by Chris Capel
reviewed on PC
If There Were No God
Deus Ex just missed out on our Top 50 Games of the Last Decade by a year, but if it had made it I think there would have been a hell of a fight for first place. The original is still considered one of (if not the) greatest games ever made through one simple factor: choice. Sure, The Witcher series may have better choice in terms of story, but everything else pales in comparison to Deus Ex. The breadth of gameplay options available is even more impressive in Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution, making it unlike any other game on the market right now.
Third-person cover-shooter? FPS? Stealth? RPG? Talking? Hacking? Exploring? Screwing around? This game has them all. It is really frustrating that there is no official demo since it’s impossible to describe how much freedom the player has to customize and play the game how they want to play. It may not have the freedom in scale of an Elder Scrolls or Fallout title, but in terms of actual play I personally think it has those two beat. You may ask for a Thief in Oblivion but the stealth will still be lousy. You choose to sneak your way through Human Revolution and you will have a title that rivals Splinter Cell. In fact, that’s one area that it beats the original for sure – shooting, stealth etc. are all to the quality of the best in their genre, yet they are all in this single game.
The game follows Adam Jensen on his search for justice in a world brimming with controversy and anger over the new science of human augmentation. Some think it’s a huge step in evolution, some think it’s unnatural, and others want to control it entirely. Fortunately, it shares the trait with The Witcher that no one is truly evil, they can be ruthless or misguided but you can always see their point of view. It gets into some really deep themes, such as what it means to be human and whether people can deal with freedom. Also, you get to stab people in the dick.
A Silent Takedown
The Takedowns take a bar of energy and are sadly the only melee attacks in the game (meaning if you want to destroy a box you have to shoot it) but are so awesome I’d often rush in rather than hold back and shoot enemies. The shooting itself is tough but enjoyable, although I’ll be the first to admit that it might only have been tough because I focused on a more stealth-based style of gameplay. Round about halfway through the game I noticed that I’d obtained pretty much all the “good” Augmentations and was about to note it as a criticism, until I realised that I’d merely been cherry-picking the ones that best suited my playstyle – not to mention how anal I’d been in exploring the world.
Augmentations are both the key element of the story and your powers/upgrades in the game. Praxis Points (which are used to buy upgrades) are fairly generously handed out as long as you take the time to explore or complete side-missions, so if you feel you messed up on one you’re never far from the next – and chances are that one you thought you didn’t will come in handy at some point. No upgrade is a waste, there’s always something it's good for.
I mentioned exploring a moment ago. If you’re the type of person who scrupulously analyses hidden corners, shelves and rooms in hope of finding cool stuff this game was built for you. I’d advise you to keep Object Highlighting turned on however since one of my favourite things about Human Revolution’s world is that there’s a lot of believable clutter everywhere, and it does make finding useable stuff harder. Still, the choice is yours… as with everything in the game.
Stay Out Of The Ladies’ Room
Buildings and mission environments always have vast amount of side-rooms, alternate entrances, hidden passages, computers to hack, drawers to rifle through, and vents to crawl into and explore. Furthermore, now and again the doors are flung open and you can spread your talent for sticking your nose in on to the streets of a city. These are the most fun moments in the game and if you’re like me, you’ll spend many hours just seeing how many places you can break into – or screwing around by throwing fire extinguishers at cops, using Takedowns on hookers or activating the Typhoon explosives in the middle of crowds.
Incredible amount of gameplay choice, oodles of replay value, stealth and shooting stands up to the best in the genre – and combines them!
Boss battles feel out of place, needs a third city, endings a bit rushed