Deus Ex is the best game there is. To this day, after its release 11 years ago, no other game has successfully emulated its perfect design (not even its sequel, Deus Ex: The Invisible War) that allow players to solve quests with multiple approaches –be it stealth or combat.
Besides its unique gameplay, Deus Ex also boasts a very intriguing dystopian storyline, which is rife with social commentaries that raised my awareness about the threats our world faces: from terrorism to the growing power of corporations and private security firms.
So, when I loaded up Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR) from Steam a few weeks ago, I was excited and anxious at the same time. Excited, because I was going to play a Deus Ex game. Anxious, because it could be another Invisible War, a dud. But, after 27 hours of playing the game, I’m happy to say that it’s the former. It’s a worthy prequel to Deus Ex.
True to the franchise, DX:HR grants players their freedom to pick their own poison when dealing with problems. In my case, I tailored my Adam Jensen, the augmented protagonist of the game, to be a “Ninja Hacker” that can run across a room full of bad guys without being noticed and can hack any computer.
But being a stealthy hacker is only one of the many options you can utilize to clear your obstacles in this game. You can also augment different parts of your body that will able you jump higher, lift heavier objects, see through walls and punch through walls to get to your objectives.
If you prefer a direct approach, however, there’s always combat. Like most contemporary action games, DX:HR uses the “duck and cover” mechanics. Combine that with a map full of hiding spots, a wide array of weapons that can be modded to do impossible things (curving bullets!), enemy AI that adapt to situations, and you’ll get a very satisfying shoot out.
Its story, much like the original game, also carries some political weight and ideas. But what makes DX:HR’s story better than its predecessor is its theme –transhumanism and all the issues attached to it. Compared to Deus Ex‘s conspiracy-themed story, DX:HR’s tale seems more real and sets a cautionary tone.
As a knockoff, I didn’t really expect Deus Ex: Human Revolution to be as good as the original game. But it is. Like grooming an old dog and teaching it new tricks, DX:HR used Deus Ex‘s perfect game design and added some newer elements to it. The result: a grand revival of a classic game franchise, worthy to be called the God of games.