Deus Ex: Human Revolution

[Hands-On] See What All The Buzz Is About

On the eve of our review, we take one last look at Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: August 21, 2011
Earlier this week we told you all about our visit to Eidos Montreal and our crash course on Transhumanism and the making of the game. While you await the slew of reviews that should hit tomorrow morning when the embargo lifts (9am PST), we thought we'd give you one last look at a section of Deus Ex: Human Revolution you haven't heard too much about yet. We're talking about the heart of Hengsha, The Hive, and the corporate offices of Tai Yong Medical, two areas that we got to check out that had previously been unseen.

For those of you who spent some time in the "demo" (otherwise known as the leaked preview), you'll know that the action ended after Alex left Detroit from Shanghai. While we can't talk about the town of Hengsha (which is one of the main hubs), we can mention a few specific locales. The first is The Hive, a cutting edge nightclub that caters to the hippest of augs in the cutting edge land of China. It's also the homebase of Tong Si Hung, and important power player in Hengsha (aka, the Silicon Valley of the East). Nightclubs have always played an important role is the Deus Ex universe, which makes a lot of sense because you would assume cutting edge hipsters who got all auged out would want a place to gather and show that shit off.

The Hive epitomizes the motif of the Deus Ex dystopia, being bathed in black and gold with a decided bent toward honeycombs in it's decor (sensibly, given the name). In addition to housing a ton of augs and some shady harvesters, it'll also serve as a mini-hub of sorts, with boisterous bartender Bobby Bao sending you on a pair of epic sidequests and featuring a "boss battle" (based on social interaction) with a mysterious figure. Just figuring out how to get INTO the Hive is a battle of its own, because unless you are willing to pay the member fee (and we weren't), you can't just stroll in the front door.

While The Hive is by no means a critical location in the game, it does provide a nice microcosm that represents the mood and atmosphere that pervades the entire game (and the entire series) while also providing some pulsing beats while you hang out in there. Once we left The Hive, armed with a who new set of leads, it was time to make our way to Tai Yong Medical.

Tai Yong Medical is a very large area that is one of several giant levels that split off from the hub worlds in the game. While you are still technically in Hengsha, Tai Yong feels like it's own massive hub by itself, requiring a careful trek through buildings full of guards, locked doors, and more than a few security systems before you find your way inside. Once in, you have to make your way to Zhao Yun Ru, the ruthless CEO who is hell bent on taking of Sarif Industries one way or another. Making your way to her means a lot of vertical ascending, which while by no means is unusual in DX:HR, it is certainly taken to a new level in this… level.

Tai Yong is a great example of how many ways you can approach a problem in Deus Ex. There is nothing to stop a heavily armed Adam Jensen from waltzing right in and up to the top using nothing but his Heavy Rifle to do the talking. It's also possible to go all "ghost" and sneak around every security camera and into one of the ubiquitous air vents that permeate the world like tunnels some termites had bored them into everything. That is not all, though. If you take the time to help a dude in distress, he might offer his help by letting you turn in a favor owed to him by the head of security. Drop his name, and suddenly the guards in the entrance lobby will look the other way as you stroll through their midst. As you might hope and expect, you can combine all three of these approaches at varying times to create your own unique way in. And there are enough exits and egresses that you won't find yourself on the same path if you play through a second time.

Rather than spend time spoiling all the possibilities and surprises that await you in the game, we are going to cut this short right here, but with less than 24 hours until our full review hits, we promises to bring you more Deus Ex that you'll know what to do with before you know it.