Developer: Eidos Montreal
Release Date: 8/23/2011
For Fans Of: Deux Ex, Stealth Games, Human Survival
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The Good: Excellent choice based game play, engrossing characters and engaging story, great level design, moody atmosphere
The Bad: Overly difficult boss fights, choices don’t impact ending, dated visuals, way too many glitches, world feels empty, very linear
Being the third sequel to one of the top 5 PC games of all time can be tough. The guys at Eidos Montreal nailed the game and pulled off one of the most anticipated games of all time. One of the best parts about Human Revolution is the engaging atmosphere and story to go along with it. You play as ex-SWAT turned security chief at Sarif Industries Adam Jensen. Sarif Industries is one of the leading corporations in human augmentation. Of course, there’s always rivals so the facility gets broken into one day and the top scientist gets stolen (among others) and is used for some secret project. The great thing about the story is that you’re led on constantly so you think the plot goes one way then quickly moves another way. When you start the game you will have no idea that the people involved are the main cause towards the end. The story is masterfully created and very entertaining.
Of course what makes Deus Ex so famous are the multiple ways you can approach getting to a goal. Use stealth and not knock out anyone, use tranq darts, stun guns, or just up close melee. If you don’t like that you can use silenced weapons and take everyone out, or just run through with a machine gun and blast everyone away. Of course, it’s not just how you kill people, but how you navigate the level. If you see a room full of 8 bad guys you can upgrade your augs to allow you to become invisible for a few seconds and dash across the room to the door you need. Don’t have that aug? You can find a vent somewhere and crawl through most of the area, but wait there’s a camera right where you need to be. Find the computer that controls cameras and hack into it and disable it. Or you can just blast your way through.
There are tons of options for every part of the game, but the augs are what will get you through. You can access an elevator that can bypass three whole floors of bad guys but it’s blocked by heavy crates. If you have the aug to move heavy objects your golden. If not find another way around as best as you can. The whole point is to choose a play style and augment yourself according to so if you want stealth use stealth add-ons, ability to see through walls, invisibility, and keep a tranq gun or silenced pistol. I love how there are so many options to choose and each section just flows and doesn’t require too much trial-and-error like most stealth action games.
You will come across conversations where you need to persuade someone to give you information and this is done through clever dialog choices, but you can use an augmentation to see what personality type the person is and how to persuade them. If you are having a hard time you get a chance to release pheromones as a last-ditch effort to persuade, but you must know the personality type so watch that meter carefully. These choices can be simple or huge such as how to disable turrets during a boss fight, or even to make whole missions easier. However, choices during the game don’t affect the endings so some people may feel this was all for nothing.
While those are the main parts of gameplay you can upgrade weapons, buy and sell at black markets, and even by Praxis kits for upgrading at limb clinics. Be warned though because the game is very hard if you choose to gun everyone down. You will lose life quickly and just a few shots will kill you. There are even a few boss fights, but I found these extremely difficult and required a lot of saving during the fight. The game also has a decent length of about 15-20 hours so you will be busy for a while.
I do have to mention that when the game came out there were horrible glitches and it performed terribly. I actually had to restart the game 1/4 through because of a glitch that prevented me from moving on to the next level. This is unacceptable, but by now 99% of the glitches have been fixed and the game performs smoothly now. The overall atmosphere is a lot like Blade Runner, but I felt it lacking with just people standing around in the linear levels. Sure you can run around, but the game is made up of hallways rather than an open world. The graphics look decent in DirectX 11, but they look abysmal in DirectX 9 so don’t expect this game to look amazing. Characters have low-resolution textures, as well as low poly models and the overall effects aren’t very impressive.
Overall Human Revolution is one of the best stealth action games to come out in a while, but most importantly, it re-creates the amazing choice based game play that the first game did so many years ago. If you can look past the dated visuals, linear level design, and difficult boss fights you will be pleased with lots of great game design as well as engrossing characters and an engaging story.