Reviews: Deus Ex Human Revolution
You Never Asked For This Review, but here ya go.
A good game. I always liked the ones that allowed you to choose to kill or not kill. Adds more challenge. There's definitely more than one way to play this game, with all the abilities or guns you can unlock. But there's this thing...energy bars? Batteries? State of the art military augs running on Candy Bars. Aight. Sure...(silly limitations...) Anyhow, I love the environments and secret areas too. They were always fun to find or look at. Never really take as many screenshots on impulse like I did with Human Revolution. As with all of Deus Ex RPG's so far, this one kept me interested long enough to beat it and then some. I didn't think I'd like Adam when I started playing as him. Glad to see that I was wrong.
Where was the "Human Revolution" anyway?
I like stealth games. Haven't played one I'd consider bad yet, and while this one is no exception, there are quite a number of "buts" to take note of for the concerned buyer. The story is your standard conspiracy fare that permeates most stealth games. It does its job, though I never felt like I understood the scope of the conspiracy because it was so focused around one particular aspect the conspiracy controlled (augmentations). Appropriate given the characters, but my want of more was unfulfilled, as was an option that best expressed my feelings on said aspect for one of the endings. Gameplay was, well, gameplay. For all the talk of "multiple ways to handle a situation", most of the time, you're going to wait until the guards turn their backs and then go do a non-lethal takedown on them simply because that's what will get you the most experience and will save you ammo for your weapons. Ammo's pretty sparse in this game unless you have a fetish for the 10mm pistol like the devs did. This didn't matter to me much since I prefer stealth to mindless shooting. However, the stealth isn't perfectly designed either, even if it seems like it's how the game is meant to be played. The AI of the guards seemed to vary from mind-bendingly genius to impossibly stupid. Sometimes I could swear they could see through walls and other times they wouldn't see me even when I ran right up to them from the side, no cover or anything. Cameras, turrets and robots all had ill-defined ranges of vision as well, sometimes seeming to see you from across the length of the compound you're in, and the security hubs that controlled them were often badly placed and also absurdly frequent. My suspension of disbelief was strained when several times I broke into a security room in a building, only to have to break into another security room two rooms over on the same floor. Once, I even found a "hub" responsible for only one camera. One! As for everything else, the overabundant yellow filters did the graphics no favors, and I would have liked for there to be a soundtrack. Would have been nice. I'd have a bit more I'd like to say, but I'll end on this. When the game's good, each room feels like a delightful puzzle to solve, but there are many times this is not the case (Alice Garden Pods, anyone?). Give it a rent first.
A modern update to an old classic
When I first bought Human Revolution, I didnít have any expectations on what I was getting into; by the time I finished, I had thoroughly enjoyed the game, although there were some issues I had throughout the game. The story begins six months after an assault on the headquarters of an augmentation company in which the security officer, Adam Jensen, is critically injured and repaired by augmentations from the company. Back on the job, Jensenís boss and CEO for the company sends him out to stop a hostage situation in one of their factories, which begins Adamís quest to find out why the company was attacked in the first place, getting involved in a much larger global conspiracy, just like Deus Ex. If I had to pick one of my favorite things about Human Revolution, it would be the characters; I absolutely loved the different characters that Adam meets along his journey. All have some depth and backstory if you take the time and talk with them. Iíd even say the best parts of the game when you get into dynamic conversations with key characters and you have to choose the right dialogue if you want to persuade them that Adam is right. I also liked the augments, which I liked more than the ones in Deus Ex. For one, I donít have to turn on all of my augments to use them. I also like how xp can help buy augments and upgrades; not that I hated the skill system in Deus Ex, but this way feels more in tune with the combat in Revolution, which can now have a viable pacifist run. My problem with the game comes from different story elements. My biggest complaint would be that the game feels a bit short and that it felt like it began to rush after the Montreal mission. Although this might be a personal problem, I had a hard time understanding the whole conspiracy and what exactly I was doing at the final location and what the villains were doing. I later got what was happening after reading the trope page, but while I was initially playing, I was a bit confused. On the endings, yeah they were a bit lackluster, but my main complaint about them is that I donít know what happened to the characters after deciding on one of the four endings. I havenít played Invisible War by the time of this review, but having played this and the original, I would say that each have their good and bad points, but to me, both are equally great games that deserve to be played.
Human Revolution compared to Deus Ex 1
What it did better than Deus Ex 1:
- The cover system. I hope that this system will find its way into other 1st person games.
- The augmentations are much more useful
- The dialog scenes. They did an amazing job at making Talking The Monster To Death an exciting experience through great voice acting, dramatic camera movement and the body and face language of the NPCs.
- A Pacifist Run is a viable option
- Inventory management
- Weapon customization
- Enemy AI
- The main character
- Rewarding exploration
- Offering multiple solutions to every problem
- Non-avoidable boss fights
- The skill system was scrapped (or rather merged with the augmentation system)
- The story felt much more linear than Deus Ex 1. It doesn't give you as many situations where your actions affect the plot.
- The graphic engine. Yes, the graphic engine. There are no scenarios as big as DX 1 (making you wonder why you haul that sniper rifle around), it doesn't even support mirrors and it doesn't allow under-water scenarios.
- The environment, while definitely designed with a lot of attention to detail, has less interactive objects
- No different ammo types
- Definitely shorter (i hope that there will be lots of DLC)
- The ending which was just cheap compared to Deus Ex 1. The ending of Deus Ex 1 was epic: It put you into that huge, open scenario with three conflicting multi-part goals. Whichever goal you pursued at that time, you had two factions on the intercom begging you to stop and one begging you to continue. That really gave you the feeling that the fate of the world is in your hands and lots of time to think about which course of action is the best. The ending of Human Revolution is quite anti-climatic compared to that: the penultimate choice is interacting one of 3 buttons or a valve which are right next to each other. Even Invisible War did better.
Play This Game
This is the game that let me do a pacifist run and then had something happen in the story that made me immediately abandon my previous good-will and _shotgun everyone in the face_ and then has characters real enough that the first person who contacts me and is told about what just happened basically says to me 'look I know you might want to go around shotgunning people in the face...' I find myself going to extraordinary ends just so that I could hack into people's emails and learn more about everything around me. In a game where you can drop a vending machine onto a guard joking about how terrible it would be to die by vending machine and confuse guards by constructing elegant barricades of cardboard boxes in their path, I realised half-way through the game that I'd never once even tried to shoot a friendly NPC or civilian just to see what happened. Because I was that much part of the game. And at the end when I'd finished talking to two absolute douches I let out my frustration by tranquillising them in the head. The main bosses are nerve-wracking conversations as you try to take their motivation apart piece by piece and use it for your own ends. The final act of the game is not a boss fight but a choice. The game looks at you and it says, well you've experienced all this, you've seen every angle of what happens to humanity in it's drive to unnaturally improve itself through augmentations. You've seen how every person has been driven by his own motivation to his own ends to try and shape the world as they want it and you know what happened and what will go on to happen after this. _What do you do now?_ And yet my only complaint about this game was they didn't emphasise the story enough. The boss fights? With a bit of luck or preparation you can exploit your way through all of them with in a minute or so. In any other game they would be brilliant boss fights with multiple paths and integrated stealth/stun systems. This game was just better than them
Deus Ex, HR: pretty much what I expected
I was excited for this game to come out, it looked amazing in the previews and I loved the first game (didn't get to play the second one yet). I got my hands on it and haven't put it down for a week. It's a gripping environment but not without it's share of problems. The action is nice and it's one of the better sneaking games I've played (I haven't played too many). The plot is similar to the other Deus Ex: nothing is as it seems and everyone lies to you. I walked around the first few levels expecting to have to break in later (haven't finished the game yet, so I'm not sure if that will come to fruition or not). The voice acting has it's ups and downs. Adam's voice is a deep raspy voice that can get annoying and is not believable at times, especially when he's trying to charm someone. The actor for David Sarif in particular is great. All things considered it's an exciting mix of action, sneaking, social/relationship and conspiracies. There is almost always more than one way into a situation or area and you are rewarded by different conversation options, overheard conversations and experience points. The problems I have with it are nit-picky, but there are a few: When talking to NP Cs they tend to twitch a lot and over gesticulate except when there is a developed conversation. The inventory system is a frustrating grid with random things not being stackable (like grenades) but obviously used to force you to chose a specialty: sneaking or gunning. Tying into the inventory system is the fact that only one of your energy cells recharges, which is frustrating because all of the fun stuff takes energy. Adding to that frustration is that it's difficult to get energy bars and packs to recharge your energy. The world is pretty deep but not deep enough at times. You're limited in the area you have access to and the story is linear (it is justified, but takes away from replay value). The long term effects of your actions really aren't there. If you gun your way through the police station in one scene, they don't care later...The station is shut down because of it but that happens regardless of your choices. Excellent game, especially for fans of the franchise, hopefully they can iron out some gameplay and choice effect issues if they make a second one.
A much better follow-up than Invisible War
Let me say this: I loved Deus Ex. I loved it when I first played the crappy PS 2 port, and I loved it even more when I got the far superior PC version. Invisible War wasn't a bad game, but something was missing. The gameplay was overly simplified, the inventory system just sucked, Universal Ammo was a dumb idea, and the plot kinda jumped off the rails somewhere along the line. After the game's poor fan reaction, it's easy to see why the series pretty much went dormant. Human Revolution was worth the wait. The game is still a bit more straightfoward than the original, but in a good way this time. You aren't forced to choose between two augmentations for each body part; you can purchase or upgrade any aug at any time, as long as you have enough points. Stealth works far better, even without purchasing the stealth augs this time around. The cover system is functional and necessary for both combat and stealth runs, and the regenerating health is slow enough that any damage in a fight is something to avoid. The story is also a high point. Invisible War suffered from piggybacking on the original's plot, simply namedropping every conspiracy from that one until things just went bananas. Human Revolution does tread common ground, but it also carves out a niche for itself. Even if you removed the connections to the other games, the story can stand on its own as a very dark, suspenseful tale of conspiracies, a decaying society, and the morality of transhumanism. Jensen is a great lead, and is given far more personality than JC and Alex ever got. So, it should be the best of the series, right? Well, no. There are still some hiccups. First, I really miss the skill system. Granted, about half of them saw little to no use, but it was the idea of customizing your character more than just deciding what upgrades to slap on. Second, the boss fights are frustrating and actually feel out of place in a game like this. Third, the endings are a real letdown, especially when you calculate the Foregone Conclusion into the equation. And finally, did they have to use THAT much yellow? It just hurts the eyes. Overall, though, I love this game, and unlike Invisible War, this will definitely see more than one playthrough. A must buy.