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Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut review

Colonic defenestration, investigation, exploration and aggravation

In 2027 humanity is changing. For the first time, science offers ways to take charge of our own evolution and enhance our own bodies with sleek mechanical parts. Reluctantly 'augmented' to save his life, Adam Jensen is plunged into a sprawling conspiracy, as competing augmentation companies look to direct humanity's fate, activists protest the corruption of the human body and a shadowy council seeks to turn every augmented human into a slave.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution dramatically predates the Wii U and was originally published back in August 2011. This is another re-release then, but one given the kind of love and attention for which Arkham City's Armoured Edition would have dangled a man from a gargoyle. There's so much more here than there was in 2011 that it's worth playing even if you've exhausted every second of the original's moral choices, stealth and combat.

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Seeing everything Human Revolution offers from every possible angle is impossible in just one play. In the opening minutes you're given a gun, but it's up to you whether you'll ever use it. Human Revolution's world is a series of wide-open 'hubs' and machine-gunning your way through is often the worst solution. You could make it to the end of the game without firing a shot, or with a bodycount in the hundreds. You can talk your way through tricky situations, or pop a grenade and blow the problem up, sneak past a gang of soldiers, or pick them off, shoot first and ask questions later, or ask questions and never shoot at all.

Throughout the game you're picking the upgrades you'll need to play the game your way. Like guns? There's an aim stabilisation augmentation and another that'll turn your entire body into a bomb. Like talking? Analytical tools enable you to read your target's reactions and gauge the correct responses. Like stealth? A cloaking system and X-ray vision mean you're always well-hidden and, if you like hunting, those augmentations will be complemented by ones that let Jensen punch through walls, or turn drones against their operators.

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Human Revolution was already a fantastic game, the kind of grown-up shooter nobody makes any more, loaded with smart design and incredible art that brings the 2027 world to life. Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The Director's Cut adds a second colon to the title, a commentary from the lead developers, all the downloadable content and preorder bonuses for an extra three hours' play and a slight tweak to the game's art style, de-saturating some colours in favour of others. It also adequately addresses the most common complaint directed at the original game, reworking the boss fights to be more easily playable by Jensens who favour guile over guns. That last upgrade is, at best, adequate.

The boss fights are still the worst part of the game, but the new game commentary is the best ever recorded, with hours of discussion and a bit of cussing about decisions that were made for right or wrong by four of the game's creators. Their candid chat goes beyond the usual 'just the facts' game commentaries and tackles things about the game the developers just hate, even though you never noticed them and things you might have missed they really wish you would see again. It's the best of the Director's Cut additions, only marginally ahead of the decision to place hacking controls on the Wii U's GamePad, which only becomes important when you know just how much hacking you'll do. Placing it on the pad means quick and easy tap-hacking and DXHR is a superior game for it.

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That's the point: it's a better game. Everything in Deus Ex's re-release improves it and nothing feels superfluous. These aren't additions for addition's sake, but are fundamental chunks of the game refined or fixed, with a commentary explaining why those things needed putting right. It's not a suit of armour on Batman, but a whole new mission plugging a hole in the story; it's not just another touchscreen map, but a fully interactive second screen with half a dozen different uses. This is the definitive version of Deus Ex, better on Wii U than on any other console and better now than it was in 2011.

Unless you've played every moment of the game in every possible way there's always a reason to play it one more time. Play it stealthily, aggressively or just to hear the commentary, but play it again because it's a great stealth adventure, a great shooter and a great documentary about how games are made.

Michael Gapper

Comments

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  1. Shinnos Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 14:07

    I bought this game the other week as part of Amazon's Black Friday promotions for 12.99, but after it arrived was disappointed to discover that it was a First-Person shooter and not a Third-Person shooter as most of these screenshots, and even the images on the back of the game, seemed to suggest. I'm just not a fan of first-person shooters, and if I'd realised that was what this game was, I'd never have bought it.

    I know Deus-Ex has been out for a few years now, so I could be expected to know that already, but it had managed to pass me by, and I don't think it's ever mentioned specifically within the review.

    Still, on the plus side, I was able to trade it in at Computer Game Exchange for 12 store-credit and then pay a tenner for a second-hand copy of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.

  2. mushroomchow Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 14:23

    Been looking for a new, good WiiU FPS after the fun I had with ZombiU.

    Could you folks at ONM just give me a quick review of the graphical performance? Is the framerate solid, for example? I find immersion in such games tough to garner when it stutters. I can't really tell from the screenshots, but would you call the textures polished? It's not a major issue, as gameplay is the most important thing in a game, but it would be nice to play something truly slick in the shooter department as we all know the console is capable.

  3. TheVelvetRoom Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 16:57

    No offense Shinnos, but this is like trading in Metal Gear Solid after finding out it's a stealth game. Even if you don't like the genre something belongs to, you really ought to give it a go first to see what all the fuss is about and what makes it stand out from other games in the genre, because those elements could easily make you forget your disdain for the genre. Deus Ex is really more like an action RPG that happens to be in first-person.

  4. Xenobladeperson Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 19:20

    I bought this game the other week as part of Amazon's Black Friday promotions for 12.99, but after it arrived was disappointed to discover that it was a First-Person shooter and not a Third-Person shooter as most of these screenshots, and even the images on the back of the game, seemed to suggest. I'm just not a fan of first-person shooters, and if I'd realised that was what this game was, I'd never have bought it.

    Still, on the plus side, I was able to trade it in at Computer Game Exchange for 12 store-credit and then pay a tenner for a second-hand copy of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.

    But Deus Ex isn't even an FPS.

  5. marka23 Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 19:29

    Theres some new communities on 3DS miiverse

  6. starman292 Monday 16th Dec 2013 at 22:11

    I already have the original on PC and I loved the fact you could go from a pad and then use your mouse on the computer sections (something console versions couldn't do) gave it a good sense of immersion and realism. The Wii U version looks like its really good, I think I'd consider getting it if I find it at a good price just to see how the pad works with it. It is an awesome game though and the fact they have utilized the pad is great, same as the PC version utilized its control scheme. Wouldn't bother getting it on another console mind, there isn't going to be a massive difference to the ps3 and 360 versions.

  7. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 17th Dec 2013 at 14:17

    Completed the game last week and I really really enjoyed it, my favourite Wii U game.

  8. Shinnos Wednesday 18th Dec 2013 at 00:30

    No offense Shinnos, but this is like trading in Metal Gear Solid after finding out it's a stealth game. Even if you don't like the genre something belongs to, you really ought to give it a go first to see what all the fuss is about and what makes it stand out from other games in the genre, because those elements could easily make you forget your disdain for the genre. Deus Ex is really more like an action RPG that happens to be in first-person.

    I did give it a go, but it just didn't grab me. Anyway, on the plus side, I'm really enjoying Mario & Luigi, so everyone's a winner!

  9. Imperfect_Dark Wednesday 18th Dec 2013 at 01:50

    Got my copy of this today, will probably start it after I finish Dead Space 2. Really looking forward to it, the game sounds fantastic. Nice to see a WiiU version of a multiplat have the effort put in to be the best version for once.

  10. bones0898 Sunday 22nd Dec 2013 at 21:42

    got this game on e shop. hoping it be like metal gear solid kinda stealth. it wasn't its more like splinter cell and thats for the hard core stealth players. I am very crap at this game and at the momment not enjoying it. It is a good game i'm just no good at hard core stealth.

  11. flattopboy Thursday 26th Dec 2013 at 17:46

    taken back this is just being reviewed now love this game but been out for a long time

  12. Xenoblade Hero Wednesday 5th Mar 2014 at 14:34

    I'm so glad this finally got released on a Nintendo console. One of my favourite last generation games, and I'm sure that the new features and commentary are an excellent bonus

  13. Mattsponge18 Wednesday 12th Mar 2014 at 13:30

    I got this game for my wii u and im really really enjoying it loving the rpg elements to this game and the way you level up with your XP i also loving how you hack computers and hacking doors and picking up weapons and buying them <3 one my fav first person shooters :)

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