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Deus Ex: Human Revolution review

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Human Revolution
  • Human Revolution
  • Human Revolution
  • Human Revolution
  • Human Revolution
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Full Product, DVD-ROM, PC)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • All the freedom and choice you expect from Deus Ex
  • Superbly executed stealth and hacking gameplay
  • Hours of deep, immersive gameplay

Cons

  • Combat can be curiously unexciting
  • Graphics a mix of inspired motifs and dated tech
  • Takes a few hours to really get going

There is a school of gamer - your current writer included - that desperately wants to acclaim the new Deux Ex as another stone-cold classic. The original, when it was released eleven years ago, was truly ground-breaking, fusing the action of the first-person action game with the choice and depth of an RPG in a way that only System Shock 2 had approached before. For the twenty-something hours it took to complete it, Deus Ex was an obsession. You could play it as a shooter, a stealth game or a combat-heavy RPG, or – as most of us did – some weird hybrid of the three, but however you played the complex gameplay and rich storyline kept you glued from the beginning to the end (or ends if you were really keen).

Human Revolution

Those of us within this group will find much to love about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It retains all the elements of player choice, first-person combat, cybernetic augmentation and stealth that made Deus Ex so enthralling. It’s a game designed by people who don’t want to lead you by the nose from level to level, but want to give you a world worth exploring, and the freedom to explore. Enemies can be dispatched through headshots, sneak attacks, tranquiliser darts, shotgun blasts to the face or all of the above, and there are enough computers to hack, vents to crawl in, boxes to stack and windows to climb through to put a smile on any old-school PC gamer. There’s always more than one way to get from A to B, preferably without a major skirmish, and always something else to discover, explore or collect. This is a thinking man’s game, and thinking men everywhere will like it.

Human Revolution

As in the first game, it’s the interaction of the gaming systems that make it work so brilliantly. Every situation in the game can be tackled with a number of approaches, and the more the game goes on, the more your character and your tools become tailored to your specific style of play. In the world of Human Revolution, experience points mean Praxis points, and Praxis points can be spent on a range of cybernetic augmentations that affect your character’s perceptions, their strength, their resistance to damage, their hacking skills and their stealth capabilities. Inevitably, you end up favouring one set of skills over another, and so building the best warrior, techno-spy or assassin that you can. What’s more, all the weapons are also customisable, leading you to beef up a silenced pistol at the expense of a noisy assault rifle, or possibly visa versa. Experience points are handed out for practically any activity, so even if your carefully planned stealth attack becomes a bloodbath, it's not a disaster. Organically, without anyone telling you what to do and how to do it, the game supports and rewards the way you want to play it.

meeto 0

August 24, 2011, 1:19 pm

Im glad they poured more resources into art direction then technical achievement. THe games you compared it to on the graphics front all have too many common similarities in look that most shooters start to look generic. Big bulky american running around with massive guns and so on. They even start to look like they are all using the same engine

ClivePounds

August 24, 2011, 4:19 pm

Hopefully the dev team have provided a decent control system for the PC and it's not some half-arsed console compromise!

stranded

August 24, 2011, 6:38 pm

I believe big gaming companies offer gamers a gameplay and visuals that have died a long time ago, if they ever existed.
It's 2011 and game developers give us laughable attempts like this game. Feels like it's 10 years ago, nothing has changed for big awesome comps.

nanite2000

August 25, 2011, 3:41 am

So you've played the game then? Oh no, that's right - you haven't. Doesn't look like you read the review either.

By all accounts, the game developers spent more time on the gameplay and plot than the visuals. If so, then I applaud them for that.

Do you also whine that Angry Birds isn't cutting edge graphics?

stranded

August 25, 2011, 7:06 pm

@nanite2000
I have played many games like this and the previous Deus Ex games. Open gameplay is good, but all other aspects of the game are mediocre or bad. There is no meaning for me to have complete freedom to do whatever i want, as long it is nonsense. Graphics and gameplay are too shiny and fashionable for me and are better suitable for console teenagers (i hate consoles). I think Call Of Duty space zombies look more exciting compared to this game.
The previous Deus Ex games were not masterpieces, they had some good elements that were not found at other games of their time, but they had many shortcomings too.
I think we are still some decades before a proper shooter-adventure game being released.

nanite2000

August 26, 2011, 1:43 am

Specifically, it is still decades before *your* idea of a perfect shooter-adventure game gets released. From your own words, it doesn't need shiny graphics and gameplay (even though these were the very things you felt it lacked in your first comment).

You say that, apart from open gameplay, "all other aspects of the game are mediocre or bad". Can you be more specific? I'm interested to know how you formed this opinion since you haven't actually played the game.

True, previous Deus Ex games had their shortcomings. But those shortcomings didn't detract from what was an amazing game overall. By all accounts, this game is an improvement in every respect. You seem to suggest developers should never release a game until it is perfect in every aspect, but I believe games should be stepping stones to continual improvement. Should they have delayed the release of the original Half Life until they had better graphics, sounds, gameplay, etc...?

stranded

August 26, 2011, 1:19 pm

@nanite2000
At my first comment i didn't say i wanted great graphics, the new Deus Ex game has very good graphics from a technical point of view, i only said that i never liked that console kind of graphics. You perceive my words the way you like and feel suitable for you.
I don't suggest developers to stop releasing new games, they are free to create tons of them, i just don't buy and play them. I don't care.
Throughout the gaming history, only few developers created great and solid games that advanced this art. There are many game categories and subcategories. I can't deal with any random super hyped game.
I live my own life and this is my opinion. Sad thing is there are infinite different lives and opinions on this planet. Thank God all people are not the same one homogeneous thing.

MrGodfrey

August 26, 2011, 4:01 pm

@stranded: Obviously you are welcome to live your own life and hold your own opinion, no-one is trying to assimilate or homogenise you. All we're trying to do here is have a discussion. If you want to go beyond a vague whinge, I would be quite interested to hear what you look for in a game, and what exactly you perceive to be the shortcomings of current and previous generation games. While Deus Ex 2 was somewhat disappointing, the first was in fact widely recognised as a classic (a masterpiece if you will) for the approach to gameplay but also for the atmospheric design and sense of immersion in the game's world and story. If you're not impressed by one of the finest games of the past 15 years then maybe you have very high standards and I would respect that, however if you're prepared to dismiss its new sequel as "laughable" without having played and without giving any reasons, that's not much of an opinion.

stranded

August 27, 2011, 10:14 am

@MrGodfrey
I think Deus Ex 2 was better than 1. I liked it much more.
The new Deus Ex is just a typical generic console shooter with some sci-fi surroundings to persuade the 10 years old gamer that it is cool and advanced.
If you play Prince Of Persia or Deus Ex you feel no difference.
Call Of Duty, Crysis, Doom, Far Cry and other craps are recognized as classics, am i forced to say they are great games?
After you have played 1-2-5-50-100 games that looked exactly the same, you start to have a tiny little bit of distrust.
I am not a big shooter fan, i find 99% of them ultra boring. I usually play strategy, racing and old style arcade games. I don't like Hollywood blockbuster movie style games.

nanite2000

August 28, 2011, 5:10 pm

Have you actually played 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution'? I suspect you haven't, since it was only officially released a few hours before you made your original comment (but please correct me if I'm wrong). If you have, then you are entitled to your opinion, though I (and @MrGodfrey it seems) are entitled to disagree with you. If you haven't played 'Deus Ex: HR', then I think it's only fair you make that known. That way, people can decide whether to follow the advice of an experienced games reviewer who has played the whole game from start to finish, or a jaded games player with no firsthand experience of the game whatsoever.
And if you think Prince Of Persia and Deus Ex (I'm guessing you mean the original?) play the same, then you have obviously not played them both.

stranded

August 29, 2011, 9:44 am

@nanite2000
Deus EX HR is a good game, but it's ultra boring for me. I don't care about experienced reviewer advices, it's supposed to be my opinion, i am not a pro game reviewer and i don't get paid for this. Old Deus Ex games are boring for me too now, anyway, i wasn't very excited when i played them some years ago. It's 2011 (2012 soon) and i expect something more than just a nice sequel. Big gaming companies are lagging so much behind that it's not playable anymore, they must be kicked.
Online ads and infinite different game versions? You expecting me to play THAT, are you kidding? We are talking about big money and i am not giving.

DrDark

August 30, 2011, 7:54 pm

"Throughout the gaming history, only few developers created great and solid games that advanced this art."

So, what are some examples of the titles which have impressed you personally?

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