Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The two million people who bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution can't be wrong, can they?
Harley Ogier | Monday, September 12 2011 | 1 Review
Editors rating:User rating:
Platform: PC; PS3; Xbox 360
Test Platform: PC
Developer: Eidos Montreal; Publisher: Square Enix
An amazing stealth-action-RPG let down only by spliced-in boss fights and endgame disappointment.
You know what? I never played the original Deus Ex. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Many claim it to be the best PC game of all time, and perhaps it was. I wouldn’t know. Didn’t play it. Probably never will.
I came to Deus Ex: Human Revolution with few expectations – I knew it was some sort of action-RPG, dealing with the conflict between humans ‘augmented’ with implanted technology and those that oppose such augmentation. All that proved true, but it came with more than a few surprises.
First off, Deus Ex looks gorgeous from afar. The box art is great, the trailers I’d seen in low resolution, constructed from pre-rendered cinematics, looked fantastic... I was expecting to have my GPU challenged and my eyeballs gently massaged with photonic awesomeness. In fact, in-game Deus Ex looks kinda like something from the dawn of the current millennium.
Another disclaimer: I was playing on my recently-rebuilt gaming PC, running an Intel Core i7 875K CPU and Nvidia GTX480 GPU, both at their stock speeds. With that setup I was able to max out every single graphical setting, and run the game at an ultra-smooth 120Hz. System didn’t even warm up – not a hint of fan noise. I threw everything I had at Deus Ex, and it still looked lacklustre. The graphics are just plain dated.
That said, look at the graphical prowess (or lack thereof) of other action-RPG titles. Fallout and Mass Effect come to mind, neither of which could be said to have mindblowing visuals. As soon as you go open-world, it seems, graphical quality goes down to compensate.
Gameplay in Deus Ex is so solid, and the story so engaging, that within an hour I’d forgotten the dated graphics altogether. To me, it felt like it had improved vastly. It really hadn’t – the skylines were still unrealistic skyboxes, and the characters were still rough around the edges. Still, those things stopped registering as an annoyance pretty quickly.
The second surprise came in terms of just how much Deus Ex lets – nay, demands – you rely on stealth.
Yes, you can pick up an assault rifle, fit it out with a laser sight and target-seeking flachettes, then murder everything that so much as moves. Yes, you can charge into the centre of a group of enemies, and blow them all straight to hell with your implanted ‘Typhoon’ chest-explosive. Yes, you can augment your arms such that you can lift a vending machine, and throw it into oncoming enemies like Captain America. Actually, that sounds pretty fun. That’s my next playthrough.
More fun, I found, was investing in the wealth of stealth-tools, techniques and weapons available. Invisibility? Sure, give me some of that. Inaudibility? Yeah, definitely. Silenced, laser-sighted, body-armour-piercing pistol? Definitely. Silenced, long-range, gas-powered tranquiliser rifle, upgraded to predict my enemies’ movements for long-range sniping of moving targets? Yeah, now we’re talking.
I have never had as much fun as I had shooting one guard with a tranq dart, invisibly sprinting across the room (for you can’t stay invisible for long), and dragging his body out of sight milliseconds before another guard rounds the corner.
I decided to go the almost-pacifist route – tranquilising or knocking my enemies unconscious, wherever I could conceivably do so. A couple of times that just wasn’t possible, and a silenced pistol-round to the head was called for. I felt bad about it, though. There’s actually an achievement for not murdering anybody, apart from the boss characters, which I’ll have to get on a later playthrough. That, however, brings us to another issue.
Why, for the love of all that is good in gaming, are there boss fights spliced tackily into this game? If you do go for stealth, you can still have lethal weapons – just fit silencers. However, you’re likely to have put your skill points into things like invisibility, silent running, hacking and seeing through walls – not dermal armour to soak up the bullets bosses pump out at you like one-man (or woman) armies.
If you went the primarily (or wholly) pacifist route, your slow-loading tranquiliser rifle or short-range taser are going to be pretty useless against an enemy with a neck thicker than your own torso.
You can’t sneak by these bosses. You can’t reason with them to avoid a fight, using your will-bending, pheromone-emitting augmentation thingy. You just have to kill them, sometimes at the most arbitrary times, and for no other reason than ‘they’re really evil’. Given that Deus Ex is otherwise a well-paced, thoughtful game that really doesn’t want you to murder anyone, the boss fights are like razor blades in a candy apple. They have no reason to be there, and when you find them, they’re likely to be a hell of a pain.
Those annoying and out-of-place battles were fortunately far apart and infrequent enough that they didn’t ruin the game for me, nor were they so difficult as to be major obstacles. Still, removing them entirely, letting stealthy players avoid them, or at least giving them some context would be a major improvement.
When you’re not being forced to murder bit-part villains, you wander around progressing the storyline at your own pace, completing side-quests, learning about the world, and trading illegal firearms with street merchants. Not sure why, as the head of security for a major corporation, you can’t just walk into a high-end gun store or order from a catalogue – all of your security staff are armed – you’d think they’d have a more mainstream supplier than ‘that guy at the abandoned gas station’.
Around thirty-five to forty hours in, I finally hit the end – all too soon, in my book, but a respectable length overall. The end did seem a bit abrupt, but in a way I’m not sure is bad – much like the average Neal Stephenson novel. Things are happening, you’re reaching a climactic point, then... whoops, it’s over.
What ruined it for me was not the suddenness, or the ambiguity, of the ending – it was the final choice. Through Deus Ex, you make decisions that seem to impact the world. Several times I did things that I know had a major impact on the story, and I can’t imagine how it would have turned out if I’d chosen differently. ‘This is all going to determine how it ends,' I thought happily – loving an open-ended narrative as I do.
Well, not quite.
In the end, I was presented with four different buttons to press, which would dictate which highly-ambiguous endgame cutscene I’d get. That’s it. Four buttons. With a save-point before them, so there’s absolutely nothing to stop you just reloading the game three times, and seeing each of the endings.
For a game that really does make you feel like you’re having an impact on the world, to end in such a way is just... well, rude.
Pros: Amazing graphics and sharp details
Cons: Side quest isn't as much fun than the main plot
You wake up losing a limb feeling grouchy and suddenly the world turns into a futuristic realm. Playing as the Protagonist Adam Jensen will blow your mind. The majority of the game involves Jensen's to undo the conspiracy through missions of main city hubs all over the world. While each hub has a main plot distributing to Jensen's investigation, while on each hub you will overcome side quests. 5 Stars
The good points about this game is that the graphics look stunning even while playing you might stop and stare. Though the gameplay seems to be the most important, the gameplay has one word to describe it "awesome", direct action or stealth, your choice. The main plot is superbly presented. The sound: Great voice actors, Deus Ex's sound design is excellent and the soundtrack is outstanding. What I like about the game is that you make a lot of choices, say a smart ass comment or be an robot angel. The decision is really up to you.
Bad points are: Side quest isn't exciting as much as the main plot. Sometimes the game is too hard like even on normal difficulty the AI would manage to headshot and kill you.
Overall The game is a MUST-HAVE. You can't have enough of the action. I must admit it is seriously one of the BEST games ever made.
Posted by Anonymous at 11:56:40 on October 13, 2011
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