What Alpha Protocol tried to be
Deus Ex Revolution is a prequel to one of the most celebrated first-person-shooters in gaming history. The original Deus Ex redefined the genre by adding deep RPG gameplay elements into a solid futuristic shooter. Over a decade after the original, Eidos Montreal decided to revive the game for modern gamers. Does Revolution deliver the goods? To give a straight answer... yes it does... in a big way.
Deus Ex takes place in a believable not so distant future. A new technology called augmentation has become the new standard of living. (think of the internet in the early 90's) Augmentation lets you replace flesh body parts with cybernetic ones to gain a physical and mental advantage. Beside the improvements, augmentation has also restored the lives of many people whom either caught some sort of disease, or lost a part of their body due to some violent incident. However, augmentation technology isn't welcomed by everyone as many people feel augmentation goes against the natural order of things and GOD's will. You play as Adam Jensen a Ex-Swat now Security Guard of the number one augmentation corporation in the world, Sarif Industries. On a night when a new ground breaking technology is about to be announced, Sarif Industries is attacked by a group of augmented mercenaries. Failing to stop the attackers, Adam is nearly killed. His life is spared by getting augmented. Now angry about the attack, and the fact his girlfriend (a leading scientist) was killed, Adam sets out to find the mercenaries and get some answers.
The world of Deus Ex is a fun one to explore, because one can easily see this really being our reality in the future. As you might suspect with games like this, things aren't always what they seem. The story is filled with political intrigue and conspiracies to keep you glued to your monitor until the credits roll. Needless to say, the story is Deus Ex Revolution's greatest strength.
Thankfully the gameplay is just as strong. Deus Ex Revolution has a soild first-person package, but it's the augmentations that steal the show. As you gain experience, you can carefully power up Adam to take advantage of many enhancements. If you want to become a stealth player, there are many options that will satisfy. Want to make Adam combat heavy instead? there's options for that too. One of the best things about the game is the many different ways you can approach any situation. From discovering different ways to take out an enemy, to finding different paths in each environment. For instance, if you decide Jensen can have powerful lungs, then you can walk in areas that have toxic gas. However, if you chose for him to punch through walls or pick up heavy objects instead, then you can find a different path to avoid the toxic gas - this adds replay value. The boss fights are solely based on combat however, so you might want to add some combat power ups just to makes those fights a little easier.
The shooting mechanics are solid, with a decent cover system and take down animations when you're close enough to an enemy. Like most modern RPG's, Deus Ex Revolution uses the interactive dialog system. You select different choices and watch how the conversation unfolds. However, if you want to get the most enjoyment out of dialoging with characters in the game, you can upgrade Adam to read characters emotions and use pheromones to try and manipulate their opinions. This is actually a key part of the game as you'll face several situations where how you communicate with a character decides what they'll do next, (for better or worst) or if they'll help you out. Hacking is also a part of this game and it's done very well also. While other games have hacking mini-games, the hacking in Deus Ex Revolution feels actually genuine. There is a wealth of information in Deus Ex. Most can be found on computers, digital newspapers, and digital Ebooks.
The graphics in Deus Ex Revolution are a mixed bag. The environments and the artwork are excellent, painting a dark, cybernetic future, filled with black and gold. The character designs and animations, however, are below average. During the interaction scenes, characters have low resolution textures giving them an almost plastic look. They also quickly jerk back and forth while talking making them look like mannequins. PC gamers with a Direct-X 11 video card can enhance the visuals with it. If your PC can handle it, you'll see more detailed textures of the environments and characters, sadly it doesn't improve the interaction scenes. Fortunately, the music and sound are excellent. The music is some of the best I've heard in a current-gen game so far. Every musical theme is well composed and memorable. The main theme for Sarif Industries sounds too much like Mass Effect, but trust me, that's the only setback . (if you want to call it that) The sound is equally excellent. The voice acting is very strong and will get you into the story. Adam Jensen is a character you'll grow to like and identify with as the story progresses. The other important characters in the game also give convincing voice work. A lot of the none important characters however, seem to have the same two or three voice actors repeating dialog. Dolby Digital is used to great effect when it comes to sound effects such as shooting, explosions, and ambiance. Overall a very strong package.
Overall, I see Deus Ex Revolution as the game Alpha Protocol was trying to be but failed. It has an excellent blend of story, action, and presentation. This is one of the best games this year, and even if you didn't play the first Deus Ex (like me) you still don't want to miss it.