Deus Ex: Human Revolution Updated Impressions - Weapon Upgrades, Augmentations, and Hacking

We take a closer look at a later mission in Human Revolution and examine some of the tools at Jensen's disposal.

When we last saw Deus Ex: Human Revolution, we took you through the opening acts of Square Enix and Eidos Montreal's upcoming sci-fi shooter. We saw series protagonist Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT officer, thrown into a deadly conspiracy after his workplace, cybernetic augmentations manufacturer Sarif Industries, was attacked by an unknown but well-armed force. The ensuing conflict ended with Jensen's supposed death, only to see him return with extensive augmentations--which Jensen was less than thrilled to have received. Now, during our recent hands-off demonstration with game designer Antoine Thisdale, we go beyond the opening to a later mission to explore some new augmentations and abilities at Jensen's disposal.

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In the not-too-distant future of 2027, cybernetic augmentation is a topic steeped in controversy--religious, political, and otherwise. Where some see only sin, others see evolution. The ongoing debate has already produced disastrous results, most recent of which is the attack on Sarif Industries. After an extensive investigation, Jensen finally has a chance to strike back at those who inadvertently made him what he is today: augmented. After touching down a few blocks from our destination--an unsuspecting lot of warehouses--our character decided it was best to stock up on supplies before attempting the mission. A chatty arm's dealer was nearby, and after some small talk, he was more than eager to tell us all about the heavily armed people he'd recently seen moving in and out of the area. Despite its appearance, we now knew we were on the right trail.

The merchant also supplied us with a target-leading system for Jensen's tranquilizer rifle; it was an upgrade that would prove immensely useful once he infiltrated the enemy compound. For now, the upgrade was stored in our inventory, which was displayed on a large grid similar to the system used in Resident Evil 4. Each item takes up a certain number of slots on the grid, with larger items, such as weapons and upgrades, taking up more space than a CD, for instance. However, you won't be able to carry everything you come across. Once our character made his purchases, he moved onto the target area. Here, our character was faced with his first challenge: infiltration. Guards were stationed all around the building itself, and while there weren't a lot of them, Thisdale (the demo's pilot) decided it was best to use the element of surprise and attempt sneaking inside.

When sneaking past enemies, the game uses a combination of line of sight and sound to pinpoint your location. Jensen's cloaking and silent-moving augmentations easily countered this, but they rapidly drained his internal power supply. After slipping past the guards, his next task was to hack the security gate to the compound. When hacking any computer terminal, the goal is to connect your point of entry (represented by a blue orb) with your target (represented by a green orb). You do this by capturing the numerous access nodes between these two points. However, each time you capture a new point, you run the risk of alerting the network's security system, which is represented by a red tower. It then becomes a race against time as the security system attempts to capture nodes and link itself with your access point. Because the gate's lock wasn't too advanced, Thisdale easily outmaneuvered its security system and gained access.

The game's save system features two overlapping checkpoints, and it allows you to save almost anywhere.

Inside was a large, single room that housed numerous crates and a half-dozen guards. From within his inventory, Jensen equipped the previously purchased target-leading system to the tranquilizer rifle. With this upgrade, he now received a visual cue indicating where he should fire to score a hit. This was especially helpful when tracking moving targets. A few well-timed shots dropped enemies behind crates or otherwise out of sight. Those that required a more intimate touch got treated to a sneak attack sleeper hold, a melee technique that depleted Jensen's internal batteries. With the guards dispatched, it was simple to slip under the camera and take the elevator down to the floors below.

Upon arriving on the basement level, Thisdale decided he was finished with sneaking around and took a more direct approach. After rolling out of the elevator and sliding up behind some crates, he used another augmentation to place tracking markers on all the enemies, including one large, four-legged robot. These markers took the form of large, green arrows placed above the enemies to help us track them in battle. From his inventory, Jensen outfitted his assault rifle with a target-seeking system. Modeled after existing technology, this system applies a calculated spin on a bullet when fired. The spin allows it to curve in midair and hit those hard-to-reach targets. Used in combination with the target tracker, Jensen could angle his gun upward and fire bullets downward to hit enemies ascending a flight of stairs on the far side of the room. However, this system wasn't very accurate, and a lot of bullets had to be twisted to drop the target.

With the human guards defeated, our character still had to contend with the four-legged walker. While the machine hammered the balcony with machine-gun fire, Jensen navigated behind it and used the Icarus drop augmentation to jump to the floor below. This ability drastically slows your descent and allows you to touch down without making a sound. After snatching up a nearby rocket launcher, he popped out of cover and made quick work of the walker. Our demonstration ended here, with Thisdale encouraging us to try a different approach from the one he had taken. "There's always more than one way to do things," he added.

When you're in cover the game switches from first to third-person, however you still shoot in first-person.

From this brief encounter, we got a sense of Human Revolution's dense gameplay. The gunplay, augmentations, dialogue, hacking, and numerous other factors will make it interesting to see how developer Eidos Montreal brings together the final release. When asked what the team was hoping to improve upon from the first game, Thisdale focused mostly on the story and music. In the original Deus Ex, the story was presented to the player at a much slower pace than the redesigned Human Revolution, where information is presented a bit at a time in a constant stream. Regarding the music, the team loved the original score and is hoping to improve upon it by dynamically tailoring it to what's happening onscreen--whether it is stealth or a firefight. You can find Deus Ex: Human Revolution this August on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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Discussion

140 comments
kazumashadow
kazumashadow

This is a sure buy for me, i love the gameplay style and the enemies and environments remind me a little of Metal Gear Solid, another great game.

svenjl
svenjl

PC Gamer mag scored this 94% saying it put most other games of this type to shame. Seems to have some combat elements in common with Mass Effect 2 and Rainbow 6 series, but much more diversity in terms of approaching various situations. Some of the animations are a bit meh, but overall looks great.

trevorbaer
trevorbaer

Well, the graphics and design are great, and they seem to fit in with the lore. I just hope we deal with some larger areas as opposed to Invisible War. Deus Ex has always been about deep conspiratorial issues, well thought out storyline and minor RPG elements that come together to make a great environment. I wonder, JC . . . . Denton

DevilPool
DevilPool

looks like a great game...looking forward to it

sadass
sadass

Last!!!! *impersonation*

blakeney
blakeney

"When you're in cover the game switches from first to third-person, however you still shoot in first-person." Hmmmm, sounds abit clunky/shoddy? Would like to see that in action..

GarGx1
GarGx1

@ Scotterius Thumbs up mate, not been called a youngster for many many years :) I'm a grouchy old PC gamer too ;)

AIRWALKTDK666
AIRWALKTDK666

interesting. ive never had the chance to play a Deus EX game before but now i might try it out...

Chavis02
Chavis02

Sweet Graphics and I love Deus Ex Games. I will buy this game until it comes out! :D

skipper847
skipper847

Just pre orded the Augmented edition for the PC for £25.91p which i dont think is bad for the price.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Scotterius PC games mostly come out months, sometimes more then a year later then they do on consoles. So i do not think consoles limit games on PC. If stuff still is crap when it comes out on your pc, you should look at the developer. They can do more to make games better on PC.

maic
maic

i just hope this lives up the the original, boy did i loved that game :)

PurplePonyPants
PurplePonyPants

Meanwhile Warren Spector is developing mickey games. Thats when the career REALY takes off...

Scotterius
Scotterius

@jeored Ah...but in the original Deus Ex, you didnt have robotic arms...you were kinda wimpy, with underpowered guns. @GarGx1 Ok, I dont think that consoles are really dragging anyone down. There is a technology difference, but really...its seriously not limiting design in any meaningful way to me...that I can see. Truncated menus, reducing tactical options, reducing camera control, eleminating inventories and crafting, or having your crew walk around in a vacuum in short sleeves (I liked the game, but that was retarded)...is well dumbing down to me. Nothing to do with technology. I stopped buying consoles when I saw Doom, but they bring so many new players to the hobby. I dont think they are the problem, its this slippery design integrity that chronically underestimates their users. (I realize that its partly due to the way games are financed and how high production costs are these days.). I just don't like it, and I can put on my grouchy old man pants wheneva' I feel like it. And..I actually quit playing FPS's before MoH...youngster :) Thanks for the update.

GarGx1
GarGx1

@ Scotterius Sorry dude i got to partially disagree with you, mob spawning has been around for almost as long as fps's, MoH and CoD have been doing it since thier original outings, it's a lazy way to make a game harder. The problem that consoles are causing is they're not keeping up with technology, PC games used to help drive the tech along, with programmers demanding more power to create better games (there is obviously a lot more to it than game creation but it used to be a large factor) but with consoles it's not happening as the big console maufacturers have way more clout that software engineers. They could release a new console every year or two and allow them to be backward compatable (as all PC's are) but they want to milk as much out the current tech as they can before allowing it to lurch forward again, the next gen of consoles will still be behind where PC tech is even when brand new. (whenever that happens). As for Dues-ex, looking good, if a little too gold. I'm sure eidos will do it justice on all platforms

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

It's funny to see PC gamers downing consoles, I don't see what they're so worried about. They are NOT the same, sort of stupid to try to compare them. Both do things that the other doesn't do too well, however both markets continue to thrive.

BelmontWolf
BelmontWolf

@tomcrole exactly thats why call of duty hasnt changed in years and it shows it but the fanboys are too immersed in terrible gameplay to notice.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Scotterius As far as i read you CAN kill people here with your robot arms. Besides if you can stand console games then don't look at them. Then buy PC games like Total War... I like both PC and Console games. I got an expensive game pc but sometimes i can do things on my console that my pc can not. Consoles also got their pluses.

beanofengland
beanofengland

Obviously gonna get this one, being a massive Deus Ex original fan but they just keep showing FAR to much with these 'walkthroughs', I DONT WANT TO READ HOW I'M MEANT TO COMPLETE THE MISSIONS AT THIS STAGE! Its starting to worry me that Eidos are literally showing how to complete missions instead of offering interesting tidbits about the gameplay possibilties, as none of this is particularly original at all... they are just trying to market innovation when there is clearly none there...

tomcrole
tomcrole

@Scotterius i get it you spent hundreds on a pc and now you have to try and put console games down to fill good about your self. but the fact is all though consoles have less power there are ways off getting round this that produces an amazing game (also unlimit respawns is more of a design choice to stop players camping and focing movement), im so sick of pc gamers filling the messages with rubbish the fact is people dont like change, but change is good.

Scotterius
Scotterius

@naryanrobinson Today I did actually think of some ways console technology does limit and change design. Rooms become smaller, and Aesthetics are limited to more spartan designs in large spaces. Most egregiously perhaps, the amount of NPCs the computer needs to control is reduced. This leaves you with those lousy fights of enemies magically getting reinforced during the fight. Still, the worst design choices usually stem from controller issues, or just that they have a more casual audience.

Scotterius
Scotterius

@geokes76 Actually, so far it looks a lot better than the original. I mean in the original you were pretty much a wuss...sneaking around getting kill codes to actually stand a chance against people like Jensen. Keep them fancy pansy nanobots. I want robotic arms that you can actually hurt people with. Maybe some effective fire arms too. I dont mind some sneaking, but just sneakin'...heck no.

etchcorp
etchcorp

I hope they won't disappoint us...

geokes76
geokes76

I have a feeling this is going to be really underwhelming for anyone who played the original.

spacedman4
spacedman4

set a release date or im starting to think the games got problems

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@Scotterius I don't know where you got that I don't like Borderlands from. I love that game, in fact the only frustrating elements in it are the things that have come straight from consoles. The weapon management screen, for example, is designed in a long list so that you can move from weapon to weapon with an analogue stick. What if you just want to get to the last item and you have a mouse (which is the perfect tool for the job)? You can't. It's not a bug, it's a "unified" design. It's a pain using it, and not only because it doesn't have proper scroll wheel support. You have to go through and select everything between you and the thing you want before you get to it. Classic console design. It'll work on PC, but definitely not well. You're asking me to name some things that aren't graphical or control related? Of course I'm going to mention control related things. Aside from graphical elements (which are a big deal too), there's hardly anything left to mention.

Scotterius
Scotterius

@naryanrobinson I get you don't like borderlands and Dragon Age 2. It doesn't forward your point that technology of the consoles is limiting game design. Maybe your right, I just don't see it. Can you name a few design (not graphical- or control related) elements that can be implemented on a PC that cant be implemented on a console? Or specific cases where design plans changed? Dragon Age 2 seemed to just suffer from poor game design choices, I know of none that were due to technology. If anything it even looked better than the original.

JS0123456789
JS0123456789

When is this coming out? It's not in August. Why can't they set a firm release date?

Fr0zenSpark
Fr0zenSpark

if there is one thing that didn't need improvement, it's the story.. or the pace of it. They will undoubtedly eff it up if they think it needs improvement. Great thing about Deus Ex is that there were no real bosses.. while this game seems to already have a few cliche-looking villains.

Dunbon
Dunbon

how about an update on the release date.

tataaaar
tataaaar

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

tataaaar
tataaaar

super amazing game i cant wait until august!!

pal_080
pal_080

I'm so glad they delayed releasing this game, I hope they do again if they feel its necessary, but this is sounding great! Loved Deus Ex 1, the gameplay isn't anything close to anything else that exists, and I'm hoping they (Edios Montreal) can revive it. I've got faith in Edios, The Hitman series are some of my favorite games. And I've got L.A. Noire to play (in 2 weeks) till this epicness is released

Dmanplayer723
Dmanplayer723

@naryanrobinson opp's sorry man copyed the wrong name, happen's when you get only 5 hour's of sleep and have a 11 hour work day, also I agree with you to....

Kristophski
Kristophski

Ah, the wonderful return of weapon mods.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@Dmanplayer723 I think you should be directing this comment at Scotterius, I already know all this stuff. But I think also, in his defence, it does need to be said that the operating system's that the consoles are running are absolutely designed to be running games. By that I don't just mean that they are more lightweight then an OS that has to have fully-featured GUI or support for 1 billion users and all the software that they spawn, but also that everything ELSE they do is secondary. The first thing is the game and all the extra cool features that have been showing up recently, they are secondary, which is the exact opposite of something like Windows for example. The consoles are running a LOT more efficiently, even if nowhere near as fast.

Dmanplayer723
Dmanplayer723

@naryanrobinson "I dont think that consoles technology really limit game design" yes yes console technology dose litmit game design, being said your Ps3/xbox only has about 256mb of ram and 256mb of video Ram bring it to a gran total of 512mb of RAM "the console RAM and video RAM work's togather" and that being said an average gameing computer has about 3-4 gig's of RAM and about 512mb-1gig's of video RAM , so when a there designing a game down for console they can't push it as much as you would be able to on a Pc....

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@Scotterius Just watch, as soon as the next generation of consoles comes out and the new generation of games for those consoles, the PC versions of those same games will look just the same on the same hardware. They could look like those unreleased games right now if it was to the benefit of the industry. But the fact is, it's not. If the PC games look as good as they can look, and the console games look as god as THEY can look, the fear is that people would realise just how far behind this technology is. Graphics aside, yes the design is still altered because of consoles. Maybe you've never played the PC versions of Borderlands or Dragon Age 2.

darkagent7
darkagent7

I get that they try to make a theme but I keep looking at the same colour in every preview... and it looks so dull... The only different colour in these screenshots are blue and thats to show doors. =/

dannybanny
dannybanny

I was the biggest fan of invisible war deus Ex and now this one looks pretty different and hell yea!!Eager to play ;)

euphoric666
euphoric666

i miss some textures... looking foward to this one.

Triangly
Triangly

@darrenecm Its simply the artistic style of the game I guess. Does seem a tad bit monochrome though in terms of pure graphics. Will see how it turns out..

darrenecm
darrenecm

Why are all the screenshots for this game so...well...golden brown? It's like the entire world is lit by sodium lamps and the camera has it's colour correction feature turned off ;)

moonkill3
moonkill3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mrhagane
mrhagane

can Square enix just release the game? i have enough watching deus ex videos while SQE makes me want this game so BAD!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

"You can toggle that highlights that appear around certain objects on or off." Ahh, it appears they are listening. Looks good so far.

kuda001
kuda001

I played the first Deus EX with Denton and enjoyed it immensely, will get this too.