Deus Ex: Human Revolution raises some interesting questions about humans and incorporating biotechnology with augmentations and if this really is making the human race better? What are the ethical implications? But what really makes this interesting is that this game is a predicted future of our very own and after watching the recent short documentary this prediction doesn’t seem so far off.
You play as Adam Jensen, head of security for a company called Sarif Industries. The company specialises in producing certain military weapons and what are known as augments, or robotic limbs and parts so that you may upgrade your body and are at the forefront of a revolutionary discovery that is said to fully unlock the human potential. This is actually played out to you during the first few minutes of the game by your love interest Megan Reed. As always scripted, something bad must happen just before something good so that we may then discover what it is.
Adam is almost immediately swept into a globe-spanning conspiracy hinging on powerful and dangerous augmentation technology. But before you can say “Blade Runner” Megan is murdered, and Adam lays mortally wounded on an operating table, receiving involuntarily many augmentation transplants replacing your, arms, legs, lungs, back, chest and eyes. And so begins the journey of action, discovery, upgrading and stealth in this close to future world, which may best be described as a mix between, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Blade Runner.
The thing that struck me most about Deus Ex wasn’t the action packed sequences, or the stealth options, or the very deep upgrading system, or the fresh and innovative hacking system or event the excellent and intriguing characters and story. No it wasn’t any of these, although these are what make the game excellent, but what stood out most to me was the level design. The level design in Deus Ex is so well thought out that it creates different and multiple ways around the level and how you chose to complete it. The standard path is laid out before you for any mission and is straight forward, but if you take a little more time to look around and stick your nose in where it shouldn’t be, you will be rewarded and see that there are other ways to tackle the mission.
The game rewards the player who loves to follow the path and it rewards the player who, like me, likes to explore the world and look into every little nook and cranny. To gain access into a building you have multiple of doing so and the world environment sometimes helps you discover these. Walk past people and eves drop on their conversation where they will ‘let slip’ the location of another entrance, or that they have lost their access card. Hack a computer and read the emails to find new access codes for certain areas, making it easier to enter them. Or simply exploring yourself will grant the discovery of this information and more.
There are various items scattered around the world for you to find which will help you learn more about the world. Find Ebooks that explain various technologies or update you on the world politics. Newspapers reveal various current updates in the city and things that you, yourself were involved in. All of these were interesting to read about as they have such a close connection with our current world, especially the ones about the new technologies.
What was also great about entering each level is that you have the option to either run in guns blazing or take the stealth route by ducking and diving between objects and cameras. Taking the stealth option is a little safer as bullets in the game do real damage, it will take about 4 to 5 bullets from range to put you down or 2 from close range. So you’d better be prepared for a fight as there are usually 4-5 guys in a room, who can also call for backup. This is where the upgrade system comes into play ever so cleverly. I’m not talking about upgrading of your weapons, which you do by finding upgrades or purchasing them from street vendors and shops with credits that you collect for completing missions. I’m talking about upgrading yourself, or more specific your augments.
You know, your new robotic arms, legs and eye. Here is where you can decide how you what to play a certain level or the entire game. There are so many options to upgrade for each part that sometimes its a little mind racking which one to finalise on. During your playthrough you will acquire Praxis points, which allow you to unlock and upgrade new abilities from your augmentations. These range from stealth option, by going invisible, help you see through walls, improve your hacking abilities or upgrade your strength, reflexes or reduce the recoil from your weapons and many more. No matter which you choose the game never punishes you for your choices and the story continues forward. Either way you will always feel like a total badass!
The world of Human Revolutions actually feels real and oddly inviting. You can actually picture that Deus Ex’s world may resemble our own world in the year 2027. This is achieved by the colours used in the game, warm yellows, soft greens and welcoming shades of blues and greys. This doesn’t mean that the game looks terrible, on the contrary the game look excellent. All characters look solid and have excellent animations, especially Adam Jensen. This is a first person shooter so how do you see Adam’s movements? well as soon as you go into cover mode the camera backs out into 3rd person view allowing you to see around corners, move around corners and making it easier to survey the upcoming area to plan your assault.
You will have to do this quite often, whether you choose to go the guns blazing route or the stealth route. You will have to see how many guards are there, what are their walks paths, can I go that way? And so on. The AI is pretty impressive and smart as the guards will speak to each other can some will flank you, while others will charge you. They take cover as well and sometimes change there position. Sometimes they would get stuck by a wall or run the wrong way, but these instances were few and never hindered the gameplay.
A quick mention must be said about the music and score of the game. Simply fantastic! Every second of the game has some bit of music and a brilliant little bit they are. The score is similar to Inception’s soundtrack and at I thought that Hans Zimmer was on the team, I had to check the credits to find that it was Michael A. McCann. Well done sir. Voice acting is spot on as well, Adam’s croaky voice makes him more of a badass.
Well I must say that this is by far one of the best games I’ve played this year and for a while. What a great way to exit this dry release patch we have had recently. The game has something for everyone, action stealth, graphics and one brilliant sci-fi interesting story, which allows you to play it as you wish. The game’s story makes you think about humans and computers, which way is the future headed? You will be back for more.