TGS ’10: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preview

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Game director Jean-Francois Dugas takes us through twenty minutes of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

According to Dugas, the gameplay of Human Revolution is built on four pillars: combat, stealth, hacking and RPG. We saw some of these in action in the level he played for us at TGS.

Starting about 6 hours into the game, Adam Jensen is dropped off via helicopter in the futuristic metropolis of Shanghai. Despite landing on a roof top, the sky is obscured by steel; a second tier to the city rises overhead. Vendors hawk their wares as neon billboards tinge the dirty streets with an electric glow. The level brought back fond memories of the Hong Kong section of the original game.

Dugas pointed out early on that this game is still in development and that this was not the final build. It certainly does show in places. NPCs mill about the streets, but sometimes bump in to each other awkwardly. Nevertheless, the game is looking great and captures the cyber-punk vibe of its predecessors.

The demo brought Jensen to a seedy club called the Hive. Here, we get to see some RPG interactions. The interface is functional, but nothing revolutionary; A wheel displays the usual selection of dialogue options.

Next comes some action. Transitions to combat-heavy sections bring with them a costume change. Dugas notes that Jensen will wear a trench coat in public, but drops it to reveal combat gear when behind enemy lines. Mechanically it leans heavily toward the cover-based shooter. Jensen hugs the walls as he sneaks around, delivering instant kills to the baddies he catches unawares.

There are quite a few nods to the first game. When faced with a locked door, Jensen seeks out dropped datapads, or unattended laptops, to find the four digit combination. Augmentations make a return and Jensen’s new x-ray vision was showcased in the demo. A loading screen at one point advised players to choose their augments carefully, as they will not be able to max out everything.

The demo climaxed with a battle against a mech in a warehouse. Bullets were no good here, so Jensen sought out a rocket launcher to pierce the robot’s tough armor. As he searched, the mech’s missiles blew away his cover. Jensen quickly located what he needed and blasted the mech to kingdom come, rounding off the last of the gameplay.

In a time where action RPGs have become huge business its refreshing to see a pioneer of the genre returning to the spotlight.

TGS 2010 reporting is done jointly by Fintan Monaghan and Lisa Gay.

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