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.
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.
It’s not long before Jensen arrives at the island’s seedy nightclub, The Hive, and becomes involved in a debate with the club’s doorman. “The Hive is a member’s only club,” says the doorman, as Jensen questions the club’s entrance policies. “You’re telling me I have to pay to get into this dive?” This exchange is an example of the game’s “multi-path, multi-solution” mantra, because not only can Jensen pay to get in the club, but he can also kill the doorman, look for alternate paths like sewer entrances or back-alleys, or he can even talk to the locals and find other ways past the bouncer.
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 section of the presentation was admittedly pretty brilliant and those who have an affinity for stealth games will be pleased to know that Deus Ex caters to your desires perfectly. The dock sequence can be approached from an action front of course, but our demonstration focused on being a silent predator. Well, for the most part.
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.
As Jensen’s cover is now blown, the next scene is pure shooter combat and Deus Ex seems to cope with that just as well as everything before it. The viewpoint shifts from first to third person as Jensen enters into cover, but not even some wild blind-fire can help him take down the giant mech that’s been unleashed upon him. All it takes in the end though is a couple of shots from an upgraded missile launcher – all the weapons are upgradeable we're told – and our mechanical foe is no more. Finally, cue the ending cutscene where after Jensen narrowly escapes from a bomb that was set to blow, he is punched by a massive cyborg and the black-screen concludes the first look.
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 sister site's 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.