Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Review @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has posted an extensive 4-page review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It appears a balanced article that, while ultimately very positive, does note a number of small issues. On some of the changes from the original:
The most obvious changes are those that have been made to the combat. In a thoughtful move, Human Revolution has been transformed into a pseudo-tactical shooter, at least as far as gunplay is concerned - and everyone knows that combat was one of the weakest aspects of Deus Ex, so the attempts to overhaul gunplay are welcome. The main way this has been accomplished is in the addition of a cover system - Jensen can duck behind cover, blind-fire over it, aim more precisely, roll from piece to piece, and so forth. Though my thoughts on cover-based shooters are generally less-than-amicable, in Human Revolution, it's handled with a degree of thoughtfulness that isn't always seen with this type of mechanic - using cover isn't an automatic "I win" button, and firing from behind it is generally extremely inaccurate, specially blind-firing. Next to other cover shooters it definitely feels a little bit on the clunky side (Gears of War this is not), but it certainly gets the job done. Thankfully, though, the cover system is never forced on you, and the game can be played as a straightforward first-person experience as well, so if you have a terminal hatred of such mechanics, you can simply ignore the feature and not miss out on anything - I rebound the cover key to some far-off region of my keyboard and never felt combat suffered for it.
On top of the cover system, and what significantly changes combat over the original Deus Ex, is the addition of a regenerating health system. A lot has been made of this, but in practice, I actually didn't find this to be too much of a problem. Once again, it's another design trend borrowed from more modern games, and surely it exists to appeal to fans of that trend, but, even on the normal difficulty, combat is challenging enough that a couple of stray bullets are enough to end Jensen's life, and the health regeneration itself takes quite a while to kick in, meaning that health-boosting items like painkillers still have a use when the going gets tough. Much of the resource management inherent in more traditional health systems has instead been shunted off to the energy that powers special abilities; limited numbers of energy-restoring items and a natural recharge of only a single energy unit ensure that even the most powerful of abilities don't become a crutch. While I suspect many fans will lament the loss of medkits and the need to heal individual body parts, nothing about the game's design led me to feel such an old-school option would have significantly improved the game, despite that I'm generally a proponent of medkits over regenerating health. In other words, yes, there's regenerating health, but it doesn't turn the game into Call of Duty, or even Mass Effect 2.
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