Experience the cyber-punk future of Deus Ex
It’s been almost a year ago that I picked up this game. After having just finished doing multiple play-throughs of the Mass Effect games I was looking for something similar to fill the void. I searched online for suggestions. Most people recommended the Dragon Age series, as the games had interesting characters, stories, and deep backgrounds kind of like Mass Effect. I was not just looking for a good story and characters, but I really wanted a similar atmosphere as well. It had to be a futuristic world with new technologies and advancements.I got exactly what I wanted from Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The main character of this game is Adam Jensen, former SWAT member turned head of security for Sarif Industries. Sarif works on technologies, both military weapons and human augmentations. At the start of the game, Jensen is completely human. Just looking at the box art for the game lets anyone know he is not going to stay that way. There is an attack made on the building where Jensen work as he attends a meeting. While trying to fight back, Jensen is severely injured and nearly dies. Through multiple augmentations, he is kept alive. The only problem is that Jensen was never interested in being augmented. He’ll need the augments to take down the terrorists that targeted Sarif and kidnapped several scientists, including Jensen’s ex-girlfriend Megan Reed.
The story of the game is decent. There are some odd and confusing twists that I sort of just went along with rather than question it too hard. Those mostly happen toward the end of the game. The cast of significant characters is small. My main issue would be that the enemies are not developed very well. I found the design of them interesting, but when they barely spoke, it started to fall flat. Without looking them up, I could not name any of the boss enemies in the game. Adam Jensen is an amazing character to me, but without a strong villain to play off of the game’s story, the plot doesn’t stick as well as it could.
There are choices to make in the game that can impact the story. Choosing to kill or not can affect outcomes of various missions. This can either open or close paths for side missions. Then you can choose to move stealthily through missions, or rush through them. I played in a way that I call “failed stealth”. My first instinct would be to hide and attempt stealth to the best of my ability. Sometimes it worked well, other times I would miss a guard and end up alerting them. When that happens, you choose either to go back and hide until the enemies forget about you and then trying another attempt, or you could just go ahead and kill them to get through. I say you should go with killing because knocked out baddies can’t be stopped from being woken up. Part of my reason for playing this way was that there is a limited amount of ammo. Without exploring everything, there is a real chance to run out of bullets and then need to rely on hand-to-hand take-downs. So, keeping to attempting stealth allowed me to have a decent amount of ammo for every boss fight.
The boss fights are one of the worst parts about the game. As I mentioned before, the characters are not well developed. Actually, fighting them only makes them appear more annoying and frustrating, rather than adding depth to the game. Each boss will need to be killed, as opposed to being knocked out, to get through the fight. There are some equipment and items in the boss room that can be found, but better to come prepared and use that as a back up. When in these fights, it helps to use any exploits possible. A good example of this is that before the third boss, there is a turret that can be hacked. If you get the ability to carry heavy items, then picking it up and taking it down the elevator to the boss room is an option. Having this turret in the room was helpful for damaging the boss and finding him when he is out of sight. Make sure not to use any weapons that could destroy the turret near it, or that support will be gone fast.
The boss fights made figuring out which upgrades to take harder. Whether to focus on stealth or combat augments became a good question to me. Stealth augments include the hacking ability, invisibility, and seeing through walls. Combat augments are increased armor, weapons, and battery increase for take-down attacks. For my play style, I did a mix of both, with more points going towards stealth than combat to suit my preferences. I never bothered getting the Hurricane weapon upgrade. Since I never saw myself using it, there was no point to getting it over more hacking ability. The saddest part is there is no new game plus. There isn’t the option of being able to take all of your upgrades into a new file. It keeps the difficultly for the game higher, so you cannot be too overpowered. But without new game plus, there is no reward for playing through Deus Ex more than once.
Hacking was difficult to learn for me. It wasn’t until about halfway through the game that I really started to understand it. When you enter a screen for hacking, you can look around to figure out the route to take to get to the green orb, which will be the end point every time. The red tower is where the system will start to fight back from. I originally panicked when I started, thinking that as soon as the system would take over a section I had made, it would be over. It actually keeps going until it takes over the point the hack starts from. There is a timer that starts after the system starts tracking you. Finishing within time completes the hack. Not making it in time will cause the attempt to failure and set off alarms. There are items and boosts that can be used to hack. An example would be boosts that makes hacks take less time and one that reduces the chance of being detected.
As a person who does not play many shooter games, I love this one. Playing it gives me a rush of adrenaline and a sense of accomplishment each time I correctly maneuver through an area unseen or finish a hack with seconds to spare. The story can seem to fall flat with bland villains, but Adam Jensen’s character and the building of the world around him can expand the experience and keep it entertaining.