It is quite tough to start a review about a game that I have not entirely made my mind up about…but here it is, so I guess I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Eight years since the launch of the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War and a whopping 4 year wait since Eidos announced that they had started work on the 3rd installment to the Deus Ex franchise: Human Revolution, and it is finally here in all its glory.
Gameplay [xrr rating=3/5]
Much like its predecessors, Human Revolution takes place in a dystopian future. I must admit, I did not get around to playing much of the the original Deus Ex, as it did not quite run on my 16Mb VOODOO 3 3000 PCI graphics card as well as I would have liked at 800×600 resolution. 🙂
11 Years later, Human Revolution is here and runs quite smoothly on my 1GB 460GTX top Graphics card, although I had to tweak some of the settings because the DirectX 11 Engine Eidos has built the game on is a little er…sticky.
We have come oh so far…
The game itself remains true to the core of all Deus Ex titles. If I can compare it to other games, Deus Ex is a hybrid between Crysis 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Blade Runner and Metal Gear Solid. A user is allocated 10 Slots for items and weapons which is visible at all times at the bottom of the screen. A player is limited to the number of items, weapons and ammo they can carry at any given time by an inventory which can be upgraded as you progress through the game.
Some new additions include an Augmentation menu that allows you to upgrade mechanical augmentations that have been surgically installed throughout your body. Including mechanical Prosthetic arms, a cloaking device, a ‘Parachute’ device that lets you fall any height without dying or becoming injured and mechanical eyes that can be upgraded to see through walls…the stuff every little boys dreams are made of.
As you play, your character receives experience, which is then converted to what is known as a Praxis Point. A user can unlock and enhance their abilities in the Augmentation menu using praxis points.
Another cool feature added to the game is the ‘takedown’ feature. It is basically a hand to hand combat technique that allows you the choice to either knockout an enemy, or kill them from behind.
The entire game is about choices, right from the beginning you are given the choice between lethal or non-lethal weapons. You are given options on how to respond to things that people say, the choices of your answers directly impacts the type and amount of information they give you. Sometimes your choice in response has a much more drastic consequence, for example getting you access to restricted area’s to complete quests, whether or not people die, and to get certain information from people (i.e. get them to do what you want). – This is made quite a lot easier through a Neural Social Enhancement augmentation upgrade through the augmentation menu.
Although the game is quite linear, the developers have done a fantastic job with the level design as well. A player can either choose to take a most obvious and direct route, which normally results in the most gunfire. Or a player can look around for a vent, drainage tunnel, or other roundabout route which you can use to flank your enemy’s from behind, or even bypass them altogether.
What’s more is that the game obviously has a main story that unfolds through a series of Primary objectives, that said, as you play your interactions with people in the game unlock a series of side missions that, should you choose to accept, afford you some pretty cool rewards.
With regards to your arsenal of weapons, you quite literally can choose between anything from a stun gun, to a laser cannon and everything in between. The really cool part of Human Revolution is that all weapons can be upgraded and modified. Again, from silencers to damage and ammo modifiers. An awesome weapon mod is the laser targeting system for the combat rifle, that basically allows you to tag enemy’s and spray a magazine in their general direction and every single bullet will hit them…sick!
Lastly, although the game is well thought out, and the gameplay is crazy fun, as a user, you never quite feel completely immersed in the character and the game. I am not sure what it is, but there is something fundamental missing from Human Revolution, that doesn’t quite put it on par with the likes of the A-list titles like F.E.AR 3, Crysis 2, Call of Duty etc…
Story [xrr rating=4/5]
The Crux of this review starts here…Deus Ex has a fantastic story. It quite literally starts at the beginning, (and a lot like the original Half-Life) you are only really playing the game after about 20 solid minutes of cut-scenes, 2 minutes of shooting people, more cut scenes and then a full on game introduction.
Your story starts as Adam Jensen who is a security specialist for a private company that manufactures nanotechnological augmentations. When the firm falls under attack, it’s up to Adam to uncover the plot behind the violence, through a series of more violence and investigation. The story itself is any conspiracy theorists heaven, as is riddled with real world conspiracy’s making the futuristic story all the more plausible.
Throughout the entire game the story is unfolded piece by piece, little by little in such a way as to keep a player hooked into finding out what happens next, and then quite unexpectedly, the story ends, and you are left…speechless. To put it into perspective it is kinda like watching a good movie, and at the end all the hero’s die…pretty disappointing to say the least. (Although that is not what happens…)
Really the story line comes to an abrupt end, leaving the mass of questions and expectations set during the course of the game hanging in the air. It’s as if the story writer died, or went on strike…
For a game as rich as Human Revolution in choices, decisions and resulting outcomes one would expect the game to have multiple endings…no, after I finished the game I actually had to Google it to to reassure myself that, that is in fact how the game ends, and I didn’t do something wrong. Shocker.
As mentioned, Deus Ex uses its own DirectX11 engine, and the Dx11 Features are fully utilized, which is possibly why the engine is so sticky. That said, the game is still very pretty…
Depending on your playing style, Human Revolution can take you a solid 15+ hours to complete. There are plenty of conversations to be had, e-books to read in game, digital newspapers to read, computers to hack and emails to read. If you are like me and like some story with a whole lot of action, the game will take you between 5-8 hours to complete.
Bottom line, Eidos have created something awesome here. BUT, it will never match up to the likes of mainstream titles or live up to the hype that Square Enix created around this 3rd installment to the Deus Ex franchise, because it is quite obvious that the developers ran out of time towards the end of this game, and had to throw an ending together to get it ready on deadline…which is a massive letdown to say the least. It also explains why the game doesn’t include any multiplayer, or online features.
So in a nutshell, the game is fantastic and fun to play. One could play Human Revolution 2 or 3 times and still not have discovered everything that the game has to offer…that said, the games ending is a shocker. One for the history books as one of the biggest letdowns in gaming history.
So that leaves us with the question: Does Deus Ex Human revolution deserve to be called a good game? – you decide.