“Deus Ex: Human Revolution” is divine

By Glenn Battishill

After a lackluster start to 2011’s gaming year, “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” comes like the hand of God to give gamers the action-stealth-rpg they’ve been waiting for.

From Eidos Montreal studios comes “Human Revolution” the prequel to the critically acclaimed “Deus Ex” which was a glowing example to game developers on the matters of plot, story, and gameplay but could be a bit dodgy and buggy at times.

The setting is the near future where technological and biological augmentations are on the verge of commonplace. You play as Adam Jensen, the head of security for Sarif industries, the leading company in augmentations.

After an attack on the facility, Adam finds himself more machine than man and in a race against time to try and get to the bottom of attack.

The game is quick to start but immediately turns players loose to play the game however they like. The “Deus Ex” series has always been about decisions and play style. For example, at the start of the game I was tasked with breaking into the home of a drug dealer in order to steal blackmail that would clear a friend’s name. Being the sneaky person that I am, I chose to activate my stealth augments in order to hack into the security garage and then, taking an access shaft to the roof, finally dropping into their apartment.

When a rival dealer had a similar idea and tried to break in, I humanely knocked him out and left the building completely unseen. I peacefully settled the dispute and even took care of the rival drug gang in order to help out my friend.

Out of curiosity, I looked up someone else’s playthrough, only to discover that shooting your way through the building works just as well.

The game lets you play any way you like with stealth and hacking being the augments I upgraded first. I purposefully avoided any combat upgrades like armor or weapons training.

The combat actually feels frantic and stressful, and the level design caters to any style of gameplay. On occasion you must complete speech puzzles to persuade people or question them and these sections are very intuitive and immersive.

The whole game’s plot feels real and immersive, and I cannot understate how well all the game’s mechanics work with each other.

On the plus side, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in the past few years and easily the best one I’ve played all year. The pacing and characters are great and the world feels fleshed out. Plus there are random shout outs to various other fictional characters, including a policeman’s hackable terminal under the name “RDeckard” and a sarcastic medical email from “Greg H. M.D.”

On the downside, the main character’s voice can sound like gravel being shoveled into a garbage disposal and the boss fights are always knock out shooting matches so players who focused on evasion or stealth will have a hard time without all the combat upgrades.

All in all, it is a shining example of how to execute a stealth action role playing game and how to tell a good story as a whole.