Should You Buy Deus Ex: The Missing Link? No.

Should You Buy Deus Ex: The Missing Link? No.
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This week, Eidos released the first downloadable content for their acclaimed role-playing game Deus Ex: Human Revolution, titled The Missing Link. We’re all looking forward to some more Deus Ex, but is The Missing Link worthy of the brand? It’s time to ask our guts what they think.

Kirk Hamilton, who has written more about Deus Ex than anyone else at Kotaku: So here we are with a big huge flaming “No” at the top of this post and now you’re probably wondering why I hate The Missing Link. But I don’t hate it! I just don’t recommend paying $US15 for it.

The Missing Link picks up near the end of Human Rvolution, with protagonist Adam Jensen stowed away in cryo-sleep aboard a transport ship run by Bell Tower security. In the proper game, Jensen goes into the sleep-tank and then wakes up at his destination, slightly disoriented but ready to kick arse. In the Missing Link, he is discovered mid-trip by the crew and goes on an adventure to uncover and stop a nefarious Bell Tower plot.

Missing Link stands as a separate entity from Human Revolution — items gathered in the game don’t carry across to your proper save, and all of Adam’s augmentations are stripped away at the very start of the mission. Fortunately, the game gives you a handful of Praxis kits at the outset, which allow you to power up and specialise your character somewhat. The points are limited, however, so you won’t be able to create a godlike uber-Jensen like you may have had in the game — you’ll have to choose between strength, stealth, etc.

It’s cool in theory — one of the shortcomings of Human Revolution was that Jensen could become too versatile, and dealing with each branching situation was more a matter of preference than necessity. Not so in The Missing Link. Especially in the first part of the story, you’ll only be able to deal with situations in the ways that your augments allow.

Luke Plunkett, Fellow Human Revolution Fan: Missing Link is yet another disjointed, opportunistic piece of singleplayer downloadable content that drops you back in a story you’ve already finished in a world you’ve already saved/doomed/whatever. There’s just no point to this! Remove the consequences of your actions and the context of your mission and Deus Ex is a very slow and very boring game. Making this a very slow and boring piece of DLC. No.

Okay this sounds pretty good, so why isn’t it worth $US15? Basically, it’s uninspired. The opening hours are all corridor-sneaking aboard a rain-swept ship, with none of the open-room office desk creeping that was so enjoyable in the first game. It feels like an homage to Metal Gear Solid 2, but in setting only. It’s flat, the environments are enclosed and constantly reused, and nothing is particularly exciting.

The hallways all look the same, the challenges are the same repetitive mix of computers, laser-grids, patrolling guards and locked doors. The enemies’ voice-over performances are flat even by Deus Ex standards. And as a result of the closed nature of the story, there are so many possible solutions offered to every problem that things somehow feel false in a way that they never did in Human Revolution, almost like Jensen has been inserted into a Deus Ex simulator.

Most of the guards are carrying pocket secretaries loaded with codes and passwords — they’re much more prevalent than in the main game. Most of the time, I’d go to hack a keypad only to find that I already had the code. Every room has the requisite alternate entrances, every camera can be bypassed in the same multiple ways. There’s just nothing new going on — it feels like more of the same assets and systems from the main game.

I haven’t finished The Missing Link, so take this for what it is — a gut check, me answering the question “Do I think you should spend your $US15 on this?” As much as I loved Human Revolution, I just can’t give this first DLC the same recommendation. As a part of an eventual GOTY collection, sure. If it goes on sale for $US5? Sure. But there are better things you could spend your $US15 on, especially this time of year.

Given the rumours that two entire hub-worlds (Montreal and Dubai) were withheld from Human Revolution, I’m optimistic that we’ll be seeing more substantive Deus Ex DLC soon. I’d say save your money and wait for that.


  • I wouldn’t be surprised that they are working on a major “expansion” so to speak.

    I still haven’t finished Deus Ex (Uni and life get in the way) but from playing through the story, there are parts that feel empty on purpose.

    I’d love to see a big hub such as dubai or somewhere separate to the story that has side-quests, and the ability to do more quests in previous hubs and sort of travel around.

    Its a great game, but i wish it was more open like fallout or oblivion, it would be an excellent expansion.

  • I still haven’t finished it yet and hardly buy dlc as it is. Also if the rumour that those two hubs were excluded from the game, it better be because they were a broken mess that couldn’t be fixed in time or else I would be pissed, I hate content cutting for DLC.

  • I felt very much the same at the start of it; Deus Ex reduced to a corridor shooter/stealth game with not much more to it. Later on it does flesh out a bit of the main story though; and in the end, although it’s rather bland, I felt it added to the main game as a whole.

    It did feel very cheap compared to the main campaign though; like you mentioned, voice acting was bad, the cut scenes were jittery with bad lip sync etc. For a big Deus Ex fan, I say get it. If not, avoid it.

  • Eh. I was playing it until I got hit by the Cloak & Daggers bug (Double T, the guy you have to knock out, spawns 90 metres up in the air and the only way to get to him is to sniper him, which fails the mission…). Waiting until they fix that bug, unfortunately the patch that came out at the same time as the DLC didn’t fix it so I’ll be waiting a while…

  • Played it, liked it…worth it? Steam says I played it for 5 hours, so I think that’s probably worth it in comparison to other DLC out there. I played it on the heals of finishing Deus Ex, and although I was a little fatigued of sneaking around, and hacking stuff, it does kinda defeat the purpose of the entire story. I kinda found myself not too worried about finding every little secret way etc. The ending was pretty easy, but I still enjoyed it. I like the IP so yeah. Oh and also because it didn’t really matter much, I shot a few dudes this time round, instead of stunning everyone like I did in the main game…felt good 😛

  • I can’t really understand the dislike of the DLC, I mean contrary to some reviews I had read I still went in with still high expectations and they were be bested. Almost everything is better than in the original game; the lighting is overhauled, the environments have more routes, there are more secrets, the writing is excellent with compelling characters and the atmosphere is quite different, really, really dark.

    The content also better reacts to if you went around killing people or sneaked past. So there are certainly quantifiable improvements but on a subjective level I think some of the criticisms levelled are rather spurious, like the ‘lack of context’. The context is the entirety of HR, every e-mail, piece of environmental story telling in the DLC, the very plot… it’s bizarre to assail the content like that when it provides so much insight into the larger Deus Ex world and history, even foreshadowing the original game in numerous parts.

  • I think this is the first review Ive read which questions the price of this DLC. With the fact that Steam Xmas sales are right around the corner we can all hope that this price will be at least cut in half by then.

  • Well said. I’ve always been against the price gouging that DLC entailed.

    In the days of old (and I guess Blizzard is still kind of sticking to this) we had expansion packs. Consider the Diablo II expansion, the Red Alert 2 Expansion pack, the Baulder’s Gate expansion pack. All of these games added a shittone more value to the game than 3 DLC packs, yet they were usually only $20-$40 (half the price of the original game).

    DLC these days is a joke. Street Fighter will charge $15 for alternate costumes, CoD will charge $15 for 3 maps, and no-one ever fucking questions it. They just buy them again and again, and the companies take away more and more value each time. How long will it be B4 CoD DLC packs have a single map?

    • Yeah it sucks and it proves that the business side of the industry is really starting to catch up in recent years.

      As far as paid DLC is concerned, I for one would like to see more of these “Season Pass” ideas catch on later down the track, especially if they are offered within pre orders for limited / collector’s edition.

      Nothing worse than a collector’s edition that contains a sack full of glorified knick knacks.

  • It doesn’t flow with the rest of DXHR at all. He gets in a pod, wakes up and nothing is wrong in the game but wait, in the dlc, somehow he gets found and not killed instantly, loses his augs and then gets them back goes back to his pod and wakes up and says everything was peachy keen when Pritchard gets back in touch with him? That’s some great work there and totally worth the money…not.

  • The Missing Link = Horribad Outsourced Boss Fights Revisited

    You’d think with such an amazing game, they’d NOT screw with the amazing work by outsourcing boss fights and making pointless DLC…

  • I thoroughly enjoyed HR but never felt as engrossed as I did when I played the original. Sure, the shooter mechanics and cover system make the game better from a purely mechanical standpoint, but I first played and finished the original in 2004 and still thought it was awesome (after recently having finished the likes of Half-Life 2 and Doom3).

    Consider if you’ll be able to say the same thing about this one four years from now.

    I say pfft to this DLC trend. Ion Storm would have included it in the game to begin with back in 2000.

  • I hate that it is a standalone game. Makes the story disjointed when I have to save and exit the main game to play the DLC and then back. Their comment at the end of the credits is they are only getting started. I guess we can see more DLC as they milk more money out of the game. That explains why the game is so short vs the original. I think next time I’ll wait until the whole game is released.

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