Deus Ex: Human Revolution ps3 review – the future is slicey

Deus Ex: Human Revolution review

This is going to be a tricky review. I can’t tell you how you’re going to play Human Revolution. I can’t tell you how you’re going to approach certain problems, or solve them. I don’t know what futuristic cybernetic upgrades you’re going to use to boost your abilities or the way you’re going to talk to the people you meet. I can’t even be sure who you’re going to meet. I can only tell you how I played it.

I punched a lot of people and left them unconscious in air ducts. I didn’t have to. I could have shot them. Or gutted them with big blades that popped out of my robot-forearms. I could have even sneaked past everyone without getting involved but, seriously, where’s the fun in that? No, for me it was all about the punching.

Human Revolution is a game about choice and I chose not to kill people. Chiefly because I’m an idiot, and in a fictitious world full of bionic people I wanted to play Mr Nice Shiny Metal Guy.

The story in this third instalment of Deux Ex (albeit second on PlayStation – Invisible War never made it to a Sony machine) casts you as Adam Jensen, head of security for Sarif Industries – one of the biggest companies in the human augmentation market.

This is set in 2027 where, if you want, you can replace all sorts of body parts with mechanical enhancements – stronger arms, X-ray eyes, legs that let you jump nine feet in the air.

The future’s a rocky-looking place, though, with a growing divide between augmented and normal people. For example, one mission deals with a broker forced to take out a loan to buy social augs in order to keep up with enhanced business rivals – something she had to do to stay competitive, even if it meant getting in hock with shady types.

This divide and the rapidly expanding reach of augmentation technology mean there’s huge unrest at every level, from legitimate political parties, lobby groups and more proactive protesters. The world is a mess and you might just have to sort it all out.

It all kicks off with an attack on Sarif Industries by augmented terrorists. It leaves several scientists dead, and Jensen kitted out with a full set of augmented limbs – the result of surgery required to save his life.

The plot is basically James Bond Of The Future (you have to say that in a loud, melodramatic voice) as you hunt down the bad guys and try to find answers.

It’s got a 007 rhythm of espionage, action and just being really cool. You can never tell who to trust, where the real threat is, or what might be around the next shadowy corner.

The point of Deus Ex is that it throws you into this conspiratorial mess and lets you deal with it however you want. You decide who to believe, how to handle situations, and even which situations to handle. If you want to play Hitman style, silencing anyone who causes trouble, then you can.

If you want to go in all guns blazing, then that works too. It might make the cyborg baby Jesus cry, but the game won’t stop you. It’s up to you: call the shots and deal with the repercussions.