Soooo, since we are snowed in, and I have played way to much on the Xbox 360 over the last 14 hours or so, I am going to give my observations on this months second freebie for Gold members on the 360… Deus Ex – Human Revolution. This game follows Adam Jensen, continuing the series beginning with a pair of earlier games – Deus Ex (from 2000 on the PS2 and the PC), and Deus Ex – Invisible War (from 2003 on Xbox and PC). It was the best of the series, as far as polish and finish goes, it is also the best as far os storyline goes.
Visually, this game is awesome, it is similar to playing in the movie Blade Runner, backed with some music from Tron. The effect expands the play area without using a much larger footprint. The background imagery creates a consistently deeper than expected appearance, even though it is a fairly small map space, it is a nice effect, and it makes things feel much bigger. The color pallette is a bit monochromatic across the spectrum, few things have a bright color appearance, things like mines with flashing red lights are the brightest items in the game. This coloring lends the game a gritty, dense and heavy feel – somewhat Gothamesque, with a more yellowish hue. The actions and reactions are tight and feel realistic and normal – the physics work well and the controls work just as well. Overall, the visuals add a great deal to the game, earning this category a rating of 9.
The sound of this game is the best category, all aspects of the sound add to the game. The voice acting is consistent and conveys emotion in the right spots. From the lead voice acting of Elias Toufexis (doing his best impression of a young Clint Eastwood), to every other person on the list, these folks are wired fairly well, and are right on target. Each one of them moves the storyline along, and places the right emphasis on their lines to keep it believable and authentic. The music conveys emotion just as well, and sets the mood as futuristic, but not so far ahead that it is unrealistic, especially with recent advances in prosthetic devices (some of the items you see in this game, are in development or are already in use/beta). I have always had a soft spot for the music of Tron and its sequel, this is reminiscent of it, but stands on its own. All aspects of the music add to the game, it adds emotion, it adds tension at the right places, it makes you feel more intensely when sad things happen – in short, it is almost perfect. The sound for this game tells the story as well or better than some of the visual effects and cinema, and that is exceptional. The sound category garners a rating of 10, without even having to think about it.
The gameplay category is the lowest rated part of this game, and is still pretty tight! During my play through, I found a couple of buggy spots that had an impact on the visuals, and the aiming system is a bit counter-intuitive, but after a short period of play, it is easy enough to overcome. Like it or not, the mainstream FPS games make us a bit spoiled and the control pattern is almost identical in the main big name shooters, and when we get away from them, we have to relearn! There are some activities throughout the game that could have been refined just a touch more, to add to the intuitive feel of the controls, and it would streamline the gameplay. The storyline is deep and engaging, it draws you in, builds the characters enough to give them believable depth, and emotional attachment. The exciting parts are exciting as should be, the sad parts convey the proper level of emotion, adding to the flow of the story telling. The righteous anger in sections of the game, lead to an understanding of the moral dilemmas facing Jensen and other characters in the game.
Overall, Deus Ex Human Revolution is a great game, well worth the time to play it and bonus – it is free to download on the Xbox 360 for the remainder of the month with your Gold membership. Keep playing, and look for me on Xbox live – Amandragoran.