As Iím sure anyone with an internet connection and a passion for video-games is well aware Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released recently. As a result the gaming media is swelling with both amateur and professional reviews on Augustís headlining game release, but what about those who canít afford a hot new copy on itís opening night? Forced to stand with our faces pressed against the windows of our local games retailer, fogging up the glass with our disappointed sighs. Well help is at hand, the current price of the original is a mere £5.99 on Steam and if you havenít already, itís well worth the investment.You play as augmented super-agent JC Denton and it must be said this is not the FPS it initially appears to be. This is an RPG through and through and if you approach Deus Ex in the same manner as you would say Call of Duty or Halo your trench coat loving backside will be strung up the terrorist battlements faster than you can say Ďaugmentationsí. Deus Ex (especially on the harder difficulties) requires strategy and forethought, and inevitably as you progress youíll encounter many different ways to approach the same problem. For example, in one of the early levels I was tasked with clearing a terrorist presence from a subway station and rescuing some hostages theyíd taken. Being a product of our instant gratification culture I swooped on the subway station, kicked in the front door, and proceeded to mow down everyone in sightÖonly to accidentally shoot a barrel of explosives leading to the death of every hostage on the platform. Mission failed? Oh no, JC Denton has to live with his screw-ups and off he went to the next level to get called a psychopathic idiot by his brother.Had I paid attention I would have noticed the many vents leading on to the subway platforms that would have been ideal for sneaking through and silently picking off my unaware foe. Instead, my JC just got a loud ringing in his ears and a whole lot of questionable paperwork for the boys to file back at the station.
As you play through the game, certain feats such as completing missions efficiently or discovering secret areas will earn you Ďskill pointsí which are put towards developing your skills. This is where the open ended structure really comes into itís own as it allows you to craft a JC befitting to your personal play style. Couple this with the augmentations (mechanical upgrades implanted into your body) and the scope for diverse characters becomes vast. After my ill-fated foray into the subway station I opted to develop the stealth aspects of my character; I pumped points into pistols to become more proficient with the silenced 9mm and invested in cloaking and silent running augmentations. Soon enough I was an invisible wind, cutting through my enemies before they knew what hit them. Hacking, lock-picking and bypassing security are all viable options and the game very rarely punishes you for specialising in just one.Nothing is perfect however, and Deus Ex is no exception. The gameís over a decade old now and graphically it hasnít aged well at all, but with the help of our old friend the modding community this has been rectified and many beautification mods are available to download. Also, I know this may seem like a very particular complaint but the tranquilizer crossbow really doesnít deliver what it promises. It may sound like a one shot ticket to knock-outs-ville but instead it sends your target flailing around the room alerting all his buddies of the dart wielding nutter on the loose. Hardly useful to the stealth based characters itís aimed at.But these are all tiny specks of dirt on an otherwise delicious pie. When you consider this game was released in 2000 itís a testemant to itís creators that the gameplay still holds up so well. Itís cheap, itís fun and letís face it, you donít need a bulky rig of a PC to play it. Iím currently playing it lag free and full spec on my fairly old laptop and I know it could run on something far worse. If youíre playing Human Revolution, or thinking about playing it and you donít own the original, Deus Ex is a must. Iíll leave you with this wonderful picture that I think encapsulates the brilliance of Deus Ex: