CC2K’s Big Ross checks in from SDCC 2011 after getting to play the new game from Square Enix.
Deus Ex Human Revolution (DEHR) seems like a crazy mash-up of Snow Crash, Blade Runner, and Robocop. This first-person shooter puts you in the role of Adam, a man who was significantly augmented with cybernetic implants – the next wave of human evolution, patented and copyrighted. Hungering for vengeance, beholden to the corporation that financed his salvation, DEHR offers gamers the chance to inhabit a classic protagonist fighting to survive in an urban dystopia.
The demo I played was fairly early in the game. Adam, though outfitted with extensive cybernetics throughout most of his body, was in a base state, essentially acting as the starting point for a leveling system that introduces some RPG elements to the otherwise action-oriented gameplay.
In a visually stunning cutscene at the beginning of the demo you learn that human “purists” (those opposed to cybernetic augmentation) have taken hostages and are attempting to steal a piece of high-value tech; Adam is dispatched to stop them.
I was advised that ammo was scarce, and that I would live much longer if I took advantage of the cover-based combat system. With that I was off and running and gunning.
The first thing I noticed was that the controls for the camera and player movement seemed overly sensitive. I’m not sure if that was unique to the PS3 version I was playing, or if it was something that could be changed in the game settings menu. It proved a bit of a problem as you have interact with nearly everything in the game-world, and I was still having trouble at the end of the demo centering the targeting crosshairs on items of interest. Also somewhat confusing and frustrating was the choice to not make ammo pickup automatic. If you are running low you need to be prepared to search the bodies of every enemy you kill, as you won’t be getting more ammunition simply by walking over it. This small choice may make things more realistic, but in a sci-fi action/FPS game such as this, it quickly becomes tedious.
The action was intense, and the enemy AI seemed decent, even though the demo was set on Easy difficulty. In addition to what seems to be a nice variety in weapons, your cybernetic arms and implants allow you to perform different lethal and non-lethal takedowns in close-quarters combat, initiated with a simple press of a button. Though these won’t be unlimited, but require significant amounts of your power reserves. You’ll only be able to perform a limited number of takedowns without recharging your batteries, though I don’t know how readily available that will be.
The potential for character customization through upgrades for your cybernetics seems extensive and varied, allowing you to tailor your character to varying styles of gameplay.This definitely seems like a game to beat the heat with.
Deus Ex Human Revolution comes out August 23, 2011.