The epitome of choice; never had I been this engaged by a game
That is why Deus ex: Human Evolution is so impressive. I want that second playthrough because I know it will be a different game. I don't care about achievements, trophies and whatnot, I care about the experience, and that is where this game exceeds. It is challenging in all the right ways. There is so much flexibility that you can't help but wonder what it would be like if you had chosen a different approach to a mission or sidequest.
The game is a prequel of sorts to the famed Deus ex franchise, but I have to confess that I have never played the original. So I cannot help you if you want to know how it compares to the first game of the franchise. I can, however, tell you that I will, in the foreseeable future, play that game, if only for the story. I liked Deus ex story. Here is how it goes: in the near future, "augmentation" has become the word of order. An ex-cop, Adam, is working in Sarif industries, a company that specializes in research into the field of robotic enhancements to humans. The company is attacked by "augmented" hitmen (augmented is a fine word, but I do like the word cyborg), Adam is left to die, and shortly before passing out he sees his ex-girlfriend, a researcher within the company and the one that put him there, being grabbed by the hitmen. He wakes up six months later, only to discover his body is full of the robotic enhancements the company is famous for. He has been augmented, against his will, but it has saved his life. Now he has to play hound dog to his boss, going after the ones attacking the company, namely "purists", a group that is against robotic modifications in humans, and later uncovering a conspiracy that goes much further than he could ever expect.
You can later purchase said enhancements via a tree, and all you have to do is stack up experience, which grants you "praxis". "Praxis" is what you use to purchase the augments, but it is hard, in the beggining, knowing what will and what will not be useful to you. It all depends on your play style. If you want to use stealth, I suggest you DON'T buy the stealth enhancer. Funny as it may be, the stealth enhancer will require 5 praxis points to be fully upgraded, then you will be able to see how far the noise you are making travels, the guard's cone of vision, and so on, but truth be told you are better off getting other augs because the AI in the game isn't all that sharp, so you could use those 5 points somewhere else. Hacking is fun, so I suggest getting the upgrade that allows you to hack tiers 2 and 3, I didn't bother getting 4 and 5 yet because it gets more difficult without much incentive really (you don't necessarily get better things for hacking higher tiers). Jumping higher, falling from high building without dying, cloaking device, etc, it all helps in some sort of strategy.
You can play a completely different game if you start over and chose different augs. It really is impressive. You can choose an aug an try a strategy that doesn't really work that well together and still succeed. For instance, you can choose to go through an eletrified floor or a hallway full of poisonous gas, but you will need a different aug (one for being able to breathe poisonous gas without dying, one for making your skin invulnerable) for each case, or you can turn off the gas or the eletricity and go through scotch free, but then in some cases you might need an aug that makes it possible to break through weak walls, where you can find the valve or the eletricity box, or jump higher to find these things, and so on. This means you can actually play the whole game without purchasing any of the augs. It is trickier but it is doable.
Graphics wise, the game isn't the best looking out there, but it hardly matters. The long loading times are annoying, specially if you are experimenting and have to wait half a minute or more for the game to load after dying. Considering that you often have to move from one area to another in order to finish a quest, it also may get on your nerves even if you are not dying all that much. Oh, and about the sidequests, I almost started the game over in the beggining because I **** up in the Detroit police station, and then I **** up again and lost the ability to finish a sidequest. It has influenced the game negatively, for I lost a sidequest that probably explained how Adam uncovered a major story arc, and later on he mentions it to an enemy in a cutscene and I was like "well, I kinda figured that out, but how did he discover it, and why didn't he mention this before?". Without some of the sidequests, the story may seem broken, even though it is not, while other sidequests will make no difference whatsoever. I will only have my questions answered now in the second playthrough. Overall, the game is amazing. Get it if you have the chance. It means 40 to 50 hours to uncover most of it, and it will still be a new game if you start over. That is an incredible value if you ask me.