How Do You Want To Do This?

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the sort of game you need at least a week to properly preview. As with previous entries in the series, the core gameplay is all about giving players a choice on how to proceed through the game. Do you want to go with a tech-savvy stealth operative? A hardcore “shoot first, don’t bother with questions” mercenary? Or maybe someone who is a little of both?

I had about an hour with the game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution may look like a shooter, but that’s only the cover. It is an incredibly deep action RPG in every way possible. You play as Adam Jensen, a former security guy who is mortally wounded during an attack on the facility he was protecting. Adam is brought back from death thanks to the miracles of biotechnology.

Adam’s new mechanical body provides him with a number of different upgrades. These form the basis for how you’ll decide to make your way through the game. Each upgrade plays to a certain style of play, and you have complete control over what parts you want to add. You can also swap out parts if the situation changes. Say, for example, your stealthy infiltration doesn’t go exactly as planned. You can use upgrade points to purchase new augmentations better suited for combat. Throughout the hands-off section of the demo, I was told that you always have choices. Some choices pave an easier path than others, but you’re welcome to go through the game however you want.

During the hands-on portion of demo, I was given the objective of entering a medical facility. Almost from the start, I was presented with a number of choices. Do I bribe the guard at the door? Or do I sneak past him using an alternate route? Of course, I could always draw my gun and shoot him. With the right augmentations, I could even pick up something in the environment and throw it at him. I decided to attempt a stealthier route and talk my way out of situations. The guy next to me, on the other hand, decided to let his gun do all his talking.

Exploration plays a big role in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Unless you decide to charge into every situation gun barrel first, you can always find a different path around obstacles. With the exception of a few bosses, it is possible to make it through the entire game without killing someone. Levels are giant labyrinths with lots of interconnected hallways, ducts and other passages. Not every path is open at first, though with the right upgrades, you can make your way through any area. For instance, one path into the building involved a long drop down a shaft. A normal human couldn’t survive the fall, but with the right enhancement, the fall was no more dangerous than falling off the bottom step.

It is amazing just how much depth I was able to glean from my short time with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. With so much to offer in terms of customization and options, it should keep players busy for a long time.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC this August.