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

The Highland Park section of the game is one that I saw previewed when I visited Square Enix before E3, which is detailed right here. Since we’re already neck-deep in TL;DR territory, we’ll skip right to the boss fight at the end of that section.

The Boss Fight

Once we’re sufficiently underground in the FEMA camp, Jensen heads through a door and triggers a cutscene, where he finds himself face-to-face with three augmented Spec-Ops troops that attacked Sarif Industries back at the beginning of the game. One of them, a big dude whose augmented arm can transform into a cannon, stays behind to kill Jensen while the others leave. It’s boss-fight time.

This particular fight is a huge bitch, and definitely the toughest I encountered. The boss’ main strategy: walk straight at you while you hide behind cover and blast you with that gun. He’s a lot tougher than Jensen is, so he can do that.

But there’s strategy in this fight as well, just like in all aspects of DXHR so far. If you can give him the slip, you can actually hide from the boss and accost him from out of sight, confusing him and damaging him without taking fire yourself. The best way I found to do this was to nail the boss with an EMP grenade first, shutting down his augs and stunning him. After that, I blast him up close with my shotgun and gave him the slip. He begins wandering the warehouse room we were in, tossing grenades at random places and taking potshots at places where I could be hiding.

For my part, I’m in a bad way right now. DXHR hands out lots of weapons, but never a lot of ammo, so it’s important not to pick up everything you come across but to be very diligent and attentive about inventory management. When I got to the boss fight, I was low on ammo for every gun I carried. Before I can fight back, I have to circle the room a few times, gathering munitions and weapons from hidden alcoves.

Properly armed, I can take the fight to the boss, but he’s not easy even with a full compliment of weapons. If he gets too close, he grabs Jensen bodily and punches him across his face, instantly robbing him of half his health. If that’s enough to kill you, that blow is all she wrote; if not, you stand up to find his cannon aimed at your face and have to quickly dodge the killing shot.

Connecting fire with grenades seems effective, and using Jensen’s active camouflage gets me out of tight situations and back into hiding. It takes a while, but with sustained damage, the boss eventually goes down, the harrowing fight ends, and the preview is complete.

Yeah, I’m Excited

Though it has some issues — some insanely long loading times, for one, and a few glitches still present in this build (it’s a bit old, despite this last-minute preview) — the more time I spend with DXHR, the more excited I am for it. The Detroit hub is absolutely huge, and I spent the better part of eight hours there without moving forward with the story, just exploring and doing everything there was to do. Most of it isn’t included in this monster preview. Missions are approachable from multiple directions and with multiple skills. Basically, everything that Eidos has claimed you can do in DXHR, you can do in DXHR.

Apart from that, the game is deep and engaging, and also difficult. You can’t approach anything with a cavalier attitude, because it’ll get you killed. There’s a degree of immersion in the idea that very rarely will you approach an easy situation, at least early on; like Jensen, you have to consider the angles, think through the paths, make decisions between lethal and nonlethal or between stealth and force. The path you choose for augmenting Jensen will have serious consequences about what you can and can’t do at any given time, and you won’t be able to do everything. The fact that the game is that big, and that reliant on your choices, makes it feel enormous.

I’ll be diving into DXHR proper for our review, which I hope to have up on Aug. 22 before its release on Aug. 23. But from what I’ve seen, fans of the series are going to be more than happy with the results. Eidos has really packed a lot into this game and thought it through really well, at least in its opening 10 or 12 hours. Be prepared for a thinking man’s shooter here, folks, and for a game that will likely dominate quite a bit of your time over the coming couple of months.

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.

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

CHoedy

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

@CHoedy

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.

Robin

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?

Mitchell

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.

lolcade

On August 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

@Mitchell

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).