Deus Ex: Human Revolution: First Impressions

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Aug 23, 2011

Filed under: Game Reviews 311 comments


The videogame sections of this blog can be boiled down to a single long, frustrated lament at everything that’s been going wrong in the industry. I’m sure all of this will sound familiar to you: Gameplay has gotten simpler, games have gotten shorter, stories have gotten dumber*, and DRM has evolved into new and increasingly hideous forms with each passing year. Art styles have become muddled and brown, and terrifying sums of money have been spent on an army of bump-mapped, motion-captured, Uncanny Valley denizens who have dialog that is too stupid for human ears. It would be one thing if this vexing of consumers and murder of quality was being perpetrated in pursuit of some money. I can understand that, even if I don’t respect it. But for all of the damage we’ve witnessed, studios are going out of business and big-budget titles are losing money.

* Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that smart games have become rarer. In either case, it’s dragging down the average IQ of gaming.

As I’ve staggered through this wreckage, taking notes and pointing out the egregious failures that have brought us here, I have struggled to figure out which part of this mess infuriates me the most. Probably DRM. But a close second is the recent habit of taking old beloved franchises, hollowing them out, stuffing them full of crap, and selling them to the hapless fans of the original. Calling BioShock a “spiritual successor” to the open-ended, skillpoint-building, free-roaming, exploration-driven, cyberpunk-flavored System Shock 2 was probably the worst example of this. A close second would be whatever this THING is that they’re hilariously calling “XCOM”. This is an awful practice, and I am not amused.

Which brings us to this, a revival of the beloved classic Deus Ex, a game from another era. Before sticky cover, before bump mapping, before crazy DRM, before console-driven simplification, before the Brown Age. The only question in my mind was, “Just how badly can they mangle this masterpiece and still call it Deus Ex with a straight face?”

You can see what this game will be like without even installing it: The entire world will be the color of a dirty gun, comprised mostly of closet-sized military installations. Five minutes into the game you’ll meet a complete jackass who is wearing a sign saying, “HI. I’M THE BAD GUY. YOU WILL FIGHT ME AT THE END.” The moral choices (if any) will boil down to “rescue kitten” or “eat kitten”.

I didn’t want to be duped by this game, so I fired up the old Deus Ex and played for a couple of hours. The classic was as good as I remember, and it helped me to calibrate my expectations so that I wouldn’t be blinded by spectacle. After that palette-cleansing experience, I played three hours of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I think I’m ready to talk about everything this game gets wrong:

  1. The loading times are a bit long, I guess.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got. The truth is, this is a really good game. Here, let me emphasize that for you using boldface type: This is a really good game.

I realize it seems absurd to lead off with a picture of a mop bucket, but this is an important part of creating and maintaining versimilitude. This setting feels like a place inhabited by human beings because of little touches like this, and the world is full of them.
I realize it seems absurd to lead off with a picture of a mop bucket, but this is an important part of creating and maintaining versimilitude. This setting feels like a place inhabited by human beings because of little touches like this, and the world is full of them.

I don’t know how this happened, but Human Revolution is exceptional. Not just by today’s standards of brown blandness, but in the broader, historical sense of games that pulled me in and delivered a thrilling experience. The world is vibrant, filled with rich detail, and littered with little interactive touches. The level designers didn’t just make a bunch of rooms for shooting dudes, they made a space and set about trying to convince me these were real spaces, filled with purpose.

And the gameplay. I don’t even know how to describe it. I mean, just look at this:


That’s an inventory screen. A real one. Not one of those “you have five slots, each of which can hold either a bag of chips or a rocket launcher” deals that we usually get. This is a grid of stuff that you can pick up, modify, arrange, discard, combine, and consume as needed. They even retained the “hotbar” of the original. The icing on the cake is that you can even spend skill points to expand your available space, which wasn’t possible in the original game. Did I just claim the inventory is more robust than the one in Deus Ex? I think I did.

Yes, this is a cover-based shooter. You will not be circle-strafing your way to victory in this one. I’m not really qualified to rate this sort of combat, but I will say as a fan of old-school run & gun: I don’t hate this. It works, it feels right, and I don’t find myself getting glued to random surfaces like in Kane & Lynch, my last cover-shooter. Cover-shooter aficionados can let me know how this stacks up against other titles.


The story is fitting. It starts slow, with a walking intro that reminds me of the Half-Life tram ride. (In a good way. I know the tram ride intro has been frequently and badly immitated in the past, but this is one of those cases where it works.) You can gawk and fiddle with the environment while the characters do a bit of tight exposition. No, the writers aren’t so crass as to pull an info dump on you. They gave me just enough background to keep me curious, without trying my patience. (And yes, they made sure to drop 451 in the tutorial.)


The main character hits the right notes. Jensen is gruff enough to fit in a cyberpunk future world, but human enough that I can relate to him. I actually like him better than JC Denton. He certainly doesn’t look like the guy who got kicked out of a boy band for being too sensitive, which was a problem last time they tried to revive this franchise. His delivery is a low brooding murmur, reminicient of Walton Simons from the first game. In my review of Invisible War, I said:

It would have been far better to keep the premise and throw out the story. Start over with a new mix of conspiracies. You could even keep the character of JC Denton, but drop him into a different reality this time around. Instead of working for UNATCO, maybe he starts off as a cop or a bodyguard or a secret service agent. Instead of a plague, society is dealing with some new designer drug. Or weapon. Cyborgs. You know, whatever. The foes would be different and their goals would be different, but the process of unraveling a series of escalating conspiracies would remain the same. The first time you uncover the Illuminati is fun. The second time through, you begin to wonder how these guys ever kept their organization a secret in the first place.

They actually did this. You’re not ANOTHER nano agent, or a UNATCO agent. You’re a private security guy working for a corporation.


The setting is slightly (but forgivably) revisionist. The original Deus Ex felt very “close future”. The building, technology, and clothing styles all felt pretty much like current-day stuff. Human Revolution is supposedly a prequel, which means it should be even closer to present day, but the clothing and technology suggest something a little further into the future. This does not bother me. As I said in the quote above, I think having continuity between world-spanning conspiracy games is asking for trouble. I’m here for tone and style, not game-to-game continuity. (Although I do want each game to stand on its own, continuity-wise.)

Of course, I’m only a few hours in. Maybe the story falls apart or the third act will be a dull slog of mandatory combat or whatever. But based on my first date with Human Revolution, this is a game built with love and respect for the original, made with the best of intentions, and beautifully realized. As further proof that this is a game from some alternate dimension where videogames haven’t gone straight to hell in a series of overpriced handbaskets: The game doesn’t seem to have any of the recent DRM horrors attached. My review copy is through Steam, and there were no other shenanigans between myself and the fun. No CD keys, no account creation, no activation, no day-1 DLC, nothing.

I am overjoyed. I haven’t felt this enthsiastic about a game since Portal 2. This is a real thing. It’s happening. I’m actually feeling guilt playing this review copy. I need to go out and give people money for this.


From The Archives:

311 thoughts on “Deus Ex: Human Revolution: First Impressions

  1. Which brings me to my first problem with this game: Everyone gets it two days before me. GOD DAMN IT.

    The plan is now to go bury myself in Minecraft, figuratively, literally and otherwise for two days, and if I have some sort of obsidian, gold and glowstone city at the end of it I’ll post screenshots.

    1. Eruanno says:

      Two days? I have to wait THREE days! Aaaargh!

      1. TraderRager says:

        Three days? I HAVE TO WAIT MONTHS!

        BILLS, Y U NO PAY SELF?!?!

      2. Arumin says:

        I have to wait for my motherboard to be returned from ASUS so at least two to three weeks waiting for me.

        1. Double A says:

          I have to build a computer.

          1. Hitch says:

            I could buy and play the game right now, but I’d rather wait a couple weeks or a month to see if the glowing first impressions become, “It starts off wonderfully, but grinds to s a soul-crushing tedium about 10 – 12 hours in, but long before any of the plot threads start resolving.” Or you see something like, “The latest patch fixes the save game eating bug that crops up once you have about 40 hours invested in your character. Unfortunately, it won’t revive characters already lost.”

            Or maybe none of that sort of thing will happen, but I can have confidence of knowing that’s the case.

            1. Aldowyn says:

              I have to, you know, come up with ANY SOURCE OF INCOME at all. The only game I KNOW I’m getting in the near future is ME3, and that’s basically because the entire family plays the series. Anything else is dependent on me getting a job.

              1. noahpocalypse says:

                I have to get someone else to build me a computer. Stupid Netbook…

                1. Pete says:

                  You could try Onlive out (assuming its avaiable in your area. Stupid living in a second-and-a-half world country).

                  1. General Karthos says:

                    I have to use a microscope to MANUALLY FLIP BITS.

                    1. Bryan says:

                      C-x M-c M-butterfly

          2. Paul Spooner says:

            I’d buy the game, but I would have to re-invent the electrical computer, license an x86 emulator from the tech-lords, rebuild the local infrastructure to guarantee a stable electrical supply, and then hire a human operator to act on my behalf, all while using remote waldoes since the starboard bulkhead failed and exposed this sector to the cold hard vacuum of space.
            You guys have it easy on your “planet”, I don’t know what you’re complaining about.

            1. God says:

              It’s a great game. We’ve been talking about it up amongst the clouds behind the Pearly Gates for the last few milennia. I don’t know why you guys can’t just go out and get it.

      3. droid says:

        No, within 6 months.

        1. Bentusi16 says:

          If you want to play Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you must first invent the universe.

          1. Kyrion says:

            I wish there was a like button for this comment! :)

        2. Entropy says:


          1. MisterHalt says:


      4. Entropy says:

        What a shame.

  2. The Werebear says:

    Oh man, really? I’ve been watching trailers for that game with trepidation. To know that it at least doesn’t trip coming out of the gate is a huge relief.

  3. Pete says:

    …really? The trailers did a really bad job selling this game, what with all the GLOWING YELLOW, but if you of all people like it, I think Im going to give it a shot after all…

    1. Kelly says:

      The yellow is from Blade Runner. HOW DO PEOPLE NOT GET THIS?

      But yeah all of my anguish for not having the money (or, most likely, the processing power) to play this game.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        Becuase most people don’t remember Blade Runner as a particularly yellow movie.

        1. Audacity says:

          Yeah seriously. I don’t remember anything yellow from Blade Runner, it was more blue.

          EDIT: Wait! The Hari Krishnas had yellow robes!

          1. Klay F. says:

            If you seriously can’t remember any of the scenes taking place at the Tyrell Corp, I may have to revoke your nerd card.

          2. Michael says:

            The daylight stuff, and one of the bars were bathed in yellow. But you’re right, the bulk of the movie was in blues, greens, and reds.

    2. Inyssius says:

      You can turn off the yellow. In fact, it’s off by default.

      1. Michael says:

        I think it defaults to on on the easy and medium difficulties. On Deus Ex difficulty it defaults off.

      2. Alexander The 1st says:

        What exactly is the point of the yellow? I’ve not played any of the Deus Ex games, and I’m not particularly interested in a game that lets me choose my stat build but will force most of the stats for stealth and utilities to be useless during a boss fight.

        1. Jeff says:

          Other than Cloaking, there’s no real Stealth upgrade that you’d need or want.

          In any case, the yellow highlighting is useful to me – as Shamus says, the maps look lived in. The labs have nifty junk scattered all over them, and the highlight is handy at picking out the cred card amidst the clutter.

        2. Kyte says:

          It’s not like you need combat upgrades. I won my boss fights with a hack/stealth build through grenades (inventory space really pays off), running and a fully upgraded 10mm pistol.

  4. SougoXIII says:

    ARGH!! Will people stop rubbing this game in my face? I can’t get this until I’m back on holiday – which is 2 weeks away.

  5. Simon says:

    I’m curious, do you use the interactive object highlighting? Before the release I heard many grumblings about how it was unnecessary hand holding, and I thought I agreed. Once I played the game though I found that all that wonderful clutter that covers everything makes it rather difficult to spot a datapad on a desk, so I now have it enabled.

  6. TheAngryMongoose says:

    I must admit, I hadn’t been paying attention to this game. I assumed it was another remake from a game before my time that’d inevitably be another soulless modern title with an old name.

    Now I might have to get it.

    Hadn’t budgeted for that. Ah well.

  7. Sucal says:

    Shamus, I love reading your blog but hearing about how you scored a review copy has basically made you the new Josh in my eyes for the next week.

  8. Ouchies81 says:

    8/23/11: Shamus liked a game. Never forget. =D

    Edit, though I really should add, that I’m grumpy about new games too. And this review has cemented my otherwise ambivalence to the game, to actually play it.

    1. Dovius says:

      We must record this story for future generations! */grabs the camera*

      1. Nyctef says:

        Now if Shamus is pleasantly surprised by ME3, then all will be right with the world. Forever.

        1. Lalaland says:

          Or given the current unfortunate noises from Bioware it’s a sign he’s been kidnapped by EA…

          1. Dovius says:

            It must be Shame, broken free of his imprisonment in the Spoiler Warning Dungeons, who has kidnapped and replaced him!

            1. Teldurn says:

              I see what you did there. :D

              1. droid says:

                What a shame. I wish there was something more I could say.

          2. Michael says:

            Yeah, most likely that.

  9. Rayen says:

    a REAL inventory?!?! haven’t seen a decent one of those in a while. I never played the original Deus ex so i can’t compare and contrast, but I do like good video games. Maybe if i get a bonus or there’s a sale on steam i could pick this up…

    Yes, i’m poor, shut up.

    1. Teldurn says:

      Hooray for inventory tetris! :D

      1. One might argue that Tetris is a purely inventory-based game. Except the objective is to get rid of your inventory.

        1. Jeff says:

          Like an alternate universe Spoiler Warning of FNV?

        2. Chargone says:

          sooooo…. like a shop then?

          1. Alexander The 1st says:

            A shop that, in all its weekly reports, has scrawled in the notes section, asks it suppliers to “SELL THE [LINE BLOCK] ALREADY!”

            So it’s a shop where Josh is the supplier.

        3. Tobias says:

          This must be the most brilliant description of Tetris I have ever read. Hat tip.

    2. ccesarano says:

      a REAL inventory?!?! haven't seen a decent one of those in a while.

      Dead Space 1&2. Resident Evil 5. Lost Odyssey. Darksiders. Recent Zelda game here. I’m sure there’s a few more.

      In fact, the screenshot Shamus posted reminded me of Resident Evil 4’s inventory (which, admittedly, was much better than that in RE5, but that goes without saying. All of RE4 was better than 5).

      1. Kizer says:

        RE5 hardly has a real inventory. You get 9 slots on your person, 9 on your partner, and each slot can either hold a box of 50 bullets, a sniper rifle, or a green herb. :P

        I think you mean RE4, which had a true inventory and led to many fun moments of trying to decide between getting a new weapon or hanging onto that fish you’ve been carrying around for the last two chapters . . .

        1. Michael says:

          RE5’s definitely in the Rocket Launcher = Egg range…

          The last game I think I played with a real inventory was probably Chrome… fairly recently, actually. But, then again, I actually enjoy that mess for reasons surpassing logic, and go back to it on an irregular basis.

          1. ccesarano says:

            As I said, my first thought/comparison was Resident Evil 4, but I was also bringing up recent examples. For most people, the inventory is gone as a whole. Not all games had a complex inventory, after all.

            In fact, even Dead Rising has inventory in its own way. Just not a traditional one. It all depends on whether you’re looking for a specific sort of inventory screen.

            It also just occurred to me that Mass Effect, Morrowind, Oblivion and the Fallout games have inventory, though their design leaves much to be desired.

      2. Rayen says:

        to justify my statement, i haven’t played any of those games. i started thinking about it after i posted that and really the last time i saw an inventory like that was the last time i played diablo 2.

    3. Neko says:

      The last inventory I really enjoyed was NWN1’s grid system. It made the kleptomaniac in me happy, and forced me to choose between hanging on to that Greataxe or freeing up space for more gems and treasure.

  10. Dovius says:

    So, Shamus being who he is, I fully expected a 5000 word rant.
    I promptly laughed my ass off after the cut for 2 solid minutes.
    But hey, if even YOU like it, I guess it’s safe to drop 50 bucks on it!

    1. Mari says:

      Yeah, I liked that bit so much that’s how I teased the link I posted on Facebook.

      Also: TOO MANY GAMES! My list of “must buys” is getting far too long for this modern era of stupid games.

      1. Michael says:

        Tell me about it… I’ve got ~20 sitting on my “To Buy” list.

  11. GTRichey says:

    *breathes a sigh of relief knowing he won’t have to regret the preorder*

    I could put more here about being glad to finally get a new game with some real depth and an inhabited world… but I think the first line of this comment says it all, all the trailers made me extremely excited about this game with their openness and multiple paths and now all the reviews are coming back positive and on top of that Shamus Young likes a new game.

    Restatement in bold for emphasis:

    Shamus Young likes a new game!

  12. Tobias says:

    Shamus liking a new game? HERESY!!!
    I don’t know what you did to the real shamus, but as punishment you have to make the next season of spoiler warning on this game.

    1. Gamedragon says:

      That would be interestingly compelling.
      I think the fact that you are relatively discouraged for using passwords instead of hacking could propel Shamus for an entire season alone.
      break it up with the forced boss fights and well, there’s certainly enough material in there.

  13. BlackBloc says:

    I had written off Deus Ex: Human Revolution early in the process, also assuming it was going to be a terrible knockoff. However, I happen to live in Montreal and must work not far from the Eidos Montreal offices because during the development time I must have crossed path twice with Eidos employees with Deus Ex shirts discussing their work together and being visibly excited about it to the point where they were struggling to not spout off secret info in public.

    As opposed to the zillion of times I’ve been in the same subway train as people working on Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia or the EA Sports franchises, where they were not having any difficulties keeping it professional.

    1. That’s the vibe I get from a lot of the interviews – everyone involved seems genuinely excited about the game, and looks to have poured a lot of time and effort into creating something great.

    2. retas14 says:

      I think i’m a little more proud to live around Montréal, because shamus likes Deus ex.Hooray for shamus.

  14. ccesarano says:

    I haven't felt this enthsiastic about a game since Portal 2.

    Two games in the same year? 2011 will go down in history.

    On games getting shorter: I find this statement rather humorous. Maybe it’s based on what games people are playing, but I look at my pile (I think I have 30 games on there I still need to beat) and I don’t know what to play as so many will require 10+ hours to complete. Dragon Age 2, Metro 2033, Fallout: New Vegas, Dead Rising 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Demon’s Souls, Yakuza 4, Lost Odyssey… and I had already spent several hours this summer playing through L.A. Noire.

    I WISH I had more 8- games to play through. That means I could be done them in a week and move on with my pile.

    In fact, in terms of story/quality/etc., I think the bigger issue is teams haven’t grown that much, but technology has as well as the number of games being released in a year. It’s kind of like how early Hollywood had the five major film studios, and while they are still pretty much the main five, there’s a bunch of other smaller studios and indies and so on and so forth releasing a Hell of a lot more movies than ever before.

    As for Deus Ex, I never played the first one. I want to play the first one before I play Human Revolution, but at the same time I want to support the developer since all these reviews have been highly positive. Yet if I get it then the game will be on my pile for a while, especially if I wait around until I can play the first one.

    Feels like a rock and a hard place.

    1. Buy the augmented edition on Steam – it comes with a free copy of the first game.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        Do note that the steam’s augmented edition doesn’t have any of the in-game additional stuff the boxed version’s augmented edition has (mission pack, extra guns and some other nonsense). In case you care about that kind of stuff. And.. it’s not exactly a good investment money-wise too, you’d get DX1 cheaper if you found a box on amazon and only got the basic DX:HR version.

        1. houser2112 says:

          Is the boxed version a true game-in-a-box, or is it just a way to not have to download the game from Steam, but you still have to use Steam to play it?

          1. ccesarano says:

            It’s not a deal for me anyway. If I get it on Steam then I’ll be looking at lag, frame rate drops and other issues. My computer lags when I open up and am within 20 feet of a Portal in Portal 2. Imagine a game with a bunch of A.I. and physics and bullet decals and all going on at once.

            Besides, I find a controller more comfortable than a keyboard and mouse (a preference that finds me at odds with the majority of commentators here and on The Escapist).

            1. Byron M says:

              Just because they’re both Steamworks, doesn’t mean they’ll both lag on you. Portal 2 is made by Valve, and uses a completely different engine from Human Revolution. Steamworks is just the DRM/distribution system, not the engine.

              1. Vipermagi says:

                I don’t think he’s blaming Steam for lag, but is rather saying his computer is outdated, while his console wouldn’t run in seconds-per-frame mode.

                1. ccesarano says:

                  This. My computer has decent hardware that I can at least run the old Deus Ex, but it isn’t really going to play any new games.

                  The only title I will in any way play on minimal graphic settings just to make it run will be Planetside 2, and that depends on how Dust 514 plays on PS3.

            2. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

              Some games just play better with a gamepad. Even an mouse-and-keyboard fan like me has to use a USB gamepad to play games like Assassin’s Creed or Super Meat Boy.

              1. Jeff says:

                This is very true, but FPS games are not in that “some games”. Certain inputs are better for certain things… playing Street Fighter or Mario Kart on a M/KB is adding a layer of frustration, I think.

          2. X2-Eliah says:

            The latter one, it’s a full-on steamworks title.. The box is just for show.

            1. houser2112 says:

              Blarg. Oh well. It looks like it would’ve been fun.

          3. Bryan says:

            That’s a trend I don’t care for — even buying a boxed edition of a game requires a steam account which I don’t have or want. Looks like this is another game I will have to give up on…

            1. Jeff says:

              That’s too bad, it’s a good game.

              I have to say that one of the things I like about Steam is that it forces people (my friends, specifically) to update. It used to be that my friends would constantly pester me about problems with their games, and it got to be that my answer inevitably became “patch the game and get back to me”. Generally, they didn’t need to ask for further help.

  15. Lalaland says:

    Yay! With all those trailers tickling my Deus Ex memories so well I would have been heartbroken if they’d delivered a dud. Interested to hear a bit more on the hacking mini-game in your future posts, it’s been praised elsewhere but a lot of places gave Pipedream a pass in Bioshock sooo….

    The gulf between SS2 and Bioshock was too vast for me, I played about 2 hours before I was overwhelmed by the disappointment and haven’t been back since. Spoiler Warning answered the plot questions I had and I could enjoy Josh slogging through the combat and Pipedream rather than suffering through it myself.

  16. Steve says:

    I wonder how many sales this recommendation is going to create? I know I’ve just preordered the game based off Shamus opinion.

    1. Gahrer says:

      I was a bit uncertain, but this has tipped the scales for me. I’ll get it as soon as I can. :)

      1. PhilWal says:

        Same here. Heard lots of positive reviews, and this one tipped me over the edge.

    2. Teldurn says:

      While I won’t be purchasing this game immediately (because my backlog of games is already too long and will take me years to clear it all), I will definitely be on the lookout for when this game goes on sale.

      I guess you can say this review prompted a future-sale. :)

    3. Funny Money Guy says:

      My probability for buying this game probably went from 0 to 0.3 based on a reccommendation (!) from Shamus.

  17. Brandon says:

    I am excited to get a shot at this game someday, but I confess I’m no fan of the character design. Their outfits are rather… silly-looking. I’m thinking some Japanese character designers were involved with the game.

    1. PAK says:

      Actually, the Eidos guys have explained that one in the past. Because the game engages with themes of how humankind grows and moves forward in response to new rational and technological progress, the team looked for various ways of alluding to the renaissance. They made a conscious decision to model costume design after certain renaissance trends–big collars and so forth. I, for one, LOVE that this kind of thematic coherence in art direction is finding its way into games production. The medium is maturing.

      1. Brandon says:

        Interesting, because I didn’t really have any problems with the low-poly outfits of the characters in the original Deus Ex, and while I do find many of the outfits silly-looking, regardless of how artistic and metaphorical the intent, I also think some of the characters have really odd faces as well, like the woman who seems to play a central role to the beginning of the game.

        Basically, I’m not a big fan of the character designs in general. I find most “fashion prognostication” to be pretty worthless anyway, especially when those prognostications involve purported professionals wearing outfits that have serious functional disadvantages for their professions.

        1. Jeff says:

          At least in this case, there doesn’t seem to be any out-of-place fashion. Everything looks rather functional, just different.

          It’s a really nice, subtle way to communicate a change in times. Just look at professionals in the 80s. Check out the Secret Service guys who walked with Reagen, they look rather unprofessional to me now because they’re not uniformly in black suits and ties.

      2. silver Harloe says:

        And the funny part is: it kinda even fits a theoretical fashion future: our kids are growing up ultramodern because all the things we saw invented were invented before they were cognizant… their kids “could” or “might” revolt against the modernity by looking to the history books for inspiration. And their kids probably find the Renaissance costumes as weird and overblown as we do, and revolt to something a little more lean and simplified like the costumes in DX1. (And F DX2. it never happened. Never Happened.)

  18. Joerg Mosthaf says:

    Phew – That makes me happier about my preorder. Even though I am a bit angry about not getting the extra mission because of the region coding fuck-up.

    1. Jeff says:

      I read up about the mission, it’s not that grand.

      Apparently it’s a small map consisting of 3 rooms, and you shoot people in them. The DX1 NPC alluded to in the description only makes a short cameo at the end and disappears quickly after, and you get a grenade launcher as the end reward.

      Player reviews about the added mission has been lukewarm, described as “it feels like they just put cut content back in”.

  19. X2-Eliah says:

    Mwaaaaaaaa I HATE regional release dates.. WHY THE HELL do they need extra 3/4 days to release a game overseas?! This comment takes less than a second to go to your US server, a Steam activation-code can’t come through?!

    Okay. Calm breaths.

    I am very glad that you like it so far, Shamus.. If only it means that I will love this game too. Lately too many of the games I’ve bought, and trusted in (e.g. Two Worlds 2, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2) have been massive disappointments.. I NEED to buy a new game that I’m hyped up for, that actually delivers on that. I don’t think I can bear any more disappointments.

    But.. I know one problem you didn’t mention (simply because it doesn’t affect you).

    A few days back, the publisher announced that they would be locking the game to regions – splitting apart UK, eastern Europe and the rest of Europe. For you american folks, it’s like saying ‘California, Washington and the rest of the US are three completely unrelated things’.. Basically the idea was that anybody ordering from the UK – and living outside of UK – would not have their game work because of the oh-so beautiful steamworks.

    Now, the catch is… Buying the game from france, germany, spain or italy will mean you get a localized version, really, and not an english one. It’s always been a good practice to buy a box from the UK if you are in Europe and want the game in English, without dubbing, subtitles, localised manuals etc.. And the price of these is cheaper to buy and ship from UK than to buy from any other major european country.. Heck, it’s cheaper to buy the game from UK and ship it to Australia than to buy the AUS version.. So Sqeenix basically said ‘fu guys we want more monies, and screw EU laws’. Official announcement and anything.

    So normally, I and many other people cancel their UK preorders – of limited/augmented/whatever editions even, as the official publishers said they’d be unusable thanks to steam.

    2 days later they cancelled that decision – perhaps in fear of being brought to EU court. Ofc the retailers don’t give a rat’s arse about that..

    So effectively I’ve lost the change to get the special editions, and I have already paid for a steam preorder – which goddamn takes my money immediately, and NOT on release moment or shipping moment! – unlike any normal store – so I can’t really cancel the steam preorder, as they don’t do refunds.. Bottom line, I’ve ended up with a digital minimum copy for 20 bucks more than a boxed augmented edition would’ve cost. All thanks to the goddamn publisher’s announcement and Steam’s pricing/purchasing methods that don’t accord with any other retailer..

    Okay. Anyway, just wanted to rant about that. The game itself obviously isn’t hampered by that, but it really ruined what little respect I had for Steam, and placed Sqeenix in the ‘bad publisher list’ along with actiblizzard and ea..

    P.S. Obviously you can say ‘lol u should have waited nub’, and you’d be right… I mean, what was I thinking to trust the official announcement of the publisher? Why was I hoping that Steam would be honourable, and that pre-order would have the same meaning for them as for any other store – namely, booking an order and paying when they ship/load/release the game and not immediately?

    1. Vipermagi says:

      Two Worlds 2 a disappointment? Mind me asking in what aspects? :)
      I’ve played both games, and the sequel has ‘a few’ issues (can’t kill civilians? Practically no crime-system?) but I find it a worthy successor to the failed-but-hilariously-so Two Worlds 1. I’m having a lot of fun with the spell system, combat feels similar but expanded, and I can actually listen to the quest givers without shedding a tear for the English language.

      Also, I found the Savannah to be simply beautiful. Brown for the most part, but it works very well for me.

      tl;dr I’m really interested in hearing how Two Worlds II didn’t work for you.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        For one, the almost non-existent ‘central’ continent (larger than the savannah on the map, turns out it’s not even accessible in singleplayer short of one small gated area).

        Horrible story comes to mind.

        Bad animations. Bad dialogue & writing.. Severely misbalanced magic system. Horrible UI & inventory. Incredibly short third and fourth acts (all reviews were based on the savannah, as game journalists are unable to play the game properly… well guess what, it’s not a fourth of the game, it’s like 60% already). Overbloomed graphics. Horrible game lore. Mediocre performance. Enemy difficulty all over the place.

        I know the first one was utter rubbish, but that doesn’t excuse the second one being pretty junky. I am not saying TwoWorlds2 was a disappointent compared to the first.. Never played the first. I’m saying TwoWorlds2 was a disappointment as a stand-alone singleplayer RPG.

        1. Vipermagi says:

          Ah, in that sense. That’s perfectly reasonable, because the game is severely flawed.
          I play Two Worlds mostly for the combat I so enjoy (active combat, getting hit hurts unless you heavily spec Endurance (and I don’t)), so I overlook the story and all that. Guess the first game taught me that :P

          Haven’t completed it yet (in New Ashos currently), so didn’t know the big central island is actually only a small area. That… is really dumb.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            Well, yes, that’s one of the big problems – you start out and you think it’s going to be super-huge, but once you get through the second island, there’s literally maybe 4 more hours to go.. The game basically cheats you by promising to have content it doesn’t actually have – that’s why most reviews are kind of interesting to read in hindsight, as it is easy to tell which reviewers didn’t play far enough and just trusted the game..

    2. Jeff says:

      Steam will refund pre-orders if they haven’t been released yet.

      After their bungled patching of Witcher 2 I cancelled all three pre-orders I had on Steam, almost a hundred bucks.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The game has one huge problem:European version is 3 days away!Ive downloaded the leaked beta few days ago(yeah,yeah,Im a bad person),and have been psyched ever since.The hacking game was fun(though frustrating at times),sneaking was great,covers felt like covers,and not some random chest high walls,theres plethora of things to read,multiple ways to finish missions,people are talking with each other….Im beginning to suspect that theyve leaked the beta themselves as a marketing gimmick.I know that it hooked me.

    Oh and the in-game explanations for your hud and experience gain are genius.Plus the dialogue minigame when you pick up the speech augmentation…Gaaaah!Damn it,I cant wait for it to finally come out!

    1. Audacity says:

      Digital releases still have separate regional release dates? Wha..? That makes no sense! At. All.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        It does when its a mixed release,and digital releases have to coincide with the physical ones.If it were purely digital,it would be everywhere at the same time.

        1. Audacity says:

          Sure it might make sense if the physical copy is a standalone product. But Deus Ex 3 isn’t standalone, it requires Steam. So what’s the difference between buying the game online, downloading, and then activating it, or buying it in a store, installing it, and then activating it?

          Why make people in the latter group wait to download their purchase until the game can be bought in stores? If anything this would only encourage more people to buy it online which, since most digital copies on steam cost as much as the boxed versions, equals more profit.

          1. Omobono says:

            Because the boxed version distributors would then (justly?) complain that Squeenix is giving unfair advantage to steam. Of course, coordinated release dates for all regions would still be the solution, but Squeenix think it’s probably not worth the effort. It’s not like 3 days are THAT long anyway.

  21. swenson says:

    I unfortunately can’t quite justify buying this yet, but… the original’s only ten bucks on Steam. So maybe you’ve convinced me to buy that and see how I like the whole thing.

  22. Hal says:

    The only real question for me is, “Will my system play it?”

    I’m . . . not optimistic in that regard. The thing was built in 2005, and while it was near top-of-the-line then, you can drop $500 and have a better (or at least equivalent) computer now. Maybe throw in another $100 to surpass the on-board video, too.

    1. Raygereio says:

      I’d check the system requirements before giving up, but I’m not optimistic. If you system was completely new in 2005, then I’m guessing you’re one/two years behind to meet the minimum requirements.

    2. PAK says:

      I know some PC purists and people who worry about “ownership” issues may find this heresy, but it’s worth noting that DX:HR is one new game available via OnLive. I’ve been trying the service out of late since I was behind on semi-recent PC gaming, owning only a three-year-old laptop with integrated graphics, and aside from occasional connection dropouts for a few seconds at a time, the service works well.

      You can’t care too much, however, about getting the resolution you want, or whether the service will fold and you’ll lose your copy of the game forever.

      1. PSJ says:

        I just got in on Onlive too. It’s been a lifesaver to my 3-year old laptop with integrated graphics. That and the 30% discount on everything plus the free game with a preorder makes it even cheaper than steam.

        That said, I’m still waiting for the day that I lose everything because they go out of business or what have you :)

        1. Jeff says:

          I pre-ordered from Best Buy during the E3 promotion ($20 off!), and it came with four keys. The game, the pre-order DLC, an Onlive copy, and SE’s points thingy.

  23. James says:

    There is one horrible thing that is wrong with Human Revolution.

    Boss Fights.

    Unskippable Boss Fights.

    There are no kill-codes, no alternate path ways, no get-outs, nada.

    4 times in the game, if you specialised in Social, Stealth or Hacking, all that time and effort you put into it will be pretty much worthless. The game is so schizophrenic about this that the Pacifist achievement actually says;

    “Complete Deus Ex: Human Revolution without anyone dying by your hand. (Boss fights do not count.)

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Apart from that, and the loading times, it’s has no other serious flaws. I don’t like the fact that a lot of missions don’t have the same kind of pre-mission freedom that was in the first Deus Ex. In the original, a lot of missions let you explore the grounds first, and then you went into the mission. In HR, a lot of the time you are just plonked in a back-alley or corridor, and you are told to go forth, without seeing the place from the outside first, at your leisure.

    Also, the combat is a bit too good at times, and although it may be fun to hack, sneak or talk your way through the game, it seems that simply using a silenced pistol would be quicker and easier.

    That’s it. Three flaws in a Triple-A game, only 1 serious, the other 2 thematic. I think that’s a first.

    1. Klay F. says:

      I agree the forced boss fights are ridiculous. Alpha Protocol had the same problem. Its weird that games such a these with huge amounts of freedom regarding how missions play out have to resort to pigeon-holing to get though bosses.

      Honestly though that bit about not having any pre-mission freedom is just flat out wrong. Have you paid attention at all to the city-hubs? The city-hubs are pretty much exact analogues to the pre-mission stuff from the original game.

    2. GiantRaven says:

      For what it’s worth, at least the boss fights (or at least the one in the beta) allow for a multitude of different ways to complete it.

      1. tengokujin says:

        Having just watched the unlocked “Boss Fights” video on, I realized why the boss fights are like that: they were outsourced. >.<

    3. silver Harloe says:

      I just replayed DX1 all the way through last week… the boss fights went: killphrase AN(*), sniper MC before going down the ladder, killphrase GH, and throw three LAMs at WS (the first one I tossed from the doorway before officially encountering him, and it landed in such a way that he fled into the corner behind the drill so he couldnae escape the other two even with his active defense aug – I doubt I could reproduce this result at will, though). The bosses were easier than the karkians. Sad that such alternatives will be missing in DX:HR

      (*) because I was a wuss and let her kill Lebedev. In the second playthrough this weekend, I planted a LAM in the bathroom and tossed a gas grenade at her so she fled into the bathroom and boomed herself. I know I could’ve LAMed the doorway, but this way I got to justify killing her by waiting until after she told me to whack Lebedev in cold blood. Sorta. I mean, there was no justification for planting a LAM in the bathroom except murder… or keeping my options open? Yah. That’s the ticket.

      1. Jeff says:

        Everybody knows you light a match in the bathroom to clear the air. It makes perfect (Mythbusters) sense that a bigger boom would work better!

  24. X2-Eliah says:

    Anyway, just a very brief concise comment on this, as it’s a completely another thing..

    “My review copy is through Steam, and there were no other shenanigans between myself and the fun. No CD keys, no account creation, no activation, no day-1 DLC, nothing. ”

    Steam is DRM in itself. Buy a boxed copy – you gotta use steam. You use a product key from the box to activate the game on steam – where you must have an account, btw. Augmented editions also have day-1 dlc, of sorts – extra weaponry, money, some hacking device, and in one case even an extra mission. Steam also is the system that delays the EU release from 23rd to 26th.

    Frankly I am extremely surprised of you to say what you said – ‘no drm, no nothing’, when so much of it is simply you not considering steam itself anymore.. Imo, it is still much a problem. Just try running a boxed DX:HR without getting into steam – tough luck.

    1. MistahFixIt says:

      I gotta go with Shamus on this one: it says something when I find Steam’s DRM system -less- obnoxious than say, the CD-Key systems of yesteryear.

      I know not a lot of people are comfortable with Steam, or with DRM at all, but I think Valve’s at least got it right. Well, ‘got it right’ might be a bit too bold; ‘least wrong’, in any case. ;P

    2. Shamus says:

      I very clearly said no OTHER drm. And I said it because I’ve just gone through an ugly slog of games with online activation ON TOP of Steamworks. It’s horrible, and this game doesn’t do that.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        Well, yeah, I’m just saying that ‘It has only 1 DRM’ seems like a pretty low standard.. Like.. what if a game has only GFWL? what if it has ‘only’ Securom? Yeah, it is better than having 3/4 systems in place, but frankly I won’t admit that Having 1 DRM system is good… Give me a game with no DRM, that I will call good. Not a game that requires steam no matter if you buy it on GG/gamestop/amazon/disc/digital.

        1. Jabrwock says:

          Considering that Steam is on the low end of “DRMs that piss people off” in general… I would never put Steam in the same league as SecureROM.

          The biggest problem with GFWL was that publishers distributing games on Steam weren’t disabling GFWL, so you had to use both to register your game. Or making you enter a CD key via Steam/GFWL when they already had your purchase data on-hand via the online app.

          Just loading up Steam and NOT having to enter a CD key 12 times… is a huge step forward.

          DRM will never go away. But DE:HR shows how to do it without treating the customer like a criminal. People don’t mind DRM if it is as unintrusive as possible.

        2. peter says:

          Only one DRM SHOULD be a low standard, unfortunately, when you compare it with other games, it isn’t.
          If most other games do it worse, it’s okay to be happy this one does it slightly better, even if you lament the fact that it’s still not brilliant DRM wise in the absolute sense.
          I think we all know what Shamus thinks about DRM in general and steam in particular, repeating that won’t help, and lessen the message (i think) Shamus is trying to bring.

        3. silver Harloe says:

          I don’t think he’s saying, “it only has one DRM.” I think he’s saying, “the only one DRM it has is Steam.” There’s a difference, which is to say that Steam is one of the less obnoxious DRMs (assuming Valve continues to exist the entire time you might wish to play the game into the future. If Valve asplode, suddenly Steam becomes Hell).

        4. Daemian Lucifer says:

          And what game had no drm?Not counting freewares,of course.There were always cd keyes,or mandatory cd in the tray.If you want a game with no drm,then just pirate the game or stick to freewares.Otherwise,youll always have something extra on there.

          1. GTRichey says:

   version of The Witcher 2 (and shortly after release all versions barring attachment to an account). This fact (and the significant price benefit) made the decision of where I bought it. The more people vote with their wallets (i.e. not buying anything Ubisoft publishes, supporting publishers like CDProjekt Red by purchasing their games on release as opposed to waiting for used or discounted copies) the more likely it is we’ll see publishers move away from the idea of DRM and start thinking about ‘Added Value’.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Thats the same thing as steam.X2-Eliah has a problem with steam being a form of drm,well any other online selling client is just the same.

              1. peter says:

                there’s a difference between a launching platform and DRM. i haven’t yet got anything from GOG, but from what i gather there’s no authentication or any other way of DRM, steam does have said authentication.

              2. X2-Eliah says:

                There is a difference that I don’t have to run the online selling client (gog) every time I play the game.

                1. Klay F. says:

                  Actually there is zero difference because you can run games in offline mode with Steam. Point=Moot

                  1. Bubble181 says:

                    No. A GoG game, you can download and keep for all time, and install on all computers. If you’ve got, say, a pc in your dorm but without internet, it’s perfectly OK to download it from GoG elsewhere and install it there. a PC without internet can’t run Steam indefinitely (it’s a good, workable offline mode, admittedly, but it only lasts a while).
                    If Steam goes belly-up, you lose access to your game. Of GoG goes down, nothing changes.

              3. Roll-a-Die says:

                Let me put it this way. Here is the process I have to go through if I want to install and play half-life 2. Open steam, enter password/let it log in. Close the advertisements that pop up without fail every time. Click the games button Click the game, wait for steam to download. Launch the game. And then if I want to get into the game after downloading it. I have to find steam in my start menu, click it, and then wait for it to log in. Click on games after it assaults me with advertisements AGAIN. Find half life 2, click half life 2, let steam fuck around doing what ever it does when you go to launch a game. Play the game.

                To install and play a gog game. Log into gog. Download installer, double click installer, watch as there is no delay in the installer starting. Click the game in the gog folder of my start menu. Play the game, with no delay as DRM authenticates me. To date I have bought more games on GoG, that have functioned correctly, than I have on steam. I can’t play doom from steam, why not, because you can’t configure their dosbox version. Not only that, but it downloads a new version of dos box for every cunting classic game I get from them.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  @All three:
                  The fact that it is simpler doesnt make it not a drm.Remember when older titles had some form of key code you needed to enter from a book?Yeah,you did it exactly once on install and never again,but it still was drm.Logging in to gog is that same thing.It may be simple,but not drm free.Ergo,it is the same thing as steam,securom,or ubicrap,only with less hassle.

                  1. houser2112 says:

                    GOG is not DRM, and there is no client (unless you consider a website to be a “client”). Roll-a-Die was only describing the process for installing a game that you had previously bought, but hadn’t downloaded. (Say, you made the purchase at work, but want to install it at home.) Once you’ve downloaded it, you need not ever think about GOG again. The file is sitting on your HD to do with as you please: install, play, uninstall, repeat.

                2. silver Harloe says:

                  You do some funny comparisons there, trying to make “I have to find steam in my start menu, click it,” sound worse than “Click the game in the gog folder of my start menu.”

                  Also, you’re apparently not noticing a regular steam option, which is that it, too, leaves shortcuts straight to its games in the steam folder of your start menu

              4. GTRichey says:

       specifically sells all games with no DRM whatsoever. The account is only used for verification when you download games. Once these games are downloaded they just run. There is an optional registration in the case of the Witcher 2 since it’s actually a new game, but that’s a special case of working with their sister company. Any game purchased on can be backed up in the manner of your choosing to be reinstalled at any point if goes under. There is nothing to stop you from taking the install package and putting it on any and every computer you like and it doesn’t ask you to enter account info or anything. The accounts are only linked to purchases so you can download/redownload at your leasure.

                TL;DR Absolutely no DRM on anything from GOG… I think the confusing comment was that in some cases the game may be attached to an account. I meant those purchased through Steam or other digital distributors that tie games to an account and require verification (on install at least).

                All that said is an unusual case in that they specialise in old games that publishers probably don’t care a huge amount about anymore and The Witcher 2 being released there is only because CDProjekt Red is a sister company (that happens to believe in treating customers awesomely and not putting DRM in their games).

        5. Funny Money Guy says:

          to X2-Eliah

          Nitpickery: 3/4 means “three quarters”, while you probably mean 3-4 “three to four”. Second time I saw this in comments in one day, and while I could let the first time slide, this time I just had to comment.

          *pick* *pick* *nitpick*

    3. Peter H. Coffin says:

      I really doubt Steam delays release for any reason other instructions from the publisher..

      1. GTRichey says:

        Pricing/release dates for digital distributors often are effected by the physical distribution in the given country. For example CD Projekt Red ran into an issue with pricing the for the Witcher 2 in Australia (and others?) because of an issue with Australia retail distributor… but Valve themselves you’re probably right about not artificially delaying anything (just saying that it’s not necessarily the publisher’s fault either… well beyond the fact that they determine the distributor but anyway).

        1. Nick says:

          And if they offer extra features like cloud saves, integrated chat, achievements and so on and so forth. Some people don’t care about all that, true, but it’s far more benign.

          Anyways, we’re kinda retreading old ground there. Steam is tolerable, Ubisoft-style DRM is not

    4. ehlijen says:

      Thanks for the warning, I meant to ask if Shamus’ recommendation applies to the retail copy as well.

      I’ve managed to keep this computer steam-free till now and as tempting as DE3 is, I guess I’ll have to live without it then. Maybe rummage for DE1 again instead…

    5. Rem says:

      Considering that Steam DRM is the equivalent of installing, putting your CD key in and then inserting the disc to play the game without any input from yourself seems better than the old methods we used to play PC games. (Steamworks, not so much, but whatever.)

      Just putting that out there. Comparing Steam to GWFL is insane. You open up Steam, it logs you in, you can see all of your games and then you install, uninstall, open and close games to your heart’s content. In comparison, you open up a GFWL title, the game begins to load. GFWL needs to log you in before you can access your save files.

      A service that logs in for every game is a crutch. A service that logs you into a client where you can manage all of your games is brilliant. Steam got off to a rocky start and isn’t perfect, but for DRM in an age of no alternative to using DRM it’s the best thing we have.

  25. Hal says:

    On a more relevant note, what it will take for HR to win me over:

    -Characters and/or factions I can care about. IW felt too forced with their various pro/antagonists.

    -Large settings. IW felt claustrophobic frequently.

    -Open-ended solutions. One of the things I loved about the original game was the ability to come at a problem from various angles. Take the front entrance, or climb up to the roof. Go through the sewers, or sneak through the vents. Shoot everything in sight, or activate the security system. IW really lost a lot of that flexibility, and I thought the game suffered for it.

    Mmm . . . that’s it. I only played IW once, so I can’t think of more complaints it raised from the first game. The original I’ve played so many times it’s ridiculous. Heck, I might reinstall it this week just for kicks and grins.

    1. Klay F. says:

      Well, Adam Jenson is pretty much a perfect clone of JC Denton as far as mannerisms go, so if that floats your boat….

      The only time where your choices are pigeon-holed are the 4 boss fights. This IS unfortunate, but I was easily able to forgive them for such an otherwise stellar game.

      During my first attempt at playing through this game, I actually found myself playing in a style reminiscent of Reginald Cuftburt, consuming every ounce of alcohol I could find. It wasn’t until I was about 4 hours in, that I realized I was probably making the game designers cry, so I decided to start a new game and play it like I had a brain. Both styles of play seem (at least to me) perfectly doable.

      1. acronix says:

        Wait. The original`s protagonist was JC Denton, and the new one is called Adam Jenson? I see what they did there.

        1. tengokujin says:

          JC Denton and Adam Jensen. Think about it.
          New Testament and Old Testament

          1. acronix says:

            Aww…for a second, I thought I was the smartest man alive. *shrugs*

      2. Jeff says:

        I thought we were supposed to drink. After all, it boosts our health (to a max of 200). Just leave 4 beers for the homeless(?) lady.

        Thus far, there are multiple approaches to practically everything, and Detroit feels pretty big.

  26. Reet says:

    You know, you really had me going for a second there Shamus. I had preordered the game just a few hours ago and when I saw the initial negative tone of the article I was preparing for the worst. God I was relieved when I realized you were just screwing with us. Whew.
    Well, the game unlocks for me tommorow at pretty much this exact time…It does happen to be 12 at night though. I reckon I can miss another hours sleep tommorow, or two, or three…

    1. Eärlindor says:

      You know, you really had me going for a second there Shamus. […] when I saw the initial negative tone of the article I was preparing for the worst.

      You scared me for a moment, Shamus. I bet you did that on purpose. :p

  27. Meredith says:

    It’s always good to see you enthusiastic and happy about a game. I gave the original Deus Ex a try back when news of HR first hit, but I never finished it. I keep meaning to go back, but who knows when I will. As a result, I haven’t paid much attention to this game. Still, I’m always pleased to see a game that’s been well put together and has an interesting setting. Wtf is up with sticky cover anyway? I hate getting stuck on something I just bumped into by accident.

  28. Shinjin says:

    What I find ironic is the prevalence of brown in all of the screen caps in this post :)

    1. tengokujin says:

      There’s the bright yellow mop bucket, though. :p

      1. acronix says:

        And the green box next to it.

  29. Irridium says:

    Oh my, that inventory looks like Resident Evil 4’s.

    This is amazing.

    Alright. That settles it. I’m buying this game the moment I have the money.

  30. Jeremiah says:

    Dammit, Shamus. I was really hoping for a more luke-warm reception. That way I wouldn’t feel as compelled to buy it.

    I already figured I’d get it at some point, probably once it went on sale, but now you’re making me actually want it sooner.

    Luckily the only thing holding me back is that I just decided to replay Deus Ex again, so I can definitely hold off until I beat that.

  31. Joe Cool says:

    I think you owe us full disclosure, Shamus. How much, exactly, did Eidos pay you to write this? ;)

  32. RTBones says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, and yet was very …hesitant… to even think about buying it so close to its release date. Like many, I greatly enjoyed the original and really didn’t want the “bad taste” that comes with a game with high expectations that lets your down egregiously.

    Glad to hear you like it, Shamus.

  33. tengokujin says:

    What I like is that you’re not hating on Jensen’s voice. A lot of reviewers are poo-pooing Jensen’s “stereotypical gravelly Batman-wannabe” voice. Have they *seen* the voice actors interview video?

    That man doesn’t need to fake it, his voice sounds like that naturally o.o

    1. Klay F. says:

      In all honesty, I was (and still am) impressed by that guy’s near perfect emulation of JC Denton’s voice. He seems to have Denton’s mannerisms down to a “T”.

  34. SolkaTruesilver says:

    And here I sillily wanted to cut back on my gaming…

    By the way: Human Revolution –> Developed in Montreal

    /national pride

    I am happy to see my tax dollars were not wasted.

    1. Michael says:

      What? Your tax money funds games developers in Canada?

      Shit… Guess I know where I’m moving after I finish school.

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        Quebec, actually.

        Lots of subsidies to video game developpers. Guess why we have so many studios opening in Montreal?

  35. Jokerman89 says:

    My first thoughts were…. wow – even Shamus likes it.

  36. burningdragoon says:

    I’m not going to rush out and buy because of this, but I think from what I’ve been hearing about this I can bump it up from “Yeah I’ll probably get at some point” to “Yeah I’ll definitely get it at some point.” I have some other things to play in the meantime and the game I’ve really been looking forward too is not even two months away.

    1. Klay F. says:

      I’m not trying to tell you how to spend your money or anything, but this game absolutely MUST be successful for all of the reason’s Shamus mentioned in his first two paragraphs, especially with what happened last week when Bioware had to go and open its fat mouth.

      1. burningdragoon says:

        Fair point, I’m all of voting with your dollar etc, etc. Though, I play primarily on consoles so I’m not a part of the DRM fight yet. The other 3 games I am interested in for the rest of the year (El Shaddai, Dark Souls and Skyrim) even if they fall into the Brownening to some degree (which I can’t say for sure until I play them), at least Dark Souls and especially El Shaddai have lots to offer in the art direction department that would make up for that.

        …which doesn’t cover the franchise gutting problem, but I am just one man!

  37. shlominus says:

    you have just made me a very happy man. :D

    i would have bet a lot of money they’d fuck this up…

  38. hardband says:

    Sorry to say this Shamus but the game does have day 1 DLC! Doesn’t stop it being a good game, but you get an extra mission and guns and money if you get the augmented edition or special edition! Real shame, but doesn’t completely destroy a good game!

    1. Raygereio says:

      Those are pre order boni, not day 1 DLC.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        So they’re like day one DLC, except you can’t even buy them later if you decide you want to. That’s even worse.

        1. Raygereio says:

          Oh, please. Yes. It’s even worse then the evil hat scheme![/sarcasm]
          This even though preorder boni existed years before we even heard of the term day one DLC (and people on the Internet started getting all Internet-outraged over that concept for no good reason whatsover) and no one complained about it because there is no real reason to complain about it.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            Eh, sorry, but if you are going to complain about day 1 DLC, might aswell complain about downloadable pre-order ingame bonuses too – imo, same logic applies.

            1. Zukhramm says:

              To me, pre-order bonuses are worse. With a DLC I have the choice to buy it, now or later. With a pre-order bonus, if I don’t get it now that’s it. I will forever have a lesser game.

              1. acronix says:

                Not to mention that sometimes the bonuses are exclusive for certain retailers, so you will miss something.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  Oh yes, you will miss that extra super duper awesome retailer-specific gun.
                  I don’t know how we’ll get over that loss. Hrm, perhaps by using one of the many, many other guns the game has.[/smug]

                  1. Jabrwock says:

                    Exactly. Did nobody notice how long it took Josh to ditch the “pre-order” caravan shotgun in F:NV?

                    Pre-order or retailer bonuses are just as useless as DLC hats. They’re there to separate you from more $$, and provide you with a token that doesn’t really affect gameplay, but like other pre-order swag, gives you bragging rights that you got there first.

                    1. JPH says:

                      Actually, often times the retailer-specific bonus includes actual content, like an extra mission. In fact, that’s what the Gamestop bonus for DX:HR was.

                    2. Jeff says:

                      I actually rather like having a silenced sniper rifle. Not that I’ve ever used it, but its presence comforts me, whispering “you can kill people and nobody would know”.

                  2. acronix says:

                    I never said that the missing thing was important nor useful…! [/lame excuse]

          2. Zukhramm says:

            What no one complained about back then has nothing to do with what I complain about now. Just because it’s been done for long doesn’t mean I have to like it.

          3. acronix says:

            We could argue no one complained back then not because it was/is right, but because no one cared.

            1. Raygereio says:

              “Right”? I’m not defending the existance of the concept of preorder boni or Day 1 DLC.
              I just get really tired of the Internet-outrage(tm) and various tantrums people throw over day one DLC and preorder boni. It wouldn’t even be that bad, were it not for the fact that pretty much all arguments against it that I’ve heard makes the people stating them sound dumb.

              1. Zukhramm says:

                I’m tired of anyone expressing a negative opinion is regarded as throwing a tantrum. I’m sorry for having the dumb opinion that all content should be avalible to all players, regardless of when they buy the game, for what console or from what store, but that’s what I think.

              2. acronix says:

                I meant “was/is right for their (those that did not complain) point of view”. Sorry for the confusion.

      2. hardband says:

        By sheer value of the name it is day 1 DLC! It is content which was made before launch and could have been available in the full game and honestly I would expect the mission pack to be up within a month anyway. Just because it was originally a preorder bonus doesn’t mean it’s not day one DLC! Any content made before a game is finished and made available at launch is day one DLC due to it being available on the first day. I might agree with you when it comes to the weapons not *entirely* being day 1 DLC due to the fact there is a good chance of them not becoming publicly available, but have to say the mission pack is!

  39. Nick-B says:

    After hearing about the E3 copy that got leaked (and according to a friend was semi-encouraged for people to find to use as a demo), I got it and tried it out. Quit half way through the game before it could spoil ANYTHING more and promptly reserved the game. I was borderline, ESPECIALLY since it was so full of Squaresoft cutscenes, but it’s a great shooter on it’s own, with enough skill point allocation and voluntary stealth to scratch the DE1 itch. My only dream now, is to see DE1 recreated in this game engine. WHO’S WITH ME?

    Side bar, that picture you showed to prove how the world of DE:HR is alive… The first thing I saw was the bottle of cleaning liquid clipping into the bucket. Then I read the subtext and realized you weren’t making fun of it :D

    1. Audacity says:

      I would dearly love to see a graphically updated Deus Ex. Square are always remaking their older titles, maybe there is someway to convince them…

      …I need an unsharpened #5 pencil, two of those cute hotel sized tubes of toothpaste, 50 feet of duct tape and and a one way ticket to Tokyo. Initial estimates show I may only have a 0.00000000000000062% chance of success, but it’s still worth a shot.

      1. Raygereio says:

        While you’re at it, think you can convince them to get working on another Legacy of Kain game?

      2. wootage says:

        Your wish is being granted. Not by corporations, but by modders. I just did a playthrough of DX1 with the New Vision texture mod, the Revision 1.3 demo mod, and Kentie’s DX10 drivers, and what they changed was AMAZING. The New Vision guys even retextured the crosswalk lines in the streets of NY, and you’ll have to learn your way around Unatco and Hell’s Kitchen again after what the Revision guys did.

        1. Nick-B says:

          unfortunately, it will still be built on that horrid engine that DE1 was built upon. I may have nostalgia for the game, but what keeps me from going back to it is the idea of having to stand still, crouched, for 5 seconds just to get the crosshairs to cover the top half of that guy 30 feet away.

          Keep the graphics, sounds, level designs the same for all I care, just a new game engine, please.

          1. Raygereio says:

            Putting points into the apropriate weapon skill could fix that waiting time for you.

  40. Abnaxis says:

    Just wait. Act III will have OMG ZOMBIE SEX!!!1!1!

    No game made today can ever be this good…

    1. acronix says:

      I think that was done before and it didn`t stick. Thankfully.

      1. Abnaxis says:

        Since when has that mattered? DRM just keeps growing :p

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Zombie sex in the third act?Is that a joke about fahrenheit,or is that for real?

  41. Dys says:

    So yeah, three days… and I’m away from home this weekend >.<
    I think I may have to take my pc with me. For all that it weighs a ton and is almost as large as I am.

    There is one quote I will never forget, during the early interviews surrounding this, and that concerned the difficulty involved in getting the designers to understand the concept of making content a player might never see.

    Game designers naturally want their work experienced by as many players as possible, so shoving it into plain sight seems to make sense. Making multiple pathways which can bypass entire sections of the game seems a terrible waste of resources. I think probably the most critical aspect of the success of Human Revolution is the project lead really understanding the value of choice in the original game. This also extends to the janitor's closet. If it's not mission critical, why put it there? As Shamus said, it has a value and a purpose beyond getting you to the next section of the game.

  42. Adam says:

    Dear Lord, Shamus. You scared me half to death. For a second there I was worried that the game was actually bad.

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      Give him until Act 3 – Dragon Age 2 suffered for Act 3 for a lot of people. With good reason.

      Rest of the game? Generally fine, if a little wobbly.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Just Act 3? For me Dragon Age 2’s problems started with the prologue.

        1. Roll-a-Die says:

          I had to stop playing after the first magic storm fire fight in the streets with brigands.

          It didn’t help that I was less than 2 feet from a Templar at the time.

  43. Jeff says:

    Shamus, I think you have an extra “of”:
    “Art styles have become muddled and brown, and terrifying sums of money have been spent on an army of bump-mapped, motion-captured, of Uncanny Valley denizens who have dialog that is too stupid for human ears.”

    Speaking of hollowing out a franchise, have you looked at Dungeon Siege 3? Don’t let the title fool you, it has absolutely nothing in common with the gameplay of the original 2.

    After that, I’m happy to see your little mini-review of the preview. My pre-order should be on its way!

  44. Merle says:

    Dang…now I have a conundrum.
    Should I play the original before playing this one, or wait until after?

    1. Jeff says:

      The original, with the High Res mod. It’s generally not enjoyable to hop that far back in terms of graphic quality.

  45. JPH says:

    I pretty much agree with everything. The loading times are frustrating as hell, but other than that the game is very solid.

    Actually, the one other frustration for me is that the game doesn’t run very well on my laptop. I set the resolution down to 800×600 and the framerate still manages to chug every now and then. But that’s because my laptop’s graphics card is crap, and to be fair, nobody told me the game would run well on my computer. I didn’t bother to look at the system requirements before I preordered.

  46. Macil says:

    I generally agree with Shamus, however my first impressions after a few hours have not been as positive. So far, I’ve found the game disappointing–perhaps my expectations were too lofty or perhaps I was just in a bad mood when I played it. I see the potential and there is a lot to like about the game (and I intend to keep playing–actually, starting over), but just wanted to throw a dissenting voice out there.

    The game seems to be getting a lot of praise, and those that were on the fence should probably remain there until more reviews from the community are out (IMO).

    I’m not going to get into my own reasons right now (aside from the fact that this post would be a mile long), as my first impressions are generally NOT rational (and very knee-jerk)–I’m a VERY jaded gamer. I don’t want to be eating crow if I change my mind later on.

    However, with that said, the game may fair better or worse depending on your standards–or your expectations after 11 years.

    Anyway … just my two cents. Thanks for posting your initial impressions, Shamus.

    1. Klay F. says:

      “I’m a VERY jaded gamer.”

      Hello and welcome to TwentySided, the jaded gamer HQ. XD

    2. tengokujin says:

      Is it just me, or does anyone get a strong sense of deja vu from this comment? I feel like I’ve seen it before.

      1. Macil says:

        If you mean me, I’ve never posted anything like this before. I always keep up with Shamus’ blog, but don’t post often. :)

        I’ve started a new game and I’m enjoying it more now. I got up early to try out the game this morning–which I never do (wake up early)–so I think I was really grumpy and getting upset over minor problems with the game (and judging it unfairly.)

        I pretty much agree with Shamus’ post at this point, though we’ll see if the game holds up. I hope it does!

        1. tengokujin says:

          Carp. I’m having premonitions again. I need to get more sleep.

  47. The Hokey Pokey says:

    I’ve been enjoying it a lot. There is no super obvious cutscene at the beginning that tells me who the bad guys are, like in the first one. I have completed the first mission and I do not have any idea who’s in the right. All of the voice acting so far has been excellent, although Jensen’s voice might begin grating after awhile (Oh, and Letitia’s voice is embarrassingly racist).

    As for the cover based shooting, it is nice that you can stick to cover with a simple press of the right mouse and un-stick by releasing it. This, in addition to the roll to parallel cover mechanic makes stealth a lot easier. Since I have been non-lethal so far I can’t speak to the lethal aspect of the combat. They retained the freedom to determine rules of engagement for yourself, and that was what made the first game great in my opinion. If I don’t find an invincible Gunther down the road, Human Revolution might even end up being better than the original.

  48. Kdansky says:

    You’ve just made me 45€ poorer, you bastard. If it is half as good as you claim, then I have to play it. I can live with the stupid boss fights, I will just pretend they didn’t happen. I have very recently replayed the first one (and still didn’t manage the second one, because it crashed after two boring hours and killed my save files) and could see that it still held up. It has aged considerably, but if it weren’t for the ancient visuals, it would easily still be more than competitive. I rarely play any game through in just a week-end because I am hooked, but I was with Deus Ex, even after 10 years.

    Unlocks on 26th? Yay for stupidity! Can I have a censored and badly translated German version forced on me on top of that?

  49. Vekni says:

    Well, I’m sold, then! Put up an Amazon link so that you can get some pennies from my purchase. :)

  50. Jamas Enright says:

    Y’know, times like this, I’m glad I’m only on the edge of gaming. I have no interest in getting this game, so I’m here watching everyone gush about how they want it, how great it is, etc., and I can just calmly observe the phenomena without being sucked in…

  51. Fang says:

    That’s what I’ve seen. Now I’ve only played the leaked Press copy(months back) but it seemed like a real solid game BOTH for those who haven’t played Deus Ex and those that have.

  52. So Shamus, is it apropos to assume that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is on the Spoiler Warning “ToDo” list now? ;)

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Nope, you’ve got it all wrong. Rutzgarn doesn’t want to because it’s too mainstream, Mumbles will refuse because of the “Batman” voice, Josh hates everyone too much to play a game that other people will like, and Shamus hates himself too much to comment on a game that he will enjoy.
      At this rate, we can look forward to three months of “Spoiler Warning: Justin Bieber Revenge” followed by a triple suicide and cannibalism.

      1. tengokujin says:

        (I realize my comment is pointless, but I feel there must be people cheering on the random phrase, now and then. So, there.)

        1. X2-Eliah says:

          “Stop eating meeee”

        2. Alex says:

          Cut to Jensen with a vagrant chewing on his leg:

          “I never asked for this.”
          “If you want to make enemies, try to eat them.”

  53. Grampy_Bone says:

    Hmm, Shamus is giving a new, AAA game positive press. This can only mean one thing: Shamus Young has sold out. Clearly the jet-setting lifestyle and lavish publisher “gifts” have corrupted him into an obedient, compliant, 8.5-or-higher industry lapdog.

    Tell me Shamus, when they sent you that review copy wrapped in $100 bills and you accepted it, how did it feel to know you no longer have a soul? You sir sicken me!

    1. ehlijen says:

      I assume this is meant tongue in cheek? I ask because it sounds actually serious yet I don’t think anyone would think that.

      1. Grampy_Bone says:

        Yes I’m being silly. I know I should have included more :D ;) and :P

        1. noahpocalypse says:

          Should’ve added some Monty Python. That would’ve clarified it better.

          I blow my nose at you! I fart in your general direction! Ni!

    2. Alex says:

      It is sad, sad day when trolls have been so vitriolic as to ruin satire and sarcasm forever.
      I get what you’re saying though ;)

  54. SamuelD says:

    Apart from the boss fights, my other complaint would be that the world isn’t quite as reactive as I’d hoped. For example: There’s a mission where you need to get into a police station, retrieve something, and get out. And as I recall you were told before entering to try to be quiet, to not cause a scene. I went in guns blazing and killed every single living being in the whole damn station. No one cared. I proceeded to kill every cop outside the station, and then to kill every person I encountered on the way to Adam’s apartment building. And then I murdered everyone inside the apartment building. I’ve played some hours since then, and so far, no one seems to care that Adam lost his mind. No comments, no repercussions, nothing.

    1. tengokujin says:

      Wouldn’t that be because you’ve left no witnesses?

      1. Dovius says:

        Hey, that’s actually a fairly good point. Seeing that if you also hacked the security systems while at it, you’ve eliminated all the evidence and witnesses….and the entire police force that would investigate the crimes.

        1. Jeff says:

          In Brief: Country shocked at murder of town.

          A trucker delivering a shipment of chocolate salty balls to Youngstown was shocked to discover the streets littered with bodies, and alerted the police in a neighboring town. Officers arrived on scene to find that the entire population of the town had apparently been shot, and thus far no survivors have been found. Sources report that all surveillance devices in the town were disabled at the time of the crime, severely hindering the ongoing investigation.

    2. Jeff says:

      Actually, we’re all right.

      The world notices but they’re not sure what happened (since there are no witnesses), they have a composite sketch of a possible suspect (You) though.

  55. Agammamon says:

    A couple of other things they’ve got wrong

    – unskippable splash screens at startup

    – Can’t fast forward through opening dialogue – I read pretty fast and while going through the whole scene on my initial playthrough is fine, these dialogue scenes are going to get really fustrating.

    – I’m not sure what the work environment is like at this company but I’ve got a scientist literaly cringing and bowing and scraping while talking to the lead I’m guarding. He’s giving her a status update detailing some minor problems but acts and sounds like he’s expecting to be dumped in a shark tank at any minute.

    – For some reason I’m walking around with a SMG under my coat when it would make more sense for me to have been carrying a pistol.

    – But its good I have the SMG because I’m a lone dude fighting my way, with no backup and no armor, through the enemy assault team that’s already torn through the facility’s security system and personnel. Never seen that done in a video game before.

    On the plus side the tutorial functions are not as obtrusive as in many other titles, which assume no-one has ever played a game like it before and want to be jerked out of the game to follow the tutorial’s unskippable instructions and cut-scenes over and over again no matter how many times you’ve played. Yeah, DOW2 CR I’m looking at your arse.

    1. Agammamon says:

      I forgot one really good one

      – you can change the field of view in the menu otions! Yaaaaaay! No need to try to edit config file to get a decent FOV because console developers tunnel vision.

    2. Klay F. says:

      You really understand nothing of the Deus Ex world do you?

    3. tengokujin says:

      That scraping and bowing should tell you a few things about that man and about the project head. Namely, brown-noser and head honcho. :3
      (There are those kinds of people everywhere, especially in high monetary reward situations such as the labs :p)

      Yeah, that opening dialogue. Why isn’t there a skip for it… T-T

      At least Unskippables has a new subject in the coming weeks.

    4. Agammamon says:

      NVM I screwed up the spoilers tags

    5. Alex says:

      -Space bar skips the current spoken dialog to the next cue, like always.

      -Unskippable splash screens are way too long, but it feels like a movie intro with the music playing, so at least it’s novel.

      -Loading times are impossibly long, though. Then again, there are a LOT of variables being saved and loaded.

    6. Jeff says:

      How large is that SMG? If I had the need for firepower and had the choice, I’d certainly carry at least a machine pistol like a BT MP9 or a Glock 18C.

      1. Jeff says:

        Having played the game now…
        That’s not an SMG, that’s a full blown assault rifle.

  56. Jonathan says:

    Hmmm… I am at least interested, although I probably won’t buy until it hits the sub-$20 price point.

  57. Blake says:

    Having never played the original (I have a copy of it somewhere I’ll never install), is this something I could easily pick up and play or would I be missing out on lots?
    From the sounds of it it’d be fine, but I’d like to know before I spent the inordinate amount of money it costs to buy a new game in Australia.

    1. tengokujin says:

      Wow. 63 dollars in Australia? Ouch. >.<

      There are nods to the original, but as far as I can tell, it's good enough to stand alone. Are you familiar with FPS games? You are? Good, that should be good enough. Just remember to plan out your shooting pattern instead of running in and hoping you can soak up bullets for long enough to kill them first.

      1. Simplex says:

        Ouch? It’s 65 USD in Europe (excluding UK) and that is AFTER 10% off sale! Steam screws Euro consumers royally. Console versions are chaper in brick and mortar store than PC version on steam. And you can sale your console version while you cannot sell your PC version (Well, you can if you sell your steam account – so you can’t).

        1. Reet says:

          Steam is actually relatively cheap in Australia. I’m pretty damn sure that Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be at least 80$ in most retail places and possibly 100$
          So when you put it like that 63$ is pretty good (It’s also USD which is good because the australian dollar is stronger at the moment)

  58. Winter says:

    Cover-shooter aficionados…

    That’s a thing? Like, people actually enjoy cover-based shooting? My view of the world suddenly became a little bleaker…

    1. Klay F. says:

      If these people didn’t exist, then the game companies wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars every year making games for a market that didn’t exist.

      1. Winter says:

        I dunno, i’m not convinced. I mean, have you played these games??

        1. tengokujin says:

          Well, at least Jensen remembers to actually duck his head under the top level of his cover, most of the time.

          All those episodes of SW for ME and ME2 where Shepard has his/her head and shoulder above cover made me cringe.

        2. Dovius says:

          Well I quite enjoy the ocassional game of Gears of War.

    2. Adeon says:

      I wouldn’t claim to be an aficionado of them but I’ve always preferred cover-based shooters to run-and-gun shooters.

      1. swimon1 says:

        I hate that that’s the name the old fps games have gotten. Run-n-gun, I mean it’s descriptive and all that but it used to be that run-n-gun meant games like jet force gemini. Games based on running at your enemies and gunning them down, and then having some light platforming it fits the name better. What do you call those games now? Shooters? Platforming third-person shooters? Adventure games? I guess the sad part is that there aren’t enough games that fit the old definition of run-n-gun for them to keep the name.

    3. Jeff says:

      I enjoy the FPS sub-genre where you don’t run and jump around like a hyper-caffeinated teen gymnast who has pin-point accuracy while cartwheeling through the air.

      I dunno if the ones where you actually need to stand still to have a good shot grouping count as cover-shooters though.

  59. Simplex says:

    North America: 23/08/2011
    Europe: 26/08/2011”

    Why? Why do they punish and torment us (Europeans)? WHY?

    1. acronix says:

      Evidently they are using the latest edition of the Hollywood Atlas by Hollywood (see TV tropes for explanations).

  60. Jonn says:

    It would have been far better to keep the premise and throw out the story.

    Shamus, didn’t you start out this post decrying reboots? Or are you saying that they can sometimes be done well?

    1. Shamus says:

      What I’m advocating is not really a “reboot”. Much like Final Fantasy hasn’t been “rebooted” 12 times. (Or however many times.) I reboot would involve telling the same story again. I’m suggesting that they tell a new story each time.

      In a reboot, everyone argues about the changes. Spider-man has organic spinners? Heresy! Now he has mechanical ones? Heresy again! We all rate the game on how “faithful” it is, and ask why elements we love were removed. With an always-new story, we don’t have that. Each story can stand on its own, and a bad game in the series doesn’t inject a bunch of drivel into the ongoing canon.

      I think it would be a far better way to maintain long-running series.

  61. Kyte says:

    Calling BioShock a “spiritual successor” to the open-ended, skillpoint-building, free-roaming, exploration-driven, cyberpunk-flavored System Shock 2

    Except it’s not the “spiritual successor in any kind of gameplay sense? The inheritance’s in the thematics and atmosphere, not in the gameplay. I found that to be pretty obvious, at least.

    1. Klay F. says:

      If thats the case the Ken fucking Levine himself should never have called it a spiritual successor.

      He should have called it “a game that takes some thematic queues from System Shock 2.”

      In reality, the only thing similar between the two games is the “Shock” in the title.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        …and exploring a dead microcosm through people’s recollections and notes they left to each other on their way to their deaths.

        1. Klay F. says:

          If thats all thats needed then we might as well call Dead Space a spiritual successor to SS2 also. [/flamebait]

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hey,if bethesda can sue because a game has scrolls in the title,why cant a game with shock in the title be a spiritual successor to system shock?

      3. JPH says:

        In reality, the only thing similar between the two games is the “Shock” in the title.

        And audio logs, and ghost hallucinations, and unlocking magical powers with RPG elements (psi powers/plasmids), and hacking, and a twist in which the character who’s been instructing you the whole time is actually evil and manipulating you, etc. etc.

        It’s fine if you think Bioshock doesn’t live up to its predecessor, but saying the games have nothing in common is completely absurd.

        1. Klay F. says:

          No what is absurd is rattling off elements of a game which untold numbers of games also have and assuming one game in particular is special because of its creator. If this was the case, then Singularity, and Dead Space 1 and 2, plus others I haven’t played would also be spiritual successors.

          1. JPH says:

            They aren’t considered spiritual successors because they weren’t made by the same creators. But Singularity was commonly considered a rip-off of Bioshock, and Dead Space was commonly considered a rip-off of System Shock. So yeah, they basically are, actually.

  62. hardband says:


  63. General Karthos says:

    It’s refreshing to read a positive review. It really is. I occasionally go back to your Master of Orion II review, but that results in me playing Master of Orion II which then takes up much of my free time, and everything else goes down one slot on my list of priority. For example, I beat it twice on “Impossible” difficulty level last weekend, which means I put off the writing I need to do by Wednesday to… well… now I suppose.

    But, you’ve taken a game I have absolutely no interest in, and made me interested. Which would be great if I had any money. But since I don’t, I’ll just be interested to read these reviews and keep it in mind for some point in the future where I -do- have a little money to spend. Where I can be either:
    A) Glad to spend the money on a good game
    B) Glad not to waste the money on a game that starts out seeming like a good one, but turns out to suck.

    I value your reviews… I really do. You are rarely what I would consider wrong.

  64. void says:

    So, picked up the first Deus Ex because, hey. Why not. Been meaning to.

    Shuffled through training. Giggled at some absurdities. Got to the final part of the training scenario, with the river and security bot.

    I look around. I consider: They said to get to the other side, how doesn’t matter.

    I grab some crates of explosives, toss them in the water next to the far bank, jump up and down on them a few times.. The security bot notices me, opens fire.

    The explosion launches me onto the ledge, where I crawl out of line of sight of the security bot. Yes, crawl, because I’ve reduced all four of my limbs to 0 (and my torso reduced to 10 from the trip out of LOS).

    JC’s conversation with the holographic dude after slowly, carefully, painstakingly dragging himself by his limb-nubs down one hallway, down another, barely managing to nudge a door open..

    Well, it was VERY entertaining to me, I’ll say that.

    1. Reet says:

      …I really whish I’d thought of that, it sounds a lot quicker than being shot to pieces by the robot and very slowly crawling around and looking for the code to lower the bridge.
      On a slightly different note, it sounds a lot like you understood the premise of the game from your creative aproach to that puzzle. Just remember, You can’t rocket jump, believe me, I tried.

      1. void says:

        I was ACTUALLY trying to jump ONTO the floating boxes of explosive. I mean, they FLOATED in the water. So naturally, I went, “I can jump onto them, right? RIGHT?” And, well, it turns out not quite, but I can jump OVER them as they boom from being shot at by a third party.

        … but now I feel I’ve been challenged to find a way to rocket jump.

        Does grenade jumping work? LAMs look like they’d be good for that job.

        1. Jeff says:

          LAMs are better used for wall climbing. JC is an Extreme Climber, he can climb on the tiniest of edges. Two or three can let you scale a sky scraper.

          1. Audacity says:

            If they don’t turn you into crispy fried giblets first.

  65. thebigJ_A says:

    What I’ve heard is:

    The shooting is mediocre at best.

    The voice acting can be pretty bad at times.

    The AI is terrible, and stupid.

    The boss fights are a horrendous mistake. They should be treated as if they didn’t happen.

    None of this matters, because the world they’ve created is so much fun to dig into.

    I’ll find out when I pick it up tomorrow if I agree.

    1. Audacity says:

      Oh my gosh it IS a perfect successor to the first game! This sounds almost identical (Damn you Gunther!) to the first one. I’m so happy I could shed a single shining tear of joy.

    2. thebigJ_A says:

      Nooo! Gamestop was sold out! Jerk behind the counter was like, “Why didn’t you pre-order, man?”

      Because I despise the very idea of pre-orders, maybe? Maybe you should have stocked enough of the only game coming out this week?

      Stupid Gamestop.

      Stupid me not having a decent PC, so I’m forced to deal with places like Gamestop.

    3. Rosseloh says:

      My opinion:
      Voice acting is decent, it’s the lip-syncing and character animations DURING said VA that is not up to par…A woman’s sobs don’t match well with her staring in one direction and bobbing her head around. I personally put it down to the fact that development started in, what, 2007? Not a perfect excuse, but the tech wasn’t as advanced at that point. And honestly, good on Eidos to not switch engines halfway through. I wouldn’t have put it past a studio to do that.

      The shooting is a bit meh, at least with the non-lethal rifle I used at the very start. I ended up with the same reaction as Shamus: stealth is not so good, just kill everyone. Except for me, it’s ranged stealth (I was out of tranq darts because they didn’t hit the guy despite being aimed directly at his head) — so long as you’re not visible, close-up stealth isn’t too bad yet.

      But then, I’ve only played 3-4 hours of it so far, so my comments may not be accurate as to the whole product.

      1. Jeff says:

        “(I was out of tranq darts because they didn't hit the guy despite being aimed directly at his head)”

        At what range? Tranq darts have travel time and the projectiles have a drop off.

        1. Rosseloh says:

          10-15 feet? I was above him and he was in plain sight — if they didn’t hit his head they should have at least hit his back.

  66. Felblood says:

    Blood take it, man!

    I just bought a flashy new computer, and I don’t have any money left for this game.

    Do you have any idea how sad this review makes me?


    Shamus gives a positive review of sequel to 90s sacred cow.

    Stick around for the weather, where we’ll tell you how much hail to expect in Hell, tonight.

  67. Zaxares says:

    You totally fooled me, Shamus. I seriously thought that DX3 was going to be a hideous failure and I was preparing myself for the savaging… And you turned it on its head. Well done, sir. Well done.

    And this means I have even more to look forward to when I pick up my pre-ordered copy tomorrow. :D

  68. bob says:

    Just a pity the game is saddled with the steam drm issue!

  69. psivamp says:

    I marathoned through most of the game after my dual LP through the leaked beta, I noticed that they changed a few things for the better. Performance is up a few fps and I’ve only had one slowdown.

    I only skimmed this because I need to get back to 2027 to beat up some more dudes in my pacifist run. I’ll read it later when I’ve saved the world or joined in the conspiracy that’s ruining it for everyone else.

  70. Milos says:

    Shamus, don’t lie to us. We know you secretly hate this game. You hate ALL games.

    Damn different release dates, why are they doing this to me?

  71. Alex says:

    I had played the demo at E3 and the feeling I got was “I could see this being ‘Deus Ex'” as a style. The groundwork was there for a great game. It was only the first mission, exactly as it appears in-game. The few complaints I had were from the controls, they were fixed so I couldn’t change them and that led to a few off moments. It made me question the cover system, initially. But the options for gameplay and the sheer depth of the environment made for a really fun demo and inspired my confidence. I left saying “This could very well be the game to match Deus Ex.”

    Having played through the first mission and part of the city (about 6 hours of gameplay, I might add) any concerns from the demo were quickly quelled. This cover system is easily the most robust I have seen in a game, it offers something for every mode of play: for combat you can take cover and shoot, an effective tactic; for stealth, it offers a way of seeing your surroundings without them seeing you and moving quickly from cover to cover. Also, there’s a small sound cue when an enemy glimpses you, which saved me from a few bad spots. Excellent implementation.

    The lack of DRM was also very refreshing, although in a game series based around the liberty or control of information, DRM would have completely sullied the experience by making it seem disingenuous. It’s like watching the movie 1984 while being video-taped.

    After the first mission, when I got to go out into the city, I got goosebumps. Climbing around on catwalks, breaking into rooms, shooting hoops (SIGN HIM UP FOR THE NICKS!), finding secrets and areas where I needed to remember to aug up to access later: pure Hell’s Kitchen from the first game. I thought I even recognized a few buildings as reconstructions of those old areas. I was probably mistaken, but the fact that I even had to ask: Huge Success!

    I had great confidence, from the trailers, that it would manage to capture the many-faceted, no-right-answer ethical issues that made the first game a home run with me, even though I played it 8 years after it was made. After arguing with Zeke in the first level, persuading him to free the hostage but still letting him go, and the NPC reactions to those choices, I knew we had made it.

    So far, I believe that this is Deus Ex 3. It captures the feel of the original, with something new. It manages to shift the issues from the first game, while still keeping the approach and tone straight. It doesn’t favor either side of the issue, forcing the player to make their own judgements and live with the choices that those judgements produce, for better or for worse. I feel good about playing this and can’t wait to see what else it delivers.

    1. Rosseloh says:

      Speaking of Zeke, I especially liked the “walking conversation”, and how it stayed in first-person until the very end.

  72. BlackBloc says:

    As much as I like running in guns blazing in an FPS, this is my first cover shooter and I kind of like it. I could see how that sort of mechanic might be done horribly, horribly wrong, but in the case of Deus Ex : HR, it’s pretty well done. Plus it really meshes well with the stealth gameplay (and I HATE stealth games, like Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, usually… Thief series was good though).

    Hoping the team doing the new Hitman game at Eidos actually are in an intense friendly competition with the team that did Deus Ex : HR to see who will come up with the best game, because I could really use a good game featuring my old buddy 47.

  73. Klay F. says:

    I have to talk about the soundtrack for a minute. Oh. Holy. God. The soundtrack is just so good. It sounds like something Vangelis would do. Its THAT good.

    1. Rosseloh says:

      Totally. I’m getting Blade Runner vibes every 2 seconds wandering around my apartment in game. And every time I’m in an elevator with a window to the city.

      And speaking of the apartment….I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t pick up the pictures on my desk when I first visited. It would have been fitting knowing the story at that point. And the music was perfect for a moment of reflection. If it had been a movie, he totally would have picked up one of them and stared at it for a while. ;)

    2. swimon1 says:

      I really liked the soundtrack too, no complaints but one strange discovery. I’m pretty sure I heard the mass effect theme in there. Maybe it’s an homage maybe I’m hearing things (although I usually just hear the voices of the dead) but I’m pretty sure it’s in there.

      1. Rosseloh says:

        I hear you there — but I think its because they have the same base: soaring synth chords. The one that plays during the (for once, not unfortunately) unskippable logo slideshow when opening the game reminds me of Mass Effect the most.

        It’s definitely more Vangelis than ME though, to my ears. Which, if I read the “semi-dystopian cyberpunk” theme right, fits with the Blade Runner idea.

  74. RTBones says:

    Well, thank you, Shamus. See, after reading this when you originally posted, I went off and did a little investigating into the game. And THEN – I bought it. And its your fault. :) :) :)

    In the interest of full disclosure, I probably would have anyway, once it reached ~$20. You just helped to expedite my purchase timeline.

    So far, no major gripes – but I’m not ‘really’ playing yet.

  75. Bouregard says:

    Got the retail edition. First impression: This is definitly the most empty box I ever bought. A two page leaflet half filled with steam advertisement and the keys + the disc. That’s all. So if you don’t plan on getting the collectors edition don’t bother with the physical copy. Get it of steam, you can’t play it any faster and you save the trip to the mall.

    Next idiotic problem: The game refuses to install because steam did not release the game yet. So I am forced to preload the game via steam servers…they could at least allow me to preinstall from dvd instead of using their own bandwidth.

    So far not impressed but Shamus gives me hope that at least the game is not a total waste of money.

    Bouregard, waiting to play

  76. Blackbird71 says:

    I guess I’m just less willing to compromise on DRM than others. Even if I buy a retail box of an offline, single-player only game, I have to install Steam? No thank you!

    I’ve pretty much come to the resignation that with the exception of the occasional rare indie title, I won’t be buying any new offline games, possibly for the rest of my life (which could be another 40-60 years). So it’s pretty much just old titles and MMOs (the only online authentication I can justify) from here on out.

    And do you know what? I’m okay with that, mostly because I know I would be much less okay with some company thinking that they “own” MY games. No company gets to go out of business and take my stuff with them, and if you think that is out of the realm of possibility for any software company, then you’re fooling yourself.

    1. Inyssius says:

      I must be fooling myself, then, because I can’t see how a program could possibly tell when its developer has gone out of business if it doesn’t ever connect to the internet at all. Which Steam doesn’t, if (like many people) you set it to offline-mode the minute you installed the program and haven’t changed that setting since.

      1. Shamus says:

        You won’t be able to move that installed game to a new machine. If you ever upgrade, you need to connect again.

        Also, some people (myself included) report that offline mode doesn’t always work. Sometimes it insists on connecting, or says “This operation cannot be performed at this time” when you try to run the game.

  77. Mailbox says:

    Hey I picked the game Tuesday, been playing a lot. First day I noticed the horrible load times was timing it around 25-28 secs. However this didn’t last long the next day Steam did a quick update download before I could start the game and since then my load times have been sub 10 seconds. I didn’t change a thing in my settings left them all on default after it auto detected during the initial install. Vsync is on. I guess my comp is a beast.

    Game is fantastic so far.

  78. somebodys_kid says:

    I bought this game solely on this blog post (and the 30% off on Amazon was a bit of help as well). I also installed the first one with the better texture mod and played 10 minutes of the training. I now have to play the first one to completion before attempting the third one. Still not sure on the second one.

  79. arron says:

    I bought DE:HR. It’s good and well worth the wait. Graphics and sound are good, atmosphere is nicely done and I like the “more than one way to do things” approach to the previous two games. Hacking game works, Third person cover based stealth works, Good aug upgrade tree and the inventory works a lot better I thought it might on a console thanks to the quick selection radial. Good selection of readable books, emails, news reports and other media really sold the story. And finding someone whom you lost and then turns up on a slab in a backstreet chop-shop genuinely made me feel sad.

    Not so good bits are :

    1 – The boss fights. I know the original had Gunter and Anna as mandatory fights, but you could conceivable avoid those by use of the kill switches or other environment hacks. The Barratt fight (luckily) doesn’t require special augmentations given you can use the environment to get rid of him quite quickly..but the Yelena fight requires you to either pretty much kill yourself using the power generators or spend several minutes dodging and chasing. If you don’t have EMP protection, you’ll die over and over again. The Jaron fight is worse given your condition when you start the fight and you’re at a serious disadvantage if you don’t have certain augmentations. Not what I expected from a Deus Ex game.

    2 – No melee weapons. If you run out of all ammo for your guns, then you only have takedowns, which are not a lot of good against a squad of over a dozen mercs trying to kill you (like the Zhao office trap). You need have sufficient energy to use it and so I was resorting to hiding under the desk and using the takedown aug on troops stupid enough to come close. Given a squad of a dozen people armed with machine pistols, shotguns and chainguns, it’s not easy. I’d steal their weapons and then try to work up from there. I was hoping for a police baton, a baseball bat, sword..combat knife, scaffolding pole..anything so I could basically bring down the mercs searching in twos and threes to effect an escape from there. It was a bit of an oversight on the parts of the designers..but I guess they wanted to sell the takedown as a major feature.

    3. The ending. It was a bit weak in that you couldn’t have more actions that then allied you to one of the factions, or discard them all to do the “anarchy” option. This is one bit that I thought that Invisible War (and Fallout New Vegas) did better in that you had to do certain actions (and eliminate discard certain rivals) to get the ending that you were aiming for. I did think that choosing your position by merely pushing one of four possible buttons did smack of underwhelming anticlimax. I would preferred being convinced to assist certain factions by doing side missions (first through proxies and then through the faction leaders) might have demonstrated your convictions to the point where you then seal it in the end by one final uploading the Aquinas Protocol to one side in the last mission of Invisible war. It would have made you feel more involved with the various sides and change as more information becomes available that might change your mind.

    In summary – These are relatively small niggles though..the game is a great piece of work. I’m enjoying it enormously and it has great replay value. With Portal 2 this year, this was the other game I’ve been eager to play.

    I hope they fit in another game between the end of this one and the original Deus Ex. There’s certainly enough space in the story to show the downfall of civilisation and the rise of factions like the NSF, the Illuminati and the Templars who were wiped out before the events of the first game. As well as putting up prototype pharma-aug/nano-aug agents vs. a mech-aug like Jensen. Perhaps he’ll catch up with his ex-girlfriend before as she researches something else that gets out of control..

    1. Rylinks says:

      Actually, I cheesed the third boss fight by bringing a hacked turret to the battle. Although I did have a few problems getting it to lock on through his intermittent stealth, I imagine that the fight would have been trivial if I had an emp grenade for the stun+disable.

      1. arron says:

        I tried the hacked turret from upstairs myself, but it was unable to lock on thanks to his cloak. Plus it didn’t take much (an EMP grenade) lobbed by him in the general direction shorted it out.

        I found the quickest way to take him down was to sit in a corner and keep flipping between the two directions. Jaron will usually turn up one side of the corridor and then I then shoot him with the heavy rifle before he looses off his plasma rifle. I then hide around the corner from the guy as he fires his plasma rifle, and then empty the heavy rifle into him after he stops firing. It doesn’t take much doing this to bring Jaron down. If he lobs a grenade, then I switch to the opposite corner and do it all again. Eventually he’ll get enough lead put into him to finish him off for good.

    2. guy says:

      The third boss fight literally gave me a headache, and I’m currently stuck on it. I KNEW that biochip upgrade could only end in tears, but NOOOO

  80. Bryan Bridges says:

    Already beat the game. It was good starting out…but I got dissapointed towards the end. I would explain why, but I don’t want to give you spoilers.

  81. Atle says:

    I am actually looking forward to XCOM. I will be watching reviews and see what kind of DRM they’re using. But if everything seems OK, I’m in!

  82. zoopz says:

    Unless you were making a really obscure pun about the brownness of modern games, you probably meant to write “palate” instead of “palette”.

  83. littlefinger says:

    I’m just going to leave this here, even though it will probably not get read:

    When you get to the end of the game. Watch the the credits all the way (read a book while it’s playing, it’s quite long). Just do it, trust me.

    It might be the most awesome part of the whole third act of the game, IMO.

  84. JT says:

    At some point I’ll probably have to start keeping a list of games that I passed on (or at least waited until sub-$11 fire-sale prices on) because of DRM that forever chains a serial numbered physical disc to a unique user account (like Steamworks does).

  85. OEP says:

    You are a bad influence, Shamus. I have bought my first 1st person game ever because of your article. I really hate 1st person games. Let’s see if this changes my mind. I even played oblivion in third person.

  86. Athan says:

    So, still loving this game?

    A friend has enjoyed it greatly as well, and I’m wondering if The Great Shamus, Destroyer of Games managed not to change his opinion ;).

  87. Alec W says:

    Shamus, just having a look through your reviews archive (thanks for the spec ops recommendation btw, I never ever EVER would have picked that up if you and Yahtzee hadn’t drawn my attention to it)…
    I hope your comments feed still works like it used to so you will see this:

    Why is there only a “First Impressions” for freaking Deus Ex?
    You do a five part deconstruction on a piece of ***, but a great new game like this gets only a first impressions?

    Yes I know the game develops flaws, such as boss fights and an ending that was certainly no improvement on the original, but its still one of the best titles of the last five years and so unlooked for and out of place in the modern game dev scene that it should be supported and constructively criticised.

    And who better to discuss bad boss fights and disappointing endings in otherwise brilliant games that a certain Mr. Shamus?

    1. Shamus says:

      We covered it in Spoiler Warning, and I guess I said my bit there.

      1. Alec W says:

        Ah, OK I’ll check that out. I was looking for review rant – suggestion: link to the Spoiler Alert from this article so someone can get your whole view on the game without getting lucky with google (as the site search function is apparently totally non functional, searching for ‘bioshock’ netted me about half the articles on the site!).

        Sorry to criticise but I love your content and am dismayed at how hard it is to find stuff.

  88. maninahat says:

    Oh, I know exactly what you mean by the mop buckets picture.

    In the opening scene, I was amazed by the sight of something as mundane as stacks of paper, and piles of crap left around in the first room. There was paper and post-its everywhere – like a real science lab. After playing through Mass Effect’s unbelievably bland, metal empty corridors, I came to the conclusion that games must be too complex these days to actually give a room purpose, or give the impression that someone used it before your character waltzed in. But here is HR, proving that we don’t have to play in an empty, Castle Wolfenstein world.

  89. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:


    looks like spam comment. :(

    And on to my real comment, I got this game and I am still roughly at the start of it, and it looks so real and fun! The only reason I haven’t been playing it is that I have a massive pile of games to work through.

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