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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review

Deus Ex is a series that likes to sell itself as an opportunity for players to immerse themselves in a world of conspiracy and intrigue, but to describe it as such is really selling itself short. What game today doesn't feature some sort of political intrigue, or backstabbing of any kind? No it would be much fairer to sell Deus Ex on its character customization, world design, or open-ended gameplay that allows players to approach one objective from a wide variety of ways. That's what makes reviewing a title like Deus Ex Human Revolution so difficult in its own way, with so many individual traits that make up the larger experience it's easy for things to go wrong. What if you enjoy the story, but the world design detracts from the overall pacing? How will players feel if the combat isn't equal on all customization paths? Will there be a single ability that makes playing the game less fun, but is necessary in terms of being able to enjoy the open-world aspects?

Things start off fairly quick in Human Revolution with players taking control of Sarif Industries head of security, Adam Jensen, and are introduced to a future cyberpunk world that is gripped in the heat of what could very well be the next major step in human evolution. Augmentation, a far more high-tech form of prosthetic limb attachment, has blurred the lines between humanity and machine with many wondering where exactly the limit is for evolution. As the head of such revolutionary technology Sarif Industries prepares to deliver a presentation on their discoveries when they're brutally attacked by a group of professionals mercenaries who almost succeed in their goal if not for a single loose end: Adam Jensen's survival. Jensen manages to make a speedy recovery with help from the very technology that mankind are heatedly debating about.

Jensen's augmentations are not only important for story purposes (as he would have no doubt died from his injuries without Sarif's technology), but it serves as a link between every other aspect of the game as well. Combat is defined by what augmentations are chosen and built upon; how players interact with NPCs will depend on what faction you're speaking with and how well they take to Adam's new body; and how players choose to explore the world is made easier depending on what augmentations are activated and upgraded. Upgrading skills and attributes are done by obtaining Praxis Points, which can be earned through getting experience or simply finding Praxis Kits scattered throughout hidden rooms or hard to reach places in the world. Naturally this means that, like the rest of the game, which augmentations players choose to advance will open more options for players to interact and explore the world around them.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Taking Cover

Some augmentations are strictly combat only and will effect things like weapon recoil, or how often melee take-downs can be used, but most abilities in game serve a dual purpose. Options like x-ray vision, increased strength, or higher jumping come into play during missions and during exploration or general detective footwork. For example, a mission that requires players enter a police station can be handled in one of several ways: you can try to break down the front door, which would have the entire station mobilized to try and kill you, or find an alternate access point such as a sewer or rooftop entrance. Those who have higher hacking skills may find that some security measures can be more easily bypassed, while other players that have increased their ability to persuade NPCs in conversation may find it easier to get past the security guard at the front door. This balance between combat and exploration means that taking the right aug isn't about which one will simply assist in killing the enemy, but which will also assist in completing a mission that may seem difficult should you attack head-on.

It sounds like a daunting task to try and pick the 'right' augmentations, but in reality players will have an easy time figuring out how they want to go about things once given access to the city of Detroit itself. When not on a primary mission players are given access to the city and all of its various hubs, and completing side quests is often handled in the exact same way that handling a primary quest would be. It's during this exploration that players generally start to hit obstacles such as hidden vents, obscured walkways, or security panels that have unusually high ratings to hack. Accepting that only some skills are going to be accessible early on means that it's important to dedicate yourself to a particular set of augmentations that will get the job done, and since combat in game is more than just the typical FPS choosing the right passive skill becomes much easier.

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