I Hate You Lawrence Barrett

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of my favorite games I’ve played this year. It combines great stealth mechanics, a great aesthetic, cool RPG elements, and an interesting story together into a very compelling package, but with one very large flaw.

Human Revolution is a great stealth game and a fine action game, but does not suit itself to all-out combat. The very first boss fight in the game is against a bullet-sponge of a man named Lawrence Barrett, who is basically impossible to beat through a stealthy approach. In fact, he’s impossible to beat with any realistic approach. In a game with a reasonably good and appropriate level of challenge throughout, developer Eidos Montreal totally ruins the difficulty curve of the game with the Barrett fight.

The biggest problem I have with this fight is not even the difficulty, but that it does not play to the game’s strengths at all. Your character is a glass cannon, and as such dies within seconds when subjected to Barrett’s minigun. Stealthy melee attacks are impossible as well, as Barrett will always catch you and beat you to within an inch of your life. I wish the developers had been smarter with this one fight, as beating it conventionally requires a totally different mindset and playstyle than that which is used in the rest of the game.

I wish developers did not feel like they needed to include boss fights in games. They are so hard to get right, and often are inefficient production-wise. Barrett seems to be thrown into Human Revolution just for the challenge, and has alienated many fans of the game, if the online message boards are to be believed, and almost alienated me as well.

Ultimately, I did defeat Barrett, and was able to continue on to the rest of what is a very good game. Of course, to beat him, I had to break the game. In case you ever play Deus Ex: Human Revolution, here’s how to beat Barrett: Immediately after the fight starts, run left into the ammo supply room, push the boxes around to create a nook in the back to hide behind, and then wait for about 30 minutes while Barrett kills himself by running into his own grenades. This is not how a game should be played, but that is the easiest way to beat this abomination of boss fight, the one blemish on the face of this fantastic game.

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