Deus Ex: Human Revolution review
- Intelligent shooter
- Involving plot and art design
- Open-ended gameplay
- Boss battles
- Stiff NPC movements
- Loading times
The original Deus Ex is still touted as one of the best games of all time. It married the FPS intelligence of Half Life with the role-playing elements of System Shock and wrapped it up in open-ended game-play and conspiratorial cyberpunk aesthetics.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The old ones are the best
But you almost wanted Deus Ex: Human Revolution to fail right? Original architect Warren Spector wasn't invited to the party and games developer Ion Storm had shut up shop. The follow up, Deus Ex 2, sold like hotcakes but was a dumbed down version of a PC experience sandwiched in to console format to appease the dollar men in marketing. So new boy Eidos Montreal was never going to live up to the exacting standards set over a decade ago, eh? Well, we are pleased to report our PS3 sojourn through Deus Ex: Human Revolution as protagonists Adam Jensen was a ripping Sci-Fi yarn. It tries to do so much that, when Deus Ex: Human Revolution is wrong, it is strikingly noticeable. But the game is bigger than the sum of its parts and a heartily recommended T3 flawed classic.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Plot
The scene is set in 2027 and we play Adam Jensen -a security guard for bio-tech augmentation company Sarif Industries. The world is split in to pro and anti body augmentation factions and corporations - each lobbying for their own nefarious agendas. So far, so cyberpunk 101. Jensen has already received some kick ass bio-tech upgrades that he takes to all too well after an incident at one of Sarif's research labs. You have to investigate you tried to kill you using every tool at your disposal including, hacking, stealth, cover and shoot, run and gun. You can also buy augmentations using PRAXIS points to suit your style of gameplay.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Augmentations
Initially the feeling of sandbox choice is simply bewildering for our tiny FSP-addled and spoon-fed minds. Not just in terms of the amount of player freedom and approaches to gameplay, but in the amount of augs you can buy. There are 21 basic categories and that number increases significantly as we could choose upgrades including the ability to be clocked for a limited time, make you influence NPCs, make you stronger or give you the ability to survive jumps. There is a superb interplay of gaming style thanks to balanced gameplay system, making Deus Ex: Human Revolution replete with replay value. Being the thick-headed canon fodder grunts we are, T3 choose run and gun on medium settings and choose augs to boost that style of gameplay. We opted for leg, skin, back and arm augs to basically make us double hard running tin machine. However, there is flexibility built in to the gameplay, making it possible for us to flip between styles.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Gameplay
It helps that the cover to cover system is so well implemented because it's essential for stealth and gunning. Our view flips from first to third person so we can line up targets to shoot or sneak up and knock out or kill with some lovely death animations. Even when we were augmented to be very hard indeed, we still didn't last long face to face with more than three baddies in a room. Of course, you can forgo confrontation relying on the multitude of vents that you just so happen to fit perfectly in to and bypass most dangers. Whatever decision you do make to achieve you're objectives, you must remember that every action has a re-action. Obviously, Eidos Montreal had to spin the backbone of its narrative around a structure but, like the plot exposition "rubber ball" theory in Heavenly Rain, there' so much room for you decide what happens.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Game features
Sometimes the nineties throw-back cyberpunk sci-fi is played with such solemn gravitas, it is in danger of disappearing up its own wormhole. The voice acting is variable considering how well we've been treated by the Uncharted series and LA Noire - even Call of Duty. And why is Jensen being played by who you get if you can't afford to pay Clint Eastwood? Part of the fault in that lay with the with the stiff low res NPCs that jumped straight out of gaming circa 2005. We were also annoyed because we could rob and loot anyone with impunity and they didn't so much as glance in our general direction.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Boss fails
The boss battles are also awful. Everything in the game is designed to be the antitheses of what the boss battles represent. Player choice, open ended and off-rails gaming they ain't. We were funnelled down the rabbit hole in to a sub-par boss shooting gallery that lacked the tactical finesse of bombastic games like BulletStorm - though the check-list inspiration of the development team owes a lot more Metal Gear Solid. Sorry Eidos - not even in the same postcode.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Design
But, for every crack in the Deus Ex: Human Revolution system, Eidos covered with stunning muted art design and well structured hubs. Despite the low textures which spoilt some of the immersion, that made this game a living and breathing real-word environment complemented by beautifully spun plot lines though cyberpunk clichés turned up to 11.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Verdict
A stunning, dynamic game that sets the bar incredibly high with so much invested in player choice. It doesn't achieve everything it set out to achieve but we can't judge it on its flawed characteristics or individual merits. That's because Deus Ex: Human Revolution is about the whole experience and, in that sense, s almost perfect. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is out now on XBox and PS3 for £39.99 and PC for £29.99.