By Sarumarine 24 Comments
I'm not overly knowledgeable of the first Deus Ex. To give you a point of reference, I did play the Ellis Island mission at a friends house years and years ago. But that's been awhile, so when I talk about Human Revolution I don't mean to make any comparisons to the series at large. So the stuff I find good, bad, or novel is probably older than I realize. I just felt compelled to make that disclaimer just in case.
Because I had a lot of fun with Human Revolution and its particular brand of the future. I also did a lot of sneaking and broke a lot of limbs in the process.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Breaking Into Everything: The Game)
I mostly played Human Revolution as the sneaky-sneaky type armed with a taser, the PEPS, a tranquiler rifle, and lots of fast talking. I didn't go pacifist though, as I had a shotgun for when things got heated. Also some robots I blew up killed a few guards in the process, so there's that. And I hacked a lot. I tried to hack everything I came across. There was a moment in the Sarif Industries building where I was following an e-mail trail about stolen drugs by going from office to office and cracking every computer I could find. Right there, I realized I was probably going to break into every single door, system, and building I could if it was possible. Luckily this only got old around the very last area, so it never felt like a real chore. It was always awesome to find ammo caches and money... even if I didn't use half of it. I think most of the fun I got out of this game was exploring everything. The Police Station was especially fun when I grabbed everything out of the armory.
The controls took some adjusting, but I didn't mind the shooting system. There were a few times when I took an assault rifle or the heavy rifle and tried to shoot my way into a few places just to see how it would work. Kinda wish I had invested upgrades to the targeting and recoil systems in that case, but even when I was going silent, it was fun to lure guards into corners and choke them unconscious or taze them silly. Kind of limited animations for the take downs, but there are some good ones in there. My favorite is probably where Adam Jenson folds a guys arm backwards and snaps it in a few places before punching the guy out. It's kind of hard to imagine that as non-lethal... but this is the future where you can get an artificial limb with a blade inside it so maybe it's not a huge deal.
Adam Jensen, the Aug that Fights Crime
One of my favorite parts of this game (besides hacking everything) involved the side quests. They weren't the usual "go find this thing, or kill that guy" deal, although that kind of stuff eventually figured into it. Since Adam Jensen is former SWAT of future Detroit turned super security guard, there are more than a few opportunities to get your investigation on where you're in pursuit of information rather than items. I really liked talking to people (since I had invested in the persuasion ability) and making them tell me everything I wanted to know. A few missions dig into Jensen's past, which had the right amount of mystery to it even when you reach the end of the trail. When you end up traveling to China, dealing with the local prostitutes and pimps made for a fairly cool diversion where you could frame a guy with drugs or throw him off the roof to stage an accident depending on how you deal with situations.
The down-to-earth nature of the side missions made me realize that I didn't really enjoy the main story nearly as much. Where you start out as a security guard saved from death by cybernetic technology and get sent to investigate the people who tried to kill you, the story can't help but spiral out to involve the fate of humanity, the future of artificial body parts, and long time conspiracies even characters in the game can't help but take shots at in a few scenes. Maybe it's usual for Deus Ex, but I think I would have preferred a little more grounded story involving corporate espionage or really taking aim at why Adam's boss and his doctor love interest are so interested in him. Maybe a crime drama or something to put it another way, especially since there are characters I like in this game. I think games at large should pull back from dealing with the fate of the world/humanity. Especially when high stakes like that usually hurt the ending of the game since it becomes impossible to wrap things up in a satisfying manner.
I didn't think the end of Human Revolution was the worst thing in the world, but it definitely stood out in a bad way.
How about them Boss Fights?
When Human Revolution came out, I heard the boss fights caught a lot of flak. If I'm not mistaken they were also patched or something. Either way, I didn't mind them so much. Considering I tried my best not to kill anyone, having a moment in the game where you actually had to go lethal was cathartic where I didn't have to worry about limiting casualties or being careful. The first boss fight with Barrett ended up being pretty entertaining because I shocked him with the taser and then threw explosive barrels and gas canisters at him until I won. For the second with the stealth lady, I played around with a bunch of grenades I had saved up from the mission leading up to her. By the third fight, I had enough inventory for a heavy rifle and shot up the place with hundreds of rounds. Of course, I really look forward to boss fights in a game.
I've heard that the first Deus Ex game gave you a lot more options dealing with bosses like ignoring them, or talking them down before a shot was fired or something. Which does sound really appealing if there was an option to be so damn sneaky, you could bypass a boss or find some covert way to take care of them. But for what they were, they weren't bad. Maybe except the last boss which was a kind of weird and freaky, and had tons of annoying invincible turrets (or at least I couldn't find a way to get rid of them) so I guess it wasn't all good.
Small, Unimportant Bits
To be honest, I totally picked the "I didn't ask for this" line when it came up in the game. I couldn't help it. I also thought Adam Jensen was voiced by a guy from a show called Leverage. There's an actor with long hair that has a really similar voice.
But overall, I really enjoyed Human Revolution.