Deus Ex: Human Revolution Directors Cut (2013)

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Directors Cut (2013), developed by Eidos Montreal, published by Square Enix

After Deus Ex: Invisible War hit the stores in 2003, the series laid dormant till 2011 when the original version of Human Revolution was published. Between the release of Invisible War and Human Revolution, a lot had changed. Not only technically, but the original developer Ion Storm had gone bankrupt years earlier, so the new game was designed by a different company and different people.

This new take on Deus Ex is a prequel to the two earlier games. It takes place in an era when larger scale augmentation of humans is a relatively new innovation. From the get-go, you step into the shoes of Adam Jensen, a security officer of Sarif Enterprises. In the beginning, Jensen is not augmented, but that soon changes after a violent attack to Sarif.

Jensen almost dies during the attack and a large scale operation is needed to save him. After he comes to, he soon learns that his body is fully augmented with new limbs and even internal organs. Not all of his augments are turned on, this the story explains by stating, that it would have been too risky. When he is done with his sick leave, Jensen returns to work and begins to look for the culprits to the attack.

Jensen's quest for the truth takes him from one side of the globe to another, mixing in the familiar tropes of Illuminati, the New World Order and fears of unsupervised megacorporations experimenting on humans. While vagabonding the planet after the elusive villains, Jensen can also tackle some additional quests here and there, which do beef up the world a bit.

A bit by bit, the large scale story is revealed. What at first, seemed like a case of augmentation resistance attack, begins to shape into a case of corporate espionage behind which is hiding a world scale conspiracy theory.

While I like the game, it does have some glaring problems. The first one is, that the maps, even the city hubs, are rather small. They are full of alternative paths to move around, but as a whole, they do feel rather cramped.

The second big problem is, that the game is pretty easy by all counts. Even on the Give Me Deus Ex-difficulty level, or the Game+, the game rarely gives a challenge. For a genuine challenge, the best way to go is to give yourself some limitations, like trying to go through the game killing as few enemies as you can. You can also try and limit how many augments you unlock, but considering that you get more than enough of Praxis kits to level up your skills, it might be a tad hard limitation to keep.

While Human Revolution allows you to dispatch the enemies in multiple ways, like knocking them unconscious, killing them or turning their own robots against them, the way it makes you do boss fights are a glaring omission in this. While the Directors Cut does try to offer more leeway in how you take care of the boss fights, you still do end up killing them, no matter if you end up using explosives or just stun darts on them.

The official reason why the boss fights originally felt even more out of place was, that they were actually a result of outsourcing, which made them feel very different in contrast to other fights. The best boss fight in the game comes in the DLC story mission The Missing Link, which allows you to genuinely take care of him however you see fit and if you kill or just stun him is reflected on how the story ends. As a side note, The Missing Link is one of the best missions and location of The Human Revolution.

But one of the biggest problems of the game is the ending. After you Blough yourself through the final boss fight, all you've done in the game is reduced in flipping a switch. The final act you take is a choice of a button, which will allow the AI to send a message to the world, which will shape out the truth of what really happened. It doesn't matter with whom you agreed with or helped during the game, all it boils down to is, that there are four switches and you just need to choose one of them, siding with one of the competing parties or flipping a finger to all of them.

Then again, despite the ending is somewhat anticlimactic, you could always say that at least Human Revolution has a proper ending, unlike the sequel Mankind Divided, which more or less was abruptly cut.

The augmentations will help you tackle the game in the way you prefer to play it. You can either focus on your combat abilities or quickly turn Jensen into a walking hacking device, who can open any lock he sees or hack to security computers to turn off cameras and leash security robots against their owners. Or you can make him the elusive man by adding a cloaking device and silencing his footsteps. but in either case, when you get to the end, you will have plenty of leftover Praxis kits at your disposal and a fully kitted Jensen.

Weapons come in two shapes: lethal and non-lethal. You get your standard grenades but also gas grenades to knock people out. Firearms range from pistols to plasma rifles or you can use a stunning gun or a PEPS gun to drop the enemies off. Really, it is up to you to choose the tools which suit you the best. But, as I stated earlier, it might be more fun to present some limitations to yourself on what you use.

Human Revolution Directors Cut contains all the DLC packages that were made for the original game. There's also a directors commentary and some enhancements for the graphics and what not. The big story DLC, The Missing Link, is also now accessed during the game itself rather than being a standalone installation like it was in the original.  DC also has redesigned boss battle scenes, but you still do have to kill them.

Human Revolution is not quite as good of a game as the original Deus Ex was. It is better than Invisible War though and as a whole, I do think it was a good way to rekindle the old series. Mankind Divided did, in my opinion, fix some of the problems HR has, but that one has problems of its own.

That said, Human Revolution is a good game and a decent introduction to the world of Deus Ex.