Deus Ex: Human Revolution is many things, but it is not a game of total freedom. Though it would have you believe that it was completely up to you how to take on a situation its focus on stealth is shown in every pore of its gameplay.
Adam Jensen is a augmented human being, he has robot arms and legs both of which are accompanied by many other cybernetic implants designed to make him faster, smarter and more aware of his surroundings.
But Jensen is not super human, he can only take so much punishment and it is because of this that players are encouraged through the ineffectiveness of a head on approach to play through the majority of Deus Ex: HR from the shadows, a assassin (or pacifist in some cases) sneaking up on Jensen’s foes to stab them in the back or punch them in the face.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Deus EX: HR. I also loved the first one, which I only played a week before they latest instalments release and I have to say I missed the box of toys that the first game in the series presented to me.
In Deus Ex you could play the whole game without killing anyone, you could play the entire game without shooting a bullet running around with melee weapons and laying the smack down on your foes; it was truly a game that thrust you into a environment, a situation and let YOU choose how to go about it one hundred percent.
Human Revolution is also home to flaws that the original did not happen, like interrupting your role-playing of a pacifist for “plot reasons” (I get why the boss fights are in the game, but why you have to kill them. Not so clear.) Or the lack of melee weapons outside of your takedowns. But this is made up by how HR improves on its base gameplay through the augmentation system. Each of the upgrades adding a new skill or layer to the game.
I do however believe that Deus EX: HR is a much better game; HR still provides a vast tool box to choose from it simply unifies every part of the tool box to augment the players experience, it provides a cloaking field so that Jensen can become invisible for short amounts of time a useful tool for those who don’t invest in hacking and wish to simply walk through the laser systems that sometimes cut off hallways.
You can get an augmentation to turn robotic foes against their allies or to allow Adam to punch through a wall knocking out (or killing) any foe who maybe on the other side. To put it short, I feel that Deus Ex: Human Revolutions tool box is geared around augmenting the player’s gameplay experience instead of providing more versatility to it like the original.
This is completely fine. Though strictly not open world I think many large scale rpg’s could learn from Deus Ex, it is a game that will allow you to approach a situation in any way you wish within certain limitations. If more Open World RPGs focused more on improving its elements instead of throwing MILLIONS of elements at the player we may see less open world games that are celebrated for 60% of its content.
Oh, and I can’t wait for SKYRIM.