Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preview

Deus Ex is a franchise that is near and dear to many a PC shooter fan. Many consider the original Deus Ex games to be the pinnacle of a "thinking man’s" shooter; one that focuses just as much on player choice and story progression as it does shooting. Deus Ex: Human Revolution looks to be continuing that tradition, as the demo I was shown at E3 2010 was very impressive indeed.

The story is actually a prequel, set 25 years before the events of the original game. The nanotechnology prevalent in the original is still not quite available, nor is the original protagonist JC Denton. Adam Jensen is your man this time, and while he might not have the nanos, he’s not a pushover. After a vicious beating, Adam’s body had to be artificially put back together, creating a bionic man of sorts. This new body can be upgraded throughout the game, adding a level of choice to the player’s style. Want to turn Adam into Solid Snake and take a stealth approach, or would you rather he be Otacon and breeze through computer hacking? The choice belongs to the player, and that choice adds a layer of depth that is quite intriguing.

Graphically, the game is just gorgeous. Every character model, every building, and every area is brilliant with detail and (a stray from the norm) color. As you can see from the picture above, there are the usual shades of brown and grey that some games suffer from, but city lights are able to add vibrance to a very dark underworld, making the world seem very Blade Runner-esque. During conversations, the characters will move very realistically, from mouth movements during speech to mannerisms while talking. Everything about the game’s visuals is masterfully done, and Edios Montreal is certainly making sure every detail is taken care of.

Our demo took us through this Blade-Runner-inspired city as Adam was looking for a computer hacker. He must search the heart of the underworld, finding himself at a rather seedy nightclub. The dev running through the demo used the guard at the nightclub door as an example of the choices the player has to advance the plot: Adam could bribe, persuade, or beat the hell out of the guard to gain entry, each choice having its own consequences. A little later on, at a shipping facility, we got our first taste of the combat. The dev took the stealth approach, sneaking up behind enemies and disabling them. One particular enemy was sitting at his desk with his back against a wall, so Adam used his infrared sight technology to see him, then use the augmented strength to break through the wall and break the enemy’s neck. That kill was one of the more impressive sequences, but all of the fighting showed a smooth, easy to handle combat system that should make fans proud.

Eidos Montreal has a lot to live up to by carrying on the Deus Ex name, but from the looks of the E3 2010 demo, original Deus Ex devs Ion Storm would be proud. Be ready to control the fate of Adam Jenses when Deus Ex: Human Revolution hits shelves in Spring 2011.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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