Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Videogame Review
The right decision
Release Date: 26 August
£49.99 * Format reviewed: Xbox 360
Also available on: PS3 and PC
Publisher: Square Enix
Deus Ex is rightly regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. Perhaps the greatest even. For some people Deus Ex was a shooter; for others it was a stealth game. Combinations of diplomacy, computer wizardry and aestheticism saw more people still through its impressive running time. But at no point in time was Deus Ex ever the best shooter, or the greatest of stealth titles. It was the mixture of these components and the complete freedom to pick and choose your gameplay elements that set Deus Ex apart.
The same isn’t true of Human Revolution. There’s still the open-ended choices: the ability to play using nothing but guns, or to complete the game through quieter means and not kill anybody. Only this time around the gunplay is top notch. The sneaking is comparable to the industry’s best. All the systems work as they should. And yet, somehow, the world is simultaneously still huge – bigger than before, even – and as richly crafted as any virtual universe you’d want to explore.
Human Revolution is a prequel to Deus Ex. Set 25 years before the PC original, it follows ex-SWAT member Adam Jensen as he travels the globe and uses his cybernetic implantations to subvert security systems and take down hostile forces. His body evolves under your rule: pick the right upgrades and he’ll be able to watch enemies through walls with x-ray vision to stay ahead in combat, or leap nine feet into the air and silently drop to the ground without taking damage to navigate environments like a cat. He might discover cloaking devices that render him invisible to human and robotic eyes alike, or learn how to hack into security systems without triggering alarms.
Craft a hero of your choice and the game, in turn, responds to your actions. The world and its people hinge on your vision of Adam: whether he’s kind of sharp-tongued, if he’s happy to indulge in a spot of wetwork or if he prefers to tackle jobs cleanly. For over thirty hours the game lets you play in any one of four distinct styles or a unique blend of them all, and wraps its tale around you accordingly. If new Elder Scrolls and Batman games weren’t on the horizon, labelling this as the year’s best sci-fi game wouldn’t have been premature. It’s as worthy of the Deus Ex name as the original game’s sequel Invisible War was not.