Deus Ex: Human Revolution Impressions

Conspiracy theorists rejoice! The Deus Ex series is returning, and we got a look at the next game in the series, Human Revolution.

Eidos Montreal has a lot to prove. The freshman developer's first project is a daunting one: the next game in the beloved Deus Ex franchise, subtitled Human Revolution. Yet based on what we saw at its behind-closed-doors demonstration of the game, the development team really understands what made Deus Ex so groundbreaking in its day. According to lead writer Mary DeMarle, Deus Ex: Human Revolution revolves around four pillars of gameplay: combat, stealth, social, and hacking. Choice is the key element here, and players will be able to follow multiple paths to achieve their goals.

Human Revolution takes place before the original Deus Ex--in 2027, to be exact. It's an age of chaos and conspiracy. Protagonist Adam Jensen is a security specialist for a private company that manufactures nanotechnological augmentations. When the firm falls under attack, it's up to Adam to uncover the plot behind the violence. The demo we saw picked up about six hours into the game. Adam is following a lead, seeking out a hacker on an island located near Shanghai. We see a gunship flying above the waters and a brightly lit neon cityscape in the distance. The gunship lands, and your female companion gives Adam a rundown of the situation. We find out the hacker is a member of a triad, which as Deus Ex players know, is a mafia-type organized crime syndicate. Once his comrade flies off, Adam is left to pursue the lead on his own.

Adam makes his way down a stairway and past a cafe. The urban environment has that neon-lit, grimy sci-fi look that the Deus Ex series has always done so well. The area is teeming with pedestrians involved in conversations and going about their daily business. They aren't oblivious to your presence, though: An innocent pedestrian reacts with horror when the player points a gun at him. According to DeMarle, you can go up to any non-player characters to talk to them and can even obtain side quests that way. One thing is for sure: Human Revolution has a gritty look, exemplified by the seedy nightclub Adam approaches, which is called The Hive. The bouncer there isn't too excited to see Adam and isn't prepared to let him in without a little cash to massage the situation. The player chose to pay the bouncer off, but according to DeMarle, there were other options available. You might find a sewer or roof entrance, locate another way in by talking to nearby passersby, or simply kill the bouncer.

Once inside, Adam talks to the bartender and asks for his contact, Tong. The bartender sends Adam to the VIP lounge, where another bartender awaits--this one sporting a freaky-looking cybernetic arm. An aggressive conversation follows, and clearly, this man has no intention of letting Adam speak to Tong. We see several dialogue choices throughout the conversation, and each time they are presented as "advise," "insist," and "pinpoint." Adam has no luck with the bartender and, instead, must find alternate means. Fortunately, he overhears two guards mention that they've lost a PDA with an important passcode on it. Adam finds the PDA and uses the code to open a secure door and enter the club's basement.

From within these confines, Adam sticks to cover and waits for a patrolling guard to turn his back, then attacks him with a gruesome-looking fatality-type kill. One detail of note: While you generally play Deus Ex: Human Revolution from a first-person point of view, you move to a third-person view when taking cover and performing these kills, which are called takedowns. Adam then drags the body out of the way and enters a nearby vent. From here, he's able to locate Tong--who happens to be the very same bartender who refused you access. Tong is conversing with a comrade, and as it turns out, he knows a lot more about the situation than he let on.

The second half of the demo focused on pure action. In it, Adam makes his way around a dock cluttered with shipping crates, slipping from cover spot to cover spot to avoid detection. This is where augmentations come in handy. For example, because the player has given Adam the strength augmentation, he is able to move some heavy boxes out of the way and reveal a path that would have otherwise been unavailable. Once through this opening, Adam plunges a sharp weapon through a guard's midsection in another disgusting-looking takedown move. According to DeMarle, takedowns are always contextual and not scripted, so the takedown you perform conforms to the circumstance.

After a bit more sneaking, Adam infiltrates a security station, stabs the seated guard in the back, and hacks into the camera system. With hacking, you can take control of cameras or even read private e-mail that provides even more helpful information. The player continues to creep along the grimy dock and eventually leaps onto a crate and finds a combat rifle hidden inside. From here, he drops down between two conversing guards and takes them down in a single, expert melee move. Then, he activates another augmentation, which allows him to see through walls--at which point he punches through the wall and chokes the foe lurking behind it to death. Eventually, Adam finds the explosives he's been looking for and then takes advantage of another augmentation--one that turns him invisible. He slinks unseen to a nearby enemy, aims his pistol, and boom! The guard crumples to the ground, a bullet lodged directly in his brain. A few aggressive takedowns later, and Adam needed to enter a warehouse. Again, the player gets to make a choice. This time, he makes his way to the rooftop and breaks through the glass on the ceiling. Another awesome-looking takedown follows, and then--a boss fight.

The boss is a terrifying transforming robot that launches grenades toward our scowling hero. The player takes aim with his standard weapons, but the submachine gun he was using isn't really doing the trick. Luckily, there is a rocket launcher nearby, and Adam is able to apply an upgrade to it: heat targeting. This allows Adam to essentially shoot the robot without it being in sight. One rocket is all it takes, and the robot explodes in a shower of sparks and flame. Adam finds the trigger to the explosives he was looking for, but the effect he gets isn't the one he expects: a countdown timer signals a local detonation. Adam leaps toward a nearby window, and while it cracks, it does not shatter. Adam leaps a second time, just as the explosion occurs and thrusts him outward. Yet there is another surprise waiting for Adam once he dusts himself off: a hulking supersoldier with a rural accent and a nose ring, with a minigun built directly into his arm.

We'll have to wait to see where Adam's adventure takes him next, but it looks to be worth the wait. The build we saw wasn't extremely polished, but it made it very clear that the development team understands the franchise and wants to stay true to its roots. No release date is yet announced for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but you should expect to see this single-player-only, role-playing/shooter/stealth hybrid on shelves sometime in 2011. It will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation3, and PC.

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Discussion

151 comments
ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Yeah... with all the stealth type gamely in this new Dues Ex game I'd totally prefer they did the whole game in 3rd person view.... with an option to go into FPS view for those who prefer that. This switching views back and forth is not cool... and the sneaking ala MGS and Splinter Cell needs to be in 3rd person for the drama and intensity to be there. It totally loses that vibe the minute you can't see your character anymore an it goes into FP view. Hopefully they give the player the OPTION like many games are doing now. Especially in a game like this where your already playing the game in 3rd person a lot of the time.

jemoedr
jemoedr

Woa i really can't wait to play this game! Just look at those graphics :o

dcdanger
dcdanger

Ive been waiting for this day to come, finally another deus ex!

buddy_monu
buddy_monu

my god!!! it's gonna be a shakin' one... the first one was notlessthen legend, and they really have to prove it again...

domz_dream
domz_dream

Deus Ex is looking epic so far (from the concept art pics I've seen). What do you guys think of the new game to come out- Singularity. I think it looks beautiful. And fun. Stunning imagery and excellent level design. Gamespot said it isn't beautiful. I think they're nuts. Sure, it isn't too deep a game, but it reminds me of Prey, which I thought was an amazing game. I played it at least 8 times so far. Hmmm....Come to think of it, I think I'll install it again tonight.

peterfaj
peterfaj

I don't like automatic switching between first and third person. Either make it only first person or only third person or let us choose.

predcon1
predcon1

@DKant Why need your response be gender and hairstyle specific? Jump away, friend. Jump away.

DKant
DKant

I'm SOO excited for this! If I was a girl and I had pigtails they'd be jumping up and down in pure joy RIGHT now, just reading this! I might actually get back to praying JUST to wish the developers tons of luck! Man, I'm giddy! Phew, hope it turns out well for everybody.

f-chopin
f-chopin

Looks interesting, may get the game when it's out.

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

When those guys means "dumbing down" the game, i think they are refering to specific target audiences such as majority of console players who loves games like COD, which is really easy. But I don't see why a platform of the game has anything to do with the game difficulty other than hardware limitations where as Crysis 2 is being limited to.

ankscrazy
ankscrazy

I am excited as hell........... may DX:HR is answer to our 7 years wait of another DX game........my fingers are crossed

jamalandjboogie
jamalandjboogie

Cant wait to get this game. hopefully it will be as good as the first deus ex

ParisSun
ParisSun

The original Deus Ex turned out to be hidden gem for me. I knew nothing about it but picked it up and really liked it. Hopefully this one will surprise as well.

KlepticGrooves
KlepticGrooves

Sounds good. Boss battles have been part of games for years anyway. No big deal.

-Deimos-
-Deimos-

Personally I love Boss battles. They're gaming tradition! How can you have a game without a boss battle? (Even racing games had their own variation of a boss battle). @ snorkel2 What's so "outdated" about boss fights? I mean please, give me a reason how it's become outdated.. you've got to be joking. After I killed hundreds of "drones" I wanna fight that boss! Not just kill lots of drones and then have the game say "Great Job, you win." and then it ends.

-Deimos-
-Deimos-

Personally I love Boss battles. They're gaming tradition! How can you have a game without a boss battle? (Even racing games had their own variation of a boss battle). @ snorkel2 What's so "outdated" about boss fights? I mean please, give me a reason how it's become outdated.. you've got to be joking. After I killed hundreds of "drones" I wanna fight that boss! Not just kill lots of drones and then have the game say "Great Job, you win." and then it ends.

snorkel2
snorkel2

Enough of the boss battles already. Crysis 2 and Deus Ex 3 both. Please, boss battles are so outdated, and quite frankly seem like a lot of game filler these days.

kljvoph
kljvoph

Sauron210 Quote 'Enough games have been dumbed down because of the low potential of the Xbox.' Since when did great games design/play have anything to do with with platform potential. A great game is a great game even on a lesser platform. There is nothing wrong with games like Mass Effect or Red Dead even if they might have looked better on a PC. And neither are in anyway dumbed down. What do you even mean by that ?? The only reason games designers might dumb down a game is if they are targeting a dumb audience not beacuse a platform has slightly less computing power.

NikoIcon66
NikoIcon66

i bet they will ruin the game but it will sell because of fanboys like me, oh yeah and great idea with the third person,jakass

emkplayboy6
emkplayboy6

@sauron210 you're so right dude aslong as it's main focus is pc this will be an epic game, enough dumming games down due to limitation of systems like Xbox360

Typina
Typina

Hehe the thing I thought interesting was the picture looking at New York from the island in Deus Ex was where were the twin towers?

F-14-D_TOMCAT
F-14-D_TOMCAT

Nice. definitely looking forward to this game.

sauron210
sauron210

Would it take like 10 seconds again before you can hit a damn thing with your weapons? Using any ranged weapons was kind of disencouraging as they were very inaccurate in Deus Ex. I'll go in sneaking anyway lol. And yeah, why for the consoles actually? It's fine though, as long as the PC is their priority. Rather port from PC to X360 than vice-versa imo. Even rather a port from PS3 than X360. Enough games have been dumbed down because of the low potential of the Xbox.

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

just hope the trailer isn't better than the game

Don111
Don111

Tong who... I wonder, My guess is Tracer's Father or something like that, however my guess is very unlikely

-Geo
-Geo

Seems like the boss was easy top kill

Baselerd
Baselerd

I wish we gotta see some gameplay :'( Either way I hope this game kicks ass!

dstv
dstv

Trailer was sooooo epic....hope this doesnt dissapoint

coastalliving
coastalliving

Wonder if it's possible to switch from First person to Third person view on the fly?

iikefkaii
iikefkaii

Watch the trailer in 1080p on your tv and it will blow you away...story seems to be interesting as well.

Draconuskahn
Draconuskahn

I'm waiting for the beta gameplay before I judge anything. I hope there is an option to turn on and off 3rd person (keep it on, keep it off, or auto), that way these whiny fanboys get what they want, I get what I want, and we can all hold hands and sing-song lol.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

No one can escape (oh that we could!) from the fact that we live in a multiformat gaming market. games are written for console first and foremost, and publishers seem to think console gamers are all twelve years old and idiots and so dumb the game down. Then, sometimes, it gets converted to PC and while the interface and UI may get changed, it still has the dumbed down gameplay. Personally, I would give this game an 80% chance it will be dumbed down like multiformat Deus Ex 2 and a 20% chance it will be like the PC only Deus Ex. ..... And I am just as sorry to have to write the above as you are, having to read it...!!

Mar28jw
Mar28jw

punched through a wall and strangled a guard?sounds too cool for school ho ho

davonas
davonas

A new Deus EX game whatever it is, it looks a bit good.

pogswarts
pogswarts

@JJMikhail Hmmm, I didn't think of it like that. That probably has a lot to do with it.

AndSo
AndSo

Definitely looks buy worthy.

JJMikhail
JJMikhail

@pogswarts Whilst I agree that this is certainly the case, the game seems to be too "sci-fi" but do remember what actually occured just before we came into the first Deus Ex I, a terrorist attack on the Statue of Liberty, economic collapse and years of horror followed during which time emergency powers were used e.g. UNATCO.

Dranius
Dranius

Ooookay. Seems like this game won't even come close to deserving the name "Deus Ex" in it's title, for countless reasons.

Kensai_Arkusai
Kensai_Arkusai

Just wanted to point out that 3rd person doesn't have to ruin a good FPS game. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines was a fantastic game, one of the closest things to Deus Ex 1 that can be played. That had 3rd person view takdowns and that wasn't a big deal. I never had a problem getting sucked into that visceral world. I think Deus Ex 2 has us all a little too paranoid about what migh happen with this game. Part of the problem with that game was technology for the XBox. Part was also that they somehow "didn't get it" and the setting just didn't have that same appeal. I have a much better feeling this ime around. The dynamic of augmented and non-augmented humans is extremely captivating, and if leveraged correctly, will be different from what we're used to but compelling nonetheless.

pogswarts
pogswarts

This is just too sci-fi. In the first Deus Ex people flew in 747 and yet somehow in the past there are hovering vehicles?

biokrysty
biokrysty

never played deus I want to play this one