Decision-making has always been a part of video games, but Deus Ex: Human Revolution — released last week on Xbox, PS3, and PC — takes it to a new level. Players take on the role of ex-SWAT specialist Adam Jensen, who in the year 2027 specializes in biomechanical human augmentation. When Jensen discovers he's been augmented himself, he sets out to learn who is responsible, an odyssey in which players have seemingly endless choices to make, and each one really impacts what happens down the line. "You feel that you are Adam Jensen," says Ebenezer Samuel at the Daily News. Is this the most "groundbreaking" game of the year?
Yes. The game never gets old: The genius of Deus Ex is all the options it affords you, says Steve Trader at The San Diego Examiner. Unlike most games, players aren't confined to a story line in order to complete a mission. Instead, they're "simply told of a goal and then let loose to explore the environment and accomplish it." This makes "the game new and exciting each time you play it."
"Deus Ex: Human Revolution hits shelves today to much acclaim"
Hopefully other games will follow suit: Deus Ex is for gamers "who like to add a little thinking to their shooting," says Tom Price at Game Pro. As players move through the game's world, there's a "consistent mental challenge" that's lacking in most other video games. Deus Ex puts "strategy over spectacle" — let's hope more shoot-em-up role-playing games will start to adopt this level of sophistication.
"Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution"
Actually, it's not that revolutionary: All the flexibility is nice, says Arthur Gies at IGN, but "some major plot decisions are made for you." That includes the biggest decision of all — centering Deus Ex around one of the most tedious, uninventive tropes of gaming: Boss battles. One-on-one battles with a "Big Bad" stretch back to the days of classic Nintendo and Super Mario — a "disappointing and 'gamey'" flaw for what's supposed to be a revolutionary game.
"Deus Ex: Human Revolution review"