Weíve been waiting for some time now but Square Enix has finally delivered the next installment of Deus Ex to fans. The first Deus Ex appeared on the PC back in 2000 and a sequel, Invisible War came to the PC and Xbox in 2003. Now, 8 years later we get Human Revolution which actually is a prequel to the other two titles that were previously released. The original Deus EX was a well-received PC title and while Invisible war hasnít done terrible it definitely was not the blockbuster that Eidos had hoped for. I can tell you that Human Revolution does everything that Deus Ex fans have wanted and definitely deserves the Deus Ex title. In essence the Deus Ex series has been rebooted and I can say itís been rebooted very well and has a promising future once again.
You play the role of Adam Jensen whom is an ex-cop now in charge of security at Sarif Industries. Sarif Industries develops augmentations for the human body such as arm and leg prosthesis as well as implant augmentations. The gameís first level builds the plot for the story as Sarif Industries is attacked by some unknown group and Jensen almost loses his life. But thanks to the technology of augmentation his life is saved and but has many augmentations to his body that are important tools that will be used throughout the story ahead.
The game is a first person shooter but it also carries RPG aspects as well where you have to activate your augmentations when you earn enough XP. Youíll earn XP for all sorts of activities from taking out enemies to completing tasks at hand without being detected. Youíll also find credit cards that add to your XP as well. As you pass certain thresholds of XP, you earn Praxis Kits which allow you to activate new augmentations or upgrade existing ones. The game has various types of augmentations and skills from hacking to stealth and detection skills. Itís your choice as to what and how you upgrade items and depending on how you play the game these choices will be critical in your success. You can choose to upgrade talents or activate various body augmentations. There is a price to pay for each upgrade and some upgrades cost more than others obviously. Earn more credits by completing quests and performing certain tasks in the game.
The game has various endings which come about by the way you play the game. You can change the gameís outcome through conversations or actions. The conversations take place and youíll have options on screen in front of you that you select. Some of the responses can be hostile or passive, direct or indirect, etc. Youíll also have neutral answers as well. But all of the answers can change the way the story plays out. You can choose to be arrogant and direct all the time or maybe just play it safe with friendly answers. I personally chose to mix and match my answers and some conversations were dependent on who I was talking with. You are never locked into a distinct path though based upon your actions or conversations. You are free to change the approach you take to the game at any point which will ultimately affect the overall outcome of the story.
The inventory system in the game is an interesting one and will require some thought process at times. Basically, think of you pack as a grid because when you bring up your inventory thatís what you will see. Each item requires a certain amount of blocks. You have to rearrange those blocks at times in order to fit new items into your pack. You can also sell items at certain spots within the gameís environment too. There are all sorts of items such as energy bars, drinks, ammo, and new weapons. Along with finding these inventory items you will want to search for pocket secretaries which can contain valuable information such as security codes which come in very handy and allow you to bypass hacking at times.
Speaking of hacking, this is a key aspect of the game. There are 5 security levels and you will have to upgrade your hacking ability in order to hack high levels security points. As I just mentioned you can find access codes throughout levels but at times you will have to hack these points if no code is known or available. When hacking youíll have to find the shortest route from point A to point B before the time runs out. You will have different defenses such as fortification, clearances and even a nuke virus to deter the security measures triggered once you are detected. Itís best to take a look at the entire puzzle before starting a hack in order to have the best chance at success.
Human Revolution revolves heavily around social skills and your ability to move about using stealth tactics. As I mentioned you can confront enemies directly but prepare for all hell to break lose if detected. The best way to get around this game is to use your social skills to speak with people to get to areas that maybe require a lot more work another way. For instance, one of your earlier quests will have you trying to gain access into the city morgue through a conversation with an old friend. If unsuccessful, your old acquaintance will clam up and tell you to leave but if you are able to have the perfect answer for everything then you will gain access to the morgue accomplishing your goal. You can upgrade your social skills in order to know the mood and thoughts of the person you are talking to and have more success with your conversations.
Graphically the game looks fantastic and the navigation whether itís your inventory or your upgrades is easy to navigate and understand. The cities that you will visit throughout the game are detailed and expansive with plenty of exploration and a lot of tasks for you to complete. The game is quite a sandbox and some areas of the city are only accessible through off the path entrances or less than obvious sources. The voice acting in the game is actually pretty well done as well and I actually enjoyed the main character Adam Jensen. He reminded me of a futuristic Clint Eastwood at times.
The only issue I stumbled a little on the game was in the control aspects. For instance, when in cover trying to perform a takeout without alerting the person or his buddies is almost impossible when they are approaching you. I wish there was some sort of cover takeout option so that when they walk up on a corner you are hiding you can quickly take them out without anyone being alerted. I guess thatís a page out of Batman: Arkham Asylum but I really would have liked something to stay under wraps at all times. The aiming when in cover takes a little getting used to but it works pretty well. The cover system will be familiar to players of the Gears of War franchise. Gamers will also notice especially long load times between levels which can get a little aggravating.
Overall, the game should appeal to fans of the Deus Ex franchise and should be excited about future titles. The game is not perfect by any means but introduces several ways to play the game and brings this once popular franchise to modern day. Human Revolution will not only appeal to old fans of the original PC title but garner new fans as well. The sheer depth of the game and the amount of playtime that can be put into this title is enough to make the game well worth the purchase. Sure, itís just a single player game but itís a good one at that and it does not lose any value with the lack of any multiplayer. Definitely check out Deus Ex as this is an old classic with a brand new paint job, plenty of new ideas and concepts as well as intriguing gameplay. Once you finish this one, you may actually want to play the original Deus Ex as well as the Invisible Wars if you havenít played them before. Iíll definitely be playing through this one a few times just to see how things change by making different social decisions and approaching each task in various ways than in prior playthroughs. I guess you could say the game reminds me a lot of Mass Effect in many ways in that regard.