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Amazing Blade Runner style(Cyberpunk) atmosphere and a good mix of cover shooting and stealth gameplay make this game awesome.

 

I've played roughly 200 7th gen titles,and Deus Ex Human Revolution stands out as one of the most addictive games I've played from the 7th gen.

What makes it stand out the most is it's atmosphere.It has amazing neon,futuristic cities underneath dark,polluted skies and when you explore the cities you'll see poverty,crime,prostitutes,many flying vehicles in the sky and because you'll travel to parts of Asia,some of the cities have a nice Asian flavor to them.

The main story has you playing as a character named Adam Jensen.Basically the world's population is divided between either being for or against augmentation.Augmentations are biomechanical modifications to human bodies that give humans superhuman abilities such as superhuman strength or armor that's permanently attached to a human's body which makes them very resistant to gunfire or the ability to safely land on their feet after a high fall or the ability to breathe toxic air or special scanners that are built-in near a person's eyes and when a person wants to scan an area the scanners will cover their eyes and look like a pair of sunglasses.

The division between those for and who are against human augmentation leads to a lot of violent clashes between protestors/supporters and law enforcers and augmentation companies and anti-augmentation groups.The reasons some people are against augmentation is because sometimes augmentations are forced upon people(such as companies augmenting people against their will,or pimps forcing their women to have augmentations done because it allows the women to give more pleasure to male clients,or because people see augmentations as playing God and because augmentations can affect people's health in negative ways).

Jensen works for an augmentation development company and he must fight against rival groups who are against augmentation and try to rescue his ex girlfriend who has been kidnapped.The story doesn't reveal much about the romantic past Jensen and his ex girlfriend(named Megan)which is why I didn't feel much motivation to want to rescue her.The rest of the story will focus on augmentation related issues and will involve a lot of chaos due to the augmentation issue and has typical conspiracies/political corruption that you'll see in many Sci Fi movies.I must admit,I think the main story is average but the sidequests got me emotionally attached to the story.There's a sidestory about a prostitute in Shanghai who was kidnapped and is going to have augmentation modifications done to her against her will and you can try to save her and it got me emotionally involved when I saw how pimps held their women to contracts and didn't allow their women to quit and forced them to have augmentations and held the women against their will.There's also sidestories that involve powerful crime syndicates in Hengsha(a region in Shanghai) who have the people in Hengsha terrified or a mother who wants you to help find her daughter etc.

Like in many video game stories,eventually the entire world will become threatened by something(I won't reveal what it is)and Jensen will need to save the world and like in many games,the story takes twists and attempts to throw you surprises even though they're quite predictable but they ask some good philosophical questions.

The game has at least 4 possible endings and I've seen 2 of the endings and they use real life images and I don't want to spoil it for you but it's quite an experience and those endings ask some interesting philosophical questions.

As for the gameplay,the gameplay is fun.It's like a mixture of cover shooter and Metal Gear Solid stealth action.The level designs give you lots of places you can try to sneak past enemies,you can even use a cloaking ability and there's lots of air ducts you can try to find and crawl through if you want to move through environments undetected.You can play the game as a cover shooter and the cover shooting mechanics work decently,although sometimes the buttons are a bit unresponsive at times.The gameplay has a feature that I like a lot that's referred to as the 'take down' ,which is how you can knock out or kill enemies with built in blades attached to Jensen's mechanical arms at the press of a button.However,performing takedowns requires energy(which is the game's version of mana)and energy and your health regenerates over time.You'll also require energy to perform other special attacks such as typhoons(they damage all enemies)or the cloak ability.

I like the variety to the sidequests,because because just killing people and fetch quests,there's quests that involve knocking out a person and throwing them off a building to make it look like they fell to their death and you can't use a gun or stab them.You can try to solve disputes using negotiation instead of force.There's quests that involve hacking computers.There's quests that involve finding a kidnapped person and you can try to bribe someone to get them to reveal that person's location or you have to use clues to try to find it and just wonder around.

The enemy AI is weird.They seem to have great eyesight that would rival an eagle's and they can spot tiny,fast movements that are in their line of sight from far away,however if you're knockout or stab an enemy to death while being right behind other enemies,they won't hear it.When enemies know you're in the same room as them and are searching for you,often they'll stop short of completely searching the area as if they're lazy and it seems a bit unrealistic.

The environments are quite spacious,the buildings have many levels and rooms and even though the city sizes aren't that big,there's still a lot to explore in them.The cities are full of NPCs and you can interact with them sandbox style.For example,you can knock them out/kill them and steal their possessions.You can talk to them and sometimes you can respond to them out of a choice of dialogues and what you choose to say to them can lead to a violent reaction or you can intimidate them or bribe them for info.If you do something illegal in front of a guard,expect them to start shooting at you.

Sometimes,hacking computers will be necessary to progress through areas or can make moving through areas much easier.It's possible to turn off security cameras when you hack into a computer or hacking a door can allow you to gain entry into a room with lots of ammo/powerful weapons for you to loot or hacking certain doors can allow you to take certain paths where there's less enemies.Hacking requires you to move through nodes and every node you pass through has a certain possibility % of alerting a security system that shuts down the computer temporarily.Sometimes,you cannot avoid setting off a security alarm but if you move through the nodes efficiently,you can still move your spike to the required place before the alarm timer shuts the computer down.Some security systems/computers require you to have a certain hacking level to be able to attempt to hack them

You level up by gaining XP.You gain XP by knocking out/killing people,hacking computers,completing quests,finding and traveling through hidden areas etc.Jensen has no character level,instead some of his abilities have certain levels.Such as his hacking skills and armor levels have certain levels.He doesn't start off knowing how to use every skill/ability and some skills such as double take down,typhoon,landing on feet after a long fall need to be learned.You can choose which abilities you want Jensen to learn or which abilities to upgrade.There's a certain amount of XP that Jensen needs to earn before he can learn a new ability or upgrade his abilities.

However,the gameplay has game crippling glitches and design flaws,for example when I did the sidequest that requires you to knock a certain person out and drop them off a building,the person who I knocked out got stuck against a wall and I had to reload.There's a gameplay section that requires you to disable 2 security robots and I didn't have a high enough hacking level to hack a computer to disable the robots by hacking the computer that controls them and luckily I had EMP grenades or I would have been stuck and unable to progress through the game anymore.After I died,the game kept making me respawn in an area close to where enemies are and they could shoot me and easily kill and I got killed over and over against until I managed to somehow get far enough away from the enemies with a small amount of health left and this is something that shouldn't happen,especially since the game has lengthy loading times everytime you reload your game.

As for the visuals,like I've mentioned before the game is very atmospheric and has futuristic,neon cities surrounded by dark,polluted skies which reminds me of Blade Runner.The streets have lots of detail such as prostitutes,street punks,homeless people trying to stay warm near fires,smoke all over the place.I like how in the Asian locations(I won't reveal the other ones besides Shanghai because I want it to be a surprise for you)you'll see lite up signs with Chinese writing or red light district style ads or cute food ads.I like how you'll see lots of flying vehicles in the sky and how cities have different city levels built on top of each other like Midgar on Final Fantasy VII.I like other details the environments have such as the rooms of people have everyday items,safes that you can hack and take money and other items from.The redlight style clubs have women in revealing clothing doing seductive dances and male clients will also be in the building.

However,the facial animations look sloppy and dated.The graphics and character models in general look a bit dated even on a HD TV,they don't look bad,but not good either,they look satisfactory for a PS3 game released in 2011.

The game does show beautiful and shocking real images of the world and humanity but you'll see it at the end of the game.

I also like how everytime you board the airship,you'll get a glimpse of the cities from high up and it looks stunning to see the lite up futuristic cities surrounded by greenhouse clouds and polluted sky or seeing Shanghai by the bay with different city levels stacked on top of itself.

However,sometimes I saw enemy body parts or their guns going through walls when they were next to a wall.

The game's music is beautiful.I love how it sounds eery and I love the chanting and electronic sounds that are sometimes in the music.The music suits the game's atmosphere and suits the biomechanical theme of the game perfectly and suits a dystopian world.I love the eery/chanting music score so much that I listen to it from Deus Ex Human Revolution's soundtrack.

There is too many recycled voices and dialogue though.Enemies will say the same thing over and over again and it's annoying.But I like how some of the NPCs talk as if they have personality or like a real person.For example,prostitutes will say a variety of sexually suggestive things to you.People in Shanghai might politely tell you they can't speak English or they will insult you in Chinese and some people will speak rudely to you in English.However,there's so much augmentation related dialogue spoken by NPCs it becomes annoying.Some of the Chinese voice acting sounds fake and silly though.

Overall,Deus Ex Human Revolution is one of the best games of 2011,and it's one of my favorite games from this gen although it could have used a bit more polish.

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