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

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the story of a man who gets blown apart, and then put back together again. Viewed from another angle, it's also the story of Eidos Montreal taking on a decade-old franchise - one created by Ion Storm at the turn of the millennium - and attempting to make it their own.

In both cases, you'd be forgiven for being pessimistic in your expectations. A terrorist attack at the start of Human Revolution leaves security chief Adam Jensen as a stumpy, mutilated mess, while Eidos has to deal with the legacy of the original Deus Ex - an epic sci-fi RPG that's often cited as one of the best games ever made. Under the circumstances, failure seems inevitable for hero and studio alike.

But, against the odds, both parties find success. Via the wonders (and horrors) of modern science, Jensen is rebuilt as a mechanical force of retribution, a walking milestone of technological progress. Meanwhile, Eidos Montreal shows commendable bravery in delving into the world built by Warren Spector and chums over 10 years ago - a world that is dirty, paranoid and littered with betrayal, yet irresistibly thrilling to explore.

As most people will know by now, this is actually a prequel to the first Deus Ex. Veterans of the previous games will take delight in spotting the myriad references to events and characters who pop up further down the timeline, but there are key differences between the 2027 landscape that Jensen explores and the ones traversed by future heroes JC Denton and Alex D.

Human Revolution unfolds at a landmark point in time for bio-mechanical augmentation. Companies like Sarif Industries have successfully pioneered robotic limbs and organs that can replace and outperform their flesh-and-blood counterparts, but the public are reacting to these innovations with a mix of awe, suspicion, and outright disgust. Arguments over the ethics of transhumanism are creating extremists on both sides, violent public disorder is on the cards, and mysterious political forces are pulling strings from the shadows, manipulating the situation to their own ends.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshot

It's against this backdrop that Jensen's story plays out, with our rebuilt super-cop searching for the ruffians who attacked Sarif's headquarters in Detroit, robbing our hero of his arms and much of his sense of humour. As with previous games, Human Revolution is a first-person RPG, although the game now switches to a third-person view whenever you're skulking about in cover - whether it be for stealth or combat purposes. You can roll between hiding spots via a system that's vaguely similar to Gears, but as soon as you leave cover you'll return to a standard FPS view. The transition can seem a bit jarring at first, but thankfully you'll soon become comfortable with the frequent change-ups.

Gameplay alternates between large hub areas, ones in which you're relatively free to explore, chat to people and stock up on supplies, and more action-driven scenarios in which you're attempting to reach an objective by sneaking or blasting your way past dozens of guards. In the former situations Jensen will strut about in a trenchcoat (essential menswear for any future dystopia) while the latter see him adopt a more streamlined, body-armour look; despite this distinction, the line between the two scenarios is often blurred. There will often be non-hostile NPCs present during major story missions, and you'll certainly get into your fair share of scraps while exploring the hub areas. Indeed, the game will usually give you the freedom to unload your weapons or technical abilities on the general populace; search for Human Revolution on YouTube and you'll be greeted by several hooker-punching montages, made using the preview code that was illegally leaked online some months ago. As distasteful as these clips may be, they certainly say something about the freedom Eidos Montreal has tried to bring to the party.

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Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ mydeaddog

Cheers for the clarification, old chap.

That's a little bit disappointing, I must admit. I would much rather had had a system whereby a player couldn't amass all/most upgrades in one playthrough, a la System Shock 2, really imposing some difficult choices upon the player.

Still, sounds like a beast of a title. Even though future parents-in-law are stopping over Thursday/Friday night, there is no way I'm *not* playing this! :D

Most preorders include an extra mission and two extra guns, whereas the Augmented Edition comes with 2 more on top of those, and 10,000 in-game credits. Although the double-barrel shotgun looks very classy and fun, that doesn't justify the extra £15 the Edition upgrade costs. A couple of guys at Game told me preorders for the game have been through the roof - surely a good sign (or at least that the summer drought has left many gamers hungry for the first solid title to come along)

Still, lets hope Eidos decide to add new weapos/missions/that extra hub they mentioned on Major Nelson's Podcast that the had to cut.
Posted 18:21 on 22 August 2011
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

great review neon. quick question among many others i see, is ps3 version look better? and i take it once you leave the likes of shanghai you can do any missed side missions.

glad i pre ordered this now
Posted 18:15 on 22 August 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Excellent review Neon.

On terms of the gameplay routes. What about adaptive? The thing is, I have already plotted my course of action when watching a few gameplay videos. Stealth is going to be the main course of action, but going in guns & blazing in the more bigger areas.

Can you explore or the main missions/side quests all accessed by a menu and go from there?
Posted 18:07 on 22 August 2011
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

@Clockpunk As far as bio mods go... like I say, there are plenty, but you should expect to get everything you want (mostly) on one playthrough. For future playthroughs, it'll be more about the order in which you get stuff, I guess. There's a decent spread of weapons too, and you can mod them. It's the usual suspects - pistol, machine pistol, assault rifle, sniper rifle, rocket launcher - plus one or two more unusual weapons. Lots of grenade types too.

@Neon-Soldier32: It's hard to say precisely because I played across the week. It's been said to last about 30 hours, and i'd say that's about right if you're doing all the side quests, and if you get your ass handed to you a lot at the beginning. I did, it can get pretty hard.

The side quests themselves tend to be fairly protracted, or at least they are in Detroit. There are some great little moments in there, and i'd say that two of my favourite individual scenes took place in side quests. I didn't do them all, however. It was hard enough getting the game finished in time!

As to why I didn't give it full marks.... It's a tricky thing. As i've said before, I'm not a big fan of the 10 point system. Marking out of five makes more sense to me, and this is definitely a five start game.

In any case, the flaws are there. But it's also my favourite game of the year. Go figure.

Can't say about the install, as I was playing both at the office and at home. Had to move my hard drive back and forth, so I never bothered. There's no New Game + option.

Swapping between stealth and assault... If you play a miission stealthily and don't get spotted, you get an XP bonus. If you go 'loud', obviously you don't get that. Beyond that, there's no serious difference. But bearing in mind that you have limited inventory; if you're all stocked up with stealth weapons and you suddenly want to get violent, you might have to make room for the bigger guns. You can boost your inventory size; might seem like a boring upgrade, but it's actually pretty useful.
Posted 17:56 on 22 August 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Is there much choice in the way of weaponry and bio modifications? I do like a good array to choose from...

Otherwise, I cannot wait for Friday. Thanks for the interesting review, Neon.
Posted 17:32 on 22 August 2011
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

A good read, Neon. (Especially the second paragraph, for some reason)

While I have already paid for this I have a few questions:

How long did it take you to complete, with the amount of side quests that you did and how much longevity do the side quests add?

If forcing you to fight, even when taking a stealthy approach and letting you get all the best upgrades in one play through are enough to knock off one point, then do they hinder the experience?

Is there a new game + option?

How big is the install?

And finally, if you swap between stealth and assault part way through missions, does that make any difference, apart from how alert guards are etc. Thanks!
Posted 17:28 on 22 August 2011
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

I managed to leave the neg off when I was adding it to the cms. fixed.
Posted 17:18 on 22 August 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

No bad points?
Posted 17:10 on 22 August 2011

Game Stats

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution
9
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: 466 25
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