Deus Ex was released in 2000. Back then I considered philosophy to be my true calling, no matter how little my knowledge of it was, and I thought I ruled the world. It only took a few hours of Deus Ex to make me realize how filtered my education was and how corrupt the world actually is.
Jump forward 11 years later and a Duke Nukem Forever release, I find myself delving in Deus Ex: Human Revolution and exploring the world that I had been promised will remind me of the original. (Invisible War is a hiccup). J.C Denton has been replaced by Adam Jenson and all your superiors have been demoted to satisfy the timeline of the story that serves as a prequel. Long black jackets also make way for a renaissance fashion that almost works, but never quite bypasses its novelty status, and augmentations are now all visible. Though it’s arguable if the voice acting is a bit better this time around, having Jensen sound like monotone Steven Segal as a means of portraying badass-ery does not work, specially with a floral pattern on his jacket collar.
But I digress as this is not an “E! Fashion Police” video game nor is it a dystopian version of the Sims; The ultimate experience should be judged by the game play and the story. In regards to game play, it takes all the archaic flaws its predecessor suffered from, balances them on a pitch and knocks them so far away you can see them orbiting around Jupiter; It is almost orgasmic being able to play a Deus Ex game with such tight controls and excellent response. The cover system works well, even though it requires you to overlook some ticks, and the game truly makes you feel like the covert operative Jensen is made to become. Unfortunately, the A.I is lacking. They have obvious patrol patterns and several obtuse moments when being attacked via CQC: No matter how loud their grunts are (there are no female soldiers save for major characters) or how noisy your flurry of attacks are, if no one in that room is looking directly at you, you’re safe.
Though the game encourages you to use stealth by tempting you with trophies and achievements, you are ultimately shafted for playing as such: Your weapons are uninspiring with your artillery being limited to a tranquilizer gun and a stun gun, and if you naturally choose not to upgrade your battle augmentations, opting for stealth upgrades, you’re going to have a hell of a time defeating the bosses that were incomprehensibly designed solely with the gunner in mind, which creates the games one ultimate flaw.
The story is your typical conspiracy and I don’t believe it hits home like the original’s did. Where the first Deus Ex over flowed with lore and story telling, this one felt like the story was composed as an afterthought to accompany the remainder of the game, ending up trying hard to fill its predecessor’s massive shoes.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a fun game that unfortunately starts getting stale at a point when it should be hitting a crescendo, but that should not stop you from drinking alcohol to increase your health and gorging on chocolate bars to replenish your energy. It is a decent game that is only frustratingly marred by a few elements, so don that floral jacket, leave Liberty Island and France, and try out Detroit and Singapore for a change.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is aptly named given the time it was released in: The whole Arab world was demanding reform and the impeachment of their corrupt leaders and the youth were leading the elderly in a now historic revolution for change. Unfortunately, while the game gives you the luxury to choose one of four different endings at your leisure, the world still watches in anticipation as the events develop around the region with only one possible, unchangeable result to take place.
I’m not sure if I like being given four options laid out before me to choose from. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I can simply load my last save and watch another ending unravel before me, but doesn’t that negate any and all choices I took throughout the game? Why morally choose to save an individual as opposed to kill him/her if it won’t make a difference at the end? Ah that’s right: There are those carrot-on-a-stick trophies that you are risking to lose. Let me tell you something about those trophies: I played the whole game making sure I not kill a single character & not activate any alarm so I could earn those effin silver & gold trophies, and when all was done, I didn’t get them. I’m still aggravated by that. At my time of playing, I had a talk with a friend of mine who was enjoying the game because he was sampling a bit of stealth and a bit of action. I smugly insisted that though my game style was a bit tedious, I was being rewarded trophies. To think how many times I could have just unleashed a barrage of typhoon grenades followed by a sweet massacre via that stupid upgraded heavy rifle I lugged around with me throughout the whole game so I could get through those dumb-assed boss fights. What a crock. I don’t want to even admit to you how many times I loaded my last save just to make sure no one died by my hands. Thank you Eidos Montreal: Your one hour ‘making of’ documentary that you shipped with my Augmented Edition, sweet as it was, did little to compensate for my frustration.