Graphics:
8.6
Gameplay:
9.4
Sound:
8.9
Control:
9.1
Replay Value:
9.0
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Eidos
Developer:
Eidos Studios Montreal
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/RPG


Deus Ex was a legitimate phenomenon when it first released for the PC back in 2000. A fantastic crossbreed that blended the world of role-playing and first-person shooters, the sci-fi adventure became an instant classic. Subsequent entries were solid and entertaining as well, although many will claim that none captured the overwhelming and refreshing quality of the first title. We haven’t seen the series since 2003’s Invisible War but now, nearly 8 years later, it’s back. And you know, while everyone had their expectations and reservations, we’re here to tell you that this new effort is well worth your time.

From a graphics standpoint, Deus Ex: Human Revolution doesn’t represent a new quality bar and doesn’t really give us anything new. In fact, one could argue that the stark environments, mostly devoid of that amazing lushness and richness found in top-notch visual presentations, are underwhelming. The special effects aren’t all that “special,” either. But one must take the entire package into consideration: the world is nicely designed (if a little confusing; I’ll get to that in a minute), animations are nice and relative detail and background construction is borderline fantastic. The main characters are cool, there’s plenty of diversity in this epic quest, and there are no glaring flaws. It won’t blow you away but it’ll suffice.

In terms of sound, we get a great musical score that, while too often absent during our exploration, is beautiful and fitting. The voice acting falls just shy of stellar as many primary characters are excellent; Adam Jensen (the protagonist) is a definite high point, as is the smarmy tech guy, Pritchard, and the likeable helicopter pilot, Faridah Malik. Because the technicals are a touch dated, the effects sometimes have that muted, softened tone, although certain explosions are quite effective. The ambient sound is much appreciated, too, as the dialogue of civilians adds to the immersion. Overall, the audio is well implemented and well balanced.

Straight off, there’s something the uninitiated must understand: Human Revolution is absolutely a role-playing game . It may be an action/RPG and it’s a blend just like the original, but it is best described as an RPG with a first-person viewpoint (although it switches to a third-person camera when in cover). So don’t get confused; don’t think this is just a sci-fi shooter, ‘cuz it ain’t. It’s an in-depth, rewarding, extremely well paced and even addictive RPG. It’s not as open-ended as The Elder Scrolls , but you will have multiple futuristic cities to explore, and how you play…? Yeah, that’s entirely up to you, and that's what makes it so great.

You play as Adam Jensen, the head of security for Sarif Corporation, a company that specializes in augmentation, a form of advanced surgery and implantation. It’s the whole “science will create a better human” argument and unsurprisingly, it’s at the core of this storyline. Thing is, while augmentations can indeed save lives, there are nasty side effects, like post-operation paralysis and an addiction to neuropyzene, which is required for your body to adapt to the new unnatural implants. Ironically, Jensen nearly dies at the start of this story and to save his life, he becomes heavily augmented. So now he’s what people call an “aug,” and he’s a little torn on the issue himself.

It’s an intriguing plot, even if it isn’t entirely new. Fans of the series are quite familiar with the science vs. nature debate as it typically has a place in all Deus Ex entries. But it’s well told in Human Revolution and there are other subplots as well. As for the setting, you have free reign to explore your environment in between plot-advancing missions; you start in the city of Detroit and will move on to other exotic locations (like China, for example). It’s the year 2048 so things have changed, but not to the point where the world is unrecognizable. As you might expect, wandering around and finding stuff to do is half the fun.

You can accept any number of side missions, which are conveniently shown in blue in your text log and on the map; main missions are highlighted in yellow. Most missions have multiple steps and can take some time, especially if you don’t initially have the necessary skills to complete them. For instance, if your hacking skill hasn’t been raised above 1 and a mission absolutely requires that you hack a Level 2 terminal, you’ll just have to get that Praxis point and upgrade. Praxis points are earned through experience, and you can also buy Praxis kits at LIMB clinics for a hefty price. Praxis points are used for augmentations (manual and automatic skills), and herein lies the meat of the experience.

If you plan to take a mostly stealthy approach, maybe you’ll focus on skills that allow you to run silently, execute a cloaking ability, see through walls, hack higher-level security terminals to bypass tough areas, etc. If you plan to go in guns blazing and don’t care about casualties and all that, you might go for augmentations that enhance your aiming ability, give you more carrying capacity, reduce incurred damage, and even let you break through walls with your enhanced arms. The options are numerous and diverse and trust me, you’ll be debating for a good long time on how to spend your hard-earned Praxis points.

The control is smooth, light and fluid. This feels a little outdated, too, but it works. Collision detection can be an issue at times and the control isn’t always perfect, especially when glancing around in cover, but those are minor flaws. At first, I thought using third-person for cover and first-person for everything else wouldn’t work, but while it can be a little jarring, it functions well. I just don’t like the fact that it seems to be more difficult to execute a takedown when in cover; it’s always better if you’re free to move. Overall, though, the control never really lets you down, and you get used to the few small eccentricities within the first hour or two.

Another element that feels a little outdated is the AI, as alerted guards have difficulty negotiating levels (i.e., going up and down stairs to find you) and of course, their aim is always perfect. But at the very least, it’s familiar and remains a challenge, especially because they’ll hear and see just about every mistake you make. And besides, if you play with the shooter mindset, you won’t really care about their alertness. I’m going full-on stealth and after a very long time playing, I have yet to kill anyone (save the ones that have to die, like bosses). The best part is that this game really does let you play however you see fit. It doesn’t throw barriers in your way.

My only other complaint is the layout of the cities, especially the Chinese districts. They’re just mazes that can make exploration and getting about downright infuriating. The map is helpful, of course, but I hate to keep looking at it, especially when the areas aren’t that big. But I keep playing and playing. Exploring, talking to people, completing side quests, hacking just about anything I see (the hacking mechanic is great, by the way), finding new ways to approach various situations, learning more about the dark mystery behind the story, and executing the perfect assault on an area swarming with guards…it’s just awesome.

I like that exploration and patience is rewarded. I like that I don’t have to bribe someone to get information or hack a tough terminal; if I just look around, maybe I’ll find an air vent or a sewer tunnel that leads me to my goal. I like that my inventory has a limited capacity and what I carry dictates my approach. I like that I have both automatic and manual abilities, all of which I can choose. I like the diversity of my missions and the different obstacles they toss in my path. I like having all the time in the world to complete many of the quests and I’m never pressed for time as I explore. I like the feeling of being both vulnerable and uber-effective at the same time. I like that when I sit down, I play for three hours at a clip ‘cuz I love it to pieces.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an RPG that indulges the hardcore role-player’s desires and whims. If I want to see what’s over there, I’m gonna go see. It’s not a huge world but I can go wherever I wish. The only thing that can stop me is my lack of capability, which I must earn. The camera and control can be a little iffy, the maze-like quality of certain districts can get annoying, and the AI and technical presentation feels somewhat dated. But the gameplay is absolutely stellar. It’s a pleasure to play such a complete experience. The depth is there, the style and atmosphere is there, the action is there, and the story is there.

Oh yes, and this sucker will take a good 30-40 hours if you really get into it. Lastly, this is definitely Deus Ex through and through. If you loved the others, you’ll adore this one.

The Good: Great voice performances. Interesting characters and storyline. Control is fluid and reliable. RPG depth, exploration, and freedom is present and appreciated. Patience and precision is rewarded. Augmentation system is excellent.

The Bad: Visuals seem a little stark; AI also feels dated. Camera when in cover isn’t perfect. City/district design is too maze-like.

The Ugly: “These guards are smart…are stairs their kryptonite?”

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coverton341
coverton341
9 years ago

Awesome review. This is definitely going into the collection.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

In situations like this, I love being wrong. Ben's second paragraph really tells me why I thought this game would be underwhelming when I based my opinion on early looks.

I'll give this game a shot when I get the chance.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Told ya it'd be good. 😉

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

This is even better than I dared hope for. Oh how I love it when that happens!

Will get it tomorrow…!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2011 12:48:20 PM

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Bah it's not released until friday here. Placed my pre-order at my local Gamestop today.
Oh man, this I can not wait to get my hands on. I just *know* I'm going to love this! RPG, sci-fi, exploring, choices, hours upon hours of gaming… What is there *not* to love here?


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/23/2011 2:41:45 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

You think Adam's voice acting is good? The false whisper really grates on me.

Solid review, it did even better than I thought. Unfortunately I still haven't decided if I should get it sooner or later. I was hoping a great positive review like this would sway me but maybe it's best to hang onto the moneys for Dead Island.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

You think Dead Island will be better than this? Wow… That'll be my biggest surprise for this year if so.
Not that I mind! Not at all. Especially since it's coop too. Keep'em 90+ games coming! 🙂


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2011 12:57:35 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

It works for his character and it doesn't sound like a false whisper; it just sounds like the way he talks.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

Dead Island over Resistance 3?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Sounds forced to me, not as bad as Sam Gideon in Vanquish though.

I don't always buy my game based on what is "better," sometimes I buy them based on what I'm in the mood for ya know? Deus and Resistance I surely want but I have to think of my gaming schedule too. I'll be getting my RPG in-depth involvement with WKCII and Skyrim, and if you've ever played games like that (50+ gameplay hours)one after another you too might welcome some zombie slaying in the middle. I don't think I can make it a 3fer.

And an FPS, Resistance 3 or no, is still an FPS so it goes lower on the list than anything else.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/22/2011 1:56:36 PM

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
9 years ago

He sounds like Walton Simons. That's gotta be a +.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Fair enough World, I often think like that too.
It's just very rare I am able to skip a 90+ game. 🙂

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

Wait… Dead Island is also an FPS. So by that logic…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Nah Dead Island isn't an FPS, it's just in first person like Deus Ex or Far Cry.

Truth is I haven't decided on Deus Ex yet, better do that in the next few hours I guess. I'll probably cave, it does look really good. I need somethin to do and I can't get into AC2 no matter how hard I try.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/22/2011 3:18:00 PM

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

I beg to differ.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/11/may/dea5.jpg

Looks like a FPS to me.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

nah, it's open world with RPG elements and most weapons are things you build to hack at zombies with. That's significantly different from a scripted on rails campaign with no decisions to make.

PSTan
PSTan
9 years ago

Wow, this turned out much better than what I expected. I never got into this series, is it necessary to know the backstory?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Not at all. This is an entirely new story.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

And it takes place before the other games in the series so really knowing the story doesn't matter anyway.

PSTan
PSTan
9 years ago

Sounds good, thanks a lot! I'm gonna have to add this one on my list now.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

nice review, very good read. im glad this game is not a bomb.

i dont remember hearing much about this game for a long time or maybe at all before recently. seems like it will be a lot of fun to play but im not sure if i will have time or money to get this any time soon. maybe when it hits like $20 or $30.

XmnMetal
XmnMetal
9 years ago

This is the next game I'm getting!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I tried to play Invisible War on Xbox but it was too dated to enjoy, I'm sure it was good for its time though.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

If my memory serves me right Invisible War were disappointing compared to the first one.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2011 4:15:51 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

So I've heard but it's the only one I could "find"

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

Well if you have Steam, you can pick the original up for $10. Or go to Amazon and pick up the PS2 version. Costs more though. The original is really worth getting no matter which version you pick up.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I do have the steam, but I'll settle for human revolution.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Invisible War takes a very bad rap because the hardcore fans of the original really didn't like it.

But in truth, IW really was a damn good game. Read the reviews to get a better idea.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I thought IW was great. In my top 5 fav original xbox games. =)

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
9 years ago

I thought IW was pretty good too.

josephps3
josephps3
9 years ago

Great review.

I know what you mean "Underdog15" I thought the same thing seeing the preview graphics. I'm having the same feeling towards Resistance3. But after reading the review the game is what I had hoped to be. Not perfect, a little lacking in the graphics but excellent gameplay. The whole package is great. Its like having Jessica Alba with a little hairy mole on her face. lol You have to look at the whole package and both have endless replay value.

I hope resistance3 and dead island turns out well too.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Actually that's a good point about R3. Maybe it turns out to be just like this case. How awesome would that be!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2011 2:16:11 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Ish, I'd bring her to a dermatologist.

josephps3
josephps3
9 years ago

Hey BEN, the reviewer lol, I read that there are long load times but that is greatly alleviated with the install.

Can you elaborate? did you notice long load times like on Mass Effect2 when trying to go to different levels on the Normandy?

Thanks

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I don't really remember ME2, but the install is mandatory for the PS3 version of Deus Ex.

As for load times, they don't seem that bad to me. I'd mention it if it was annoying.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I felt the ME2 Normandy load times were unnecessarily long for simply loading another portion of the ship, but on average not bad. They were just very frequent if you wanted to run around and do things.

josephps3
josephps3
9 years ago

OMG I couldn't stand the ME2 Normandy loading times. I really enjoyed the game but I coudldn't bear the thought of having to go through those loading times second playthrough. It would have felt like work and discourage me from trying to talk to my teammates. Its okay cause I traded the game and got Killzone 3 for free 😀 Otherwise I would have kept this game to add to my collection of must keep games.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
9 years ago

If there's anything about ME2 that I really found annoying, that has to be it too. Just trying to move to another deck would take ages to load, even if the areas are not that large. They need to take lessons from Naughty Dog and SuckerPunch. Uncharted and Infamous hardly had any loading screens. But other than that, ME2 was great!

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

at least mass effect 2 loads for you guys. mine wont, it always goes to an infinite loading screen. i have to play it in 480p for it to work properly.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

The load times in ME2 are too frequent and it really puts a damper in what I'm doing. I started it last month and have only played for like 8 hours or so… I feel like because of all the loading I have to play for more than 3 hours to get anything done. Good game so far though otherwise…

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Yes the loading times on the ship in particular was almost unbelievably long compared to the size of the maps.

I have no suggestions as to as to why it ended like this. It made no sense. Entering planets and cities seemed to be much faster than those damn loading times inside the ship.

Maybe Highlander have some theories regarding this. 🙂


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/23/2011 1:16:26 AM

IonHawk
IonHawk
9 years ago

ME2 load times were quite annoying even on the PC version, but then I always keep my Kindle beside me while playing. The ME2 load screens were when I would sneak in half a page of the Hunger games 🙂

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
9 years ago

Put on a trenchcoat
and fight some conspiracies,
Get experience
and level up abilities.
Will you pick rifles or computers?
Don't pick swimming because it's fairly useless.

It's a shooter…
…and a role playing game,
The levels are ugly
And everyone looks the same
We're not the same Ion Storm that made Daikatana,
Our games are good and they stay on schedule!

We made a seequel that noooo-oooone liiked,
'cause we dumbed it down too much,
'cause we're thiiiiickkk….

Then we shut down and made a prequel that everyone loves…
'cause we stayed true and my singing is augmented – what a shame.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

O_O

josephps3
josephps3
9 years ago

huh? where did this come from suddenly out of nowhere. Its a serious issue but this is like suddenly talking about global problems in the middle of a birthday party.

There is a time and place for everything. This is not the place to bring this up.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

So long as your avatar is not offensive I think it will survive, but you might not be very effective here.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I suppose it's fine. But I'm hoping you don't start with promotion posts to turn people's attention to the problem.

Not that I'm not sympathetic, but we have to maintain our focus around here.

mike rlz
mike rlz
9 years ago

i could say something right now but everyone would think i was evil… i just had to go and read daniel quinn

tridon
tridon
9 years ago

I wasn't going to buy this right away because I'm a little on the broke side, but this review may have just changed my mind. Problem is, I don't have a ton of time for gaming these days, so I'm afraid that this'll be another started-and-didn't-complete game. Either way, though, if I DO buy it, I'll be spending the extra $10 for the Augmented Edition just so I can own the soundtrack. The music for this game is just epic!

josephps3
josephps3
9 years ago

Replay With Stats Intact?

Can you finish the game and start a new game with your Stats and equipment intact. That way you can play it over and over again until you get every single augmentation and build a supersolder 😀


Last edited by josephps3 on 8/22/2011 4:13:34 PM

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