Allow me to take you to the not so far future. The year is 2027 and mankind is now on the brink of achieving greatness with the integration of man and machine through augmentations. The world itself is a very darker place with many countries governments no longer having total control as large corporations take vested interests in how the country and humanity moves forward.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the first title from Eidos Montreal and is published by Square Enix. It is a prequel to one of the most highly regarded games for the PC, Deus Ex, released back in 2000. This time around you play an ex-cop turned private head of security for one of the world’s leading manufactures in human argumentations, Sarif Industires.
After an attack led by highly augmented black ops mercenaries on the Sarif headquarters in Detroit, Jensen is left badly injured with his only hope being the augmentation of his body with mechanical parts. He awakes to a new world and must learn the truth to why Sarif was attacked, as well as uncover a plot to change the world forever.
Many gamers will know the name Deus Ex as one of the founders of the modern western RPG shooting game and has influenced many other modern classics such as games like Mass Effect and Bioshock where the user is presented with a multiple path approach to solving a puzzle as well as combining a complex upgrade system allowing the user a high degree of customisation of their experience.
Human Revolution doesn’t disappoint in this aspect of the game as users can find themselves torn between spending their precious Praxis (upgrade) points on skills such as cloaking, punching through walls, hacking, or a devastating Typhoon explosive system just to name but a few examples. Each offers its own benefits to the player such as the Typhoon being very useful when surrounded or being able to slip by a group of guards, making each play through of the game both challenging and unique for the player.
Gameplay wise feels like a standard shooter with elements of RPG mixed in just to make the game interesting such as with elements like inventory management. However the mechanics of the game are not what makes this game shine, this lie very much in the look, sound, and feel of the game. It travels the world with a very open level feel and doesn’t make you feel like you are in a single level at any one time with invisible walls, but in a lived in city such as Detroit, or Shanghai.
The game adopts a “cyber punk” feel to it with the use of a lot of browns, blacks and yellows to make the game feel darker and grittier, while the music (a light mix of techno and electric) adds a sense of feeling to world that is meant to (and comes across as) breathing and living as you interact with it. Each decision that you make in a mission, such as killing or tranquilising a person has a consequence which feels very real through most of the game. It is only at the very end of the game where this falls flat.
At the end of the game you are face with a choice of what to do and how you may proceed with the future. The only thing is in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock, your choices all throughout the game had an impact and led you to this point. In Deus Ex you are simply pushing the ending button to see what happens which makes the game feel kind of cheap after such a good run.
This is true when it comes to the boss fights where you have to face each of the mercenaries that attacked you in the beginning. You must kill them with no other choice to avoid this battle or seek a resolution, which can be a challenge in the early stages when you don’t yet have access to more powerful weapons and upgrades but later on when you do you can and will find that these battles are easily resolved with a few well placed grenades.
At the end of the day, is the game worth your money? Yes, someone who never got around to playing the first game and being in the minority of enjoying the second game (Invisible War), this game is worth picking up to play. Its gameplay lasts a good 20 hours when you play it on the right difficulty and has some replay value when hunting down the side quests and achievements.
The game will offer you great value for your money and with story based DLC dropping this week, the game is set to have further expansions. Considering that this is the first attempt by Eidos Montreal at a AAA title they’ve done a bang up job of resurrecting this franchise into something which could be quite promising for the future with an inevitable sequel due within the next few years.