Deus Ex Human Revolution Review
Having not played the original well loved Deus Ex, or it’s not so well loved sequel, I was unsure of what to expect from Deus Ex Human Revolution. I am familiar with the cyber punk genre thanks to the Ghost in the Shell series and tech noir classic Bladerunner, and the many trailers for DEHR gave me high hopes for this uneasy yet eagerly anticipated prequel. I am happy to say that those high hopes were not thwarted, Deus Ex Human Revolution is good, very good.
One of the games strongest point is its ability to let you tackle the game exactly how you want, never forcing you to play a role that you don’t want to. Blending gameplay from stealth action games such as Splinter Cell and Metal Gear, as well as first and third person shooters such as Rainbow Six Vegas and Gears of War, DEHR allows you to move through the environment completely undetected if you have the skill and patience, or lets you blow everything away with a large and satisfying array of weaponry from plasma rifles and rocket launchers, to tranquilizer rifles and crossbows. Though even with this variety, the game has a four huge flaws: the four boss fights, which while serving as a way of progressing the story, they cheapen the experience by placing you in a small arena where you run back and forth spraying bullets at the boss while they use their overly powerful weaponry to kill you almost instantly. It just feels like they have completely against their design philosophy for the game. Some smaller problems with the gameplay include rather idiotic artificial intelligence at times, as well as a few broken side quests.
Though there are a lot of quests in Human Revolution and most are of a high quality and don’t include the MMO style quests like: “go here and fetch me ten of these”, “send this to this man over in the other part of town” or “kill twenty of these guys”. The game tends to stick to more involved quests that including many quests of detective work, or hunting mass murders. These side quests all take place in relatively large hub worlds that usually span a couple of areas, allowing for exploration and messing around. You’ll be spending a lot of time in these areas through the game whilst not in main story missions, which are in separate areas from the hub worlds. These areas also allow you to practice some small yet still important skills such as hacking, which you should do all the time to build up experience points.
Speaking of experience points, one of Deus Ex Human Revolution’s main themes and gameplay elements, the Augmentations, is a well realised and implemented role playing element. The Augmentations allow you to improve the main character, Adam Jensen to play how you want him to play adding to the variety that was mentioned earlier. It also plays heavily into the story which is another of DEHR’s strongest points. The setting is a world emerging from human made evolution through cybernetic enhancement, many have prospered due to the Augmentations, disabled or amputees now being able to live fuller lives thanks to new prosthetic limbs. However all is not cosy in the Deus Ex universe, as the augmentations are being rejected by their hosts and many are having to rely on anti-rejection drugs, or else risk loosing these limbs and cause more problems to their bodies. Thanks to this riots and protests have broken out to prevent Augmentations and many racial themes are thrown around implying that people with Augs are less than human.
Overall, Deus Ex Human Revolution is a thoughtful game that blends so many elements together so successfully. I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes first person shooters, stealth action games, cyber punk stories, or anything that is so though provoking.