developer whose president “wasn’t familiar with Deus Ex.” Outsourcing aspects of a game isn’t unique to DXHR. In fact, with games getting bigger and bigger, it’s becoming a necessity in some cases. Most of the big shooters have one team working on multiplayer and another team working on single player. Assassin’s Creed Revelations involved a total of six studios across three continents. Outsourcing or spreading a game across multiple teams can be a good thing. Let each team concentrate on something specific to improve the strength of the end product.
In the case of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, there was a lack of communication, apparently, with regard to the philosophy of the story and design. The best we can hope is that this very-noticeable stumble – both in-game and out – is a lesson to other developers to make sure that when they outsource, everyone is working on the same game.