Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a first person, action RPG released in 2011. It’s a reboot of the original Deus Ex from the year 2000.
There is an interesting difference between me and Seriously Average Gamer’s other writer, Zack. Zack loves Dishonored, or at least Dishonored 2, yet he’s not a fan of Deus Ex. It’s particularly strange seeing as Deus Ex is literally just a cyberpunk version of Dishonored.
I’m of the opposite opinion. I like Dishonored just fine but I prefer Deus Ex by some margin. In Deus Ex, I really like the cybernetic upgrades. However in Dishonored I actually don’t like the powers very much.
Maybe this will be an interesting discussion to get into in the future. If you’re interested, Zack listed Dishonored 2 as one of the most underrated games of the generation. For now, let’s get on with the show.
What’s the message?
You play an ex-swat turned head of security for a multinational cybernetics corporation, Adam Jensen. You work for a corporation called Sarif Industries, one of the biggest names in human augmentation. Now I really like Adam, I’m a sucker for the hard-boiled detective. He’s dry, straight forward, and an absolute badass.
The game starts with you being a regular human, that means that you don’t have any augments. You are at your headquarters as everyone prepares to travel, they are going to present their new findings. This is a seriously big deal for the world and the company, and suddenly you are attacked.
Adam must shoot or sneak his way to try to save the lead scientist, Megan Reed. When he gets to her location he is ambushed by one of the leaders of the attack, where he is summarily effed up. He is left for dead and the scientists are all killed and their bodies taken.
Augmentations are forced on Adam by Sarif Industries, to save his life of course. These augmentations are basically cybernetics that replace a lot of his organic body.
6 months pass, in order to facilitate Adam’s recovery, but he’s brought back to work early. There’s a new serious incident unfolding for Sarif Industries that Adam must solve.
This incident and the rest of the game follows Adam trying to find those responsible for the original attack. His journey will take him all over the world, with plenty of robots, robotics, and shooting.
The gameplay for Deus Ex: Human Revolution is pretty varied, being split up into multiple choices. You can choose between stealth and carnage, then also between lethal and non-lethal. There’s also a pretty extensive upgrade system for both weapons and your augments.
Stealth is mostly your average crouching, rolling between covers, and creeping through air vents. Whilst carnage still includes a lot of cover and rolling, you’ll spend more of your time blasting everyone away.
There are a multitude of weapons and upgrades to help with these. The weapons can also allow you to play lethally or non. You have your standard handguns, rifles, snipers, and then you have the non-lethal stun gun and tranquilizer.
Along with these come the upgrades, of which there are quite a few choices. Some are generic and can work on most weapons, like damage increases, and faster reloading. Then there are less generic ones, like a silencer, or an advanced cooling system.
My personal favourite is a silenced pistol with armour piercing. With some damage upgrades you can pop most enemies in one headshot. Which is infinitely satisfying, it literally never gets boring for me.
You’ve also got a wide range of sidequests that you can partake in, often with multiple conclusions. Like you can sometimes just kill everyone, then other times you can take the pacifist route. You could just punch someone’s lights out instead of murdering them. It’s neat.
This leads on to the experience system, and subsequently the skill system. Experience works basically as you’d expect in any RPG, completing quests and killing things gets you points. Then when you max out your experience bar you gain a Praxis Kit.
Praxis Kits are literally just skill points with a new name. You spend these Praxis Kits to unlock new augmentations, simple as that. With pretty much the entirety of Adam’s body modified you can unlock upgrades for basically everything. Like the lungs, making you immune to gas and running for longer. Or your legs to jump higher and run faster.
What do I like so much?
As I mentioned above, I really like Jensen as the protagonist. I’m not sure what the overall internet consensus is but I personally think he’s the perfect fit. I mentioned about him being a hardboiled detective and I think that’s what this game needs. He takes everything thrown at him and then just swings even harder. Never being deterred and defeated, he keeps coming back.
I also really like the different choices in augmentations, a couple really stand above others though. The Icarus Landing System and Social Enhancer augmentations especially.
The Icarus Landing System allows you to safely fall from any height, in a mass of crazy golden electricity. You also have the option to do a massive ground pound that knockdown all enemies around.
The Social Enhancer is an interesting way to change the way to handle conversations in a game. When you upgrade to this augmentation you will gain a lot of information about the people you converse with. You might learn that they are “excitable” or that they try to change the subject to win an argument. This can heavily alter how you choose to progress each conversation.
Then there are the Pheromones that you can, I guess spray over them? You have to pay attention to learn their personality type. Then you can spray the appropriate Pheromones to get the outcome you want. You have to be careful though, sometimes using this will get you through but can have negative effects. For example you might drive someone to try and murder you in your apartment building.
Just one final thing that I really like is that you get experience for just exploring. Basically just crawling through vents gets you some experience. It’s a neat way to promote exploration in a game and I’m here for it.
What does it all mean?
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an absolutely fantastic game, with a good protagonist, story, and some pretty satisfying revenge. It has a solid differentiation in gameplay styles and how that affects parts of the story.
I re-bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC recently so that I could play it again. Finished it again and I started it again right away. I love this game and will probably keep playing it again and again, for years to come.
Do you like Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Or maybe like Zack you prefer the Dishonored series?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Into the Gem Vault.
Written by Kyle Munn.