Dear Deus Ex: Human Revolution,
I’m sorry I was a little harsh in my last entry about you. After a total of 31 hours I finally finished you and as it happens you’re pretty good.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about what makes a game enjoyable and I think I came up with a pretty okay answer. To me DE:HR, and games like it, are equatable to action movies; you’re not watching it because you want it to change your life, you’re watching because you want to be entertained. DE:HR is certainly entertaining.
I take back what I said about the story being passable. If the story was only ‘meh’ I don’t think I would have invested the 31 hours. Instead I update my opinion on the story to ‘decent’. It’s all very much a conspiracy theory and I still stand by my earlier comment about it being predictable, but it turns out to be divergent enough to be interesting. There were a couple of moments where I rolled my eyes or said things like “called it” but over all the story was good. I must also add (without spoilers) that the voice-overs for the final cut-scenes were well scripted and executed and do a good job of tying things together.
The game-play also held up. When playing a game for 30-40 hours it’s easy to get into some automatic routines and the game-play can become monotonous. The addition of some augments and the level design prevented monotony and kept me wanting to get to my next checkpoint.
There was a moment though that made me pretty upset. When Jensen is woken up from the shipping container and all his gear and stats were taken away. It felt like I was starting again at zero and it wasn’t really clear when my stats were restored. You do find your gear, with no ammo, and only 8 praxis kits; I had spent way more points than 8 building my stats up. For me, as a designer, I would have avoided removing all the stats and skills the player has been working hard to build unless I was giving it back to them right away. However, much later on I discovered that I had 11 points somehow, which might have been me missing the re-reward so I guess it evened out.
In the end Deus Ex: Human Revolution stands up as both an FPS and RPG and really knows how to rock that Bladerunner-Matrix vibe! Thanks for showing me that with a little cybernetic surgery, anyone can perform the sleeper hold.
Now that I am finished DE:HR it’s time for my favorite part of the show: DRAWING FROM THE FISHBOWL!
And the winner is…..
Xenonauts (Goldhawk Interactive, 2014)!
See you soon!