Review by MudShadow
The best SCIFI:Cyberpunk video game created
The review deck says it all, if you're a fan of Bladerunner, Ghost in the Shell, Battle Angel Alita, A.D Police, Cyber City Oedo808.. etc. Then this game was made for you.
Why is this a good Cyberpunk game? well first and for most, there hasn't been very many good Cyberpunk video-games created - so that alone elevates DE:HR into the top tier. The presentation is extremely well done. And it seems like everything Eidos were aiming for they mostly achieved with this title.
To many people it will become obvious Eidos had much inspiration from Bladerunner in a lot of the art design and also the story elements. There's a very strong sense of Adam Jensen (the games protagonist) being a private detective on his own, in a run down cyber future Detroit, the same way Deckard is in L.A hunting fugitives in BR. Heng Sha is one area in the game the player will visit and this is a densely populated cyber-future slum, with a futuristic city in the sky above the slum. This brought back many memories of Battle Angels Alita "Scrapyard", a degraded scrap heap city with a futuristic dyspotian city "also" in the sky which lands all it's waste onto the city underneath. I think many people may see a lot of the inspiration in DE:HR as "copying", personally I was just glad to see so many elements I knew from previous pieces of fiction seen all in one very well done video game package.
The gameplay, is pretty much Deus Ex 1.There are certain elements of the gameplay which fell short, for starters the gunplay was incredibly easy from the beginning. There are skills such as aim stabilization which are just not needed. In fact I felt no need at all to spend leveling points on leveling up any of the gunplay skills in the game.
The same goes for the stealth. It's possible to accomplish stealth from the get go in the game without taking abilities such as active camo. Levelling makes gameplay slightly easier but is was not fundamental enough for a RPG game.
The gunplay in general is not that satisfying, enemies show no visual signs that they're taking damage, If you blow someone up with a rocket launcher they should probably be disintegrated in to gibs. If you riddle someone with bullets from a upgraded UZI, their should be signs that this is happening, maybe some armor breaking off here and there as the enemy shakes and riddles as the bullets hit. I'm not saying I get kicks out of this stuff but I think it's a important element of making good action gameplay.
What we see in DE:HR in terms of gun combat though is visually quite dull. You shoot someone with a hand revolver which has been upgraded with exploding bullets and yeah they fly back a bit. But that is all, very minimal gore and no visual signs of damage. I did not really a feel a urge to play the game as a shooter for this reason, It was more enjoyable to just play the stealthy type and bypass all the action completely.
Other factors which hinder the action element of the gameplay is also the Battery system and the experience points system. The battery system is very strict, which is fair enough, but problems arise when you want to be creative with the battery system. I found it was difficult and often not rewarding to engage enemies head on using augments such as Stealth, and Typhoon (Area of effect attack) to take on groups of opponents. Because you would be out of battery before you know it and then have to run away to chomp on cyberboooster to replenish the energy and then go again. Cyberboooster is in short supply so playing the game in this fashion is a uphill battle. It's much better to just play a stealth type, and use the stun gun and silenced weapons to pick off enemies. You don't waste any battery and the experience system actually rewards you better for not engaging enemies head on.
In terms of exploration there are many ways to approach each mission, but I believe they made every option too accessible. You don't need to upgrade very many augments to take advantage of multiple routes in a mission. Taking a back door into a building is as easy as just spending one piraxis (leveling point) on being able to lift heavy items, moving a heavy box jumping on a box, and climbing through a vent.
Hacking, it's a lot of fun but it's also forced down the players necks. I would say the player is at a big disadvantage if they do not go with hacking, for the reason being that each terminal you hack nets you experience just for hacking it. But that's not all, there's also "extra rewards" to be had for conquering certain terminal nodes with in the hacking minigame. These rewards can give anything from additional hacking software to credits or even more experience, you can leave one simple computer terminal with 300 experience which is the same as knocking out six guards undetected. To add further to the bonuses of hacking, you might be hacking a safe or a storage container which could have a piraxis point or extra credits in there or a gun modification. The game world is completely littered with computer and terminals to hack meaning that being able to hack is the most overpowered ability and completely shadows other alternative methods of getting around.
The voice acting and dialogue is all well done. I was getting many memories of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines on some of the more important NPCs voice acting and charactization.
Deus:HR for this day and age is a very good successor to the original Deus Ex. The gameplay is mostly left in tact, with the RPG elements slightly watered down and the gameplay is a bit easier. Although the gameplay is not all it could be, it's still very damn good. Besides it being a DE title it's also the best Science Fiction Cyberpunk FPS/RPG I've played. Eidos has created a game and environment which is almost alive. I have never played a RPG or video game which felt as surrealistically real as visiting Heng Sha in DX:HR for the first time and then gazing to the sky to see it filled with a futuristic cyber city. Walking down slum roads condensed with NPCs and shop owners, alley ways running off on every corner and rooftops accessible above. If you're a fan of the scifi/rpg genre you should probably definitely buy the game for that alone - this game is a piece cyberpunk virual reality on your PC and console for 50-$60, and I score it 9.0 for that reason.
Gameplay - 85
Graphics - 85
Sound - 85
story - 87
Design - 10
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (US, 08/23/11)
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