I’m on the road again, only for a short time though. My technological trio is with me – phone, ereader and HPC (which I’m using to type this). I’ve been away from the laptop for a while, working on my Xbox project which has now been aborted due to various reasons, mainly the loss of two partially broken Xboxes. My soldering skill needs improved vastly! The RoHS solder is terrible to work with. It seems like lead makes everything work better; car engines, solder, bullets. It’s just a pity it causes brain damage and various other nasties in high concentration. I guess it’s just Murphy’s law.
After the Xbox setback I started playing games I hadn’t got round to playing properly. Chief among these was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I prefer playing Deus Ex on the computer, it just feels better than on the Xbox, and I find the menus and inventory system easier to navigate. I didn’t play the first game much, but I had good memories, and I didn’t play the second game for any length of time (something I need to do next). I felt as though I was a bit hard on it after Gamescom, though to be fair it isn’t the kind of game that you can properly get into in 15-20 minutes of a random mission. You are Adam Jensen, the head of security for Sarif Industries, a biotechnology company who specialise in augmentations. Augmentations are available for any part of your body, and Adam Jensen was essentially rebuilt with various prosthetics after being caught up in an attack on Sarif Industries.
The augmentation system allows a lot of customisation, giving you a choice of abilities, from improving hacking to super strength, and many more. The core gameplay is the usual FPS fare, but the combat feels very good. Being able to mod weapons is also nice, again with a good variety of additions such as increased firepower, rate of fire, silencers and others.
The first big choice I had to make was what to do about Zeke Sanders, an anti-aug extremist who was tricked into his current situation, and had the manager of the manufacturing plant as a hostage. Failing to convince him using my words, I instead chose a revolver which sent him halfway across the room, and only left the hostage slightly traumatised. Having the player make these kinds of moral choices is more and more common these days, and it is well implemented here. There are also various dialogue choices in most conversations, allowing you often to be kind-hearted or cold. I still have to try out the meaner options, as I’m trying to maintain my nice guy image.
The limited inventory forces you to choose your weapons wisely; my normal loadout being a revolver, pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle and a few stun weapons. It sometimes feels restrictive, but compared to other shooters that only allow two weapons, it’s a big improvement. I’ve tried completely stealthy options, but I find the best strategy is just to use a combination of takedowns and the pistol or silenced sniper rifle. Takedowns are good, and offer a lethal and non-lethal option, but the implementation is less than perfect. Every takedown has its own cut away animation which instantly removes you from the action, and I found myself completely unaware of my surroundings or where the other enemies disappeared…right up until the point I get shot in the back of the head. It can be useful though, and with the right aug you can takedown two opponents at once, making it an easier stealth option.
All in all I don’t have much to complain about, it really is excellent. There are times you can make wrong choice and create difficulties, but it just forces you to look for a new way to complete the task or gain access to an area. If you haven’t played it yet, go out and get it now!
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