When games talk of choice, it usually pictures an RPG with dialog choices which take on interesting turns. When the guys behind Deus EX talk of choice, they bloody mean it.
Do you want to hack someone’s computer to read their emails? Do you want to silently finish a level without even being spotted? Do you need to steal something important? Do you want to finish the game without touching an enemy or would you rather choose to be the Rambo the world’s been waiting for? It is all possible in Eidos Montreal’s new post-human era setting and it’s titled Deus EX: Human Revolution.
It’s 2027 and the world of Deus EX is going through a rising revolt and revolution against Industries – the ones developing the unnatural augmentation technology. People are putting their hands together to protest against what Sarif Industries believe is the next step of human evolution. The technology deals with implanting neuro robotic equipment capable of making man reach heights that would have been impossible otherwise.
GAME NAME: Deus EX: Human Revolution
DEVELOPER(S): Eidos Montreal
PUBLISHER(S): Square Enix
PLATFORM(S): PC, XBox 360, PlayStation 3
GENRE(S): Action Hybrid
RELEASE DATE(S): August 23 2011
While the scientists in Sarif Industries are on an important discovery, a breakthrough that may change the foundation of human biology, someone attacks the institute and burgle important information.
Adam Jensen doesn’t really know what is going on until he reaches the literal end of what is unseemly complex and diverse. A security officer turned cyborg turned super hero is certain that whatever setting he is thrown into, his modified genetics will help him unleash his talent that he slowly masters with experience and “augmentation.”
There’s a lot to this game than it looks as you play it. We’ll try to keep this simple. As always, we would like to classify and explain the game elements into what we believe are two important characteristics.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Deus EX: Human Revolution offers elements that no game has ever done before. While the Assassin/Stealth/Action/RPG elements may not stand to be the best of the class in the world of video games, Deus EX still ensures that player-expected elements and more are offered in a setting of surprise and brilliance.
The biggest strength here is of course ensuring that this sequel does everything better than the original Deus EX and bring the best out of what is available in the game world.
Eidos Montreal have not scripted anything in a linear progression however, the labyrinth of options that open up to players when they are in any part of the game is huge and very exciting. Stealth killing, opening up passages by stacking up boxes together, using fire vents to find routes and much more are all part of a list of the never ending freedom list.
The game world is large with urban areas offering much to explore and many things to find while the game levels are similar to the original Deus EX – linear however, unscripted in terms of options available.
One of the most inevitable and disconnected parts of the game lie in its boss fights. Though they are completely unavoidable, they offer a major disconnect. Picture Jensen, a stealth assassin, trying to make sure that takes down enemies silently without arousing much suspicion, is now faced with a boss which would now require you to explode into the fray, all guns blazing.
Jensen’s growth as a super human security consultant is possible through augments. It is these things that give Jensen the power he would require to take down, infiltrate or finish a mission successfully. The game offers players to choose around 60 mechanical augmentations which provide interesting new skills for example, “Vision through walls,” “Aim stabilizer” and such. Some of these are active augments requiring energy to be used and some of these are inactive, working passively.
These mechanical augments are typically classified into parts by the game – Cranium, Torso, Arm, Eye and so on. Check out the image for more clarity on this one.
As you progress in the game, you will earn Praxis points which will allow progress on Augments. Install new augments or upgrade existing ones are some of the few choices players will need to make when they play through missions. Praxis points are consumed based on the augment or the upgrade. Simple? Wait till you find out.
There is sort of cleverness involved in making decisions that bring in important changes to the game. Convincing someone to work for you, convincing someone to release a hostage are two different things and certainly require two different ways of conversational tactics. While Jensen will dwell in the consequences of actions, Deus EX brings that interface that simply puts text in front of you while you write its progression.
Technically, in the world of Human Revolution, Jensen can either be it’s Rambo, Hitman, Shodan or whatever he choses to be. The game sets the platform where players can chose what they want to be, when they want to be. As we’ve mentioned before, this element of the game is truly innovative and will certainly allow various grades of re playability.
Graphics and Presentation
Human Revolution is certainly pointing towards the acts of corporations without judging the ethical quality of its actions. The interpretations are left to the player however, it certainly offers a sense of revolt and places a “neo renaissance” world on your display screen for you to decide and interpret.
The game certainly uses more Gold and Black that brings in welcoming amounts of varying contrast levels that depict lots of depth in a certain scene. The sepia toned screen makes great use of good color themes as soon as the game welcomes you and ensures that players do not feel alien in any part of the game at all. Of course, it keeps things surprising in a welcoming way.
Deus EX offers an unprecedented setting in the cities that Jensen continues to travel. From the Industrial setting of Detroit to the elegant roof tops of Shanghai, the game brings in a sort of brilliance in the setting worthy of appreciation.
There are many places to go in the game and although there is clean showcase of varying cultural and architectural elements, the thematic color consistency ensures that the setting allows constant exploration while also letting us stay back in a night club or spend many minutes looking at the cloudy skyline.
If you are on an XBox however, there is a slight drop in framerate in certain areas of the game. PC and PS3 gamers on the other hand may have nothing really to complain about except the quality of graphics. But we personally feel that the in-game art, fashion and architecture will overpower the way they have been drawn on the screen. In other words, the game’s artistic quality is certainly greater than the engine it runs on.
On the PC, Nixxes have upgraded a lot of graphical elements. They’ve provided support for DirectX 11 allowing addition of some brilliant new features including tessellation and soft shadows.
DirectX 11 also allows employing compute shaders that make the game look way better than what it could on DirectX 10.1. So for you guys on a PC, enable the DirectX 11 mode to gain a lot of performance bonus.
The game also employs many post-processing elements that bring an effect of cinematic realism. Depth of Field allows objects to be blurred depending on the camera focus, Bloom effects allowing objects to have a glow effect and a Cinema Color Correction processing technique that allows the game world to remain significantly real drawing a color range/theme to keep that realism in place.
Another important cutting-edge graphical element stemming from DirectX 11 support is the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) that delivers more contrasts to enhance realism and the depth of realism. This technology was first developed by Crytek for Crysis. In any case, if you have a high-end computer, make sure you have this turned on.
Okay. This part is very easy. Deus EX: Human Revolution is simply one of this year’s best titles for the XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and the PC. However, if you own all there and are wondering which one to play it on, I would personally recommend that you get the PC version simply because of it’s enhanced graphical features. This game is simply artistic and has a deeper meaning to its story than what it portrays outside. There is a certain level of achievement and glory that the game brings as a sequel to the original Deus EX (in order of appearance, not in story).
With really many many things to do, the game is certain to eclipse you in everything that it has to offer. Eidos Montreal have achieved a certain amount of polish with Human Revolution that is award-worthy. Our verdict is a very well deserved 9/10.
So without further ado, GO GET THE GAME NOW!