PN Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut will finally be available for the Wii U in a few short days. The original Deus Ex: Human Revolution never made it to a Nintendo console but the Director’s Cut is a welcome addition to the Wii U library. The game was originally planned as an exclusive for the Wii U but Square-Enix decided to release the game on more platforms. While no longer an exclusive, the Wii U version of the game still has several worthwhile features over its counterparts. It’s these features that really make the Wii U version shine above the rest.
For those keeping count, this is the third game in the Deus Ex series. The game takes place in 2027 which is 25 years before the events of the first Deus Ex game. Players take control of Adam Jensen as he tries to uncover several mysteries surrounding his employer (a biotech company called Sarif Industries) and the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Megan Reed.
Human Revolution is a cross between a lot of different types of games. The core gameplay involves first person navigation mixed with first and third-person combat. It’s an interesting combination. Most of the game is played like a normal first person shooter (FPS), but in most cases it’s better to take cover behind objects in firefights than to go in guns-blazing. In the stealth scenarios, the camera switches to a third-person perspective so you can see Adam’s movements better as he goes between various cover points. There is a small learning curve to the game as it doesn’t control like most FPS games, but it also doesn’t control like most third-person games either. My only real complaint with the navigation is how rigid it feels. I never felt like my character’s movements were very fluid. Combat was also a challenge using 2 joysticks where it’s a lot easier with a mouse and keyboard (I own and have played the PC version). I even turned up the X and Y axis sensitivity and I still felt hindered by the slow and inaccurate aiming system.
Despite the issues with aiming and navigation, the game is a lot of fun to play, especially on the Wii U. One thing that is really easy on a PC is mapping your controls. If a game has a complex control scheme, it’s not really a problem for a PC gamer. With a console, it’s definitely harder since players only have so many buttons to work with on a controller. The Wii U GamePad helps tremendously in this regard. The GamePad allows you to access all of your augmentations on the touch screen, see a full map and radar, manage weapons and inventory, hack terminals, and much more. Some might say these are ‘gimmicks’ and don’t improve the game, but it certainly helped me throughout the game. I could see everything at any given time on the GamePad and the touch screen made hacking a lot easier. Accessing everything on the GamePad allowed me to focus more on the game and not navigating complex menus. Not all of the GamePad features are good though. The grenade throwback, for instance, felt a little less intuitive than the other GamePad features. It requires players to look down at the GamePad and swipe an icon of the grenade up the screen to throw it back. I really like it when the GamePad is used well but, in this case, just give me a button to press. In the heat of battle, it’s hard enough to look down at the screen let alone accurately swipe the grenade icon. For the most part, the GamePad features improve and speed up the gameplay.
Visually, Human Revolution Director’s Cut is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the textures and detail are incredible. The game really looks amazing in motion. However, there were several instances where the frame rate wasn’t consistent and it took me out of the experience. One of the interesting things I noticed was the in-game engine looked better than the pre-rendered cutscenes. My guess is there was a lot of compression in the videos but it was a stark contrast to the actual in-game graphics. This is very strange since pre-rendering usually has no problem out-performing in-game engines. I really was impressed with the visuals of the game and I do think it ran very well. Some sequences better than others but overall it was very good.
Exclusive to the Wii U version are some new social networking features (Miiverse), which seems very fitting for a game that features hacking and technology very prominently. The Miiverse features are two-fold. First, this game has an ‘auto post’ feature for Miiverse. If enabled, the game will automatically post achievements directly to Miiverse. If you unlock a certain achievement and want to brag about it, too late, the game has already done it for you. It’s an interesting feature but one that I’m not too comfortable with because I like to control that sort of online interaction. I didn’t want the game to auto post something like: ‘Having a great time in Deus Ex:HR #awesome! #buynow’ Probably not a realistic fear, but you never know. The second Miiverse feature is called ‘Infolog’. It allows you to take pictures and send them directly to Miiverse for posting. Players can also draw notes using the GamePad’s touch screen and even record voice logs.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut. The game features all of the DLC packed in and access to the game’s official strategy guide, ‘Making of’ documentary, and developer commentary as well as a New Game+ (allows players to replay the game with all augmentations/weapons in tact). It’s hard to recommend that you rush out and buy it Day 1 since the game is almost full price on the Wii U ($50) and the original came out more than 2 years ago–but it really is a good game with a lot of content and replay-ability. If you’re looking for a gritty, sci-fi adventure to add to your Wii U library, you will definitely have a good time with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.