Deus Ex: HR, the third in the series by Square Enix, is by no surprise a prequel given the fact the original is older than the Playstation 2. The game centres itself around the “debate” regarding technological augmentations to a person’s body which in today’s world seems less like science fiction and more of an inevitability. I use the word debate lightly, as there essentially isn’t one. How many of you wear glasses, or feel undoubtedly lost when you lose your iPhone only to cuddle and whisper sweet nothings to it when you find it in your jacket pocket? We’re already augmented.
Caught in the middle of said “debate” is one Adam Jensen, who after being shot to Bolognese by mercenaries and turned into the terminator against his will, is then promptly sent off to find out who was responsible for nearly killing him. He can do this by working his linguistic charm on people, but it’s hard to take him seriously when he has a voice like Christian Bale’s Batman after a heavy night on the Pall Mall’s and Lambrini. If you’re not much of a talker, you’ll find appeal in the cover-based shooting and one-button cinematic takedowns, while die-hard fans of the series will appreciate the awards for a more stealthy approach.
Human Revolution is all about freedom; with more than one way of getting from A to B, exploration is rewarded, while the Praxis system which allows you to upgrade yourself with everything from x-ray vision to invisibility allows you to customise augmentations to the way you play. This of course falls apart at boss fights, where you’re forced to just shoot them until they stop shooting back.
HR’s problem though is its story. Its plot is fantastic; a fast-paced thriller with more twists than Chubby Checker did last summer. It keeps you on your toes throughout, until the final act at Panchea where the game suddenly runs out of ideas and goes a bit Resident Evil, before delivering a choice of four equally unsatisfying endings. What HR doesn’t have, which is vital for a story, is heart; Jensen has all the character development of a Tefal frying pan, and a love interest that is barely even hinted at.
Ultimately, Human Revolution is a brilliantly told, beautifully looking game with solid controls and well worth picking up; just don’t expect to care what happens to Jensen.