First look at Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Can such an anticipated sequel live up to fan expectations?

At first, Jensen’s metal hands will only allow for very basic abilities to be initiated, like strength boosts. As the game progresses, perhaps to simulate the character getting used to his new body parts, more refined tasks can be performed. There are 19 other areas of your previously fleshy body that you can augment if you so choose, but there’s no news on how you’ll be able to customize your character beyond the cybernetics. A long, dark trench coat is clearly a given, but what else?

If it’s anything like the style of the two cross-sections of the society you’ll cross paths with, you could end up with a cyberpunk, Blade Runner-esque look or a curious Elizabethan-cum-Renaissance style, complete with comedy ruffs that make you like a bird that’s swallowed a plate. This latter style is the one that’s featured most prominently in the imagery that’s been made available up until now, and is representative of the way the rich members of Human Revolution’s communities dress.

However the NPCs are dressed, they all believe in something. There are plenty of factions in the Human Revolution universe, some of which are separated by the question of augmentation, either pro- or anti-sticking biomechanics into your body.

One of these is related to a potential reappearance by Tracer Tong, although messages coming out of Eidos Montreal is that nobody from the original games will feature. However, having said that, some of the original voice actors have been hired to reprise certain roles, so it seems the water is rather murky as far as this issue goes.

Regardless of who does or doesn’t make a cameo appearance, as more information leaks out of Canada, the more we can form a more complete picture of what is to be expected from this most important of games. To follow up a legendary title so beloved by so many, and to please them, is impossible, as there’s almost nothing they could do to satisfy the fanboys out there.

Too much time has gone by and, just like Valve might find out when Episode 3 (or Half-Life 3 even) finally sees the light of day, delays and water under the bridge breed unrealistic expectations. Nobody in their right mind would predict Human Revolution as having anything akin to the quality of the original, but maybe it’s time to let go a bit and look upon this game as more than just a sequel to a revered game and more as a title that will be standing on its own merits.

While the spectre of cross-platform production is bound to blight Human Revolution in some ways, the signs currently are that such influences will be slight at best, and that a worthwhile Deus Ex game might end up in our machines after over a decade of patient waiting.

Jul 7, 2010

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