One of the most in-demand games at E3 this year was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The newest entry into the series is being developed by Eidos Montreal and will be published by Square Enix. I was a huge fan of the original Deus Ex on the PC, but had kind of given up on the series after the lackluster sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War. But a smart marketing move by Eidos Montreal and/or Square Enix changed my mind. About 10 days before E3, one of the best trailers I have ever watched for a video game was leaked to the internet. Dramatic and intense action mixed with mind-blowing visuals and the good ol’ Deus Ex conspiracy storyline instantly had me hooked, and as a result, I included Deus Ex: Human Revolution in our Games We Want to See at E3 2010 article. I started to become hopeful that the newest installment of Deus Ex could take the elements of the first game and take them to the next level on the current generation of consoles.
Apparently, others agreed with my assessment. When I arrived at the private booth to see the demonstration of the game, there was a huge throng of people trying to see this game. The booth had been set up for nine visitors at a time, but due to the demand, Square Enix packed as many people as possible. The trailer had definitely done its job.
For those who are unfamiliar with the original Deus Ex, I highly recommend checking it out on Steam where it is available for download at the low, low, price of $9.99. But if you’re not a fan of “retro-gaming” (the game came out oh-so-long ago in the year 2000), here’s a quick spoiler-free summary of the game. Deus Ex was a first-person shooter RPG, which was a pretty unique concept at the time. The game took place in the year 2050, and you played JC Denton, a member of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO), which was attempting to maintain peace around the globe in the face of multiple terrorist groups. What made Denton uniquely qualified to serve in this organization was that his body was enhanced with nanotechnology that allowed him to perform superhuman feats. As you completed missions, you received skill points that allowed you to add or improve these various nanotechnologies.
These RPG elements empowered players to choose their own way forward and was one of the greatest strengths of the game. Almost every mission had multiple ways to complete it based upon the gamer’s style of play and upgrades. You could use stealth, conversation, technical know-how, or a frontal assault to get the job done. Customization of Denton and his weapons were also a large part of the game.
But for some, the best element of the game was its conspiracy elements that provided a rich and complex story. Groups such as the Illuminati, The Triads, Majestic 12, and others all make major appearances and Denton often does not know who to trust. One of the creepier and prescient conspiracies involved the framing of one terrorist group for the destruction of the Statue of Liberty.
These combined elements resulted in Deus Ex receiving numerous accolades, and even today, it is considered by many to be one of the best games of all time. So can Deus Ex: Human Revolution live up to its pedrigree?