E3 2011: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preview - How to Play Like a Lunatic

E3 2011: We abandon all semblance of being the nice guy and see what happens when you really let yourself go in this role-playing shooter.

Most people won't want to rush through Deus Ex: Human Revolution. With a vast conspiracy at the heart of its story and a deep upgrade system that lets you outfit yourself with a variety of cybernetic augmentations to suit your own preferred play style, this is a role-playing shooter where a measured, methodical approach is often the most rewarding one. But it's not a game that tells you what to do, so if you'd prefer to play like an unhinged maniac with an itchy trigger finger and a deeply held distrust of others, well, that's a path you can take. In fact, it's one we tried for ourselves with Human Revolution's Electronic Entertainment Expo demo--with the help of some serious role playing.

Unlike our most recent string of previews--each based on multi-hour play sessions--Human Revolution's E3 demo was a relatively short 20-minute jaunt through a research lab just outside of Shanghai. Your quest is a simple one: Get from the ground floor of this towering facility up to the top. Between you and your goal stand a number of enemies, including well-armed security forces (this is a lab working on highly valuable cybernetic augmentations), as well as dozens upon dozens of scientists. Yes, we decided from the outset that science was our enemy. Hey, this is a role-playing game. The role we decided to play just happened to be a guy who hates scientists.

Sneaking through the halls of the lab, we passed by a fellow caught in a gas leak pounding on the window of his research chamber. He asked for us to help him out by looking for the source of the leak and fixing it. No doubt this guy would have some sort of nice reward in store for us that would come in handy; perhaps a credit chip or an access code to a locked door. We told him we would help him out. And then, we immediately forgot about him. He was probably doing bad science anyway.

In the next room, we encountered a security guard whom we had to bribe with some credits to let us pass by him. We did so, and he was kind enough to look the other way. Then, we noticed a lab-coat-wearing scientist in the corner that we believe was silently judging us for not being man enough to use the "intimidate" option on that guard. (See, our version of hero Adam Jensen not only hates science, but he's also incredibly paranoid and self-conscious.) So we did the only thing we could do; we shouted "Why don't you judge this?" and threw a grenade right at him.

This triggered a bit of a commotion because a number of guards then started coming after us from all directions. We took them out with a high-powered revolver, but the sentry robots that arrived a moment later proved to be more challenging. For these things, we had to take cover, let our health regenerate, and roll a grenade right under their robotic undersides. This managed to do the trick quite nicely, and it was onto the next area.

What came next was a maze of hallways, locked doors, and security guards. By this point, we decided that our version of Adam Jensen was of the opinion that stealth is for babies, so we ran through the hallways like a crazed maniac. We fired off pistol rounds like they were on sale, threw crates at anything with a face, and bounced grenades around blind corners just to be on the safe side. The result was a string of dead guards, more than a few dead scientists, and lots of expensive lab equipment that would need to be replaced. If we could have left a Post-it note that read "I.O.U. $500,000," we would have done so. Well, probably not. Our version of Adam Jensen hates Post-it notes.

Soon after, we managed to find an elevator that led up to a less-secure area, with a number of civilians relaxing on couches or looking out at the expansive view of the city below. There was one fellow who immediately caught our eye. Standing out from the throngs of scientists was a guy in everyday clothing sitting down entranced by some sort of book. If this guy wasn't a nefarious scientist yet, he was clearly studying to become one, so we hatched an idea to save him. In short, we grabbed a fire extinguisher from the wall and hurled it straight at his head to knock all the science out of him. Unsurprisingly, this just wound up killing him and terrifying everyone else nearby.

Having run out of objects to throw at people--and feeling a need to quiet everyone down lest more robot guards come scrambling our way--we simply picked up this guy's corpse and hurled it at a cowering civilian. We wish we could say it was a sort of "face your fear" training exercise for the scared civilian, but really, we just wanted to shut him up. And maybe, we also wanted to see what would happen if we threw a dead person at a living one. Turns out you wind up with two dead people. Who knew!

After this, there was some more armed combat with guards, an environmental puzzle in which we had to stack boxes to climb above a pool of electrified water, and some air ducts that we had to sneak through to bypass a few locked doors on the way to our final goal. We managed to make it there relatively unscathed, though the fact that we were playing on easy difficulty certainly helped quite a lot. But overall, we walked away impressed by just how much of a complete crazy person we could be in Deus Ex: Human Revolution and still get through the game. Yeah, playing as a stealth assassin on a higher difficulty is probably much more rewarding. But at the same time, there's something oddly reassuring about the fact that this carefully crafted game doesn't require you to play with anything resembling caution; in fact, you can play like a deeply disturbed lunatic and still feel like you somehow have a place in the story. No matter how you choose to play the game, you can expect to see Deus Ex: Human Revolution released on August 23.

Editor's Note: No real scientists were harmed in the writing of this preview.

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Discussion

41 comments
ensomneac
ensomneac

Just because you like Steam, that doesn't make other people who don't a douche. If anyone's a douche, it's you Simone. :)

Simeon_Crane
Simeon_Crane

Thank god for Steam. I prefer to get my games online. Kaem79 is a douche

Unholy123
Unholy123

Whats real good is you could do things like this in the first one too and people would notice and point out your a bit of crazy person :P Sounds like a fun game just to mess around on. The throwing of objects and physics should be sweet

kaem79
kaem79

I won't buy this game because this game will use Steam DRM. And Steam is also a worst-kind-of-bloatware.

gimble21m
gimble21m

what am I better off runnng this on: PC or ps3? .... looks awesome.

Wensea10
Wensea10

the title basically tells the best part of the game

ParisSun
ParisSun

Between this and Skyrim, I'm not sure if I'll need any other games until Mass Effect 3 or Bioshock next year.

ultralesus
ultralesus

Damn scientists thinking their better than us because they went to college.... BAM!

kaem79
kaem79

Witcher AoK and Risen 2 will blow this goo away. Still getting this game anyway, because RPGs are so worth playing.

Trion3
Trion3

what i liked about the original dues ex was that you could kill one of your allys at the start of the game and it would completly change the playthough

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Fantastic. But this is what Deus Ex has always been about. I've gone through the original game like this, destroying anything that moves (while I had the ammo for it, of course). But it's the fact that you have the option to be a raving lunatic that makes the game so great. You play how you desire. It's amazing how simple of a concept this is, yet how so few game implement this. Even sandbox games don't have these kinds of options. It would be nice if more games took example from Deus Ex.

JamilAhmed1994
JamilAhmed1994

@foojam If you've played the game, you would have realised that regenerating health doesn't make the game any easier at all.

hystavito
hystavito

@foojam It might also have to do with how we were introduced to these types of games. The very first game that made me go out and buy a 3D card, back when you had to have a separate 3D and 2D card :), was Rainbow Six. For those that don't know, in those days in RB6, you could be killed instantly if an enemy got a good headshot or upper body shot on you. Headshots alone are a funny thing if you think about it, because most games these days do allow you to make a single shot headshot kill, but they don't allow the enemy to do that to you :). Run & gun is the way these days, prob never going to change back.

ABC2K
ABC2K

The main character sounds a bit like solid snake.

foojam
foojam

Health regeneration ruins the experience in games and they decided to make it this way. Yeah, why not, console market prefers simple and unrealistic gameplay, we make what they want, who cares about staying true to the roots of this game, money comes first.

blackhook001
blackhook001

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

seancoombes
seancoombes

This is one of the funniest previews I've ever read - brilliant stuff

devrindare
devrindare

the game's mechanism of changing 1st person to 3rd person is very thoughtful. and the different mode like action, stealth etc are really. I especially like to play this game in the stealth mode.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

[Then, we noticed a lab-coat-wearing scientist in the corner that we believe was silently judging us for not being man enough to use the "intimidate" option on that guard. (See, our version of hero Adam Jensen not only hates science, but he's also incredibly paranoid and self-conscious.) So we did the only thing we could do; we shouted "Why don't you judge this?" and threw a grenade right at him. ] ^ LMAO :lol: "Editor's Note: No real scientists were harmed in the writing of this preview. " ^ Oh, you :P Excellent preview. It was funny and great to read :)

chyng85
chyng85

Support Square-Enix forever~

Joshua_Ex
Joshua_Ex

It doesn't matter if this game will get good or bad reviews, it's gonna be in my collection no matter what. Pre-ordered

christianXallen
christianXallen

Your version of Adam, by far, surpasses my previous views of him. Kudos.

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

Couldn't anticipate this game anymore now, bring on the summer!!!

UnJell
UnJell

Gordon will avenge them!!! Anyway, nice preview.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I can't wait to get my hands on this game

hystavito
hystavito

Seems like they generally show off the action aspects most, which makes sense considering it appeals to a much larger crowd. What I am wondering though, will there be enough ammo to run around and shoot em up? I don't plan to do it, I just picture people getting the game wanting to do this and then always running out of ammo.

dakan45
dakan45

No need the first game gave me that skill. man guns were so innacurate i was running aroud with a police baton slapping people in the face.

Kingjames11
Kingjames11

Sounds great. One of the two big games I'm really looking forward to this year (the other being Elder Scrolls).

rjr1211
rjr1211

Im gonna play as an idiot who likes big guns.

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

More than 2 months away! i cant wait for this seems simply awesome, i love stealth, but being a crazed lunatic shooting everything that moves is also really awesome and im glad we have the choice!

Moloch121
Moloch121

Been playing the 10 hour leak....plays a lot like the orginal but I hate the forced boss fights. This is definitely a first day buy now I was so worried before.

nereza
nereza

The best way to destroy a conspiracy is to kill everyone involved lol.

pidow
pidow

Can't wait to play.

flc-01
flc-01

Its the personal touch that makes your E3 coverage more than just a glorified press release!

siarhei
siarhei

Sounds like a great RPG! (heads to store to preorder...)

Ciphas
Ciphas

Got a few good lulz from this article Shaun McInnis presents Deus Ex: Going Postal