RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Genre: RPG, FPS, Stealth
Release date: August 23rd, 2011
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Mac
Score: 9/10
Similar titles: Fallout 3, Mass Effect, System Shock

Adam Jensen, pretty badass for a protagonist.

Deus Ex is a franchise every gamer should try at some point. With a rather unique science fiction plot and the brilliant 'do it how you want' attitude, this series has received high review scores by almost everyone.  Although the younger generation may have missed the first two games, Human Revolution is a prequel ideal for bringing new players into the fold.

The premise of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set in the near future. With the world being on the brink of a new era, man is evolving beyond the realms of human and developing robotic 'augments' to enhance their capabilities. The plot revolves around Adam Jensen, a security guard at the augmentation company Sarif Industries.

Visuals are a pretty sight.

Nanotechnology and biomechanic fusion are a thing of the present, and Eidos Interactive developed this world as it would be if such things were possible. Humanity as a whole doesn't accept this new technology for obvious reasons, and bloodshed is inevitable. As Adam Jensen, it's pretty much your job to kick anyones ass who disagrees with your badass enhancements. Hell yeah, enhance this.

Crossbows and arrows take up quite a lot of space.

Gameplay can be broken down into four aspects: interacting and conversing with NPCs, fighting enemies, sneaking around and breaking into computers and terminals. Experience is awarded for successfully completing any action, and when you level up you are awarded a Praxis kit to spend on new augments. Choosing certain abilities allows you to tackle situations with a different approach; such as breaking through walls to find a new route, or attacking from above with the Icarus landing system.

Hacking is easy once you level it and collect enough viruses.

Eidos have put a lot of effort into structuring the maps, providing a plethora of routes and unlockable pathways. This attempt to encourage you to 'think outside the box' is refreshing, and sometimes rewarding. After several failed shootouts and subsequent loads you will spot a vent leading you to the turret control room. However, that is about as innovative as the game gets. Don't expect any mind boggling puzzles, just a simple quest interface accompanied by chunks of plot.

Persuading people is usually hit and miss.

Story is the most prevalent aspect of Deus Ex, and is usually delivered in large chunks. The graphics and soundtrack create the atmosphere of a movie, adding that epic feel. Gameplay and cinematics are clearly divided into sections; it's obvious when the action is about to take a backseat to some delicious CGI. Typically Adam Jensen will head out, complete a couple of short side quests and stock up on supplies; before assaulting the main mission which is almost always a whole lot of bad guys in a small amount of space. Afterwards a sizable reward of dialogue is given at headquarters.

The balance between story and gameplay does make it hard to keep going if you can't get invested into the plot. If you enjoy corporate subterfuge and uncovering conspiracies- you'll feel right at home. At the start it moves painfully slow, but you'll find it worth the wait. Once a few major secrets are unveiled it gets very difficult to stop playing. It is possible to skip the cut scenes, but I strongly suggest against it. Killing bad guys is more entertaining when you have a reason to want them dead.

A day in the life of Jensen.

While the graphics are brilliant, terrain and objects are mostly indestructible- a downside I found rather disappointing. Using explosives is mostly unsatisfying. On the upside, the physics are up to scratch, enemies crumple nicely when you bullet them in the face. Crossbows are impractical but are priceless for hilarious kills. Audio really provides the extra kick to involve the player, the voice overs sound excellent and convincing. Music kicks in during combat and adds a great pace to the battle.

Every augment upgrade in the game is desirable; from the standard damage resistance increase to the overpowered typhoon system. It isn't really possible to grab all the augmentations in one playthrough, which leaves you scrounging for experience. With a little persistence most of the best power ups can be obtained if you stick to none lethal melee attacks exclusively. Also, get the wall breaking technology, because punching down walls is awesome.

Wall, meet fist.

Combat is fun and engaging, but ultimately not challenging. Every confrontation can be resolved in a one sided fashion when you choose to arm Adam Jensen with a gun. Deus Ex is a game that wants you to play like a secret agent, sneaking around without a trace. The concept is brilliant, yet not enforced; navigating through hostile territory unseen is heart racing and tension filled. Sadly this effect is immediately broken once I pull out my heavily modded combat rifle.

The combat rifle is seriously cheating.

Running out of bad guys before you run out of bullets is a common issue. I feel the developers try very hard to make you play using none lethal takedowns and weapons by yielding extra experience and new NPC reactions. Then they provide you a lack of energy to perform melee attacks, followed by scarce none lethal ammo to compensate. Throw Adam Jensen in a combat zone with a rifle and a dart gun, a dozen clips and only a few darts; what the hell do you think is going to happen?

Giant supercomputers are so ten years ago.

Boss fights are apparently a big failure, according to most critics. The lack of a none lethal path to victory allegedly ruins the sanctity of running Adam Jensen as a model citizen, and defeats the point of playing without taking any lives. I personally would question the point of playing an FPS without capping at least a few guys in the head. Anyway, boss fights are brutal and consist of you emptying every bullet at your disposal at things. A lack of ingenuity make these boss battles dull but they are still frantic and challenging the first couple of times.

So this is what the game boils down to:
- Sneaking around knocking people unconscious for maximum experience, until you get bored; at which point you pull out the shotgun and start flooring whoever dares defile your crosshairs.
- Hacking stuff everywhere, if it has a lock break it and steal the precious contents.
- Arguing with people to influence them and losing badly until pheromones pop up and you win instantly.
- Receiving crazy plot doses after each mission.
- Testing out new augments and upgrades on civilians and hookers (Just look on youtube).

All in all, Deus Ex delivers traditional stealth FPS gameplay backed by a brilliant plot and RPG elements. I genuinely cannot conceive of anyone wholly disliking this game, even if there are a few letdowns. Definitely consider it if you want 15-30 hours of good plot and some epic shootouts.

No comments:

Post a Comment