inFocus

“Are you worthy of choosing a future for everyone?

Game Info
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Edios Montreal
Genre: Action RPG, FPS
Release Date: 08/23/2011
Meta Score

 

Story: Dues Ex: Human Revolution takes place in the year 2027, twenty five years before the first title.  You are Adam Jensen, former SWAT member and newly appointed head of Sarif Industries security team.  Adam’s girlfriend, Megan Reed, is preparing to present her most recent work in front of the National Science Board during their meeting to discuss augmentation research regulation.  It would seem that Megan has found a way for people to biologically accept augmentation enhancements without the need of an anti refection drug based on the DNA of “Patient X”.  As Adam escorts Megan he is called for a quick meeting with the company CEO, David Sarif.  Not long after arriving in his office, the building falls under attack by heavily armed soldiers led by three heavily armed augmented mercenaries.  Adam attempts to rescue Megan and her team, but is beaten to the brink of death by their leader, Jaron Namir.  Soon after the attack it is realized that not only has Megan’s team been wiped out and burned beyond recognition, but their research has also been destroyed.

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Six months later Adam Jensen, saved by augmentation technology, is sent to take care of a hostage situation in another Sarif facility.  During his mission he encounters a hacker attempting to steal a military grade defense weapon called the Typhoon, which was also being tested the night of the initial raid six months prior.  The hacker begins acting strange and puts a bullet through his head as soon as he notices Adam, almost as if he was being forced to do so.  The leader of Purity Front, the group behind the current attack, claims he had no idea anyone on his crew was even augmented and is outraged by Adam’s claims.  After making the decision on whether or not to kill Purity’s head man, Zeke Sanders, Adam returns to headquarters for a new assignment.  It would seem that police are covering  up that there was even an augmented intruder in the facility, in addition to covering up much of the initial raid six months ago.  Seeing how the two raids appear that they may be somehow related, Adam makes is way into the police morgue and takes the augmented enhancement from the corpse before anyone is the wiser.  He then has head of Sarif Cyber Security, Francis Pritchard, analyse his findings.  It is then revealed that the hacker was a literal “Human Proxy” and was being controlled by someone over in China.  Adam is then sent to subdue the hacker and get to the bottom of what is going on with these attacks.  Little does he know that the truth he is about to uncover is beyond anything he could have possibly imagined.

I must say that I really enjoyed the plot in this title.  Human Revolution has a number of twists and side stories to play through, and they can be done in so many ways that the game even features multiple endings.  Furthermore, as the story progresses you will find that your morality and humanity will be put to the test through several crucial decisions in the game.  I must say that when you compare the plot to other games in this genre, it is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.

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Graphics/Presentation: The Graphics in Human Revolution are good, but no real revolution in of itself.  While most of the environments are fairly detailed and the performance is very solid with little to no screen tearing at all, the character models in many cases leave something to be desired.  The main characters do look better than the minor ones, I just feel a bit more effort could have been put into them.  Even though they aren’t top notch however, they still don’t look all that bad.  The voice acting can also be hit or miss, again mainly depending on how important the character is to the story.  Civilians in particular sound like robots with poorly implemented human emotion in most cases.  The main characters on the other hand sound just fine, not great, but just fine none the less.  Overall I’m going to give this category an average score as I feel that there is room for improvement.

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Gameplay/Controls: The gameplay in Human Revolution is made up of a large number of factors.  First we will cover the RPG aspect of the game.  As you gain experience by defeating enemies, completing quests, or even extensive exploring you will gain something called Praxis Points.  You can use these to unlock a number of augmented enhancements and abilities that lay dormant inside Adam, and you can develop your play style how ever you like.  Some of the abilities you can gain consist of stealth mode, double take down, hacking abilities, and even access to the deadly Typhoon itself.  Some abilities even allow you to access certain areas of the game that you may not have been able to reach before and others will help you in combat and recon missions.  It is up to you to decide which augmentations best fit your play style (though hacking should be learned by everyone as it is a rather crucial ability to have).  It is also worth noting that you can purchase Praxis packs for a free point in the various Limb clinics found throughout the game.  Keep in mind that they are limited as they are expensive so you won’t be able to purchase an endless supply of them.

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As you progress through the game you will gain access to several side quests that start out very well done with several ways to go about doing them.  As you progress through the game however the number of side quests not only drop, but they lose their depth as well.  In the beginning these quests would have quite a few objectives and even secondary objectives to complete that would really make you think about how to approach the situation.  Later on however they are reduces to neutralizing certain enemies in one spot that takes little time altogether.  Once again another key aspect of the game is hit or miss it seems.  It is a shame because due to the free roaming nature of the game, there was a lot of potential to be found here.  Another issue in the free roam aspect of the game is that there is no storage method other than what Adam is currently carrying on him.  This makes stockpiling weapons and such to swap out between missions impossible and limits what you can use overall.  Luckily there is a way to expand your inventory through augmented upgrades so it is possible to lighten the blow here, but a storage container would still be nice none the less.

The main story missions in the game is where the game truly shines however.  There is no one way to do anything in this game and it is very easy to come up with creative approaches to get around obstacles.  Basically the player is free to approach any situation how they see fit.  You can sneak through the vents, hack locked doors, or just bash your way through weak walls to get to your destination.  Even interrogations have some depth to them.  Instead of just giving you what you want to hear, Human Revolution makes you question and convince characters to say or do something based on their personality and what you say to them.  There is also an augmented ability you can unlock to help you read the person you are talking to for more effective persuasion.  You also have the option to kill every enemy in your path by means of stealth or a full on assault.  In addition to killing your foes, you can simply knock them out by means of tranquilizer or just knocking them out.  If they are found however, they will be awakened and put on alert.  If a dead person is found, they won’t come back but guards will still be on alert.  To avoid this you can move unconscious or dead enemies to hide them from passing patrols.  Remind you of any other “Solid” titles out there?

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It is also worth noting that this game uses both first person and third person elements while playing the game.  Most of the time you will be in first person as you explore, but if your using cover to sneak or get bogged down in a fire fight you will find yourself playing in third person.  I’m not sure what the purpose of this was as it really doesn’t affect anything significant in how you play the game, but didn’t feel awkward either.  Most first person shooters these games are just run and gun for the most part, but this game is different.  It is a first/third person shooter that requires strategy to make it through the game.  If you try to play it like call of duty and just run through killing everything you see, you will die.  Even if you choose to kill your way through to your goal rather than utilize stealth, you still must be able to think on your feet and use luring tactics and traps to eliminate your enemies.  The cover system works well, but if you get overwhelmed by engaging large groups of enemies without thinning them out it will become quite a chore just to survive.  Your average first person shooter gamer might find himself lost in this game, but that is by no means a bad thing.  Generic shooters currently plague the market today and a game like this is long overdue.

Finally I would like to bring up the bosses as I have very mixed feelings about them.  On a positive note, they all have unique fighting styles and require a more unique approach in comparison to one another.  However there is still one problem, the Typhoon augmentation.  This attack basically kills everything from robots to humans within an eight meter radius of Adam instantly when maxed, which only requires three praxis points to achieve.  Now getting enemies close enough to use it takes some strategy as you will get shot up rather fast if you run right in, so there are no balance issues there.  I personally found that it is more effective to use the Typhoon to quickly and easily eliminate robotic foes that are harder to kill and just use regular tactics on everything else.  One would think however that such a powerful attack would somehow be countered by bosses to prevent abuse, but that simply isn’t the case.  Every boss can be totally annihilated by a few shots from the Typhoon which leads to the challenge of the otherwise unique battles to vanish.  Furthermore the final boss battle is just plain sad altogether as the Typhoon isn’t even needed to dominate that particular battle.  It is a shame that these battles had to go to waste as I was truly looking forward to some good boss fights in this game.

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Replay: While the game does have a total of four different ending to watch, this really doesn’t affect the replay value of the game at all.  It turns out that rather than having your moral choices and actions determine the ending, you basically choose which one you want at the end of the game.  Because of this, it is possible to just save right before you choose and just watch them all in one go.  This to me was a disappointment, even though all of the endings landed in a grey area where each one made sense in its own respect.  On the other hand, the game has so much flexibility on how you can go about playing it that many people will play through it again just to see if they can find something new.  Even so however, more side quests and morality based endings would have really helped this aspect of the game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a fantastic title and a worthy entry to the series.  It is one game that hasn’t lost itself in the hoard of generic titles we see mainly today, and that in itself says a lot.  There are a few areas that need improvement such as the addition of more side quests and how the endings were handled, but the pros far outweigh the cons.  All in all there is really no reason to not play this game as the amount of freedom you have to approach any situation as you see fit makes this a game that just about anyone can enjoy.  Well unless of course you are the average Call of Duty player that likes to simply run through a game and play Rambo.   ;-)

Written By: Jason Roberts