Customer Review

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-numbingly good, August 25, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - PC (Video Game)
Deus-Ex Human Revolution is a brilliant game. While it borrows minor elements from recent titles such as the metal gear series, there is nothing here that feels like it is an outright rip-off; the biggest influences are from the original game. DE:HR sticks to time-tested role-playing and story-telling mechanics but delivers an experience that feels fresh. As a result, the game feels unique among the increasingly competitive single player role-playing landscape.

I've spent about 29 hours with the game, and yet I honestly don't think I'm near the end. I'm probably through the half-way point and it feels like there is a third or a quarter left to go. Through it all, the story is consistently brilliant and will hook you in from the opening chapter. Decisions carry weight, and can take you into widely branching paths.

If you are fond of delving deep into the `lore' of the world like I am, then you will be busy indeed as there is plenty to read. There are detailed articles about numerous topics ranging from politics & economics to the environment & technology. All of these well-written pieces flesh out a game world that feels very much plausible. I won't be giving away specific details about the plot, but there are several twists and turns throughout.

Choices. That's all you need to know. The game offers numerous ways to approach a given situation and each approach feels consistently rewarding. Want to jump down from a five story building and unleash a deadly hail of miniature explosives? Go ahead. Want to avoid a fight altogether and sneak around the group? That's certainly viable. Want to sneak, but still take down enemies 1 or 2 at a time? You can do that too

However, the effectiveness of each approach depends on how you progress your character. In the early levels, spend some time thinking about the style of gameplay that you prefer and then allocate the valuable praxis points used to upgrade/unlock your augmentations accordingly (a linear progression of 5000 XP nets you a new praxis point).

In my opinion, the stealth approach is the best way to experience the game. Sneaking is tense yet fun and involves a mix of exploration and hacking. Nothing quite as fun as hacking into a robot and watching it take down another robot. I'm proud to report a 0 body count (not counting a couple of bosses, where killing them is the only way through).

The hacking mini-game is fun but may be a little too frequent in certain areas. When compared to the rubbish mini-games in the likes mass effect and Dead Space 2, this is the best of the bunch as it requires actual strategy and not just a twitch-based response.

The art direction in Deus Ex is refreshing and unique. The design team has crafted a world with a very unique and clear visual identity. Environments do not feel recycled unlike some recent RPGs. A two-tiered city in China has a distinctly Chinese vibe, while Detroit has a proper mix of industry and futurism. The hubs aren't gargantuan, but they are big enough that exploring them feels rewarding. This is largely because the levels aren't linear. There are hidden rooms and a great sense of verticality (esp. in China).

However, the graphics feel like they are a generation behind. There are some nice DX 11 effects peppered here and there, but the game doesn't look like a solid DX 11 game ought to. The character models (esp the faces) can look awfully rigid and blocky. Combined with awkward animations and some shoddy texture-work, the visuals are the biggest drawback to an otherwise stellar experience. Also, the same fleur des lis motif is a little too prevalent. In all fairness though, the gameplay and story is so good that you really won't care about the game's looks.

The sound effects are well done. Guns sound and feel right. The music is perfectly in tune with the setting. The voice acting is largely A-grade. The lead actor, in particular, stands out as he nails Adam Jensen's lone-wolfish persona.

After a decade+ absence, Deus Ex is back in a big way (pretend the second one never happened). I didn't think this game was ever going to come out. Given that the first teaser appeared in 2007, and then everything went dark until 2010, this was a common feeling shared by many. I am glad that I was wrong. Moreover, I have a newfound respect for the team at Eidos Montreal who have resurrected this franchise. I am very excited to see what they do with Thief 4 and will be lining up for pre-orders when the time comes.
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