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Game of the Month, August 2011

Winner: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I could harp on about the original Deus Ex, how great it was, its legacy and all that, but I already did that in my review. Instead I’ll focus on what makes Deus Ex: Human Revolution this month’s winner. DX:HR lets you figure out how you want to play the game, a huge departure from the endless hand-holding corridor slogs that compose a frighteningly large portion of the current gaming landscape. There’s a lot of stuff in DX:HR you won’t see on your first time through, and the way the story shifts and secrets get revealed according to how you play will bring you back again and again.

While a semi-stealth approach is the easiest way, DX:HR gives you a lot of options to play around with. You can: Pave the road with corpses and chuck a grenade into a room full of hostages, or slink through yet another convenient 4 foot tall air duct and successfully talk a man down from committing suicide. If you’re feeling less pedestrian, you could hack a turret, throw it at a guy’s head, turn invisible and then shoot a huge explosion out of your chest at someone who looks like an extra from the The Matrix circa the 1600s.

Above: "Adam we'll find your contact lens! Please!"

While messing about is good fun, DX:HR’s plot is immensely rewarding, taking an even-handed, adult look at human modification, on both practical and moral levels. If you liked Blade Runner’s take on AI, humanity and where both of those things begin and end, you’ll fall in love with Human Revolution. You: “Mike that’s boring, you’re boring.” Fine, the plot is cool because you can frag dudes and if you go into the ladies restroom, the IT guy totally knows about it later and calls you a perv.

DX:HR’s voice acting, beautiful design and excellent synth soundtrack really help draw you into the game, even if its dystopian world does fall into rote Cyberpunk trappings at times. So much grit! So many trenchcoats! Do you like Metal Gear Solid? Of course you do. Do you like Mass Effect? Who doesn’t? Therefore everyone on Earth will like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and you should go play it immediately.

Runner-up: El Shaddai

Other games have had tighter controls than El Shaddai, and most titles are easier on you than Shaddai, but few are ever as special. The artistic merit of the game, with some of the most singularly stunning levels we’ve ever seen, overcomes almost all of its faults. Even if some of the platforming let us down, the deeper-than-expected combat was a real treat, though some more enemy variety wouldn’t have been so bad. We celebrate that El Shaddai is something special, a rare gem of a Japanese-developed game, the type of title that is becoming increasingly infrequent.

Sept 1, 2011

We Recommend By ZergNet

20 comments

  • IREPMINNEAPOLIS - September 2, 2011 7:11 a.m.

    Call me a blasphemost (blasphemust?) But I don't really enjoy MGS or Mass Effect. Would I still enjoy DE?
  • BigWillis - September 2, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    Blasphemyyy, Blaspheyouuuuu Blasforeverybodyintherooooom
  • Redeater - September 2, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    I would be more concerned about trying to get your soul back from whoever you sold it to! Seriously though I think this is different enough to warrant a shot.If you like Bladerunner or other movies like it you will fall in love with the atmosphere.
  • inkyspot - September 2, 2011 3:08 a.m.

    Playing Deus Ex, had to stop do to work, after the gym will be playing again.
  • jackthemenace - September 2, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    I do really fancy Douche Sex, but unfortunately, with RAGE and Gears 3 so close, ima have to wait for it to come down in price. Also, did ANYONE play through MGS4 as an all-guns blazing badass?
  • Hobogonigal - September 2, 2011 2:10 a.m.

    I love this game and am enjoying every bit of it. I think this may be one of the rare few modern games that I play through again (and maybe again after)...
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - September 2, 2011 1:02 a.m.

    Honestly I want this game so god damn much, also im liking how Henry Gilbert's comment got removed by a moderator
  • Defguru7777 - September 1, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    Really want to get this...
  • spencertucksen - September 1, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    The voice-acting pulled you in? ARE YOU DEAF? Lol, The voice acting was mediocre at best and atrocious, at its worst. Great game and deserving of GotM, but not because of the voice acting.
  • Zeos - September 1, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    Gots to get me this game.
  • Thequestion 121 - September 1, 2011 7:39 p.m.

    Aw yeah :)
  • Redeater - September 1, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    If no one minds me asking, are the graphics good or very good in this game? I seem to have a terrible eye for this type of thing. I have read a couple negative user reviews complaining about the graphics but I'm pretty blown away. When I first got to walk around Detroit I spent about 2-3 hours just wondering and looking at stuff. The steam, the tv billboards, the monorail. I think this is the closest they have ever been to recreating a Bladerunner atmosphere.
  • BigWillis - September 2, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    The art direction is fantastic. The actual technicalities are pretty bad, the NPC's are extremely static, the physics are really loose, the animations aren't great and overall it's not going to compete with Crysis exactly. However, it is not an ugly game, the environments and actual use of lighting are spot on. It's really what game designers should be aiming for instead of throwing out buzzwords like tesselation and shaders to say there game looks great.
  • Yeager1122 - September 1, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    Loving Deus Ex at the moment defetintley my games of the month.
  • Redeater - September 1, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    I am loving the crap out of Deus Ex right now.
  • tofu666 - September 1, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    I liked both games and Henry no need to remove a comment on how you feel about El Shaddai. I feel the same about it too.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 1, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    Day Old Sex? Dey Use Sax? Doos ax? IT'S GODDAMN DEUS EX.
  • Errrrbo - September 1, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    I really love Deus Ex, so it's win is well deserved in my opinion. I'll probably rent El Shaddai when I have the time.

Showing 1-20 of 20 comments

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