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Deus Ex is a series that I had always heard good things about, but never actually played. That being said, the latest installment, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I had hoped would live up to the expectations that I had for it. Although, due to my lack of experience with the previous titles, I can only judge this game as this game alone and not as a continuation.
The game starts off as you, Adam Jensen, walking with an apparent ex-girlfriend in Sarif Industries. Adam is the head of security for the company, while the ex-girlfriend, Megan, is one of the lead scientists. After some small talk and seeing some developing technology, Adam goes up to talk to Mr. Sarif himself. While in this meeting, the laboratory is attacked by mercenaries. The mercenaries destroy your body and kill the leading scientists. After the attack, you are forced to have mechanical limbs and parts put on and in you for you to survive to begin your quest for answers and vengeance.
I will admit that this game’s story starts off at an exciting high note, but I assure you that this is as good as the story gets. It takes turns that seem farfetched and sometimes confusing. It is hard to explain the depth of confusion without spoiling. To top that off, while the choice of dialogue may be extensive, the boring, monotone voice of the main character almost deters you from wanting to speak with an NPC. I can’t tell you how many times I missed an important piece of dialogue because I was trying to skip Adam’s part in a conversation. Especially due to the fact that most of the time you read exactly what he is going to say when you make the dialogue choice.
Along with the unappealing main voice, I have to point out that this game also severely disappointed me visually as well. This may be the only game I’ve played that the cut scenes, excluding the opening, intro cut scene, had worse graphics than the actual gameplay! That being said, I have played older games with far better gameplay graphics, and I’m not necessarily talking about 3rd generation consoles.
On the bright side, I will say that the actual gameplay is new and entertaining-ish. The key thing you need for this game is adaptability. There are multiple ways to do any given thing in this game, causing it to allow for a wide range of different play styles. Personally, I hate the sneaking around in videogames and would prefer to just fight head on, so I was glad that I was able to do that. The leveling system somewhat helps in that regard by allowing you to choose different upgrades. For example, choosing increased armor, stealth abilities, better hacking or even the ability to fall from anywhere without fall damage. While some of the upgrades provided things, more armor, better hacking, etc. most of them I found to be useless and/or just superfluous. This also can get you in trouble with some bosses. If you are focused on going the stealth route, the bosses are all pretty much open 1-on-1 combat, so you will be in for a frustrating group of battles.
The weapon system worked well too. I liked the range of guns from a pistol to some sort of high-tech electric gun and even a mini-gun. Of course, there are also non-lethal options of weapons out there as well such as gas grenades, stun guns, tranquilizer guns and concussion grenades. Also, the inventory screen is very similar to the Resident Evil series, where it is a grid that you must arrange your items on. If FPS and/or weapons are not you’re thing, don’t worry. I can relate to that issue and there is a solution. Adam also has the ability to get up close and personal and either knockout or kill an opponent. This is mostly used for systematically taking down enemies to stealthily move about. If you do choose use this attack, you do have to hide the body or risk getting caught. I used the melee attack more so out of frustration that was bred out of another major problem about the game, the loading screens.
The loading screens are ridiculously long. In a game where death comes extremely easily, especially on the harder difficulties, I don’t want to wait 20-40 seconds for it to bring me back 3 seconds before my death. It makes me feel like the game is putting me on “time out” for failing. On a positive note, if I get massacred, I can chill out, go grab a drink and a snack, enjoy and then wait another 10 seconds for the loading screen to end. The sad thing is that isn’t a huge exaggeration. So, after the few times of being killed multiple times by the same damn guard, whether it be trying to sneak by and failing, him calling allies over, or him just shooting me for whatever reason, I lost 3-6 minutes of waiting for him, it gave me slight joy using the melee move and stabbing him with your arm-blades.
I feel that I should also mention that killing or knocking out your foes has no deep consequence. The only difference is that killing someone is louder and attracts more attention. Unlike other RPGs, the only purpose of choosing to kill or sounding like a jerk in dialogue serves no other purpose than dealing with a body. There is no karma or morality or anything like that in this game.
Overall, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not a game that I would advise anyone to go out and buy. The gameplay and the little abilities are fun, but it doesn’t compete with the flaws this game brings. I hate to say this for a game that apparently had such good other games in the series. ProvenGamer fans, if you love the series, you may have more appreciation for the game than I do, otherwise I advise caution at getting this game.