So as you may or may not know, the press preview beta of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was leaked to the general public a couple of weeks back. Using entirely legal methods and the appropriate channels, I have been playing said beta recently, and I’m here to tell you something about it.
But first let’s take a stroll back in time. You’ll recall from my top five games that I rank Deus Ex rather highly, and you may further be aware that this is hardly a rare position to take; it is widely and justly regarded as a true classic of the medium. Then along came Invisible War. Now, I want to stress, I don’t think IW is a bad game per se, I just don’t think it comes close to living up to the standard set by the original.
In today’s climate of nickel-and-dime DLC, two-weapons-only, and ready cash-ins rather than a desire to make a serious game I was therefore deeply skeptical of DX:HR. It sounded like they were saying what we wanted to hear, but just because the PR says something doesn’t mean it’s true. I was not at all convinced that it would be worthy.
And you know what? It is. It really, really is a sublime game. It hits all the right notes – the atmosphere is strong and though not as gloomy as 2052, 2027 still has an edge of cyberpunk dystopia to it. The game itself plays very well, and most of all – this is the bit that really sold me – it has divergent solutions to problems. I went a particular path with my augmentations and later found that I really wished I had done otherwise, because a task would have been a lot easier if I had made different choices. That’s far too rare these days, and I deeply appreciate it. The dialog is very solid as well, characters are well-developed and a joy to interact with. And Faridah is my waifu.
Reaction to the leak has been so roundly positive that some rumor it was a deliberate one; I’ve seen no evidence for it (Though a conspiracy surrounding Deus Ex is far too enjoyable to write off entirely), but I can safely say that regardless of who was to blame, it was the single best way to get me on board, and from what I’ve seen around the Internet, a lot of other people feel the same. Further, and to their great credit, Eidos and Square-Enix not only said they’ll take no action against those who play the leak, they have specifically asked for feedback on the forums from people who play it. Don’t know about anyone else, but for me this all adds up to a preorder.