Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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My writing pace has slowed to a halt the last month. I might have burned myself out a bit at the end of 2012, and the new year has allowed me to erase any kind of guidelines or deadlines I was imposing on myself. With Nate and the other writers’ help, I always tried to publish three times a week, but I’ll be honest and say it’s just not in me like it used to be. Maybe it’s temporary, it probably is, but for now, I don’t mind taking it a bit easier. This is my hobby after all.

And most of that time not spent writing has gone into video games! Yeah, those! (Also reading, a lot of reading.) Maybe I’ll declare 2013 the year of the catch up, even though 80% of the games I beat last year weren’t released last year as it is. But my backlog is huge and the only game I’m really interested in on the near horizon is Bioshock Infinite, so now’s as good as time as any.

As for Deus Ex: Human Revolution? It was a good game, problematic at times, but an experience worth putting at least a few hours into, and at about 24 hours long, probably worth finishing. I’m not sure how much I have to say about it that hasn’t already been said by our own Paul Abbamondi, let alone everyone else, so I’ll keep this short and to the point... starting now.

First of all, you may have heard that the boss battles of Human Revolution were outsourced to a different development team and don’t really mesh with the rest of the game. This is an understatement: they’re terrible. This is a stealth-focused game that allows for gunplay if you want, but I wanted to be sneaky. I didn’t kill any bad guys, heck, I didn’t even carry any real guns, so when you encounter a boss that you simply can’t stun like everyone else, well, you’re going to have a problem.

Luckily, I had some advice going in that I’ll share with you: invest in the Typhoon ability. You can simply run up to the bosses and spam it, pretty much instantly killing them. This worked fine until the third boss, which I fought without any of my powers, including Typhoon, because of a stupid trick the game pulled on me a few hours earlier. Anyway, I ended up having to turn the difficulty down to beat him because I was just so underprepared.

The game is also kind of full of itself. It likes to interrupt the action quite a bit to show off how fancy its animation artists were. Takedown someone from behind? Go into third person mode and play a canned animation you’ll see 50 more times. Jump off a high ledge? Play an obnoxious slow-landing animation. The most ridiculous part of it is you’re sneaking around trying to be really silent, and then your character absolutely decks a guard or loudly breaks his arm in the takedown cutscene. Okay.

Sneaking around in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is pretty enjoyable, though. There’s a well integrated cover maneuver that is more useful for hiding in this game, and the game always gives you the option of going around obstacles slowly if you’re not interested in fighting it out. Man-sized air ducts are hilariously in abundance, and you’ll often have to hack computers to disable alarms, cameras, or turrets. I felt like a real spy at times, especially with some of the additional human augmentations at my disposal.

I was surprised with the openness of the two hub worlds featured in Human Revolution. There’s a scattering of side missions available that open up the story a bit more, but are completely skippable (and easily missable) if you’re not interested. The extra large areas, while fun to explore, can be a pain when trying to completely cross the maps, but I really like the effort put into the details.

Overall: 7

An entertaining adventure with some disappointing, tedious aspects. Deus Ex: Human Revolution could have been great, though I’m glad I finally got around to playing it, but this isn’t anything extraordinarily special.

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