Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Ongoing Impressions Part 3

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Morgue

Day four of Human Revolutionizing where I leave the streets of Detroit to catch up Barret – that angry guy with a chaingun for an arm.

Checking out some bodies at the morgue – all in an average night’s work. So now, I reach into the hackers body and remove the implant from our dead friend’s brain. Yep, he was augmented. Although, based on his expressions before he offed himself (the same scene from all of the trailers), it looks like someone was pulling the trigger for him.

More orders now. Pritchard, the tech guy and Human Revolution version of Alex, tells me to check out the augmentation at my home apartment. Too much heat at Sarif, I take it. Oh, and by the way, he’s also able to access anything from my home computer. There goes any sense of privacy.

After a bit of street wandering, I pass by some working girls. One happens to be working double-duty. No, no two guys at once, but as an undercover cop. One J Alexander, who’s computer I hacked back at the police station. And to think, I had myself fooled into thinking it was a joke login modeled after Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander. She’s got a few “off the book” assignments over in the anti-Aug gangland. It seems there’s a crooked cop who’s trying to cover up some his off-duty activities. Ok, I’m a nice guy; I’ll help her.

But first things first, I head over to Adam’s apartment in the Chiro building. This is some fancy stuff. There’s a massive lobby with a good number of people hanging out, mostly buzzing about how they hate augs. Oh well, off to the elevator, where I’m heading up to Jensen’s floor. Hovering over some rooms, I overhear through the paper-thin doors a guy and girl breaking up over how their relationship has changed since they’ve both become augmented. It reminds me of today’s Extreme Makeover, where the former ugly duckling is now twice as attractive as their spouse, and the relationship ends shortly thereafter.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Jensen's ApartmentSo here I am, in Jensen’s apartment – very recognizable from some of the early Human Revolution artwork. It’s an open lofty area with a massive TV on the wall, compliments of Sarif Industries after the “accident.” I look around and find that Jensen has developed a passion for mechanical clocks during his recovery time. Drawings and illustrations of the machinery cover the windows. Might this be an upcoming theme? He’s also got some loot hidden behind the TV.

I go into the bedroom and put the hacker’s aug into the computer for examination. Alex, I mean, Pritchard pops up and tells me that… the aug was used for mind control. Someone was using that hacker’s body as a proxy, controlling them through the aug. Shocking. There’s a signal blocker in the gangland that’s causing some problems for Sarif, so he want’s Jensen to go take it out. Convenient. All of my missions are in the same spot.

Cheap Bastard

I’ve got a few Praxis points to spare, but I’m a hoarder, so I don’t like to part with them. I’m looking for a silent way into the gangland. There’s a bonus for sneaking in and out without making a sound. Passing near the lands, I overhear a hooker conversing with a gang member. She’s got a John on the inside, but the gang guy won’t let her through. “Take the fourth story on the building next to here or use the sewers.”
Transmission Received. I go to the fourth story of the building. Damn, I have to jump. I know what this will mean – death. I try it out anyway. Yep, dead. I could use upgrade my augs, but I’m too cheap.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - J AlexanderOnto the streets below where I finally another possible entrance, but it’s blocked by boxes. I could lift them… if I upgraded my augs. Damn. So, I shot them instead. My shotgun blast moves the box a bit, but tips off a couple of nearby gangsters, who promptly dispose of me as I try to flee scene.

Ok, time to look for the sewers. Can’t find’em. Stopped caring. I upgrade my jumping abilities and make the leap. I’m in. Time to sneak. Did I mention that I suck at stealth? (For the record, the answer is, “Yes.”) This is going to be a pain. Where are my quicksaves? Unless I’m missing something, there are no quicksaves. Damn. Lot’s of saving through the Escape menu for me.

I eventually get the sneaking thing figured out, I think. There are a few basic rules, all of which I neglect: Don’t be seen. Don’t move a door that someone can see. And don’t make a ton of noise. The conver system is a massive help for this. In the original Deus Ex, you’d basically have to find a dark spot and lean around the corners to try to sneak up on someone, especially those goddamn MiBs. Here, the cover serves the same purpose. Sure, it goes third-person, but it’s a very easy transition back to first. Two different approaches to get to the same outcome, I think.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - AlleywayI eventually work my way up the antenna station that’s blocking the signals at Sarif. I wanted to help out Ms. Alexander along the way, but damn, I don’t do well with the stealth and I sure as hell don’t want to backtrack trying to be stealthy. So, I disable the antenna and catch a helicopter ride out of that place.

After the Ride

The helicopter takes me to a different location. I’ve got some investigating to do and something smells fishy. There’s an arms salesmen near the drop point and I load up on some ammo before heading in.

At first, I try the stealthy approach. It sucks. I’m done with that. I cave to my natural tendencies and just start to go for broke: If you cross my path, you’re dead. In the past, I’d been upgrading my combat rifle. It now sounds completely wimpy with a silencer, so I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be a badass weapon or not. The shotgun, on the other hand, may be my new best friend.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - FEMA?A few things happen along the way. There are a couple of cutscenes with Barret, a very augmented female, and a guy I believe is named Zeke. Barret I’ve seen from the previews, so I have a feeling of what’s happening soon. There’s also the robot. A big boxy robot that seems like a combination of Dog from Half-Life 2 and something out of the RoboCop movies. By the way, there’s a ton of RoboCop and Blade Runner inspiration in this game.

Something wonderful happens, too. After hacking some computers, I come across a turret control panel. I upgrade my hacking abilities to handle turrets and it’s game on. Set the turret to attack my enemies and the experience points just start piling in as the turret takes out those bastards one bullet at a time. Subtle? Hell no. Easy? Yes. I’m now the unstealthy hacker who kills everyone.

Something weird about this place… it’s FEMA. Back at the Detroit Police Station, there was a lot of talk about Mr. Manderley. Yes, that Manderley, Joseph himself. This facility is being run by FEMA. Hmm… seems like we might be seeing the start to JC’s story.

Another cutscene and it’s a fight with Barret. Yes, a proper boss fight. I really figured the Barret character would be built up more, but he’s just an anonymous, overgrown henchman with a name. He starts blasting me with his augmented hand of a chain. I take cover and throw some potshots at him. He walks right through them and comes up to me. As I start to move to find other cover, he toasts me.

There was an auto-save right before the cutscene. Thankfully, it’s completely skipable. Actually, even better, is that the game gives you an option to resume or skip cutscenes. Wonderful. It always sucks to get a phone call in the middle of a cutscene and then have to miss it. It’s about time some game developers figured out that this is how it should be done. Kudos, Eidos Montreal, for the polish. That’s the good news. The bad news: this boss fight kicks my ass. Over and over. It sucks.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - TakedownAbout thirty attempts and one computer freeze later, I decide to just lower the skill level. The boss fight is absolutely no fun. Maybe I haven’t figured out the cover mechanics, maybe the boss fight was artificially hard to appease the idiots that complain PC games are too ‘easy’ since they’re dumbed down for consoles, maybe I just suck with videogames nowadays – all are possible. But, I lowered the difficulty and made it through on the first try. In fact, Barret helped me by shooting some poison gas that eventually led to his demise. On his deathbed, he gives me an address… in China.

That goddamn boss fight really turned me off. I guess you could argue that I should be playing on the easy difficulty the whole time. Maybe. I’ve put it back at the medium setting, so if it’s too bad, I’ll throw it back down. That’s enough Human Revolutionizing for now, though.

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