blind-fire or peer out for an accurate
shot, and enemies intelligently find
their own hiding spots and do the
same. Almost every weapon feels
punchy and satisfying—particularly
the spectacular knockback of the
non-lethal PEPS gun—and there’s a
lot to choose from for any play style.
Net hack The complexities of the new hacking minigame
1. Entry point
This is where you start—there’s
no time limit at first.
2. Captured node
You can capture any adjacent
node, but there’s a chance
you’ll be detected.
4. Tracer program
The enemy trace spreads out
from here. Each node it captures
first will be slower for you to take.
Learning to cyber
Augmentations make both combat
and stealth more interesting. With
the right stealth upgrades, you can
see the fields of vision of everyone
nearby on your minimap, the radius
of every suspicious sound made, and
the positions of all nearby enemies
and security terminals. I honestly
had more fun with a stealth approach
in Human Revolution than with all of
Splinter Cell: Conviction. It’s heart-skippingly tense, deliciously high-tech, and slick to control.
Combat augs cater to a lot of different styles, but melee is where it
gets fun. Any time you’re close to an
enemy and have at least one cell of
energy—your aug-fuel—you can kill
or knock them out with the press of a
button. In third person, Jensen does
swift, forceful, terrible things to
them with his robot fists—or his
robot fist-chisels, if you’ve held the
button down for an execution. I’m
not sure what it says about me, but I
ended up finding these moments of
pain-porn the most enduringly satisfying and hilarious interaction in the
game. When that takedown involves
physically picking one guard up and
throwing him on top of the other to
skewer them both with one stab...this
might be my entire concept of fun.
In general, decisions about how to
upgrade yourself are agonizing. It’s
like picking a superpower—each one
of the 60-odd options seems like it
would solve all of life’s problems.
Cyber lungs or X-ray vision? Think
of the possibilities. One even helps
with the conversation system, scanning brains and releasing pheromones to make you more persuasive.
5. Bonus node
You don’t need to capture these,
but they sometimes give you XP,
money, or hacking tools.
3. Tracer attack
Once you’re detected, a trace
works its way towards your entry
point: that’s your time limit.
This is the node you’re trying to
capture before the time runs out.
Talk angry to me
With or without those augmenta-
tions, dialog in Human Revolution is a
game in itself. You’re trying to talk
everyone from thugs to world leaders
into revealing a conspiracy, and
there’s a knack to that conversational
combat. It’s not about light side or
dark side: you have to pay careful
attention to exactly what you’ll say,
and whether your argument really
makes sense, because it’s absolutely
possible to lose, permanently
depriving you of useful information.
The high stakes make these conver-
sations feel like the real boss fights.
When you face the final villain, your
options aren’t which glowing weak
spot to shoot—they’re “Appeal,”
“Critique,” and “Extrapolate.”
The full story is a vast and complex
thing, crammed into every apart-
ment you break into, every secret
room you find, every rooftop you
clamber on. There’s a piece of infor-
mation to be found in the first room
of the game that isn’t explicitly
revealed to you until the end, 27
hours later. It’s a story-junkie’s
Freedom isn’t free
Is it as good as Deus Ex Not quite—
that slight shift away from improvisation and wide-open spaces stops it
just short. But it’s absolutely the Deus
Ex of our age, a genuinely worthy
prequel, and a game that puts almost
everything in the genre to shame.
It’s a game built with respect for
the player. At every stage, Eidos
Montreal has asked “What if the
player wants to do this?” Instead of
answering with, “Put an invisible
wall there,” they’ve kept working on
it until you can, and you’re rewarded
for original thinking.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve
been waiting a long time for a game
like that. I’ve been humping low
walls, shooting NPCs, and trying to
smash down locked doors for 11
years, and every other game has
broken, buckled, or refused to react.
I hope we won’t let it be the last
time we see a game like this for
another decade. I’d love to see
Human Revolution show that smart
can sell, and that gamers love
freedom more than they love firing
assault rifles at the Middle East. ■
◆ Price $50 ◆ Release August 23 ◆ Publisher Square Enix ◆ Developer Eidos Montreal
◆ Multiplayer No ◆ Link www.deusex.com ◆ ESRB M
A dark, cool, and beautiful revival of an incredible game. Smart, substantial, funny, creative, and endlessly entertaining.
about how to
like picking a
OC TOBER 2011
OC TOBER 2011