Feeds
90%
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Augmented realty

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Throwing shots

Wherever you go, there are always options. Attempt to pass through the room filled with guards, or scale the roof to avoid them? Pay 1,000 credits to enter the nightclub or search for a back door? Circumvention is rarely a binary choice, though.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Shoot the chairman

To enter a locked room, you could crawl through a connecting vent shaft or attempt to hack the door controls in the challenging and addictive hacking mini-game. But you could also rifle through a dead guard's pockets in the hope of finding a pocket secretary device containing the door code.

Combat is equally engineered around choice, but it's one skewed firmly in favour of stealth. Despite an impressive near-future arsenal at your disposal, this is no bullet-sponge shooter. Out in the open, firefights are lethal. Stealth is not just the safer option, it also yields greater rewards. Large XP bonuses are awarded for navigating levels unnoticed, and Splinter Cell-style stealth kills earn considerably more XP than shooting, with non-lethal takedowns granting even greater spoils.

A good thing too, because, as robust as the gameplay is, shooting is notably the weaker mechanic. The intuitive cover system works impeccably when lurking in the shadows, taking guards out stealthily one at a time or circumventing defensive strongholds. Yet it's less successful during frenetic shootouts, where you find yourself occasionally sticking to the wrong cover point and facing the line of fire.

While theoretically possible to complete the game without killing anyone – except during the game's four exacting boss battles – in practice it takes a mix of stealth and gunplay to succeed. Whichever your gameplay preference, a familiar RPG levelling system provides augmentation upgrades to suit your style.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Get up and take your medicine

Praxis points are earned through amassing XP and spent on upgrading Adam's abilities. In addition to persistent modifiers, such as aim stabilisation and damage resistance, you can upgrade up to four special abilities, including smart vision to see enemies through walls and, perhaps most useful, a cloaking shield.

Rechargeable energy cells and cooldown periods cleverly limit their use, though, ensuring they don't outmuscle gameplay. And the levelling system is consistently attuned with the difficulty curve, skilfully balancing your burgeoning powers against increasingly tougher enemies and security measures to maintain the challenge throughout its 35-or-so-hours.

Less well-balanced is the pacing. For around eight-hours in its middle, two huge back-to-back missions are devoid of the otherwise enthralling narrative drive, feeling too much of a linear grind. Side-quests and trading are also relatively shallow compared with other RPGs, as are moral choices, which are limited to killing or incapacitating enemies and mercantile quid pro quo decisions to aid NPCs in trouble in return for credits and Praxis points.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Crating havoc

But despite lacking the openness of other RPGs, thanks to the compelling central gameplay, consistent challenge and renewed narrative vigour in its spectacular dénouement, Human Revolution is never anything less than thrilling.

Verdict

A technical tour de force, Human Revolution blends stunning visuals, gameplay and narrative into a spellbinding experience. For a few, it may be too close in spirit and form to the original. But when that original is Deus Ex, one of the greatest games of all time, for most that'll be no bad thing at all. ®

More Games Reviews

From Dust Shadows of
the Damned
Call of Juarez:
The Cartel
Air Conflicts:
Secret Wars
Captain America:
Super Soldier

Build a business case: developing custom apps

90%
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

A triumphant reboot of the series that'll leave fans drooling for more. Available on PC (tested) Xbox 360 and PS3.
Price: £40 - PS3, Xbox 360; £30 - PC RRP

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.