Electron Dance
18Dec/10Off

Missing Shudders

I have discovered a real reason to look forward to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The trailers are cool and everything but, seriously, trailers don't tell me whether I'll enjoy the damn thing or whether the story will match up to the spine-tingling "it's not the end of the world... but you can see it from here."

I followed up who did the music for the recent trailers.

And with enormous cerebral joy I discovered that Michael McCann is the composer. For the game.

He did the theme music for (well, his music was chosen for) wonderful Canadian series ReGenesis, a series featuring one of the best arrogant genius scientist arseholes on television, Dr. David Sandström. The first season was outstanding, the second season less so, the third season less so less so... you can see where this is going. (It's a geometric progression with a common ratio of 0.63.)

The full version can also be heard on YouTube.

Just looking forward to a game for the music is probably not the best reason on the planet to do so, after all, there was Bear McCreary to look forward to on Capcom's Dark Void, which did not receive the greatest of reviews.

I want to approach Deus Ex: Human Resources with expectations set so low they would test the king of limbo dancing - rather than expect, well, Deus Ex because that's a Grand Canyon-sized ask. The part of my brain that used to get the shudders when reading previews and watching trailers seems to have become disconnected in recent years and I'm not entirely sure how that happened. The end result is that I'm fitter, happier, more productive.

I miss the shudders though.

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  1. Mmmm I am getting the shudders, y’know. I wasn’t even too skeptical for too long, and for a while I’ve been sure that even if Human Revolution is a mess, it’ll be easily one of the most interesting AAA games in ages.

    You can feel the industry and the inspiration going on at Eidos Montreal (what is it about that city?), and somehow I don’t feel utterly terrified that my two favourite series are in the lap of an untested group.

    It seems my relatively level-headed approach to sequels of my favourite things is being tested to its limits in the next couple of years, if we count Dragon Age 2 as a continuation of the Baldur’s Gate series. Right now I just don’t like pedestals, or ivory towers. I like intertextuality and the continuing, tattered, beautiful tapestry of pop culture. And after RPS’s week or so musing over Deus Ex’s anniversary and the whole Immersive Sim shebang, I decided that new blood is exactly what the genre needs. We still have Irrational; we still have Harvey Smith working on god-knows-what over at Arkane in Austin; let’s see what these fresh fuckers can do with our most loved games.

    Ask me again in 2012, though, and I might spit all over you in conventional fanrange fashion. We shall see.

    I don’t know Michael McCann, but that Regenesis theme is pretty special. Fantastic close-mic free jazz drums and… something else. It could just be your Fitter Happier reference but I can’t help but think Radiohead. It’s that sense of approaching the avant-garde from a rock-based perspective. It’d be a great fit for Deus Ex, which at its best was always totally grounded while it reached for the stars.

  2. The shudders haven’t left yet for me. That trailer still gives me them, probably mostly because of the song.

    We were thinking of getting McCan’s “Machination” as our official theme song for a while :).

  3. This is one of the rare few trailers to give me shudders due to it being so interestingly close to everything else I wanted out of Deus Ex, in a way. Playing through The Nameless Mod right now, I can see spaces where changes in Human Revolution slot in perfectly. And considering how often you see yourself in third person in TNM, I don’t think I’d mind the additional third-personing (new term?) mixed in with the action. I just want to hold on to the aspect of choice.

    And I think the out-and-out uniqueness of the music compared to other AAA titles gives everything else more character. Like the original DX, it’s a sum greater than its parts. Hopefully.

    P.S. I originally thought the post was titled “Missing Shoulders” and would’ve found that equally fitting.

  4. Like a pig in a cage on antibiotics?

    Confession: I still haven’t played through the original Deus Ex. I’ve started it twice and just haven’t been able to keep going. The horrible thing is, there’s very little (if anything) that I dislike about it. I intend on starting it again but it’s painful knowing how late I am to the experience. Very painful.

    Human Revolution seems like it’s trying very hard to be badass and cool and I’m not sure that’s the right tone or approach for a game of Deus Ex’s ‘stature’. I dunno, we’ll see. It’s got to be cool if Rhianna’s in it.

  5. that music!

    your reason for excitement has become my reason

  6. Sorry I meant to reply to all youse nice people earlier but I’m currently stressed out trying to get Mrs. HM and the two children back to the UK for Xmas, still stuck in Munich for a third night. I hope they are coming back tomorrow morning but it’s bloody snowing again. I was actually swearing through the kitchen window this evening. At snow.

    @jeremypeel: I was going to write something about “well, I don’t know anyone who is working on Deus Ex: Human Revolver and that’s why I’m wait-and-see, well, until I realise Michael McCann was aboard”. I’ve got so jaded watching trailer after trailer. The DX one is a great movie trailer (Laura covered this ground on Second Person Shooter) but the gameplay one is the one that better sells the game to me. I get suspicious of cinematics, as if they’re going to betray me, like treacherous roads in winter. I have nothing against new blood – World of Goo, man, World of Goo – but high-budget trailers aren’t usually enough to get me psyched about a game.

    Saying that, I found myself attracted to the new Crysis 2 trailer which showed off a ton of gameplay. Although it does subscribe to the epileptic school of trailer design (kill, boom, change scene change scene, kill boom, change scene) it works here.

    @Jack: Machination? Can you point me in the direction of that? Google searching McCann + Machination are turning up nowt.

    @BeamSplashX: Yes, it does a great job of capturing DXness while modernising – which is something Deus Ex: Invisible What kind of stuttered over. Which makes me even MORE suspicious. THOSE DIRTY LYING SLIMY TRAILERS. Ah: The Nameless Mod. I’m not sure I could find the time to play it.

    @Gregg: To make you feel better, I started DX a couple of times and just didn’t get anywhere. After I got through the Liberty Island mission, I started to get the feel of it. I imagine DX is still playable in these modern times, but the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll end up hating it like Armand hates tower defence. The issue of being a badass, I think is tied into mainstream gaming’s commitment as to what it sees as its core audience, the male power fantasy teen boy. I can still enjoy this even though I’m all growed up, but some of the moves in the video just look – wait for it – killdulgent. I don’t want to grab a guard and snap his neck through a wall. I don’t want to twist people’s head off with kitchen spinner attachment. I don’t want to force people to shoot their own brains onto the monitor, especially when I want to read what’s on that monitor. In Deus Ex, I was the JC Denton who stuck with the goddamn prod and didn’t feel so bad about himself. Question: Rhianna is in it…?

    @Laura: It’s just nice to see you here. (waves)

  7. That lady with the ass, kicking ass, looking badass. She looks like Rhianna with an ass-inine hairdo.

  8. C’mon, it’s not cyberpunk without at least a FEW hairstyles no one is envious of.

  9. And in one sentence, Sid has summarised the entire cyberpunk genre.

  10. Truer words were never spoken Sid.

  11. Gregg, if you don’t play Deus Ex I’ll stalk & menace with the snore mech hand from this trailer


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