This is my first blog post ever. So if you read it, thank you. If you don't well then i guess it doesn't matter. If you know me you know i play a lot of games. This blog is not going to be a super professional opinion on a game. Its going to be MY opinion. That said if you disagree with me that's fine, because you can always click the back button.
This review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will not be about the Game Stop fiasco....it will be about the game. SURPRISE. Ill try to have as few of spoilers as possible. Before i get into the nitty gritty of it I need to say...i suck at stealth games. Even metal gear solid when the enemy would follow your footprints in a circle for half an hour, i would still get caught.
I didn't play the first Deus Ex right when it came out. As a matter of fact it was several years later. I had a friend named Phil. Him and I played a couple of games online together. One day he goes "Hey have you ever played Deus Ex?" I went "No. Is it any good?" He went "Ya ill bring you my copy to try." Needless to say i was very satisfied and loved that game to death. Mostly because of the thickening plot and the interweaving conspiracy. The fact that if you chose not to kill everyone in your path, or if you did, actually mattered to how people in the game viewed your character only made it feel that much more immerse. If you haven't played the previous Deus Ex games don't worry. It assumes you've never heard of them. If you have then you'll be happy to know that, at least to me, it felt like a reboot of a game done 100% the way it should be.
The game starts out like most generic games. It introduces your character, your romantic other, your boss, and your base of operations. Insert cataclysmic world changing event for your character and off you go on a story.
You play in a world that has created cybernetic limbs and implants. Augs as they are called have a down side. Human genetics reject the augs and cause crippling pain and lack of control to them. So the companies that create the augs created a drug to help the body cope with the augmented limbs. People call it forced chemical dependency while the corporations say its up to the person who receives the augs on whether or not they want them. The drug is distributed through clinics, comically to me, called LIMB clinics. Which in the game serve as a place to restock on special augment specific ammo and, if you have enough credits, free Talent points.
I hate to say it but talent point trees are in every freaking game. But hey it works. Your talents represent your bodies unlocked augmented potential. Meaning its where all your cool crap comes from. They range from hacking helpers, Social interaction aids, to toughened skin that can deflect bullets, to light bending cloaking devices, seeing through walls and turning yourself into a living claymore shooting explosive ball bearings in an eight meter spread.
Sadly the one that kept me from dieing the most was the Icarus upgrade. My bane in games isn't that I am bad a gun fights. Or that I don't pay attention to that blinking light that ends up being a mine that blows me to smithereens....its I don't like using ladders or stairs. In turn I fall to me death more then i get killed by the baddies.
As far as the stealth and game play mechanics of the game go its solid. I even managed to maneuver my way around groups of guards that i was prepared to use a mini gun for. The cover system works well. Seamlessly shifting to a third person view and allowing you to pop over or around the side of your cover to take shots at your enemy and duck back down before he has a chance to return fire is nice. However cover is not only good for blocking bullets in this game it helps for stealth a tremendous amount. It allows you to squeeze in as close to the crate in front of you so the guy peering over it with the machine gun doesn't see you at all. Its even has easy to understand prompts that let you jump to the next available cover or move around the same piece of cover to evade that pesky guard who decided to take a look just to make sure your not there. The game rewards you for stealth as well with a hefty bonus in experience points for making it through an objective without being seen at all.
Like I said before. I suck at stealth games. So i ultimately had to be prepared for hostile reactions. The game gives you the choice of lethal action or non-lethal right away. I, against all logic, said I'll play this game as non-lethal as i can. So I spent about 1/3 to 1/2 the game trying to choke people out, sneak up behind them, tapping them on the shoulder and punching them in the jaw as soon as the turn around. It was fun and very amusing. Notice i said trying. I got past about 4 rooms without anyone having the slightest idea i was even in the complex when i turned a corner and ran right into a guy with a gun. My finger hit the subdue button and next thing i know I have my elbow blades buried in his chest, which was a pleasant surprise seeing as everything else i had done was rather tame til that. Ultimately as I found upgrade kits for weapons I used them. I turned my 10mm pistol from a basic weapon to an armor piercing large clipped machine of death. I never worried when i ran into heavily armored guys with mini guns. One shot from mid range to the head. Problem solved. Only took about 4 armor piercing upgrades.
By the last half of the game the gloves were off. I had seen Jensen endure far to much and his enemies care far to little about him. all the weapons and steal combined I turned Jensen into a specter of death. Moving cloaked from one position taking down the baddies, and moving on re-cloaked before reinforcements could see what happened. Its rare that i found so much fun trying to not start a fire fight in a game.
There is however more to the game then killing and stealth. The game uses at key points a social interaction device that many games have used. None pull it off like this though. Stuck in first person mode staring down the person your talking to. Watching their body movement, and trying to pick the right option just to get an edge in the conversation and argument. Jensen moves when they move trying to get close or into a better position. Jensen moves to look out the windows in several scenes to survey all that is going on, like some of us would if we were in that situation. It works perfectly. There is an augment that makes it work to your advantage if social interaction isn't your thing. I surprisingly didn't have that augment and was still more then satisfied with the results.
Other then the social interaction aspect there are the city hubs. They are reminiscent of the old DX. The biggest thing to know about them is that they are huge. I got freaking lost in Heng Sha. It did allow me to explore everything though. The game rewards you for it too. Hidden weapons here, free credits there, alternate path into the night club. I spent 4 hours in a city hub doing stuff, hacking, exploring, and the like without shooting a gun. FOUR HOURS. If you know my patience that is impressive.
Overall the game took me about 55 hours. I spent a lot of it immersed in the conspiracy and loved it. The stealth aspect of it didn't daunt me from the game. If I couldn't sneak past it. I had more explosive methods to deal with it. If i got stuck, I just looked for another way around. I will probably spend another 50+ trying to beat it without killing anyone but bosses, and looking for all the little bits of details I missed. As a fan of the original, this game is a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief. The gaming industry didn't mess up a great game. They only made it better, unlike some of the othergames that have been released as of late.
Until next time: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.