Game of the Year? Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Xbox 360 review

Trust me, when I tell you that what you’ve seen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution really does the game no justice at all.  Even if you were at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, a couple of months ago, you probably didn’t get a really good idea of what the game is about.  A lot of the gameplay videos made it look like a Sci Fi Splinter Cell or Hitman type stealth/execution game and while that is part of the equation, that’s not nearly all it is.  The game is much more epic than it appears and in many ways is better than the reigning Shooter/RPG champion, Mass Effect.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the prequel to the genre bending, near future, cyber punk hit the original PC game was, 11 years ago.  The feel to the game is a very gritty Blade Runner-ish future mostly set in the rough urban city of Detroit, although, the adventure will take you to China and Montreal, Canada as well.  The city settings are dark and there is not a huge difference between the feel of the Motor City and the crime filled Chinese streets although the stores and people are a dead giveaway.  Part of what makes the environment so immersive is the sound.  There are authentic ambient sounds and just about everyone has something to say and many times a lot to say.

In some ways, Human Revolution feels like a sandbox game because there are so many ways to get your missions done. Of course, stealth is a huge part of this game and being somewhat of superhero gives you options even in the choice of being sneaky.  Your character, Adam Jensen evolves the way you want him to with experience awarded, found or purchased Praxis Points which you can allocate to various abilities.  There are social and hacking skills, combat proficiencies, enhanced vision, jumping abilities and self-weaponization to name a few.  It’s not just you that is customizable in Human Revolution though, your weapons can also be modified in a number of ways, which is also reflected in their appearance on screen, in addition to being able to build custom mines.

Besides branching conversations, interrogation also plays a role in this game.  These conversations can open up other ways to get things done or give you the next step of your mission.   There are also quite a few side quests in this game that can be found by eavesdropping or conversations you initiate.  Unlike some other games with extra stuff you can do, most of the time these tasks feel relevant and can have an effect on your main task.  As big and as fun and compelling as this game is, it will probably leave you wanting for even more.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is almost a surefire Game of the Year award winner.  L.A. Noire and to a somewhat lesser extent Catherine are so far its only competitors.  Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty will of course sell a lot of copies, but will probably not offer much groundbreaking or new.  Even if Mass Effect 3 didn’t get pushed back to next year, Human Revolution is in many ways a better game.  The RPG elements are more robust than anything besides Fallout, and easily exceeds the post apocalyptic series as an action/adventure/shooter, by far.

The few flaws this game has are easy to overlook because of how much it does well but there are a few things that could have made this game perfect.  After playing L.A. Noire, it’s hard to look at other faces in games but unfortunately, that’s the new standard and Deus Ex doesn’t quite measure up.  Overall, the graphics are much better than Fallout and close, but not quite as good as Mass Effect 2.  Other than that, you’ll probably just want more of the same that Human Revolution has to offer.  That also includes the multiple endings, which are kind of Fallout 3-ish.  Granted, there is an Easter egg to be found in a couple of the endings but, considering it is a prequel, it would be nice to be able to continue playing or at least have a new game plus option to keep playing until Deus Ex 4 comes out.

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