Here we go, Atlanta. After nearly 8 years, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix have bestowed upon us a new game in the cult favorite Cyberpunk action RPG series, Deus Ex. But does it stack up to its predecessor’s acclaim? Let’s look and find out.
Storyline – 5/5
The story is actually a prequel, taking place 25 years before the events of the first Deus Ex game. It starts out in a futuristic Detroit, Michigan, in the year 2027, a mere 16 years from now.
You play the role of Adam Jensen, a security specialist for Sarif Industries, a company that produces cybernetic augmentations. During what seems to be a standard security detail, the company comes under attack by a black ops team. The aftermath of the attack leaves Adam almost mortally wounded, with most of the scientists he was assigned to protect dead.
Adam miraculously survives, his body reconstructed with heavy cybernetic augments. He then begins a ruthless search for answers as to what was truly behind the attack on Sarif Industries.
Keeping true to the Deus Ex standard, this is an impressive, well- written story with enough twists, turns, and intrigue to put M. Night Shyamalan to shame. And with multiple endings, it’s a good thing the story is worth playing through again and again.
Graphics – 4/5
Even though none of the Deus Ex games were ever considered the pinnacle of graphical achievement, this new iteration keeps with the times fairly well.
Character models are all well-rendered and proportionated. Animations are smooth, although the 30 FPS kinda hurts the flashiness sometimes. On top of that, animations during dialogue sequences seems lazy at times, with no emotion showing whatsoever.
Environments are large and very well-detailed. Whether you’re inside a FEMA facility, in downtown Detroit, or hitting the streets of Hengsha, China, you’ll see all sorts of buildings, signage, and near-product placement to make you believe that this could all really happen in 16 years from now.
All in all, the visual experience can be chalked up to a pleasant peek into the possible future that awaits us.
Audio – 4/5
Audio, like the video, is an impressive undertaking.
The first thing to note is that the music is nothing short of awesome. Even though Square Enix has had nothing to do with the game’s development, the musical score is on par with works by Nobuo Uematsu, himself. If you can still find one, get the Augmented Edition. The soundtrack alone makes it worth the extra $10.
The voicework is remarkably superb. All of the voice acting is well-done, and there’s no skipping or warping. Everyone sounds exactly how they’re supposed to.
Although the voices get dimmer as you move away from a character, sometimes they do sound kind of washed-out, even when you’re relatively close.
Sound effects are also impressive. Everything sounds like what anyone would believe is from a sci-fi environment. All the bleeps, bloops, mechanics, and robot voices sound surprisingly realistic, despite coming from a work of Cyberpunk fiction.
The end result is a pleasant treat for the ears that isn’t perfect, but really comes close.
Gameplay – 5/5
At its core, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a first-person shooter. There are also a lot of RPG elements, like experience points, leveling up, and inventory management. Which puts it in the realm of games like Fallout or Borderlands, with a little bit of Mass Effect thrown in.
The game controls are a bit awkward at first, taking a little bit of getting used to, as they don’t entirely stick to normal FPS conventions, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy as pie.
Controls are also incredibly tight and responsive. In a game where timing is key in most non-social situations, this is a blessing. Nothing feels clunky or loose; everyting does exactly what you tell it to do, when you tell it to do it.
The best part is, how you choose to play the game is entirely up to you. If you want to go in guns blazing, blowing everthing up that you see, Call of Duty-style, you can. If you want to be stealthy and sneak around sentries, robots, and cameras, you can.
If you want to mix it up and do both, sneaking through air ducts while taking out guards when you feel it is neccesary, you can do that, too. The player can literally choose how much action the game contains.
You also get the choice of life and death. Throughout the course of the game, you can collect a variety of lethal and non-lethal weaponry, so if you want to just kill everything in sight, or if you want to have as few casualties as possible, the choice is in your hands. You can even make this call when performing melee attacks, whether you want to use your augmented arms to take a guard’s life, or just knock him out.
And with the multiple endings, you’ll want to play over and over again to see how things would have played out if you’d made different choices, or if you want to try your hand at a different combat strategy. It all ties together to make one of the best experiences out there.
That’s all for the in-depth exam. Let’s look at the breakdown.
Storyline – 5/5 Excellent Cyberpunk setting, well-written story, and multiple endings keep you coming back for more.
Graphics – 4/5 Wonderfully detailed environments and character models, although conversations can seem a bit awkward and lazy at times.
Audio – 4/5 Superb music and voice acting, along with amazingly realistic sound effects, but the voices can sound washed-out at a small distance away, sometimes.
Gameplay – 5/5 Tight, responsive controls, paired with near-absolute freedom of choice on how you want to play makes the game loads of fun.
Total – 18/20
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is undoubtedly a worthy addition to the franchise, while giving gamers a peek into the origins of the storylines of the original games. It’s what happens when Fallout and Borderlands have a baby, and baptized it in the river of awesome.
This game is definitely worth anyone’s $60, or $70 for the Augmented Edition. As I said before, the Augmented Edition is worth the extra $10, even if it just had the soundtrack, but it also comes with an artbook and a behind-the-scenes DVD, giving you a look at how the game came to fruition.
As always, you can send requests to review a specific game, as well as feedback as to what you would like to see in the reviews. Thanks for reading! See you next time!