Go away 2010. You were rubbish. It’s now all about 2011, and the games we can’t wait to play. That’s why throughout the first couple of weeks of January I’m going to be going through some of the games I’m most looking forward to in the coming year. Today we're taking a refresher course on Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution So far 2011... ACTIVATE! has been about what I'm looking forward to in 2011, and it sort of hit me today that maybe what I want isn't necessarily what everyone else wants. So I asked around the office - what were they looking forward to in 2011?
I asked Elly, but she just gave me a blank stare. I asked Gizmodo's Nick, before I realised that he wasn't actually in his chair. Grudgingly, I asked Seamus - and he said, "Deus Ex: Human Revolution".
Hmm... I thought. Deus Ex: Human Revolution. To be perfectly honest, it's a game that wasn't on my radar - there seems to be more reasons to be worried about this prequel than excited. CG trailers, brand new development team, gritty reboot prequel - there was something about this whole project that just seemed a little... off - like it was a game that, bearing the brunt of incredible expectation, was destined for glorious failure.
But then I turned to Seamus yet again - who had gone on a studio tour at Eidos Montreal in May last year - what did he think?
"It's amazing," he said.
"Someone told me he saw the demo and it was rubbish," was my retort.
"He's an idiot," said Seamus.
"Yeah, you're probably right," I said.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a game that revolves around choice (as you'd expect from the franchise) and consequence. One mission, for example has you attempting to retrieve a microchip from the head of some John Doe. You can go in guns blazing, as you'd hope from a game that is, technically, a shooter. But Deus Ex also provides you with an option to charm your way through - by sweet talking the clerk inside, via a LA Noire-esque mechanic that's dependent upon you saying the right thing, at the right time, like a post-modern Don Draper.
But apparently the sweet talk option has consequences - if your silver tongue is 'silvery' enough and you chat your way past security, the poor clerk will lose his job, and that will have consequences for you later in the game.
We like that kind of thing. In fact - scratch that - we like that idea. Proper consequence in gaming is the promise that perennially under-delivers. In fact we're struggling to think of a game outside of Mass Effect that's had a decent bash at it. Even Bioshock made a mess of that mechanic.
Still, we're intrigued by the universe that Eidos Montreal are trying to create, and the detail they appear to be putting into the Deus Ex world. It's hard not to be cynical about the game for a number of reasons, especially the recent delay, but we're trying to remain optimistic. If it delivers, Deus Ex: Human Revolution could be a true game of the year contender.