Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Deus Ex: Human Revolution | 9.3

The original Deus Ex(DX) hit the market back in 2000 and with its combination of a Cyberpunk atmosphere and fusion of RPG and FPS elements, became a hit title that eventually won game of the year amongst many other awards. The game was ahead of its time in a way, similar to how Blade Runner (the movie) was ahead of its time for back in the 1980's. With this new release, DX: HR, does the game fall into mediocrity or does DX continue to be a a beautiful melody of various gameplays in an immerse environment?.... A few technical details aside, I would say this game easily marks a new generation in the Deus Ex line and could just be one of the best SP based campaign game released in 2011.

And a whole lot of it! This game is massive and the cyberpunk vision of the future is captured beautifully. DX:HR I feel, tends to be a blend of FPS meets Stealth meets Espionage meets Social. You play as Adam Jensen who is a security officer for an Augmentation company. After an attack leaves him so badly wounded he needs heavy body augmentation the game begins. Who plotted the attack? Why? Terrorism? Self-Sabotage? The conspiracy runs deep and it is your job to figure out it! At your disposal is a very immerse and game changing set of mechanics that shapes how you play the game, yet adapts to your play-style. Need to get to the 5th floor and hack a terminal.. no problem go in guns blazing...or maybe stealth past the guards taking them out one at a time... or maybe break in through a vent system...or combine all 3! Not only can you approach objectives and quests from various methods, but there often are quite a few options available to you. You don't always need to take that grate on the left. You could hack the janitor's closet and steal the keycard and just walk right in on the objective. Maybe there is a guard wandering who has a keycard also, or someone wrote it in an email message that you found when hacking terminals. The variety is just huge and never gets old! To top it all off you can upgrade Mr. Jensen to better suit your play-style

As you complete objectives, side quests, or basically do anything you gain XP. Shoot a mob you get XP, stealth him instead XP, Avoid combat all together get XP! Hacking amounts to bonus XP as hacking is more of a mini-game than a mandatory tool in this game, but I found it worth my time to hack. It was fun and provided some interesting bits of information that paid off in the long run. Anyhow, the XP you gain is used to level up Jensen, and as you level you gain the ability to further boost the level of mods you have. What is so beautiful about this the upgrades compliment your play-style. You are not forced to pick upgrades you do not want, however I rarely found that I picked something that felt like a waste. It is a solid system that gives you the freedom to play as you want for the most part.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not the flashiest of games. It isn't the latest and greatest game engine that might choke your PS3/360 or stress your video card until it explodes. The game still looks very good though. It captures a cyberpunk / blade runner style atmosphere very well and uses a darker color pallet which makes for a slightly darker vision of the future. Character animations can seem a little stiff or awkward at times, but do remember people are walking around with augmentations so the body movements might seem a bit unnatural for a reason. On the PS3 version the Frame-rate dropped from time to time, especially during one or two intense cut-scenes but it wasn't that bad. There was similar frame-rate issues on the 360 but occurring in different areas spots so the drop is probably relating to how the system is handling the engine itself. Graphically, the PS3 vs the 360 have differences but not enough to sway me to one or the other. It really depends on what you are looking at, at the time you are comparing. Sometimes PS3 looked better, sometimes 360. PS3 lighting was better in some spots, yet the 360 had better coloring in others.

In short... The Graphics, while not the best, are very good and despite the PS3 and 360 having some frame-rate issues, either system is a perfect option for this game; each boasting pros and cons over the other.

The music for this game is awesome! The style of music chosen fits the environment and setting of the game perfectly, going well with the cyberpunk theme. It helps immerse you into the game which is a big plus. Voice acting however is a sub-par as often the same voice actor played multiple characters and didn't even change their voice. You may even find multiple characters who say the same line of text. I'm not surprised by this though as the original Deus Ex had some of the Worst-yet best! voice acting of any game I played. .... Storyline wise, while I honestly have not completed the game at this point (the game is LONG!), the storyline is great! Everything you do has influences on the game, and the storyline is very deep and balanced. It is full of plot twists and surprises that had me hooked.

While this game lacks multiplayer, you are getting your $'s worth here. The game easily has 25+hrs of gameplay, more like 30-40 hrs if you factor in side quests and taking your time to really immerse yourself. Not only does this game boast a huge amount of varied gameplay, but I could easily see myself picking it up and doing it all over again! The variety in gameplay is just that amazing. You stealthed your way into the building for Mission 6, replay it and try going Rambo. You might find new items or bits of information, or even slightly influence events of that mission. Deus Ex reminds me a little of Mass Effect in this sense. Every new gameplay can be filled with little bits and pieces you may of missed, or simply did not see in a previous playthrough; plus there are multiple endings to this game which only tempt you to try alternative paths and methods.

Normally I integrate my Con's into each section, but Deus-Ex is the kind of game that you need to see the entire picture. The game can clock it easily +25hrs and has such a wide variety of elements to it things were bound to go wrong in some spots. This comes in the form of frame-rate problems(see graphics), boss encounters, and AI problems. Frame-rate has been covered but Boss Encounters were a disappointment simply because there is only one real way to fight them. RAMBO style! If you specialized in hacking that won't help you during the fight. The illusion of choice is removed here and you are forced into a play style you might not enjoy. This isn't a major problem but for someone who didn't specialize in guns, since the game is forgiving, it feels like bosses were rushed in rather than fully thought out. AI problems well, it was to be expected. Sometimes enemies just become stupid and forget you are there or have such obvious pathing it makes you wonder how they were even hired to be guards. Despite their AI problems however they seem to have eagle eye vision when it comes to accuracy with guns (which makes for a good challenge!)

OVERALL ... 93% (9.3 / A)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a product of its sums. Individually each part of the game, from the shooter, to the stealth to the social aspects 'could have' been done better. Instead each element was created specifically to balance the other and what you end up with is a game that has multiple play-styles, gameplay which caters to the needs of the player, immerse storyline and environment, and a wide variety of methods to tackle the problem; so much so alternative play-throughs are a must! DX: HR has technical issues, but when a single game can easily surpass 25-30hrs and contain such variety, a few problems might slip through the cracks or be inevitable.

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