Deus Ex: Human Revolution

[Review] The long awaited sequel to the Holy Grail of PC gaming, Deus Ex. Is it worthy of standing beside the original though?
The Details
  • Title: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Eidos Montreal
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Released: 23 August, 2011
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  • Platforms: PC XBox 360 PS3
  • Reviewed On: PC

11 years ago Eidos Interactive released a genre defining game developed by Ion Storm Inc. called Deus Ex. This game stole the heart and minds of many a gamer (including myself) and is widely regarded as one of the best games of the 2000’s. 3 years later saw the release of the less successful but still enjoyable sequel Deus Ex: The Invisible War. 8 years have passed and now the wait for a new chapter in the franchise is over following the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This time the mantle has been passed to Eidos Montreal who will not try to just emulate its predecessor, but also surpass the success of the original title.

China, land of the industrial giants. It reminded me of Midgar City in FFVIII

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set in a cyber-punk inspired world and takes place during the year 2027 (25 years before the original game). You play as Adam Jensen, an ex Swat Commander and current Head of Security at Sarif Industries. Following a horrific attack which leaves Adam on the brink of death he awakens with a wealth of cybernetic augmentations which provide him/you with the ability to perform super human feats which aid him on his quest to uncover the truth behind the events which led to the attack. Deus Ex: Revolution is a game which provides you with a choice of how you wish to play the game. Whether you are a “run and gun” type or a stealth ninja-esque  hide in the dark kind of gamer, the way in which you choose to play the game is up to you. You can either blast your way through a mission or move from cover to cover and complete the mission without harming a single soul (although the latter is notably longer). Sneaking up behind enemies presents you with the option of knocking them out or killing them using 2 retractable blades in Adams arms, both play out in little cut scenes that are pleasing to eye.  The combat is pretty good, like most games these days a cover system is employed allowing you to take shots at the enemy from behind cover whilst minimizing damage to your health. However, shooting enemies from close range with a shotgun and watching their bodies fly back like a rag doll proves most satisfying. At times though, it feels that despite all your augmentations you are much easier to kill than they are, which can be slightly annoying.

Take-downs are done in a fancy cut-scene. Nice as they are, they do remove you from the action.

Missions present themselves via a list in the menu screen which displays both core and side missions. The location which you must visit next in order to progress the mission is visible via a floating X although you can turn this off or on for any or all missions meaning you can concentrate on one mission at a time or ignore an optional side mission altogether if you wish. The story is driven by CGI cut scenes and dialogue with other characters via a comm link implant as you carry out a mission. The game is well presented graphically but the voice acting is noticeably out of sync with the movement of a characters mouth. The CGI cut scenes look very good as you would imagine but there is a distinct difference in brightness between the CGI and in-game graphics which can be quite distracting.

Augmentations! This is what it’s all about! Just don’t forget about them, it’s easily done.

The game AI can be a little silly at times, where an enemies “cone of vision” becomes quite obvious. Sometimes you are quite clearly in a position where an enemy should be able to see you but he will simply look your way blindly and not notice you staring right back at him (Specsavers anyone?). One place where the game falls down is the boss battles. Considering the game allows so much freedom in how you play the game the boss fights will reward the gunners and punish the stealth. Once the battle begins it becomes apparent that by the lack of option and weaponry and ammo littered all about the place that you are going to have to shoot your way out of this one. This is fine if you have been playing like Arnold Schwarzenegger and you are currently carrying an arsenal of weapons ala the movie “Commando”. However if you have been moving through shadows up to this point you may feel more like Sylvester Stallone’s Mother in “Stop or my Mum will Shoot”. Either way the boss fights can be difficult and frustrating especially if you fit the second description.

The AI show their they requirement for glasses. Though shooting them in the face will gain you some attention.

As the story progresses you will find yourself at times scratching your head and wondering what the hell is going on. Fans of the original game will notice many nods and references to the first game but unfortunately by the end it is highly obviously that the game is no-where near half as epic as the original was. The game is well designed and fun, but not revolutionary like the title suggests. You also find yourself caring less and less about the story and its characters, especially Adam, as the game nears its conclusion. But don’t let that put you off. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a good game and certainly does not tarnish the franchise despite a few flaws and missed opportunities.

 Screen Shot Gallery:

Judgement
Pros:
  • It's Cyber-Punk! There isn't enough in today's gaming.
  • Level design is great, offering you numerous routes to the same goal.
  • Re-playability: See above.
  • Artistic direction is great, offering some unique locations to explore that's refreshing from the standing game of today.
  • Plenty of fun to be had with augmentations.
Cons:
  • Graphics aren't ground-breaking. They're just standard 'console' Graphics.
  • The boss fights are some what pointless and bottle you into the 'run and gun' play style, even if you don't want to.
  • AI can be dumb at times, breaking the immersion.
Jason Lovell
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