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2nd October by Mateusz Michalik
You’ve probably already heard about Deus Ex Human Revolution. Yes it is getting a swathe of positive reviews online, but this is not one of those reviews. I picked up Deus Ex hoping for it to be a well balanced mix of RPG and FPS, sadly, it was not.
The story centers around you, an ex-SWAT member, working for a private firm that deals in human/machine augmentation, in the opening sequence of the game you are ambushed on your way to an escort mission and things start to go bad. You’re left for dead. The game’s opening credits then play as you are brought back from the brink of death and rebuilt using augmentations. Imagine something like Neo from the Matrix mixed with Van Damme from Cyborg.
The titles close and your back in the game, souped up with augmentations and ready to rock. Or so you thought. The game is incredibly tedious and slow, theres a lot of talking, a lot of picking up useless books and documents to read, and a lot of dry mono-tone dialogue from the protagonist. Yes the game gives you plenty of dialog interaction options, allowing you to be distant, aggressive, symapthetic etc, but who cares when there is no direct result or response from these actions?
As it is partly an RPG, you can choose how to interact with characters, choose which augmentations and abilities to upgrade, take on side quests, and wonder around exploring a limited landscape. It’s just that the FPS/Action side of the game is so disappointing. For instance, you can take down opponents when close using a melee attack. These can be lethal or non-lethal. In both instances all you have to do is press or hold 1 button which never changes. You then watch as a random take down manoeuvre is performed – what’s worse, you can’t skip the animation frames if you’ve seen that particular takedown. Boring, and annoying all at the same time.
The visuals are equally bland, and to be honest are a little lackluster for a next gen FPS. NPC’s are blocky and move awkwardly while the games environments are repetitive. The soundtrack is nice though, and gives the game a real Sci-Fi noir feel, but that’s about it. Maybe you could just close your eyes and listen to the soundtrack instead of actually playing the game. Yes, that might be better.
The concept seems like it would be pretty cool, you’ve got a potentially bad-ass renegade type hero who’s jacked up on cybernetic augmentations which are waiting to be beefed up (albeit via a slow XP system urgh!) and a Sci-fi ghetto city to run around blasting foes in. However, it’s not as fun as it might seem. If you’re expecting a balanced RPG and FPS like I did, then look elsewhere, this game is predominantly RPG. There’s a lot of walking around, talking to people, exploring rooms and surroundings – real yawn worthy stuff. The action sequences that do exist are fraught with clunky hide/shoot mechanics and poor line of sight AI.
You’ll also get to move boxes and crates around, yay! One mission early on requires some crate stacking to jump a fence in order to enter a police station. This will happen if you fail to convince an NPC to let you enter by talking to them. Believe me, you don’t want to do that. If you can’t enter the station by talking to guy at the front then you’re in for a near difficult and unnecessary firefight, lots of box moving, and lots of sneaking around in vents.
Seriously, whats with the vents? There are so many times in the game where you’re breaking into areas that are meant to be secure but yet some air vents let you gain access with ease? Yes folks, it’s the future – where you can augment your brain and body, and where air vents gain you entry into secure buildings. On the topic of vents, if you’re ever in a pickle, just hide in a vent and pick off your unsuspecting pray from the edge of the vent. The AI will simply run around looking for you, as you shoot them in the ankles one by one, crouched down inside a vent. Ahh, vents.
I could tell you more, but why bother. I threw this game into the CBF/trade pile very quickly as ultimately it was more tedious than it was enjoyable. What started with so much promise, turned into an exercise in box stacking, vent crawling, and talking to people – all things I don’t want to do when playing an FPS.
To be honest I’m surprised this game has received so many positive reviews online? Sure, I’ll admit, I’m being incredibly critical here, and it’s largely because the games mixed genre and slow pace don’t appeal to me, but c’mon 90% and 95% scores? No way. Still, don’t let me sway you, if you like vents, bad dialogue, slow game-play, and crap FPS then give this a go!