14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2013
DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION is a cyberpunk RPG set in 2027 in Detroit and Hengsha, China. You play Adam Jensen, a security specialist gunned down in a terrorist attack on his employer's labratory. His life is saved by augmentation, have limbs and other parts of his body replaced by cybernetic enhancements. As the game proceeds you have to investigate the terrorist attack and deal with a number of side-missions whilst learning how to use your new powers and abilities. Released in 2011, the game attracted considerable critical acclaim for it's open-ended gameplay (you can deal with situations via stealth, combat, hacking or a mixture of the three) but also some criticism for a series of unavoidable boss fights which forced you into lethal gunfights.
The Director's Cut is a re-release of the original game with a number of new features. The most notable is a set of Wii U-exclusive features which make excellent use of that console's touch-screen controller, allowing players to hack computers and refer to their map, quest log or inventory without switching out of the main view. I haven't seen these features in operation, but other reviews indicate they are well-implemented.
Of more interest to PC and other console players are the upgrades to the actual gameplay. The most notable of these is that The Missing Link DLC - which takes place about two-thirds through the original game - has been integrated into the main narrative. There are good and bad points to this. First, if you haven't played The Missing Link before it adds about 4-5 hours of gameplay set on a remote base in the middle of the ocean. It adds new environments and enemy types and, like the main game, a series of situations to resolve through combat, hacking, stealth or a combination of all three. There's also some tough moral choices. The DLC integrates into the main storyline quite well, with Jensen's continuing investigation into the attack on Sarif Industries informing the expansion. Unfortunately, the expansion's biggest weakness remains: it removes all of your augments and upgrades, forcing you back into the state you were at the start of the game. This makes the first half of the DLC a chore as you rebuild your skill set back up to something useful. The Director's Cut really should have eliminated this tiresome mechanic (originally necessary because it was played separately from the main game) and allowed you to continue with your existing inventory and skill set. Still, once it kicks into gear it's a very worthy expansion to the game.
The second notable change is to the boss battles. Much-criticised in the original game, The Director's Cut reworks them so each boss can now also be defeated by stealth or hacking as well as direct combat. Unfortunately, defeating the third boss, Jaron Namir, requires hacking skills. Depending on a choice made earlier in the game, your augments may be completely offline during this battle, making hacking impossible and forcing you to defeat him in direct combat. Fortunately, as this battle comes shortly after The Missing Link, in which you can acquire a powerful missile launcher which can take Namir down in just a couple of hits, the developers have a way around it.
Eidos Montreal also claim to have upgraded the game's graphics. To be frank, this claim seems dubious. The textures seem identical, the lighting and shadows appear to be the same and the character models are still the mixed bag they were in 2011. The console versions may indeed look better, but the PC version appears to be identical to the original release.
Finally, the game adds a 'Game+' mode in which your augment loadout continues into a new game. This is a nice touch if you plan to replay at the hardest difficulty level (which is notably more punishing), but given you can max out 90% of your augments in a single playthrough, it will leave you as an almost unbeatable tank during the replay.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Director's Cut improves on the original game, but it's more of a series of minor upgrades than a major transformation of the whole game. If you've already completed the game (iffy boss fights and all) and The Missing Link, it's questionable if there is enough here to make it worthwhile, especially on console where you have to re-buy the entire game. Wii U users will likely enjoy it tremendously as a rare and much-needed example of what their console can do. PC players, however, will find that the Director's Cut is an extremely cheap upgrade on Steam if they already own the original game and The Missing Link, in which case it's a no-brainer.
For new players who have never experienced the game before, the improvements remove the original game's most annoying niggles and leave it as a cyberpunk RPG masterpiece it aspired to be. If you haven't played the game before, the Director's Cut (*****) is a must-buy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2013
This review is spoiler free, so worry not.
I bought this fairly recently during a Uplay sale for $5, and it has been on sale for that since via steam. It is normally $20, but seriously, this is one of those games that will probably be on sale for $5 a bajillion more times in the future. Get it then.
Also, as a disclaimer, I did not play the original version of this game, so most of this review is centering on the actual game, not the changes made in the Director's Cut.
Anyway, onto my review.
The game took me about 35 hours to beat, according to Steam. This was the main quest, plus every side quest and some extra exploration, which includes reading emails, books, etc... I basically did 95% of the content the game had to offer. So, this game has plenty of content. No worries there.
This was one of the first games in a long time that actually interested me in the side quests. Normally I just do the main quests and maybe one or two side quests, but I did all of them in this game, mostly since the world was simply so interesting.
On the end of gameplay, this game was almost as perfect as a game can be. The main attraction that this game held for me before buying was the fact that you can essentially choose how to go through each level, and I was not disappointed. Each level offers a variety of ways to get through them. You can go guns a blazin', sneak through the level, or a mixture of the two. If you get stuck, go back and find a different way through.
The game also had an absolutely excellent leveling system. It works a lot like an RPG. You get things called Praxis points (you can either earn them from experience, buy them for a large sum of money or find them in hidden places around the map). Praxis points are used to give you a new power or feature, called an Augmentation. You can unlock any of them at any point you want, so there are no restrictions to the powers you can have and the places you can go except that you cannot have all the powers at once, so choose wisely. There are a few powers that were not terribly useful, but most of them are extremely useful and add a lot to the game. This will leave you staring at the level-up screen for several minutes for each one as you compare the possible advantages that each augmentation can give you.
The next major gameplay element I really liked was the conversation system. It reminded me of how it worked in Mass Effect or Telltale's The Walking Dead, but I liked it more in this game than any other game I've played that used it (especially after you get an augmentation that deepens the conversation possibilities, which you can get right from the start if you want). Conversation is generally used to get a certain response from someone to get information, or to make someone do something you want. There are some parts of the game where the conversations are as interesting as the action scenes of the game. To my surprise, unlike most games I played where you get the same end result every time no matter what you say, conversations will actually end in different ways and with varying amounts of information according to how successful you are to make people do what you want. This mechanic was done exceedingly well in this game.
This game also has my favorite kind of saving that a game like this can have - the ability to save any time you want, anywhere you want. While this can lead to save-spamming, making the game potentially easy, it ultimately makes you unafraid to experiment and try different things, which is exactly the kind of thing you are encouraged to do in this game. You could go this way, or you could go that way... or maybe that way. Why not save here and try all three in case one of them turns out bad? It also saves you from the frustration of playing long segments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, like many games cruelly love to make you do. This game is better than that. Many companies have made games like this with checkpoint systems, and I am very happy to see that these devs went with the save-anywhere way of saving. It compliments this game perfectly.
One last good thing. In this version of the game, they integrate The Missing Link DLC directly into the game's narrative. I did not play the first version of the game, so I was worried about how well it would work, and it worked just fine. It fit into the story real nicely and gave a very interesting setting to play in for a few hours. I was also very concerned about the praxis points, since you do lose all of them at the beginning of TML (just like in the standalone version), but this was handled very nicely, since you get them all back afterwards. (There is also a good story reason why you lose them, also. It isn't just random.) TML was about 2-3 hours long and was great fun all the way through, and it fit into the story flawlessly.
Now, for the bad stuff. I liked this game so much that I would like to skip it, but it is there, so I can't.
If you've looked into any reviews, you probably know that the boss battles are very bad. They were made better in this version of the game, but they're still bad. Well, two of them are, anyway. There are four boss fights in this game. I felt the first and third fights were fine (not great, but passable), but fights two and four were just awful. They both had the potential to be good, but they were so confusing and non-direct that I didn't know what to do to pass them, even after I beat them. That's right. Even after I beat those two fights, I still didn't understand what the goal was, exactly. This was especially a big deal in the last boss fight, where I just sorta did stuff and survived until it ended. It made me feel a little bit empty at the end of the game, like I didn't get the climax I wanted.
There was one other area I felt the game fell short from what it could have been, and that is the narrative. The actual plot in this game is very good, and the world it takes place in is far more interesting than almost any other game I have ever played, but the narrative does not do it justice. At many points of the game the plot is hard to follow, to the extent where I had to Google certain details because I got confused of what was actually going on at the time. The story moves very slowly, and they do a bad job telling you the finer details of it.
A large part of that was because your character has the emotional value of a stone. He has essentially no emotional reaction to anything, ever, even during some fairly shocking reveals later on in the game. It's a bit difficult to keep track of your hero's journey when it is impossible to get emotionally invested in his experiences. It would be easier to keep track of plot twists and changes in your character's goal if he would actually react to stuff that happens now and again, but he just doesn't. He is a cyborg in this game, but he is so emotionally cold that I could almost believe he is a robot. For most of the game this is not a terribly big deal, but as the game goes on, it becomes more and more noticeable, and I don't think it was for the better. I believe the developer's intent with this was to make it immersive, like you were him, but I simply feel like that didn't work as well as they wanted it to.
This lack of emotion also made the relationships your character had a lot less interesting. In theory, the characters in this game are as deep and interesting as the world they live in, but there is never a point in the game where you get to explore these people's personalities and their relationships to your character. This was a huge missed opportunity, and it resulted in the relationships all being unresolved. I was disappointed by this, since I really liked two specific characters in this game (one of which I repeated a save over four times to protect later on in the game, which was not something I was forced to do), and I am disappointed I didn't get to see their relationship with your character on a deeper level. Again, it was just a huge missed opportunity.
I think that, ultimately, the game was a very gameplay based game. There were cutscenes, but at the core, this game was about the gameplay, and the fascinating world, great story and interesting characters got shoved to the side a lot more than they had to to make way for it. (If you do the side missions at the tail end of the game, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.) This is very far from the worst decision they could have made, since the gameplay was so excellent, but still. The story/characters and the gameplay should have had a better balance.
None of this is to say the game is bad. It absolutely isn't. I honestly cannot express in words just how much I enjoyed playing this game. But, like every game out there, it is not perfect, and I had to list the reasons why it fell from perfection.
This game did a lot of things right that a lot of games get wrong. In most games as long as this, I strongly worry about the endgame. A lot of games pull a big twist that can come across as tacky right at the end, and some might argue this game did too, but I actually thought it was interesting. Clearly, I will not reveal what it is, but I thought it was a fitting climax scenario for this game that offered some great commentary on the points this game was trying to make.
This game also closes with one of the toughest moral decisions I have ever faced in a game (and this is after playing Telltale's The Walking Dead). Again, I won't say a word of what it is, but it is really tough, and it just stares at you endlessly until you manage to make a choice. In a way, that made up for how shallow the final boss fight was. No game has ever made me think about things, and how the game's commentary relates to reality, as much as this game has, ever. This is the top of the list in terms of making me think about things. I will probably remember that section of the game for a very long time. So, amidst all of its flaws, the game mostly goes out with a bang, and I am happy for that.
Overall, for the stuff I liked in the game, I would give it a 10 out of 10. The gameplay was actually that good, in my opinion. This was one of the most engrossing, engaging, fun games I have ever played in my life. I loved it that much, and in a few months I will probably go through it again through its New Game + mode, which lets you replay the game while keeping your augmentations from the first playthrough.
However, for the stuff I complained about above, I would mark the game all the way down to a 7.
But, that is unacceptable. I liked this game far too much to give it a 7, so I will combine the scores into one. Adding them together, that is a 17 out of 20, or an 8.5 out of 10.
So, my final verdict is 8.5/10. But it's the best darn 8.5 ever. (So, at the risk of being a copycat, this gets my super-epic seal of approval.... ort, ort...) The next time it is sold for $5 or less, get it. It will be well worth your time.
I hope this review was helpful to you! Share any comments below!
This review is also on my stuff-reviewing blog, Nice Guy Steve.
niceguysteve (dot) blogspot (dot) com
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2014
My only experience with this game is this Director's Cut version (bought on sale through Steam, thankfully), so i have nothing to compare it to, but the frame rate stuttering and the bugs with non-lethal weapons were excessively annoying to me in playing the game... mostly because i was loving the game otherwise.
i highly recommend against this version, despite the fact that the newly integrated DLC content (mid section of the game) that was reinserted seems to be one of the biggest story segments (though the playability is frustrated by a loss of player augmentations) and i was surprised to learn that this section of the game was actually NOT in the original release. Story wise, it's a shocking bit of detail and losing it in the original version must have really bothered the developers. Luckily, they were able to sell cut material for more money... sigh... Well we buy movies again to see director's cuts, so... no shock. But you could get that chapter as an add-on to the original release, which was BUG FIXED, unlike this DC edition.
Anyway, this game's story, while having a bit of a lackluster ending (show, don't tell, please!), is excellent. The characters are interesting, the environments are detailed and well designed, the mood is fantastic, and the soundtrack is also fantastic (i'm listening to it right now).
Love the overall art of this game, but irritated by the technical execution of this so-called ultimate version.