Published on September 10th, 2010 | by prime1
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Preview
Few franchises are associated more with PC gaming than Deus Ex, but thanks to a disappointing sequel and creator Warren Spector leaving the franchise to pursue more animated adventures; it has become the franchise which time forgot. A flawed yet outstanding original, followed up by an underwhelming and ill-thought out sequel. Thankfully this universe is coming back, and best of all, Eidos’ Montreal are looking to revive Deus Ex to its original glory.
If anyone was skeptical of this long overdue revival, the publisher Square-Enix called some friends in Japan to help co-produce a trailer which happily blew the socks off of any doubters, and officially reminded gamers just how cool sci-fi is. Recently we got a chance to experience some actual gameplay for ourselves, and we’re happy to report that the two-minute trailer helmed by the cinematic producers for Final Fantasy wasn’t just blowing smoke.
Functioning as a prequel, the plot picks up with the human race questioning the methods of artificial augmentation (enhancing bodily attributes with cybernetic technology) which the protagonist Adam Jenson is thrown headfirst into when his employer Seref Industries – specialists in the controversial tech – is attacked by mercenaries, leaving the JC Denton look-a-like for dead. Only by transforming the security specialist can his life be saved, but at the same time the transition from all-man to part- machine will be traumatic.
Needless to say the plot is fascinating, with plenty of moralistic undertones and the ability for players to meaningfully impact proceedings with the way they approach scenarios. We were presented with the challenge of entering a seedy bar ran by organized criminals on an island province just outside of Shanghai, but were unfortunately blocked by a stubborn bouncer. There are four fundamental ways to solve that problem: follow the social pattern and talk your way out, kill the guy, stealthily find another way in or hack a side door’s terminal. Which manner you tackle this scenario will govern a wealth of different plot points, which fundamentally shifts the experience. This is what Deus Ex is really all about, and one thing which seems faithfully recreated, with fantastic-looking visuals, which seem to channel the films of A.I and Blade Runner simultaneously.
Combat looks extremely entertaining, with the ability to takedown enemies with contextual finishers, and regular first-person shooting with a wealth of different guns, launchers, rifles and sniping crossbows. Controversially there’s a cover dynamic which transitions the camera from first- to third-person and is a little startling at first. It all feels a little console-like, which for such a PC-centric franchise does feel odd. There’s still the extra options provided by experience points and the subsequently unlocked upgrades, but this feels very much like an accessible triple-A release.
The plot is fascinating, with plenty of moralistic undertones and the ability for players to meaningfully impact proceedings
It is still way too early to tell whether Eidos Montreal will strike gold with their take on the classic Deus Ex formula, but our opening impressions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution are extremely positive. We just have our fingers crossed that the structure will be as freeform as the original.