Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review
publisher: Square Enix
developer: Eidos Interactive
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 23, 11
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When a game is done with taste and style, you pretty much recognize that from the first few minutes of gameplay. Eidos Montreal invested a great deal here, particularly when it comes to art direction, visual effects and sound. These are the main elements that can establish what most games lack these days - a believable atmosphere. It doesn't matter if the universe is fiction, just as long as things are done with subtlety. Why do you think those cinematic trailers for Deus Ex: Human Revolution were so incredibly appealing? It's all about setting the appropriate tone, the right ambience, to hook sci-fi aficionados and, well, pretty much everyone else. The art, the music, the story, characterization, everything seemed to hold much promise. So, were we excited about this one? Hell yes. In other words, Eidos Montreal now has the daunting task of meeting our expectations, which were high to say the least.
Eidos Montreal faces another task that involves pleasing both the average gamer and fans of the Deus Ex franchise. Still, the lengthy development cycle of this game, apparently, was not wasted. You'll begin to notice this, the more you delve into the game's profound and immersive universe.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution gives you a chance to play as Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT member, specially chosen to be the chief of security at biotech firm Sarif Industries - company that specializes in biotechnological bodily enhancements known as augmentations. Any development and research that goes on within the company must be protected from potential threats from competitors and purist groups (more on them in a minute). Jensen's life gets a lot more complicated when the company HQ is penetrated by unknown attackers, who in addition to causing a great deal of damage, kidnapped Sarif Industries' key personnel.
Eye-patch? What eye-patch? Who says I'm wearing an eye-patch.
Reload damn you!!
By the way, it's the year 2027, and mechanical augmentation not only drives the world economy, but also has an important role in human evolution. Powerful corporations and governments seem to be locked in an eternal race for steering this evolution onto a preferred path, as difficult as that may seem. Meanwhile, Sarif has its own agenda and Jensen is still there to meet the demands of the company and its boss, David Sarif. Incidentally, the world's population is divided on the subject of augmentation, because not everyone prefers bio-tech implants. Unfortunately, apart from bringing many advantages, these implants denote the use of a drug, which can lead to addiction. For that reason, a lot of people are against augmentation. Purists and various pro-human organizations tend to be one of the most open adversaries of Sarif Industries.
My God, what do we have here? This appears to be a game with an intriguing intro, solid plot structure, convincing story and cool characters. That's quite an achievement for a game that steps bravely into the sci-fi genre.
The beginning of Deus Ex: Human Revolution gradually introduces players to the world of bio-mechanical augmentation and all its advantages. As we entered the futuristic and densely populated city of Detroit, we immediately began to explore the surroundings. Players are given the freedom to explore the streets and various nooks and crannies that may lead to a lot of hidden goodies and additional quests. That's right, quests. They represent one of the game's well-implemented RPG elements. Throughout each chapter in the game, you'll have the option to go along with the story-driven tasks or to stray from the plot a bit, and go on a few side-quests. Apart from bringing in some extra credits and exp., side-quests will help you gather a lot of additional info about the universe you're exploring, as well as the characters that dwell in it. Certain missions may even unlock more details and background info on the game's main character, Jensen. At any rate, it's about choices.
Blending various genres is where Eidos Montreal succeeded the most. The game prominently features stealth-based gameplay and most of the time, you'll find yourself crouching down to enter an air-vent or hide behind a piece of furniture to avoid being detected. Staying quiet, sneaking and hiding are usually the best ways to complete a mission. However, that's not your only choice. Shooting your way through is always an option, albeit that may not be as easy as you think. Again, it boils down to choice and, believe me, there are a lot of ways to fulfill your task. Each mission objective may be reached via a number of routes, which, once again, emphasizes the importance of exploration. Avoiding bloodshed or sneaking through ventilation shafts is always a possibility. You can approach certain checkpoints and sentries and smooth-talk your way through, thus making it towards your goal without any physical effort. It's also possible to sabotage sentry bots, disable cameras and turn off laser gates by hacking or by discovering passwords.
Jensen's abilities suite any play style. If you prefer slipping passed guards unnoticed, there are various augmentations that help you become a better 'sneaker' or if you prefer loud entrances and shootouts, just use some of the diverse upgrades that include improved weapon accuracy, reduced damage, increased strength etc. Next to limb augmentations, skin augmentations and the like, it might also be a good idea to perk up cranium augmentations that will unlock a variety of hacking abilities, in addition to improving stealth abilities (cloaking and so on). Special abilities, such as cloaking or running quietly drain your energy, so you need to make sure you have a sufficient amount in order to sneak past undetected and perform a lethal (or non-lethal) takedown if you wish.
It hooks you from the beginning and keeps you hooked to the end, superb sci-fi ambience, excellent music, sound effects and voiceovers, an engaging blend of stealth, action and RPG;
Players can't map their controls, AI unresponsive to sound at times, a few other issues here and there, though certainly nothing that spoiled the immersion.