2011 is a fantastic time for gamers, we've got some of the best games coming out this year than 2010 and we've got some excellent sequels and prequels on the cards. It's no big secret here at Games Xtreme that I love Deus Ex, but I didn't get on with Invisible War as much as I tried. Deus Ex though was a game that really changed things up for me and combined my love of shooters, rpgs and cyberpunk into one massive ball of fun that hasn't really been copied or bettered in a long time.
That's until now of course, since Deus Ex Human Revolution is out in August I thought I'd focus a bit of a Spotlight on it. This, along with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sits right up there with my most anticipated rpgs of 2011. So DX HR as we'll call it is set before the events of Deus Ex, and you play as Adam Jensen a non-augmented SWAT specialist that protects a corporation known as Sarif. Sarif are at the cutting edge of transhumanism and augmentation.
Something happens to Adam and he is forced to undergo a very extensive augmentation to save his life.
He retains his old job and now he's trying to put his life back together, find someone close to him and pay back whoever caused him to nearly bite the bullet. DX HR pulls out all the stops in terms of giving you reasons to embark on this globetrotting quest. It has a branching dialogue system, all the bells and whistles of a Mass Effect style conversation and it gives you a chance to take various verbal stances that will alter the outcome of certain decisions.
The mission design is such that there are multiple routes through an area, ones that emphasise your particular play style and choice. You can make Jensen a combat monkey and gun everyone down, killing your way to the truth or you can take the sneaky option and use non-lethal weapons, takedowns and hide bodies where patrols won't find them. You can scavenge the bodies for items, and cash, you can manage your inventory and if neither path is your cup of tea, you could seriously just mix it up and go a little bit of combat or stealth robbing people when they're dead.
There is a bewildering array of upgrade options available for Adam as well as mods for weapons, just like in the original Deus Ex. You can upgrade the character via the experience levels and discoverable upgrades to give you points to channel into his various augmentations.
The graphical style for the game is superb with gorgeous golds and blacks really pushing that whole, revolution and early renaissance period mixed with a dose of William Gibson-esque cyberpunk. Though this isn't the era of clunky mods and augs these things look sleek and stylish - a true style of substance to the futuristic technology with that aesthetic paying off in every element of DX HR's design.
The moment to moment physical gunplay has been likened to cover based shooting in Rainbow Six Vegas 2, with SWAT turns across doorways and elegant traversal from cover position to cover position. Blindfire is in and precision shooting is possible, though you'll need to invest some points into augmentations that help your aim as soon as you can. Or find some mods.
There are various sub-games built into DX HR and one of the most interesting and tactical so-far is hacking, hacking is a superb diversion that could be likened to a kind-of-chess where you're capturing points across a virtual network of nodes and so on. There are programs you can use (buy) to make your hack a lot easier and you can literally go for the main goal or explore some of the side nodes and folders for extra XP and cash/rewards.
There are hackable robots and turrets, plus more...
All in all DX HR is shaping up to be a viable game in the series and perhaps it will be good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with Deus Ex itself. It promises a massive chunk of shooter-rpg action with a global conspiracy story gilded in a sleek cyberpunk aesthetic and we can't wait for the game come late August.
Join us then for our indepth and full review.