Jamie is a freelance video game writer, you can follow all his video game related content on analogaddiction.org.
Published August 20th 2012
One of the best games of 2011, Deus Ex: Human Revolution
When playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I was living the life of the head of security at Sarif Industries, Adam Jensen. Sarif Industries is at the forefront of human augmentation, the basic premise being that people are undergoing procedures to upgrade their own body using technological advancements. The possibilities for good are endless, but some as with all technological advancements want to use it for evil, arms that transform into guns to cause harm to others.
The game begins with Jensen investigating a breach within Sarif HQ; he finally meets with the intruders and the augmented. Jensen is no match for the augmented super soldiers he encounters, he is placed on his death bed and is rebuilt, without his consent…Sending you into the world of intrigue, corporations and shadowy super powers, the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
I have never played a game within the Deus Ex series before, so lacked knowledge when it came to the lore and back-story of the world I was playing. The game made up for this by laying out all the information spread out in iPads, emails and other sources. This was a great addition, I found it almost Mass Effect like in the amount of detail and back-story that was there for players to divulge in if they choose too.
The hacking mechanic in Deus Ex is extremely easy once you get used to it and is a good way to farm experience when you are looking to upgrade your augmentations, my obsessive nature had me hack every unit I could find and I was never bored of the mechanic. It's fun and if you go out of your way to use it, you get little gems of information about the world around you and some interesting in-office chatter about the staff if you hack computers within Sarif HQ.
Story is one of Human Revolution strongest points, the main plot is an intriguing tale from start to finish, sure a few plot miss the mark but I enjoyed it and would classify it as my top story of last year. Plus as stated before, the main story is there but all that extra information is there to put the icing on the cake for those willing to find it. The character animations are fairly stiff, I personally have not seen lip syncing this bad since Smackdown Vs Raw 2011, at points it's disappointing that a game of this size and status could get such a minuscule detail so badly animated.
There are only a handful of main characters you will get to know during the campaign, the enemies themselves in my opinion were not well introduced. Sure their goals and reason for the attack are well explained, but the enemies themselves were just thrown at you in a boss fight rather than a hated figure. If they had done a few cut scenes from the evil side of things, I think this would have made the hatred for these characters drastically.
The biggest gripe with Deus Ex has been the boss fights, but after beating them I actually did not mind them as much as others. Sure they put you in situations sometimes where you had no ammo, minuscule amount of health and you had to deal with a boss that would not explain what exactly it was you needed to do, but it was challenging. I have not been challenged this much when it comes to boss fights in a long time, once you did get the method for their defeat it turned almost into a 3D platformer. Needing to do your run through the fight almost to perfection, using the environment and keeping your cool to win, sure they might be cheap bosses, but you I cannot deny there was an amount of satisfaction when they finally fell. Although these boss fights, did feel out of place within the spectrum of the game.
The game is huge, taking you almost 40-50 hours to complete the main quest and the side missions. The side missions are enjoyable since they are not the standard short fetch quests, these are well thought out and some of them could have their very own game due to the detail. This is the perfect example of quality over quantity, as there are about a dozen in total.
The world in Deus Ex can be explored within the hub worlds that the game provides for you, exploring these environments for the aforementioned side quests and story plot. These worlds really rely on verticality as there are buildings to climb, sewers to rummage through and a fairly expansive environment to explore for hidden extras. The hub worlds could have been more vibrant in terms of movement to try and make them seem more real, as you will see the same NPCs in the same spot every time you go by, but they did a decent job in giving you a world with enough content that it wasn't overwhelming.
The RPG detail in the game shines through your upgrade system, you gain XP by the way you play the game, earning points for exploring, stealth completion of missions or just massacring your enemies. These XP points earn you Praxis kits, which you can purchase alternatively if you choose. You are then able to upgrade your augmentations whenever you see fit, these include such things as allowing you to cloak for a certain amount of time, the ability to punch through walls and also being able to charm yourself out of situations with your silver tongue augmentation.
Jensen will charm your pants off with his husky voice. There is a great deal to upgrade and you will need to think hard every time you choose to upgrade with all the choices available. The amount of choice allows you to tailor your Jensen to be unique and allow you to play the game to your strengths, the system works great.
Deus Ex had me living and breathing the life of Adam Jensen, not only was I hooked on the game and playing almost 10 hours a day for a straight week, I dreamt about the game and when I was not playing. Well I wanted to rush home and turn my PS3 on and keep on playing. I have not been this captivated by a game since the original Mass Effect and BioShock games showing that this game is in some good company.
This is a game that you will lose a lot of social life over, but it is truly worth it, the amount of upgrades, options and ways to explore the world is marvellous. People may have trouble with boss fights but my advice is to keep at it, animations can be very stiff but if you allow yourself to overlook that aspect and enjoy all the extreme positives the game has to offer, you will be revelling in one of the greatest games 2011 had to offer.