Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been a long time coming. For a sequel to what was considered to be such a seminal game back in 2000, an eleven year wait is a bit too long.
I’ll be honest and say that Deus Ex wasn’t on my games radar. I played a bit of the last one back in the day, but it didn’t do a lot for me, which is weird ‘cos I was right into the whole conspiracy thing back then.
The gameplay videos and screens that I’d seen for the new game did little to pique my interest. The scenario, that dystopian future, seemed too contrived and tired. Also the graphics fell in the “nothing special” bin. For a seemingly serious story the character models looked too cartoony for a current-gen game. Perhaps it’s a sign of the long development cycle, but up against the likes of the Crysis series, Deux Ex: Human Revolution only just scores a pass in the visuals department.
Then I watched the Purity First video and something clicked.
As a longtime gamer, it’s originality that gets me interested in a game. This Deus Ex: Human Revolution had the promise of an original experience with a deeper than average philosophical story. When the high review scores started coming in for it the deal was sealed.
I’ve been playing Deus Ex for five hours according to Steam. The PC version of the game requires a Steam account to run, which is fine. I have lots of Steam games and it’s nice to not have to worry about game discs and manual patches. Deus Ex is also using the Steam cloud for saves, which means I can use my laptop to take the game with me and continue where I left off on my desktop. Very cool.
In these first few hours I’ve learnt all about the combat: shooting, stun, close quarters stunning and killing. I’ve also done some hacking, which takes a bit of getting used to on the higher security devices. The main thing I’ve found is just how refreshingly open the game is.
A case in point: I needed to get into the police station. The guy at the desk was an old acquaintance so I tried, and failed, to persude him to let me in. My radio contact advised me to find another way. I looked for an alternative, but could find nothing. A guy on the street told me about an alley, still I couldn’t find it, so I tried to force my entry. The police guards got upset and opened fire.
Any other game would punish you at this point. The normal game requires you to follow the prescribed process, guns-ablazing would not be tolerated. Deus Ex recognise that you are an augmented human and may just be able to take on the whole police station. I wouldn’t have said in was easy, but basically I shot my way though the entire cop-shop. The game rewarded my audacity and allowed me to reach my target.
Having obtained what I needed, I proceeded to walked out the front door only to be shot to bits. The programmers were not going to let me off that easily. The game reloaded, I was outside again, and again the police shot me dead. I loaded my save once more, quickly turned and was back in. Phew.
It was clear that the only way out was going to be via the back entrance that I should have used to get in (rather than shoot the place up). I still didn’t find it. But I did find the sewers, and after a minor altercation with the sewer folk, I was away, walking straight past the police that were patroling outside the station.
An amazing gaming experience that was 100% of my own making. And that’s what it’s all about. **Update** A little later on in the game I casually picked up a new report, the headline story was about the masacre in the police station, complete with photofit picture of my character. Fantastic!