Deus Ex: Human Revolution Last-Minute Hands-On Preview
The hostages are saved, with little blood spilled, although the leader of the terrorists that attacked the Sarif factory has escaped the SWAT forces attempting to capture him. It could have gone badly, but it didn’t — and despite being a bit annoyed with him, the Detroit Police Department cops on-hand to deal with the crisis are congratulating Adam Jensen on a job well done.
It’s about three hours into Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and it’s time for a little detective work.
With this latest preview of DXHR from Eidos Montreal, we’ve now seen a grand total of about 12 hours of the game. That’s including the opening chunks and the first major mission, which I previewed back in Irvine, Calif., some months ago (a full run-down of which you can read right here and right here). Since we’ve already dealt with freeing hostages from a bomb-rigged room, avoiding getting shot by a ton of anti-augmentation Purists and talking a terrorist out of shooting a civilian, we’re heading back to Sarif headquarters in Detroit to figure out the next move.
Some important points: While on-site at the Sarif factory, we ran across a guy trying to hack the Sarif system. He seemed… distraught. And then he shot himself in the head. And he was all augmented, which suggested he wasn’t one of the Purity First terrorists (on account of them hating augs). So that was weird.
On returning to the Sarif headquarters, we’re awarded the ability to explore the “Detroit Hub,” the first of the major cities in the game that players can move around in freely. This hub includes the Sarif headquarters and everything inside, a L.I.M.B. clinic where it’s possible to purchase cool augmentation stuff, a bunch of apartment buildings (including protagonist Jensen’s) and a few other points of interest. If you hadn’t guessed yet, allow me to inform you: here there be sidequests.
We reconvene with bossman David Sarif. He has a couple of assignments: first, a trip to the L.I.M.B. clinic to check in with the doc about Jensen’s extensive augmentation. After that, we’re headed to the morgue at the DPD station to try to figure out what’s going on with that hacker.
Welcome to Detroit
There’s a whole lot else to do, too, however. Wandering back through the Sarif offices leads to several new sidequests as people stop Jensen or meet him in his office. One worker needs help dealing with blackmail related to the theft of a drug called Neuropozyne, an anti-rejection compound for the augmented. The mother of Megan, Sarif Industry’s lead scientist who was murdered during the attack on the headquarters months ago, wants you to meet up with the cop assigned to the case who thinks there has been some kind of cover-up. Even more potential missions become available as the investigation proceeds.
DXHR handles all these sidequests pretty simply with an elegant HUD add-on. When you pull up the main menu with the Back button (we’re playing on Xbox 360 for this preview, although the review will be for the PC version), you can flip to Jensen’s journal of available missions and toggle them active or inactive. Activating a mission puts a little marker on the HUD if a destination is available, showing you where it is and the distance you’ll need to cover to get there. That’s handy, as the Detroit hub is big and complex, especially at first, although you also get a handy map in your menu as well.
Our first destination is the L.I.M.B. clinic. Stopping by there gives us the ability to start buying and applying Praxis kits, which is a fancy way of saying we can unlock more of Jensen’s augmentations. Jensen has a buttload of augs already built into his body, which can be activated in any order. Leveling up awards Praxis points that can be applied to opening new augs — it’s how you progress your character — but for a tidy sum you can purchase more Praxis, as well.
While you have the options to buy new augs, they’re expensive, and doing so is kind of prohibitive. I quickly discovered that the augs you choose early are extremely important. By the end of my time with the preview, I’d done just about everything I could to earn more money and experience to unlock more augs. Situations kept arising that made me wish I had abilities I didn’t: most of the sidequests (only one of which I was able to take to completion) required hacking skills, so I busted ass to acquire better hacking. Dealing with people becomes significantly easier with social augs, so I boosted my ability to talk to people (to some big benefit).
All that hacking and talking and boosting revealed quite a bit of side content in addition to the main story. I was able to hack into every office and computer in Sarif Industries and learn all about that Neuropozyne theft case I was dealing with, and I found out some other things about the characters I’ve been dealing with.
The newest evolution of revolution won’t wait for you — check out Game Front’s complete text and video walkthrough for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.