About a month ago, Square Enix and Eidos Montreal announced one of the most ridiculous pre-order programs for the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The scheme, called “Augment Your Pre-Order,” had five tiers of pre-order content that had options for gamers to choose from but each was locked until an unspecified number of pre-orders was achieved. The highest of those tiers was an early launch date for people who pre-ordered the game.
In the month since the launch, Square Enix was raked through the press and gamers mocked SquEnix. It seems that as a result of overwhelming public pressure, Square Enix and Eidos Montreal have cancelled the Augment Your Pre-Order program.
Sometimes, it really pays to read beyond the headline. For example, if you were sent a press release that says “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Launch Date Revealed,” you would think that the press release was mostly about the game’s launch date and a little bit about what is available for pre-order.
That what I thought it was until I got to the subheading of “Player Choice Prevails with Augment Your Pre-Order Campaign; Collector’s Edition Unveiled.” At first glance, player choice and pre-order bonuses seems like it’s a long-awaited change to the typical pre-order plan. Then you see how Square Enix has put it together and you can’t but help but hit your head off your desk.
The only thing more dangerous for a game developer and publisher than a sequel to a recent hit is a sequel or reboot of a classic game from yesteryear. It is a guarantee that not everyone will be happy with the results. Whether you’re making the next edition of an annual franchise, the second part of an uber popular trilogy or rebooting a classic from over a decade ago, you’re going to piss someone off. It’s just a matter of how many people are happy.
And that bring me to this week’s release of Thief. Some critics really liked it despite its flaws. One critic already gave it a spot on his top 10 games of 2014 list. Many considered it sort of “meh” while a few absolutely hated it. We’re used to opinions running the gambit with the truth lying somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure that applies to a 60-point spread in review scores.
So here’s what the critics thought of the rebooted Thief.
All the rumours swirling about a Deus Ex sequel got everyone excited… right until the moment that we found out that Deus Ex: The Fall wasn’t a big triple-A release or even the rumoured Deus Ex movie. No, Deus Ex: The Fall is the first move of the famed franchise into the mobile gaming space. Until XCOM: Enemy Unknown and KOTOR came out on iOS, I assumed that mobile was a wasteland for core gamers but it turns out that there’s hope.
While Deus Ex doesn’t live up to the standards for an iOS game set by XCOM, it’s not an epic failure like Square’s last major mobile release, Final Fantasy: All the
Money Bravest. While the combat might have been a bit lost in translation, the multiple approaches to a level of the proper Deus Ex games are still there. Overall, the critics are well and truly mixed on this one.