E3 2010: Deus Ex: Human Revolution First Impressions - Blade Gunner
Written Monday, June 28, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Deus Ex: Human Revolution when it ships in 2011 will rely on 4 pillars of gameplay, says the Lead Writer, Mary DeMerle at this year’s E3: combat, stealth, social and hacking. It is however the player choice that acts as the glue that binds all these pillars together and ultimately, the first-person, action-RPG allows you to choose which one of the 4 pillars you’re going to heavily rely on the most.
“We also have the multi-path, multi-solution approach to the game,” says DeMerle, which is a posh way of saying, there are many ways to tackle a mission and you decide how to approach it – whether it be through stealth, persuasion or pure aggression.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes place in 2027 – so before the other Deus Ex titles - and follows the global investigations of Adam Jensen, a cybernetically enhanced security specialist, after his company is attacked. It’s a classic “whodunit.”
In the first part of a two part presentation, Eidos Montreal runs us though the explorative and social aspects of Deus Ex: HR, as Jensen heads to a small island outside of Shanghai known as Heng Sha, in order to track down a hacker who has a suspected involvement in the attack. Taking to the streets of Heng Sha, Jensen navigates the streets in search of his friend and it’s just like something out of Blade Runner – a neon and gritty paradise, that has everything from market stall sellers and silhouettes of erotic dancers used to entice the low-lifes of the city to part with their cash.
The city is alive with personality and not only do the NPCs react to Jensen’s actions – like pulling out a gun – and go about their everyday lives, but you can go up to all these NPCs and talk to them. After all, the locals are not only a perfect source of information on your current mission, but they also lead to a few side-quests as well.
When in the club Jensen discovers from the barman downstairs that the person who can help with the hacker’s whereabouts, a Mr Tong, can be found upstairs in the VIP lounge, although after speaking to the barman upstairs, he seems to be less willing to give up the boss’s location in the club. It’s here where the dialogue starts to excel as each time Jensen has a handful of options to select from to see whether he can coerce the barman to give up his whereabouts. Jensen tries a number of approaches to convince the barman to assist ranging from an aggressive approach, pleading to his sense of reasoning, a little flattery and he even tried a little humility... unfortunately, none of which proved to be successful. It’s time to explore then.
After wandering around the club, Jensen overhears that one of the bouncers has lost his electronic PDA that might have the code for a back way into Tong’s office. “It seems to be his lucky day,” notes DeMerle, as Jensen picks up the PDA from the bathroom floor and gets the back door’s security code. Moving through the club, Jensen comes across the door that he needs to access. Tap, tap. Jensen taps the bouncer guarding the door on the shoulder... WHACK! A quick punch later, Jensen drugs the bouncer and continues through the door and into a vent that leads into Tong’s office.
From the vent, Jensen listens into a conversation between the VIP bartender – who it appears is Tong – and his goon, to learn the whereabouts of the infamous hacker. It’s time to head to the docks where it appears Jensen has some business to attend to, but this time, he’ll come across a little resistance.
The action sequence kicked off impressively, but actually got better the further we got in. Jensen’s first move when he hits the docklands area was to move a nearby box with his strength augmentation and place it just underneath a window – incidentally without that augmentation, Jensen would have had to use a more direct route. After climbing the box and sliding the window up, Jensen slips inside and silently kills a guard who’s taken position at a computer with a contextual takedown move. Only then is he is then able to disable the security cameras. Merle points out that computers are dotted throughout the game and usually you’d have to hack them, but once in you can deactivate turrets, read e-mails and get involved in other typical RPG computer-hacking action.
Just as quiet as Jensen slips in, he slips out and onto some shipping containers nearby where two guards down below talk about their day. A quick activation of the invisibility cloak augmentation and Jensen is able to jump down and double assassinate them in a timely fashion – think Assassin’s Creed II's dual execute. From one piece of awesome to another, Jensen then takes down a solitary guard with a crossbow headshot and then after using some sort of X-ray ability to look through a wall, punches through it and snaps a guard's neck. Wait... it gets better.
Jensen’s next step is to climb on to the warehouse’s roof, where all that exists between him and his final destination is a glass skylight. “You should know that there are about 5 different ways that you can get into the warehouse,” jumps in DeMerle, “and each one will give you a different experience on how you want to play it.” Our way? To jump through the window, land in the middle of a group of 4 guards and to use an augmentation that fires projectiles at various angles, killing them all in the process. Now if that isn’t epic, I don’t know what is.
Everything from the Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s first look at this year’s E3 screamed potential and triple-A production values. With plenty of RPG and action sequences demonstrating the depth, diversity and attention to detail of the title, it’s no wonder the title won our Game of the Show award this year. It’s possibly the only title at the show that totally caught us off guard. Yes, we’re aware of the franchise’s rich history, but recreating the success of such popular franchises a good 7 years later is a tricky thing... Especially when you don’t have Warren Spector and the development has switched hands. We have very high hopes for Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution, especially since it’s looking more like an over-the-top version of Blade Runner by the day. Punching through walls and snapping necks? It doesn’t get much better than that.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is scheduled for a 2011 release.