I think you know where I’m going with this. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launched this week to great reviews and a lot of praise from the press and players alike, but there was a butter taste to the sweetness of success. The pre-order bonuses which were supposed to be available for multiple playthroughs, as in you could access them once per new game, were in fact one time use consumables.
These consumables can also be purchased for use in the game to give you currency, or unlock augmentations faster, effectively boosting you to the point where you can overpower any enemy in the game if you buy enough. Aside from the fact that these microtransactions kind of defeat the point of player progression in the new Deus Ex, which is arguably a huge part of the experience, this is opening up the door for all kinds of craziness in games.
The question here should be, is this acceptable?
Paying for progression has become part of the culture with mobile and free to play games, but with triple A titles, and most others if you think about it, progressing from that early character who could die in one shot from the weakest enemy to an overpowered boss by the end of it is part of what you pay for. If you buy a game and then pay your way to beating the final boss, what have you gotten out of it? To me, microtransactions that affect a game in such a way could ruin the games I love. I’m not saying they shouldn’t exist because they do work for certain titles, but those titles are on mobile platforms.
All of this is without mentioning the outcry we hear when microtransactions affect experience and progression in multiplayer games like Paragon or BattleBorn, basically allowing players pay to beat opponents. So far we’ve not heard any of this about paying your way through a game’s campaign, and I’m not so sure we will. My reasoning is simple, the core audience for video games today, people younger than me around the teen to early-twenties mark, just don’t think they have the time to finish a game. If they can pay their way to the top and end it fast then they will.
This definitely sounds like a rant about the culture of gaming today, and it sort of is. The exception is that I’m talking more about the effect mobile games have had on games and how they’re both developed and marketed to us these days. Whether you’re behind the microtransactions in Deus Ex or not you cannot deny how different this game would have been were it released a few years back. Nobody would’ve stood for being worse at the game than someone else because they had more money, and I don’t understand why that should change. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Image Source: PCInvasion