973rd played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 2011
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix

I’ve always had Deus Ex on my list of beloved games, since seeing it for the first time. Withย Invisible War making for a disappointing sequel, I didn’t expect to see the series again. Seeing a sequel be announced and released was good enough, hearing that, to some extent, it held up to the legacy was just as amazing. It ended up in the second edition of the 1001 video games books list, which means it really seems to be worth it.

Our Thoughts

The original Deus Ex set quite a bit of its tone – a larger area with a lot of routes into the Statue of Liberty, a few side quests to play through them and a lot of moments where you can try and it works. Applying the same standards to Human Revolution doesn’t come out quite as well. The start was pretty strong – I took the time to explore the office before starting the first mission, took too long, and… yeah, I didn’t have any hostages to save and got plenty of flak from everyone around. That was a mistake, and I deserved it, but it was clearly different from how it normally worked.

After that, though, I felt that I was more limited than in the original game. There were places where stealth was an option, but there were a lot less hacking options. There are meant to be stealth options, but I found them a lot harder to find and follow, and instead I ended up doing a lot more fighting. I probably messed up a few times there as well, but the game and levels didn’t feel as open as the first game, more leading you room by room in that first chapter with a few different runs. It’s still pretty fun to work out how to do it, but that original simulationist feel is missing somewhat.

Once you finish that first level, with the last boss being beatable through conversation alone – a neat touch that nicely carries through the game even though I wish I could do it earlier, it changes quite a lot. This is the point where I should have explored the office, with some nice skill upgrades to break into your colleagues’ office. Then the first hub opens up, you get a pile of quests to chase, and it feels a lot better. You don’t get all options to solve all problems, but there are enough routes to do them and if you don’t finish all the quests, that’s fine. They’re not the biggest areas, but I feel it outdoes the first game in size.

Final Thoughts

The original Deus Ex followed a specific vision, with Warren Spector bringing his Looking Glass experience in from games like Ultima Underworld II and the System Shock series. Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes inspiration from that set up, but it doesn’t feel like all of its routes are quite as planned out and polished as they were in the originating game. Even so, with modern sensibilities added and determined to take some less from that game, it does its own thing well enough to make it feel similar, even if on the whole the differences and linearity drag it down a bit for me.