The Human Revolution Comes Full Circle (Deus Ex Release 26/08/11)

Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

Today the third Deus Ex was finally released here in Europe. Impressively enough, the new developer Eidos Monreal seems to have been hell-bent on sticking to the original concept and offering nothing less (or more, for that matter) than the exact same flexible gameplay model which the first Deus Ex game presented to players way back in 2000, except adapted for modern computers and consoles (and with the exciting addition of awkward French-Canadian accents, no less). Partly as a result of this ambition, however, the "jack of all trades, master of none" problem which made its predecessor such an intriguing but ultimately overrated mess is still present here, since neither the stealth nor the shooter aspects of the new game are particularly amazing in their own right (although some very welcome improvements have been made to the basic mechanics). Thankfully, what has also been retained from the original Deus Ex are the numerous ways in which the game rewards meticulous exploration of every single environment and getting oneself fully immersed in the game world, its numerous side quests as well as the intricacies of the plot, and these elements have been sufficiently expanded upon to ensure that an otherwise weirdly familiar experience feels interesting and fresh.

The Deux Ex formula remains inherently flawed, but kudos to Square Enix and Eidos Montreal for being faithful to this semi-venerable franchise and not making Human Revolution a significantly less complex or nuanced gaming experience than Ion Storm's cult classic from 2000. Remove the graphical bells and whistles (such as they are), optional video tutorials and retailer-specific DLC shenanigans and what you're left with is for all intents and purposes surprisingly close to that nerdy little PC game you may or may not have played 10 years ago. And that's kind of cool, all things considered...

#1 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

Today the third Deus Ex was finally released here in Europe. Impressively enough, the new developer Eidos Monreal seems to have been hell-bent on sticking to the original concept and offering nothing less (or more, for that matter) than the exact same flexible gameplay model which the first Deus Ex game presented to players way back in 2000, except adapted for modern computers and consoles (and with the exciting addition of awkward French-Canadian accents, no less). Partly as a result of this ambition, however, the "jack of all trades, master of none" problem which made its predecessor such an intriguing but ultimately overrated mess is still present here, since neither the stealth nor the shooter aspects of the new game are particularly amazing in their own right (although some very welcome improvements have been made to the basic mechanics). Thankfully, what has also been retained from the original Deus Ex are the numerous ways in which the game rewards meticulous exploration of every single environment and getting oneself fully immersed in the game world, its numerous side quests as well as the intricacies of the plot, and these elements have been sufficiently expanded upon to ensure that an otherwise weirdly familiar experience feels interesting and fresh.

The Deux Ex formula remains inherently flawed, but kudos to Square Enix and Eidos Montreal for being faithful to this semi-venerable franchise and not making Human Revolution a significantly less complex or nuanced gaming experience than Ion Storm's cult classic from 2000. Remove the graphical bells and whistles (such as they are), optional video tutorials and retailer-specific DLC shenanigans and what you're left with is for all intents and purposes surprisingly close to that nerdy little PC game you may or may not have played 10 years ago. And that's kind of cool, all things considered...

#2 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11034 posts) -

I do like how close this game appears to mesh with the original, though you certainly are right in that it has very similar problems... bumped up 10 years or so. The shooting and stealth are generally pretty meh, but like the first Deus Ex it's all about the fact that there are always 2 or 3 ways to tackle any given problem. Gotta hand it to Eidos Montreal though, they managed to get a protagonist with the same level of silly monotone as JC Denton himself.

#3 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4237 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: Maybe his voice was one of the augments.
 
I want to play this damned game.
#4 Posted by roguehallow (207 posts) -

I'm curious. Many people have knocked the shooting in this game. I've found it to be rather engaging for a couple of reasons: one, Jensen goes down after about three shots from a machine gun or one blast from a shotgun, which while unforgiving, seems pretty realistic; two, I can't just duck behind cover and pop out to drop an enemy or two every few seconds, because my opponents consistently try to flank me and flush me out of wherever I'm hiding. The fact that I've played most of the game so far as a purely stealth character (in fact, I didn't shoot anyone until some PMC a-holes attacked a friend of mine and I went on the warpath) makes the shooting, when I'm forced to do it, even more intense.

My question is, could folks name a couple of games that have the shooting mechanics they wish this game had? I'd like a touchstone when people say the shooting isn't their thing. Also, I should note that I'm playing on a PC, so I can't vouch for the quality of the combat on the Xbox 360.

#5 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@roguehallow: I'm not exactly the best person to answer this question since I'm going for a completely non-lethal first playthrough (boss fights excluded, of course), but the core shooting mechanics in DX:HR definitely feel rather weightless and stiff compared to all the pure shooters out there, and the game's AI can be questionable at times (although that is admittedly far more evident in relation to the more stealth-oriented gameplay).

It may seem unfair to compare a complex hybrid like DX:HR directly to straightforward action titles like, say, Crysis, Gears of War or BF:BC 2...but at the end of the day, when you're shooting someone in Human Revolution you're engaging in the exact same activity as in a conventional FPS, so in that sense it becomes appropriate to ask which game is more fun in that particular aspect. DX:HR is certainly unforgiving in the right realistic way (thus making stealth genuinely meaningful and not just an arbitrary player choice), though, so I don't think those things are what people dislike about the combat.

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