Square Enix and Eidos Montreal recently released an impressive pre-rendered trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution in advance of next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The game is the third in the Deus Ex franchise and the first to not be developed by Ion Storm and series creator Warren Spector.
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Set 25 years before the events of the original, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prequel to the groundbreaking first person shooter/role-playing game. The designers have clearly been influenced by films like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell and the works of William Gibson; in terms of the setting and tone, Eidos Montreal seem to have nailed the cyber-punk feel of the original. The game looks good, but ultimately it’s how the game plays that will sell the old fans, like me, on the game.
I want the game to be good, I really do. I loved the first Deus Ex and I’m sure the folks at Eidos Montreal have a similar affection for the original. However, as impressed as I am by the trailer (hats off to Square Enix for doing a bang up job on that) I know that Human Revolution will probably shit all over my fond memories of the original Deus Ex, more so than the lackluster sequel Invisible War. Beyond the first year philosophy class psycho babble and the panopticon conspiracy, what made the original, and even Invisible War, so great were the choices the game provided the player. In any given situation there were multiple solutions: Need to sneak into a facility? Depending on your skill set you could talk your way in, bribe your way in, sneak your way in, shoot your way in, hack your way in and any combination in between. Every conversation mattered, every tiny detail could be exploited and used, every choice you made effected the outcome of the game. It’s ironic that graphics have progressed the way they have (the characters didn’t even have ears in the first Deus Ex!) and yet high level gameplay has regressed in so many ways.
I shouldn’t get so bent out of shape over this, but you see, the reality of the situation is that game is being released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. For the millions in development costs, this is the only way they can make a profit. It has to be easy for the console players to understand and play. With this in mind, the designers will no doubt streamline the classic RPG mechanics of the original in favour of modern and mediocre consolized simplicity. The PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will not be a true PC game, but like so many other recent triple A sequels to classic PC franchises, it will be a port of the console version. But hey, it doesn’t matter. they’re not selling it to me; They’re selling it to the largest gaming market out there, the die hard Xbox 360 players.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set for release in the first quarter of 2011.
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