It’s the year 2027 and the world has changed. Never have we seen such an explicit correlation between technology, Moore’s law and morality. The most powerful nations on the planet are intertwined by the juggernaut corporations that spew money in the direction of controversy and strip sobbing victims of their cash at any opportunity. The public is suffering a gaping moral divide; anti or pro augmentation. It’s a torn world, and you get to live it in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Deus Ex Gameplay
All of the following story occurs in the first 30 minutes of gameplay and contains no serious spoiler.
In Deus ex: Human Revolution – Ultimate Editon you play as Adam Jensen, an ex police officer who was forced out of the service for such and such a reason you find out later. With Adam Jensen in a slump and at a dead-end, the love of his life, Megan Reed persuades her boss to hire Adam as a private security officer at Sarif Industries, one of the leading developers of augmentations. You soon come to find that Sarif Industries has recently made an astounding breakthrough in augmentation technology that would make the compulsory expensive drug that keeps your body from rejecting your augmentations irrelevant. It is at this point that Sarif industries is relentlessly attacked by an unidentified group, all the scientists abducted, and you beaten to the point of disrepair… or so it would seem. Sarif Industries spends billions bringing you from the brink of death and crams you full of augmentations. From then on it is your mission to find out why and how this attack took place. The story is enthralling to say the least, and is appropriately fitting with the over-saturated cyber-punk style.
If you are somewhat familiar with the original Deus Ex games you should know that level design is something they are rightly praised for. And even though the new development team were entrusted with the daunting task of pleasing the Deus Ex fans by seamlessly translating the decade old baggage from the original games, they have done the distinguished labyrinthine level design justice. The cities are truly intricate, and reward explorers generously with praxis kits, weapons, weapon mods, money, and intel. The way you approach a level is totally up to you. Depending on your load out (from stun guns to snipers to machine-pistols), you can take each area how you want it. Whilst it is not obvious at first what methods are available to you, the use of elevation and underground routes allow for a breadth of opportunity to take a level how you want it. That’s if you explore and find the right manhole or ladder. The buildings and inner levels are almost as impressive and exploration is still as equally rewarding. For example, if you don’t have a high enough hacking ability to unlock a door, look around. There may be hidden vents or Pocket Securities lying about that might provide an alternative entry.
The intuitive navigation on the other hand is a feature that’s hasn’t been brought over from the original series. It does not necessarily hinder your freedom of movement or even inconvenience you in any intrusive way, but it just feels unnatural. The analogue nature of a keyboard always requires careful fine-tuning to make movement and navigation comfortable in all respects. And that specific “fine-tuning” feels lacking in Human Revolution. The clunky directional movement and sway of the weapon in Adam’s hand makes the experience feel more like you’re playing a plastic arm strapped to a camera.
My other major complaint is the bosses. I saw my way through the first half of the game stealthily. I carried only one weapon; a tranquilliser gun, and I used the remaining space in my inventory to store hacking devices and weapon mods to sell later. This became a colossal issue when I encountered my first boss and realised I would need more than a lightweight dart gun to beat this hulking monstrosity. These agonisingly over-powered boss levels utterly destroy any wish of yours to complete the game without the need of a deadly weapon. I was forced to empty my inventory I had worked so hard to fill and carry the lead-filled equipment laying around instead.
Earlier I mentioned an “over-saturated cyber-punk style”, and in this case “over-saturated” is not a negative description. The cities are positively buzzing and emanating the engrossing sensation of the cultural split and powerful corporations. That feeling is powerfully conveyed; the placement of ravaged and ruined hookers slung from corner to corner, hobos crying life’s pains at you and shiny mechanical augmented ‘big-shots’ wondering around the city like they own the place. It all really shines a light on the class divide in Deus Ex. Despite this, as you roam the city the ambient noises get repetitive. Quickly. The recycled dog bark and scream leave you wishing they recorded at least double the existing sound effects. That being said, Deus Ex packs 200,000 lines of spoken dialogue, and it shows. Everyone you talk to, in all the many different areas you visit, have something different to say. Whether it be asking for directions for the nearest Bar to expressing their views on their tragic existence.
If I was reviewing Deus Ex for any other platform, I would have left the review at that. Unfortunately in this case, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is seriously let down by some hefty frame rate issues. Even on the fastest Macbook Pro on the market, I had trouble running Deus Ex at full specs. On a slower machine, we can’t guarantee smooth performance, especially if you’re at the lower end of the spectrum.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Ultimate Edtiton has a simply incredible story, coupled with sandbox level-design that sets a new standard for the industry. But on the Mac App Store, it’s held back by some unacceptable issues that makes it hard to recommend to anyone not running the latest and greatest hardware.
Publisher: Feral Interactive
Description: Role-Playing Game/First-Person Shooter
Pros: The story is fantastic, open-ended gameplay, the ability to customise your augments.
Cons: The bosses are a ridiculous addition to the series and can ruin curtain parts of the game, mildly unnatural controls, framerate issues for low-end computers.