"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."
Gameplay: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an open-world FPS-RPG game just like its predecessors. Human Revolution introduces a cover system to the series that is very helpful in this type of game due to the fact that merely crouching behind cover means you won't see what lies around corners. If you wanna go hardcore Deus Ex, you can still do that but the cover mechanic makes it easier to sneak around and time your movements making the game easier for newcomers and casual gamers. The gameplay is improved to suit the 'next-generation' style of gaming, using a conversation layout much recently seen in the Mass Effect series. Objective-changing and story outcome-altering conversations play greatly, with the characters' animations being unique and reacting to the way you approach them(Aggressive, pitpointing, showing sympathy, etc.) and every character's personality is different than the last. One cracks under pressure, the other pulls out a gun on you when provoked, which makes every encounter with key figures immersive, unpredictable and tense. The game's level design is arguably the best I've ever seen in anything I've ever played before. And if not, it's a close second to Hitman Blood Money. The cities are particularly beautiful and full of life and provide a nice feeling of freedom. The game presents you with countless ways to get past each and every part, except for boss battles, but we'll talk about that later.
You can patiently and slowly sneak around the enemy patrols by observing their pattern, or you can just go Batman Arkham on those goons' asses and take them out one by one by silently hitting them with a non-lethal takedown(But unlike Arkham, if those bodies are found by another guard, he will wake them up.), though that presents us with a problem, which is losing one whole battery cell. I never could understand why they developers did that. Takedowns shouldn't cost us a battery, it doesn't make sense in a gameplay nor logical view. I see how the Cloak augmentation or punching through a wall(Among other things) drain batteries since they require Adam to use special augmentations to be able to perform them, but not by just punching a dude in the face. Waiting around for 10 or 20 seconds so your battery cell can recharge really pulls you out of the game which is a shame because it's really good at immersing you in the beautiful universe Eidos Montreal created. What boggles my mind is that using the Icarus Landing System augmentation which has Jensen dropping down from any height and still surviving by slowing down his movement through the use of an electro magnetic field, doesn't drain anything. How in the mother of god doesn't that drain batteries?!
In the end, though, you could just say "F**k all that s**t and blast out your Combat Rifle, trusty handgun or whatever you can get your hands on from the countless amount of weapons in the game and shoot up the place, though Stealth is heavily recommended if you really want to experience the game at its best(And because Adam can't take a lot of damage before biting the dust.). Nothing is more satisfying than entering a building through a vent, slipping by countless waves of enemies without making a squeak. One thing that really amazed me was how nearly every single augmentation you can activate then upgrade through the use of one or two Praxis Kits(Attainable by reaching 5000 XP or purchasing one at a clinic for 5000 credits) greatly impacted the game. The previously mentioned Icarus Landing System allows you to make shortcuts for yourself when you're done with an objective that's located on top of a roof for example, by jumping off said roof and surviving without a scratch. The Cloak augmentation renders Adam invisible for 3 seconds if you have a full battery cell, allowing you to move up past enemy patrols faster than you usually would though you can still be heard. Guns can be upgraded by using weapon mods such as silencers, reload speed, damage upgrades among many more. The enemy A.I. needs help though. If one guard enters hostile mode by spotting you, you literally have 2 seconds to shoot, stun or take them down before EVERYONE else become aware of your location, even if said guard didn't even shoot or yell out. Now, it's time to talk about the boss battles...
Boss battles have received hate from nearly every person that has played the game and I can understand why. There's only one outcome which totally defies the other aspects of gameplay where you're presented with multiple ways to complete a mission, they're out of place, they seemingly require lethal and powerful weapons which may cripple you if you were going for a non-lethal and sneaky playthrough, and for that, I will say people have a point. But to me, they were fun and gave me a nice change. I have to admit, if it wasn't for those satisfying boss fights(Satisfying if you play it right and not use those hilarious glitches), I would've gotten a bit bored of it and the game would've lost steam. Not to mention that the bosses were crucial to the story, except for one and that I won't talk about due to spoilers. But all in all, Deus Ex plays differently than games we've seen for the last half-decade+ and it's such a welcome change.
Graphics: Ahh, graphics. People see them as important factors in what makes a game truly great, others see them as pure eye candy. I'm one of the latter, but I'll still make it my duty to point it out when a game's graphics aren't what they could've been in terms of quality, and Deus Ex is one of those games. The art direction is beautiful and very unique, the yellow-tint present throughout the game gave it a unique feeling and personality, the landscapes and buildings seen from afar when looking out windows or on top of roofs are simply jaw-dropping. The public area of Tai Yong Medical is one of the best places I've ever been to in a video game. The view of Upper-city Hengsha is just... I have no words. I'm not exaggerating. Now that I've talked about the cities and sceneries, let's talk character models guns. Now, guns look AND sound the way they should, but not human faces and models. Every single model for a human looks somewhat waxy in-game and the facial detail just isn't there. Thankfully though, augmented bodies and limbs don't suffer quite as much as human models do. But it still doesn't excuse them. Oh well. At least they're not Bethesda Fallout bad, ayeh?
Sound: There's not much to say here. Guns sound the way they should, voice acting is superb(Elias Toufexis as Adam Jensen is quite possibly the sexiest thing ever.), David Sarif sounds hilariously high, and everything else is good. Move along, nothing to critique here!
Music: One of the most important aspects in a video game is the soundtrack to me. If that game hopes to fully immerse and evoke an emotional response from me(BioShock series), then said game needs to have a good soundtrack. And man, does this game pack a damn good soundtrack. Michael McCann(Splinter Cell: Double Agent) composed the original game soundtrack, and I have to give it to him; He struck gold with this project. Everything from the main theme 'Icarus', to the Unatco tributes heard in the game's intro and radios throughout the game, to the gunfight tracks evoke emotions from the player, whether those emotions be determination, sadness, calmness, nostalgia, or just a straight up adrenaline boost. Some tracks bear a resemblance to the music heard in TRON: Legacy and Mirror's Edge(Which is a good thing.). I'm happy to say that Deus Ex: Human Revolution had the best music of 2011. Below is a selection of my favorite tracks from the game.
Verdict: In the end, this game is a must-buy. Any flaws I could think of couldn't make me hate this game or finish it with something eating at me. No other game I played showered me with experience points no matter how I played it. One of the best stealth games out there, one of the best FPS games out there and hands down a true masterpiece.