Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3)
Awesome trailers lie to me
Written by Non-Augmented Philip

From the moment I first saw the cinematic trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution I was in love. I’m actually still severely dehydrated from all the saliva lost. I couldn’t wait for this game to come out that seemed like an epic mixture of being Bourne and Terminator. The game finally arrived. Reviews were pouring in. 10, 9.7, 9.5. The critics agreed. 50 positive reviews on Metacritic, and not a single “Mixed” or “Poor” one to be found. It was awesome. I got the game. I played it. I was… disappointed?!
Now some of it could be that I put it on such a lofty pedestal before even seeing gameplay that I couldn’t have been satisfied. But I tend to go the other way. I am usually more forgiving of games I anticipate. So that’s not it. And then I realized I had fallen victim to what I now refer to as “Dead Island Trailer Syndrome.” This condition is spreading like wildfire in the current generation of gaming where a company will put together an incredibly interesting and carefully crafted theatrical trailer, and then not include any of what caught my attention in the final product. Every review of DE:HR would make some sort of shout out to the original by saying something like “makes the PC Deus Ex proud” or “really recaptures what made the first one such a hit.” I played the original, and thought it was a bit awkward. I was hoping they were going to redefine the series, not reiterate it.

It never looks this awesome.
The game isn’t broken and music and concept alone are able to get a few points added to the score. But the final product just underwhelmed. I understand that a lot of what I didn’t like is just my taste, and that’s okay. There can be games that just aren’t my thing. But here are a few things that they just dropped the ball on:

Graphics – I can understand gameplay graphics being bad because of that same old crappy “size vs looks” excuse Bethesda gives me every time, but there is no reason the in-game cutscenes and tutorials should look like they were ripped from xxdeusfan69xx’s YouTube account. And why is lipsyncing the most difficult feature of a video game when even PaRappa the Rappa got it right?
Controls – The initial controls are confusing, but no worries you can just switch them around right? Well that would help, but there are about 80 different functions, and none of them are intuitive. It’s so confusing that they even had to double up on buttons, like tapping circle knocks a guard unconscious but PRESSING circle kills him. A pretty big difference if you sit on the button too long. I found myself hours into the game having to pause and look which button did what. Not to mention the different pause menus, (the start button sends you to one, the select button sends you to another, and then there are different menus within those menus). So good luck with that.
Choice – Throughout the game I just felt constricted, which is weird considering it’s a game of “choice.” Before some missions you are asked how you want to handle the situation (splinter cell or Columbine) and I quickly learned that it made zero difference. The same thing would happen, the story followed the same course, and I found myself just shooting everybody because it was more exciting than moving boxes and hiding bodies. It was easier too.
Flow – I could throw out every other excuse to not like this game if only this had been executed correctly. But the flow of combat and gameplay was just so poorly planned. Switching between 3rd and 1st person is probably the worst mechanic to make it past the drawing board (1st person stealth being a close second, which is ALSO in this game). The whole should all be 3rd person, that way they could allow me to beat guys up in real time instead of hitting a prompt that goes to a cutscene of me punching someone. Yeah. A cutscene to melee! WTF?!?!

I never asked for this... no really, I wanted no part of the hacking mini-game.
I instantly realize that I must be in the minority here because the critics all agree (either that or 49 of them slept in and just copied off the first guy’s paper, which is why they are all strangely similar), so you may very well enjoy this title. But I for one am going back to Skyrim. No wait, that one stinks too. I meant I’m off to watch Avatar. Wait, no, I mean … ah forget it.

7.8 Largely due to creative differences, where my ideas are better than what they made
Follow Philip on Twitter to see when his latest video game rants are posted @LinksALefty

Watch this, and you'll realize how I got duped.


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  2. I really did like Dues Ex but only the first game lol graphics and visuals was horrible tho. Anyway I quit being a hardcore gamer, now I only play flash games at