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Deus Ex: Human Revolution
I like the story and the overall feel of the game - unfortunately the combat is frustrating unless you follow the minimal engagement approach. Unlike the original Deus Ex, these developers clearly decided that pacifism is the "right" way to play the game - and skewed the mechanics heavily to enforce that notion.

Your health regenerates automatically when you haven't been damaged for a while - no chugging health packs during boss fights - you have to get creative and hide or run a lot.

The middle difficulty level is actually harder than the original Deus Ex on "realistic", combat wise. The AI has superhuman long range accuracy with any weapon - and soaks more damage than the player character. Additionally it doesn't seem to suffer from any sort of knockback when shot. Quick-saving and loading multiple times in a fight with a swarm of guards a taxing experience. It would also be nice if the real saves had screenshots like the original Deus Ex, so you could tell them apart easier.

There is a cover system, but it is mostly good for dashing from place to place avoiding detection, and is mostly worthless for combat. The aiming while behind cover is about what you would expect from someone sticking a gun around a corner and waving it around a bit - occasionally you'll get a kill but you'll waste so much ammo it is totally worthless.

The cover system also seems to have introduced a bug for those who don't use it - sometimes your bullets will hit the object you are peeking around, even as you are being pelted by bullets from the AI you are aiming at. One particular level also had minor problems with AI seeing my character when they clearly had no possible line-of-sight.

The map radar does compensate for these flaws a little - if you're patient you can sit at the corner and wait for the baddie to walk by, then pop him. You could also accomplish this by using your takedown move to punch him unconscious - though this uses a lot of battery.

Occasionally the AI seems to cheat a bit too - some characters having unlimited grenades, and others with the ability to invisibility cloak indefinitely. Some of the tougher bruisers also seem nigh-invulnerable to everything besides electric stun weapons

Hacking cameras, doors, etc is now a (sometimes) lengthy minigame - which would be okay except that guards still see you while you're playing it (unlike the original DE). The game also forces your character to stand up directly in front of the terminal - no hiding behind the desk while hacking. Your radar doesn't show while hacking, so being killed occasionally because of this is likely. There are a limited number of attempts per terminal, and being caught on an attempt locks you out for 20+ seconds (an unnecessary annoyance).

Inventory management is also a bit of a pain - the game will automatically do inventory tetris for you, but when it can't fit an item it tells you it's full - with no indication of how much space you need to clear. Additionally, ammo now takes inventory space, and grenades/mines don't stack - both horrible design choices.

Look & Feel
The orange object highlighting is a bit much, but can be turned off in the options. It would be far better if there was an in-game toggle instead, to treat it as a light hint system rather than an always-on feature. The pre-rendered cutscenes also look fuzzy compared to actual levels - but other than that the graphics are shiny and the animation is well done.

The first level or two are completely on rails or corridor shooters, but after that it opens up a bit. Options lets you turn on waypoints to give directional cues - which is helpful since the multi-level maps aren't easy to navigate. Unfortunately in the later levels this waypoint system goes haywire, and following them can actually get you lost. The short (5 second default) sprint time adds a bit more frustration to the mix in large cities.

The developers did get NPCs done right - giving them a reasonably lifelike feel, both in dialogue and movement. They also imbued Pritchard with an amusingly sarcastic wit not found in the original DE. I felt cheated by a few cut scenes that made foolish decisions for me though, cheapening the storyline slightly.

It has a fair amount of replayability, and many of the cut scenes and dialogue are skippable - with the notable exception of the first on-rails walk through the lab, and any conversation where you can get a Silver Tongue reward (about 8, approximately). For achievements it's a huge flaw that there's no indication whether you are still eligible for Pacifist or Foxiest, since you have to play the entire game through to get them - and it is easy to disqualify yourself without knowing it.

If you enjoy a stealthy shooter this might be an enjoyable choice - but if you're a fan of the front-door assault this probably isn't the game for you, unless you want to play it on "easy".
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