I really loved the first Deus Ex and I really felt disappointed by Deus Ex 2 and reading some cocky comments from the developers regarding this game made me feel that either it will flop or it might actually be something good. Fortunately, the latter is true. Deus Ex HR is a good game. And I mean that as an older gamer that loves gaming on the PC as main platform,
Deus EX HR is a prequel to the first Deus Ex. You will find some hints, some easter eggs and straight on references to the first game – not so much to the second. This is good and even fun sometimes. The game play is streamlined a bit from the first (from now on there are 2 Deus Ex games – the original and number 2 – Deus Ex HR) and you no longer have skills. You have only augmentations. This works fairly well. You lose some depth and finding the upgrades becomes really important and you also needs to plan a bit ahead to be able to manage the different challenges. There are a few things you really should know:
1. You will have to fight – and you will hate some of those fights.
2. You can’t sneak through the entire game – connected to nr 1.
3. The game will more or less require you have skills in either hacking or be an exploring character.
4. You will most likely want to do everything.
You can’t avoid the boss fights, and they are initiated with some cut-scenes (the poorest graphic in the game) and after that there is a fight – in limited area and you have to win – by killing. To get to certain places you will have to either hack codes, find the codes or simply parkour your way around the obstacle – or sometimes punch your way through them. You have many choices and while you can focus on one – you need to keep a few options open and the first thing I did was sticking with my main gun – a few backups and then making sure that I could go around as much as possible to find hidden spots and goodies as well as hacking most stuff to get extra XP and getting more augmentation points.
The story is overall quite nicely woven – you are a security guy and in the beginning you see your wife presumably killed before you and then six months later you are back on duty – heavily augmented. You talk to your boss Sarif – and you start to explore ripples in an oncoming storm between the normal humans and augmented ones and layers of politics and lies in between. Of course, you will find that path isn’t white and straight but dark and dwindles and curls and twists in every way – and in the end – you will get to choose the big finally. The story is driven forward mostly by finishing different main quests centring around the politics around augmentation situation and the attack on Sarif when your girlfriend died. Along the course – you will be able to interact with several people and accept side quests. The size of these are all from helping with a quick detour and others are rather big and long quests spanning over several areas. They are rewarding and the good thing is that since most points in success goes into your characters augmentations – you will always carry with you those rewards in XP. You will of course get weapons and modifications to make weapons better.
The controls and game response well and despite a bit of memory hogging resulting in stuttering in the beginning of new areas and transitions – it ran well on my rig and I was able to get good control with binding keys as I pleased.
Graphics – 20. It is not the best graphics you can get, far from it – but it is nice enough. The thing that is the design and graphic work on a design and concept level that makes this games graphics nice. You also feel a bit of Blade Runner through and through and you better not hate yellow. Everything is yellowish. The graphics also work fine on 560TI card with high effects and details.
Sound -22 The sound is really nice. Throughout the game the theme scores add atmosphere and tense passes. The speech and voice acting is nothing spectacular – but is varied enough and also – you get what you want from Jensen…
Game-play/Story – 22 The game-play is fun, easy to control and has enough of the old and new in it to be both a fresh take on an oldie goldie and still keeping original game play fun in scope. There is a lot to do in the game and letting yourself go out exploring and finding alternative routes are both encouraged and rewarded.
Controls/Quality – 21 The controls can be easily managed for keyboard and mouse support and everything feels good. From moving and running to going into and out of cover to how the shooting performs. Important to say is that this game is not a straight shooter. If you are expecting COD controls and flow – you are going to be disappointed. It is good enough and varied but trying to be Rambo will earn you a quick load…
The game doesn’t have many bugs or game stoppers – if any. I have heard and slightly experienced the stuttering bug – but that is so far the only bug I have encountered except sometimes bodies start to jump around a bit. A reload of the game usually sees all this fixed properly. I haven’t had any CTD’s or stuck ups or freezes, Feels like a solid game – though I had a patch right before I played first time so that could have gotten rid of things.
Total score: 85 The game is actually more fun to play than the score tells you. The game gives you a lot of good things, and the quirks and issues with boss fights, some stupid decisions here and there are easily overseen when you just get another augmentation making you see through walls and your experience changes totally. The customization of the character and game play is great fun and supports many alternative routes.