Deus Ex Human Revolution.Its the first time in my life i queued for a new release(as it turns out i was the only one there)The question is was it worth the fuss.Its hard to review this game with out comparing it to my somewhat rose tinted view of the original.Thats why at the end of this review you will see two scores.One for the game as it is,and another for a game from an iconic series.(We can all forget about Invisible War).
The game starts off in Detroit,with the player taking on the role of Adam Jensen,Former S.W.A.T Commander now working as Head of Security for a Biomechanical Implant corporation Sariff industries.The opening mission/tutorial sees the complex attacked,your Ex Girlfriend Presumably dies during the course of the assault along with her crack science team.While Adam gets introduced head first to some reinforced glass by the games Primary antagonist Jaron Namir a mechanically augmented supersoldier.Cue Intro Video Where adam is rescued and in order to save his life(and make the game allot more fun)has mechanical implants sutured to his broken body.
And thus the game begins 6 months later with Adam recuperated and looking for answers......
Throughout my 2 walkthroughs of this,i felt both enjoyment and disappointment simultaneously,On one hand I would see a feature i liked but then 2 seconds later i would see something that failed to live up to the original Deus Ex.
Lets start withe the combat,The guns feel good,not overpowered,weighty,realistic,Tranquilizer rifle,laser rifle,Heavy/Gatling machine gun,While there isn't a vast variety(and no melee weapons)what is available more than makes up for the shortfal.The P.E.P.S Gun in particular is a joy to use,Literally throwing enemy across the room,which in conjunction with the excellent ragdoll physics makes for some hilarious scenes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSuP_a7Z6Yk&feature=youtu.be
P.S Where the frak is my Flamethrower,tempted to give it a 10/100 for that omission.
Human revolution also has one of the smoothest third person cover mechanics i have seen,the transition from first person to third when in cover or using ladders ect is seamless,and feels very natural,i have only seen a handful of areas where it didn't work perfectly,and some of those were due to small cover areas.Shooting while in third person is also quite fun,letting the player alternate between firing blindly or leaning out to take aim,the firing blindly can lead to some hilarious seems reminiscent of the star wars Han solo verus stormtrooper moments.The only real let down is how easy the bots are to destroy,1 emp grenade will take down the largest rocket spewing bots and to be honest it seemed a tad to easy. http://youtu.be/d-mbLJe4Ltc
Which brings us to the Melee combat and Silent take down system,Lets get the melee combat out of the way,you can throw large furniture at people,there thats it.For some crazy reason the devs(Square Ennix) decided to forgo any melee weapons in favor of third person prerecorded takedown sequences of which there is no chance to fail(with the exception of boss fights).Take a look. http://youtu.be/S-WUMPZY_Lc
It is fun to watch and trust me there is allot of different versions,the non lethal takedowns are nearly more brutal that the lethal ones,but,i felt disconnected when they started,they should have made it into a combo system or something similar,whereby there is a chance of failure,that the unassuming guard/guards you crept up on might be Bruce lee in disguise.Still this is only a minor ♥♥♥♥le.Only in the boss fights does this system not work the enemy blocking your moves,a hint at what could have been.
Ah Yes the boss fights,Unless you live in a North Korea,you will have heard about this travesty.Throughout the game your encouraged to approach objectives your own way be it stealth,combat fridge freezer chucking,even through negotiation,then at certain points in the plot you are locked in a room with another mechanically enhanced super soldier,and cant leave on till the other guy is leaking blood and oil all over the floor.As idiotic design choices go its up there with metal gear solids nude somersaulting.There is little point in me going on about why this is bloody annoying any veteran gamer will understand,new gamers its a right of passage you must go through.Take a look and tell me if this seems fun to you. http://youtu.be/YRT1UH93TrI
Which brings me to the augments your character can upgrade through Praxis kits.Basically at the start you have a lot of implants placed in your battered body,however your told these will only switch on over a period of time,as all at once would overload your system,this is the mask behind which the XP driven upgrades are unlocked.Here is a run down on whats available. http://youtu.be/uJPLDcGtWuw
However there is one problem with this,there is no real make or break choice in what direction you take your character.By the end of the game you might have upgraded as much as 90% of your augs,in the original game you had a system where you could install augments into slots in your body, leg implants arm ect,but you could only install one augment per part which made you have to choose which direction you wanted your character to go.In human revolution you get to use all your implants,never being locked out of a particular path.Also the XP system is biased most of your XP you can only get through hacking and exploration and as most doors need codes(sadly lock picking is another feature thats left out)hacking the panels is the only way to unlock that exploration xp.So in a way the game makes XP hunters go down the hacking augment route early on,limiting some of the more fun augs till the late game(which sadly is the worse part).Also it is biased towards stealth awarding more XP for not being detected and non lethal takedowns.If your a real shoot everyone and ask questions later kinda player this will be a tough game for you.One good feature with the hacking is that you can hack robots and turrets to do your bidding,anyone who has watched the Meet The Engi Team Fortress video will see the similarity. http://youtu.be/lzkEfGCpov0
Through the course of the plot Adam travels from Detroit to Heng Shai,to Military complexes and i hate to say these words in a Deus Ex Review the last missions Zombie/Crazy Off shore level.
Both Detroit and Heng Shai act as city hubs providing side quests to flesh out the game and earn XP,while both are ascetically unique,they don't feel as real as say new York or Hong Kong did in the original Deus Ex.This could be leveled at the art style ,where the original Deus Ex felt dirty grimy the city felt alive The npcs had lots of dialogue,any one else remember the drunk in battery park singing the star spangled banner.Yet in Revolution the NPCs seem like mannequins,a few precanned animations and all of 2 dialogue clips which once said leave them speechless,the whole experience felt cold,it left me feeling like a guy in front of a monitor and not an immersed gamer.I will give you an example,At your apartment complex in Detroit your concierge tells you your new mirror is out of stock and you just have to wait for it to be repaired,yet if you check her emails it shows she is bigoted towards augmented people and thats why your mirror has not been replaced,yet here this mini plot ends you never get to confront her.The original game had moments like this where it developed further into a running jokes(ladies toilet anyone).The way i would describe the cities,is they are like the Paris maps from deus ex dull lifeless and not realistic.
The plot itself revolves around Jensen Trying to find out what happened during the attack,and the conspiracy behind it.Being set 30 years before Deus Ex,it shows the world as devided over the issue of human enhancement through technological implants,and the larger powers manipulating peoples fears and bigotry.
While the early levels have some wonderful freeform touches,the police station in particular and one of the games earliest antagonists Zeke Sanders,and how your actions determine how a future level plays out is handled well,and a true homage to the original.Sadly late game this gives way to somewhat freeform but linear in scope missions where the early mission interaction and determining later missions is completely abandoned,had they maintained it throughout this game would possibly have super ceded the original sadly it fell apart late game.
I wont go into spoiler territory here but the last mission was a mess and the ending left me both bored and depressed after my 30 odd hours of playing.The devs made the already hard task of living up to its predecessor even more difficult by setting the game as a prequel thus shooting themselves in the foot in regards to having multiple endings,as we already know the events of the future,the plot ends in 8 slightly different cutscenes of news footage and adam giving a monolog on the evils,progress,good of humanity.It lacked all of the emotion and oomph that finished Deus Ex off.We can all remember when J.Cs voice broke as he merged with Helios.
A few other minor ♥♥♥♥les are the voice acting which while good doesn't blend with the ambient noise of the level,sounding hollow at times.
The Glowing outlines on every interactive thing,I don't need to have a glowing halo on doors,windows,and ventilation shafts,I mean come on i have been playing games for 12 years if i didn't know that a ventilation shaft was for by now, i deserve Justin Bieber concert tickets.
Throughout the game you meet NPCs whom you have to negotiate through conversation,which opens up a fun minigame where you act psychologist and try to determine which answers the character will open up more to. http://youtu.be/KAIj7s__a20
Hacking,Nearly every door,computer,alarm in the game requires a keycode,if you don't have it you must hack it. http://youtu.be/Oqs0qZ21wvw
So inclosing i have to say,This game isn't perfect but is quite enjoyable,people who have never played the original will love it,people who have will struggle not to compare it.
As a standalone game: 85%
As a sequel to Deus Ex:63%
Hope you enjoyed the review and vids