E3 2010: Deus Ex: Human Revolution PreviewBy Stephen Johnson - Posted Jun 17, 2010
What We Know Already:
The third edition to this cyberpunk, FPS-RPG takes place before the first games. Set in 2027, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution's world, soldiers augment themselves with robotic implants to show off impressive powers and skills.
What We're Seeing Now:
I'm bummed. Although Eidos/Square Enix showed off an extensive demo level of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the game was not actually available for me to play. Boo. But the demo was impressive, showing off the series' incorporation of currently hot gaming trends including character and weapon customization, conversation wheels and a cover system.
Fans of the first couple Deus Ex games will not be surprised by the game's four-pillar approach to game play. You'll be able to solve problems and progress by being stealthy, employing in-your-face-combat, social play or hacking. There are multiple solutions to problems -- if you'd rather not take on two tough-looking guards with your guns, sneak around 'em or hack a turret to do your dirty work for you. Or maybe just talk them to quit their jobs and follow the Dhali Lama.
The game is set in 2027 in Shanghai, which is presented as a claustrophobic, Blade Runner-esque city teeming with crowds of NPCs, quests and locations. NPCs react to your actions and notoriety, so if you pull a gun on a guy, he'll put his hands up and back away immediately. In Human Revolution, mankind is assisted by state-of-the-art cybernetic implants. Through the course of the game, you'll be able to add powers to your bad self in the form of robot assistance to let you, say, lift heavy objects or see better.
The demo showed off a seedy, underworld bar where protagonist Adam Jensen has to shake down a bartender for information. The cyborg bartender has a robotic arm and a mean disposition, so making him talk will require at least one of the four kinds of gameplay available to you. Engaging in a conversation with Old Lefty (not actual name) brings up Deus Ex's conversation wheel. Much lik ein an RPG, characters react to your speech choices, but Deus Ex is going for a very deep interaction system, so make sure you choose your words carefully.
The next section of the game we saw involved an infiltration trip into an enemy encampment. Cover is mandatory, as the bad guys fling bullets at ya with deadly accuracy. Next section involved sneaking. Silently entering through a window, and creeping up behind an enemy, then executing an appropriately gory assassination, complete with contextual animation -- another hot trend in gaming. The game will also allow you to complete it without taking another human life, indicating how robust the alternative to traditional video game murder in Human Revolution.
Demo closed with a show stopper: A battle between Jensen and a huge robot in a warehouse. To show off the weapon customization, Adam adds heat-seeking ability to his rocket launcher and blasts the 'bot with a missile while crouching behind cover. Like the rest of the demo, the ending was very impressive.
Overall, Deus Ex seems like a good old fashioned triple-A action-RPG title that will keep real gamers happy for the many hours of gameplay it offers, particularly the legion of fans of the first two Deus Ex games -- if you liked them, you'll love this, provided the story holds up for the long haul. We'll all find out when Human Revolution hits shelves in 2011.