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Author Topic: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)  (Read 691 times)

Offline deicide

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Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:51:17 PM »
For a variety of reasons, that game feels more like a Bloodlines homage than a Deus Ex prequel.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Am I the only one who thinks that Sarif is a prince LaCroix, Nines and Jack, in one combined, with a touch of a Middle Eastern despot? A master manipulator CEO, regards his employees almost like a property (but still cares for them genuinely), intends to let the genius out (liberate the implants tech aka open the sarcophagus and turn the whole world into an anarch free state), who, nonetheless, is not above admitting his wrongs, apologizing and, ultimately, changing his ways, should the protagonist prove him so. In other words, not without some old-fashioned human decency.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 05:54:23 AM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 12:28:31 PM »
I agree, Deus Ex Human Revolution has a similar "Bloodlines" touch - I was never fond of Sarif and his machinations about the "augmented future". However, the only one who manages to annoy me more than him was Megan Reed - she represents science uncontrolled, unbridled and without responsibilities. Like most of the scientists, they only focus on creating something but the responsibility part always somehow eludes them either partially or completely. They create augments out of whatever reason, but are unaware of the schisms they shall inflict upon the already divided and unequal society - the differences will be only further, exponentially enlarged. Simply put, nurture shall control and crush nature - never a good sign.

Just a quick edit: I really liked the characters of Hugh Darrow and Eliza Cassan more than the leading trio or duo if you wish - I find their struggles and objectives far more intriguing and engaging than the ambition of both Sarif and Megan, as well as the pomp of Taggart and Sandoval.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 01:36:52 PM by Raving_Neonate »
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 02:52:09 PM »
I won't agree on Sarif, he intends not to create a new genie, but release the one that already here (and it ain't going to seat peacefully in a bottle anyway). Consider it the only viable decision, in any other case nothing will change, save augments would be used by everyone but average people.

However, could not agree more on Megan Reed, it's a shame that there's no option to lock her up in Sarif headquarters, that kind of clueless person should not be allowed to walk around, she will end up befriending and working for Shaitan himself.
Agree on Eliza as well.

Hugh Darrow is interesting, sure, in the sense that this is a kind of person you will want to punch in the face or kill on the spot. He's what labelled today "passive aggressive", I'm fed up to the brim with that kind of people minus "visionary" minus "genius". Actually, it's very disturbing that someone would prefer him over Sarif, since my dealings with them ended up in real (I mean, not just a punch or two) violence IRL not a single time. They're able to turn someone's life into a hell without any motive other than permanently damaged pride and impossible to reason with, since they will simply ignore any your argument that they don't like and derail a dialogue.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 03:45:29 PM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 01:06:25 PM »
I won't agree on Sarif, he intends not to create a new genie, but release the one that already here (and it ain't going to seat peacefully in a bottle anyway). Consider it the only viable decision, in any other case nothing will change, save augments would be used by everyone but average people.

However, could not agree more on Megan Reed, it's a shame that there's no option to lock her up in Sarif headquarters, that kind of clueless person should not be allowed to walk around, she will end up befriending and working for Shaitan himself.
Agree on Eliza as well.

Hugh Darrow is interesting, sure, in the sense that this is a kind of person you will want to punch in the face or kill on the spot. He's what labelled today "passive aggressive", I'm fed up to the brim with that kind of people minus "visionary" minus "genius". Actually, it's very disturbing that someone would prefer him over Sarif, since my dealings with them ended up in real (I mean, not just a punch or two) violence IRL not a single time. They're able to turn someone's life into a hell without any motive other than permanently damaged pride and impossible to reason with, since they will simply ignore any your argument that they don't like and derail a dialogue.

I understand your reasoning behind Sarif. His personality does not resonate with me on a personal level - I will not deny that he is a well-written, developed and interesting character, it is just a fact that I do not like his view... like Faridah said when commenting on Sarif, "he cannot understand why someone would not be more than human" if I recall correctly. I understand that most of his actions may seem like some sort of directed "damage control", but insisting that I should replace most or some of my fleshy bits for a chunk of metal is not something I am personally keen on doing and that is why I am not jumping on his "train of progress". But like I said Deicide, you do make a lot of valid points about him.

Darrow is interesting to me as to how much damage he is able to do before surrendering and as the game shows, quite a bit unfortunately. I always manage to persuade him from pursuing his foolish goal and that very notion of verbal frenzy and tactical dispute in the conversation with him at Panchea is one of the high points of the game, since basically, you are confronting the father of augments right there and then and you can challenge his opinion. I like to call it a "verbal boss fight". That notion of "passive-aggression" that you brought up is certainly the trait you either love him or hate him for.

Also, what is your opinion on Taggart and his policy of control if I might ask?
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 03:33:14 PM »
Sure, Darrow is extremely lifelike, albeit idealized, since IRL it's impossible to win against such a person in single verbal combat without any third party involved.

Taggart's plan is far-fetched, Illuminati do not hold enough power to effectively control the genie, such a policy will do more harm than good, not unlike, say, weapon regulations in USA. Moreover, they're already corrupted from inside. On personal level, in many ways he's a polar Sarif's opposite, while the latter strives to be higher himself, Taggart does his best to damage competitors by any means. A classic politician type, I would prefer him on our side.

I'm dead sure that Sarif would prefer to tell what actually happened and expose Illuminati as well, but they're far too influental, this information isn't enough for even scratching them, yet more than enough for anti-aug hysteria. Going after the weaker opponent, Humanity Front, makes more sense, besides, they're de facto Illuminati's lapdogs, such a frame-up will indirectly undermine Illuminati as well.

Isn't it ironical that the most powerful opponent from trio, Sarif, is the most easy to win an argument against? He's so prideful that will rather admit defeat than use dirty tactics. That pride and sense of dignity is what attracted me the most. Sure, he's prone to shifting blame, but unlike others, he does not do so deliberately and actually thankful for putting his brains in the right place, because what he wants is a real picture, not self-delusions.

From my character's perspective, he was going to get implants anyway, in order to stand a chance against such an adversaries, so was pissed off only because no one asked his opinion beforehand. Interpreted his self-loathing differently, not because of enhancements, but the failure to protect anyone during that incident.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 08:01:51 PM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 04:51:21 PM »
The more we talk about Sarif, the more material/likeness I find between him and LaCroix in certain aspects. However, he does not shy away from using dirty tricks, such as the request he made when he asked you to frame Sandoval at the convention center.

Still, to me the biggest difference between the two is their degree of stubbornness. Most of the time, Sarif could be played around with either dialogue options or plain disregard of his wishes like in the last mission; also he has a sincere front most of the time which means he will always present the plan and/or his ideas openly - he even apologies to Adam and tries to be a team player.

LaCroix, he is another story. Capable and cunning, he beats Sarif in that department, but he loses in his social relations with others - if he does not get his way, he simply dominates the person in question or resorts to some rule bending.

Both are great characters, I would like to see more of them.
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 05:46:11 PM »
The more we talk about Sarif, the more material/likeness I find between him and LaCroix in certain aspects. However, he does not shy away from using dirty tricks, such as the request he made when he asked you to frame Sandoval at the convention center.
Sandoval is a member of Humanity Front. They wouldn't hesistate to use anything against him (and they did), why would he hold back in turn? This is a war, everyting is fair. Conversely, the protagonist is an ally and confronts him fairly.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 05:49:40 PM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 06:10:29 PM »
The more we talk about Sarif, the more material/likeness I find between him and LaCroix in certain aspects. However, he does not shy away from using dirty tricks, such as the request he made when he asked you to frame Sandoval at the convention center.
Sandoval is a member of Humanity Front. They wouldn't hesistate to use anything against him (and they did), why would he hold back in turn? This is a war, everyting is fair. Conversely, the protagonist is an ally and confronts him fairly.

The same question could be made regarding the opposite - why should Sarif do it if he is so certain that he is right?

Maybe he shouldn't do it to demonstrate his moral fiber, the superiority of his arguments or maybe out of his own conception of honor. Whatever the reason, it could be argued that he should do it out of revenge, more advantageous position or simply to get an edge while Sarif Industries recovers. It all depends on your view of the character... still it is technically the game protagonist the one who actually does the deed, not Sarif. In the corporate warzone everything goes, but it would be rather intriguing to see a character break the mold.
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 06:32:17 PM »
That depends from the concept of honor. I'm sure that he would not do the same to a fair competitor, yet there's no honor in playing nice against a ruthless enemy, quite the contrary, not using an opportunity endangers not only everything for which he stands for, not only company, but his own people's well-being and even life. Should you miss your chance to finish off the opponent, he won't be so nice in return.
If he risked only himself or everyone in the company shared such an ethical values, that will be honorable, though not very reasonable, otherwise not so.

Speaking of Adam, I'm surprised that everyone took for granted his self-loathing because of augs (the infamous "he never asked for this" catch phrase), and in years after release no one ever surmised that he might have been bashing himself over not getting enhanced in the first place due to his prejudice.
As for Megan Reed, she's really adorable. Special kind of adorable, pretty much like me when I was like 10 years old.

By the way, I do not even consider "Mankind Divided" a valid sequel to HR, not only our former choices does not matter (which was handwaved by the lost transmission), nothing in that would be sequel matters at all, the whole game is an abysmal Alpha Protocol knock-off.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 11:24:08 AM by deicide »
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Offline Aurelian

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2019, 09:54:07 PM »
Raving_Neonate

LaCroix is probably the best written character in the Bloodlines. His flaws humanize him like no other character in the game.

Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2019, 10:02:33 AM »
Still, to me the biggest difference between the two is their degree of stubbornness.
From my point of view, they're equally stubborn, only utilize it differently. While LaCroix is lost in denial, Sarif cannot close eyes to facts. Even more interesting, the cause is the same, a double-edged sword called pride. The difference, LaCroix was playing against himself and, eventually, lost to himself, which is not the case with Sarif.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 10:06:06 AM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2019, 10:14:47 AM »
Raving_Neonate

LaCroix is probably the best written character in the Bloodlines. His flaws humanize him like no other character in the game.

To Aurelian,
Precisely the reason why I like him the most. When you think about it, he has been presented in all heights of emotion, from distress to spite without any artificial devices. Although her receives that much exposition and limelight, his still retains that peculiar mysterious aura that still drives you on to explore his personality and past.

To Deicide,

The most vivid depiction of the difference in their stubbornness or self-conviction is when the protagonist accuses them of something. When you accuse LaCroix of conspiring with the Kuei, he is at first hostile and puts up a facade, but subsides later on in justification - he never displays any sign of being apologetic in any way for that. Sarif, when confronted in Jensen's apartment, both justifies himself and apologizes, trying to maintain Adam's shaking trust or at least to keep him on his side as long as possible.

When talking about Adam, I don't take him for granted, at any point. Frankly, the bits that kept me hooked onto his story and character was his relationship with Megan and the scrutiny that you perform regarding his past. When it comes to augs, the picture is not that clear cut as many would like to believe - before the attack on Sarif industries he is clearly not visibly augmented and not much is known about his stance on the matter except that he dislikes the DOD contracts from the prologue, but maybe he has some reflex chips implanted or some such that are invisible?

The idea of regret is also a viable one, but given his expertise in combat one could argue that he did not need them, but in my opinion, this is an area ripe for guesses and conjectures.
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2019, 07:51:41 PM »
The most vivid depiction of the difference in their stubbornness or self-conviction is when the protagonist accuses them of something. When you accuse LaCroix of conspiring with the Kuei, he is at first hostile and puts up a facade, but subsides later on in justification - he never displays any sign of being apologetic in any way for that. Sarif, when confronted in Jensen's apartment, both justifies himself and apologizes, trying to maintain Adam's shaking trust or at least to keep him on his side as long as possible.
To me, it's not a stubbornness, but blindness, an inability to accept a fact. LaCroix is blinded by his pride, Sarif's prevents him from closing eyes.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:00:26 PM by deicide »
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Offline Raving_Neonate

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2019, 07:58:27 PM »
The most vivid depiction of the difference in their stubbornness or self-conviction is when the protagonist accuses them of something. When you accuse LaCroix of conspiring with the Kuei, he is at first hostile and puts up a facade, but subsides later on in justification - he never displays any sign of being apologetic in any way for that. Sarif, when confronted in Jensen's apartment, both justifies himself and apologizes, trying to maintain Adam's shaking trust or at least to keep him on his side as long as possible.
To me, it's not a stubbornness, but blindness, an inability to accept the fact.

I think that it could be both. Stubbornness can mean a certain aversion to change, not just persistence in a singular view or accepted set of values. Blindness can result in complete defiance and still yield no result - I find stubbornness to be a bit more, how can I say, "open" to the existence of other options but refuses to accept them. It is like pointing a difference between a zealot and an advocate - the latter recognizes the existence of other stances but favors his own while the former outright defies them.

Also, what about Prichard? Any thoughts?
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Offline deicide

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Re: Deus Ex HR: David Sarif (heavy spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2019, 08:07:10 PM »
To me, he seems like a spin on a classic sociopathic character. Unhindered by emotions and morals, lacks any inhibitions against anything, theoretically capable of any atrocity, but due to this, lacks any ambition to actually play a leading role too, and well-intentioned. Has no interest in pretty much anything but his area of choice.
Prefers a better world around him, for that reason works on Sarif instead of, say, Bob Page and won't go out of his way to cause a trouble. He does not hide his true nature and clearly has a distaste for manipulation and backstabbing. I think that he takes a special pride in letting everyone know.
Very authentic, such a person would unlikely have strong ambitions indeed. Worth notice that our adversaries does not have this trait, they're anything but sociopathic, conversely to pop culture plots, where characters like him are usually villains or opponents. The message was: IRL, a sociopath is not who you should be vary of in the first place.

Once again of Megan Reed, despite being annoyed by her horrible judge of character and inablity to grasp anything but her area, she is relatable, almost like a part of me (sans a certain hers aspect).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 01:21:30 AM by deicide »
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