Eleven years ago, ION Storm released a thinking man’s first person shooter called Deus Ex for the PC. The evolution of games such as Ultima Underworld and System Shock, the game became a classic on the PC and fans have longed to return to that cyberpunk future. After an immensely disappointing sequel produced for the original XBox and PC, there was a fear that we’d never get an in-depth and smart first person roleplaying game on the PC again.
A few years following Deus Ex: Invisible War’s release, Eidos formed Eidos MontrÃ©al and it was announced that they would be doing a new Deus Ex. Fans braced for another console-developed title that would again simplify the game into a basic first person shooter while abandoning what made the original great. I’m happy to say that despite one very annoying element of the game; this prequel to the original Deus Ex does right by the name. It’s the follow-up we’ve been waiting a decade for.
The game is set in 2027, long before the events in the original. Human augmentation is just starting to happen, and it’s very controversial. You play the head of security for Sarif, a company leading the world in augmentation technology. When those opposed to augmentation attack the offices, you’re mortally wounded and must be equipped with augmentations to stay alive.
As with the original game, you can play it however you want. There are three main ways to go through the game; combat, stealth, and conversation; and all of them are equally fun. In fact, the conversation system in the game is one of the best yet put together and really shows how archaic BioWare’s system can be in comparison. The conversations are fantastic and you really find yourself thinking very closely about each of your responses. It’s one of the highlights of the game.
That’s not to say that stealth and combat are any worse. They’re equally fun. You can play the game stealthily and use hacking skills to avoid killing anyone (except the bosses…more on that in a minute), and be rewarded for it with a “Pacifist” achievement. Combat has it’s own perks such as augments that allow you to see through walls and the ability to crash through those walls if you upgrade enough.
The only big problem with the game is the boss fights. There is no way to stealth through them or talk your way out of them, so if you’re playing a non-combat run of the game; you’re forced to fight. And they aren’t very intelligently designed boss fights either. Thankfully, they’re over pretty quickly and you just have to look past that one small bit where they take player choice out of your hand.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the first game of its type in a long time to truly feel like a PC game. The fact that it’s also available on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and equally great there, is fantastic. Console players can finally see what PC gamers have been preaching about for so many years. It’s highly recommended.