Preview

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preview (Xbox360)

I do like a good conspiracy. The twist, the reveal, that moment where realisation dawns and everything falls into place. I tell you, that stuff's better than crack. The Deus Ex franchise is no stranger to twists - the original game is widely considered defining across a number of areas - story included- and holds a place as the 'game of games' for many people. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in the series (After Deus Ex: Invisible War), and aims to recapture the experience that made the first game so, so good.
 

Controversial it may be, but the third-person cover really does bring the franchise into the modern age. And it works
Consider this the first of a two-part preview blow out. We'll talk about all we can now, and then save the more complete, hands-on experience for later. You should all know the basics by now - Human Revolution is the prequel to the first game, and paints a world that's not so messed up, but on the brink of change. You are Adam Jensen, a "security specialist" - someone's who tasked with protecting other people's secrets. With bullets to the face, if need be. Human Revolution upholds the hybrid gameplay of the first game, mixing in first and third person action, RPG elements, and everything in-between.

Edios Montreal have always been keen to highlight the fact that there are multiple ways to tackle any given situation, and these paths are connected to one or more of the four core gameplay mechanics - Stealth, Combat, Hacking and Social. In the demonstration that forms the core of this particular piece, sadly there wasn't much opportunity to see the 'social' mechanic in action, but you can well imagine how that mechanic plays out - the more you talk to people, or even just listen in on a conversation, the more you find out and the more options open to you. In the facility that Jensen had to infiltrate, he could have overheard the guard talk about the passcode to get in, but failing that he could move on to the next core mechanic - hacking.
 
Now, where are those PSN details...
Hacking, in this game, is more than the quaint sideshow that you see in other franchises, like Mass Effect (although to be fair Mass Effect 2's hacking was a least challenging). Hacking in Deus Ex involves real-world computing dynamics, and it's all about taking over servers to reach the end before the main security programs find you and kick you out. Whilst we've only seen one form of hacking so far, we understand that there's several different types of hacking, depending on what you're doing. Taking down cameras, opening doors, disabling security systems... it's a very real, very in-depth part of the gameplay, and it can be improved through augmentations and skills.

Of course, these first two sections help fuel the two main gameplay elements - stealth and combat. With stealth, you need to use the cover to your advantage, and augmentations such as cloak or sound dampening to move around and behind your opponents. The enemy AI is also quite smart - patrol patterns aren't so rigid - in fact just as a soldier we were trying to sneak past his back, and we moved, he turned around again and nearly caught us. Each mission area is supposed to be very wide open, presenting the player with multiple roots, and multiple ways to get from A to B, even undetected.

But then, if all else fails (or you get bored) you can just bring out your guns and start shooting everybody. There's nothing particular special about combat in Deus Ex, apart from what it can derive from other areas of the game. You can use cover, shoot from cover, or go back in first person and just plug away like you're in Call of Duty. However, your skills and augmentations do come into play quite heavily, and you can also purchase upgrades and abilities for weapons - for example we were shown a machine gun which can get an upgrade allowing it's bullets to curve. But then you can also use your weapons to help with the stealth element, like using a stun gun to knock out an opponent, or to take out a security camera.
 
I think he did it

From what we've seen so far, phrases like 'multi-path' 'open-ended' are more than just buzz words. Admittedly, there' s only so far they can take this, but they seem to have done a really impressive job so far. As we said, this is just part one of two previews we'll be doing on Deus Ex - we'll give you a more in-depth offering (from actual hands on time) in a couple of weeks when they release our children from being hostages. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is due out on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on August 23rd in North America and August 26th in Europe.


Most Anticipated Feature: Being a story buff, I just want to know did it.

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