Title: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Rating: M for Mature
Developer(s): Eidos Montreal
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Platform(s): [ Reviewed:PC], Xbox360, PS3
Release Date: August 23,2011
The year is 2027 and humankind as we know it has developed into a half machine, half man hybrid that leaves the poor not only poorer, but weaker. The city of Detroit is a full on slum riddled with police who try to keep the peace, thugs who try to take advantage of the chaos and the poor and homeless who take to the sewers in an attempt to escape the madness.
You are Adam Jensen, head security of Sarif Industries, a top purveyor of biomechanical augmentations and before today your life was relatively normal; that was, of course, before today.
An attack on your company that has left many dead and you yourself on the verge of death has triggered the beginning of a conspiracy theory that only you can unravel. Your only hope to survive is to be outfitted with the very technology you protect. What begins as a simple investigation turns into a globetrotting event that begins a human revolution.
This is Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the latest in the line of games from the Deus Ex series, and is a prequel that takes place over 3 decades before the original game. The events in this game not only tell a compelling story of human augmentation, but also set up the events and main antagonists of the original game. Over the past few days, I have had the amazing opportunity to get a first glimpse of this game and I can tell you my eyes are still wide in awe. This is an amazing game that, while not free from flaws, is so rich in content and gameplay that putting it into words how fun and challenging this game is will be hard; let’s give it a shot anyway.
Visually, Deus Ex has a very unique feel and aura about. The cities and scenes in Deus Ex feel both familiar and unique in a combination that leaves you wanting to explore every corner, alley and crawl space; and trust me there are many of them. This isn’t Battlefield 3 so don’t expect an insane quality of graphic effect, but the game more than makes up for that by pushing you forward with a compelling and complex storyline that doesn’t really give you the thought to stop and count pixels while you’re hanging on the edge of your seat. The cities are grimy, dirty and damp and the game does a good job of reminding you of that as quests that require you take sewer entrances or crawl through trash littered holes are common. There are a lot of static objects and closed off areas you can’t go to but the genius of this game is that it doesn’t make it easy for you to navigate your way around difficult areas.
Gameplay in Deus Ex hasn’t strayed from the action packed, choice driven, ammo short gameplay that the original game gave us, but as action packed and socially aware this game is, it also has it’s fair share of puzzles. In order to get to your objective you’re going to have to think, which is all this game really wants you to do.
There are still a variety of ways approach quests and objectives. There are many points in the Deus Ex: Human Revolution where playing the previous Deus Ex games will benefit you in that you’ll be familiar with how hostile enemies operate, but there are so many different ways to finish a quest that it definitely will not harm you if this is your first Deus Ex game. Every mission and action in-game gives the player an option as to how they want to approach the objective. They can either go in guns blazing or sneak their way in, knocking out enemies along the way. It’s up to the player to decide what best suits them. While the AI aren’t the smartest out there, they are still smart enough to be alerted to your presence through sounds, footsteps, and the unconscious or dead bodies of enemies left lying around. This game can be perfect for those who like to go in quickly, letting go every bullet they own, and for those who like to conserve and make as little a dent, or hole, as possible. A middle of the road approach is more suited for this game as you can’t avoid everyone, every silent take down depletes your energy reserve and there isn’t enough ammo in the game to go Rambo on every mission.
Whichever way you choose, you’ll be gaining experience points that can be used to earn items and upgrade your augmentations.
The augmentations in Deus Ex: Human Revolution are similar to the original Deus Ex in that they are organized by body parts and have familiar augmentations available like the rebreather.Some augmentations unlock themselves as you gain more experience points, others require you upgrade them manually through the use of praxis points. These points can be acquired via kits found around the game world, LIMB clinics, and from leveling up.
While I can’t say for sure which approach is best for you, what I can say is that this game is not meant for everyone; meaning anyone under the age of 15. One thing all the Deus Ex games have in common is their adult content. I haven’t yet run into rooms with sex noises and squeaking beds in this game, but the characters I know for sure don’t hold their tongue when it comes to saying how they feel. Given that almost every NPC has information you might find useful, the chances of you running into someone who wants to tell you where you can shove your quest are very high. I even got propositioned by a jailhouse prostitute, true story.
Deus Ex has always known how to make you feel and think about both the story as a whole and the individual choices you make. Each choice has a reaction and each reaction opens up a new avenue for exploration, leaving it so that you can play the game multiple times and not have the same exact experience. As much as it makes you think, it also makes you laugh. The humour in the game is very cheeky without being obscene or sophomoric and yes, before someone asks, toilets still work. There are many times during the game that I had to pause and just look because the developers took the time to add in some interesting details into the game that go unnoticed but are very much worth it. Go into the waterways of a certain part of the city, for instance, and you’ll find a lone radio on a table playing a song from the original game’s soundtrack.
Criticisms of this game have to do with just a few issues with how NPC’s can no clip through a doorway a little bit and how the lip syncing when characters speak is off a little, but every no game has its glitches. Nothing the first round of patches wont fix and nothing that breaks the game indefinitely.
This is a great game, it brings back both the familiarity and nostalgia of the first Deus Ex both in sheer content and quality while adding a modern feel that makes gameplay smoother, more engaging and intuitive than the first game in the series. When playing this game it literally feels like I picked up my controller and started where I left off in Deus Ex more than a decade ago. The music from this game may not be on par with the original but it still has that same ambient techno feel that gives the series a calling card. This game is definitely one of the better games of the year and will reel back in some players who have lost faith in the series after Deus Ex: Invisible War.
Replay Ability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5