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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review

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Deus excellent?

★★★★★

The original Deus Ex is regarded as one of the greatest games ever made over a decade after its PC debut, so the much-hyped Human Revolution has the unfortunate task of filling some of the biggest boots in role-playing history. But aside from a couple of minor niggles that will only irk the most insufferable of nitpickers, Human Revolution is still a sublime piece of software, one of the most stylish adventures on the shelves today, and a formidable contender for 2011’s best game.

Like the original Deus Ex, what makes Human Revolution such a joy is its incredible sense of freedom. Every situation you encounter – whether it’s a potential firefight, a quick conversation, or simple stroll through the game’s luscious urban landscapes – can have a dizzying variety of outcomes depending on the choices you make, in turn creating the illusion that you’re exploring a living, breathing world where the only limit is your imagination.

The game’s focus on human augmentation – where people are fitted with natty cybernetic implants to enhance their powers – is also a clever move, encouraging players to become increasingly attached to their hero as they pimp him out with ingenious gizmos, while keeping the action fresh as you’re given a constant supply of new toys to play with. The incredible art style – where the game world is rendered in delicious hues of gold and black – also makes Human Revolution feel unique in an industry dominated by Identikit sequels, while the fact the game succeeds where many have failed by making first-person stealth and melee combat sequences fun makes Human Revolution stand head-and-shoulders above the competition.

Curmudgeons who still idolise the first game will doubtless obsess over Human Revolution’s disappointing boss battles that break with the immense freedom you’re given elsewhere in the game, while the fact that force is inevitably more successful than stealth is at odds with the ‘anything is possible’ approach. But when presented with an adventure of epic proportions that delivers thrills from start to finish, is packed with imaginative combat, and poses important questions about the future of humanity, these minor quirks are rendered utterly meaningless and no-one should miss this opportunity to experience one of the most beautifully-realised visions of the future ever conceived.

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