Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the few games that gets player decision-making right. While it's not quite a revolution in gaming, it does provide a fresh experience and an engrossing approach to the sub-genre.
- Multiple ways to approach gameplay
- Great story and long narrative
- Sharp art style
- Boss battles remove player freedom
- A.I. detracts from atmosphere
- Some technical/graphical issues
Finding a game that does more than one thing really well is a daunting task. Sure, you may get a game featuring a great story but lacking solid controls, or you may get a mindless fighter with dreadful dialogue, but very rarely will you find something that hits nearly every mark. Eidos Montreal attempted to do just that in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It boasts a striking visual presentation, interesting storyline and plot themes, an exciting approach to level progression and design, and a do-it-yourself gameplay system. Human Revolution does all of these things extremely well, and for the vast majority of people, these are the bread and butter of a great game. Yes, there are nuances, like occasional problems with the graphics, subpar voice acting, and boss fights that frankly feel out of place, but these are minor enough to keep even the most jaded gamer engaged throughout the lengthy campaign. It’s the element of choice that places Human Revolution among the ranks of heavy hitters from studios like Bethesda and BioWare, and it’s the frighteningly realistic-feeling glimpse into our civilization’s possible future that adds a certain layer of relevance you just can’t get fighting aliens and dragons.
Human Revolution’s graphics work extremely well, given the plot’s overtones of human manipulation and corruption. The black and golden hues saturate the screen to constantly remind you that this is a glimpse of technology gone wrong. There were several times throughout the lengthy campaign that I was ready for a new visual approach, as I found myself occasionally bored with the grit of city streets and ultra-polish of high-rise apartments and office buildings. But, it works really well through much of the game.
I will freely admit that the opening level of Human Revolution left a bad taste in my mouth. But once I learned the basics of combat, stealth, and hacking, I started to approach each level with an open mind. And that’s just what you need to do with Human Revolution. The game lends itself well to those with an open mind and an open approach to each level, each decision, and each encounter. You are in control of each decision. If a mission sends you into an office building to steal valuable information off a computer, you can take advantage of the game’s impressive first-person shooter controls and go in guns blazing. Or, if you want to feel like Solid Snake, you can sneak into the building through vents and use your stealth augmentations to pass each guard undetected. You can even hack computers and security systems to turn A.I.-controlled robots into your minions, mowing down your enemies as you walk through the halls with a fat cigar in your mouth, sunglasses drawn, and a giant middle-finger pointed at each surveillance camera. If none of that fits your fancy, you can try sweet talking your way through the building, but it’s best to keep a gun handy just in case.
You play as Adam Jensen, who, after a series of not-so-accidental events, requires augmentations to stay alive. His employer is happy to test their latest technology, turning him into a bit of a super security specialist. Your primary goal is to investigate the events that required you to turn from man to machine-man. The quest sends you around the world to different cities, which serve as hubs for side missions and the primary objective. The side missions again put choice in the player’s hands. You are, of course, given objectives, but how you approach each quest is really up to you. Even better, you do not have to do the various tasks in each quest in order. That’s right: nearly every quest allows you to decide how to proceed with each recommended task. Say you need to dig up some information from the local morgue. Your quest log will be filled with different recommended tasks, like talking to cops or snooping through offices. You can do that in ... (continued on next page)