Cynic Critic
Cynic Critic: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex games have been the figurehead of a very niche genre, a genre that comes from mixing FPS gameplay with RPG elements and storytelling. The original Deus Ex did this excellently, it really created an atmosphere of a dystopian world that should really be a utopia for all. Its sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War, was less clear, in fact it was a rather shoddy outing so I’m not sure why I included it. Now Deus Ex: Human Revolution has moved the now larger genre forward, holding itself aloof above all others, being smug about its great critical reception. Although when you really start to look into Deus Ex: Human Revolution there are a lot of things that don’t really add up.

In a game that tries to champion its realism of this newly augmented world, there are a lot of things that seem somewhat unrealistic. The biggest of all is where the hell does he keep all that weaponry? I know this is a problem with practically every RPG game (I mean how does Ash fit 99 of each pokéball into his backpack and still have room for his lunch?), but in a world championing realism maybe the Halo approach of physically seeing your weapons and grenades upon your person when in third person may have been a smart move, and arguably much more tactical… Tied into this is the upgrade system of Praxsis points, they try to put realism behind what is essentially your tech tree upgrade system. This is a perfectly reasonable method but how do you just suddenly happen to have these upgrades available instantly? In the story it does say that you are fully kitted out and that you can activate these upgrades with Praxsis points, but whilst you have to go into a L.I.M.B. Clinic to get that chip tinkered with in your head, you don’t to have access to a deadly weapon in your arm that can fire projectiles and somehow painlessly reload? Not sure if I’d go activating that myself if I had one, but I’m not Adam Jensen, ex S.W.A.T and wold renowned gravely voiced badass. Most annoyingly of all, in terms of the augmentations, is that blasted battery system. You would have thought by 2027 some bright spark would think to put in kinetic charging batteries into limbs, so instead of having to wait for them to recharge slowly, and leave dead cells dead instead of recharging too, that they just keep charge from you moving around. Although I’m sure that would be such a game-breaker, this whole ‘realism’ angle is great when it suits the developer!

How is he not exceptionally heavy?

Next up is the baffling AI that plagues the game. Where in hells name have all these corporations gotten these overly vocal, and incredibly idiotic henchmen from? Well I lie, some are idiotic, others are so blindingly alert its worrying. Whilst scouting ‘The Hive’ and its backdoor entrance, it is near impossible to enter without a guard somehow hearing or seeing you through a wall. It could be argued that they have tracking augmentations, but then surely if Edios Montreal were smart enough to use that excuse it would have been mentioned somewhere in the convoluted conversations you have with NPC’s. Later on when you are in Tong Si Hung’s headquarters all the henchmen are blind and dumb as hell. You could play smell my finger with them and they wouldn’t notice you, yet in a dimly lit club they can hear you fart from a mile away. Mixed in with this is the sneaking mechanic; when hidden behind a wall, pillar or some other opaque object that seems around knee hight, you cant be seen. This however doesn’t stop a guard from looking over in your direction as they walk towards the object, nor does it stop them from staring intently at it whilst they stand there on their patrol, clearly they can see you but just aren’t letting onto it because its just too much of a hassle to have to face off against you.

Adam was so glum because nobody would come out to play.

The plot is also somewhat questionable -spoiler alert- a big ass base at the North Pole?! Please. Yes it was a dark story, nobody wants to see a machine powered like that one was; yes it was a powerful ending, one tasked with negotiation and decisions; but to end with a choice of 4 rather black and white endings, it kinda made it seem like all your prior negotiations were useless… This is made all the more pointless by the fact that such a global catastrophe is never once mentioned in either of the previous Deus Ex games (which are actually set after Human Revolution). The inclusion of DLC is also a very odd one, it takes place when Adam goes missing for three days en-route to Panchaea. Not a bad place to slip in a cheeky bit of stealthy gameplay, however when you arrive at Panchaea there is not a single mention of this bloody excursion, in fact he seems to not remember a God damn thing other than resting for three days. Another extra mission that was added in for those purchasing the Limited Edition copy of the game seems too crucial to the flow of the story to omit, what happens to those who had just the standard edition of the game? Do they just skip an entire chunk out and has Tong Si Hung’s son not been kidnapped? There are just too many questions. The worst part about the plot is the big twist is not actually that big, nor much of a twist; within the first few hours of the game any keen eyed, and eared, player will have figured out that Adam is indeed “special”, and has been used as a company experiment.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a good game once you look past all the male bovine poo it throws your way. It’s a shame that it is so frequently hurling these natural burgers in your face.

The views expressed in these series of articles are all those of the authors and not necessarily those of The Gamers Hub. You can find our review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution HERE

One Comment to “ Cynic Critic: Deus Ex: Human Revolution ”

  • JustaGamerOctober 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    If i wrote a cynical piece, than I would also write about DE HR. Great piece man. Raised a few things that were bugging me too. The batteries are annoying, I also noticed that the Missing Link stuff isn’t even acknowledged after Jensen docks at Singapore, and I always underpowered. I was hoping that would change once I got my stealth augs etc, but I was a little let down as I worked real hard for the Praxis and upgraded but didn’t get much satisfaction from the augs. Story was pretty cool, but it took so long to get there, I was slightly detached by the end, which is rare for me as I love game stories.
    I was fortunate enough to get the LE version, thus had Tongs mission included, but good point bout the gamers who didn’t realise. Even though the missing link dlc looks awesome, I do not feel like wanna go back to the game, and already sold my copy via trade-in for cash to use on other titles.