Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review for PC

On: PCXbox 360PS3

Third title in the critically acclaimed series.

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9Out of 10
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshot
Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshot

As I said recently (and for the umpteenth time), freedom was a big part of the original Deus Ex - perhaps the most important ingredient of all. The developers of Human Revolution have clearly strived to emulate this, allowing the player great leeway in terms of how they approach a given situation. At the most basic level, you'll invariably be able to creep past foes or engage them in full-on combat. Even within this binary choice there's a sublevel of options: do you taser the guards or tranquilise them from afar, or else time your movements so that you avoid them altogether? If you're taking a more violent approach, do you snipe them, close in and shoot them with a silenced pistol, or simply dash in and blow your foes away with a shotgun?

All of the above are viable approaches, although it must be said that straight combat is no easy matter. Human Revolution may look and feel like a standard FPS at times, but the action takes no prisoners. Gunplay is entirely skill-based, rather than being determined by Fallout 3-style hidden dice rolls, but "going Rambo" is a suicidal tactic on anything but the lowest difficulty setting. Even with the help of a contemporary recharging health setup, a handful of bullets are all it takes to end your life.

If you're determined to launch an all-out assault on your foes, the best tactic is to hole yourself up in a corridor or room with one entrance, and to pick off the opposition one at a time. While the AI is smart enough not to simply stand in the open, foes are generally still happy to come to you - even if it means entering a killzone that slaughtered their buddies a few moments ago. While the shooter elements in Deus Ex work perfectly well, there's no doubt that the raw action is at its best when you're taking a quieter approach - tasering watchmen and dragging their bodies out of sight, or waiting for the perfect moment to crawl through a busy room. At moments like this, the game recalls the spirit of Metal Gear Solid - high praise indeed for any stealth outing.

While there's a bevy of nice upgrades for your weapons - explosive rounds for your shotgun, and a mod that shows exactly where your crossbow bolt will land - there's no doubt that the best toys on offer are those that are attached to Jensen himself. Earn enough XP and you'll unlock a Praxis point, a valuable currency that can be used to open up new tools and weapons on the electronic Swiss army knife that passes for Jensen's body. However you're choosing to play, there's definitely something on the skill tree that'll prove invaluable - allowing you to see through walls, lob about heavy in-game objects, or even turn invisible. Since some of these powers will open up otherwise inaccessible paths to your objectives, early-game upgrades can often leave you with a gnawing dilemma.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshot

Sadly - or perhaps happily, depending on your outlook - this indecision doesn't last long. While there's no shortage of sexy new tricks on offer, it's surprisingly easy to fill up the tree. Up until now Eidos Montreal has insisted that you won't be able to get everything in the course of a single playthrough. While that's technically true, you'll certainly get all the augmentations that you really want. If you're doing all the side quests on offer you'll collect XP with surprising speed, and you can find a limited number of Praxis kits on sale, or even just lying around if you look hard enough.

Beyond this, you eventually realise there are one or two upgrades that are far more useful than the others. While there's been lots of coverage of the fact that Jensen can learn to punch through walls, killing the hapless enemy on the other side, you're only able to do this at specific points in the world, which are comparatively scarce. You'd do far better to invest your points in X-ray vision or the aforementioned cloaking ability, both of which prove invaluable under any circumstance. There are a few skills (or even entire branches) that you really don't need, and once this becomes apparent the whole upgrade process loses a little of its former sheen. The original Deus Ex forced you into either/or choices, preventing you from taking all the best powers on a single playthrough, and it would have been great if Eidos Montreal had followed suit here.

In terms of general play, however, it's endlessly gratifying to know that there's usually an alternative solution to the problems at hand. It's a shame that the game forces you into a boss fight every so often, because elsewhere you're completely free to avoid combat altogether. While the build-up to these encounters is usually handed well, showcasing some of the most visually creative environments in the story, they still feel like a design hiccup in a game that's otherwise content to let you play the way you want. If you've been avoiding combat, the first of these battles may prove particularly challenging (and annoyingly reliant on a gaming cliché that I won't reveal here). Subsequent boss fights will present fewer issues - partly because you'll be expecting trouble, and partly because you'll have a better selection of tricks up your sleeve.

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User Comments

Bloodstorm's Avatar


Thought the game had one major flaw but other than that it was golden, i'd call it over-rated but given i had no interest in it until the week it came out....meh.

Wish they'd announce something that'll tie up HR and the original.
Posted 17:04 on 20 November 2012
rbevanx's Avatar


It is overrated tbh with the bosses, poor mechanics, poor first couple of hours, bland main story and freezing when achievements pop up on the 360 version.

I really liked it and I have done it more than once but it is a guilty pleasure if anything in all honesty and is not a classic.
Posted 16:58 on 20 November 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Explain why.
Posted 14:33 on 20 November 2012
lukaa's Avatar


a bull***** review
Posted 14:29 on 20 November 2012
87Sarah's Avatar

87Sarah@ Clockpunk

Same here, though I'm thinking I want to go through it again on Hard and maybe take a different approach.

I'm looking everywhere and have found multiple ways around the places a lot already. I also think I'm doing pretty well if there is a trophy available that says you must read every document you can find. :)

The clothing is pretty cool :s
Clothing looks quite Final Fantasyish to me apart from Jensen's stuff.
Posted 20:05 on 26 August 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar


I'm playing at the default - medium difficulty with a charisma/stealth based focus. I'll certainly be playing through it again on hard, afterwards, though! How about you, Sarah?

Note - that could make for an interesting feature, vg - the best vending machines in games! ;)

I know what you mean about just looking at scenery - the techno-gothic aspect of pretty much... everything (thus far) really evokes a Matrixy-feeling. Is it wrong that I want a good deal of the clothing for my own wardrobe? ;)
Posted 19:20 on 26 August 2011
87Sarah's Avatar

87Sarah@ Clockpunk

After not being into my gaming that much recently and turning off every other game I have in my collection after 10 minutes of playing halfheartedly, I have been playing Deus Ex for 3 hours straight and I'm really enjoying it!

I agree with most of the little niggly things that could do with a bit of tweaking mainly a bit more to interact with in the environment. I don't understand why they allow you to be able to move every single cardboard box that's lying around but then don't allow you to press a button on a vending machine.
I also don't know why I was so excited to use the vending machine when I saw it and how disappointed I was that I couldn't :(

I haven't augmented anything yet and have just about got my first hacking trophy. :) I think I've spent way to long wandering about looking at the scenery and reading peoples emails for 3 hours.

Anyway I'm really enjoying it and think this game is going to be the only one I will play for a while.

What difficulty are you playing at Clockpunk?
Posted 18:52 on 26 August 2011
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ Clockpunk

Well that's done it for me. I'm just going to sell my copy if there isn't enough variety of foodstuffs in the game :)
Posted 16:59 on 26 August 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar


I think the stylistic choices in the world creation are stunning - I love the aesthetics, and the music is superb. I just want to tell Eidos how much I love seeing the classic style inventory screen again. Thoroughly enjoying the game thus far.

However, a few little niggling details could have been improved, to my mind. Namely:

- Bigger range of weaponry.
- Slightly more control over augmentation - and that LIMB Clinics should have to be visited in order to upgrade/unlock new abilities.
- A bit more variety in the health-giving foodstuffs that can be picked up.
- Vending machines to be usable - as a source of said foodstuffs, as well as a weapon. Ideally both at the same time, raining down snacks while knocking off the heads of bad guys heads!
- More environment interaction - even if it doesn't do anything too special or interesting. Let me be an annoying bugger, and plunge everyone into darkness!

But these are very minor. This is the sort of game I have been waiting a long time for, and I cannot think of a better way to end the summer drought.
Posted 16:21 on 26 August 2011
mydeaddog's Avatar


Glad to see this game getting love. Will be very interested to see what people have to say after they've finished, too...
Posted 15:02 on 25 August 2011
SilentSnake11's Avatar


Yea this was a great review. I started a new game earlier today and I already feel nostalgia for it. I can't wait till I get home and get on it again!
Posted 10:15 on 24 August 2011
87Sarah's Avatar


Great review Neon. It sounds like a little bit of everything I want in a game. Great stuff.
Posted 13:26 on 23 August 2011
randa19's Avatar


Really good review,so glad to hear what u think of this game,i pre order this ages ago,and was hoping that Eidos could bring this game to the peak the demos showed,now after reading yr review iam one happy gamer.
Posted 10:01 on 23 August 2011
dazzadavie's Avatar


Great review, will get my hands on this some how.
Posted 09:53 on 23 August 2011


Thanks for answering :)
Posted 18:36 on 22 August 2011

Game Stats

System Requirements
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Out of 10
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Intelligent and thought-provoking
  • Lives up to the hefty Deus Ex legacy
  • Offers multiple ways to play
  • Occasionally falls short of its own ambition
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/08/2011
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 661 110
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