Last week I was not living my life, I was living the like of the head of security at Sarif Industries, Adam Jensen. Sarif Industries is at the front of human augmentation, the basic premise being that people are undergoing procedures to upgrade their own body using technological advancements, for example someone with a disability could undergo an operation to be augmented and have a robotic limb implanted to fix their fault. The possibilities for good are endless, but some as with all technological advancements want to use it for evil, arms that transform into guns being a crazy one. The game begins with Jensen having to investigate a breach in Sarif HQ, he finally meets with the intruders and the non-augmented Jensen is no match for the augmented super soldiers he encounters, he is put on his death bed and is rebuilt, without his consent…Sending you into the world of intrigue, corporations and shadowy super powers, the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
I have never played a previous Deus Ex game, so I was not knowledgeable in the lore and back-story of the world I was playing, the game itself made up for this by laying out all the information spread out in iPads, emails and other sources. This was a great addition, I found it Mass Effect like in the amount of detail the game has for back-story and small, yet interesting information. The hacking mechanic in Deus Ex is extremely easy once you get used to it and is a good way to farm experience when you are looking to upgrade your augmentations, my obsessive nature had me hack every unit I could find and I was never actually bored or worn-out of the mechanic. It is fun and if you go out of your way to use it, you get little gems of information about the world around you and some interesting in-office chatter about the staff if you hack computers within Sarif HQ.
Story is one of Human Revolution strongest points, the main plot is a very and intriguing excellent tale from start to finish, sure a few plot points have you going “Oh really…What?”, but I enjoyed it and would classify it as my top story of the year. Plus as stated before, the main story is there but all that extra information is there to put the icing on the cake for those willing/wanting to find it. The character animations are fairly stiff, I personally have not seen lip syncing this bad since Smackdown Vs Raw 2011, at points it is almost unforgiving that a game of this size and status could get such a minuscule detail so badly off animated. There are only a handful of main characters you will get to know and care about, the enemies themselves in my opinion were not well introduced. Sure their goals and reason for the attack are well explained, but the enemies themselves were just thrown at you in a boss fight, would not know their names sometimes or much back-story about them. If they had done a few cut scenes from the evil side of things, I think this would have made the hatred for them rise ten-fold.
The biggest gripe for Deus Ex from a lot of people has been the boss fights, but after beating them I actually did not mind them as much as others. Sure they put you in situations sometimes where you had no ammo left, hardly any life and you had to deal with a boss that would not explain what exactly it was you needed to do, but it was challenging. I have not been challenged this much in boss fights in a long time, once you did get the method for their defeat it turned out to be in my opinion like a tough platformer. Needing to do your run through the fight almost to perfection, using the environment and keeping your cool to win, sure they might be cheap bosses, but you I cannot deny there was an amount of satisfaction when they were defeated…But it was a VERY big change compared to the rest of the game.
The game is huge, taking you almost 40-50 hours to complete the main quest and the side missions. The side missions are enjoyable since they are not the standard couple of minutes and your done quests, these are well thought out and some of them could have their very own game due to the detail, this is the perfect example of quality over quantity, as there are about a dozen in total. The world in Deus Ex can be explored within the hub worlds that the game provides for you, you explore these environments for the aforementioned side quests and story plot, they are very vertical as there are buildings to climb, sewers to rummage through and a fairly expansive environment to explore for hidden extras. The hub worlds could have been more vibrant in terms of movement to try and make them seem more real, as you will see the same NPCs in the same spot every time you go by, but they did a decent job in giving you just enough and not overwhelming you in size.
The RPG style of the game shines through in your upgrade system, you gain XP by the way you play the game, earning points for exploring, stealth completion of missions or just massacring your enemies with headshots. These XP points earn you Praxis kits, which you can purchase as well. You are then able to upgrade your augmentations whenever you see fit, these include such things as allowing you to cloak for a certain amount of time, the ability to punch through walls and also being able to charm yourself out of situations with your silver tongue augmentation, Jensen will charm your pants off with his husky voice. There is a great deal to upgrade and you will need to think very hard and spend a few minutes tossing up on which augmentation you should upgrade, I had this very issue, it all depends on your play style and just what kind of bad-ass you want Jensen to be.
Deus Ex had me living and breathing Adam Jensen, not only was I hooked on the game and playing almost 10 hours a day for a good straight week, I dreamt about the game and when I was not playing…Well I wanted to rush home and turn my PS3 on and keep on playing. I have not been this captivated by a game since Mass Effect, the original Bio Shock or Crysis 2, so that shows this game is in some good company. This is a game that you will lose a lot of social life over, but it is truly worth it, the amount of upgrades, options and ways to explore the world is marvelous. People may have trouble with boss fights but my advice is to keep your cool, animations can be very stiff but if you allow yourself to overlook that aspect and enjoy all the extreme positives the game has to offer, you will be revelling in one of the games of the year.