Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s Loading Screens Are A Total Drag

Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s Loading Screens Are A Total Drag
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I like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I like it a lot, even. I’ve written about the things I really dig and even made a video detailing some of them.

But the game does have its share of flaws. One in particular stands out: the atrociously long loading screens. Good lord, you guys, these loading screens feel endless. Watch the video above to get a sense of what I’m talking about — they’re maybe not all quite as long as the one in the video, but every single one outstays its welcome by at least 20 or 30 seconds. PC, console… it doesn’t make a difference.

Given that so much of the game hinges on stealth, there is a fair amount of trial-and-error involved, but what would have been a breezy and fun process becomes cumbersome and halting.

Quicksaving is a great feature on the PC, but using it (for example, quicksaving before trying a particularly tricky stealth section, then loading if you get spotted) is so much more annoying than it would’ve been had the loading screens been shorter. This is particularly true given the fact that the game’s combat is quite difficult — I’d often find myself being forced to reload 10 times in one area of the game. It feels punitive and just plain boring. Don’t waste my time, game!

DXHR certainly isn’t the first game to be hindered by loading screens, and despite their presence, it is a very good game — often, it’s great. So it’s that much more of a shame that a technical niggle like this hurts the overall experience to the extent that it does.

Comments

  • Firstly I have to rant just a little, its DEHR, Ex begins with an E damnit!!

    Secondly I wholeheartedly agree that the loading is the games major weakness. It shouldn’t be described as “quick load”, more “less-button-presses load”. The worst time I’ve had with it was trying to infiltrate the above ground apartments in derelict row by jumping onto the fire escape was a chore, lots and lots of trial and error (for error, read ‘death by falling followed by 15-20s loading’). I eventually concluded you needed leg augmentations to get there but only half of that was deductive reasoning, the other half was an attempt to avoid the loading screen for a bit.

    Its still a bloody good game though, infinitely superior to the mess of ambition, good ideas and bad programming that was the first game

    • i didn’t have problems with that i used the top of the ventilation shafts on the left to walk across and then it was just 2 simple crouched jumps to get onto the fire escape

      • It took me a few tries at the jump to realise I could use the air vents. So used to games where those kinds of things are just aesthetic and/or covered by an invisible wall.

  • Wow that is a long load time, pretty sure mine is not that long maybe half the length, i had to quickload about four times in one bit last night and didn’t notice an unusual waiting time.

    • Same here, I didn’t find it too much of a chore either. Unless it is more of an issue later during some of the bigger maps.

    • DNF got nothing on Bionic Commando! IMO
      The undisputed king of load screens!
      Well, maybe a little disputed.
      But still…
      Yeah… they should have called it Swing, Fall, Load.

  • I wouldn’t mind the one long load everytime I launch the level, but everytime I quick load?

    The game is so smooth and well designed it does tarnish it a little, as a stealth game trial and error is a must, sometimes I’ll get caught and shoot it out just because I’d rather get less XP then hit another long loading screen.

    I agree though, small niggles, fantastic game!

    • Agreed, this actually cut my loading times by half I reckon. They’re now about 20 seconds. Just enough time to check the twitter feeds!

      • I was reading an article on Gamasutra the other day – why do they feel the need to apply v-sync to loading screens!

        Also, I wonder if anybody tried the Mass Effect 2 tricks – running on one core, or deleting the “movie” files used during loading screens.

  • On my system it’s the longest loading on 16GB of RAM I’ve ever seen. I tested a PS3 version as well and I think it was faster but the graphics were nauseating.

    I think the last time I played a game with loading this noticable was The Witcher (the first one) before they patched it. I’m not sure what kind of a dev is Eidos Montreal but I hope they continue development like CD Projekt did.

  • My first playthrough is on Give me Deus Ex difficulty and I’m going for the Pacifist and no alarams set off achievements. I’ve seen that loading screen a lot. I guess installing to hard drive isn’t gonna help then?

  • The load times are awful. Especially considering I hit a spot in the first major mission that kept freezing my 360. Got past it, but not before five reloads and some afore mentioned trial and error.

    Really good game, though 🙂 Kept me up WELL past my bedtime last night.

  • We call them Punishment screens. Punishment for not playing well enough and getting killed. To spend less time loading, spend less time dying. They’re the new ‘losing a life’.

    Its not so bad though. There’s a minigame to play while the level loads…. its called drinking.

    • Back in my day I had to catch 3 buses, 2 trains and walk 15km in the rain just to stare into the window of a room where some guy played California Games.

      Plus side was when he played a surfing event it was quite immersive.

    • Ah the C64 – my mate had one. I remember putting a tape in to load and going out to kick the footy while we waited for it to load. Then I got my Amiga 500 and was the envy of all with my 3.5″ floppies.

  • So sad I had to actually come to work this morning. From the first intro screen the game had me, tugging on the nostalgia strings.

  • Don’t get me wrong, this is a great game so far and I’m enjoying it but the load times are way, way, way too long; esp when it’s just reloading what it already has in memory pretty much.

  • Wouldn’t discussing PC load times be made slightly redundant by the fact it’d be largely governed by what hardware you’re running?

  • Man i had time to play a couple of battles on pokemon between load screens. can’t wait to check out the patch.
    or maybe i should install to my SSD… pity it means i have to install my whole 60GB steam library onto it…

  • My loading screens on PC usually take only about 15 seconds. Although there are a lot of em during the city hub sections.

  • As I play it on my ‘crappier-by-the-day’ laptop at 800×600 resolution in an aspect ratio that is not that of my actual screen with all the graphical bells and whistles disabled I sit and watch the loading screens for maybe 10-15 seconds on average and 20-25 seconds at worst so far… and I don’t think ‘God, these load times are killer…’

    No. I think to myself ‘Self… you desperately need a new computer… but thank God the ol’ girl can still manage this wonderful wonderful game’

    *perspective*

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