Thanks to the mind-numbing time-killer otherwise known as Skyrim, I’ve been sitting on my rented copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for over a week. I’ve never actually played any of the Deus Ex games, unless you count the demo of Shadow War. But since Human Revolution is set before both of them, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I’m typically not a big fan of sci-fi, but I liked Mass Effect & it’s a sci-fi RPG, so many this one will be good too.
I’ve only played it for a few hours, through the prologue & up to entering the warehouse in the first mission. The story from what I’ve seen so far is that I play as chief of security for an augmentation corporation named Adam Jenson. The setting for the game is during a time when human augmentation is a hotly debated issue. As such, it came as no surprise that on the eve of escorting the lead scientist (whom Jenson seems to have or had romantic relations with) the lab is attacked. Jenson is nearly killed, but is saved by what basically seemed like a full-body prosthetic. Six months later, Jenson is back in the fray, being sent after some human purists who’ve attacked another lab. Given what I know about the series, I expect corporate manipulations, questionable morality & conspiracies.
So far I’ve noticed some good things, some odd things, but nothing that really struck me as bad.
Let’s do the good things first. Visually, the game is excellent so far. The facial animations look good, & everything looks suitably futuristic. I also like that the cutscene animations match the in-game ones (it bothers me when cutscenes look a lot better or different from what you see in the rest of the game). Choosing dialogue options are easy. The grid shows both an abbreviated version of the line & the full line when you highlight it. For example, it might show two options to either confront or dismiss someone, as well as showing you exactly what will be said if you select one. This means I shouldn’t have to worry about picking something that goes against the character I’m working towards (such as thinking I’m making a joke but actually saying something mean).
I also like that when I bring up a control panel I know the combination to, it appears on the screen. This means no more opening up my log & searching through numerous entries to find the right code.
Combat is taking a bit to get used to. Moving to cover is easy (I have it set to toggle rather than hold), but I’m still stuck in the Mass Effect layout & keep jumping away from cover when I try to zoom my weapon. It does feel a bit odd to have to move the left stick to peek out & aim with the right. But I do like that you can aim before peeking out. You can also shoot blindly, but I didn’t have any success with it. I also like that pushing A will either move you around a corner or jump to the next available cover.
Admittedly, when given the option I always go for stealth. Running & gunning can be fun, but I think it’s more exciting (& more challenging) to try to be sneaky & either not alert anyone or just knock them out. So on my first real mission I chose the tranquilizer rifle. Why? Because it’s sort of like a sniper rifle. I like picking people off from a distance or stealth-killing up close. My first guard I accidentally killed because the difference between a knockout & a takedown is holding the B button. That, I don’t particularly like. There are other commands that you execute by either tapping or holding the button. But I think once I get used to it, it won’t be a problem anymore.
One quick reload later & I knocked the guard out, dragged him into a side room out of sight, took all his items, then climbed on the roof. I’m not sure if this is a new feature, but you can move some items like boxes around, which can act as stepping stones. From the roof, it was simple to sneak into the building, gaining the Ghost Achievement in the process.
There were three odd things I noticed while playing, though.
- Why is money in the future always “credits?” Is it because everything’s electronic? Why not rename it?
- Why is technology in the future either orange or blue? I’ve noticed this in other games as well, where computer screens or other technology is always in one of those colors. Why? Why not white? Wouldn’t orange hurt your eyes after a while?
- Why did they implant shades into Jenson’s face? At first I thought maybe it was an interface screen, but that’s from his cybernetic eyes. Are they just really sensitive to light?
I’m looking forward to playing more of this game & becoming a nice, stealthy, manipulative agent.