Sunday, December 1, 2013

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC/OSX)

DeusExHumanRevolutionCover I am in love with that coat.

TL;DR: Deus Ex Human Revolution is worth buying if you like Action RPG’s and is pretty cheap.

Some of the greatest RPG's of all time came out of Square during its early days such as Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Final Fantasy 6. Then the dark days came. Square experienced a drought in creativity after the release of the wildly popular FFVII which started the now overused trope of the mopey emo-hero. Some Square games gave good reason for why the hero should be Mopey (Lost Odyssey) but most just used the angsty hero as a way to create character depth in a shallow character. However just as Square fans started to wonder if the company was even remotely capable of putting out any sort of good AAA game Deus Ex: Human Revolution hit shelves.

This-guy-are-sick I’m not subtle enough about my loathing of FFVII.

Lets be honest with ourselves, its unlikely that you've heard of the Deus Ex series before and that's totally okay. The Deus Ex series up until Human Revolution was only ever released on the Computer, a platform that never had much in the way of advertising in the pre-internet age. Human Revolution is a prequel to the entire Deus Ex series taking place before advanced prosthetics (called Augmentations in the game), were wildly common place. Ethical and Moral questions are posed over the course of the game about what it means to be human in an age where anyone can easily trade in their old fleshy bits for steam-punk robo ones. This is a naturally dividing issue within the game as two major opposing factions surround the issue one which believes the advancement of prosthetics can only help while others believe its unnatural and only seeks to destroy what it means to be human... naturally this wouldn't be complete without worldwide conspiracies involving mega-corporations and misinformation spread throughout the media.


And this mostly happens in Detroit…

Human Revolution plays like every other over the shoulder action game released in the past decade. Standardization plays heavily in its favor as it minimizes how much time players need to spend on tutorials, a victory for everyone. The controls are literally perfect, when I was playing the first thing I noticed was how every button served a purpose and spent at least half of my game time cycling through the hold-out button and the holster button just because I liked the sound the tazer makes when whipping it out.


Okay so the controls are great but who cares about that if the actual content of the game doesn't utilize those great controls? Well let me tell you what good sir... ma'am... sa'am? Deus Ex Human Revolution combines the stealth aspects of the Metal Gear Solid games, the Espionage Aspects of Hitman, and the hacking aspects of the later Fallout games. AND IT WORKS! The thing that consistently amazes me to this very moment was how well all these features seamlessly were combined in this game. So Adam Jenson, the main character, he's got stats that you can toss points into that allow him to do some things better then others and allow you to customize him to suit your play style. Say you have to break into a secret government facility, well you can choose to sneak in innocuously by Solid Snaking your way past the guards, or using you 733t hax0r skillz to turn all the automated forces to your side and casually walk in while the guards are busy or distracted, the final method is for your inner sociopath where you can build Jenson up to be a murder machine that can shoot bombs out of his arms and eat bullets as if they were a typical breakfast. Oh did I forget to mention that you can go through the entire game without killing anyone? Yeah, thats an option. You can defeat all enemies (sans boss characters) with non-lethal takedowns or non-lethal weapons, which is perfect for stealth runs. Basically:

  • Sneaking is pretty typical, you avoid cones of sight ala MGS and try not to make noise. You can also take alternate hidden routes to objectives like sewers or air ducts. If you encounter enemies you can use non-lethal take downs or non-lethal weapons to knock out enemies.

  • Hacking is very strategy and luck based where you try to capture nodes without being detected by the computers system. The hacking system is leveled and gets harder as the game progresses so if you plan on playing this way you'll want to pool a good number of points in it.

  • Murder-Time Fun-Time, you like murder? Well you can do that, a lot, with guns, or a sword arm thing.

Like I mentioned you play as Adam Jenson, the head of security guard for Sarif Industries, who wind up having to be heavily augmented after most of his body is destroyed during a terrorist attack. The game is semi-open world where you are introduced to large sprawling hub worlds which have side-quests and many opportunists to obtain background information that explains the mysteries surrounding the attack and Adam himself. A good example is Detroit, the starting hub, once you are dropped off in it you can quickly run around and start working on a sting for a prostitute cop, get a guy to lose his job, or just destroy entire gangs for the hell of it. Besides just doing side quests you are presented with many choices throughout the game which shape Jenson's character and his reactions for later quests which is pretty cool and generally makes your experience somewhat unique as one player may make Jenson a sociopath, or a literal Saint who selflessly gives and gives with no expectation of return. You get to visit quite a few hub worlds multiple times but each time you leave one you lose access to those side quests permanently which sucks mightily as I didn't realize this on my first play-through and missed a bunch of them. If there is anything I particularly hated about the whole “hub world” thing was the fact that you don't get the option to revisit them when you want, which stands as a reminder that the game is very linear at its core even though it presents you with other avenues of enjoyment outside the main quest. No matter how far out you travel you inevitably come to a wall that forces you to return to the main quest.

I can gush about Deus Ex Human Revolution for hours, it has great story, great gameplay, and really well made environments with high levels of detail which resonated very well with my inner child. I highly recommend Deus Ex for anyone who likes Action RPG's with optional Stealth Elements. Its story will very easily keep you on the edge of your seat with its many twists and turns and with how much your own choices and actions affect the world and Jenson himself. There are many versions of the game available, but the definitive version is the Directors Cut which includes “The Missing Link” DLC which explains the events of a time skip that occurs during the main story, and is pretty fun as stand alone story. By the way, you can shoot hoops, nuff’ said.