Review by almasbaby
Welcome to the Edge
I don't normally write reviews, but this game has a serious lack of them. It should have a row of 9s and 10s a page long. It's one of the best videogames ever made.
It's 2027 and the world has changed dramatically. Thanks to augmentation, a procedure which drastically increases human ability, the world has been split into 2 camps, those against it and those for. Those for it like the advantages it offers, and those against think it robs the user of his/her humanity, as well as gives unfair advantage to those who have it, which it does. This conflict is addressed throughout the game and provides an intriguing backdrop to the main storyline, which brings us to Adam Jensen, a security specialist who is severely beaten by highly trained augmented mercenaries during a violent raid of the headquarters of his employer, Sarif Industries. Adam is saved by extensive replacement of his limbs and faculties with augmentations that increase both his mental and physical abilities. For the rest of the game he will use these abilities to track down the individuals who performed the break in, as well as find out who they were working for. As the plot unfolds Jensen finds himself confronting high powered executives of large corporations who are engaged in dubious activities. There's conspiracy afoot, nothing is as it seems, and all is revealed the further one progresses through the game. If that seems like your average conspiracy story... it is. What separates it from the rest is interesting, well developed characters, intelligent dialogue, and an intriguing backdrop. These elements are essential to a great story and they all exist in the story of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
In a word... addictive. I played this game for hours on end unable to tear myself away from it. This is surprising because I'm no big fan of stealth, which is a major part of how the game is played. It's just implemented so much better in this game than any I've played before it. At least in my mind. Don't write this game off if you're not a stealth fan. When it's done as well as it is in this game, you might become one. Taking enemies down through the use of stealth never grows old. There's no melee in this game aside from pressing O when you're close to an enemy, and then you're treated to some of the coolest cinematic cutscenes of takedowns that far surpass anything in visuals you could execute yourself.
Gunplay is also executed well. The guns all have a realistic feel and sound to them, and the impact of bullets finding their target is always gratifying. Targeting is easy, unlike many games that are an effort in frustration trying to line up a shot. It's very smooth. Ammo is scarce, though, which is made up by the fact that it doesn't take much to bring an enemy down. It's strewn around the environment in small measure and can also be looted from unconscious and dead bodies. As the game progresses you'll acquire more and more, and should have plenty for any situation that requires it. I never suffered for a want of it.
Dialogue is a big part of the game, and as enjoyable as any I've encountered in a game. The idea is to talk your way into a favorable outcome, and if you do you're rewarded with extra XP, or other goodies that make the going easier.
The soul of Dues Ex: Human Revolution is that it's an RPG, and again, this aspect of it is executed exceedingly well. Although protagonist Adam Jensen is an augmented powerhouse, those augmentations are dormant until you acquire the necessary "praxis points" to activate them. Choose wisely how you do this. I've found some much more useful than others. Using them for hacking I found especially useful since locked computers and terminals are all over the place just itching to be hacked by a first rate hacker. Doing this requires winning a well designed, and fun, mini hacking game which can get pretty intense as you race to complete the hack before the clock runs down if you're detected.
DE:HR is an open world consisting of several hubs that allow free roam. The main hubs are the futuristic cities of Detroit and Hengsha, a city in China which is actually 2 cities built one top of the other. While in China you'll spend most of your time in the lower, grittier part of the city. In both Hengsha and Detroit there are several sidequests tied into the story which you can choose to play or not. I played and enjoyed them all. If you choose not to nothing is lost as far as understanding the story, but you'll sacrifice XP and credits which are the currency for acquiring praxis points. A couple of the sidequests even reward you with praxis kits that include 2 praxis points.
Bosses - Many people complain about them because they're somewhat out of place compared to the main part of the game. Stealth is going to get you nowhere here. It's simply kill or be killed. But I think the intent is to find clever ways of dispatching them without relying too heavily on a simple shootout. Tactics are what rule the day here, not brute force. The third boss, for example, can be taken out in as little as 5 seconds if you figure out how. When I first discovered this I LMAO because I had been killed about 20 times before I did.
They're not bad. They're just not the latest and the greatest. Where the game excels, though, is in art style and atmosphere. For me that is so much more important. I'm only deducting a point because the game doesn't look that technologically advanced, as beautiful as it is. It's a futuristic game set in futuristic cities that looks, well, futuristicaly beautiful. It's one of the few games I've actually enjoyed just walking around in to drink in the sites. Aside from the occasional stutter as data was being loaded the game played admirably smooth.
The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful creating the perfect backdrop for the game. Ambient sounds are also well done. VA is top notch. There's nothing I can think of that's done wrong here. It's as rewarding an auditory experience as it is a visual one.
Final Score 10/10
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (US, 08/23/11)
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