It's happened. I've played Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Although not the full version, you understand. A while ago, a preview build containing a third of the game was given to various games journalists so that they could write about their impressions of it. Not very long ago, this build was leaked onto the internet. Someone's in for a roasting. But, thanks to a kindly chap armed with a memory stick, I have played this build, and am ready to offer my opinions on it.
I'm going to say right here that Eidos appear to be perfectly happy with people doing this. See here, and especially here. See, Eidos are not only letting people discuss the leak on their forums, but Kyle Stallock, the Community Manager, has even encouraged users to share links to people's impressions. I will now provide my impressions, sprinkled with screenshots. And not sprinkled with spoilers. You can click the screenshots for larger ones. The graphics aren't great, but it runs smooth as butter on my single-core system, and it'll also have DX11 technology straight out of the box.
|We saw this in one of the trailers. Yes, that is a pair of robotic legs running on a treadmill.|
It's no secret that you play as Adam Jensen, head of security at Sarif Industries. You meet David Sarif, and suddenly all hell breaks loose.
|Not pictured: all hell breaking loose and David Sarif.|
Skipping past the story gubbins, you're deposited into the Sarif building six months after the attack. Now Jensen's all augmented up. But these, as you'll be aware if you've been following the development news, are not the discrete augmentations that the Dentons have in Deus Ex and Invisible War. These augmentations are Gunther Hermann style mechanical prosthetics. Everyone can tell you're augmented as soon as they see you, and it's the discrimination against augmented humans that seems to drive the story.
Speaking of Deus Ex, there are many references to the original. You're especially in for a very pleasant surprise in the introduction, and then another after the first proper mission. This is a game that knows what universe it's in and what happened when. If you didn't play the original, you may not get all the nods and references, but they certainly are there. There's also a cute little nod with the hotbar on the HUD and in the inventory screen:
|That hotbar should look familiar. The rest, not so much.|
|And the inventory.|
|Detroit, upon exiting the Sarif building.|
Now, there's been a lot of very vocal complaining about one or two things. The first thing is the regenerating health. I know why people don't like it, especially having played PC games from before Halo came out. I don't particularly like it either. It wouldn't have been too difficult to implement a more traditional health system. But there isn't one. After Jensen is auged, it is explained away as being one of his implants, but it still exists in the opening, which may be a design oversight. However, there would not be enough healing items in the world to keep you healthy even on the medium difficulty setting. Don't be fooled, Jensen's essentially a cyborg, but he still takes a crapton of damage. Hell, I've been playing it in the same way as I first played Deus Ex: stealthily. Regenerating health is often too slow to save your life in a firefight, so it's not an unfair advantage at all. It takes about 10 seconds to kick in, and then it works incredibly slowly. this is not Halo or CoD. Hell, I spent the first three hours desperately wishing I had a silencer for my pistol.
Another issue is the object highlighting, which does not exist until Jensen gets auged. Whenever you see something useful, it gets an orange outline. However, this outline is actually fairly unintrusive and only kicks in when you're fairly close to the object. Plus, if you don't like it, you can just turn it off in the settings. The same goes with the objective markers, which are slightly more intrusive.
|Pictured: The way the highlighting wraps around objects. Not pictured: My gun accidentally on purpose going off three seconds later. The game still let me do it, because this is Deus Ex.|
|Jensen. Giving the wall a hug.|
|I REALLY wish they'd moved the helipad, just to fuck around.|
|This is Pritchard. He doesn't like you. You don't like him either.|
Until next time!