‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ dominates

by Cody Franklin

Deusex

In a world where terrorists attack regularly, humanity replaces limbs and organs with machines and a world-renowned biologist is about to shake the foundation of human evolution while also breaking hearts, what’s a half-robot half-man badass crime-fighting corporate security officer supposed to do? That’s exactly the question the new shoot-and-sneak game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” is asking.

A prequel to the critically acclaimed “Deus Ex,” released in 2000, “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” was released in August to a sea of rabid fans and critical acclaim. For good reason: “Human Revolution” is quite possibly the best game to be released in the last three years, if not longer.

Taking place in the year 2027, players star as Adam Jensen, ex-SWAT officer and now head of security for Sarif Industries, who is one of the leading developers of “human augmentation technology.” While human augmentation is propelling human capability to new heights, not everyone is so keen to see augmentation run free. The resulting struggle between “purists” and “augs” is critical to the game’s storyline. Adam’s seemingly cushy job sitting behind a desk watching security cameras all day quickly escalates after his brilliant biologist ex-girlfriend, who also works at Sarif Industries, discovers a major breakthrough in human augmentation. Adam quickly finds himself neck-deep in conspiracy, corporate espionage, terrorist cells and more.

Human augmentation is a huge part of the game: players are armed with an arsenal of powerful augmentations, or abilities, that allow Adam to take on challenges most humans would never be capable of. As players progress through the game, Adam levels up frequently and is awarded “praxis points” that can be used to unlock and activate many new augmentations. The new abilities allow Adam to easily lift heavy objects such as vending machines (and to throw them around), turn invisible for several seconds, hack into computers to bypass security and more.

Players who prefer a more direct approach have access to everything from 10 mm pistols, gatling guns, stun guns and tranquilizer rifles. Players who like to avoid combat can simply sneak around obstacles with a very well-crafted stealth system, further helped by incredibly well-designed levels that allow for many different pathways to a single objective.

Choice is perhaps the game’s greatest strength. In an industry where games like “Call of Duty” force players into linear paths and particular choices, Human Revolution celebrates freedom. Players don’t have to kill anyone if they don’t want to; in fact, there’s an achievement for that. Adam can bust his way through a door and shoot his way to the objective, or perhaps sneak through the air vents. Adam could even trick the guards into moving away from the door in the first place.

The game is littered with little tidbits of information about the game’s universe that make it feel like a living, breathing place. Newspapers tell players about the latest in game events, PDA’s with short novels give players glimpses into the virtual society and there are always opportunities to overhear non-player characters telling secrets Adam was never supposed to hear.

The only thing one could really complain about is the graphics for the game aren’t quite as sharp and sophisticated as expected. Some of the textures are rather low quality and many of the NPCs have facial animations that seem robotic, and not because they actually are part robot. However, slightly dated graphics are a small price to pay when every other aspect of the game is so incredibly well crafted.

With a fantastic storyline, riveting gameplay, a huge variety of personal choice and a universe fleshed out better than almost any other game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a must-buy. While Adam might not have asked to be made more than a man, anyone looking for a spectacular new game is definitely asking for “Deus Ex: Human Revolution.”