|Publisher: Square Enix||Developer: Eidos Interactive Montreal|
|Platforms: PS3, PC, Xbox 360||Rating: M for Mature|
It’s the year 2075, and humanity is changing. Sarif Industries is leading the economy with their new types of body grafts, called “augmentations.” These grafts can help you run faster, see farther, and much, much more. But will they really help us, or will they only act as a precursor to our own destruction? In Deus Ex: Human Revolution all of these questions come to light, right before your eyes. I’ve much looked forward to this review, so let’s get to it.
Players take the role of Adam Jenson, the new chief of security at Sarif Industries. As the game opens we see Adam interacting with a female character by the name of Megan. She is an obvious love interest, and players find out that the two became a couple some time back. Dialogue opens up the storyline, as we see that Megan has been working on some brand new breakthroughs in the company’s field of technology, and Adam is accompanying her to a most important meeting in Washington. A press conference of sorts, Adam is there to ensure the party’s safety at all times during the event.
Not too long into the game the building erupts into chaos as a band of terrorists attacks the company. Labs are set ablaze, scientists and workers are found dead, and the place soon goes to hell right in front of you. Over a piece of radio communication equipment, Adam receives messages asking him if he’s alright, and then instructs him to search the premises to find Megan. This is where the real action begins. Searching through the facility, Adam soon runs face-to-face with the attacking terrorists, and things go from worse to unimaginable.
Adam is attacked, and it’s shown through a cutscene. He’s lifted off the ground as we stare into the eyes of a man who has had many different bio-mechanical implants. He displays his power and throws Adam through a glass barrier, shards digging deep into his skin. With things looking grim, his blinking eyes open long enough to see Megan’s life slip in the balance. Shortly after, the barrel of a gun fills our field of vision, and everything goes red.
Immediately following this moment was easily the best cinematic opening to a video game I have seen in years. The graphics are gorgeous, and Eidos is definitely making this a game for the light-hearted. Throughout this opening scene Adam is slammed on a table, and immediately entered into surgery. Masked voices flood the airwaves as they hastily talk about different kinds of surgery. From this moment on, Adam will never be the same. Scene after scene flashes on the screen as we see him with metal being implanted into his body, including two brand new arms. It’s definitely intense.
From this point on, Adam returns six months later to continue his work for the company. This is where he will go on to uncover the events of what happened, and attempt to track down the terrorists responsible for the attack on the company, and his near death experience.
Moving on to how the game is presented, Eidos has done an amazing job. One of the first things I want to mention in this game is the voice acting. It is some of the best I’ve heard. Now some may argue that Adam’s voice is too monotonous and dull, but I think it suits him perfectly. His actor has a great way of getting feeling and empathy across without having to change too much of how Adam presents himself. Other characters are believable, and have distinct accents when applicable.
The graphics are certainly upscaled, even on a console level. Things in the cities are a bit tuned down on the color, but when things need to stand out they will. Eidos has painted a picture of a world sinking in on itself. No one cares about the environment anymore as they’re all about themselves. This selfishness has bled the planet dry, and everything is in a tone of greys and beige. characters stand out, and their animations fit them well. Soldiers fall in line with precision, gang bangers slump and shuffle as they walk, and civilians wander the streets in peril. This is one of the best-looking games I’ve gotten the pleasure of playing.
The interface is easy to navigate as well. With detailed screens and an inventory system that reminds me of Resident Evil 4, it’s easy to know how to do what you need to. Weapons are detailed, and when you upgrade them they change looks to suit. One of the defining factors to this game is the attention to detail.
The music selected for the game is another great addition. It really adds to the mood when you’re spotted, in a firefight, or being sneaky right behind the enemy’s back. Having more of a techno feel, it really fits the game well. Another important quality is that it’s not repetitive, so it won’t get annoying.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution may look like an FPS at first, but soon on you’ll find that it’s much more of an action title played from afar. Players can choose how Adam handles situations, which relates to the “Four Pillars of Gameplay” that the developer explained before the game’s launch. These pillars are Combat, Social, Stealth, and Hacking. Players can choose to enter situations guns blazing, or take another route, unseen to the enemy. Honestly, this game really reminds me of Metal Gear Solid in many ways. Staying out of enemy’s sight, using cover and vents, and avoiding enemy alarms are really reminiscent to the series, though they are approached in a brand new way with this title.
Players will receive quests from different NPCs, some of them being a part of the main story while others are side quests that reward you with items or experience points. You can do these in any order, at least that’s how it’s been so far anyway. Objectives are marked on your in-game map, and they aren’t repetitive. Each quest offers something new, and the story really plays out to tie them all together.
If you’re big into combat, the game is simple enough. Use your experience points to obtain and level-up Adam’s physical augmentations and you’ve a tank in no time. Go for weapon upgrades that increase damage, ammo capacity, and more to get the best out of each fight. You can decrease the amount of damage Adam takes, power up his physical ambushes, and much more to ensure you’re the toughest you can be.
Going for combat, however, it is important to know that cover is your friend. Adam can kneel behind cover and hug walls to use the environment to his advantage. By doing this, you can save yourself and get the drop on enemies when needed. It’s also a great way to hide from enemies and pass them completely, if that’s your thing.
If stealth is more your route, then adding points into Adam’s more secretive abilities can help. Upgrade his social and hacking abilities and you can talk yourself out of almost every situation. Hacking into terminals can shut down security, open doors, and much more. This is more of an intelligent and difficult way to play the game, but I’ve found it the most fun. Like I mentioned earlier with the amount of detail, Eidos went far out of their way to make sure that every computer had a login and password, as well as emails and other things to uncover. I literally hacked every little thing I could find, and it was almost always rewarding in some way. I shut down turrets, found dirt of people I could use for blackmail, and even got some secret doors to valuable items unlocked. It’s really worth it to search everywhere in this game, as you never know what’s around the next corner.
Playing through this game, you’ll need to know how to handle each situation. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not an easy game. I played it on the normal setting, and found myself dying a lot. It’s all about how you choose your upgrades, as you never know what situation you’ll get into next. If you max out your hacking ans stealth skills, you may be thrown into a huge firefight that you can’t avoid. So this means you need to obtain those essential to have, all while spreading out into how you want Adam to perform in the game. This is no pansy game by any means.
One issue I did have with the gameplay was that I kept wanting to play it like an FPS. I wanted to grab my weapon, aim down the sights with a button press, kill an enemy, and repeat. That’s not how it works. You’ll need to take into consideration your surroundings, analyze your radar for enemy movement, and tackle every situation with a tactical edge. Use cover, pick enemies off, and use weapons that compliment your play style. This is a game that really allows itself to mold to its players, so this was basically just a frustration more than everything. Once I got out of the FPS mind-frame, I was alright. Things picked up quick, and while still difficult, I had a lot of fun making my way through it.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the most fin titles I have played in a long time. It really took me back to when games required cunning and skill to progress. The leveling system is unique and expansive, and the developer’s attention to detail had me checking every computer, around every corner, and asking every question I possibly could. Even though the game is difficult, I had a lot of fun and I know I will continue to play it over and over again, just to do things different each time. Maybe tackle this situation head on rather than in the shadows, and vice-versa. If you’re looking for a game that has the least rate of disappointment, this would be the first on my list. Be sure to go grab it as soon as it releases, as I don’t see many of them staying on the shelves.