Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Many people will still argue to this day that the original Deus Ex game is the best PC game ever released; it was quite simply generations ahead of its rivals. Now a decade later here is Deus Ex Human Revolution. Does the return of utter freedom still hold true or is it just a cleverly disguised illusion.

You take the role of Adam Jensen. After an attack early in the game, Adam is badly injured is operated on to save his life. He is forced to have most of his body augmented in order to stay alive. Through conspiracy theories and hidden partnerships, Adam must scour the globe to understand why the attack happened in the first place.

The story in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not its selling point. The story though, comes together and grabs you more than I was anticipating. Characters are fun and engaging to converse with stellar voice acting for the most part. That being said, some dialogue is badly written with some suspect delivery from the voice actors. On top of that, faces are stiff causing the believability of these characters to diminish.

One of the best aspects of Human Revolution is that the world envelopes you and its a future that genuinely feels like a possibility. Everything is laced with care to make sure nothing feels out of place and the vision of the future is as clear as it possibly can be.

The game though doesn’t give you the best first impression. the first hour or so is not a fair representation of what the rest of the game holds for you. If you just hold-out past its disappointing opening, you will be rewarded with a slightly flawed masterpiece.

A lot of games will boast its freedom of choice given to the player, but barely any game gives you the freedom like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Almost every mission can be approached any way you like. You can take the conventional role and go in with all guns blazing or you can sneak your way past everyone to the mission object. If you look hard enough you may be even able to bypass the whole encounter thanks to hidden air vents and sewerage systems.

Essentially, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an RPG but aspects of a shooter, espionage, stealth and action all combined to create an experience unlike anything out there. That being said, none of these aspects are revolutionary, and doesn’t any of them better than other games. Still, all these genres spliced make one of the most dynamic gameplay experiences out there.

The game doesn’t force you to play any one way although players will be rewarded with more XP for taking down enemies stealthily rather than popping off headshots. Whenever you earn a certain amount of XP you gain praxis points. These points are used to upgrade and unlock new augments to further enhance your play-style. These can be anything from upgrading your inventory space to seeing through walls and even float angelically from any building. You need to be careful of what you pick though. You can upgrade some general stats but you will need to make a decision whether you want to be a hacker, use stealth or go guns blazing. You can upgrade anything at any time but you will not earn a huge amount of praxis points meaning you must favour one play-style.

I went into this game choosing to play it like a cover shooter. I however ended up going down the hacker route with a slight aspect of stealth thrown in. I went with what I wanted and that’s how it ended up being. I know for my second playthrough I will be completely different.

This is why I love this game. No matter how I was playing first time around, I can create a completely different experience next time, to the point of taking completely different paths to complete missions. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a single player only game but it easily has the most replayability from any game that has come out this year.

As you play through Deus Ex: Human Revolution you will come across four main city hubs. Instead of the game throwing missions at you to complete, they give you waypoints and it’s up to you how and when you should get there. Exploring these hubs gives the real sense of life. As you are walking through these hubs police are arresting trouble makers, homeless people are crowded around bins on fire and civilians engage in conversation with one another about current affairs. Nothing ever felts empty and overcrowded. Even walking down the back alley to the club The Hive and even inside it, it all just feels right.  There was a few little quirks that threw me off a little like one person asking another on how to get to the clinic while they were standing just outside the place. There are tiny blotches on a great believable world.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution looks good, if not a bit behind the times. Thankfully though, a great black and gold art design takes your eyes away from its visual shortcomings. It doesn’t look ugly by any means but it won’t be an assault on you senses.

Dues Ex: Human Revolution is a lengthy affair, coming in at easily 20 hours. Your length of time with it will vary depending on how much you truly want to explore this dark vision of the future. Nevertheless, Human Revolution offers enough freedom and choice to warrant a second or even third playthrough and is easily worth the price of admission. It is as close as it comes to being a masterpiece as it can but just misses out due some nit-picking and a poor opening.

9.2/10

Written by: Jason Redmond

Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"