Score: 8/10

How do you go about making a prequel to a game that is often slated as “The best game ever!”? I do not exaggerate, Deus Ex is one of those things gamers don’t shut up about, like Ocarina of Time and Half Life, and for good reason; it was fantastic. Well, Human Revolution seems to be a good place to start.

The first two games were developed by Ion Storm a now defunct developer who were founded by Tom Hall and the infamous John Romero. The first was applauded by critics and had very good sales. I can guarantee if you have a conversation about it with your friends one of them will re-install it. The second was not as well received for it’s dumbing down of some of the RPG traits. However it was praised for its branching storyline. Human Revolution is now developed by Eidos (who published the previous games.) and published by Square Enix.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set 2027, 25 years before the first game. You play as Adam Jensen a private security specialist, with a blackened police record, working for Sarif industries. A company who specialize in human augmentations, they’re constantly under fire from human “purists” who believe the body should be left alone. Adam is in the main building when it’s attack by an unknown enemy. They kill the top scientist Dr. Megan Reed, Jensen’s old flame, and Jensen himself is left on death’s door. To save him, Sarif augments the hell out of him and he in turn sets out to find his friend’s killers.

The first thing that is easy to notice is the game’s unique style and the world in which you get to inhabit. It has taken several themes and blurred them together to create a new world, different from your standard Sci-Fi world. Calling it a Cyber-Punk Renaissance is the only real way to describe it. It sounds odd, but works well. If you fired Blade Runner and Assassins Creed 2 at each other this may be the result. The graphics are great to look and the cities are very well designed. However during the plot’s important moment, the game will switch to a different style of graphics for the sequences, which is jarring and breaks you out of the immersion of the game. It’s odd when I should think most people would be happy with the same graphics, in game and in the sequences. This isn’t the days of the PS1 any more!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a good game and it is great to see the game has been clearly crafted with care and love for the original. It’s a similar style  bridging between a FPS and an RPG and doing it well. You have a clear story which you can go and pursue but there are also side missions you can engage in.

Smoking isn’t a problem when you have robotic lungs, smoking’s now for cool and rich kids!

It handles like most FPS games and has taken a leaf out of the rainbow six games. When you snap to cover using your left trigger the view switches to third person, which means you can see around corners and don’t have to risk going around it blind. This is handy as the game would get frustrating quickly otherwise. As you play the game though you will be offered different choices of playing styles.

For example early on in the game you are given the task of sneaking into a police station to get into the morgue to inspect a body. Now it is not as simple as ‘sneaky’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘gadget’ to get at the body. Of course, you can charge in through the front door guns blazing, or you could try and sneak around the side if those are what you fancy.

Let’s say you’re doing it the sneaky way. You go through the front door, upon entering you discover the desk sergeant is an old acquaintance to Jensen, you can talk your way through and get into the station proper. That doesn’t help completely because the morgue is uber restricted and you have to have a code to get in. What do you do? Well you can sneak around the offices inspecting computers to find a passcode, find the officer in charge to get the code. Or find an alternative way, ie. through a vent. How you decide to do this is up to you. The choice is yours to make.

I have come across some odd moments during my very enjoyable time with the game. For the praises I could lavish the game there are things that bug me. Sneaking can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes guards will spot you across the length of a warehouse and other times they’ll ignore you, even without the invisibility ability. At one point I was sneaking into someone’s living room, I was hiding at the side of a sofa, with all the subtlety of a zombie at a vegan convention, yet the guy sat next to me had no idea I was there. On the whole the stealth system works and keeps you on your toes. You have a certain amount of power, displayed below your health, and you use this up pulling off execution/ knockout moves. Your power does regenerate but it’s there to stop you being a one-man neck snapping machine. You have to consider your moves and hiding proof of being there. I haven’t had this much fun hiding bodies since the Hitman games, there is a great sense of satisfaction to be found in sneaking into a compound stealing what you need to and sneaking out without the guards even knowing you were there. Even more if you do it without hurting a hair on anyone’s head.

Pew Pew Pew….you’re dead!

Along the course of the game you’ll have Jensen’s augmentations to help you. This is where the game’s RPG features come in. The game will give you experience for completing objectives, side missions and killing or using stealth around a level. As you level up you unlock praxis points, which you can spend on you Augmentations, giving you the power to cloak, strengthen your arms, see through walls, survive high falls, hack quicker. There are a lot to choose from and plenty of ways to adapt to your play style. There are also hidden praxis kits to find/ buy as you go so if you’re prepared to go off the beaten track you’ll be rewarded with some sharp new skills.

The take down moves are satisfyingly brutal!

The additional point that other reviewers have criticised are the boss battles. They are ancient and archaic, and they are very “game” like, when the game itself transcends most of the traditional boundaries it suddenly breaks the immersive world by giving you these out of place battles. You may be a stealth specialist but the game ignores this and Jensen will blunder in during a sequence forcing you into a pitched battle you wouldn’t choose to walk into.

I found Jensen as a character extremely irritating, every word out of his mouth is like listening to Christian Bale’s Batman voice. It wouldn’t be a problem but when he’s going around croaking like he gargled with some gravel everyone else sounds ordinary. The voice acting is of a good standard apart from the lead, the guy who voices Jensen clearly knows what he’s doing but whoever told him talk like that needed to be thrown out of the recording studio. The character’s that surround him though are interesting and well voiced. Including the hacker who’s constantly provoking Jensen. All the other NPC’s sound like normal human beings and they have some odd moments where they keep fidgeting and avoid eye contact as all times. They as a whole though are usually interesting and well voiced.

The music is a nice touch to the whole atmosphere of the game and gives a sense of the forbidding metropolis’ you inhabit and heightens the mood of the conspiracy throughout.

There’s a hell of a lot to talk about in this game, but I wont. If I haven’t mentioned anything it’s not because it sucked, it’s because it was fine. Overall if you pick up a copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution you wont be disappointed. If you liked the original Deus Ex then you should enjoy this one. Apart from some odd choices that pull the game back, namely the cut-scenes having a different style graphics to the game, the old style bosses and Jensen being a dull lead character, to stop it from being up there among the best of the best. The stealth system does have some flaws that can be exploited to make the game easier, or will make it frustrating for some. It is a enjoyable game but held back from greatness by a few small flaws.

Score: 8/10