Developer: Eidos Montreal
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC, Mac
Length: 10+ hrs
Rating: Worth grabbing
With a blockbuster line-up due this fall, the first major title to hit our shelves is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Announced as far back as 2007, this prequel to the massively popular Deus Ex is not without high expectations. Whilst I couldn’t tell you how this plays compared to the original, I can certainly say that this third instalment is great fun to play.
The most appealing aspect of this game is how addictively difficult it is. Jump out at the wrong time and bam, you’re dead Jim. A quick reload later and you’re raring to go again. This eagerness stems from how well the game balances skill, challenge and capability. With the weapons being so high powered, each encounter feels within your grasp, at least given the right tact. With just a few shots, you can level half your opponents and with a well placed grenade, you turn the remaining foes into a not-so-synchronised gymnastics act. Adam Jessen – lead character and love child of Clint Eastwood and Neo – certainly isn’t invulnerable himself, with a grenade often spelling your demise. When you couple this gun play with some pre-scripted, highly satisfying (if not slightly corny) slow-mo stealth kills, you have yourself some pretty awesome gameplay.
While there’s more to the gameplay than just the combat, the rest of it is more of a mixed bag. The ability to upgrade, for instance, is great. There are many directions in which you can take your player, providing not only a reasonable amount of replay-ability, but a decent incentive to invest in the side missions. The interactive conversations are also handled very well, arguably far better than those in L.A. Noire. The variation between choices is genuinely intriguing and picking a logical line of questioning always seems to be well rewarded. That said, the amount of exposition in the game does become a bit tiresome, especially if you’re not familiar with the franchise.
Whilst such a criticism is pretty minor, the game isn’t without its doozies. For one, I found the cover system hugely frustrating at times, with Jessen occasionally refusing to take aim. The AI also isn’t without its issues. Enemies are very quick to dismiss the disappearance of their colleagues and refrain from giving chase if it involves using a door. Whilst such forgetful and reluctant behaviour allows for a more gung-ho playing style (my personal favourite), it does reduce the believability of the game. Artistically, the game is harder to fault, with its art style drawing inspiration from the likes of Blade Runner. That said, for the most part, everything looks plastic, characters lack detail and the lighting generally looks pretty average.
Despite its shortcomings though, overall the game is still good fun to play.