Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Deus Ex Human Revolution - Conversation and Upgrades

And so we come to the third and final part of my amateur analysis and critique of many of the elements of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Let's start out with a bit about the conversation mechanics in this game.

The conversation mechanics in this game are pretty solid, although a lot of the choices and conversations could better have been written in my opinion. I like that you can even install augmentations to aid you, allowing you to use pheromones and better read the person you're speaking to. This is just one of the many elements that help reinforce the idea that conversation is an important part of this game. Many parts of the game allow you to talk your way into places rather than shooting your way in, presenting what is possibly one of the best social engineering engines in a AAA game that has so many different systems. Yes, you can still accidentally select conversation options because you were skipping dialogue, which is something that is really starting to get on my nerves about most games. The people designing conversation engines should really do something about this.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Deus Ex game without an augmentation based upgrade system.

The upgrades are fairly well balanced, each choice encouraging a certain play style. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to get enough XP to afford all the upgrades(I certainly didn't), meaning you WILL be making choices. The selection is varied and interesting as well, meaning on your next play-through you're quite likely to be interested in trying a totally different upgrade strategy.

And last but not least, we have the hacking mini-game which you'll have to face in order to access security devices like camera's, turret and robots. You can also use it to shut off alarms and other things, as well as read e-mails that reveal more of the story.

Naturally, the hacking is 100 percent unrealistic, but you're not here for a realistic game. I actually didn't enjoy the hacking that much since there was only a pinch of strategy involved, but I do think it was well designed. Based on my analysis of things I don't get but other people love, I'd say the hacking simulations in this game are pretty good. From a design perspective at least, they're will constructed.

At this point I guess I'm supposed to tell you whether or not you should try the game. Obviously I loved it, if for no other reason than that I love me some Cyberpunk here and there. The only reason I can think of that you wouldn't like it would be if you have excessive graphics demands for games. I think this game pulled off a beautiful aesthetic, so I apparently don't. I recommend you give it a go even if you aren't into Cyberpunk, just because this game rocks on so many other levels.

The inevitable question is also whether or not this game is better than the original. I must say that I loved the original, but I actually enjoyed this game more. Kill me if you must, but I think the previous game's development time was spent largely enough on overcoming technological limits as to hamper the other elements. Then it still ended up looking like the inside of a rusty metal coffee can.


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