The lights are on
Some games have it, some games don't. But few seem to pride themselves on it quite like Deus Ex: Human Revolution does. What I'm talking about is the "Invisible Hand". We've all encountered it before. You're presented with a choice (to increase replay value) that is clearly so slanted one way, you almost always make that choice your first (and usually last) go around. And sometimes, looking at the achievement guide, a game clearly wants you to play it a certain way. Well Deus Ex does both of these things, and without giving anything away, the keyword here is pacifism.
Just looking at the achievement guide will tell you that NOT killing anyone in the game gives you more rewards. And anyone who plays this game will quickly realize this too, noting that "silent takedowns" take 20 more experience than the "not silent" ones. But at no point does Deus Ex seem to apologize or make up for it. There is clearly a canon to this story, and it's embodied by selfless actions. Deus Ex: Human Revolution's story is not like KOTOR, where Bioware would go out of its way to present a dark side story nearly as interesting as the light. This is not the case, and for those who didn't find their character to be as selfless or emotional as the game wants them to be - will be punished.
But with that being said, the real beauty of the game is the story and setting. I don't believe a game has ever captured the look of a near future quite like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and I doubt any game will come close for some time. And to be honest, Deus Ex's narrow minded reward system is refreshing for the simple fact that, the game knows what it is, it knows where its strengths are, and it pushes you to play to those strengths. Those who like stealth, will have a blast. Those who like a solid story (more than anything else) will probably find this in their top 10 games of 2011 list. Yes, I really believe the story is that good, and captures the feel of a Blade Runner type like nothing else has.
If you like to go in guns blazing, you may find yourself giving this game a 7.5, but if you like stealth - it's an easy 9/10.
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