Videogame Review: Deus Ex Human Revolution

Deus Ex Human Revolution

“It’s not the end of the world but you can see it from here”.


To define Deus Ex Human Revolution is to become its point.  The definition of the game is the player.  But everything has a background, a context.  Deus Ex Human Revolution’s context is in the not too distant future.  Corporations have driven the advent of replacement limbs, organs, brain enhancers, what have you.  But unregulated human augmentation never achieved perfect harmony with the body, causing the need for a drug stabilizer known as Neuropozyne.  Neuropozyne like many prescription drugs is addicting and many cannot afford it.  Protests and riots follow along with entire organized groups of individuals centering around the topic of trans-humanism.  These groups range from human purists to people so obsessed with trans-humanism they will literally rip the augmentations off  unsuspecting victims to enhance their own body.  Adam Jensen’s story takes place inside this fire.  The powder keg has already been lit.  The question becomes how will you traverse through the wreckage?

“Everyone should get to choose”


Every environment is covered in choices from explosive environments to traversable air ducts to gas filled corridors to the persuadable security officer blocking a path.  Any desired option of gameplay mechanic can be obtained through augmentation.  Rarely does the game force the player to go against how they want to play.  Most of these instances are termed “boss fights”.  Adam Jensen to me was a man of stealth.  He killed those who deserved it and merely incapacitated those who didn’t know better.  He also opened every computer, every box, and moved every refrigerator (FYI nothing is ever behind a fridge) .  For me, the boss fights were a matter of justice and vengeance.  I understand for other players Adam Jensen was a humanist with a sense of morality that detested human killing no matter the reason.  For these people, the boss fights weren’t good.  Very little is a waste of time as even the smallest corners house information or experience to gain new augmentations.

Adam Jensen is a man that has a lot to say in a world filled with prejudice against trans-humanism.  What he says is the player’s choice.  No choice is deceptive and Adam is always a competent speaker.  Adam may even have dirt on the individual you’re speaking to that you aren’t always aware of.  Sometimes its dirt you’ve found.  But who says Adam even needs to speak?  His body has been augmented into whatever machine the players choices make be it a human bomb through the Typhoon augmentation or an invisible inaudible violent force.

With all that said, know that the ending is entirely dependent on several immediate choices at the end.  The path to these endings are what is entirely up to you.  And all in all, these endings aren’t endings, because the story in the game ends when you decide which option to take.


“Some people are left behind.  Its evolution!” 


The game starts as Adam, head of security, and his ex, Megan Reed, as employees of Sarif Industries (an augmentation company) are preparing to announce a discovery Megan has made in human augmentations.  But that never happens.  Tragedy strikes, things are blown up, and Adam loses most of his body.  Adam was never given the choice to become augmented.  The player can let him be strong through these times through the dialog choices but there’s still a smashed mirror in his apartment that says otherwise.  The game starts 6 months after Adam’s augmentation.

Adam already has all the augmentations in the game but the doctors were afraid of his mind being overloaded with all the body’s new functionality.  The mechanic translates to do things like explore, hack, converse, and gain points to spend on new augmentation functionality.  Augmentations run a wide gamut from combat abilities to hacking to the esoteric.  Some augmentations serve as a band aid to help the player deal with the game system.  Having trouble reading NPC’s in conversation?  Upgrade to the social aug.  Dying too quickly too often?  Upgrade to ballistic armor.  Having trouble getting around cameras or robots?  Upgrade to hack them and bring the robots to your side.  Terrible at sneaking but you have to sneak?  Upgrade to be invisible.  The list keeps going.


“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.”  


Deus Ex Human Revolution is a game that should be noted and should be played.  This is a game that will still be fun for at least the new few years.  While this is out for all systems, 360 and PS3 have 20-30 second load times which in a game bathed in experimentation on choice is not good.  In my opinion PC is the way to go.  The music and visual aesthetic is wonderfully enchanting and immersive.  Its a tale concerning the philosophy of morality without preaching morality which is an amazing line to tred.  And finally and possibly most importantly, Deus Ex does not insult the player’s intelligence.  There is no hand to hold.  Learn through exploration.

Buy on Amazon


About MusiM
Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

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