Published on September 5th, 2011 | by Charlie
Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Summary: Charlie takes a look at Deus Ex: Human Revolution, is it any good? read the review to find out!
I had every intention to at least try Deus Ex: Human Revolution, whether it was to rent or to borrow it from a friend. After I traded in about 10 games for store credit, I ended up buying the game, not really knowing what to expect from a Deus Ex game. I tend to enjoy Eidos games, but I don’t tend to enjoy Square Enix published games for some reason. After playing Human Revolution, I thought to myself “My word, where has this game been all my life?”
Adam Jensen is the top security man at Sarif Industries (recently hired to be frank). His girlfriend (or ex. You never could tell), Megan Reed, has made a revolutionary discovery which allows people to augment themselves safer than before. Augmentation is where you replace a limb, or limbs, for a mechanical and stronger version. Augmentation comes real handy for those who may need limbs replacing, or have lost their limbs in accidents, or simply for those who want a change in life. Not long after, Sarif Industries is attacked, and many people are murdered. Adam tries to rescue Megan, but in doing so, his body becomes massively damaged and is shot in the head. Adam then wakes up 6 months later, where Sarif Industries has been rebuilt… oh and Adam has augmentations he didn’t choose to receive. His limbs were so badly destroyed that he was forced to get augmentations on most parts of his body. However, as great as augmentations sound, not everybody agrees with them, and believe that they are inhumane, and that its called “playing God”. They’ve also ruined lives, making the “so rich” “absolutely poor”, and some augmented people even live on the streets.
While on his sick leave, Adam is called in when a hostage crisis occurs at Sarif’s Milwaukee Junction manufacturing plant. Upon arriving, he uncovers something more sinister, which he decides to follow up on throughout the game. The plot has many twists, and with four different endings, it adds more depth. One thing I must note is that you don’t have to play the game again to experience all 4 endings IF you manage to play the game right, as you can just revert to your last save if you save at the right point. I’m not sure if that would be considered a good or bad thing because it might feel like cheating the game to experience all 4 endings.
Throughout the game, there seems to be a limited amount of available weapons. You can find a 10mm pistol, a revolver, a stun gun, a tranquilizer gun, a Combat Rifle, a Heavy Combat Rifle, a heavy rifle, a crossbow and grenades (not sure if I have missed a weapon here). I suppose that the reason why there’s only a limited choice of weapons is because the game is more or less about stealth, and is a different kind of shooter unlike Call of Duty and Crysis. These weapons also take up a lot of inventory space, so you may want to upgrade your inventory space when you can (you can upgrade 3 times).
When accessing rooms, the doors may be locked and can only be accessed through using a code or by hacking. At first, the hacking process is tricky to understand, but if you hack enough times, you’ll get the hang of how it works. It’s not only doors you can hack, as you can hack into safes to get some extra concealed items, hack into computers and read peoples e-mails, and hack into security systems to turn off cameras or shut off alarms. The hacking feature will come in handy very often, so you also may want to upgrade your hacking skills too because you can only hack a terminal that you have the skill for. You can also use what is called “STOP! Worm Software” which stops the timer from going down if you are detected while hacking for a small period of time, and a “Nuke Virus” which allows you to capture a node instantly with a 0% chance of detection.
The game is everything Crysis 2 wasn’t (yet they are done by two different developers and publishers). There’s definitely similarities between the two, for example, in Crysis 2, you are wearing a nanosuit with super human abilities. In Deus Ex Human Revolution, you ARE the nanosuit with super human abilities. Using your augmented abilities, you can choose where you go to get to your next destination. Of course, you have to find those areas yourself. You can either make it through the game by taking a stealthy approach (you knock out your enemies and make it past your enemies undetected), you can try to avoid any bodily contact by traversing through vents and just sneaking by your enemies or you can go in guns blazing. While you can do any of these, the game tends to steer you mostly to taking the stealthy knock-people-out approach (Crysis 2 did the opposite as taking the stealthy approach wasn’t as easy). A lot of patience is required when timing your movements, which is why the game is quite long. How long is the game do you ask? It’s around 25-30 hours long, which to be honest, is the length all single player games should be. Most developers say: We’d rather have 8 hours of “brilliant” than 16 hours of “meh”… or is that just DICE with Battlefield 3? Well with Deus Ex, it’s 25-30 hours of “brilliant” so maybe DICE can learn something from Eidos Montreal.
You can upgrade almost all main parts of your body, such as your legs, where you can jump from any height and live, or run silently, to being able to run a lot faster. However, the running is one thing that bugs me, as you can only run for 3 seconds before you run out of energy. Its a little silly, but if you are trying to be stealthy, then there’s really no reason to run much. You can also upgrade your arms, where you can lift heavier items or keep a steadier hand when using a gun. You can also upgrade your cranium augmentations, where you can higher your hacking skill, or have the persuasion augmentation. Almost every augmentation you upgrade will come into play one way or another, but it’s all about choosing the right ones to suit the way you play the game. You upgrade these augmentations by leveling up. When you earn enough experience points, you are given a Praxis point. You can also buy Praxis points, or find them scattered throughout the game (but for some reason, I only ever found 2 Praxis points, so they must be hidden good). The game itself also has possibly THE PERFECT checkpoint system I’ve ever experienced. The game knows the right places to save the game and set the checkpoint, and what’s great as well is that you can save almost anytime you like… except during cut scenes, when you’re firing a gun or during conversations, which is understandable. But does this mean you can save the game during a boss fight to save you half a battle if you die? Yes. Yes you can.
There are many interesting characters throughout the game, and Adam Jensen (the character you play as) is the most interesting. He seems to have no emotion in his voice whatsoever, for example, although his words may be sympathetic (saying something like: “I’m so sorry for what has happened”), he would say it in a tone as if he has just had his tonsils removed. You might think: “But he’s just had augmentations on most parts of his body, so maybe that has effected his voice”, but then if you listen to how he sounded before all of his augmentations, he sounds exactly the same. Elias Toufexis is his voice actor, so maybe you might know him. But the way Adam speaks isn’t a problem at all… in fact, you get used to how he speaks very easily. You may also notice that when a character speaks, the syncing may look a little off. Eidos didn’t get that part of the game perfect, but after a while, you won’t really notice it.
Throughout the game, you may encounter side quests which help build on the story. Although they don’t affect the main story, they help build on your personal story and may help show you the effects of your choices when it comes to bigger decisions later on in the game. The side missions add many hours onto the game, so I suggest you complete as many as you can, because they also award you experience points, meaning more augmentations upgrades for future battles. Also, it seems every side mission comes with at least 1 achievement/trophy, so you might want to go for as many as possible if you are an achievement/trophy hunter. However, you should complete all that you can before you decide to carry on with the main story because as soon as you leave an area, you can not go back… which brings me onto my next point. It is a real shame that there is no New Game+, but it makes you want to do a second playthrough, which I am currently doing.
The final note I will go into is the extras. Throughout the game, you will find little bonus easter eggs which are really cool, but are hidden very well. For example, you might just find a Final Fantasy XXVII poster, or the Eidos Interactive building in one of the cutscenes. There are many more than just these two, but do keep a lookout. The achievements are also very challenging too, as although they can all be done in one playthrough (I assume), something tells me most people may require more than 1 playthrough to get them all. For example, I am trying to get the “do not kill anyone”, “play on hardest difficulty” and “do not set off any alarms” achievements all in the same playthrough (and this is on my second playthrough).
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of this years surprising games. Even if you haven’t played the first two Deus Ex games, it doesn’t matter because this is more or less a prequel. Like me, it might convince you to play the originals, or it might convince you to play games such as Metal Gear Solid. But one thing is does perfectly is immerse you into the game so well that you’ll forget everything around you every now and then. I cannot wait for the DLC, and if they made a sequel game to this (set after Human Revolution but before the first Deus Ex), I would be OK with that.