This prequel comes out of stealth just in time to kill your boredom.
I first watched the trailer for Dues Ex: Human Revolution about a year ago. I waited for the 1080p version to load up and then proceeded to watch it over and over, and when it became a chore to keep replaying it on Youtube, I dug up the song and looped that. The game wasn't even out yet and I was hooked. The cyberpunk theme screamed at me. I remember playing Shadowrun on the Genesis and loving it.
So, cybernetic upgrades. Check. Hacking into systems. Check. Taking jobs and even asking my wife's Mother what the reward would be for checking out the details on the death of her daughter, check.
You can play however you wish to, empathetic, or you can play as if the cold metal has reached your heart. The results to these choices aren't revealed to you immediately, and there are tangible benefits for straying off the path of what you may perceive as good. Though the long term consequences of such decisions may actually be mostly inconsequential, there are different branches to the way the game plays out based on your decisions. I personally find this forgivable; as too many loose ends would mean an absolute nightmare for anything else coming along in this series.
The game has a fair amount of visual production value behind it. Though none of it seemed to be technically groundbreaking, all of it was just extremely slick. Well, most of it. The art and atmospheric design just grabs at you and it doesn't ever really let go. I wandered through alleys and sewers countless times just because... I did. There was no rhyme or reason to my wandering around other than I was completely immersed. The first shortcoming that will hit you is how the average NPC looks fairly bad. They looked so bad that whenever I got an energy bar full I'd punch one in the face. I did, indeed, play the cold cyborg.
It goes into a bit of RPG flair with the upgrade system for your character, otherwise known as augmentations. There are a few navigational upgrades that are almost vital - fall damage negation, hacking, jumping and strength. Other upgrades are so specialized that they're hardly required at all. At any rate, however you wish to upgrade your character will see you garnering tangible benefits. Stealth and a silencer is an incredibly efficient way of dispatching enemies. Or, you could go non lethal.
The ways to accomplish your missions are as varied in approach as they are in execution - and that is where this game truly shines. The only other game I can think of offhand that offers as many avenues for getting to your objective is Metal Gear Solid 3. I found myself crawling through random vents or going through an air duct just to see where I'd pop out; often times it was something obvious that I just happened to miss. There are enough variations in the way you can go about accomplishing what you need to do that any given player is bound to have a unique experience. That it all wraps together in fairly static boss battles isn't something I'll knock this game for.
The combat isn't a solid 10, but it's good enough. Most of my shooting involving putting a laser pointer on my 10mm with a silencer and armor piercing and putting a bullet through an enemies head. There were few actual gun battles for me as I opted for a stealthy, invisible approach.
The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic - I already have it on my Ipod. The music that plays when you enter Adam Jensen's apartment lulled me into a fantasy world that very rarely piques my old jaded gamer interests these days. After 23 years of gaming I can rightfully say that 'I've been there and done that', but seeing the broken mirror, the empty cereal bowls, painkillers, and an email about Adam's dog struck a certain chord with me that I found hard to shake. It, in an instant, made me determined the find the bastards who tore his life to pieces.