The lights are on
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a title that was faced with a challenge that all devs might fear: revive a classic without killing it and changing it too much. I, personally, never played the original Deus Ex or Invisible War, but after being introduced into such an intriguing series through such an (almost) perfect game, I wish I could have.
You play as Adam Jensen, a security guard for Sarif Industries, one of the biggest augmentation manufacturers and developers worldwide. Sarif Industries comes under attack by a mysterious and fully-augmented black ops merc group, and Adam is severely injured in the attack. He is saved from the brink of death, but at a cost; most of his body has been replaced with top-of-the-line combat and functionality augmentations. He decides to figure out who tried to attack Sarif and why, but ends up uncovering a conspiracy larger than Sarif, and larger than and corporate or political issues.
As for playing this adventure, the controls, to be blunt, take some adjusting. They can be compared to those of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (LT/L1 for cover, RT/R1 to shoot, R3 to zoom, etc.). The combat is very entertaining, whether you choose to take it head on with a Heavy Rifle and frags, or tranq enemies one by one and move in for CQC knockouts if they get to close. This leads to another facet of an already-fascinating game; choice. Choice is one of the factors that made the past Deus Ex titles so popular, and Human Revolution is no exception. You can complete the game without ever killing a soul (bosses excluded) or ever getting caught once. Be it talking your way past a stubborn bar manager or choosing whether to help or harm a woman in debt, choices are everywhere. Pathways, combat, and even methods of completion are all left up to the player.
Sadly, Eidos made one terrible choice in development; they outsourced the boss fights, ruining the great combat of an otherwise fluid and fun game. Whereas all other confrontations allow for choice and experimentation, all of the bosses require direct and heavy firepower, something that many hardcore stealth players most likely will lack. Some of these boss fights are fun, however. Take boss #2 as an example. She is very nimble, dual-weilds SMGs, and can charge you and generate a heavily-damaging explosion. You can be aggressive and go at her with a Heavy Rifle, though the lack of mobility and reaction capability will most likely get you killed. Rather, you can proceed to engage in a hunter-turned-hunted manner of fighting by using a shotgun or SMG to duke it out with her, then avoid her charges. Played like so, this fight can be very engrossing and very fun. But not everyone plays the same way, so the lack of choice still affects such a great encounter.
Visually and aurally, the game is beautiful and well-realized. The visuals are great, especially for such a vast and detailed game. The music is fitting for a cyberpunk world, and the voices are well-done for the most part. I personally have no gripes with this area other than graphics getting a little sketchy during conversations, although this is a minor instance. Cutscenes look great throughout, and the plot that they drive is helped even moreso by this.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a great title, and the ability to play how you want is still enjoyable and very, very, very (more verys) satisfying. I loved how, unlike most games, it truly felt like my experience, and mine alone. It's a game that, despite the advancements of technology and its applications within people that it portrays, still manages to have a personality all its own.
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