Deus Ex: Human Revolution Updated Impressions

We got to see three different approaches to a police station infiltration: action, espionage, and a charm offensive.

Deus EX: Human Revolution has been gathering momentum recently, following a trailer from Final Fantasy CGI specialists Visual Works and an impressive E3 demo. At Gamescom this year, the developer was on hand to show a brand-new demo that took place about 90 minutes into the game, as the main character Jensen had to infiltrate a police station. He had the choice of going in guns blazing, using a stealth approach, or charming his way in. We saw all these methods when Eidos Montreal demonstrated one section of the game being approached in three different ways.

The infiltration mission took place fairly early on in the game, just after a terrorist attack from an anticybernetic group called Purity First. There's a mole in the group, who is actually augmented, and he's passing information to the authorities. The game's protagonist, Adam Jensen, gets a call to go check out a police station, infiltrate the building, and extract a piece of electronics from a dead man's head. Initially reluctant, Jensen decides to give it a go, and he has a number of different methods at his disposal.

With the caveat of using unlimited ammo and health, the development team from Eidos Montreal burst into the police station guns blazing. After being warned by a security guard not to go any further, Jensen carried on and took out two officers using a pistol. He then turned a corner, and getting behind a photocopier to form portable cover, he pushed down the corridor. When he arrived in the office part of the building, he engaged Smart Vision, which produced a visual outline of the threats so he could see where they were, even through cover.

He then proceeded to upgrade his revolver so that it could fire explosive rounds, tearing up the entire office as he went. The development team also showed off a nonlethal weapon called the PEPS, or Pulse Energy Projection System, which would fire a wall of energy, incapacitating enemies but not killing them. Having blown away an entire precinct, Jensen then attached explosives to the coroner's room door and forced his way inside to recover the device.

Eidos then showed a more peaceful approach to the situation, demonstrating how you could complete the mission without firing a single bullet. Again going through the front door, Jensen went to talk to the police officer assigned to the front desk. As it turned out, the two had worked together years ago, although some sort of incident where the other man shot a kid meant that the two had lost touch. Still traumatised by the event, the officer was now working on desk duty and was reluctant to help Jensen get inside the office. However, with enough persuasion, the man eventually gave in and helped Jensen through.

This section of dialogue highlighted the attention to detail in the world--the light streamed moodily into the office, fractured at awkward angles by the slanted, mistreated blinds. After convincing the officer to let him in, Jensen was able to stroll through the building and make his way to the coroner, who assumed that he was some sort of government official. Eidos Montreal commented that this approach also allows you to hack the office's e-mail system if you want, allowing you to glean more information about the world itself.

The final approach was stealthy, with a healthy amount of running, jumping, and hacking required to get in to the building. Jensen needed to employ a strength augmentation to push a dumpster up to one of the fences around the side of the building to jump over it, and he then needed to hack his way into a terminal to gain access to the rear of the building. Once inside, Jensen had to use cover, avoid cameras, and employ camouflage augmentations in order to move through unnoticed, and he even had to knock out a guard at one point to avoid detection. He then sneaked into the room holding the body and exited via the sewers. Eidos noted that Jensen could have just taken the sewers into the building as well, if he'd looked around and found that there was an access point.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution seems like it will remain faithful to the other Deus Ex games, at least in the level of choice it offers in approaching situations. The game is looking impressive as a result and promises to offer 20 hours of gameplay, and that's without any of the side quests. The game is scheduled for a March 2011 release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, so be sure to check back for more information on GameSpot soon.

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