Sunday, September 4, 2011

Deus Yes!!!- The Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a rare game. It's the sort of game that comes along and makes you think. A lot. The game will have you asking lots of questions, about human nature, morality, and the overall balance of good vs. evil. But is it fun? Read on as I try to break it down. No spoilers, super swear.

I needed a good sci-fi game. Needed it. I needed a palate cleanse from all these first person shooters. I know this game is in first person! Just hold your horses and I'll explain! I wanted a RPG that didn't have swords or magic or elves. I wanted a sci-fi future that didn't feature grotesque aliens or warp drives. DX:HR promised all of these things and delivered.
This city is beautiful in a dirty way, like Tara Reid

For this review, I played the PC version, because dumb consoles herp derp. Really though, it was because I had heard a lot about the lengths that Eidos went to to optimize this game for the PCs, and I just usually enjoy games better on PC. My PC isn't top of the line, but it's pretty good, and it runs the game very well*. The game looks beautiful, runs smoothly, and I encountered nary a glitch or bug. I'd say that the devs definitely held up their end, as far as the PC version goes. As I mentioned in my first impressions, the game does NOT feel like the devs just copied the files over from console to PC (ahem, Borderlands).

The world feels complete and real
The game world is well realized, and I really felt compelled to explore the game's locales. I loved just cruising around and trying to find new things. Thankfully, DX:HR has so many juicy little nuggets hidden all around. I could have easily spent more time with the game, as I'm sure I didn't find everything. The cities are filthy and dark, making me feel like I've just stepped into Blade Runner or Dark City. Garbage, hobos, corporate logos and tons of neon all beautifully adorn the streets, making them seem like realistic interpretations of what the future may look like.

We built this city on....cyborgs?
I really don't want to talk too much about story beats, because you really can't talk much about the plot before you get into spoiler territory. You play as Adam Jensen, security chief for Sarif Industries, one of the world's leading providers of human augmentations. There are a lot of people in the game, such as the Purity First movement, who despise Sarif and the augments that they provide. Thus there is a theme of constant tension building between two sides: those who seek to make themselves better, in any way they can, and those who fear that the power that augments can bring will make natural humans obsolete. Jensen is outfitted with some sweet-ass augments, making you feel like a total badass, but you will always know why, since the game does a fantastic job of showing you why Jensen gets augmented in the first place.

Is this what neo-Neo looks like?
The game took me about 30 hours to beat, and that was with me completing quite a few side quests, which I wasn't even expecting to see at first. There could be more of them that I may have missed, but I'm not really sure. I was truly amazed at how many different ways there were to tackle all of the game's obstacles. I tried my best to backtrack and test different methods, and to be honest, I didn't find one method to be more effective than another; it all comes down to how you've decided to upgrade Jensen. This is, to me, the game's greatest strength. Whether your method of choice is stealth, hacking, exploration, straight up combat, or any mix of the above, the game lets you choose how to augment Jensen to best fit your play style, and more importantly, makes sure that your chosen style will be well-utilized. The only exception, as has been noted in other reviews, is that in a handful of cases you are forced into a confrontation and the only way out is to fight. These situations can be annoying, but they didn't really bother me as much as they bothered others.

Choose wisely!
Now, as for the whole first person thing, yes this is technically a first person game. However, the only time I was actually in that view was when i was moving around the map. Any time I was near enemies or engaged in combat, I stuck to cover and, thus, a third person view. This system works like magic. Yes it breaks realism, but we're talking about a game where you play a dude who has robot arms, so I think a certain detachment from realism is expected from the start. The cover is easy to use, whether you're shooting or sneaking. The hacking system is pretty great too, by far the best I've ever seen in a game. I don't think it's spoilery to say that hacking can be incredibly useful. I even used it to take control of gun turrets or robots and make them turn on my enemies. So excellent..... Also pretty sweet are the takedowns, which can be performed either lethally or non-lethally. They are fast and brutal, and really show you what an efficient killing machine Jensen can be. I've captured video of a handful of both flavors of takedown just to show you what i mean.

The world is gloriously hi-tech.
In general, characters' faces look simply ok, with Jensen's looking the best. The voice acting is mostly pretty good, though Jensen's voice really doesn't impress me at all. No idea what they were going for there, but it really didn't do anything for me. There was one interaction that really moved me, though. I won't go into specifics, but the emotion conveyed through the NPC's voice and facial animations brought a genuine tear to my eye. I truly felt for this character, and I wanted to make sure that he/she was ok.

This game is a wonder. DX:HR splendidly blends elements from shooters, sneakers, and RPGs. The game reeks of polish, and the attention to detail really shows in this lovingly crafted masterpiece of a game. It presents a fairly plausible near future, and comes with all of the delicious sci-fi goodness that I've been craving. Once I finished, I just wanted to go back and play again to try different strategies and see what I missed. I can't wait! Buy for sure!

     Verdict 5/5

*Specs for the system used-
CPU- Intel Core I7 920 ~2.7 ghz
RAM-6 Gb DDR3 1600
GPU- ATI Radeon 4890 1Gb GDDR5

Game was run 1440x900 resolution, with no AA, 4x AS and normal shadows. It looked pretty great and ran consistently at about an 80 FPS average.

Rock wants to get some sweet-ass robot arms. Seriously, get him out of this stupid fleshy junk, he's ready.
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Go aug yourself!


  1. Very nice review.

    Also, this is the first review for a PC game where the reviewer put the specs of the PC he played on. A very nice, and welcome touch.

  2. Hey thanks! I figure that it doesn't really matter if i tell you how it looks unless you know what I'm running it on. Also lets the reader compare and figure what kind of performance they'll get!

  3. Awesome review!

    Thank you for not spoiling the awesome for us! I really appreciate the lengths you went to for a spoiler free review!

  4. No problem! I had to do some dancing around a bit, because I didn't want to just avoid story spoiler, I also wanted to stay away from the methods I used in the game, because I wanted people to find out for themselves what they liked.