Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link Review Roundup
Reviews for The Missing Link are already popping up, so here's a handful of them.
GameBanshee praises The Missing Link as being more "confident" than the base game, finding the story and level design a notch higher:
On top of that, the level design in The Missing Link far outclasses that of Human Revolution's. While there aren't any absolutely massive and open environments to explore, and the initial section aboard the cargo ship is a bit on the linear side, the offshore platform is thoroughly entertaining to explore, featuring multiple levels, a good balance between large open spaces, corridors, and offices to sort through. Considering that you'll find yourself poorly-armed and scrounging both for new Praxis Kits to regain your augmentations, as well as ammo and weapons to fight the heavy odds, exploration also feels much more crucial, and I never found myself with "too many" supplies or a lack of opportunities to use them.
The tactical choices the levels provide are also a bit more nuanced than anything in Human Revolution's original campaign, with the obvious "stealth path, combat path, social path" setup many levels revolved around being all but gone. Instead, environments feel less "gamey", with the gameplay agnostic to various approaches, while still permitting all of them. Consequently, the choices you make in progressing are more significant. Unlike Human Revolution, I was far more tempted to vary my play-style with the different opportunities available, rather than simply adhering to the framework the designers had laid down for me. In short, it's much more confident and in line with the strengths of the original Deus Ex, trusting the player to make the calls rather than dictating them from a design document.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a short but measured piece. Jim Rossignol says he "couldn’t help enjoying it, of course, because it’s more DXHR" but that sounds a bit begrudging to me:
And yes, I really do mean business as usual. The Missing Link doesn’t really add anything to the palette, although it does incrementally challenge the visual palette a bit by simply not being quite so gold. It’s a bit more grey, instead. Nevertheless there’s tonnes of content, from the conversations being had by guards to the heaps of incidental info in emails, ebooks and other items scattered around the maps. If there’s a disappointment with any of this it’s that some of the dialogue is a bit weak, and the voice acting that delivers it weaker still. Not consistently, but some of it made me go “hmm” when I heard it the first time, and then “erk” later on when I heard it again.
Joystiq is very positive, apart from the $15 price:
Going through Deus Ex's growth arc at super speed (well, it's still five to six hours long) makes your choices feel more important and immediate, even if it's done without the thrust of a huge campaign. And the payoff is worth it. This time, you're able to tackle the boss exactly how you want, even if by "tackle" you mean "stab to death with sword arms." The Missing Link does, however, still favor stealth and hacking above other disciplines, which occasionally sends shooters to lame "solutions" like finding a cache of passwords lying on the floor.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link doesn't feel essential, but it's substantial and clearly representative of the main game's strengths. Oh, and if you thought one of those strengths was being like Metal Gear Solid, well, here you have DLC that partially takes place on a rocking, rain-soaked ship.
...and Eurogamer is tiring of the formula, calling The Missing Link "competent" but "linear" and "rountine, uninspired" (6/10):
But the dark, repetitive environments fail to inspire in the same way. On reflection, for all Human Revolution's interesting mechanics and immersive elements, the world which you are asked to pit your skills against can fail to match up to the tools in your hands. The range of ways to interact with environments is wide and deep, but the applications can sometimes feel a little limited, and this is never more evident than in The Missing Link.
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