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Customer Review

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 29 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I honestly can't remember ever having had this much fun playing a game. I'm a big fan of RPGs like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect so I pre-ordered this, and I have to say this surpasses them both.

This game is actually very difficult to categorise, it is basically an intelligent hybrid of a stealth game, a first person shooter and an RPG, with hacking and dialogue mini-games thrown in for good measure. But what makes the game so unique is its sense of freedom. Every situation you encounter can be resolved in a variety of ways, and unlike almost all other games you aren't forced into going down any one path. For example it is possible to complete the game without killing anyone except a few bosses (there is actually an achievement for it), but it is equally possible to kill hundreds of people, as there are only a few key NPCs the game won't let you harm.

There is no multi-player in this game, but the single player game is huge. You might be able to complete it in 20 hours if you just ran through the main story and didn't bother with exploration or side quests, but if you are playing stealthily and exploring it can take a lot longer (I am nearly 30 hours in and still have a long way to go). Most of the game takes place in two hub areas which you visit multiple times for the main quest and side quests, while there are also other areas you visit to complete missions. In terms of size each hub is larger than the Citadel in Mass Effect, but the game is not as large a true sandbox game like Fallout 3.

Of the main pillars of game play the best is probably stealth. There is pretty much always a way to sneak past your enemies, although without lots of Augmentations it is quite challenging and requires patience. Still when you do succeed it is very satisfying, and the game actually awards extra experience points for accomplishing objectives without being seen. There are also lots of hidden alternate routes to objectives, although this sometimes involves crawling through a few too many air vents.

The combat is also very good, although anyone expecting this to be a Call of Duty clone will be disappointed. In this game enemies are very good shots with good AI and will kill you in a couple of hits. There is also limited ammunition available. This means even on normal difficulty you need to use cover and pick off enemies carefully, not just run through with all guns blazing. There are a lot of different weapons, all of which work pretty well and all of which can be upgraded with a variety of Mods.

The RPG element of this game works slightly differently to other games. As you gain experience points you don't go up levels, rather you unlock Augmentations (Augs). There about 70 of these in total, and they alter the game in a variety of ways. There are plenty of hacking Augs, stealth Augs which do things like turn you invisible, and combat Augs which make you tougher or deadlier. As well as these there are a variety of new abilities to gain like punching through walls or falling without taking damage that allow you to take alternate paths through the game. Because it is not possible to get all of these Augs in one playthrough there is a lot of replay value in this game.

The hacking mini-game also deserves a mention, as it is by far the best hacking found in any game. As well as being a race against time to access a computer or lock, you have to decide whether to gamble for extra rewards. In fact the hacking is so good I find I even try to hack locks that I have the password for. The dialogue mini-game is also pretty good, if a little too easy. There are occasions where you can try to persuade people to help you by choosing the right one of three dialogue options based on their personality. It is a little bit like LA Noire although the facial animations are not as good.

The main story seems pretty good so far, and is concerned with corporate conspiracies and asks you to make choices about how you feel about the ethics of human Augmentation (both sides of the argument are presented fairly). The choices you make in the game and the route you take have effects on the game like in any good RPG. The side quests are also impressive. Instead of the standard fetch quests in too many RPGs, in Human Revolution the side quests are all quite long and most either relate to the main story or to the debate about Augs.

Of course even a great game has a few flaws. The loading times can be a little long, especially since you will probably die often. There are a few bugs in the AI, such as when enemies can't see you if you are in a vent. The only real major problem though is the boss fights. While the biggest strength of this game is the freedom to solve any challenge however you choose, there are a few times when you are for forced into a fight with a boss that you are required to kill. These fights are no worse than what you find in other games, but they don't really fit in a game that is all about freedom of choice.

If you are only interested in generic FPS games then maybe this is not for you. But if you enjoy RPGs, stealth games or just want to play something original this is one of, if not the best game on the market right now. You should buy this not just because its great fun, but because if it sells well it might encourage more developers to take risks on intelligent original games.
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