The Deus Ex games are first-person shooter RPGs that let you approach your objectives in a way that suits you: direct violence if you enjoy it, stealth if you don’t, and throwing heavy objects around if you like getting caught, beaten and shot. Despite a sequel in 2003, the first is still considered by me, this magazine, and a lot of our readers as the best game ever made.
Human Revolution is a prequel: a global conspiracy thriller set at a time when replacing your body parts with high-tech prosthetics is a violently controversial new trend. It is, I guess I should mention, the best game I’ve played in four years.
So I’ll talk about it in three parts: firstly, everything that Human Revolution recaptures about the original Deus Ex (quite a lot). Secondly, the few things it misses (not that much). And lastly, what it does better than the first game ever did (amazingly, loads).
The main thing Human Revolution gets right is giving you options: every mission gives you a labyrinth of ways to get to your objective. The man-sized air vent is a cliché, but honestly, it never stops being satisfying to bypass a locked door or a group of enemies.
The pleasure of that freedom is that it leaves major elements like pacing, challenge and variety up to the player. If stealth gets too hard, you can find an easier route. If you’re bored of vents, you can open fire. And if your ears are still ringing from the last gunfight, you can slip through the next area quietly.
Very good game!