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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes place in the near future. Private and military corporations have begun to develop the first range of body and mind augmentations that allow people to fast-forward evolution and gain super-human abilites, for example being able to jump 3 metres into the air is not uncommon in 2027. You play as Adam Jensen, the unaugmented head of security at Sarif Industires (one of the worlds leaders in augmentation research and development). During the opening of the game you soon learn that the augmented clearly have the upper hand in combat when one of them literally beats you half to death then shoots you in the face at the end of the game’s first mission.

Human Revolution truly starts after you return to work 6 months after being shot, y’know because that’s such a common injury in video games now (it would be a surprise if a gunshot to the forehead actually did kill someone for a change). The difference now is that you’re super augmented to the point where you have sunglasses built into your face. It is now up to you to work as Sarif Industries’ ultra augmentatron 3000 and break the rules to find out who attacked you, eventually leading to a big conspiracy involving all sorts of backhand politics and selfish motives. Not to spoil anything but there is a moment about two thirds into Human Revolution‘s story that just takes the plot from relatively grounded to snooker loopy in about 5 lines of dialogue. It may be forgiveable for some gamers but others will probably forget about the story from then on out, but they’ll stick around for the awesome gameplay.

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The way you play Human Revolution is really up to you. As you level up you can increase your skills in certain areas. For example, will you choose the augment to turn invisible or the one that lets you take extra damage? For people who only want to experience the story, this will mean you really have to focus your upgrades on one aspect of combat because you won’t have enough Praxis (the game’s leveling-up currency) to enhance your skills in all areas. There is simply not enough to do in the story mode alone to level up your character fully and this is not an accident.

There are four basic areas you can level-up: combat, stealth, hacking and socialising. They’re all pretty self-explanatory, really. Combat means you can shoot your way out; stealth lets you sneak away undetected; hacking means you can find new routes or get robots to do the fighting for you; socialising means you can talk your way out of a lot of sticky situations. There are also other, more passive augments like battery power and strength that allow you to stay invisible for longer and carry more items, respectively.

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[pullquote_right]The way you play Human Revolution is really up to you.[/pullquote_right]To really make the most out of Human Revolution you have to explore. Exploration leads to more experience earned through side quests which in turn leads to a more diverse choice of options in combat. A player who plays through the story alone will take on every fight either gunning his way through or sneaking past everyone depending on what he chose to upgrade. A player who plays all the side missions too will be able to combine his augmentations into new strategies because he will have leveled-up his aptitude in both fighting and sneaking.

However, the game play isn’t all good. No matter how you decide to play the game, you will always run into the same bosses. And no matter what you leveled-up, you’re faced with having to fight the boss head-on. These fights do not utilise the different aspects of the game at all; bosses are simply standard enemies that can kill you in seconds and have five times the amount of health of the average heavy soldier.

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Human Revolution is a beautiful game and clearly had a lot of thought put into the design of everything from the tallest building to the buttons on Adam’s coat. The graphics don’t match up to the E3 trailers made by Square Enix but they’re still good in their own right (comparing anything to Square Enix’s graphics is always unfair, though, since they are the masters of presentation). The game’s presentation shines through its art direction. Much like every game ever made, there is obvious inspiration from Blade Runner, but Human Revolution really makes its visual style its own with rich golds and blacks creating a very futuristic and sleek look, and combining it with fashion sensibilities not seen since the Italian Renaissance. The art style isn’t only pretty to look at but helps flesh out the world too, reflective of the environment you’re in. The art and fashion was clearly thought about ten times more than they are in most games.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is definitely an experience worthy of any gamer. The questionable story is up to interpretation but the ending is unambiguously shit. But if you’re willing to get over the game’s bonkers story, you’ll find one of the best-designed action RPGs of recent years in a world unlike any game you’ve seen before.

The Good

Very open-ended game that allows for multiple styles of play | Unique and stylish

The Bad

Ropey story | Poorly made boss fights

4/5

A staff writer for Default Prime, Joe is one of the youngest on the team and perhaps the youngest person ever to exist. Starting his gaming life back on the Sega Megadrive he has ploughed through the last 21 years of gaming despite being born in the 90's. Other interests involve film-making, word-writing and occasionally getting drunk enough to attempt "The Descent" at parties, don't ask.
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