Deus Ex, a 7, an 8 or a 9? who can’t decide…

Lets not call this a review, lets face it your not really coming here to read reviews, I am sure that IGN, Gamesradar, 1up and all the other major gaming outlets have that covered. No I would more so call this a retrospective to both my experience and what seems to be an experience a lot of reviewers felt on release day.

I’ll get the score out of the way first, personally I have given the game an 8 but interestingly at times I agree with scores that range from a 10 to a 7. As far as I am concerned Deus Ex Human Revolution is a really good game and a great way to kick off the gaming year, but at times it can also be a pretty poor game but still a good way to kick off the gaming year.

On my scale 10 has to be on or near perfect, a game changer if you will, a 9 takes you there but are nothing on a revolutionary scale, perhaps they are just missing something. 8 gives you a very solid experience but you can see the cracks within and a 7 is a surprisingly fun romp through a gaming world. 6 and below is where the major major critique gets involved and the lower the score the more it falls back on the developers and publishers just flat out not caring.

With Deus Ex it has moments of 9 and then moments of 7 and in ways its a really unique experience because even with dips in quality I would still recommend it to people to purchase. The story is great and engaging but some of the voice acting and character animation is not up to scratch. The hubs are beautiful and have that classic Deus Ex atmoshphere but the loading screens are to many between and the length of load on some of them are a little much and I have even fallen asleep during this process a few times.

Why its a 9.

Even the Motor City has a buzzing beauty behind its uglyness.

When Deus Ex is firing on all cylinders it is an absorbing cyber punk tale of intregue set in a drab looking future but juxtaposed with Renaissance tones. Your character Adam Jensen (with his smoldering young Clint Eastwood flair) really gives of a cool aura but the game still allows you to be an angel or a dick in your dealings with the world around you. Moments like the social interactions and picking the right combination of things to say can feel more fluid and  right then LA Noire made it feel only now it looks like two Ken dolls playing cops and robbers. Overall though the shoddy voice acting (some characters) and the stiff facial movements dont really detract from the game world all that much, thus adding to the enigma of the game.

A lot of the greatest parts of this game play out not during the main storyline but rather in some of the side missions, where you are asked to do various tasks that take the established stealth skills and put them to good use. During these side missions you get to make choices that determine who you are playing as and also give you much needed XP to keep upgrading yourself into the play style you need. There is a variety to these missions that really become moments in the game you will remember.

With the main storyline the pacing is quite good and you do get to decide the playstyle you wish to use, however you are quite often forced into situations where you will need to stop the sneaking and start firing. Yes I am talking about the boss fights that needed not be included in this game. They really didnt, I can see what they were going for but they really did break up the flow of the gameplay and at one point I was lucky I saved a second save a little earlier in the game so I was able to go back and make some augmentation changes in order to even beat one of the bosses. I have heard horror stories about having to restart the whole game and change the way the player had planned on playing.

Why its an 8.

Sometimes I was aiming over there but I was really aiming over there...

Take everything mentioned above except add a dash of frustration, as mentioned earlier the load screens are just a little too much. Not just in length but in how often they come around. Especially in China and this is kind of off putting when doing the side missions that require you to go from one side of the hub to the other and back again to complete your task. The load screens themselves arent very exciting, not that it would of taken away much of the frustration, seeing time tick away knowing you should be in bed but want to finish this mission. You can play it for 2 hours and really only of had 1 hour gameplay.

Then throw in a game like Red Dead Redemption and your in a land where loading times are seldom seen. Loading times are still a source of confusion to me on a game to game basis.

Secondly the game is advertised as a FPS Action Adventure RPG but the FPS elements are well solid enough but I couldnt fathom how anybody could play this as anything but a stealth game. The options speak of an Aim Assist but through near on 30+ hours gameplay I am yet to be assisted. Its not so much an issue for me though because up until this point I have only used gunplay as the last possible option and always planned on stealth as my go to, but friends of mine have tried to run and gun and arent to impressed.

Also further to the combat, the exclusion of melee weapons as an option I feel is really poor. It forces you to use the takedowns which while are cool to pull of come with their own set of issues, more on that below.

Why its a 7.

 

Of course thats how it all works...

Once again take what made it a 9 + what made it an 8 and then further add the following.

The implementation of the energy system, which play a vital role in how you use your augmentations. This is a major source of frustration for me and many others and quite often makes very little sense.

Okay the basic premise is, you are a bad ass augmented half human half machine who needs candy/energy bars in order to fully use your ass kicking machine better half. Surely living in such an age of Human Revolution you would think that mastering how to attatch metal limbs to a human without the many issues that would actually cause, a self sustaining battery would of been first thing on the drawing boards. Hell my health regenerates after being pumped full of bullets but my double A batteries need a candy bar so I can punch through that wall.

The implementation of the energy system for you augmentations is one of those very videogame tactics we’ve gone over before on this site. I get why its there but at the same time there has to be a better option. Perhaps if they took advantage of the ever prominent story piece about expensive drugs being needed to stop the body from rejecting the augs – added bit of drama and it would of made you think about what side of the arguement you were on.

For example I understand why using the metal blades in your arms or turning your hand into a propellor to break your enemies kneck in a death grip would work to take away energy from your augmentations. But I dont get why you lose an energy bar by sneaking up behind somebody tapping them on the shoulder and punching them in the face. They call that one a non-leathal take down, well if its taking energy away from your augs then i would assume thats a pretty leathal right hook from a metalic arm wouldnt you?

Replenishing this energy can often be an issue in itself, I swear China had maybe 2 energy sources and the LIMB facilities sell out of stock quick and never restock. Meanwhile I am walking around with 1 out of 5 batteries lit up and vending machines everywhere that your only interaction with is to lift and throw. HOW ABOUT USING SOME OF THOSE CREDITS THAT NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE THAT I AM STEALING AND USE THEM TO BUY A CHOCOLATE BAR!?

It really seems like it wasnt thought about at all.

So I gave it an 8.

Twist and shout...

So in the end I gave it an 8 and Jensen seems pretty okay with that. The reason above can annoy you to a certain extent but some people may not even notice them. I guess thats the beauty of a game like Deus Ex. Not only do you get a slightly different gameplay experience depending on how you decide to play through it, you will also experience varying levels of annoyance at some of its gameplay in game features. Suffice to say no matter how you play the game you will be both impressed and frustrated but at no point will you want to turn it of.

A solid 8 and a great way to start the gaming year.

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