The original Deus Ex is one of my favourite games, though the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War left something to be desired. Therefore, it is with mixed feelings that I have embarked on my journey with the last release, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (hereafter Deus Ex 3). I’ve only played it briefly and haven’t got past the tutorial level yet, but here are some first impressions.
Let’s start with:
Deus Ex 3 is, strictly speaking, a prequel. The events take place in 2027, about a quarter of a century before one gets to take on the role of the iconic (oh, fine, maybe not, but whatever) JC Denton. We get a glimpse of a world that is about to head off the rails. It is also before the time of nanotech augmentions for the human body (so you get to see mechanical augmentations in the game instead). You play as Adam Jensen, a security officer turned avenger/crusader. There is no option to change your appearance or sex. Sad. Especially because I don’t particularly like the look of Adam.
Unpacking and installing
The packaging is, in a word, appalling. It’s a printed cardboard box with a thick cardboard lining, and inside is just the game DVD and a (very thin) manual rattling around. The DVD has an ordinary paper cover with a circular hole cut in the front where you can see the disc, but it doesn’t have the usual plastic—so it’s actually just an envelope with a big hole! The manual contains your product code, but otherwise isn’t a terribly exciting read. That said, there’s a table of keyboard/mouse controls which could prove useful.
Unfortunately, you first need to install and update Steam to play Deus Ex 3. Now, there might be good things about Steam, but I SIMPLY HATE IT! It gave me no end of trouble with Portal 2, refusing to allow me to play as it insisted on updating the game for ever and ever. With the kind of connection speeds we usually have in India, Steam is more of a hindrance than help. If I had a better (and more reliable) connection, I might have had a whole different experience of Steam to report.
Ah, now on to the real thing. I’m happy to report, that it seems Deus Ex 3 delivers where it matters. The cut scenes introducing the story line, however, are a tad too long, and you need to endure a long walk with an NPC called Megan Reed, getting background and a feeler of where you are before anything actually happens in the tutorial level. As the action hots up, the game pauses at various points, giving you the option to watch tutorial videos where various controls and tactics are explained, starting with movement, then stealth, combat and so on. The good thing is, the tutorial videos are also directly accessible from the game menu and can be replayed whenever needed.
The controls are simple and the only thing I have yet to get a proper handle on is shooting without compromising my cover. Health seems to regenerate with time, which seems like a very good thing (but am not sure how that will change once Adam gets his augmentations and the real game begins). The gameplay is known to be open-ended and the world is definitely highly explore-able. I haven’t yet had any experience of how the various gameplay “pillars” of stealth, combat, hacking and social work.
I’m playing this game on my MacBook Pro’s Windows 7 partition, with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB RAM and Intel HD 3000 graphics. The performance has, so far, been excellent.