Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review(Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in the Deus Ex series. The originals were PC games from the early 2000's that were eventually ported to the Playstation 2 and the X-Box. These games are considered a hybrid that mixed first person shooter elements with heavy RPG-style game play. Human Revolution follows this characteristic of the originals if not in a more streamlined way. The story of Human Revolution revolves around Adam Jensen whom is the head of security for Sarif Industries. Sarif is a corporation leading the charge for complete human augmentation, that is, the replacement of missing limbs or even deteriorating organic tissue with cybernetic implants. These implants come at a cost, though, as the human body begins to reject the augmentations and the recipient is forced to succumb to various amounts of drugs in order for the body to adapt. This eventually leads to Sarif Industries' lab being broken into and our hero, Jensen, being mortally wounded. It is here where the real meat of the game play takes place.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is by no means an action first person shooter. Sure you can get the biggest gun you find, aim down the sights and unload clips of ammo into people but that will only get you so far. The real meat of the gameplay here relies on stealth espionage and the countless paths to reach your goals this way. Don't want to talk your way in? That's OK just move that cardboard box out of the way and crawl through the air shaft hidden behind it. Have to kill a guy all alone in his apartment? Out of ammo? Well just pick up his refrigerator and throw it at him. It's moments like these that make Deus Ex: Human Revolution a joy to play. The actual gun-play here leaves alot to be desired but it also, outside of a few boss fights, can be avoided. The big downside of being stealthy in this game is the rather substandard A.I. I cannot recall the number of occasions where I shot an enemy then had one of his buddies come up to check the body. At this point I put a bullet into his head, killing him, only to have another enemy come over to the exact same spot and meet the same fate. I repeated this process countless times throughout the campaign until the areas were clear.
Outside of the various upgradable weapons such as the shotgun, pistol, magnum and up to more outlandish like a plasma launcher are various non-lethal and encounter-ignoring gadgets. You can get Nuke software, for example, to help when you hack into doors and computers. When you hack you are entered into a simplified tower-defense game where your goal is to hack your way to a final node all while keeping your home node safe. You can accomplish this by setting a defense flag for your home node while you flag other branching nodes for hacking. The problem is every node risks a chance of being caught by the server whom attempts to reach your home node which in case locks you out of hacking that door or computer for a few seconds. This Nuke software and other objects randomly scattered about in the world will aid your hacking efforts in various ways.
No matter how you tackle a situation you will earn XP. From killing people to hacking or even finding hidden areas you will earn experience to use towards upgrading your character. What's different here is that instead of leveling up, every time you earn 5000 XP your character will earn a Praxis Point. These points act the same way as experience points in most games in that you can feed them to upgrade certain abilities. These abilities are mapped to certain parts of Jensen's body and will alter how you play the game. You can put 2 points into his arms which allow him to carry heavier objects and punch through walls or you can put the points into his legs to let him jump higher and negate all falling damage. You can also acquire restricted amounts of Praxis points through purchase at LIMB clinics using money earned from various tasks. Adam Jensen has alot of moves at his disposal but this leads to an abnormal control scheme. In this day and age where first person shooters dominate the market we have become adapted to one set control scheme. Left trigger is to aim and right trigger is to shoot, right? This is not the case for Human Revolution. What left trigger here does is put Adam into a third person cover state while pressing in the right thumbstick enters you into ironsights mode. This change led to my ultimate demise numerous times and took an hour or so to get the grasp of. Unfortunately, like most games nowadays, you cannot customize the controls. Another awkward design choice is the lack of a standard melee button. The closest thing to this is the B button which activates stealth knockouts(tap) and kills(hold) but has no use outside of theses actions. Outside of this are some rather standard mappings such as A for jumping, pushing in the left stick to sprint and using Y for the dual purpose of holstering/drawing your weapon(tap) or accessing your quick inventory(hold). As the game, and Adam, progresses so do the number of buttons needed for various abilities.
When it comes to audio Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a mixed bag. The gun sounds and ambient noise are satisfying and the music is very reminiscent of the Mass Effect series which is an extreme positive. Where Human Revolution fails in the audio department is the same place that it's predecessors failed, the voice-acting. I want to start with Adam Jensen who has the charisma and personality of a shopping bag and the voice of someone imitating Christian Bale's Batman voice after smoking a pack of cigarettes. "I don't wear hockey pads." The voice problems don't stop there, especially when you reach the Shanghai potion of the story. What we get here is some of the most stereotypical Chinese voices I have ever heard and it's rather embarrassing. It reminded me of the first Deus Ex with "J.C. Denton in the fresh." Not every character sounds completely horrible but enough of them do for you not to notice it.
Human Revolution offers many different ways to accomplish your goals and many weapons and gadgets to do so. Between the main chunk of story missions you are allowed to free-roam sizable cities to collect currency and do various side-quests which are rather difficult to locate. Some will be made obvious to you while others require you to pinpoint certain NPC's that don't seem to be stuck in the same animations as others which would leave you to believe them as quest givers. In my initial playthrough I sought out as many side-quests as I could and after checking my achievements at the end I could tell I missed a sizable amount. The game also has four different possible endings which are determined by an end choice and not by your actions throughout the game which was rather disappointing since a big aspect of this game is how your actions early on have consequences later on. Take the first mission for example. Your job is to walk through a non-hostile environment and meet your boss at the helipad. Well since this was my first ability to play as "enhanced" Jensen I decided to look around and discover hidden items. Well apparently I took so long that my tardiness made a major impact on the next mission which was brought up throughout the campaign. I replayed this part later, rushing to the helipad, and the exact opposite happened.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the most satisfying experience I've had all year. Little gripes like the cheesy voice-acting, dumb A.I. and the awkward controls do little to hamper my overall experience. The world of Human Revolution is engaging with interesting characters and numerous possibilities. I am extremely satisfied with what I experienced and would love to replay a few more times to earn achievements and see just how different the experience can be.