Square-Enix Deus Ex Human Revolution review
A practically unbeatable combination of action, stealth and exploration, tied together by the most involving story we’ve seen all year. A must buy.
Review Date: 22 Aug 2011
Price when reviewed: £35
Reviewed By: Tom Morgan
As the prequel to one of the most highly-regarded PC games of all time, expectations for Deus Ex: Human Revolution were always going to be high. It was a risky move to take the story back to its beginnings, to a world only just beginning to grasp how to advance human evolution using technology, but once you start playing there’s little doubt this is a game that understands its heritage.
Right from the outset, it’s clear that human augmentation has caused a huge rift in society: those that can afford augmentations, as well as the drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting them, are persecuted by humanists that believe it is sacrilege to modify the human form. Players are thrown into the middle of this conflict as you take the role of gravelly-voiced protagonist Adam Jenson, head of security for Sarif Industries, America’s largest producer of augmentations.
After an explosive opening ten minutes that sees Jensen critically wounded and fitted with extensive augmentations (augs) in order to keep him alive, the game begins proper and it’s clear that great care has been taken to keep the Deus Ex legacy alive. Set loose to track down the terrorists responsible for the attack, you’re soon on the trail of a far larger conspiracy. It’s impossible to reveal much more of the plot without giving away massive spoilers, but series veterans are sure to be pleased with the numerous shady government organisations and false trails designed to keep you guessing right until the end.
Between each main storyline mission, large city hubs are completely open for you to explore. Optional side quests given to you by NPCs provide extra credits, weapons or Praxis points for upgrading your augmentations, as well as clues to the overarching storyline. The on-screen overlay, cunningly introduced as a vision enhancement aug, points you in the direction of each objective, but there’s always a map in case you get truly lost.
With hundreds of characters to talk to and interrogate, you could easily spend hours in each new location, but the heart of the game is very much in its action sequences. As we would expect from a game carrying the Deus Ex name, gameplay is entirely open-ended and there are always multiple paths and options open to you. Choosing stealth over confrontation will let you conserve ammunition for boss fights and tougher missions, but the guns blazing approach will still get the job done. There’s always a non-lethal option, such as using tranquilizer darts and silent melee takedowns to help you stay unnoticed when a guard blocks your path.
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