Deus Ex: Human Revolution is shaping up to be a worthy successor to 2000's classic game about trench coats, invading personal computers and women's bathrooms for no good reason, and the moral implications of genetic implants in a society where no one is able to bend their back, even in death.
Fans of the original Deus Ex have been waiting 11 years for a proper follow-up with a unique tone, detailed world fleshed out through text as much as in-game objects, and multiple pathways for every goal, so it came as something of a gut punch when the game's producer David Anfossi posted the following:
What could the publisher (Square-Enix) have possibly said in an e-mail to make a man so despondent? I attempted to hack my way into Anfossi's account with the login/password combinations of jcd:bionicman and nsf001:smashthestate, but that didn't get me very far.
I spent the rest of the afternoon imagining what that e-mail said. These are my theories.
"Yo, we were thinking that Final Fantasy always makes a lot of money. We're going to need you to go ahead and have the plot make less sense, have character motivations make zero sense, replace 90% of the dialog with gasps, and make everything anime. You have 72 hours."
"Please remove all weapons, items, and quests from the game. We're going to make them retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses. This will really benefit the end user since they get to pick what content they want. If it was all in the game at launch, we'd be forcing too much on them."
"Top 10 Vacation Photo FAILS - LOL! Too funny!"
"Those multiple pathways didn't go over well with the focus test group. Trim it down to one pathway for every goal, in a corridor lined with cover, leading to a cutscene."
"Remember the last project meeting, when we broke the ice with my Amateur Biopsy Kit? Well, I don't know how else to tell you this, but it's a tumor. You should speak to Andy from accounting, he has an E-Z Bake Chemotherapy Box."
"We've been crunching the numbers, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution is going to have to sell 1.2 billion copies on the first day of release."
"Dad, I'm a furry and a registered member of the Tea Party."
"There's been a problem at the packaging plant. As soon as your team finishes the game, I'm going to need you to do the following:
1. Go down to the local office supply store and buy around two million blank DVDs.
2. Have everyone start burning copies of the game on their work computers.
3. Label each disc Deus Ex: Human Revolution with a marker. I know a lot of your guys are artists, so make sure there are NO misspellings.
4. Have everyone bring in their video game cases & boxes from home. Turn them inside out. Do what you did in step 3, this time on the front of each case.
5. Insert the games, seal them with duct tape, and deliver them to every retailer in the included .pdf file."
"This won't make a lot of sense, but I'm you from the future, in this better job. You have to trust me. I went back in time and accidentally killed the baby version of ourselves. Now we don't even exist. Go back in time and kill me moments before I commit the act and we'll all live."
"I asked around, and no one knows what the heck a Deus Ex is. Your project's new title is Dissidia: Fabula Nova Crystallis 358/2 Days Birth By Sleep Dirge XIII-2. You can thank the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts teams for that one."
"You've been replaced by a robot. He will be paid more, have less of a workload, and is encouraged to have sex with your wife."
"EA was right - every game should have multiplayer, whether it makes sense or not. I know you guys only have a few weeks left, but take a couple of your least valuable guys and have them whip up some sort of deathmatch/team deathmatch with a bullshit leveling system. Don't worry about making new maps, just have them chop up some areas from the campaign and lock a few doors or add some rocks something to keep it contained."
"I just got off the phone with the payroll department, and no one could figure out exactly what it is that a Producer does. We're going to have a conference call at noon, and you're going to justify your paycheck."
"Our e-mail is broken. I can't send anything out and you can't receive anything from me."
"You know how we said your game was going to come out in March? Well, that wasn't entirely accurate. There is no game! You've been on hidden camera this whole time!"
"Three months ago we had fart sensing modules hidden in all of the company's chairs. The jig is up. Report to the tribunal council chamber immediately."
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
Old mixed signals feeling a little stale? Try some new ones!
day 2: still working on the car
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.