Deus Ex isn't a name that draws midnight queues like COD, it doesn't top too many lists these days like Mass Effect and it isn't the name on the end of everyone's tongue like Uncharted when it comes to setting modern-day gaming standards.
Had it not been for a fair few years on the sidelines, however, that could all be different. In 2001 Deus Ex did indeed set the action-RPG standard on PC. With an incredibly atmospheric title sporting a smart, engaging storyline and depths that actually made you feel like you could mould the world you inhabited, it's no wonder the original Deus Ex has left such fond memories in the minds of most.
It's the fact that Deus Ex was so highly regarded over ten years ago that meant the announcement of Deus Ex: Human Revolution propelled the franchise back into the 'critical importance' category of gaming almost instantly. What, perhaps ironically, made things even tougher for Eidos was the release of one of the best trailers we've ever seen in June last year.
To put it frankly, Eidos has got just as big a task on it's hands in reviving Deus Ex as Naughty Dog has in maintaining the Uncharted series or BioWare has with that difficult third Mass Effect outing. It might have been almost 11 years since the original and best but the slate is far from clean, all eyes are on Eidos.
DEUS EX MACHINA
It's 2027 and a time when humanity is at a turning point; people are augmenting themselves, forcing evolution if you will, using technology. Sarif Industries is a leading name in the field.
Since Human Evolution is a prequel to the original Deus Ex it deals with much more overt technological additions to human flesh. Those who've gone under the knife are sporting advanced mechanical limbs rather than playing host to subtle nanobots as in the original.
That doesn't mean Deus Ex is about imparting god-like wrath on enemies though.
"It's a thinking man's shooter," says writer Mary De Marle "I warn you from the start, if you're going to try and run and gun through you're not going to last very long."
That's the first point that should start to put old-school Deus Ex fans at ease. This is still the open-ended, multiple-route game we knew and loved. It's going to force you to think tactically and plan your actions depending on your situation, whether it's negotiating your way through a room of machine-gun touting enemies or negotiating your way towards the desired result on the end of a conversation tree.
"The game is all about choices and consequences," De Marle continues, "You get to choose how Adam Jensen evolves through the augmentations you're using, you get to choose how humanity evolves through the story and you get to choose how the game is played."
Taking control of Adam Jensen, a private security specialist working for Sarif, we're thrown in right at the beginning of the game.
At this point Jensen is just your run-of-the-mill gravel voiced protagonist. He looks like he can handle himself in a fight but there's no badass integrated body tech to speak of just yet. What is immediately apparent from the get-go, however, is the kind of atmosphere and world Deus Ex: Human Evolution is going to create.
We start off in Sarif Industries with Megan Reed, Jensen's scientist girlfriend and niece of the company's head honcho, David Sarif (we won't go into the ethical implications). Walking the company corridors with her as she leads us to her uncle's office makes for a very Half-Life 2 opening.