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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Still Rough Around The Edges

Many gamers were disappointed when Square Enix revealed that Deus Ex would miss its original March 2011 release date. However, if what I saw at E3 is any indication, the game needs the extra time in development.

The demo involved protagonist Adam Jensen sneaking into a medical facility, showcasing more stealth scenarios than combat. This means that he spent a lot of time avoiding detection and looking for ways into places, so the demo had a heavy emphasis on the ways the players' choices will affect which options are available.

For instance, Jensen appears to run into a dead end when the only way to proceed is by falling down a long shaft. Because he has invested in a special ability, he can fall the distance without getting hurt. However, if he had not bought that upgrade, he'd have to turn around and find another way in. Another example surfaces when Jensen needs to cross into a new area, but the path is blocked by electricity. While an upgrade exists that allows him to traverse it, he didn't have it in this scenario, so instead he picked up a nearby vending machine and used it to jump up to another section of the facility.

Along the way, Jensen ran into a few patrolling guards, but he generally took them out quietly to avoid attracting attention. This was another puzzling aspect, though; performing takedowns on guards requires you to use one "charge" from an energy meter (which only had four charges in this demo). Once you've used them all, only the first charge regenerates, which means that after the initial expenditure, players could spend a lot of time waiting for their one charge to come back. Maybe it would make more sense if Jensen were using some awesome ability, but you can grab people and snap their necks without cybernetic augmentation...why does it require energy?

While Deus Ex successfully showed that there several ways to attain your objective in the medical compound, the trick with providing multiple options is that they should all be compelling. Otherwise, it feels you're just like walking through different doors that all lead to the same room, and it seemed like Deus Ex leans more toward providing lots of options rather than adding depth to them.

Maybe the stealth-focused demo just doesn't show off the things Deus Ex does best, but as a fan of RPGs and stealth games, I walked out of the demo feeling like the gameplay was culled from the last generation and dressed up with current-gen graphics.

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  • I don't mind it being delayed if it makes it better, and this sounds okay not great so they should improve it
  • Shut up! Deus Ex: HR will be a worthy successor to the original DE! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! *Rocks back and forth and whispers to himself* It's all right...it's gonna be good...it's gonna be good...
  • Having different paths for different play styles is nice, as long as the play styles are interesting. I don't several options that all involve boring and mundane actions. "Oh, I didn't invest in a falling perk so I guess I'm using the stairs." You're going to the same place why does it matter how you get there.
  • After seeing the game in action I have a hard time believing it will live up to it's predecessor. Kind of like how Duke Forever fell short of its predecessor, probably mostly because every dev in the biz is shoehorning crap multiplayer into their games.
  • That's too bad. Especially because I can't remember a single game that has had a preview like this written about it, and the final product is much different.
  • Don't really see how multiple paths to reach the same destination is a bad thing. Its what the original Deus Ex did....
  • The energy meter does sound odd, even though I am excited for this game I made a decision a long time ago to just rent it. Mostly because it just doesn't seem like the kind of game to offer many playthroughs. Hopefully they will see some of these flaws and fix them before August comes around!

  • Yeah, I've been hearing some of these things from other previews, it might not live up to the first game, but I think it'll still be good. I even liked the second Deus Ex, and most people didn't seem to.
  • I don't know about you, but after I may or may not have played a 10 hour demo of the game that may or may not have been intended for the press only and may or may not be available to download on every torrent site in existence, this game seems pretty awesome to me, and I'm definitely going to buy it once it's released.
  • Sounds like they were experimenting with unconventional stuff, which is alright. But striking the fine balance in scenarios like these is hard and risks alienating fans as well. The cyber augmentation takedowns really do not make sense... you don't see Batman or Sam Fisher or Agent 47 limited in their ability to perform takedowns. To be honest, I was kinda surprised this game wasn't on the radar for most people at E3 this year. Its got a large following and a lot of buzz, but it didn't really hit a high note like Bioshock and Tomb Raider this year. I was honestly expecting it to be in a lot of places in the 'Best Of E3' nominations list, but I guess maybe the game didn't gel well with most people, and after reading this, I can see why ~
  • I wasn't at the show, so I didn't see the demo first hand. So, maybe there's something more to this that didn't come through in the article. What's presented here is mainly a dislike of the design choices, not a roughness in quality. When I hear 'compelling', I think of something that captures my interest. Many ways of ending up in the same place can be compelling, since what it's really setting out to accomplish is to provide varied play styles a method that suits what each does best. Not every method can provide a completely different event. That would be beyond the scope of what a game could provide.
  • This is really disappointing. The original CGI trailer, which is quite possibly the best video game trailer I have ever seen, along with the cyberpunk setting and the Deus Ex name had me thinking this was a GOTY contender, if not winner, for sure. Then we started seeing the actual gameplay videos with lackluster graphics and gameplay mechanics and I kept telling myself that "it was only alpha footage, it will get better."  However, based on this and other E3 reports it is hard to stay positive about this game.  All I can say at this point is that I hope I am wrong.

  • Mod

    Well, the more the polish the better the shine.

  • well it looks awesome and i dont care if theres multiple ways to get to the same room it sounds cool.being rewarded for certain upgrade you pick.like maybe the other way takes 15 minutes instead of 5.
  • W8 it was delayed to march then delayed further? wow i thought it wa still releasing in august noooooo!!!!!

  • Please oh please let this game be good...please....

  • Having all those options to perform a task is a cool concept, if anything. I hope the rest of the game comes up to par though.

  • Wow... I hope that Deus Ex is not a last generation game.  I've been interested in this game since it was announced.  I hope the choice and consequence gameplay extends beyond mere entrances.

  • Please please please take your time devs, id rather a near perfect game 12 months late than a buggy one on the release date they were aiming for...
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