Barrett in Deus Ex Human Revolution is still an arsehole second time around

It's me, Barrett: I'm going to frustrate the hell out of you.
It’s me, Barrett: I’m going to frustrate the hell out of you.

I own two copies of Deus Ex Human Revolution.

One on Xbox 360, one of PC (I bought it during the recent Steam Sale for the princely sum of $US5.99).

I loved the game the first time I played it, and I’m loving it now, the second time, but Barrett, the augmented bulldozer who’s the first boss in the game, is still an arsehole to beat second time around. He’s an ARSE.

To be honest, the boss battles just seemed out-of-place in DX: Human Revolution, a game that let you sneak about through air ducts and over gantries if you wanted to, avoiding the guards and enemies. You could go in guns blazing if that was your cup of tea but if you wanted to stealth it, you could. And I liked that about Human Revolution. Even the game’s developer admitted that they should have “put more effort into the boss battles” and they didn’t realise they were a problem until the game had shipped.

In fact, as someone on Twitter pointed out, the boss battles were actually outsourced to another developer. No wonder they felt disconnected from the rest of the game.

In my first play through of the game, I was going in cold so tried to take him head on: Nope , that didn’t work.  I soon realised that if I got too close to the part human, part machine behemoth he’d grab me, punch me in the head then drop me to the floor. No problem: I’ll just hide in the corner of one of the two ammo rooms, confuse him. Nope, that didn’t work either. He’d eventually toss a grenade in to flush me out … generally causing me to run too close to him and get punched in the head.

Then I saw the explosive barrels dotted about the room, which were clearly good for throwing at Barrett, stunning him, allowing me to go in for the kill. Well, that’s what they’re supposed to be used for. Most of the time I fumbled to pick up the barrels and by the time I’d turned around to throw one at Barrett, he’d shot at it, causing it to explode (while I was still holding it, remember), depleting my health. Things were not going well.

In my first play through, I eventually defeated Barrett (I think I just wore him down due to my ineptitude and he died of boredom) but for my second play through, even though I’d defeated him before, I watched a few YouTube offering all kinds of strategies for defeating him (stun gun, concussive grenades, EMP grenades) I thought I had it sussed. Famous. Last. Words.

None of them worked for me: I still kept dying. Lots. None of my strategies seemed to work. Perhaps I’m rusty. Perhaps my skills need sharpening. I’ll try to get them sorted over the weekend.

I love you Deus Ex Human Revolution. You’re a great game but Barrett is still an arsehole.

Update: I’ve just been reading up about the Director’s Cut that’s in the works. It sounds as if there are a few tweaks that will make this the best version of the lot, featuring tweaked boss battles, AI and graphics, but it doesn’t seem as if it’ll be available as a download for those of us who already own Human Revolution. That’s disappointing.

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