The future is brighter than it seems
The story of Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes place in 2030s Detroit/Shanghai, and gives an image of a grim future run by private corporations that fight for market and world domination. You find yourself in the shoes of Adam Jensen, the chief of security at a prominent cybernetics company called Sarif Industries. At the beginning of the game, the labs at Sarif get attacked by unknown forces, leaving many scientists dead and Adam on the verge of death. It is then that he is given his implants that make him more of a machine than a man. He of course then proceeds to uncover the masterminds behind the attack on Sarif, and that eventually leads him to a massive conspiracy involving some of the same organizations that were present in the first Deus Ex. I found the story quite genuinely interesting, with a few unpredictable twists. It is also worth mentioning that the side missions in the game, while few in number, are almost al very well structured and tell their own interesting stories that might tie in to the main narrative.
The gameplay in the new Deus Ex revolves mostly around the implants that Adam gets along the game. Upgrades are unlocked with "Praxis" points, which are either unlocked by leveling up or sold at special shops for an expensive price. You gain experience by dispatching foes in different styles, taking a stealthy approach, reading documents, etc. The game offers you a very versatile way to tackle its levels, allowing you to sneak by unnoticed in the levels using mods like invisibility or silenced walking, or taking a more direct and lethal approach with enhanced armor and better accuracy. The game also includes a considerable amount of hacking, which takes a bit more effort than the likes of Mass Effect 2, although enhancements can also be dedicated to it to make it an easier overall experience. Finally, since the game largely takes place in the 2 hub worlds of Shanghai and Detroit, you end up talking to a large amount of characters. The conversations follow a Mass Effect-esque dialogue wheel, with a special enhancement giving you more dialogue options or insight into what the other character is thinking. While most of the conversations are quite mundane, some present you with a certain challenge, ranging from trying to find out what a character is hiding and ending with trying to persuade them not to kill themselves. I found the gameplay very engaging overall, despite the AI hiccups (such as them seeing you on the other side of the map), or the less than engaging shooting.
The visuals of Human Revolution are generally very impressive, with the city hubs having a very futuristic look that yet retains some of its modern qualities. The cityscapes look really impressive, and the insides of buildings have very distinct features, with the Asian buildings having a distinct oriental feature, and the Detroit buildings having a Blade Runner style aesthetic. I played the game on the Xbox 360, and the framerate stuck to around 25-30 fps. While the visuals were quite nice, I was still somewhat disappointed by the slowness of the frames, although, to the game's credit, the fps never dropped to a slideshow.
Overall, I had a really fun time with this game, and, being a fan of the original Deus Ex, it was really refreshing for me to see a good Deus Ex game after the disappointment of Invisible War. The game offered a very atmospheric and detailed world further deepened by newspaper articles and various e-books, as well as a very versatile toolset that offered various ways to tackle its challenges. I would not only recommend this game to Deus Ex fans, but to fans of RPGs and FPS's in general (especially considering this is a prequel, so no prior knowledge of the series is needed).