The rise of choice in how to tackle objectives and a game’s story has been a personal highlight for me this generation. Whether that goes from sacrificing my own interests for the sake of others, with events in the inFamous series being a particular stand-out, or whether I choose to run into a room all guns blazing, or enter quietly and show some mercy, as you can in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The element of choice is a massive asset to any game.
Human Revolution was the first Deus Ex game in eight years, acting as a prequel to all that came before it. It carried on with the same themes as the earlier games, with the main one being the power struggle between governments and corporations over the control of the people, from what they were told through the media to how they looked.
Placing you in the shoes of Adam Jensen, a security manager for Sarif Industries, Deus Ex quickly exposes you the world of corporate espionage, the effect of human enhancement through biotechnology on a person, and the direction of society as a result.
Very few game worlds really have the ability to pull you in like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There were enough side stories happening in tandem to Jensen’s own quest that it felt like the game world would continue regardless if you were there or not. From the vying for power between the corporations, the underground criminal elements and illegal bio enhancements, and the protest/riots regarding biomechanics, there are enough potential offshoots that would have been interesting to explore on their own.
The strength in the main story telling and the world meant that you didn’t have to explore these side stories, but doing so managed to add a lot of background information and depth to a game that thrives on the theme of information control. Every extra thing Adam learned would have an affect on how you tackled the game.
This isn’t a unique opinion but one echoed by many. The boss fights were a major let-down in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, receiving so much criticism that Francois Lapikas, the gameplay director, publicly apologised for them.
There was a chance here for Eidos Montreal to do something incredibly clever with the boss encounters but instead they settled for a generic shooting fest, using the bosses abilities as cheap tricks instead of a truly interesting element in the fights, with the Yelena fight having a lot of potential.
She was an incredibly quick opponent who could turn invisible, but relegated to running around in circles while you shot at her. Where was the segment where you had to hunt each other through a facility instead by using your augmentations, instead of shooting at each other in a well lit room? Just one potential idea that could have been put in.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution can still be considered one of the games of this generation, despite the poor boss fights. There was enough style and depth to the game, as well as great gameplay. No doubt it will play as a huge influence on other games to come in the future, be it for stealth, action or story.
It is definitely one game people should play at least once to really appreciate some great digital craftsmanship.