Deus Ex: Human Revolution

  • Released on Aug 23, 2011
  • By Eidos for PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Deus Ex: Human Revolution review
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third entry in the Deus Ex series, as well as being a prequel to the first Deus Ex. Set 25 years prior to the original you catch a glimpse of the darker future to come as you play Human Revolution, with the rise of human augmentation technology (improving human abilities to the borderline superhuman) being central to the story. The game is full of vibrant colors washed with a sepia palette to further enhance that cyberpunk feel to the game, you can feel as you travel to locations across the globe the differences in atmosphere, where as Detroit can feel open and spacious with many of it's buildings interiors decorated to represent the Italian Renaissance, Hengsha in China just feels claustrophobic in comparison with its narrow streets and crowded spaces. Progressing through the game you can feel the atmosphere gradually darken as more and more of the plot unravels, the atmosphere of the game is truly one of it's better points, providing a rich backdrop to the players actions at all times.

You play as Adam Jensen, an ex-swat member with the Detroit police force, now private security manager for Sarif Industries, one of the leading corporations in human augmentation technology. Any who have played the previous games will know that Deus Ex, conspiracies, the Illuminati and the idea of powerful corporations ruling the populace all go hand in hand. Human Revolution is no different, the idea that secret control of the population through corporations and medicines etc forms a prominent aspect of the game. The story revolves around Jensen as he strives to find out information on the people who led an attack on Sarif Industries in the prologue, resulting in Jensen being bio-mechanically augmented to save his life. Travelling to multiple locations across the globe following any lead you unravel a much greater issue which ties in the main theme of the game, which is Trans humanism, and the idea that humanity could stretch it's reach too far, losing its humanity so to speak hence the in-game factions for pro augments or no augments having their arguments throughout the game. Adam himself is a character that whilst emotional tends to keep a level head and find out the truth to the situation and while he's not above getting his hands dirty by fighting, he is against willingly taking life, at least he is if you play him that way! Adam is presented to us as a man with a disdain for his augments, but throughout the game comes to accept their usefulness despite his initial doubts. He evolves with the player as you play through the game and his attitudes reflect your choices in the game, he can be emphatic and pacifist if you play him that way or he can be the opposite.

Where the game shines however is the gameplay, for Deus Ex: Human Revolution allows you multiple options to nigh on every situation. For example you at one point have to get to the bottom floor of the police station in Detroit, now there several ways to do this, you could walk in the front door guns blazing and fight your way in and out. However beyond the fact that would most likely leave you mostly riddled with bullets on a floor somewhere, the other methods you can take usually reward you with more ammo, experience and even augmentations. So depending on your playstyle, you could stealthily climb through a back window, crouch and sneak past the guards/cameras and reach the bottom floor. There is also the option to walk in the front door, use the social interaction system and convince your old buddy in the force to let you in no questions asked.

The social interactions can be more complex however, usually the persuasion involves picking one of three dialogue choices that can either be more persuasive or do nothing more than anger the target. These conversations can also have lasting effects in the game, one hostage situation going wrong can deny that vital code or memo you could use later in the game to avoid a room full of enemies and can even result in that character not appearing again. Of course, there's an augmentation that helps you in conversations helping you work out the right answer, but it's not totally necessary as long as you read the dialogue options before mashing the button.

Not sure whether to plead or crush, morality in Deus Ex is a big thing!

Which brings me onto my next point, augmentations, your way of leveling up for want of a better word. What you choose to augment is entirely optional, you can improve your hacking abilities, remove fall damage or have mini grenades placed in your body that fire out when commanded to name but a few. What augmentations you pick really does help and affect Jensen's abilities and can make some areas of the game much less difficult to pass through, something which i believe adds great replay value to the game as you can replay through the game with a different set to encounter new methods of playing through the game! Using augmentation drains your energy levels, but eating restores them so always keep those candy bars on hand after major use of your augmentations! You can also augment your energy levels to be higher which i recommend if you want to save those candy bars for later.

Augmentations come in many flavors, mix and match to find what suits you!

The control system is fairly simple too you don't need to press several buttons at once to do anything, your d-pad activates the augments that require turning on and off with ease. Need to go into cover, simply hold one button down and your done! Considering it's complex story the button scheme is simple and easy to get used to, allowing for smooth gameplay.

In game combat is handled fairly well, if you get close to an unaware enemy you can have the option to take him down in melee, doing it either by knocking them out, or by killing them in a usually spectacular fashion with Jensen's arm blades. If caught in a firefight however you can rely on the various guns, grenades and mines you find, from your non lethal stun gun to your high end assault rifles to drop the bad guys. Thus i come to one of the more negative parts of the game, the boss fights, whilst they are not horrific by any standard they feel completely out of place with the rest of the game, you are forced into several straight up firefights in the game and if you haven't got many weapons that do serious damage for example you might be hard pressed when it comes to the fights.So its worth keeping some combat worthy guns around just for those few fights. The poor boss fights are explained because Eidos outsourced them to another company to develop, however they are for me the biggest problem with the game, and even then it's nothing too bad as the rest of the game makes up for it.

Overall Deus Ex:Human Revolution is a stunning addition to the Deus Ex franchise, and it's story, atmosphere and gameplay truly make it up for it's minor shortcomings. Fans of the original will truly enjoy the game, and newcomers to the series will love it too, i highly recommend it to anyone, as i can come back to it again and again finding new ways to complete the missions each time. As a game it's multiple choices lead to multiple ingame consequences which in turn lead to multiple endings and that truly is an almost unique aspect to the game. If you can get past the out of place bosses without much difficulty you'll find yourself engrossed in this game and the rich story it tells. Deus Ex begins as an action game, but augments itself into your playstyle with ease and can quite as easily be a stealth game, or an upgraded RPG action thriller depending on your choices. If you don't have this game in your collection, it's one i'd strongly recommend adding.

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