Review by KarB0MB
"Something a little different... Just not sure how good that is."
So I'm lucky enough to have a job that involves playing games. No I'm not a game tester and I don't work for a gaming company. That's a long story that's meant for a completely different conversation. But it offers me the benefit of playing lots of different games that I may have missed in my own game library. Deus Ex: Human Revolution happens to be one of those games that I was able to play specifically from this situation. I'm really on the fence about this game, but it slowly fell into a more favorable spot as I continued playing. Let me explain what I mean and what I like and dislike about this game.
Story: This is one of the things I consider to be the bread and butter of the game. Although it is well written and takes place within a somewhat believable realm, I never did feel any attachment to the characters. It's the year 2025 and there is a revolution of sorts going on, technology has allowed people to be augmented with robotic limbs, super human capabilities and everything else a sci-fi future world could offer to improve our basic human capacity. Of course this world wouldn't be complete without the basic element of people thinking it's wrong to mod their own bodys, even if it improves on their day to day lives after they were in some horrible accident. So the story feels somewhat canned and predictable to me, but in no way is it done badly. For every moment in the game, it feels like the production was top notch.
Sound: This is one of the better games for ambiance and sound. Although the main protagonist sounds like Neo from the Matrix movies, the voice actors did a great job in whole. The music fits perfectly into this imaginary world and makes everything feel more authentic as you navigate the menus and terrain. The guns in the game don't sound throaty or realistic to me, not to mention you don't feel any stronger when switching from a pistol to a combat rifle. This is an area that I will assume comes from the fact that Eidos and especially Square Enix are not studios that develop shooters. So compared to most other shooter genres, the guns and shooting in general feel sloppy. Does this ruin the game, not at all. But I never like it when an action game throws in a driving sequence just to have additional gameplay in there and this is what the gunplay feels like to me.
Gameplay: Ok, here's where the issues came to light for me. The game is based around a lot of gunplay, but the shooting feels sloppy. I never really had a feeling of excitement during the shooting sequences. Once through the long intro you jump straight into action, if your playing on the easiest setting, your going to die really fast, your character feels like he's made of glass during these firefights. I'm a noob right? That's what your thinking huh... I play shooters more than anything else and can assure you that I own people. Don't believe me, shoot me a message and we can play online so I can show you that no matter how good you are at shooters, that wont translate into this game. Maybe I've been playing to many shooters your thinking, well I never had an issue like this during my gaming sessions of Mass Effect 1 or 2. Obviously you will get better as you play, but again this game centers around gunplay and a decent amount of it. I just think this is not an area that these studios have a ton of expertise in. So the gameplay never really had a solid feeling for me and made the experience a little less enjoyable.
Graphics: The graphics are not the best I've seen, but they are not a big step back either. In todays market of Gears of war 3, Killzone 3, Mw3, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Batman AC, Assassins Creed Revelations and many other juggernauts of the industry, there are games that just blow your mind with amazing graphics. There are also a ton of duds out there that make you wonder who's dumb enough to waste their money on them ( Cough cough Thor game cough ). I was raised in the Atari, Commodore 64 and Colecovision times. So graphics are not the end all be all to gaming to me. But with todays technology they can add so much more and immerse a person that much deeper into the game. In Deus Ex, it looks like the characters all have Parkinsons disease during the cut scenes. I'm not sure why the characters are shaking their heads so much, but it gets weird after awhile. The environments are dark and textures are decent. Again, the games graphics are pretty good, but nothing to write home about.
Overall: I would say rental ( Gamefly ), or purchase used or at a discounted price. I think the developer could have done a lot of things better, as well as hit certain things perfectly. You are thrown into certain things ( Hacking electronic devices such as doors and computers ), early in the game with no explanation as to what the hell your doing. You either have to go research what exactly you need to do, or do what I did and just keep playing until you figure it out. But without sounding self centered, I tend to grasp things faster than most. You will also develop your characters abilities as your progress, and end up hacking a million different things. Neither of these are introduced with a mini walkthrough and both are awkward at first. A lot of games will slyly introduce you to the finer points of it's nuances which I think can be over-done at times. But this game gives you no such help and leaves you to figure it out on your own. Maybe the game manual includes that and maybe it doesn't. But I played this through Gamefly, so I would have had to go online which wasn't going to happen. Maybe your reading this and thinking that this dude can't be that bright if he couldn't figure it out on his own right away, but this is my review and your reading it. So I say that I'm really intelligent and these small issues detracted from the game early on for no reason.
Second thought: I like this game and I'm glad I was able to play it, but it's frustrating early on. You die far to easily, hacking and developing your character are annoying, gunplay feels sloppy and navigating the world feels more challenging than needed. But... and this is important. But as you play through these early annoyances, you get to see the shining layer of gold under a layer of sludge. So you'll need to take the good with the bad and the bad does fade as you go further into the game. Obviously the gunplay never changes and enhancing your weapons never feels special. I'm not sure what game I can compare this to, maybe Mass Effect meets the Matrix meets ( Insert sloppy shooter here ). I don't like it nearly as much as I like Mass Effect, but I don't hate it nearly as much as I do the Thor game. Looking at it from an overall perspective I would say that this game deserves the 7 of 10 I gave it, but I could never see myself replaying the story again or adding it to my diverse library of games.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 12/09/11
Game Release: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (US, 08/23/11)
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