I really enjoyed the previous Deus Ex games. Sure the first one was really unbalanced at the start but after Warren Specter told me to give it another go it became very special very quickly after that first mission. About ten years later I’ve just completed Human Revolution on the Xbox 360 and, whilst it still has some flaws, it’s also a very good piece of science fiction role-playing.
You play as Adam Jensen, a security contractor for Sarif industries that not only makes augmentations for people but is also on the verge of a very big announcement. After an on-rails segment that sets the scene the company is soon attacked and you and all the scientists there are left for dead.
Cue a Robocop-style ‘we can save him’ scene and you’re back in the saddle six months later with loads of lovely upgradeable powers such as armour plating, eyes that can see through walls, a brain that can hack computers and fists that can punch through walls!
This is best described as a first-person action role-playing game. If you want to just blast your way through everyone that’s up to you, but you can also choose to charm your way into restricted areas or persuade people not to do something naughty by analysing their behaviour and answering accordingly, sneak your way past through air vents, hack your way into back doors or just become invisible for a short time to get where you need to be. Some of your powers absorb no energy and others drain it fast. Depending on how you upgrade changes the way you may play further down the line but at least it’s your choice so it should suit your play style.
You may spend a lot of time hacking into computers to retrieve information or play with security bots and cameras. You do this by selecting nodes and as you do this, you’re shown a percentage of being caught. If you are, the computer begins to trace you and it’s a race to the end. It’s confusing at first but soon you get the hang of it and strangely, it can actually get your heart pumping.
Your heart will also race during combat. This time, they’ve opted for a cover system which pulls out from first-person to third-person when you go against walls and boxes. It’s also useful for seeing where guards are when sneaking around. This may take away from the immersion slightly but definitely improves combat as your enemies try to flank you or chuck EMP grenades at you to try and fry your circuits.
Graphically, at least on the Xbox 360, I did expect better. I’ve seen much better looking games on the Xbox 360 and the textures on people and scenery are inconsistent. However, the voice acting is of a high standard (even if Jensen sounds like he smokes 100 a day and Hugh Darrow seems to have just stepped out of a Shakespeare play) and the music is superb. It reminds me of the music from Tron Legacy which is no bad thing I can assure you! Despite the graphics lacking a little, the world is still very believable and a joy to explore. You’ll be doing main and side quests around Detroit, the island of Heng-Sha, in Shanghai and Montreal as you search for the missing scientists and try to piece together why the attack happened and just who all the interested parties are who are causing all the chaos in the game.
The game will take you between 20 and 30 hours to complete and genuinely had me gripped from start to finish. If you like your futuristic sci-fi then Deus Ex: Human Revolution may just be the fix you need before you get to grips with Mass Effect 3 in March. It gets an almost perfect 9 out of 10.
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