RPG of the year? It certainly is in my book thus far.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It's back and on track in a big way.
You Play as Adam Jensen, ex-SWAT and hardman. You start the game off with your girlfriend, discussing her recent break-threw in augmentation. Jensen --in my eye's -- appears to be against the whole thing. While his girlfriend tries to convince him it's for the greater good, the building gets ambushed by a group of augmented soilders. The end result is Jensen stuck in a hole in the wall, counting his teeth.
Six month later and they have turned him into a walking talking tin-man, of augmentation.
Now, I'm going to put a downer on things by letting something off my chest: as with any developer that creates a game of this sort, they talk about just how epic, different and free the choice system is. As I'm a reletively cynical man, I never give my hopes up. This is another one that tries its best to convince you that you are free to change the course of the story, but in the long run it's as linear as any other game.
Sure, there is alot of choices you make in the game, but the different choices aren't all that drastic, and definitely don't change the flow of the story. Infact I'd even go as far as saying that Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecies had more effects on story flow than this. It's a poor mans Heavy Rain.
I'm beating on this topic most because the developers did a song and dance about how massively open and unique the story and gameplay is for turning a different direction depending on what you say/do. There are other games that have gone double the effort this one has. Want to go in guns blazing? You can do it. Want to sneak in? You can do it; what they fail to mention is that if you do want to take the action route, prepare yourself for a hard game. Sure, you can do it, but all the time it feels like the game is meant for sneaking -- even the achievements are stealth based one's. Which just shows you that they are saying, "sure you can go Arnie on the game, but we prefer it if you sneak in there".
Now that that is out the way, lets talk about the game itself. It's just amazing. The atmosphere, soundtrack, action -- everything feels fluid and smooth. There wasn't a single moment I was bored playing this game. The open-world city areas, where you find side-missions, etc, play alot like Starbreeze's 'The Darkness', while the action/stealth feels like Splinter Cell/Gears of War. The augmentation upgrades are great to beef up, and you can really see the difference in upgrading them. Getting up close for the melee grapples are awesome to look at, too.
The game plays a treat. But as I said, it is let down by the restrictions of certain things. Also it's a fickle thing, because the game wants to direct you in the stealth aspect of the game -- as it plays better -- but then it wants you to go Chuck Norris on the, frankly balls to the wall, boss fights. There is no tactic on stealth in the boss fights, they are hard and the only way to do it is with direct force. You'll die a couple of times before you crack it, and to be honest it just strips the game of being stellar. They really are that bad -- out of place.
Graphics: Wow, stunning on every level. Draws you right into the world. 9.5
Sound: Haven't heard a soundtrack this engrossing since Harry Williams Metal Gear soundtracks. Absolutely amazing. 10
Gameplay: It's an amazing play. Everything works great, but you can tell this is a stealth game, making it the restriction that wasn't going to happen, according to the development team. 8.5
Sh!te Box: Occational glitches hinder the epic world. It's linear, don't try hiding it. The boss fights... Just, why are they there?
It's a stunning RPG. Basing the game on looks, sound and story it is hands down GOTY thus far. When you look at the gameplay side of things, it is a let down. Giving you two options, but one being made better, is not giving you an option. Plus the inevitable force -- effectivley on-rails -- story is disappointing also. But as a whole, the four endings are suprisingly deep. The story, as restricted as it is, is still bloody immersive. And the graphics, soundtrack and gameplay as a whole is amazing. If I wasn't fed such toss about the game moving and acting accordingly to your actions I might have been a bit more forgiving to this review. But at the end of the day, this is definitely a GOTY contender for me. Lets just see how it fairs next to the other colossal RPG titans in coming months.