Deus Ex: Human Revolution E3 preview
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2010-06-21 Xbox 360 Action/RPG M (Mature) Eidos / Square Enix

It's been 7 years since the last Deus Ex, which made this behind closed doors demo quite the treat. In fact, we were some of the last people to leave the show floor that day, since we were the last group staying past 6 pm to listen to lead writer Mary DeMarle who guided us through the demo.

The events in Human Revolution take place before the first game, in the year 2027, a time of chaos and conspiracy. You play as mechanically enhanced agent Adam Jensen, a security specialist who works for a nanotechnology company.

The game is a first-person action/RPG that revolves around four components: combat, stealth, hacking and social. There is always a multi-path approach to things and you can change your style of gameplay by using the four elements in any way you see fit.

In the first part of the demo, we had a look at the social aspect of the game. The environments are filled with life and activity. NPCs will mind their own business, engage in conversations with each other, but they will notice if you pull out a gun and react accordingly. Some of them will talk to you, give you information or offer you sidequests.

Your path will be full of choices. For example, we saw a scene where Jensen attempts to enter The Hive club. You have a choice to attack the guard or find an alternate way to get in, which involves gathering information from nearby people and getting hints regarding other possibilities. Inside the club, during a conversation with the bartender, more choices were offered. We fail to convince the bartender to give us what we need, so we will have to explore again to find another way to reach our goal. Overhearing a conversation proved very useful in this situation, since we learn that a guard has lost his PDA with access codes in it - meaning, we must find it and use that code to open the door to where we need to go.

The second part of the demo showcased combat and stealth gameplay, with a quick look at hacking and augmentations. There are several takedowns (something like fatalities) available during combat, which aren't scripted but contextual instead. There are also non-lethal takedowns, which makes it possible for you to go through the game without killing anyone except for bosses. While you play the game in first-person, taking cover and performing takedowns become third-person moments.

Taking cover from spot to spot helps avoid detection. Depending on how you use your augmentations, you gain more skills. For example, if you give Jensen a strength augmentation, he will be able to push heavy objects out of the way. Another augmentation we saw allowed him to see through walls.

Several computers must be hacked be accessed. You can read emails to find out useful information, turn off security systems, control security cameras, use said security against your enemies.

All your weapons can be upgraded on the fly, as we saw a rocket launcher being improved with a heat-guided system during a boss fight with a massive grenade-throwing robot. After disposing of said robot, our gameplay demo ended with Jensen jumping through a window, barely escaping an explosion, only to find himself face to face with a cybernetic supersoldier.

Human Revolution seems to be worth the 7-year wait. The next chapter in the Deus Ex franchise is coming for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC sometime in 2011. I guess we'll just have to wait a little more!