What We Know: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a futuristic action role-playing game where your choices will always have a definite consequence. We've seen the game before and so far we know that it follows Adam Jensen in a gritty Detroit in the year 2027 where new tools have been created to make “transhumans,” humans with enhanced, aka augmented, characteristics. In the game, you'll use the core mechanics of stealth, combat, hacking, and social abilities to make your way through each and every situation, and depending on how you want to approach a mission you'll experience different reactions from both the friendly and enemy units around you.
What We're Seeing Now: While we've seen the mechanics before, we were shown the brand new FEMA Camp level for our latest demo, which is about six-10 hours into the game. The FEMA Camp is a textile compound designed to keep you thoroughly on your bio-enhanced toes. As soon as we arrive in the courtyard of the compound, we are greeted by a NPC who gives us information on the mission and sells us a variety of blackmarket goods like augments and weapons.
You can choose whether or not you want to talk to NPCs in the game, but it's strongly advised to do so. NPCs not only give valuable info on what you have to do, but also back story and the more people you talk to the better your experience will be, according Eidos Montreal's Antoine Thisdale, who walked us through the demo. When talking to NPCs, you get a BioWare-esque chat wheel where you can choose whichever option fits your style best. Once we received our mission from the NPC, we made our way inside the courtyard filled with guards.
For the first half of the adventure we chose to be stealthy, creeping behind large shipping containers and hopping from one area of cover to the next using the stungun on enemies to silently take them out. Alternatively, we could have used a louder gun to take out all of the enemies in the area or used a camouflage ability to completely sneak through the area unnoticed, among a variety of other ways to get inside, none of which were the “right” or “wrong” way, but simply possible. After making our way on top of a shipping container, taking out countless guards in the process, we finally found a doorway to sneak into the factory unseen.
Another feature Eidos has added to the game to make it a more personal experience for each individual gamer is the ability to turn highlight on or off. A staple of the Deus Ex series is to have items that players can interact with be highlighted in a bright border, but if players want a more difficult experience, they can, for the first time in series history, choose to turn this off. Using the highlighting option won't effect any achievements and can be turned on or off at any time in regardless of the difficulty level you've chosen at the beginning of the game.
Once inside the factory we chose to change our strategy from stealth to combat, adding an accuracy augment to Jensen's weapons and an augment that allowed us to mark enemies so we knew where they were even if they weren't in our direct line of sight. Players can equip Jensen with up to four augments at a time, and as you can see, there is quite a variety to choose from. We also tried out the x-ray vision augment that allowed us to see guards and security cameras throughout the area in order for us to find the easiest route around the factory. In order to balance augments, they each use a bit of battery life, which can be replenished through items you find in the field.
So, with our accurracy augment equipped, and our targets marked, we used the assault rifle to make quick work of our enemies. With the assault augment, as long as you lock on to an enemy, no matter where you shoot your rifle, the bullets will fire at that target. Meaning if a enemy was to my left, and I shot to the right, my bullets would still connect and kill that enemy. Neat, huh?
Throughout the FEMA Camp, there were many weapons we could have used. There was the stungun and assault rifle as previously mentioned, but there was also a tranquilizer gun, a rocket launcher, and a variety of others that we were assured were around but didn't bother to find.
At the end of the level, after taking out countless guards and maneuvering our way through the factory, we encountered a boss: a huge mech that fired rockets out of its cannon-like arms flanked by a bunch of guards. Lucky for us, we had a rocket launcher too. After ducking behind convenient cover and waiting for the opportune moments when the boss was recharging his rockets, we got a few choice shots off ourselves and were able to take him and his guards out with relative ease.
This brought our demo to an end, and as the developer suggested, this was just one way that we could have defeated this boss. And that pretty much sums up our experience with Human Revolution. It's a game that's meant to be played adaptively and differently by everyone. Players won't be able to achieve all of the augment and weapon upgrades or achievements through only one playthrough. You'll have to try different tactics and conversation scenarios to unlock all the game has to offer.
So whether you're crawling, climbing, shooting, lying, or sneaking your way through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you're going to want to keep an eye out for this title when it lands on the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on August 23.