Deus Ex: Human Revolution
This Revolution Will Be Televised & Interactive
There are two ways you can approach Deus Ex: Human Revolution: a guns-blazing third-person shooter or a more stealth-based approach ala Metal Gear. You can thrown in hacking and social elements as well. Whichever style you choose makes for a very different game experience, even if the story stays the same.
I chose the more stealth-based approached, if only because the game awards more experience for taking down enemies with non-lethal means. The downfall to this type of game play is that it slows the game down - popping your head out at the wrong time can mean starting over from scratch, so it's advisable to save often to avoid mistakes. The upside to this is that I feel this is much more rewarding way to play the game. Anyone can shoot a bunch of guys - it takes some kernel of skill to take them out quietly and unseen.
This game serves as a prequel to the wildly popular 2000 Deus Ex PC game. While that game let you upgrade skills via nanomachine upgrades, Human Revolution is still utilizing mechanical upgrades - still making for some super-human abilities depending on how you choose to distribute your skills. As you begin, augmentation leader Sarif Industries comes under attack, as head of security, you go to investigate only to end up mostly dead. Luckily, much like a certain multimillion dollar man, you are rebuilt bigger and stronger - not necessarily better, as your bathroom mirror can attest. The game then involves finding who is behind the attack, what they were after and, in the process, unraveling a world-wide conspiracy involving the Illuminati.
Heavy stuff, eh? Yet that's one of the benefits. A good story goes a long way, and Deus Ex doesn't skimp on the story. From the streets of Detroit to the underworld Shanghai, the game never gets boring. Humanity, morality, evolution - you could be young and get something out of this game, but this is obviously geared toward a mature audience, probably those like me who played the original game in college (or high school) and know the score.
I've read how a lot of people think the boss fights are out of place in game that seems to value pacifism over shooting - as you are forced to fight, and kill, these enemies. However, I didn't find any of them particularly difficult. It's called the Typhoon systems - you can be nice and knock out all the bad guys you want, but that doesn't mean you have to ignore weapons. Always carry a badass backup to your tranquilizer or stun gun, and it will go a long way to solving the boss problems.
The upgrades you choose are key to surviving the game. If you focus merely on hacking and stealth skills, it will make the game much more difficult. But, hey, if you like a challenge, go for it. Me? I prefer a more well-rounded approach - a little hacking here, a bit of strength there - spread things around for a bit smoother experience.
The game offers you plenty of choices - from people you help all the way through choosing the ultimate ending (four scenarios). Many choices affect the outcome down the road: winning social battles gives you extra insight and experience, showing mercy or saving certain characters also leads to rewards down the line.
The game looks pretty good. The voices and character design stand up decently well. Level design manages to keep things interesting, even if certain elements get repetitious - I mean, I like hacking and all, but it does get old after awhile. There is plenty of variety in weapons and abilities - everything from rocket launchers and laser rifles to shotguns and non-lethal PEPs rounds. You can unlock abilities to control patrolling robots, survive falling from any height, making yourself a human weapon (the aforementioned Typhoon skill) or punching through walls.
However, the true standout is the story and it is a strong one. The story never gets boring, however, the bits between tend to get bogged down, which is why I can't give this a higher score. If you played the original, this is a must buy. If you're a fan of stealth and action, this is also a great choice. Finally, if you like some depth with your action, this is also a great choice. It's a game that actually feels like a rewarding experience once you finish it (and make sure to watch the credits all the way through!) and that alone makes it worthwhile.