Deus Ex: Human Revolution E3 2011 Preview

Jonathan Jacques-Belletette, Lead Art Director for Eidos Montreal and part-time Adam Jenson look-alike took us through our demonstration of the upcoming Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This title takes place in 2027 and serves as a prequel (by roughly 30 years) to the first Deus Ex title.

Adam Jensen, security specialist, has been augmented and is now a super-soldier trying to unravel the mystery behind the conspiracy that drives the game.  Our demonstration begins roughly half-way through the game.  For completionists that means roughly 20 hours in, and for those who skip all the side content, that’s roughly 12 to 15 hours.  We are in “Hatia” (I believe – it was hard to hear) – a cybernetic mecca. Tai Yong Medical is the largest cyber conglomerate and we are going to infiltrate it.  There bottom of the building is the manufacturing area, with the upper area being office and administration.  The separation between the lower and upper floor isn’t just the dingy roof, but also a symbolic one.  The area below the roof is fairly plain and nondescript, but above this is beautiful, clean, surrounded by greenery, and has access to the warm sky.  We don’t have access to move directly into the top area, so we will have to start at the bottom and work our way up to the top.

dxhr_screenshot_covertymFor this demonstration we’d be taking a very stealthy approach. Before we started crawling around though, we decided to take a more social approach.  Approaching a guard in the entry area we are given the opportunity to try to talk our way through, kill our way through, or simply bribe the guard 500 credits.  Bribing our way through, we make our way back into the high tech area. As we make our way up the catwalk we encounter a door that must be hacked.  As soon as we hit the first node of the hacking minigame, the system immediately goes on alert trying to catch us.  We reinforce other nodes and make our way to the end node, recovering a “Stop! Worm Software” item – a consumable that helps you hack by pausing the enemy AI for a short while.

Digging through nearby lockers, we pick up some tranquilizer darts.  Making use of them immediately, we pull out a sniper tranquilizer rifle and take aim to put a guard on a distant bridge to sleep. Our hands were shaking too badly to make a clean shot, so we accessed the augmentation menu and added a point to the Arm Stabilizer.  This adjustment allowed us to place a clean shot on the guard to clear the way.   Walking across the catwalk we get to see one of the “Show don’t tell” portions of the game – below us are augmentations in a crate waiting for a warm body for injection.

Finding a nice quite vent to duck into, we grab a few experience points for being an ‘explorer’.  This vent is a choke point though – the fall from this distance would absolutely kill us…if we didn’t have the Icarus Landing system augmentation.  Descending down the shaft, we use the Icarus to slow our landing to the point of not hurting ourselves.

The room we entered has two guards – strike that, two INEPT guards.  One is too busy to notice you, absorbed in his work.  The other guard is busy looking down and not paying attention to his surroundings.  Walking up calmly, we use our strength augmentation to grab one guard and then physically throw him into the other guard, executing both of them silently with our hidden arm blades.  Exiting the area we spot a nearby camera – we can disable it with a quick shot from our stun gun, but that only lasts about 5 seconds.  An EMP grenade will permanently disable it, but will set of an alarm just as fast as shooting it with a gun.  We decide to zap it with our stun gun and sneak past.

The new area was well-patrolled.  Using Jensen’s X-ray Vision augmentation, we spot a guard and observe his travel pattern.  Making our way down the hallway behind him, we stun him and drag his unconscious body into a nearby service closet.  We want to pick up his pistol but we are out of space.   Opening our inventory we combine the pistol ammo capacity mod onto the weapon, clearing the space.dxhr_screenshot_adammegan2

We finally make our way up to cross the Pangu (the floor/roof, or as it’s been called by the Eidos guys – “Floof”), and Frank Pritchard, our tech handler, advises that the area has nothing in terms of surprises on the security side of things.  On the roof we discover an electrical system is running onto the water on the floor. This area also gives us a good look at the skyscrapers built ontop of the Pangu, as well as the tram system that carries higher-end engineers throughout the city.

We wanted to pick up another item but we find our inventory is stuffed again.  We break out our augmentations again and add a point to our strength.  With a mod level 2, we add two more slot rows to our inventory. Finding another vent, we go into an area we passed earlier and shut down the power to our nearby live wire.  Firing up our augmented legs we use an augmented jump to ascend the nearby crates in the area.   Eventually a ladder leading to a Maintenance Area deposts us near an elevator.  Concealing our weapons once again, we enter in to what Eidos is calling a ‘green zone’ – an area where you can pretty much blend in, as long as you don’t act a fool.  We overhear a nearby engineer arguing with his IT department as he’s lost his access card.  We try to access the nearby lab, but without a pass we simply cannot get in.  We could try to find the lost pass card, but this is Deus Ex – let’s find a different way.

Spotting a nearby ledge just out of reach, we realize that if we slid a nearby vending machine over a bit we could reach up to the ledge.  Unfortunately that kind of activity is very quickly noticed, so we have to take out a nearby guard.  Reading through his Pocket Secretary, we find the access code to a nearby area.  Heading back to the machine we pump another point into our strength augmentation to be able to pull the machine.  Sliding it backwards, we make our way up to the second floor of the lab, bypassing the guard that challenged us for a pass earlier. Now that we are in, but not in a legitimate way, we will have to be stealthy by using optical camouflage to stay hidden as we make our way through the area.   Using sound dampening augmentation, we climb up some nearby crates without making a sound.  Back in the green zone again, we slip back into trying to be inconspicuous.

Climbing up to the Data Core Server room, our objective, we come upon another guard station.  He challenges us and we back off advising that we were simply looking for the cafeteria.  Lasers block much of the area, but guards have items to shut down the lasers. Perhaps we could use one of them to sneak through?  Thankfully we took the optical camouflage option, which uses a mirror system to make us invisible. Using this system we are able to push through the laser fence and into the area.

Moving some crates out of the way, we use our wall-punch augmentation to crush through the concrete wall to reach inside the wetwall revealing a ladder.  Through the vents we get a good look at the Data Core Server Room.  Before our demo ends, we decide to go loud, tripping the rotating lasers and calling down a group of guards on our area.  Popping them as they enter the room, the guards aren’t much match for us. A nearby robot rolled towards us as well, but he met his end courtesy of an EMP grenade.  Gunning down the camera above a nearby elevator, we rush the server room and end the demo.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is just around the corner on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Stay tuned for our full review very soon!




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