9 / 10 Banzai!s
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, incorrectly dubbed Deus Ex 3 by some, is a prequel to the original 2000 game Deus Ex, ported on the PC and Playstation 2. Through the combined efforts of Canada’s Eidos Montreal and Japan’s Square Enix, we’ve got a first-person, cyberpunk action RPG with stealth elements.
Set in 2027 (25 years before the first game) Adam Jensen is the new director of security for the biotechnology corporation Sarif Industries, and boyfriend to scientist Megan Reed. Just before she can reveil her work’s secret to the world, a terrorist group bursts in and kills Megan, while leaving Adam in pretty rough shape.
Sarif Industries graciously reworks Adam’s body, fixing him with enough augmentations to give Robocop a run for his money. Six months after the attack, Adam follows a trail of the terrorists, leading him to Hengsha City off the coast of China, Montreal, and other locations – as well as deep into a plot which he could never imagine.
The game plays like a stealth first-person shooter, in which the player can decide to run in with guns blazing, or sneak around to avoid conflict, or both. RPG elements include a building of experience points, which can be used to upgrade the augmentations – such as smashing through walls or cloaking yourself invisible ala Predator style.
What I Liked:
Obviously, with a 9 out of 10 Banzai!s, this could go on for several pages.
Specifically, I loved the overall atmosphere of the game. From the smoke and lighting, to all the events occuring around you, to the detail and excellent CG work, you truly feel as though you’re in this Blade Runner like world. Not all games do this for me – with a few exceptions (Bioshock, for instance). There’s just a certain amount of detail and believability in everything you see and hear which never lets up from start to finish.
I also thought the alternate routes in completing missions was well done. I’ve played some of Metal Gear Solid 4, in which Kojima was aiming for the same thing – you can either sneak your way around, or take the shooting approach. However, (and to be fair, I haven’t finished the game) in my experience, I didn’t always find that to be the case. MGS4 felt as though you were meant to take the stealth approach, with occasional instances where shooting could be performed. But in Human Revolution, I never felt the game lead me in one direction or the other. You were free to do as you please – sneak, shoot, or sometimes even talk your way out of the situation. The path to your goal is truly left up to you.
Also, each time you “level-up” and upgrade your augmentations, you feel the difference. This isn’t like Final Fantasy where, you’re just a wee bit stronger. Each augmentation greatly enhances your abilities, making you really want to level up! By the end of the game, you feel so bad-ass with your augmentations that you could take on Robocop and Terminator at the same time.
Then, of course, there’s the story. What can I say? It’s engaging in its mystery. Complicated, but engaging. There are plot twists along the way – which you’ll need to follow the story carefully to realize them – and it’s never quite clear who the bad guys are, leaving you guessing until the end.
What I Didn’t Like:
To be honest, there’s not a lot to say, here. The only thing I sometimes found frustrating was the map; it’s not always clear where you’re supposed to go. Not all the side-quests appear, while the main mission – even if you switch it off – sometimes still shows up on your map, which can be a little confusing. At times, I found myself running down one way, only to find a dead end, then having to travel all the way back around.
While taking place in a number of buildings with various floors, I can see why Eidos/Square Enix had trouble trying to come up with a good maping system. I suppose they did their best, but it was still complicated as hell, at times.
Dues Ex: Human Revolution is not a game to be missed. You needn’t be a fan of first-person shooters, because there’s plenty of options for you. There are so few titles in the cyberpunk genre (Shadowrun on Xbox 360 could have been great, but instead was turned into a big, steaming pile of ca-ca) and thankfully Human Revolution does a great job of bringing the genre to life.
Excellent story, great voice-acting, superb graphics, and a feeling like you’re truly in the game’s world.