E3: Taking Part in the Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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Let’s travel back in time…back before the first two Deus Ex games used nanotech body augmentation. Before that, it was cybernetics and not everyone was happy about it. We got a chance to check out the newest installment in the franchise, Deus Ex: Human Revolution at E3 today and learned what happens when technology moves faster than our little brains can process.

Here’s the deal, direct from the E3 floor. “So in ‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’, the year is 2027 and it’s a time of great technological advancement, and also of great conspiracy. In this world, one of the great advances they’ve made is human augmentation. So you can cybernetically enhance your body. But there is a social divide with that. Some people believe it’s the next stage of human evolution and others believe that you shouldn’t alter the human body in such a way.”

“You play as Adam Jensen, a private security officer for Sarif Industries. They’re one of the leaders of cybernetic augmentation. Their office is attacked by mercenaries and in the attack, Adam becomes mortally wounded. He needs to be augmented to survive, so that fundamental choice has been taken away from him. He’s reaffirmed his belief that he has to find out who did this and why, and make sure that that choice can never be taken away again.”

In the demo, we got to play the level right after Adam’s medical leave, post-augmentation. There is a terrorist group attacking one of the facilities and he’s trying to find out how it’s all connected. The big deal here is choice. You’re customizing augmentations, deciding on paths and which body add-on will get you the best results. (You have all 21 augmentations from the beginning, but you have to get things to make them work correctly. “You have all the hardware, but you have to get the software,” we were told.) You can upgrade all your augmentations…back, torso, head, arms, legs…but you won’t be able to get them all in top form by the end of the game, so choose wisely. We watched as different augmentations were used to solve the same problem. Stealth allows you to get by enemies without killing them, but it drains your batteries. (Your last battery never drains, but you need more power for most things. Power bars recharge them for you.) You can also choose to stun or kill your enemies. We went for the kills, of course and they’re satisfyingly bloody. You can drag a body to hide your foul deed if you don’t want to be discovered.

You’ve also got some great upgradable weapons, including the super magnum which can kill 3 people with one bullet. Conservation at it’s finest. There is a radial for quick weapons switching and super fast killing. You’re going to be doing a lot of hacking in the game for loot and information alike. This is done with a mini-game that gets more complex as the game progresses.

The game is single player only and follows a story mode. My gaming companion for the day wasn’t happy about that, but we’ve all seen super rushed multi-player mode thrown in for effect. This one was a blast to play and really immersive.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be out for Windows, PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 23rd, 2011.