Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review
Not just another future.
Prequels are the new sequels. Developers are now trying to tell the back story of many game franchises they started a long time ago, and Deus Ex is no different. The good thing about this is that it actually makes sense, and the world created by developer Ion Storm, almost 11 years back, is an expansive one. There is not much I remember of the original Deus Ex or its sequel Invisible war, but the theme here is pretty much the same.
The game takes place 25 years before the original, and tells the story of one Adam Jensen, the head of security of Sarif Industries, which is one of the leading companies that focus on human augmentation. After a brutal assault on the company headquarters, Adam is nearly killed in the attack. The only way to save him is to replace most of his organs and limbs with augmentations, making his more cyborg than human. Think of it as something like the transformation of Anakin to Darth Vader, with the only difference being Adam is still the good guy. Back to work after six months, Adam is hell-bent on finding the people responsible for the attack and the murder of his estranged girlfriend, Dr. Megan Reed.
When reading about Human Revolution, the term ‘cyber-punk’ shooter is used almost every time. That gives us an idea of the bleak world of Deus ex, filled with high-level conspiracy and will have you thinking of choosing sides every now and then. That is where the major part of Human Revolution’s gameplay dwells. There is no right or wrong decision, but it will change the course of the game depending on whether you choose to save a civilian’s life, for example.
With choice as the core gameplay mechanic, the player has different ways to approach a mission. There is stealth, and then there is the first-person shooter side of it. Which road you take is entirely your choice, though the end result churns out to be the same. Linked to the choices are Adam’s augmentations. That is the RPG element of the game, where one can spend praxis points, gained by earning experience points and/or by picking up praxis kits scattered around the world. Augmentations help Adam hack terminals, see through walls, quick melee two enemies at a time and even help him fall of high ledges only to land safely with the Icarus augmentation. Depending on your choice of play, different people upgrade/unlock different abilities at one time. Note that, by playing on easy or normal settings, you can unlock most augmentations a little more than halfway through the game. That’s a reason many players may choose to play side missions as they come so as to earn experience and unlock or upgrade as many augmentations as possible.
No matter what route you take, cover is the most important aspect and it can save you. The enemy AI can be quite ruthless especially if you are playing at the highest difficulty. In cover, the camera changes to a third-person mode, allowing you to peak through corners tracking the movements of the enemy, and planning your assault. After a takedown, the next step should be to hide the body before another sentry spots him and alerts the other guard. When low on ammo, it can be quite difficult to escape and alarmed situation where the best alternative is to load the last checkpoint. That is one feature that comes in handy all the time, and fortunately there is no penalty for excessive saving. I found myself using this before hacking a terminal or when I wasn’t sure what the outcome of my next decision would be. (Especially when spending praxis points).