Eidos Montreal has a lot to prove. The freshman developer's first project is a daunting one: the next game in the beloved Deus Ex franchise, subtitled Human Revolution. Yet based on what we saw at its behind-closed-doors demonstration of the game, the development team really understands what made Deus Ex so groundbreaking in its day. According to lead writer Mary DeMarle, Deus Ex: Human Revolution revolves around four pillars of gameplay: combat, stealth, social, and hacking. Choice is the key element here, and players will be able to follow multiple paths to achieve their goals.
Human Revolution takes place before the original Deus Ex--in 2027, to be exact. It's an age of chaos and conspiracy. Protagonist Adam Jensen is a security specialist for a private company that manufactures nanotechnological augmentations. When the firm falls under attack, it's up to Adam to uncover the plot behind the violence. The demo we saw picked up about six hours into the game. Adam is following a lead, seeking out a hacker on an island located near Shanghai. We see a gunship flying above the waters and a brightly lit neon cityscape in the distance. The gunship lands, and your female companion gives Adam a rundown of the situation. We find out the hacker is a member of a triad, which as Deus Ex players know, is a mafia-type organized crime syndicate. Once his comrade flies off, Adam is left to pursue the lead on his own.
Adam makes his way down a stairway and past a cafe. The urban environment has that neon-lit, grimy sci-fi look that the Deus Ex series has always done so well. The area is teeming with pedestrians involved in conversations and going about their daily business. They aren't oblivious to your presence, though: An innocent pedestrian reacts with horror when the player points a gun at him. According to DeMarle, you can go up to any non-player characters to talk to them and can even obtain side quests that way. One thing is for sure: Human Revolution has a gritty look, exemplified by the seedy nightclub Adam approaches, which is called The Hive. The bouncer there isn't too excited to see Adam and isn't prepared to let him in without a little cash to massage the situation. The player chose to pay the bouncer off, but according to DeMarle, there were other options available. You might find a sewer or roof entrance, locate another way in by talking to nearby passersby, or simply kill the bouncer.
Once inside, Adam talks to the bartender and asks for his contact, Tong. The bartender sends Adam to the VIP lounge, where another bartender awaits--this one sporting a freaky-looking cybernetic arm. An aggressive conversation follows, and clearly, this man has no intention of letting Adam speak to Tong. We see several dialogue choices throughout the conversation, and each time they are presented as "advise," "insist," and "pinpoint." Adam has no luck with the bartender and, instead, must find alternate means. Fortunately, he overhears two guards mention that they've lost a PDA with an important passcode on it. Adam finds the PDA and uses the code to open a secure door and enter the club's basement.
From within these confines, Adam sticks to cover and waits for a patrolling guard to turn his back, then attacks him with a gruesome-looking fatality-type kill. One detail of note: While you generally play Deus Ex: Human Revolution from a first-person point of view, you move to a third-person view when taking cover and performing these kills, which are called takedowns. Adam then drags the body out of the way and enters a nearby vent. From here, he's able to locate Tong--who happens to be the very same bartender who refused you access. Tong is conversing with a comrade, and as it turns out, he knows a lot more about the situation than he let on.
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