Deus Ex: Human Revolution Last-Minute Hands-On Preview

Time to Shoot Some Dudes

Visiting Jensen’s apartment is something of an event. It’s big and metaphorical, with light streaming in through windows and a bit of new information coming down when Jensen plugs the hacker chip into his computer. Turns out, the hacker was augmented to the point of being controlled by a third party off-site — he didn’t shoot himself in the head, someone made him shoot himself in the head. And the signal that controlled him is still coming from somewhere in Highland Park.

First, though, we need to head to Derelict Row, an area near Jensen’s apartment controlled by an aug-hating gang. The signal is being routed through that area, it seems, and it needs to be disrupted. Getting in is going to be tough — guards are posted in allies and they’ll shoot a guy like Jensen on sight if he’s in their territory. There are fire escapes around, however.

To sneak in, I find a fire escape on a nearby building and climb to its roof. Moving through to another portion of the rooftop, I can make a jump to a nearby fire escape, but the fall will kill Jensen. This is when I spend another hour hacking everything in Detroit to get the experience I need for the Icarus aug. Once I have it, I return to the roof and leap to the far side — only to find the way blocked by a wall I could punch through, had I the aug. Without the funds and the experience to do so, I’ll have to do my sneaking on the street level rather than the rooftops.

That’s not out of the question, though. Entering a small garage, I use the stun gun I bought off an arms merchant that I accidentally punched out after our transaction. He’s down. My eye augs allow me to see any approaching patrols before they get to me and ambush them. The silencer weapons mod I found and subsequently attached to my machine pistol means that when I’m eventually found and Must Kill Everyone, I can do so without giving away my position.

The AI troubles have been seriously improved since the preview I played in Irvine, but combat is still pretty difficult in DXHR. There’s a cover system for a reason, and after a few hours I’ve finally gotten used to it. Still, fighting crouched and letting enemies get close means they can easily execute you with a shot to the face. While you can go in guns blazing, it’s never easy, and without defensive augmentations, it seems you’ll die quite a bit. Sneaking is the much more viable alternative for any player who’s not really combat-oriented.

While the enemies aren’t quite so tough but remain generally intelligent, they’re not infallible. I was able to gun down a few who should have known what to do about me, and another group wandered straight into a trap I set for them as they each, one by one, went to investigate a fallen comrade — only to eat shotgun as they each, one by one, rounded the corner to where I was hiding. The fact that I was able to repeat this six times without leaving my hiding place was kind of saddening, but for the most part, the enemies in DXHR aren’t brain dead, and they will outflank you and actively attempt to kill you.

Before too long, Jensen makes his way up into the building where the signal hardware is kept. Using eye augs and sneakiness, I get to it and trace the signal back to the Highland Park facility. Now it’s time to figure out just what we’re dealing with. Jensen gets picked up by one of Sarif’s helicopters and is taken quickly to the next mission; guess any of those side quests we haven’t finished will have to wait.

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5 Comments on Deus Ex: Human Revolution Last-Minute Hands-On Preview


On August 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Im sorry but it does not take 3 hours to get through the hostage situation.If it took you that long your a very bad gamer.30 min tops from start to end of the hostage thing that is if you dont off.Then again ing off makes up for a lot of games content these days.

Phil Hornshaw

On August 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm


Uh, okay. Two hours then. Regardless, I did everything I could because it was a preview of the game, so I was trying to be thorough. It can definitely last longer than 30 minutes — unless you sprint through it and ignore talking to people, searching for things, hacking, computers, sneaking paths, combat…

Trust me, I’ve played the opening of the game through about five times now.


On August 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

That’s interesting that CHoedy took 1/4 the time as Mr Hornshaw. Mr Hornshaw told us in some detail how he did it, care to share your experience, Mr Hoedy?


On August 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm

@CHoedy: Or maybe he’s a very thorough gamer considering he’s, you know, writing a preview for the game and making sure he checks every nook and cranny so he doesn’t miss anything. I too have played through the first mission and could easily see how it could take that long.


On August 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm


The game is nothing like the first Deus Ex or even Deus Ex 2. It took me about 45 minutes to run through the place and about 20 minutes after the second playthrough (there is literally nothing else to explore or anyone to talk to, the only thing worth grabbing is more ammo and XP).