I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working as a senior programmer for Rebellion North.
I'm a married father of five and I a also sometimes do Retroburn stuff.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
Father. C++ Games Programmer. Cyclist. Guitarist.
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Wednesday, January 4th 2012 / Gaming

Deux Ex: Human Revolution - Game Review

A few days ago I completed my first play-through of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (on the Xbox 360) and I thought I'd take the opportunity to write a short review of the game and share some of my thoughts regarding the game's direction

Deus Ex has to be one of my favourite games of all time, I've played it through a number of times using different tactics and experiencing each path my character can take. It was such a revolutionary game when it came out and it wrote it's own version of future events which were compelling and exciting to be a part of.

Deus Ex 2: Invisible War never really sat well with me, it felt like too much of a departure from the original and while I played it through to completion it didn't grip me as much as the original did.

The very first mission on Deux Ex: Human Revolution really annoyed me! I was playing on medium difficulty and I must have died about twenty times just trying to kill the first two enemies. I died many more times before completing the first (short) level before even realising that I could hide behind cover , aim my shots then peek out and shoot. Once I learnt how to use cover effectively the game became far more enjoyable but there were no prompts to teach you how to do this. While there are good and bad points to be said about letting the player learn for themselves, my initial reaction was that the game was too hard.

After that first mission you're free to wander around, talk to people, pick up a side quest and do some investigating and immediately it feels like the original. This is the Deux Ex I grew to love all those years ago!

I continue playing, looking for all the side-quests as I go (which I always do in these games before doing the main missions) and find a variety of missions to complete and places to explore. I have to admit I did kill a lot of people when that was the easiest option but that led to problems for me too as I started to collect a range of weapons. The weapons were rather bulky and filled up the rather limited inventory. Carrying round a pistol, combat rifle, revolver and sniper rifle filled almost half my inventory but I didn't want to drop any of them. This meant constantly going into the inventory to see what I could afford to drop when I found something I wanted to pick up.

The game starts to become really enjoyable and really deep. The main character's story is well structured and his interaction with the world reminds me of the original game.

Then comes the first boss battle. I'd heard some complaints (via Twitter) that explained the boss battles were added in to the game by another company (not Eidos Montreal) and they did not fit with the Deus Ex style and were very inbalanced. Not only that but you MUST kill the boss to proceed, there is no pacifist option. I died about ten times trying to kill the first boss before finally killing him by dancing around and emptying every gun I had in to his huge body. He died and I was relieved it was over.. atleast I could better prepare my selection of weapons for the second boss.

Or so I thought, the second boss Turned out to be some sort of robot and it turned out the best weapons to use against her were electrical ones. I wasn't carrying any of those so she was pretty tough to kill too.

The third boss was stupidly easy to kill, I think I almost found a bug with the AI as he kept jumping over this wall giving me time to reload my revolver.. I'd empty the explosive bullets in to him, he'd jump the wall while I reloaded and repeat.. until he was dead.

Putting the boss battles aside, the game was pretty awesome. I played a lot of it over the Christmas holidays and it engrossed me completely. The characters were all great (except the player character's boss who I found I didn't like and always felt like he was covering something major up) and I know I've even missed a bunch of side-quests (as the achievements I missed seem to indicate) so a second play-through is on the cards. The range of environments and levels, while not expansive was enough to provide some insight in to the state of the world during the time the game is set and introduces you to a variety of characters and cultures.

The final level seemed to let down what was otherwise a brilliant revival of the Deus Ex franchise (as it is almost a straight forward linear level filled with zombies). The game's ending was a little disappointing too, you are given a choice right at the end of the game how you want to end it and are given four options. I saved the game at this point, chose one, reloaded and repeated until I'd seen all four endings. I don't know if there are more endings but I would've expected my decisions earlier in the game to have influenced what happened in the end a little more rather than just asking me how I wanted to end it.

Overall I loved the game, while there were some elements I didn't like it felt good to get back into the Deus Ex universe and I hope Eidos Montreal have plans to extend the franchise further as I'd love to fill in some of the gaps between the games. You know, if the first two games were re-released for modern systems I'd jump on them straight away, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Next though I want to go achievement hunting and will play the game on the hardest skill setting. I may then do a further play-through on the easiest skill setting and go after the pacifist achievement (kill no-one in the etnire game (except the bosses)) and also try not to set off a single alarm in the entire game (which sounds stupidly difficult and time consuming!).

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