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The Deus Ex Revolution

With Human Revolution set for release in a few weeks it was time to revisit the original and find out what makes it one of the best games ever made

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Eleven years ago Deus Ex made a big splash on the PC. The RPG / FPS hybrid is still touted as one of the best games ever made. Despite its critical success very few games have emulated the formula. Perhaps the closest imitation in recent times was Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Although a great game it was buggy at launch, demonstrating how difficult it is to recreate the formula. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original, is due for release later this month. It was time to replay the original and rediscover what made it so great.
The original Deus Ex is set in 2052 when a virus called the Gray Death is decimating the human population. A drug called Ambrosia is used to temporarily cure the virus but not everybody has access to it. The game is rife with conspiracies, terrorism acts, secret organisations and Artificial Intelligences that monitor the globe. You play as JC Denton, the second nano-augmented agent created after his brother Paul. JC starts the game working for UNATCO, an anti-terrorist organisation, and sets out to track down stolen shipments of Ambrosia.
One of the linear levels in Deus Ex
One of the linear levels in Deus Ex
Investigation is one of the most interesting aspects in Deus Ex. Information is gained through PDAs, computer terminals or just talking to characters. Saved civilians might give you codes or useful items. Alternative routes are found when fully exploring the detailed levels. Skill points, earned from exploring and completing objectives, are spent on weapon proficiency or hacking skills. Augmentation canisters provide a choice of upgrades that will dictate your play style. Stealth is most satisfying during the early parts of the game.
You can approach most situations by avoiding guards, moving in the shadows and disabling cameras. The stealth works because the AI is short sighted and quite lenient. If they see you around a corner they won’t immediately attack, letting you run and hide before they resume patrols. You can take down enemies with lethal or non-lethal force. The Stun prod can instantly incapacitate and tranquilizer darts take seconds to knock enemies out. Alternatively a single bullet to the head with a silenced sniper rifle will instantly kill.
Deus Ex is often easier when playing in stealth but it is far from the only option. Later in the game more powerful weapons, like the Dragon’s Tooth sword, assist in combat scenarios. Augmentations allow you to resist more damage or escape quickly when outnumbered. You can still play in stealth by sneaking through ventilation shafts or disabling bots after hacking into computers. There is almost always an alternative way to get through a section. Regardless of your play style the game is still very difficult.
Dragon's Tooth sword - 6 : Majestic 12 - 0
Dragon's Tooth sword - 6 : Majestic 12 - 0
One tough mission requires you to escape from a Majestic 12 facility after being captured. With limited weapons and security around every corner this section requires patience and frequent saving. This level in particular will highlight the variety of ways things can go wrong. Throughout the game there are no arrows that point to your objective, instead opting for clever audio triggers. Compressed level design and signs guide you to your objective. Characters even give you detailed maps of important areas. It’s very satisfying to find hidden areas or navigate around the obstacles in each level.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution box art Platform:
Our Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is ranked #2200 out of 1969 total reviewed games. It is ranked #104 out of 104 games reviewed in 2011.
2200. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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