I didn’t ask for this.
Yeah, Jensen, I know.
Deus Ex HR had a pretty steep climb awaiting it from the get-go. Not only is it the prequel to one of the most beloved(and replayed) PC RPGs of all time(of which I’ll share my thoughts one day), it also follows on the heels of a sequel that was widely disliked at best; more commonly considered an insult to the franchise.
Where Infinity War went wrong(focusing more on action over being an open-ended RPG), HR seeks to stay true to the original. It certainly succeeds. Each level has a wide variety of objectives and methods in which to complete them.
Want to stay unseen, and only crack skulls when absolutely necessary? Adam’s your man.
Want to turn into a mass-murdering vigilante, blowing apart and skewering anyone who dares to cross you? He can do that too.
Apart from getting a little tedious, the gameplay stays enjoyable all the way through. Even the controversial boss fights, while quite difficult, are nothing the protagonist can’t handle without some quick movement and thinking. Well, being armed to the teeth helps as well, but that’s never difficult.
Where HR really shines is, thankfully, the story. As good as the original game’s mechanics were, it was really the story and characters that people often remember. Choices mattered, relationships could change based on how the protagonist acted. The world was believable and thought-provoking.
Human Revolution delivers on all this, too. Where the original game was in a cyberpunk-styled world already sinking into disrepair and ruin, HR takes place in a civilization at the peak of innovation.
There’s chaos on the horizon, though, and it’s clear the utopia isn’t going to last much longer.
The game really glows through character interactions, especially as the protagonist engages in debates with key figures. These verbal conflicts are often more engaging(and challenging) than any of the boss fights, and easily the highlight of an already great game.
Sure, you can augment the protagonist to get additional insight into their minds so you can know how to respond, but where’s the fun in that? (It’s actually quite fun.)
HR was a big success critically and financially, so even though the ending ties smoothly into the original game, hopefully the team at Eidos Montreal find a way to build on the foundation they’ve created.
He might not ask for it, but I will.