Human Revolution is a successful blend of action and variety that keeps you engaged.
+ Impressive setting and futuristic atmosphere
+ Game's nature allows you to tackle most situations without forcing you down one route
+ Great gameplay elements and augmentation upgrades
- Bosses completely omit the element of choice which the game employs in everything else
- City maps can make navigation harder than it's ought to be
- Some bizarre character movements in conversations
There is something intriguing about how Deus Ex: Human Revolution plays. Whereas other shooters put you in a room full of enemies expecting you to kill them all, Deus Ex gives you options, including the first option. After the first few hours, you'd have realized famous option number 1is rarely ever the right choice unless given no choice. And it's that choice system that sets Deus Ex: Human Revolution apart. The way you can deal with almost every situation leaves room for thought rather than manically holding the R1 button to shower enemies with bullets.
Set a couple of years before the original game, Human Revolution envisions a darker future were human augments have become available despite their controversy. You are Adam Jensen the newly hired security director at Sarif Industries, a company on the verge of discovering something revolutionary regarding human augmentation when a terrorist attack happens, which in the end leaves Jensen to die, only saved by undergoing a severe operation that replaces the majority of his human limbs and organs with robotic augmentations. Several months after that, Jensen returns to find out who the terrorists responsible for the attack and kidnapped the scientists. The story is interesting, using the theme of the use of human augmentations, raising the question whether they should be used or not and the advantages of augments.
Human Revolution plays in almost anything you want, in any way you can think of. Imagine a room with three enemies in it. You are never forced to kill the enemy. You can engage and gun them down, sneak your way past them, find alternative routes or even stealthily take them down. Deus Ex's elements of choice are not illusions. You are never expected to do one choice (except for some occasions). This element of choice is Deus Ex's golden wonder.
And it is a game that plays well in everything in does. Even though the game offers the choice of gunning down your enemy, Jensen can easily find himself with a lack of ammo adding a realistic survival element that indirectly forces you to preserve your ammo. The covering system allows you to walk against the wall and this is the third-person perspective is activating, switching from the game's mandatory first-person perspective. So in a nutshell, Human Revolution is a first-person shooter, and a solid one at that. When against the wall, the aiming system switches to a third-person shooter. Guns are a bit generic in comparison to other futuristic-set games and each can be upgraded with suitable upgrades at your choice. The guns vary from revolver, to machine pistol, shotgun and even heavier runs such as the heavy rifle. All of these can be obtained from enemies.
Your second choice is stealth. Stealth is simply superb, carefully allowing you to sneak and most generally it is your fault you are spotted by alertly guards, cameras and robots. If spotted by an enemy, the alarm is set off, making the enemy immediately search nearby areas. If spotted, you will become hostile and the enemy has found you at this point. Shooting isn't the only option at this point. You can hide and let the alarm go off by carefully hiding out of sight or in other areas, and use vents or turning off alarms. Remove the assumption that it is one choice or another! You can sneak past an enemy in a room and kill the one in the next. It is entirely up to you and you are never punished for it. Another method is taking down enemies. But pressing the O button you can knock down up to two enemy cold, and while holding it, you can kill them in a cinematic fashion. The stealth doesn't allow you to steal from opponents though (unless they are knocked ot), nor use particular items to distract the enemies.
Every single action you perform earns to EXP. Similar in RPG fashion, with EXP earned and once leveled up, you can earn a Praxis point. With these Praxis points, you can upgrade Jensen's augmentation to new heights. New augmentation features including the ability to decrease damage, see through walls and destroy specific weakened walls, increase the ability to lift stronger objects and increase the inventory's capacity. Each augmentation upgrade is available from the start and you can choose whichever suits your taste, without any restrictions. The only restriction is that you need to unlock previous augmentation upgrade before activating the following ones.
The open ended environments allow you to take side quests as well as doing the main story. The map is a bit useless especially when navigating the city maps and it can be a bit confusing to find the next destination of side quests without getting lost. Aside from unlocking you achievements, these side quests are quite entertaining mini stories and offer additional experience points as well as unique items. With the game's open structure, the hacking system can be quite handy to open. The hacking system will take a bit to getting used to how it works, but this practical system will have locked unlocked without the necessity to finding pocket sectaries and codes. Like other actions, hacking nets you EXP but it's rarely ever mandatory. There is a large section of augmentation upgrades dedicated specifically to upgrading your hacking skills, including accessing above Level 1 security codes. Hacking door locks gives you access to someone's house that has few valuables, and hacking computer gives you access to emails, that could give you information. E-books and newspapers are scattered around levels that provide you info on the futuristic world and the wonders of augmentation technology. With Jensen being reborn as an augmented human being, his body has gained new strengths and weakness. Activating manual augmentation skills like the see through walls and destroying weakened walls slow deplete a bar of battery energy, while takedowns use up one energy bar. He is also able to regenerate health.
The only thing that the game omits is against the game's few bosses. Boss fights are interesting and challenging battles, always requiring more than your average run-and-gun your opponent. It requires you staying from the enemy's line of sight, and then striking in opportune moments. Unfortunately, killing your enemy is the only way to go, completely removing the chance to spare your enemy, or avoiding the battle entirely. Plus, the game isn't without its faults. Some character interaction and expressions in normal conversations sometimes feel blander than they should be. Also, there are some glitches when it comes to takedowns, but strangely only very late in the game. Since takedowns are cinematically played, the game around you freezes, and it feels immensely artificial seeing the next opponent frozen watching you kill or takedown his ally.
Human Revolution's cyberpunk future looks fantastic. Despite the yellowish color everywhere, everything from Jensen's augmented body, areas and cinematics look fantastic. Normal conversations can feel a bit stiff since the camera switches from Jensen to another character when talking but the rest is sublime. Voice acting leaves a little to be desired at times, but it is mostly solid. The soundtrack is ambient and fitting. Loadings are of average length, but perfectionist will end up seeing the seemingly long loadings more than they wish for.
The new Deus Ex is a breath of fresh air. It is not without faults of course and it doesn't feel like the perfect stealth game, nor perfect in any section but it is a thrilling game nonetheless. Weaknesses aside, Human Revolution is a fantastic game fitting for this generation, quick-paced, varied and open, like many games aim to be but fail.
Graphics = 8.8
Sound = 8.7
Presentation = 8.4
Gameplay = 9.2
Story = 8.5
Level of Difficulty = Medium
Multiple level of difficulty to choose when you start. The AI is alert, even though sometimes it disappoints to not spot you when exactly around your corner, or some rare times when they magically spot you from difficult angles. You can approach most situations as you want, exploiting the AI in many ways. The bosses are a different story; they are merciless and requires you to fight them in order to advance.
Recommendation Level = Very High
I loved most of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and personally one of the best PS3 games I've played so far. The game gives you more control that you might expect, and never punishes you if you do this instead of that.
Overall = 88/100
Human Revolution is a successful blend of action and variety that keeps you engaged.