by Chris Davis
previewed on PC
To Be, Or Not To Be (cntd)
Eidos first demonstrated a combative approach to retrieving the augmentation. Charging through the door the player had Jensen march right past the front desk and into the otherwise restricted areas of the station. Despite being told to return to the lobby the player continued on, inciting a horde of attacking officers.
Combat in Human Revolution is most comparable to the Rainbow Six: Vegas titles of 2006 and 2008. While a first person shooter at heart, the game utilizes a third person cover system that allows the player to hide behind almost any object they come across. During the ensuing engagement the player entered the menu and combined a revolver with some explosive rounds. They had created a weapon capable of sheer destruction, and thereafter went to town on anyone who stood in their way. Finding the morgue door locked, the player opened the menu once again and combined a frag grenade with a mine which easily took the door down.
Ghost in the Shell
The second approach demonstrated was a social one in which the player attempted to persuade his way into the morgue. The player had Jensen approach the front desk and begin a conversation with Sergeant Haas - a man whom Jensen had served with on the force several years previous. The conversation involved various passive and aggressive actions. At times Jensen reminisced with Haas and at other times he countered Haas’ questions, but eventually the conversation led to Haas giving Adam access to the rest of the building. This approach also allowed the player to learn about new pieces of information that would have been missed if another approach had been taken. The coroner in the morgue even offered up a full autopsy report to aid the player, something that was otherwise unavailable.
The third way of going about the objective involved the use of stealth. Instead of heading back past the front desk, the player had Jensen leave the station and go around the back of it. Here they climbed over a fence and sneaked past a few armed guards in order to reach a ladder that allowed them access to the upper floors. While on the upper level the player hacked into a couple of computers to gain access to private memos and emails. Utilizing the cloaking ability they also gained access to high traffic areas. Confronted with a security door Jensen silently approached a guard and executed a non-lethal takedown. Jensen then used the guard to bypass the door. After hiding the body and gaining access to the corpse in the morgue, he exited the building through a sewer entrance.
All in all, the different approaches to the missions will provide numerous stories to share with your friends and definitely shows signs of strong replay value to the game. The non-lethal takedowns also raise into question whether the game can be completed without killing anyone at all. This is often something that is not easily accomplished in most games and is rarely implemented in shooters at all. This does not even come close to contemplating the many possibilities of mix-and-match play styles - for instance, you may choose to stealthily infiltrate the station and once the item has been retrieved, leave the place Rambo style.
It’s Not the End of the World, But You Can See It from Here
Though I once had my doubts about the game with Warren Spector not being involved in the project at all, and this being Eidos Montreal’s freshman effort, (oddly enough they are also working on Thief 4, another Ion Storm originating series) the game looks to be shaping up quite nicely in anticipation of its Spring 2011 release date. It certainly has a lot to live up to though, and one has to wonder whether the level design presented thus far reflects across the board given the current state of game design and the stronger focus on linearity than anything else. With no mention of a multiplayer mode (which this writer can only pray that it stays that way), the game has the potential to give its namesake the credit it is due. Will it though? We will all find out next year.