Deus Ex: Human Revolution attempts to be like its ancestor as it borrows some aspects of the original Deus Ex, the game many people consider to be the very best video game ever created. True, you haven’t seen a game like this in a very long while and true, there aren’t much games of its kind that need you to think more as usual, but Human Revolution still can’t hold on to its legendary ancestor as to many graceful aspects of the original got dropped.
Instead of a wide variety of melee weapons like the traditional crowbar, combat knifes or energy prods does Adam Jensen use his fists or the to his arms in-build weapons to take enemies down. J.C. Denton would be thankful if he had the ability to benefit from this kind of combat back then if you consider that the first game is set several years later in the future. Another hilarious trivia is that ordinary door locks are non-existent and every door is locked through hackable computer-terminals. The hero of the future… I mean from the past now needs Stop! Virus or digital Nukes to gain access to places or information he desires. The times are over in which you as the player have to store lockpicks or multitools to open doors or to bypass laser-barriers. You don’t need to carry energy-packs around to recharge your mighty energy-prod since the protagonist himself is a portable batteries, recharging his in-build weapons and augmentations with tasty cereals. If J.C. Denton would drink too much alcohol, then he would wake up in a dark backstreet, not knowing what happened to him last night, while A.J. gains extra healthpoints beyond his vitality if having a party with friends and playing drinking-games. The overall health in HR up to 200 points removes the need to give crippled body parts medical treatment.
The above things are just the most eye-catchy changes between the original Deus Ex and Human Revolution that lead me to the most obvious difference: Afterall, Human Revolution is meant to represent a golden age and the original Deus Ex had the world on the edge of collapse with a massive schism between rich and poor, city states and a worldwide pandemic. Human Revolution adopts our current presence, imaginations and possible technology, even though it doesn’t explain why the old-fashioned door locks and lockpicks are gone. Even the story and plot of Human Revolution is a half-done conspiracy. Except of two characters, none of the other personalities the player meets seem to take a leading side role during the game. Most characters appear only to give the player quests instructions and then disappear forever. Anyways, with all the above mentioned changes, one thing still exists in Human Revolution: Choise. A lot of it! But this choice is a lie.
A.J. moves from limited section to section during the infiltration parts, but can move to each area through vent shafts, back doors or emergency ladders. Sometimes these security holes are protected by laser-barriers, stuck by moveable cardboard boxes or defended by automatic turret- and camerasystems. Sometimes for the franchise atypical boss fights await you. I’ve read these boss fights seem to be pretty difficult if the player didn’t pick the right combat augmentations beforehand depending on his play-style or faces the battle unprepared. But my experience told me that this battles just can easily be won by taking cover and throwing emp- and fraggrenades until a pre-rendered cut scene ends your misery.
This now sounds like Deus Ex: Human Revolution got a “from mission to mission without much foreplay”, but isn’t exactly the fact. Most of the game throws the player into a so-called city hub, a big area he can explore and do quests in. These hubs aren’t as big as the ones from the original game, but still are full of life, including the worlds society. People walking around, meet each other in bars, coffees or back streets doing their thing. Some quests are directed to the player while many sidequests can just be found by exploring or even made easier if you exterminate all hostile, for example in street gang territories before you even think to accept the quest. The matter of choise even is available in the city hubs. You can for example talk your way through the Detroit Police precinct or explore the area around it to find secret entrances and then sneaking your way through the precinct and to your quest objective without being seen.
There is exactly not really a choise in picking augmentation upgrades in Human Revolution. In the original, the player had to decide what he wants to plug into his body since space for upgrades was limited. J.C. Denton could either plug in an augmentation to make him grab heavier objects or one to give him better accuracy. Once installed augs couldn’t be exchanged. Adam Jensen seems to have a more advanced technology at his disposal, because he can max out all his augs to the end of the game and only needs to choose the most critical upgrade to the players play-style during the early game. This leads to A.J. being the better cyborg than J.C. Denton from the original Deus Ex even though the first one takes places in the future after Human Revolution.
You see, the new game seems to bite itself into its own tail in many things compared to the well written and designed Original. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is about to become a cult classic of the future. In the next twelve years, many people may look at the game and say “This is one of the best video games ever made because there wasn’t coming anything as near as close to it for a very long time.” And who knows, maybe they’ll speak the truth.
Whoops! Wrong Trailer! ;)