by Chris Capel
reviewed on PC
Stay Out Of The Ladies’ Room (cont)
I mentioned hacking briefly there, which is such a key part of the game (if you want it to be) I better mention it. Like Bioshock, it’s in the form of a proper minigame, but unlike Rapture’s Pipemania rip-off, you aren’t invincible while hacking (if guards catch you they’ll turn hostile) and this never gets tedious. It’s kind of a little strategy game, capturing points, finding bonuses and evading network security, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Graphically, the game isn’t going to beat out the big-hitters of this year in pretty much any category, but it has a wonderful art style which combines modern, Renaissance, and Blade Runner cyberpunk-noir into an extraordinarily evocative future world. Voice acting has some quirks (the weird homeless lady you meet in Detroit for example) but otherwise is believable and never takes you out of the world. Adam Jensen’s gravelly Christian Bale-on-maximum tones do require a bit of getting used to, I quickly warmed up to the guy.
We’ve Had To Endure Much
So, what’s wrong with it? I would dearly love more than anything to say “nothing”, but alas, it’s not to be. Almost, though. Reading some of the more nitpicky reviews it’s amazing how many reviewers have complained about issues which none of the others mentioned, and many seem based on the writer’s own problems. One for example complained that other people in the game were augmented so there was challenge in the game – eh?
Nevertheless, there are problems, mostly the pathetic boss fights against the trio of augmented Tyrant mercenaries which are mostly annoying because they lack the choice the rest of the game offers. Furthermore, it’s a little disappointing that of all the clutter lying around there’s only a few things you can actually interact with. There are also some technical issues like long load times and a few glitches here and there for some PC players, although on the PC version at least the loading times have been cut down.
The biggest problem is a slight miscommunication. Somewhere Eidos Montreal was quoted as saying that there would be three cities in the game: Detroit, Hengsha, and their home city of Montreal. It was then naturally assumed that you would be able to explore those cities, especially as Deus Ex also had three main cities, and this is where the disappointment comes in. You only explore Detroit and Hengsha – you do not explore Montreal. There’s a huge mission there but no city streets, and it really feels like it needed a third city. Oh well.
Among The Works Of Man...
No spoilers, but the endings also feel a bit rushed and lack the coolness or effort that made finishing Deus Ex so satisfying. There are plenty of places where Deus Ex gets the upper hand, but then again, there are many where Human Revolution is the better. You wouldn’t go to the original for just a great shooter or stealth game, but HR can compete with the best. Hacking is better, and by reining in the more X-Filesy elements of Deus Ex (aliens, Men In Black, Area 51 etc) it becomes far easier to get involved in the story. The most important parts; the element of choice and incredible amount of replay value, Eidos Montreal has got spot-on.
I explored every single inch of the game and still want to go back to try a new way of playing on ‘Give Me Deus Ex’ difficulty. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a carefully-polished, well thought-out masterpiece that successfully makes every one of its many choices fun. It has some problems and doesn’t quite match the original Deus Ex, but the fact that it comes so very close and manages to improve on it in many areas is cause for celebration. Buy it, play it, love it, then play it again and love it again. You’ll nitpick, but chances are the main problems you’ll bring up no one else even considered – because when you have freedom of choice, you’re the one making the problems.
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