Square Enix and Eidos Montreal introduces Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the not so distant futuristic sci-fi action RPG shooter which has raised the video game playing bar significantly. With a brilliantly told plot and addictive gameplay, Deus Ex: Human Revolution reminds us of why we fell in love with video games. This kind of immersion is a rarity.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prequel to classic PC hit Deus Ex from 2000 and fortunately for newcomers to the series, Eidos Montreal has crafted a remarkable experience that is fresh and new.
Jumping right in players are placed in the very capable hands of Sarif Industries chief of security Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT specialist who’s been chosen to oversee the defensive needs of one of the most experimental biotechnology firms. One of your many responsibilities as chief of security is to secure Sarif Industry secrets as well as the companies well sought after scientists. Early on Sarif Industries is hit by an unknown group of black op agents where killing everyone in sight is the order of business.
As you hasten to thwart the facility of these unwelcomed guests, you come face to face with the enemy finding yourself completely outclassed or should we say out-augmented. Left for almost dead, Adam Jensen would be giving a second chance at life however, once awaken he realizes he is not the man he used to be.
Founded by David Sarif, Sarif Industries specializes in the design and manufacture of advanced mechanical augmentations for human implantations and this advanced biotechnology has enabled our protagonist to become the ultimate weapon for your customizable pleasure.
Deus Ex: HR is about giving you the player a plethora of options in how you want to experience this detailed universe. Whether you want to become an expert computer hacker, a stealth operative, an extraordinary social guru or a guns blazing augmented hurricane, the choice is yours.
During my first play-through, I found myself gravitating toward a more stealth oriented method of approach as well as becoming a hacking junkie. There was something so rewarding about being able to hack into any computer or door available, believe me there are tons. Most challenging would be the hackable entries where guarded areas seemed impenetrable. Overcoming these scenarios only fuels your confidence further to try more of what seemed impossible.
Augmentations and how you upgrade and utilize them are quite simple. Acquiring 2 of what is known as Praxis, they enable you to open AUG upgrades wherein once you acquire a new praxis players are allowed to further strengthen or improve that particular augmentations. There are AUG upgrades for practically everything on your body which vastly adds to the gameplay experience. While the story set-piece are mainly the same for the more broader story scope cut-scenes, as you traverse through the story, depending on how you upgrade your augmentations and methodically comb each area will vastly improve the scale of the story and experience.
I can’t say enough about this well told story. Not wanting to miss out on anything that would add to the games addictive plot, playing Deus Ex: HR offers an rich and deep immersion equivalent to that of a great sci-fi novel which you can’t put down. But of course a novel could never truly compare as every time you read it you would get the same outcome, not so in Deus Ex: HR. Again, unfolding all of this stories rich content from speaking to nearby NPC’s who oftentimes offer valuable intel, side-story gameplay missions, emails giving you even more fine details to the overall plot and info about the powers that be or big brother in the sky with his grand agenda and no I’m talking about God. Even on your second play-through you will find valuable story rich content that will have you scratching and shaking your head putting it all together. Games like this are a true gem.
When it comes to the gameplay the approach is fairly simple. There’s really nothing here that we’ve not seen before however, the elements are executed perfectly in this universe. Undoubtedly there is a grand conspiracy going on, some not so bad and other on the verge of a new holocaust. The gameplay walks the line of this mood without trying to be too over the top. The gameplay is complimented with a smooth easy to maneuver peak and shoot cover system with blind firing added to the mix keeping those overly aggressive enemies at bay.
Players are made to feel like they have escaped into a believable world that is not too far away from our current existence. City streets of Detriot feel in many parts delapidated and bare while just around the corner as you near Sarif Industries or the LIMB clinic the scum of the city quickly wears off as a higher class of people dwell. Well, you just might also run into a very informative homeless woman digging in the trash nearby and I suggest you spend a little time with her, she knows her stuff. Upgraded augmentations make gameplay life easier. Not able to persuade the working officer at the desk to let you into the police station, then you will have to find other means.
During those not so friendly encounters when you need to get to your next objective which has been placed right near a group of triad augmented gangsters you always have options. Tackling them head on and you must be sure to watch your ammo count as they will not go down easily. Or you can take a different approach and snipe from above on a nearby rooftop or you can utilize your stealth augmented features and get through their defenses, but good luck as augmentations do have their limitations. Again the gameplay is not revolutionary however, the methodology to the gameplays approach is awesome!
Deus Ex: HR plays like a hybrid of Metal Gear Solid 4 sprinkled with some Mass Effect and Splinter Cell, with a dose of the classic sci-fi hit movie Blade Runner to seal the deal.
Speaking of other games, like Dead Space, Deus Ex: HR also offer a storage weapons and items cache that can be made larger for storing more valuable items and weapons. While it should be understood that Deus Ex: HR is not a first person shooter but more of an action style RPG with FPS mechanics, surprisingly the weapons feels much better than some dedicated shooters on the market.
From the combat rifle, machine pistol, 10MM handgun, revolver, shotgun, Sniper Rifle, tranquilizer rifle, stun gun, to the missile launcher, laser pulse rifle and powerful heavy gun(futuristic style gatling gun) you’re certainly covered in the weapons department. Many of these weapons can also be upgraded. Once you’ve acquired a weapon, accessing the weapon of your choice for different combative scenarios is just the press of a button bringing up all your weapons. Toggle to your weapon and you’re back in action.
Graphically Deus Ex: HR offer a clear and crisp overall presentation while not breaking new ground. What standouts visually is the incredible art design. Again this place just feels real. Gold and dark colored hues dominate the games canvas as other bright greens, oranges, yellows, grays among a mixture of other vibrant colors add depth and mood to the experience. Hints of influence from the renaissance period can also be found throughout the game in many of the decorated pictures on the wall or stylishly dressed NPC’s throughout.
Offices filled with work related resources and furniture are all well depicted while each locale that is visited is profoundly different from the last. While Deus Ex: HR has some of the best artwork around whether playing the game on the PS3 or Xbox 360, there were some cases of severe screen tearing where objects within the environment were plagued with long color spikes sticking across the area. Also color popping seem consistent throughout however, this occurrence did become less frequent as I entered the later stages. For gamers who weigh a games experience heavily on it’s graphics, you might not rate this one very high at first glance.
In addition, a better variety of NPC’s could have also made this engrossing experience much more believable. All too often different characters wore the same faces of many other characters in the game. Important NPC’s whose faces were seen on not so important NPC’s does create an awkward mix of emotions once you’ve become attached to certain characters. With such a well told story elaborately detailed from various set-pieces and stand out characters, individuality in how characters are recognized is a must. This shortcoming would of course become our biggest gripe. Nevertheless, this flaw paled in comparison to the overall package. I would encourage you to make yourself at home with Deus Ex: HR as the ride only get better and better.
Championed by an engrossing story and rich art style, bringing this experience all together is the atmospheric soundtrack that moves your emotions. This soundtrack easily bests some of hollywood’s greatest composing efforts. I couldn’t help but feel swept away by the game heart-piercing cyberpunk score that gave the game such depth and purpose. Even before you begin to play the game the music dares you to start playing.
The message in Deus Ex: HR is a serious one, touching you at the core unlike many games before it. Through all the super-cool nostalgia our Adam Jensen is a man learning how to cope with his new found augmented reality. Taking a deeper look into his life via emails and his apartment and you will find out much about Mr Jensen through his hobbies, background and love interest. In a way you almost feel sorry the man. Though he is still very much a man, much of his humanity has been taking from him in more ways than just a few augmented limbs. Deus Ex: Human Revolution can be considered a game about a man’s new journey.
In conclusion, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the game hardcore fans have been waiting for. There is simply nothing like it on the market. While there are hints of games which offer well told stories and satisfying gameplay, packaging them both together and this critic is convinced there are none better.
Spanning over 15-20 hours of new surprising plot elements and rewarding gunplay, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the epitome of story-telling in a video game. We say bravo to Eidos Montreal, you have developed a masterpiece with a bit of wiggle room for improvement. We can’t wait for the sequel.