– developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos, it had even won BAFTA “PC Game of the Year Award”! Eleven years later we now have a new completely revamped version developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix, but how does it measure up on next-gen consoles? It may come as no surprise that with Eidos behind it; it’s really something quite special, leading you into a near-futuristic world with a gripping story where you will not be able to put down your controller – even though it means you do need to get some sleep!
Within the game, it’s the year 2027 and you play the role of Adam Jensen who happens to be an ex-policeman, but now a Security expert for a Bio-tech organisation known as Sarif Industries who are an industry leader in augmentation using the most advanced technologies. As a high-tech organisation of scientists, Sarif Industries are on the verge of announcing a revolutionary discovery that will allow people to augment themselves freely without anti-rejection drugs. Augmentation in the world of Human Revolution is both mechanical and technological enhancements to the human body to effectively allow humans to do a job or task in an alien futuristic form – part man, part machine. It is huge business, especially for military purposes, but leading up to the announcement Sarif’s Headquarters are under attack by augmented soldiers and Adam Jensen is left for dead in a horrific shooting scene to the skull. Many of the organisations top scientists during the attack have been killed outright, burnt or severely disfigured, but during some of the opening cut-scenes you witness Sarif Industries saving Jensen’s life with an emergency operation at the cost of being heavily augmented – it was a matter of life and death although a decision that wasn’t his own!
Six months pass by and this is where you – the gamer begin the story as Adam Jensen is called back into work following his recovery process to assist with an anti-augmentation terrorist group who are holding people hostage. Having been newly augmented with cybernetics, not all of his new features and physical abilities have been initially switched on – firstly, his body is adjusting to life as a cyborg being and secondly, upgrading your abilities is a process of earning XP to gain Praxis Points as you play through the game – Praxis Points allow you to buy upgrades. There are seven bodily areas of augmentations and once you have earned Praxis Points, the decision of what you want to unlock is entirely your own. Your choice also affects your gameplay style, so whilst what you select may assist you in one field, what you’ve left behind will become your downfall in others.
- Cranium Augmentations boost Hacking and Psychological abilities.
- Eye Augmentations boost vision abilities and allow you to see through
walls as well as protect against gas grenades.
- Torso Augmentations boost Health, Energy and Explosive systems.
- Skin Augmentations protect you from Damage and Energy losses.
- Arm Augmentations allow you to punch through walls, carry heavier
- Back Augmentations boost your reflexes and strength.
- Leg Augmentations affect your Run, Jump and Sprint abilities.
Following the hostage situation, the story eventually unfolds into a worldwide dilemma for all augmented humans because it comes to light that a Kill Switch could be enabled to send a signal that will disable the cyber abilities of everyone – and Jensen needs to locate the facility to disable the signal! You encounter the criminal underworld, a series of cover-ups and the most immense technical abilities available as an augmented human, one of the best is cloaking, as you can imagine yourself how great it would be to sneak around anywhere in the world and be completely unseen! For many of the quests you can choose from different styles of gameplay, but in order to upgrade all of your augmentation abilities to the max, you will need to complete all of the games side quests to gain all the required XP and Praxis Points. Other parts of the game require you to hack into systems which resembles a mini-game in itself, snoop through emails – and even read E-books if you want to obtain all of the games Achievements.
Those who prefer to run and gun, shoot to kill without thinking about the consequences can do so using the most advanced in-game weaponry in this game, whilst those who prefer to act more stealthily and creep around the locations can do that too if they choose. The options don’t end there as in great Mass-Effect-esque style, the way you interact with other people presents you with options on your behavioural responses both in the way you ask questions and in how you answer them. An example such as: Press X to give an uncaring response or Press B to give a caring response. Rest assured that your responses affect the games future; it also has many different endings enticing multiple playthroughs.
Although you do play the game most of the time in a first person mode, pressing the LT control to enter the cover mode puts you in third person perspective to allow you to creep around the walls, see the enemies nearby and time your stealth move from one area to the next without being seen. The majority of the controls come quite intuitively as in almost all games now, A is Jump, B is Attack and RT is to shoot, whilst the Left D-Pad controls turn on/off available abilities. It has an annoyance when trying to shoot enemies whilst you are in cover mode as the use of the right thumb stick to aim feels a little sloppy and ammo seems to be of a very limited supply. Due to the lack of ammunition you will later adapt to reserving your supplies and shooting only when you need to.
Graphically there are a lot of older games on the market more impressive to look at, but less impressive to play. For a game with a futuristic setting, it lacks a decent visual quality to match the great lengthy challenging gameplay that is a joy to behold. The transition from game to cut-scene seems to pause and sometimes jagged edges can occasionally appear, but these are very minor flaws.
Overall the gameplay is impressive and will definitely appeal to gamers who like stealth games such as Splinter Cell because you need to be tactical and patient otherwise you stand no chance of survival. Playing the run and gun method does not work in your favour all of the time, so even on the games easiest setting you will encounter many difficulties this way as more than just a few enemies on screen will kill you in a matter of seconds! When you encounter some of the Bosses, this is an ultimate test of willpower and perseverance because during the later levels you could quite easily give up – if you like a fearsome challenge, you will not be disappointed with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Furthermore if you want a mean test of your ultimate gaming abilities you can play on the “Give Me Deus Ex” setting – it’s right up there with other game’s Veteran or Legendary settings – kill or be killed, think quick and act fast!
Because Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prequel to the other titles in the series from older systems, new gamers to the franchise will not feel lost in the story – it is an almost perfect game except for the few earlier mentioned flaws and slightly dated visuals, but the game will bring you hours of enjoyment and most definitely a worthy addition to your games collection.