Eidos Montreal recently released their newest game Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the prequel to Deus Ex, which was released in 2000. To sum the game up in a few brief words, its Thief meets Dragon Age with a futuristic twist. DX:HR brings to light a new style of Action Roleplaying Games.
Set in the year 2027, DX:HR puts you behind the controls of Adam Jensen, an ex SWAT commander and the head of security for Sarif Industries. The game’s tutorial mission brings you right into the thick of the plot as Jensen is told to brief his security plans for the upcoming trip to Washington D.C. to unveil Dr. Reed’s newest development in the human augmentation industry. Of course, as anyone could predict, things don’t quite as expected and you soon find yourself learning to quickly maneuver through the office space, while trying in vain to save scientists from gunman. A few dead henchmen later, you find yourself being thrown through a thick plate glass high-tech monitor as you cling to consciousness, you watch them take Dr. Reed just before you take a bullet to the brain. Que the opening credits (which is an awesome little cut scene).
While this doesn’t really explain anything about the game, the opening mission/scene gives you a storyline that is just informative enough to make you wonder what the hell is going on. When you wake up, you are now an augmented human, complete with a retinal display.
Since the game is almost entirely from the first person perspective (the game automatically switches to a third person view whenever you take cover however aiming to shoot and looking around corners puts you back into first person), the retinal display is incredibly easy to get used to. Eidos Montreal did a wonderful job of not going overboard on the small details. A simple display in the upper left corner shows your health. A small HUD is displayed in the bottom left with simplistic markings identifying persons and their threat levels. In the bottom right, it shows your currently equipped weapon and the amount of ammo that you have for that specific weapon.
Other small things occasionally pop up on your display, such as quick access to short tutorial explanations (upper left in the above picture) , button displays for different special moves, such as taking out an enemy or knocking them out, or moving around cover, and finally quest objectives and their approximate distances.
Things start to get interesting from there as your boss, David Sarif, informs you (through your telecom link augment, of course) that a group of plant workers have been taken hostage and that a certain secret prototype happens to be being manufactured at the plant. As you head there you have the option of exploring Sarif Industries, however, if you take the time to explore, you will soon realize that Eidos Montreal has implemented a few time sensitive attributes to the game. If you choose to rush straight to the situation, you have the possibility of saving everyone… should you take too long, the hostages all die before you get there. Luckily, Mr. Sarif is nice enough to bug you on your telecom link whenever you start to take to long.
Once you start the mission, this is where DX:HR takes a Dragon-Age twist. You are now given the option to choose your own dialogue to gain more information about your mission and your target. You are also given the option to use lethal or less than lethal force. This style of dialogue is seen everywhere within the game. Much like Dragon-Age, you can use this to talk to people and gain information by asking a series of questions. This also gives you the opportunity to have fits of sarcasm when talking to people such as Francis Pritchard, the head of cyber-security for Sarif Industries, whom you can instantly tell is Jensen’s favorite person.
The wonderful thing about DX:HR is the versatility in how you can play. While there is extra experience to be gained from being as stealthy as possible, you also have the option to go guns blazing. With no morality system in place, this enables you to play the game how you want. The stealth system operates much like the way you were able to stealth in Thief. Lighting, cover, and sound all play into how well you are hidden. Boxes are your best friends when it comes to hiding in a warehouse.
Next, Eidos Montreal throws in the RPG aspect into the game. Can’t hold enough ammo for your weapon? Increase your inventory size! Vending machines too heavy to throw? Augment your arms! DX:HR allows you to further play the game the way you want, by allowing you to customize your character’s augments in a way that suits the way that you play. If you think it would be beneficial there is probably an augmentation for it. Eidos Montreal also does an excellent job of making the upgrades easy to understand and easy to find. The upgrade system is also easy to adjust to, as it follows the basic principle of experience gain to get praxis points which more or less acts as a level system that allows you to upgrade your augments.
All in all, Eidos Montreal does not disappoint with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. From gun toting, eye patch wearing Hispanics to unique customizable gameplay, DX:HR is a game for any type of gamer. You can choose to eliminate your opponents from afar, or take them out silently from behind. In Deus Ex, the choice is yours, and the bonus is, there is no penalty for your actions, except maybe a few extra bullets sent flying your way.