Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third installment into the Deus Ex series and is a prequel to the original. Your character, Adam Jensen, is an ex-SWAT security chief for Sarif corporation which specializes in biomodifications. They aren’t the only player in this lucrative industry, and are the victims of some devastating terrorist attacks.
Human Revolution begins with a massive attack on the headquarters that takes out many of their chief scientists and leaves your character critically injured. To survive, you are given robotic enhancements that can grant you various abilities. These biomodifications are known in the game as augmentations or “augs”.
To enable these abilities, you have to use Praxis kits which you can acquire by finding them, buying them, or earning them with experience. Unlocking a new ability costs two Praxis points, while upgrading an ability only costs one.
Some of my favorite abilities include the rebreather, which lets you breathe in poison gas, or the ability to punch your way through some weakened walls. Seeing through walls is another cool ability, along with the Icarus landing system that lets you fall several stories without injury.
Hacking is an ability that should be upgraded (sooner rather than later) which allows you to gain access to computers, safes, and key-coded apartments. Hacking isn’t always necessary since you can find many pass codes on PDAs, or even written on Post-it notes on a user’s desk. Unlike the previous Deus Ex games there are no multitools, but there are virus programs that you can use to bypass nodes or stop the computer from tracing you for a few seconds.
Exploring is key and you are both rewarded and punished for it. When there is a hostage situation, you have to react quickly and not explore, or lives will be lost. There’s a time and place for exploring, and when the time is right you can earn experience points by going off the beaten path. Experience is also earned by completing missions and taking out enemies. Like many role playing games, there are side quests available that often pay well.
This is a game of choices. You can choose how to talk to people, and your responses will determine if they will help you or blow you off. Fortunately, there’s an augmentation that lets you read people’s personality types or even secrete pheromones to get them to be more receptive to you.
You will have many enemies in this game and it’s up to you to take care of them. You can spray them with bullets or take them out mercifully by knocking them out, using a stun gun, or perhaps tranquilizer darts. The only people you HAVE to kill are the bosses.
I personally did not like the boss battles. Yes, they had their place in the story, but I wish you had choices on how to take them out like everyone else. Unlike many first person shooter games, you cannot enter a room full of enemies with guns blazing and expect to survive. You have to think and evaluate your way through a situation. I have done many sneak attacks by crawling through air ducts and picking off units one by one. If your character is loaded with stealthy augmentations, you’ll be in a world of pain when it comes to the boss battles. There are no air ducts to crawl into or turrets to hack and re-program.
If you find the boss battles too hard, you can change your difficulty mid-game. There’s a ”just tell me a story” mode, normal, and a challenging difficulty level. It took me about twenty seven hours to complete the game and I watched the four endings that were available (They were all good!). There is no multiplayer, but there are some downloadable content packages in the works.
Since this is a Steam game there are various achievements available. A notable one was “Kevorkian Complex” for helping a mortally injured man commit suicide. The game saves are stored on the Steam Cloud so playing on multiple computers is a breeze as long as you have internet connectivity.
I got the pre-order Augmented Edition which started my character off with a decent gun, 10,000 in game currency, and the sound track. The music in this game is great and reminds me of the music from the original. Adam Jensen’s voice reminds me of Clint Eastwood and makes him gruff and 'don’t mess with me' manly. While his voice fits, some of the voices didn't match some of the other characters. The rest of the sound effects and background noises seemed to be spot on.
Graphically this game has lots of eye candy. When you perform a takedown, the game will go into slow motion as you sneak up and break some bones or knock someone unconscious. The Icarus landing system is fun to watch deploy along with the Typhoon defense system. There are many rendered cut scenes and while I found them entertaining, they were limiting as well. Those are conversations that you cannot control, and you may have a suave Adam Jensen or an Adam Jensen that’s a jerk. With the cut scenes, you have no control.
As I mentioned earlier, you can control the violence. You can play with crossbows, rocket launchers, grenades, mines, and guns galore or you can take them out mercifully. There will be bloodshed no matter what path you take. Swearing is prevalent, especially in stressful situations for your character and the enemies that know you’re nearby. While there are no sex scenes, there are plenty of sexual references and there’s even a side quest that you can get at a brothel. Lastly, drug and alcohol use is seen as well.
Moral issues aside, this is a well written game that is quite a fun ride. I liked having to think my way out of sticky situations as well as smooth talking and hacking my way around. While there is a lot of freedom, there are times that I felt limited as well. Unlike Invisible War, you get a solid twenty five plus hours and it has the same feel of the original. If you enjoyed the previous games, you won’t want to miss out on Human Revolution.