If you’ve never wanted to see through walls and fire missiles from your chest while simultaneously being plagued by the moral implications of said actions, then stop reading this article, because “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” isn’t for you, friend.
Set twenty five years in the future, “Human Revolution” puts you in the shoes of Adam Jensen, the head of security for Serif Industries, a company in the business of human augmentation (the improvement of the human form through mechanical and computerized enhancements). When Serif Industries is attacked by terrorists many of its top scientists go missing and Jensen is left for dead. Enter awesome super powers and a cyberpunk noire narrative that criss-crosses the globe.
The game play of “Human Revolution” certainly has a learning curve, and players should be aware up front that it is a role-playing game and not a first-person-shooter, but the game is ultimately fairly user-friendly as far as RPG’s go. Where other RPG’s have players juggling a plethora of stats and abilities left and right, “Human Revolution” really only offers one customizable variable: augmentations. While RPG veterans may no doubt find this a cop-out, it serves as a good entry point to those new to the often-complicated genre.
Augmentations serve as the catalyst for the game’s excitement and the strategies players can employ. Do you want tank-armor skin or the ability to go invisible? Do you want to be really good at hacking computers or really good at salughtering lesser men with your bare robot hands? It’s entirely up to you and the choices you make will vastly effect how you make your way through the game. You can relentlessly run and gun your way from objective to objective or, with the right tactics, complete entire missions without entering a single altercation.
Regardless of the game play style you choose the story remains almost exactly the same. Adam Jensen is a gravel-voiced, sunglass at night kind of protagonist regardless of how you play the game. While the lack of narrative variance may give RPG veterans just one more thing to gripe about, the static story of “Human Revolution” is still a good one. Fans of the 1999 film “The Matrix” or William Gibson’s classic novel “Neuromancer” are sure to find something to like in Adam Jensen’s quest. While the narrative doesn’t live up to the imposing grandeur of its genre-companions it still manages to throw in a few suprises as well as an ending with an emotional punch that caught me entirely off guard.
The story is framed in a graphical backdrop that is, quite frankly, nothing to write home about. There are no terribly agregious visual offenses, but there are also few, if any, eye-catching moments. This is made all the more apparent by the consistant black and gold color scheme found throughout the game. While many have praised the game’s palette for its surprising versatility I found it to be anything but. It’s a shame that even though “Human Revolution” allows you to trek the globe from Detroit to Hong Kong are nearly identical. “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” won’t be the jaw dropping critical darling that the original “Deus Ex” was ten years ago, but it is a fun game that lets players feel powerful and deadly while still offering a challenge.
Image courtesy of die-screaming.com