As of late, triple-A video games have sneakily made their way to OS X for the delight of many Mac users. While this is not a bad trend, the sneakiness of it is a bit alarming. Due to the lack of new and popular games on the Mac App Store, many lesser known games go unnoticed as they are released on the store without a lot of press behind them, and even though stealth is the name of the game, this is one amazing title you don’t want to let off your radar.
Feral Interactive has brought Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Ultimate Edition to the Mac with authority. Packing all previously released DLC, the Ultimate Edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the prequel to the first game, Deus Ex, released in the year 2000. Back in 2000, Deus Ex was a critically acclaimed title that became the “Best PC Game of All Time” in PC Gamer’s Top 100 PC Games. Human Revolution is no different. Giving the player the freedom of an open world environment, the satisfying stealth gameplay with role-playing abilities to “augment” the main character to the players liking, and a superb science fiction plot that hinges on humanity vs. technological evolution, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is undoubtably a must buy.
From the moment you start the game, you are presented with a sleek menu-screen that showcases the game’s hacking and futuristic themes. The initial menus are to-the-point and the in-game menus where you’re able to customize the main character with augmentations, and manage your weapons and items are painless. All in all, building the perfect augmented character is a breeze thanks to the simplicity of these menus.
Once you’re passed and familiar with the menus, you’ll be introduced to the game’s plot. This is one first-person-shooter where the story actually matters. You take control of Adamn Jensen, an ex-cop who’s allegiance is now with Sarif Industries as a Security Chief specialist. Sarif Industries is a corporation that focuses on augmentations, a form of implants that are meant to enhance human abilities like make someone stronger, faster, and nimbler.
Augmentations is basically what the whole game revolves around. The struggl between being an augmented individual versus a regular non-augmented human being is always present as the game makes you think whether it is right or wrong for humanity to be able to alter life as it is. Once you get a taste of the narrative, you’ll be reminded of Icarus. In Greek mythology, Icarus’ father constructs wings that Icarus then uses. He ignores his father’s instruction to not fly too close to the sun and falls into the sea where he drowns. Deus Ex’s theme is significantly similar.
Along with the outstanding plot, Human revolution offers a captivating soundtrack that unifies with the story gracefully. Composed by Michael McCann, Human Revolution’s soundtrack was nominated for many “Best Original Score” awards.
Bringing this gripping narrative to life, the graphics of Deus Ex Human Revolution are nothing but gorgeous. The moment you set eyes on them you immediately see its dark and yellowish tones that are used throughout the game. The city lights shine bright and your powers and moves look snappy. As Adam walks stealthily towards and unaware enemy and dispossess of him with his augmented arms, sunglasses, and trench coat, you can’t help but love the way everything looks and feel like a complete killing machine.
While the beauty of the graphics immerse you into this 2027 cyberpunk-themed world, the same yellowish tones repeat over and over without much change. Once you go to the different cities, like the fictional city of Hengsha, you start to see different lights through the streets, but the same yellowish tone still manage to govern the game’s look. This is fine to set up the game’s theme, but with such great graphics it would have been nice to see different shades in the various cities and places you visit.
Graphics and presentation aside, many games that get those right sometimes fail to get gameplay right or the other way around. With this title, there isn’t a lot to complain about.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an RPG/FPS/Stealth mix that fluidly combines these styles and provides a fun experience across your time with the game. As you explore the game and become familiar with it, you’ll find that running and gunning or “Combat” can be just as effective as using “Stealth”. Stealth plays a big part so you not always have to go guns-blazing into a situation. There are various ways to tackle a level or an objective, because of that your play-through will be different from that of your friends. This gives the game a nice dynamic feel.
Along with “Combat” and “Stealth”, “Social” and “Hacking” also play a tremendous part in the game. Hacking enables you to hack various terminals which allow you to read funny emails and get inside rooms that may contain a lot of goodies. Higher level terminals give you more XP so you will want to do those frequently. Social skills help you become a social guru with the people you interact with, thus making getting the answers you need from them an easy task. These styles added with various augmentations that give Adman new powers, combine to form a rich and powerful gameplay experience.
Although killing enemies through walls, having the tactical advantage of a good cover system, and being able to cloak and become invisible is exceedingly amusing, Human Revolution does have a few pitfalls. Firstly, the game features bosses, which is always a nice touch in most video games, but the way the boss fights are delivered take you out of your stealth infused adventure. You quickly realize hiding isn’t good at all, and that you are most likely ill equipped to fight this over-powered augmented foe. The boss fights can be downright hard, and you may even need to repeat them a few times. Challenge is good no doubt, but if you don’t have the needed tools to fight someone whose main priority is to destroy you, you’ll be more than frustrated.
Part of your frustration while fighting bosses comes from your inventory, or the lack thereof, which introduces another setback. You have a Resident-Evil-styled grid system where you’re able to place any item you want so long as they all fit in the grid. This is good for heavy duty RPG games, but here it feels out of place and aged for an FPS. There is no other place you can store unwanted items (or items you don’t currently need), so you’re just going to have to drop them and move on with your life. When you’re in the middle of a boss fight and in the need to switch to a better gun or grenade, you will struggle to find space and figuring out what to get rid of. That only adds even more frustration to your already annoying boss fight.
At some point in the game you may need some cash to get some Praxis kits (a kit that allows you to gain an ability without the need to level up). If you’re in desperate need of some cash, you can opt to do the following: There will be guards throughout the current city you are in. You can stun them without being detected, take their guns, and sell them. You can repeat this over and over by saving the game then starting over again. (The guards will be back to normal once you load your saved file.)
With that said, there is only one part of Human Revolution that unquestionably disappoints. A game’s replay value is something many gamers look for when choosing whether to buy or rent a game. Although Deus Ex is a long, fun, and undoubtably worth the asking price, it is good to note that once you beat the campaign, there is very little to come back to.
After you are done with the game, you will be able to play it again but you will start from scratch. You will lose all your augmentations, and this is sad because in your first play-through, you won’t be able to get all available augmentations. That means, you will not be able to proceed to your second run with your already augmented Adam in order to get the rest of your powers. To be sure, there are things you can do differently in your second play-through and have a different ending, having to start from zero back again and never be able to fully upgrade augmentations is a bit pointless.
Nevertheless, Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Ultimate Edition is one extraordinary game that should not be missed. Your augmented powers, the action mixed in with the stealth and the game’s plot give you a satisfying experience that not many FPS or action games give you. The mixes of styles is well implemented facilitating you with many hours of exhilarating fun.
Add to that the fact that Ultimate Edition comes with Missing Link, Human Revolution’s DLC that fills a big gap in the story, you have the complete package at no extra cost. So, regardless of a few hiccups here and there, Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Ultimate Edition bestows us with a moving story, and a satisfyingly fun experience.
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