Developer(s) – Eidos Montreal, Nixxes Software, Feral Interactive & Straight Right Games
Publisher(s) – Square Enix & Feral Interactive
Director – Jean-Francois Dugas
Producer – David Anfossi
PEGI – 18
One of the most critically acclaimed games of 2011 (in my opinion, one of the strongest years for the seventh generation of gaming overall), Deus Ex: Human Revolution revived the long-neglected series by sticking to the routes of what made the first two games enjoyable, but at the same time, providing a very unique twist on the stealth game genre. Though I’m not the biggest fan of stealth games overall, there are a selected few that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit, such as Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Dishonored and this particular title.
Graphics – 9/10
In terms of conceptual design, the game provides a very unique take on what the future of human civilization has become, presenting extremely slick architecture and advanced weaponry and equipment for the player and hostile soldiers. It also works better than many others because it’s set in our own world, and I always find that stories set in either the past or the future work best when they have the most familiar frame of reference. This visual style of the game is also extremely eye-catching, presenting a color scheme of black and gold throughout. The only thing that prevents this game from scoring a ten is the less detailed textures of the backdrops of cities, but apart from that, the game is graphically flawless.
Gameplay – 7/10
I’d never played the original two games in the series, so to me, the general concept was gameplay was entirely new to me, and it ended up working extremely well overall. The stealth aspect is extremely intricate and challenging, and there is a small element of Mass Effect in that conversation options do crop up from time to time, and the hacking mini-game is very reminiscent of the ones found throughout the Mass Effect trilogy; only in this game, they’re a lot more intense. The biggest problem I had with it is because I wanted to be as stealthy as possible, I did have to restart a lot of different sequences a number of times to get it right, and there is a danger that doing so can take a lot of the fluency out of gameplay.
Controls – 10/10
Combining the element of both first-person and third-person gameplay, the control scheme also works exceptionally well for something that hadn’t been done many times prior to this. There are no complications to address, and the way it was handled adds a level of charm that very few stealth games have.
Lifespan – 5/10
The most disappointing thing about this game is how short a time it lasts. Clocking in at about 20 hours (counting resets), I can’t help but think that if each city had been designed a lot bigger than they were, and more side quests added throughout each of them, it could have lasted maybe even three times longer than it did. Square Enix has gone on record saying that they believe the franchise has a future, so I can’t help but think that a greater lifespan will be part of a possible sequel. Here’s hoping.
Storyline – 6/10
Set 25 years before the events of the original game, Adam Jensen is a heavily augmented security agent working for Sarif Industries, forces to undergo extensive augmentation surgery following an attack on the company Jensen is then sent to various different locations across the globe to uncover a worldwide conspiracy regarding augment technology whilst in the process, uncovering the truth of what happened to his ex-girlfriend, Megan Reed. The plot is fairly gripping in scope, but I found it difficult to keep up with throughout the course of the game, since events move at such a pace that not much time is given to think about what happens, instead prioritizing gameplay, which I prefer greatly. If players could have been gradually introduced to different plot details, I think that in itself would have made the game last longer, but I don’t think the game should lose out on too many marks for prioritizing that which is most important.
Originality – 8/10
The game is also extremely unique for the different take on a genre of gaming that I have personally grown weary of over the years, with only a few decent games having been released within it. The RPG element certainly adds a great deal of enjoyment, and It’s something I’ve since felt that more games in the genre could do with, as opposed to simply relying on getting from point A to point B. That kind of thing was acceptable to me around the time when the second Meta Gear Solid game was released, when it was a relatively new concept, but these days, any stealth game that doesn’t differentiate from that archetype is just an obvious clone to me; and this game is anything but that.
To summarize, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a must-have for anyone with either an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3. It was one of the best video games of 2011, and although it could have lasted longer than it did, and a select few faults here and there, I’d still strongly recommend it.