PlayBack: Deus Ex Human Revolution

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.

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Best Bit

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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.


Worst Bit

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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.

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9 Comments

  1. I was thinking about going back to this. I might give it a run through until Tues/Weds.

  2. I just typed up a huge comment for this, but then chrome crashed and I lost it, so all I’ll say now is that I wish the boss fights could be patched out of the game. They’ve ruined it for me.

    • I’m probably one of the very few who did not have any serious problems with the bosses even though I played through the game using stealthy / hacking approaches only.
      I always had heavy weapons on me to sell and there was enough stuff to pick up in the boss room to get through.

      Loved everything about the game. Great story, great gameplay. Hopefully we will see a full blown sequel to it and not just mobile spin offs.

  3. loved this game but as everyone else hated the boss fights

  4. Loved (and platinumed) the game.
    Didn’t mind the boss fights. Sure they were less than they could have been but they weren’t awful, just unimaginative. It was getting to the boss fights that make a game like Deus Ex for me, not the boss fights themselves.

    • Agree, maybe I’m either missing the point entirely or I’m just too entrenched in RPG, but getting to the ‘boss fight’ is the thing – I don’t really care if the ‘boss’ goes over in one shot. Also, too many games make boss fights far too difficult, usually just to provide an ‘ending’ because the rest of the experience hasn’t been interesting/challenging enough.

  5. Choice? Choice?? Not on harder difficulty levels there isn’t! It’s sneak or… Sneak.

    You go all guns blazing on that & i guarantee you won’t last long.

  6. I absolutely ADORED this game. The gameplay was brilliant, and the world was so visually stunning, atmospheric and just oozed style.

    One of my favourite games of all time, that’s for sure.

  7. I agree without most people’s sentiment – this truly was a great game. Particular stand out for me was the score which I’d say is one of the best this generation. I was excited for this when it came out and went back to play the original back to back with the release of this, the first time I’d played it in about 5 years. Have to say its aged well and I’d still say for me its in the top 3 games of all time. Human Revolution comes very close to the original (let down partly with the boss battles) and that is probably the highest praise I can give it.

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