Preview

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preview (Xbox360)

There are few videogame series’ that have garnered a fanbase as loyal as Deus Ex, and just how special this series is can be seen when you consider that the second game in the series was largely panned – this loyal fanbase is dedicated to one particular game, even now, ten years after its original release.
 

I'm the Boss

From the way they talked at E3, Eidos Montreal’s team seems to be painfully aware of the failure of the second game, Deus Ex: Invisible War, and are trying to stay as true to the first title as possible with this latest entry, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Despite making the lead platform of this sequel high definition consoles rather than the PC, there seems to be an impressive focus on ensuring the game is true to the formula of the original, focusing on four key areas – combat, stealth, hacking and social interaction. One of the key ideas behind Deus Ex is the mantra of choice, and our guide to the E3 demo of the game told us that they wanted to interweave choice with those four key areas. Thanks to that, most situations in the game can be fought through, talked through or hacked and snuck through, and in the demo we saw the potential implications of choices the player could make, though we only saw one particular path.

In the demo we were in search of a hacker in a futuristic orange-and-gold Hong Kong, beginning outside with a gaggle of NPCs then heading inside a bar where there’s a tip the hacker might be hiding. At the door of the club the bouncer wasn’t too friendly, and here you’re prompted with a dialogue tree to try to talk your way around the guard.
 
A bit Matrix maybe, but what can you do?

While this is no Mass Effect, the simple choices you’re offered can change the outcome of the story in subtle ways. Fail to talk around the bouncer, for instance, and you’ll have to take him out to enter the club. Alternatively, players could eschew the conversation altogether and just cap him before he even gets the chance to refuse your entry.

Next up was a little bit of stealth, where we were shown how lead character Adam Jensen could sneak about and avoid enemies as he tried to track down a PDA in the bar. It’d be possible to just go in all-guns blazing, of course, but this demo was being directed to show us all the various elements of the gameplay.

There’s not much to mention about the stealth – it’s pretty traditional first person stealth gameplay, and the same can be said of the shooting, which looked like competent first-person action mixed with third-person perspective stuff when you head into cover. All of this is augmented with cool powers, abilities and weapon mods that characterise the Deus Ex universe. A big part of Deus Ex: Human Revolution comes in the form of modifying weapons, which has allowed the game to keep a chunk of its RPG-style gameplay despite being a full-on shooter.

This is another part of the choice in the game, we’re told – a player can chase up weapon mods from sidequests that’ll help make the shooting easier or simply plough on with the basic weapons. The different play styles give the player options and choice, which was a big part of the original Deus Ex and as such is a huge part of trying to evoke that feeling in this new title. The big end-game here is the idea of mixing elements of different play styles together to hit a sweet spot that’ll make gameplay varied and fun.
 
Despite not leading with the PC, Eidos aren't pulling any punches with the visuals

Everything I saw of Deus Ex: Human Revolution at E3 looked mighty impressive, though as always with games based around choice I’ll have to wait until we can actually go hands-on ourselves rather than watch a developer drive the demo before passing judgement. One thing is clear, though: Eidos Montreal have a real passion and desire to do right by this monolithic franchise and do it justice. Here’s hoping that desire will translate into a successful third entry in the series.

Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

Comments

By BoneArc (SI Elite) on Aug 07, 2010
BoneArc
Meh ... was too young to play the old games so i will skip this one , I hate not knowing the story behind a game .
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Aug 07, 2010
Wowerine
Wow I saw some sick screenshots of this game, and so far it looks pretty good. Too bad you can't play with a female protagonist, like they promised. I guess you can't trust anybody these days now can you? :(