Why Is Ammo So Scarce In Deus Ex: Human Revolution?

by Ben Reeves on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Do you thrill every time you hear the soft click of an empty gun? Then Deus Ex: Human Revolution might be the game for you. Ammo is a limited resource for most of the game’s weapons. However, developer Eidos Montreal intentionally balanced the game this way, because it felt this offered the most thrilling experience.

One of the game’s developers has been answering questions about the game on the studio’s Tumblr account. Recently an anonymous fan asked the developer if they ever “considered increasing the amounts of ammo throughout the game?”

The studio’s response was enlightening. Apparently, at one point in development, every weapon dropped by NPCs was fully loaded, so playtesters ended up with boxes of ammo weighing down their pockets. Interestingly, around that time, playtesters also reported that the game was too easy. After Eidos Montreal reduced the amount of ammo in the game, people started to complain about the scarcity. But the company says that move had another effect: "The fun factor went up. Drastically."

According to Eidos Montreal this is because, “reducing the amount of ammo in the game forced people to stop and think. People started to ‘get’ what Deus Ex was about. We saw a lot more exploration and creative problem solving.”

That sounds like one approach to fixing a game's difficulty problem. When I was a kid, I complained about eating Brussels sprouts, so my parents hid all the food in our house, and I had to scrounge around for my meals. Sure I complained about it, but I enjoyed my meals a lot more after that.