Deus Ex: Human Revolution

aka: DX3, DXHR, Deus Ex 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Bunt Ludzkości

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 89% (based on 76 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 117 ratings with 6 reviews)

High-class gaming is back

The Good
Looking back and comparing two decades - the 1990's and the 2000's - I came to the conclusion that the former was a richer, more creative, and decidedly more innovative period of game-making. Sure, the last decade has seen its share of great games. Its biggest contribution was probably the popularization of open-world driving action; but particularly in the field of FPS / RPG hybrids, we've only been awarded with the rare delight that was Bloodlines, and saw how Fallout 3 diligently tried to break the mold. When the first Deus Ex came out, I thought that it would propel gaming into the new decade, century and millennium with its ingenious genre blend. But it didn't happen. Games didn't follow its example; even its own sequel, though still a good game, shrunk in size and scope, intimidated by the "streamlined" (read: dumbed-down) style that unfortunately became too prominent in modern gaming.

And just when I became convinced that the glorious past has been cast into oblivion, Deus Ex: Human Revolution appeared. Like a phoenix raising from the ashes of its grandfather, this game restored my faith in a better future for video games. An audacious, daring project by an inexperienced team turned out to be a grandiose achievement that instantly conquered the hearts of those who longed for deep and intelligent gameplay perfected by the first game.

Human Revolution is what most modern games are not. Small playing field, simplified gameplay mechanics and linearity are just the opposite of what this game offers. It is a vast, rich, fulfilling, clever game obviously created by people who aimed to please those who enjoyed the first Deus Ex. It is as if they have dedicated all their time and effort to studying the original game and then created a modern version of it, injecting it with a distinct personality and even correcting and enhancing what the first game lacked.

Granted, these corrections and enhancements mostly refer to significantly prettier environments, less moronically behaving (but still not very bright) enemies, locals who actually speak their own language (the Chinese speak impeccable Mandarin!) and some interesting, but minor additions such as the cool hacking mini-game (BioShock, Mass Effect and Alpha Protocol: watch and learn). For the most part, Human Revolution is typical, good old Deus Ex: crawl through vents, try not to set off the alarms, deal with pesky turrets, happily gather experience and spend it on modifying your character, all while enjoying a conspiracy story starring a softly speaking cybernetically enhanced super-agent. The concept is hardly new; the brilliance is in the execution.

The game simply does so many things right that it becomes painful to look at all those other games and wonder why they couldn't do the same. Disregarding a certain graphical monotony (which has become a Deus Ex tradition by now), level design in Human Revolution is absolutely stellar. A special award should go to whoever designed the city hubs. First of all, those areas are huge. Not only the claustrophobic corridors of Invisible War, but even the vast environments of the first game cannot compare to what you see here. Hell's Kitchen is smaller than Detroit; Hong-Kong is just a village compared to Hengsha. The latter, by the way, is positively amazing. This breathtaking, sprawling city that takes hours to explore to the full is one of the most awe-inspiring areas I have ever seen in a video game; a chunk of tasty, delicious gaming meat to sink your teeth into.

Hostile areas are on par with the hubs: large, complex, and interesting to explore. There is an enormous amount of optional rooms to visit. There are tons of things to do and find everywhere. Discovering secret passages, hunting for rare and valuable items, fooling around with security devices, planning alternate routes, reading other people's e-mails - there is no end to it, and it's always rewarding. Human Revolution casts you into a generous, fascinating, detailed world, and you can take a break from the storyline's goals at any time - just hang around, chat with people, enjoy just being there.

Invisible War did away with RPG elements; Human Revolution triumphantly brings them back. In fact, in some ways this game is more of an RPG than the first one. Everything is now awarded with experience points, and the game marvelously conveys a feeling of constant growth and achievement. Hacked a security terminal? Got experience. Pushed away a candy machine and discovered a vent behind? Got experience. Shot an enemy in the head? You are "Marksman"; 10 XP. Tackled an enemy in melee? More experience for non-lethal takedown. Completed a whole level without triggering alarms? "Smooth Operator" achievement, XP reward. You aren't just allowed to accommodate the game to your own playing style; you are being rewarded for whatever style you choose, at the same time gently reminded that another, harder way might be even more rewarding. This is pure design excellence.

Want more role-playing? There are interesting side quests that are more numerous and involving than in both predecessors. You are prompted to make moral decisions not only to determine the game's ending, but also at various points of the story. Dealing with a hostage situation, saving your partner's life at the risk of jeopardizing the mission - there are all kinds of tough situations that provide delightful role-playing. On top of that, the well-written, psychologically astute "conversation battles" add even more depth to the role-playing. From time to time, you'll have to engage in mental duels against prominent characters in the game, defeating them by selecting dialogue options divided into various approach patterns. Winning or losing such a "battle" is in many cases a matter of life and death. And of course, the game's ending depends on your support towards a certain ideology, just like in the previous installments.

The story in this game is, frankly, a bit of a mixed bag. We've seen very similar stuff in the two previous games; furthermore, it is hampered by a few out-of-place sequences that make the narrative uneven in quality. However, there is still plenty of gold to be found in this story. Most of the dialogue is clever and well-written (and well-acted, for the first time in the series); major characters are convincingly portrayed; grand conspiracies and philosophical undertones still inspire and make us think. It is perhaps not the best story ever conceived for a video game, but it is still more interesting and competently executed than most of the other stuff out there.

The Bad
No game is perfect, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution has its (very small) share of dubious design choices. I can already hear everyone scream "boss battles!"; while I do join the cry, my reasons are perhaps a bit different. Honestly, I didn't hate the boss battles themselves. It's nice to have an adrenaline rush after hours of methodical exploration, sneaking, hacking, vent-crawling, accurate headshots, and other predominantly cerebral (in video game terms) activities. However, what bothered me in those battles was their almost complete detachment from the game's story, their discrepancy with the game's tone. You defeat four or five circus freaks who might have just barely failed an audition for correspondent roles in a Metal Gear Solid game. Those people either say nothing at all or blurt out painful B-movie-esque phrases that tarnish the game's intellectual image. By far the worst characters in the game are those bosses; it is as if a different person with clearly inferior skills wrote their dialogues that somehow got through the testing and made it into the final version. Were the developers afraid that their game turned out to be too mature and intelligent? Was it a nostalgic throwback to arcade times? A nod to the Japanese enforced by the mighty publisher? Here is another fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

I missed melee weapons; but even more than those I missed interactivity. This was, for me, the game's most disappointing aspect. Its two predecessors had marvelous physics systems that allowed you to manipulate pretty much everything you saw. Sadly, in Human Revolution this interactivity is restricted to a few repetitive objects: crates, soda machines, and an occasional stand-out item such as the traditional basketball. The graphics in the game are very detailed; but for the most part, what you see are mere decorations.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex: Human Revolution gives us what we've been craving for: smart, classy, generous gaming. It elegantly recreates the greatness of the first game, boldly fulfilling the tremendous expectations. Above all, it proves that the groundbreaking achievements of its progenitor (and also of System Shock and even Ultima Underworld games before it) have not vanished; the great tradition lives on in this modern classic. Along with Fallout: New Vegas, it is a bright beacon that illuminates the way into the new decade, and an example of what modern game designers should strive for.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (180489) · 2011

One of these nights it will happen to you...

The Good
+ The entire game takes place at night. This feature alone makes Deus Ex: Human Revolution ten times more immersive and moody than these games: Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 3, games that have a day-night cycle. Day-night cycles are stupid. Even Max Payne 3 had daytime missions, which just broke the atmosphere so bad.

  • Plenty of civilians in the game world. An abundance of friendly NPCs. This is BioShock except you're not alone and it's not scary one bit. There's a lot of dialogue to listen to. This game world is much more believable than, say, Grand Theft Auto V, because you can actually talk to people.

  • The third game in the series, Human Revolution remains intelligent like the original Deus Ex. You're not just running around killing people (GTA5 is basically that). You feel like a tourist in the city, wandering the city streets at night, admiring the neon lights. If the average shooter is loud rock music, then I would say that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is ambient techno, downtempo electronic, with a very relaxed and laid-back mood.

  • Lots of non-lethal options to deal with an enemy. You have the Stun Gun, PEP Packs, Tranquilizer Darts, Melee Takedown and more. You'll want to avoid killing enemies. You just render them unconscious.

  • So here's the nicest thing I have to say about this game: It may not feel special when you're playing through it, but months after you beat it, on one of these nights, you may find yourself casually walking down the streets, and say, "Hey, I've seen this neon light. I recognize this warehouse. I know this place. I've been here before, in a video game."

  • Classic Diablo-style grid-based inventory system. This is a nod to the old school. Modern games just don't have the grid-based inventory anymore. Diablo III doesn't have it. In BioShock you don't even have a backpack. But in the good old days lots of games had the grid inventory system: System Shock 2, Commandos 2, Deus Ex, Diablo II. Now in the year 2011, Deus Ex: Human Revolution sticks to this system, which is respectable.

  • What makes the Diablo-style inventory screen so compelling? The weapons! You can clearly see that some weapons are bigger than others. There are a few guns (e.g. the rocket launcher) in Human Revolution that take up half of your inventory screen. Depending on how big your TV screen is, this gun just looks huge. WOW. I could never forget that. I thought the Fuel Rod in Halo: Reach was huge. But it's no comparison to the big guns in this game.

And you don't get this stuff in any other shooter, because they don't have the Diablo-style inventory screen.

  • Classic System Shock 2 font. Yeah, I'm talking about the font. It brings back so many good memories. Just like in System Shock 2, you get lots of well-written descriptions of items, guns, ammunition and stuff.

  • There's a particular skill called "Icarus Landing System". This skill is alright, you'll want to upgrade it, no problem there, but the really important thing is that it's been a long time since I heard anything that sounds as cool as "Icarus Landing System" in a game. Not only that, you get to see this awesome skill name in the classic System Shock 2 font.

    The Bad
    - There's a stupid cutscene that plays every time you knock someone unconscious. You can't turn this cutscene off. It's annoying after two or three times, but the game forces you to watch it hundreds of times. No kidding.

  • On the Xbox 360, loading times are atrocious. If you make a mistake somewhere in the level, and if you are actually playing games for fun, you'll want to forget about the mistake and move on. You do NOT want to load the last save and try it again. Because it'll take about 30 seconds just to load the save. In another shooter this is fine, but Deus Ex is known for its stealth gameplay. You want to stay undetected. If you are detected, you'll certainly want to load the last save and try it again. See the dilemma here?

  • Clunky interface. The interface is definitely not easy to use, but it's a console RPG game so what do you expect.

  • Unbalanced skills. Some skills are infinitely useless (who designed this?). Some skills are very tiring to use. When I say tiring, I mean that you have to press a series of buttons and keep track two or three things happening at the same time. That's not how I would want to play this game. I want the ambient downtempo laid-back style.

  • The game clearly encourages stealth. You get tons of experience points for stealth. But I found myself upgrading all the non-stealth skills near the end. I was tired of the constant loading screens and just wanted to beat it quickly.

  • A good example is the invisibility skill. Enemies can't see you. Cool huh? However, they can still hear you. So you need to keep track of another skill that eliminates the sound you make. On top of this, you have to worry about battery consumption and all kinds of stuff. So I just got tired of this stuff and relied on grenades and heavy firepower instead.

    The Bottom Line
    As mentioned above, Deus Ex: Human Revolution has lots of awesome qualities, as well as lots of unforgivable problems. Maybe that's what makes it Human.

Xbox 360 · by Pagen HD (145) · 2016

An OK sequel

The Good
What I liked most about Human Revolution is how the developers exercised a good deal of moderation in dumbing it down. For example, they introduced regenerating health, which is normally considered a dumb feature, but they also made the weapon damage high and the regeneration slow, thus negating some of the dumbness. They removed skills, but deepened augmentations. And so on... Overall it's nowhere near the disaster Oblivion or BioShock were.

In some ways, it's better than the first Deus Ex. The dialogues are deeper, and there seem to be more choices and consequences (I only finished it once), the graphics are of course a lot more detailed, and the engine renders the atmospheric environments well. I liked it a lot better than the shiny Unreal3 look from other contemporary games. Performance is fine too (at least on DX9.)

Aesthetically, it's quite pleasing. The Detroit area is the weakest. The other hub has some beautiful environments, and the missions have their striking moments too (except a certain dock mission, which is both visually boring and poorly motivated).

The side quests are interesting. Most of them somehow tie into the augmentation debate - the brainwashed mercenary-assassin who starts killing his employers, the prostitutes who are forced into augmentations to enhance their clients' pleasure (yikes), etc. They are comparable or better than anything the original had to offer.

The Bad
What bothered me the most was that they changed the gray, realistic visuals from Deus Ex into something that reminds me more of cyberpunk anime, which makes it lose some of its impact. For example when a character talks about private security forces as 'capitalism's final encroachment into one of the most lucrative industries' it's actually quite a deep thought that's relevant to our modern world, but because it's said by a cartoonish character in a cartoonish world, it will hardly register.

Then there are the three unavoidable boss fights that happen in small rooms and can only be defeated by shooting them long enough (and it does take a long time). I don't know why they put these in. Deus Ex is about being sneaky and clever. It's not about shooting a tank-like character in the face fifty times while dodging infinite bullets and grenades. It's almost like fighting bosses in a platformer.

Then there's the small stuff, like the third person cover and take-down mechanics, the much more game-y interface, the use of a quest compass (which is useful, but only because the map is so useless), lack of detailed locational damage, skills, lockpicks, etc.

The main storyline events are really dumb. For example, at one point, you have to figure out a freighter's destination. Well, we're the head of security of a mega-corporation in a cyberpunk setting, so how will we approach this? Will we attach a tracking chip to the ship? Will we watch it from orbit? From a plane? No? A boat then? How about hacking a computer for the schedule, or interrogating a dock worker with our arm blades? Nope, hobo Jensen decides he's going to hide in a cargo container to see where it's going.

The Bottom Line
It's... okay. It's better than Deus Ex in some ways and worse then Deus Ex in some ways. In most ways it's the same - and that's the problem. It's been ten years since DX1 came out, and one expects a certain amount of progress and increase in depth which Human Revolution hasn't delivered. It could've been more open, the world could've been more reactive, it could've partly simulated an economy and ecology, whatever. It could've been different, but instead it is too much of the same.

Windows · by dorian grey (241) · 2011

Deus Ex Lite: FPS Edition

The Good
It is sad to see that Eidos jumped on the bandwagon with their flagship RPG series, and went the Bioware route. Meaning that first they kickstart an awesome, intricate, deep RPG franchise, then they proceed to ruin it to oblivion in its sequel(s) which end up being glorified First Person Shooters with mild RPG touches and very non-RPG-ish boss fights. FPS's are easier to develop and easier to market to the teen crowd, so I see the incentive. But really, what's next? Deus Ex 4: The iPhone Arcade Game? Anyway, there's still plenty to like here, so let's see:

This game is strong on atmosphere; sometimes that translates to oppressive, foreboding urban landscapes (Detroit), sometimes to exotic locales that ooze Oriental mystery and intrigue (China). Even the sterile office building interiors in this game are verisimilar and atmospheric.

Another strong point is imagination and immersion: the game dreams up a believable, fairly dystopian 2027 where we witness a widening gap between those who can afford flashy high-tech augmentations and those who cannot. The game takes its elaborate political-scientific-economic setup for granted and builds it from there, remaining very consequential and serious throughout in its depiction. No lazy shortcuts, no deal-breaking wink-wink-nudge-nudge allusions to the present day as a lesser sci-fi game would resort to. DE:HR is a mature attempt at imagining a possible, persistent 2027. In this regard, it is up there with Blade Runner's 2019 and Mass Effect's 2183.

As a consequence of the above, all the dialogs and the characters are very good, almost too good for an action RPG. Sarif is my favorite example: a charismatic, enigmatic leader and a love-hate father figure to our hero, he always has another revelation or two up his sleeve. The conversations in general are multi-layered, eloquent, emotionally mature and unpredictable. They should be good, as they are written by novelist James Swallow and veteran lead writer Mary DeMarle.

On a more technical note, this game has the best cover system I've experienced in an FPS/3PS yet. It's practical, very useful and easy to master. It's even great to look at: whenever Adam leans next to a wall in his aug-sunglasses, silenced gun in hand, and an enemy guard approaches from around the corner (as it occurs dozens of times in the game), it looks just like a shot from some cool sci-fi comics. As far as cover systems go, I hope future action games look at DE:HR and take it from there.

The Bad
This is an FPS. Granted, this is an FPS that can be optionally played as a survival stealth game. Yet it was marketed as an RPG. If it walks like a duck and quacks... you know the rest. The game actually becomes unapologetic in its FPS-ness by the second half. The focus shifts to sneaking, evading turrets and upgrading your weaponry so you finally have a chance against Jamar and Zhao, the last two bosses.

Oh yes, don't get me started on the boss fights. These are the equivalent of Eidos's ultimate testimony that they WERE thinking on FPS terms with this game.

Then there is the problem of repetitiveness in the second half, again a typical FPS trait. The Montreal stage is a seemingly endless array of boring office rooms and vent ducts. Much of the Singapore stage is, surprise, a seemingly endless array of boring office rooms and vent ducts. The following Panchaea stage, however, is quite brilliant, as if the project leader finally burst out: "Guys, we need to end this one with a bang! No more office rooms and vent ducts, use your head! This is s'posed to be a Deus Ex game!" It ended up as an odd out-of-place homage to Half Life 1 (and even to Left4Dead), but I loved it.

The Bottom Line
When taken at face value and not as the latest entry of a venerable RPG franchise, DE:HR proves to be a very playable FPS with some RPG elements, in fact it stands out as probably the best of its kind this year. It's much longer and more interesting than other 2011 FPS/3PS titles I've played. Problems arise when we realize that it's supposed to be a full-blooded prequel to Deus Ex. THE Deus Ex. The fact is, Eidos went the safest, trendiest route here and tried to appease both contemporary fan camps: the newer generation of hardcore action afficionados (who were reared on Quake 3 and Half Life 2) and the older generation of actual Deus Ex fans. As Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 2 have proved just before DE:HR, you can't have the best of both worlds in RPG gaming: you either go "deep, hardcore RPG" or you're lite and flawed. Deus Ex has just joined the club of flawed game franchises.

And yet Deus Ex: Human Revolution excels in one aspect: give me its memorable vision of a 2027 Shanghai any day.

Windows · by András Gregorik (59) · 2011

The pinnacle of "meh"

The Good
The story and characters are top notch.

Hacking involves a fun mini-game.

Above-average voice-acting.

The Bad
Too much reading to get any context.

Gameplay is not as enjoyable as previous entries.

Unimpressive visuals.

No lock-picking!!!

Level-design straight from the Doom mapmaker.

The Bottom Line
Story:

The plot in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is centered around a moral question, which it explores from all possible angles. The question is “should humanity control its own evolution” and it’s an issue that we might have to deal with ourselves very soon. People can already replace parts of their body with artificial ones, but how long will it take before we can not only replace, but also improve?

At the start of the game we are in an office and we learn about Sarif Industries. The protagonist is Adam Jensen, a security officer for the corporation and a very regular person. The company is about to present the latest developments in technology to a congress when augmented mercenaries attack the building and destroy most of it, including Adam. The character is restored over the course of six months, which involves implanting a number of mechanical parts in his body. When Adam returns he is send out to discover what happened to the science team and how to get their company back on track.

The plot itself is rather intriguing and the pace is very fantastic, so you are constantly discovering new secrets and plot-threads as you play. Each character you meet is also fairly interesting and has his or her own ideas about the main question that hovers over the story. What makes this work, though, is that the game never forces an opinion on you and instead allows you to come to your own conclusions. It could be used to indoctrinate the audience, but instead serves as an informative tool that presents us with a very plausible future. There were a few moments where the game felt a little too much like Syndicate to me (i.e. having me run errands for a global corporation), but it will definitely keep you interested more than the sometimes easily-distracted original Deus Ex.

Gameplay:

The main feature of the franchise has always been the premise of been able to resolve each issue in different ways, the core mechanics been sneaking, hacking and fighting. If you need to get inside a building, for example, then it’s possible to do so by killing soldiers for a key, hacking the terminal next to the door or finding a secret entrance. This means that you can freely invest in any set of skills and never truly get stuck on anything, but I do fear that this entry misses the point somewhat. While moving through the levels, the old formula applies perfectly, but a number of boss-fights will instantly force you into fighting. The original would also contain boss-fights, but it was easily possible to sneak past most of them, run away or even persuade them into becoming friendly. No such luck this time around.

Combat itself is about what you’d expect from a decent first-person shooter and thus not terribly interesting. Each weapon can be upgraded with certain kits, though, so you can make some really overpowered toys for yourself. Sneaking is largely cover-based and functions by holding the right mouse-button when close to any kind of wall, from this position you can then poke your head out for some tactical overview, move around and even roll to cover distances between walls. There is however a lack of execution moves that you can perform from in cover, so in order to get rid of approaching guards, you’ll have to kneel down manually and hope the random AI doesn’t detect you too early. Hacking is done with a little mini-game that has you making your way through a network by capturing virtual nodes. I found this to be the most interesting approach, since there are extras to pick up and it can be really challenging when you are detected too early and quickly need to capture the right points.

On the more negative side, lock-picking has been removed entirely, as well the spy drone and some other features. Instead of the very limited and focused set of skills you would get in the original, you know get to choose any upgrade after each level up or by finding special items. This is such a fast progress that you’ll pretty much end up been able to handle any situation in every way, which makes it both less challenging and less worthwhile. It’s also a slow process to clear out an area, hack every stupid computer, move through every vent and then finish you’re actual mission just to get all the upgrade points. There was a point at which I just stopped upgrading because I had almost everything that was useful already; this point was two hours before the final mission even started.

Presentation:

This part of the game left me rather stumped, because I now feel like I am completely missing out on something. People have called this game beautiful and stunning, but all I see is a decently looking modern game that occasionally pisses itself. The focus on yellow is somewhat interesting, but often the game uses blocky imagery (probably on purpose), which is severely out-of-place in an otherwise realistic game. During some conversations with female characters, the upper-body also seemed unfinished. I did enjoy the fact that Jensen always wears sunglasses in order to display the HUD, it’s a simple touch, but it fit the game well and made for some entertaining scenes where his sensors got jammed.

Voice-acting has always been a big miss with the franchise, but this one pulls it off relatively well. Actors give another layer of personality to the characters they are voicing and put in genuine effort to make even the smaller characters come to life. Adam himself is a bit of a boring twat, though, which neatly resembles the level-design. Each area is made through a checklist, which makes sure each section has enough chest-high walls surrounding the flanks and a few vents that lead the player around enemies. The presentation is shaky at best and aggravating at worst.

End-game content:

Deus Ex is typically a game that simply ends after the last mission, but this one has some points that make it worth replaying. For one: it’s entertaining to see how different choices throughout the game can change the dialogue and events you run into. Some choices also ascend past the binary “good” or “bad” choices, which fits well with the game’s focus on morality. That doesn’t mean I didn't instantly uninstall the game after finishing it once, though, so replays are optional for the die-hard fans and financially weak.

Verdict:

You play Human Revolution for the story and atmosphere, but the lacking gameplay does show up a little too often. A lot of players will find themselves getting stuck on bosses even when playing on Easy, which goes directly against the premise of the game. If you can find this game on sale or at about 15 euros/20 dollars, then it’s worth a purchase for the plotline alone. Veterans of the franchise will probably feel a little betrayed, though.

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2013

Woah.... Huh....

The Good
Okay so... Most people probably remember how I absolutely trashed the first Deus Ex game. I was intrigued by its premise but thought the RPG elements were poorly implemented and systematically ruined the game with its poor collision detection and laughable AI. Since Deus Ex: Invisible War was widely trashed by fans of the first game I decided to ignore it completely, but when Human Revolution came out I decided to pick it up to see if it had fixed the mistakes of the first game. After playing it, I can attest that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is everything the first game needed to be and more. This is by far one of the deepest games I've ever played (it's not like I play many deep games, but yeah) and definitely one of the most satisfying. It's an intriguing mixture of action and stealth with a compelling storyline to boot. It introduces some new concepts and definitely tries to "appeal" to the current crowd with stuff such as regenerating health and a cover system, but you'd be surprised on how well these mechanics work in the game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set in the not-so-far future (2027 or something if I remember correctly) and the player takes control of Adam Jensen, the chief of security for the Sarif Industries, one of the leading industries in the field of Mechanical Augmentations. Basically in this new era and age it is possible to enhance or completely replace human body parts with mechanical ones, allowing many to become "superhumans" of sorts. Naturally this does have negative consequences as many people lose their jobs or are unable to afford augmentations, causing the rise of "humanity purists" groups who strongly oppose augmentations. Whatever though, you'll get to see the rest of the social-political talk once you play the game. Anyway, one fateful day Sarif Industries is attacked by an unknown group of mercenaries who attack the offices of the lead scientist Megan Reed (Adam's love interest) and her team, killing many scientists and Adam Jensen himself in the process. He didn't suffer brain damage however, and thanks to the advanced augmentation technology Adam's body is restored to life. Now augmented against his own will, his body reacts better than usual to the augmentations and he's tasked with finding the ones responsible with the attack, traveling across the globe and uncovering a huge conspiracy in the process. The storyline is interesting and well done. There is a lot of text to page through but this is usually well written and genuinely contains some interesting questions and fears for the future.

The game itself can either be played as a First Person Shooter or a Stealth game. Adam will have access to a variety of weapons for many purposes, from tazers to machineguns, from laser rifles to pulse cannons. These can either kill or knock out an enemy. Generally the game rewards you more for being non-lethal but let's face it, when facing some of the evil mercenaries it's more satisfying to kill them outright (and by that time you don't need as much experience as at the start anyway). There are some interesting gunfights in the game, for example the warehouse ambush in Hengsha or the Alice Garden assault.

As with the first game there is a lot of hacking involved, as you'll have to unlock terminals and computers to reveal hidden items or important information. One thing I didn't like is that some of the computers you hack contain absolutely no relevant or interesting information whatsoever (a few contain comic relief at least), so what's the point besides getting more experience? Hacking gets harder as the game progresses but for that reason there's upgrades related to it.

The fishy melee aspects of Deus Ex 1 have been replaced with a new Takedown feature which works very well. When close to an enemy, pressing the B button will show a cinematic where Jensen knocks out or kills an enemy in numerous ways, effectively making melee based entirely on cinematic. These are fairly entertaining to watch however and are monumentally better than the useless weapons in the first game, and they can either be lethal or non-lethal.

RPG elements come in the form of enhancing or purchasing augmentations that allow Jensen to gain new abilities, like being able to take down two people at once, improve his resistance to enemy fire, being able to turn invisible for a few seconds, and many other cool stuff. I'm usually not a fan of RPG elements as they tend to unnecessarily slow down a game for seemingly no good reason, but I have to say these were done rather well. Purchasing is done through Praxis kits: these can either be purchased or acquired with 5000 experience points every time (and sometimes found in secret areas). I'm also glad they took out the horrible detailed locational damage which was just a chore and not fun at all.

By far the most satisfying aspect of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that enemies actually die (or fall asleep) when you shoot them! In the first game, the aiming was so awful that even after waiting 30 seconds for the crosshair to adjust its position it was still almost impossible to get a decent shot at anyone, but here aiming is absolutely dead-on, and even without the (obligatory) upgrades for it it's still somewhat respectable.

Most people despise the bosses because they "feel out of place", but these people don't seem to realize that Deus Ex Human Revolution is ALSO a shooter and the bosses empathize the shooter elements of the game. To be honest, the first one can be defeated in 5 seconds with the sniper rifle and the final boss makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (I have no idea how I defeated it but I did so without even taking damage). However, the second and third bosses were exceptionally fun and there is more than one strategy in taking them out. And yes, shooting them repeatedly is FUN.

The game gives you some main missions and various side missions, and there are various ways to finish and approach each one. There are many choices that can be made, both story-wise and gameplay-wise. To be honest, none of these choices have any relevance to the ending whatsoever, so perhaps some will wonder what the point is, but it's a nice touch nonetheless.

The controls in general are very good, as mentioned there is a cover feature which works very well (and in which the game wisely switches to a third-person mode), and in general it's easy to navigate the surrounding areas without getting spotted by enemies (watch out for the cameras and robots though!).

The graphics are mostly good, although they are a bit too dark at times (well, the game takes place at night almost all the time) and there is a yellow "glow" to everything (this can be disabled on the PC version from what I know, making the game significantly better looking).

The sound department is alright, all weapons sound as good as they should and the voice acting (well, at least in the italian version) is respectable. During gunfights appropriately "dramatic" music plays and during stealth sequence eerie ambient music is played.

You know, I just kind of hate when games often focus on complex story-telling and "deep" RPG elements and completely ignore important issues like bad collision detection or simply unengaging gameplay. When the focus switches to style over substance. Why can't we have both? Deus Ex Human Revolution succeeds mostly because it is able to have a good story and provide a reasonably deep gaming experience, but at the same time the gameplay aspects of the game are satisfying enough. There are other games that manage to provide both depth and fun, but I think that in this year and age it is time to realize that videogames are, in the first place, videogames, and not virtual books. That is the lesson Deus Ex Human Revolution teaches, and I hope it's something that other developers will see as a reference as time goes on.

The Bad
Well there are quite a few things I didn't like about this. For one thing, what I certainly didn't like were the atrociously SLOW load times. I honestly am not sure if I spent more time playing the game or watching the load times. I suppose considering you can pretty much save anywhere (unlike most modern games) that is to be expected, but that doesn't mean I didn't find it to be annoying. We're talking about 20-40 seconds load times here.

The inventory space could have also been slightly enhanced, I know it's possible to do that with augmentations but I often had to drop items I could have needed to get new weapons and that was just annoying. Oh well.

The game definitely has a slow start and I believe a few more of the augmentations should have been enabled from the start (for example at least the first Armor upgrade, Jensen is so fragile that he can be killed by ONE gunshot without upgrades.)

Another minor issue I have is that sometimes in Hengsha and Detroit there is a lot of traveling to be done just to talk to someone and it gets boring very quickly, unless you purchase the running upgrades early on.

The Bottom Line
Despite its flaws however, the more I played the game, the more I liked it .Overall I would have to say that it really is a well crafted adventure that manages to stay true to the original's formula while making it more "accessible" and, most importantly, removing the pitiful collision detection and AI of the first game, managing to be the mixture between FPS, Stealth and deep story-telling that the original could not fully achieve. It is a very deep experience that any experienced gamer is sure to enjoy from start to end. Not just the gameplay, but even the theme of it is enjoyable and aspects such as the social battles really should be used by more games. Deus Ex: Human Revolution may probably frustrate casual gamers, but anyone willing to put some time into it will surely be rewarded. Definitely one of the best games of recent times. In fact, this is so good that it makes me want to completely reconsider my opinion on the first game. Whichever the case, after hearing a lot of praise regarding Deus Ex's deep, for the first time I can finally say "Yeah, I get it.".

Xbox 360 · by CKeen The Great (160) · 2012

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Caliner, Cavalary, Tao_, Caelestis, Evgenii Andzhe, ryanbus84, Alsy, Big John WV, CalaisianMindthief, Paul Ryan, Alaka, Bjorn Holine, ALEX ST-AMOUR, Patrick Bregger, Coldstone, Cantillon, jaXen, CrankyStorming, Yearman, Tim Janssen, Nicolas Amrani, Samuel Smith.