Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform Played On: Xbox 360 (Through Xbox One)
2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution has already been surpassed by its PC version, and then even further by the Director’s Cut released a few years later. But vanilla Human Revolution was one of January’s Games with Gold titles, and despite owning the title on PC (well, I say PC but personally it’s 20 frames per second on a laptop), and owning the Director’s Cut on Wii U, I dived into this game yet again.
The game’s gold/yellow/piss aesthetic is probably the first thing you’ll notice, and it’s something I have trouble unseeing. It’s not to say that it diminishes the game in any way, it provides a nice contrast when you enter areas that don’t have the filter, but once you’ve played the game several times like myself, the filter becomes a nuisance. The kinda-Blade Runner-like setting appeases a cleaner art-style in my opinion. This appears to be something the sequel ‘fixes’.
Adam Jensen is involved in a terrible accident, of which I’m sure he’ll be getting insurance calls about years from now, and must decide whether to use his augmentations for good or evil. And that’s one of the beautiful parts of Human Revolution, choice. You gain Praxis points and decide how to spend them; do you activate augments that will help you become more stealthy in your approach, or upgrade your physical augments and become a one-man tank?
This beautiful part is only made prettier as the game never punishes you for taking whatever approach you want. I’ve played through the game more times than I can count, and I’ve taken multiple approaches. A pacifist run, stealthy, all guns blazing; the game never stopped me from doing that and I was rewarded much the same for each route.
A conspiracy led story shuffles its way through the game’s narrative, never really explaining itself long enough for you to care. In the words of Adam Jensen, I never asked for this. In fact, Jensen is the only character I really cared about in the game’s story. His struggle of morality is severely more interesting than The Illuminati, Megan Reed, or any of the villain’s motivations.
In short, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a masterpiece in freedom and choice of play style, and is topped only just by the original Deus Ex game. If you can pick up the Director’s Cut edition of the game, do it, but really, any edition of this title is worth your time.