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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review
Posted on August 22, 2011 by Oscar Gonzalez

Unlike lots of other players, my first encounter with Deus Ex did not happen on the PC. It happened two years after the PC release when it was ported to the PlayStation2. Although Deus Ex on the PS2 didn’t look great, it was my first time experiencing a game that focused on choice. Just like many other players, I feel in love with the game hoping for another one to feast on. When Deus Ex: Invisible War was released, I felt satisfied, but something was missing...the love just wasn't there like it was the first time. Several years later, the team at Eidos Montreal took it upon themselves to make a game that would be worthy of the name, and so we have Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  

AUGMENTED

The Choice is Yours – Choice is the keyword when anyone talks about the original Deus Ex.  It’s what made the game revolutionary for its time.  Eidos Montreal knew this was the most important aspect of the game, and they nailed it.  These choices come in different forms.  When doing quests, you have a list of objectives to complete and normally, there are 2-3 choices available to tackle each task.  Upgrade the right augmentations at the right time and you can add another choice or two.  An example of choice is when you need to get into a nightclub.  Do you talk to the bouncer to let you in?  How about search around for a membership card to get you in? Maybe there’s a back way into the club? Or maybe, just maybe, you should shoot that bouncer in the face for daring to stop you in the first place.  Those are the kind of choices you’ll have throughout the game.  Something I enjoyed was completing an objective, taking a look around, and realizing that while I thought I had considered every option available, there was yet another one I had not thought of. 

No, Really, There are LOTS of Choices – During your quests, especially side-quests, you have a multitude of choices.  Want to kill a criminal instead of taking him alive?  Up to you.  Feel like telling someone the cold, hard truth and ruining their life?  You decide.  Want to betray those that trust you for some easy money?  Go for it, you greedy bastard.  The choices are there for you to select, and those choices can impact you down the line.  Do someone a favor and they may return it, or cross the wrong person and they might pay you back.   It’s all up to you, like it was in the original Deus Ex game and it all flows together without any hiccups.

See how important stealth is
 
 
Part Man, Part Machine, All Badass – As part of the storyline, Adam Jensen is outfitted with an array of augmentations that improve him in a variety of ways.  Upgrading your augs can improve stats, add new abilities, and increase your senses in a multitude of ways like improving your radar or picking up on other people’s vitals.  To upgrade, all you need to do are acquire pieces of software called Praxis.  While a Praxis may be given to you for finishing a quest, buying them in a store, or, very rarely, finding them on the ground, the most common way you’ll get your hands on one is by gaining XP.  Each time you acquire 5000 XP, you earn a Praxis.  XP is gained by completing quests, taking down enemies, hacking computers or accomplishing certain achievements such as completing an objective without being caught or by convincing a character to do so something through conversation choices.  What makes this system so great is that there are so many aug upgrades that you can play whatever style you want or adjust depending on what kind of situation you’re in.  You don’t have the fear of selecting the wrong upgrades because Praxis aren’t that rare or have so many to where it doesn’t matter what choice you make.  Like I mentioned about how your choices to complete an objective can increase when you do the right upgrades, I highly recommend trying and keeping one Praxis around to upgrade that one aug that can make your quests or boss battles that much easier.   This adds an extra bit of depth to the game because it puts you in a situation where your choice on which upgrade to use is based on what’s happening right there and then.  Instead of preparing for what your next quest will be or improving on what was lacking in a previous quest, in Deus Ex: HR, sometimes the best option is to wait until you’re in a situation to decide. 

Upgrading Augs is Just the Start – Weapon upgrade kits are available throughout the game from merchants, quest givers or found throughout the world.  Some upgrades are universal like improving reload speed or increasing ammo capacity.  Other kits are for specific weapons which makes them more efficient and powerful.  This also puts it on you to decide what kind of weapons you prefer.  You also have to upgrade accordingly as your inventory is very limited.  Even when you max it out, your inventory is not able to hold every weapon in the game along with every type of ammo needed for each weapon.  You need to decide where you prefer long range, short range, silent, explosive or non-lethal.

A Stroke of Genius – For a guy like me who is a no-nonsense gamer, Eidos Montreal added something that saved my bacon.  When I sit down and play through a game, I do it without creating multiple saves.  Yes, this has bit me in the ass a few times in the past, but it’s part of my nature to simply get down to business.  That said, early on in the game, you have to go to the Detroit police department.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, the department was in lockdown.  It didn’t cross my mind because after steering a conversation with an old friend of Jensen, you seemingly have free run of the place.  That ended up not being the case as I found myself in a room where I was told to leave immediately by a police officer.  Apparently I wasn’t fast enough to exit, thus bullets started flying, and there I was in a building full of cops looking for me with orders to shoot me on sight.  In another stroke of bad luck, my game had already done an auto save after the cops were alerted, so every time I died, my game would reload with the cops still pissed at me.  After trying for an hour to get out without causing a massacre, I decided to try another manual save that I did in the previous mission.  It was then that I saw the glory that was “load previous auto save”.  Sure enough, I loaded it up and I was in the spot right before all the trouble started, allowing me to finish up the quest in a hurry without incident.  I always love when developers think about these minor additions that can be surprisingly important in a game.

A Godly Plot – Deus Ex: Human Revolution has you play the role of Adam Jensen, head of security for a technology company called Sarif Industries in 2027 Detroit.  After a major attack on the company left him close to death and incredibly injured, biomedical augmentations made by the company were forced on him in order to save his life.  Six months later, Adam has returned to the job, and sent out to find out why Sarif Industries was attacked.  Without spoiling anything, the story of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is on the level of was fans expect from a “Deus Ex” game.  An added bonus is all the sidequest stories that occur throughout the game.  Most of the quests will provide enough plot so that you will legitimately want to finish them so you can see the conclusion.  It also adds to the enjoyment to see how much your choices affect how different the stories can turn out.

Our interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Art Director, check out the hair
 

OBSOLETE

Why is It All Pee Colored? – There is a LOT of yellow in this game.  Detroit apparently has nothing but yellow lights in the street, everyone enjoys a little yellow in their outfit, and effects have a yellow twinge to them.  I’d like to say I’m exaggerating but I’m really not.  It gets to a point in the game where the items you can interact with are yellow happen to be on other yellow objects.  Some critics complain about the modern military FPS focusing on the color brown to make their games look more gritty, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I’m reminded of pee.  That’s not to say the game doesn’t look great because it does.  The cities in the game are large, futuristic yet gritty, and feel like major cities.  Character models have great details along with facial animations that outdo most games today, with the exception of L.A. Noire.  Yet despitehow  great the game looks, I still can’t get over all the yellow there is.  I take pity on those colorblind gamers that will try to play the game, wondering why everything is so gray to them.

 

 

When I spoke with Deus Ex: Human Revolution Art Director Jonathan Jacques Belletete at PAX East a few months ago, I saw that he was clearly satisfied with the strides his team had made. Jonathan was simply brimming with excitement over the game. The passion for Human Revolution was literally oozing from him and he always had this smile that said: “Doubt me all you want, but you’re going to play a new Deus Ex game and you’re going to love it.” Well, to Jon and your whole crew at Eidos Montreal, I'd like to say that y'all did it and I can’t think of anything that could have made it better. Ok, maybe a little less of the pee color...just saying.

*This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game with a review copy provided by the publisher.*

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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