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First impressions of the game, I was gobsmacked, itís been awhile since Iíve played a game so innovative and clever but still maintained a slightly old school shooter kind of feel, it felt a little like thief meets perfect dark, which isnít that surprising since itís made by the gremlins that made Thief and Hitman two games I worship. You play Adam Jensen head of security at a major robotics implant firm, and shock horror! You meet a dreadful accident and inadvertantly become the poster child for the Ďblenders for handsí movement.
So here we have a nice little fps-rpg, what does that mean? Well you can choose to shoot people with big guns or sneak up on them to get a good look at what they ate for breakfast, which is always good fun. Itís a little more complex than that, Adam is like a walking ipad, he has more gadgets than inspector...erm....James Bond!...Yeah letís go with that. He has everything from x-ray vision and invisibility to ball bearings that shoot out of his butt to that highest of high tech; pointy things that shoot out of his arms as if from nowhere! Honestly though I love this game itís too cool, from just the way Adam looks and talks to the takedowns and customizable guns.
Weíve come oddly accustomed these days to these ďoff the rackĒ shooters like Cod and Battlefield that are great in their own rights at what they do, but thereís nothing really brilliant about them because theyíre so limited in what they can do because theyíre based in reality (the last place I think games should be set). Itís like a toaster, itís good at making toast but you rarely think; ďGod damn Iíve never seen toast like this before, behold the next level of toast; ĎSuper Toast!í It does things that no toaster has ever thought possible, breaking the boundaries on the production of toast!Ē.
They feel the same because essentially they are the same; point and shoot, duck reload and shoot again, Deus Ex has all that and much much more. This game should really make you look at those games and realise that in comparison they are under achievers in every respect except in graphics and spectacle. The game feels well crafted and wonderfully unique, the opening sequence has this fantastic cinematography, it looks and feels very much like a cool
sci-fi film. The immersion is pretty fantastic, the city of Detroit has never been so alive, it really feels like a living breathing place, although because of this detail it is a little small but this adds to feelings of claustrophobia in the streets in a near future dystopia. Immersion is a strange and important part of games and I recognise that importance but Iíve never understood why developers decide to add working toilets in a game in an attempt to increase it.
The game is literally a feast for all the senses, the city is really amazing looking, in that crappy cyberpunk future kind of way and it feels like thereís activity all around you and the insides of the buildings are very well detailed and the walls are packed full of secret places and hidden items.
Another thing I like is it sort of has a moral choice system, as in you can decide how Adam reacts in conversation but itís a little more objective than that because I notice on a lot of games that have moral choice systems itís hard to tell between the choice that means saving the burning bus full of nuns or pissing on the bus full of burning nuns and then moving on to the next one. This game on the other hand is far less vague and the morality is a lot more gray area than what usually means the choice between being Hitler or Gandhi in other moral choice games like Infamous. The little thing I liked the most though is that you have the option of asking the quest giver what the reward for the mission is, adds another layer to the conversation and takes away mindless rule worship, to complete missions just because they are missions. Also I like the fact you can choose to be non-lethal, the bonuses of which are quieter and in my opinion cooler looking takedowns.
All in all I love the combat system and the stealth system and the levelling system, I have few minor complaints that you can choose to take or leave. Not much to say about the shooting fairly basic, you shoot at things they fall down, the stealth is pretty good, you can turn invisible, what do you want say? Itís just the takedowns, I love them, they look cool, but thatís the problem, have you ever considered that the worst part of a videogame is you? Have you ever thought to yourself; ďThis game would be so much cooler if I just left Adam to do his thing? Maybe it would work better as a film?Ē I wonder that whenever I get a game thatís a series of pressing buttons to watch mini-cut scenes which is what the takedowns are, you hold down a button to watch a mini-cut scene, thatís it.
I mean I hate to say because I know itís become a naughty word ever since Shenmue didnít get the a 3rd instalment and every game and his granddad has been trying and failing to implement it properly. What Iím getting at is QTE, I know itís annoying and pisses most people off but thatís not qteís fault thats the fault of the game developers that use it improperly or in situations that make it inappropriate. Itís not dead look at Heavy Rain and the Wii is technically a console built around qte (not that I approve of it) itís a compromise between watching awesome cut scenes and playing a videogame I think it bridges the gap between playing a game and just watching a film that lets you have a go once in a while. This dawned on me actually while I was researching Manhunt for an essay and I realised all Iím really doing is walking behind some masked freak holding down a button until the reticule changes colour and then releasing the attack button to determine what cut-scene follows, Iím not really a part of it, which is kind of why I thought Manhunt 2 was a step in the right direction because it incorporates qte in the execution, not that the game was any good really but thatís sequels for you.
Oh yeah almost forgot, massive flaw in this game I mean huge! Yeah you get these awesome takedowns and special powers and what not but they cost energy, and now youíre thinking; ďSo what, every game has a system like that, it just regenerates over time right, you donít have to eat magic candy bars to refill or anything because that would be crazyĒ Hmm.... yeah.
You do get an energy bar and you can increase it and it does refill but only the first bar so if you want to do more than one super awesome takedown or special power type thing you have to eat a magic chocolate energy bar thing or down a bucket of what looks like a cross between weigh protein powder and industrial strength lube. On top of that these have... snacks? Have to be stored in your pack and although the bars
Pictures of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3)
are stackable the lube isnít and it takes up a ridiculous amount of space, like as big as pistol. So although you get amazing powers like a robo-cop on pcp youíre dolled it out in chocolate bar portions.Ok hate to admit this but I have a massive hard-on for the inventory system, itís only the bloody resident evil 4 inventory system, the best inventory system/tetris mini-game in the world? If youíre unfamiliar with resident evil 4, you basically have a suitcase and the trick is to try and put all your guns and paraphernalia in it by 'tetrising' them in, sort just slotting them all in around each other, itís basically the most realistic inventory system ever made, as realistic as having an invisible suitcase is I suppose.
Ok another major flaw in this game is not that it was too short because actually it was quite a nice length, itís just I expected more, on the back of the box it says you get to travel the world, but what it fails to mention is a lot of that world you see from office windows. You do get to freely roam around a small cut out of Detroit and solve nice little side quests and then on top of that you go to another country and itís a similar set up at which my jaw dropped, because for an fps this is like unheard of, two separate free roam locations.
Unfortunately from this point my hopes were raised as I thought this would be fairly frequent, at the very least I thought there would be another one or two free roam locations but thereís only two and I know what youíre think; ďCome on mate thatís like saying there were only two gold plated porn stars in your bedĒ and while I pondered the benefits of slutty woman covered in precious metal, most likely suffocated, I would have to agree with you, but it just feels like it could have been perfect it was just cut short at the end, and donít get me started on the end. You literally have three buttons laid out in front of you and you just have to press the one you want, which is a little anti-climactic.
All in all I absolutely loved this game from the epic game play and rich game world to the moral questions it asked and themes of human identity and hinting at arguments for the soul. Itís just such an amazing game with so much depth and content and buckets of style, I just absolutely loved it, itís not perfect but it was great I just wished it had come out a year earlier so I didnít have to watch it get spanked by Skyrim.