Game Review

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Myths of the near future

Square-Enix's idea to bring Eidos Montreal’s swell Deus Ex: Human Revolution to the Wii U over two full years after the game first saw light of day on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC is a curious resurrection, perhaps, but given the quality of protagonist Adam Jensen’s cyberpunk caper the title deserves as big of an audience as it can get. Now patched up, polished and fully augmented to take advantage of its new hardware home, a console whose interface-extending GamePad can itself be considered an augmentation by traditional console standards, the Wii U edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut stands as the definitive version of one of the best games of its generation.

Set in the year 2027, a whole 25 years prior to the original Deus Ex, the events of Human Revolution unfold during an incredibly exciting time in its cyberpunk world: Biomechanical augmentation is on the rise, and along with it comes exploration of the philosophical quandary around what it means to be human. Detroit’s Sarif Industries is one of the corporate biotech giants whose technology is among those leading the charge, and as it prepares to send its CEO along with a group of scientists to a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., the company suffers a deadly attack by a group of unknown mercenaries. Sarif’s head of security, Adam Jensen, is critically wounded and wakes to find himself having gone through severe augmentation in order to save his life. He is told that his ex-girlfriend, Megan, and her research team were killed in the attack, and CEO David Sarif wants answers regarding who was behind the strike and why. Given his new superhuman condition, Jensen is just the right guy to sleuth that out.

Thus kicks off Jensen’s 30-ish-hour trek across the globe, starting as a whodunnit in Detroit and developing into a full-blown conspiracy over the course of Shanghai, Singapore and Montreal, involving power struggles surrounding human augmentation technology, mind-control and, of course, the Illuminati. The plot doesn’t venture out quite so boldly into the deep end as the original game did way back in 2000, but Human Revolution nicely — and plausibly — tees up the series of events that will eventually lead to JC Denton’s infiltration of the Statue of Liberty.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is of a rare breed in that it allows the player to handle nearly any given scenario however they see fit. Typically there is more than one way to conquer a chevron, and Jensen’s chosen augments will determine the viable methods. Running up against a locked door guarded by security has several solutions. An excellent hacker might be able to disable the security system and waltz on over to the objective, or perhaps by poking around an earlier area you discovered the security password and can simply punch it in to the terminal to shut everything down. Outfitting Jensen with enhanced stealth capabilities can render him invisible to security cameras and drones altogether, removing the need to find the terminal in the first place. And, of course, there’s the shootbang route.

However, not all approaches are equally rewarding. Opting for sneaky stealth over blunt force is a far more interesting, challenging and downright fun way to approach a scenario. There is a great deal of satisfaction in sneaking around behind cover or through vents while observing sentry patrol patterns and waiting for the perfect opportunity to move, or knocking one out and hiding their body in the shadows while using an augment to see through the walls to eye other approaching dangers.

Indeed, stealth requires far more finesse than going loud, as alerting the enemy triggers absolutely braindead AI behaviour to fight off with an arsenal of unsatisfying weapons, for which Jensen is more than likely low on ammunition. Groups of enemy soldiers have a habit of awkwardly pacing back and forth in front of you, or predictably hiding behind cover and popping out from behind like clockwork. Human Revolution may be a first-person game but it is not much of a shooter, and the times in which gunfights are the only option the game loses some of the panache it works so hard to earn.

Certain upgrades allow Jensen to navigate environmental hazards, meanwhile, like walking through poison gas clouds or electrified waters unscathed; these can lead to otherwise inaccessible paths and shortcuts. Simply by mainlining the story missions Jensen can earn or purchase enough augmentation upgrades to tailor a specific style and reach the endgame. Diverging from the path often requires additional, arguably non-essential augmentations to explore new terrain that is perhaps down a deep drop, or beyond walls in need of a good smashing. And you’ll want to explore the world — each city you visit is an elaborate hub filled with things to do and items to grab.

In fact, exploration is handsomely rewarded in Human Revolution. In addition to growing stronger, thus enabling further exploration, world-building is one of the game’s great strengths. While you can get a firm grasp of events by white-knuckling through the core missions alone, a whole heaping wealth of information is tucked away behind conversations, hackable terminals, side missions, scattered newspapers and overheard TV reports to flesh out and provide background for the setting, its history and the motivations of characters. Poke around enough and you can even grab a rocket launcher during one of your first missions.

Human Revolution is quite the looker too, with a clean and sleek art style that pays its respects to cyberpunk without drowning in "homages" to Blade Runner. The blues of the original Deus Ex are now warmer golds, creating a rich signature aesthetic that gives Human Revolution an identity all its own. The subtle soundtrack is textured and non-intrusive but essential to establishing the darker, somewhat oppressive mood, but the voice acting is inconsistent in quality. Sarif’s gruff sleaze is pitch-perfect for the character, whereas Jensen comes off as a weirdly unenthusiastic Batman-type. Many of the smaller roles are stereotypical NPCs that sound as if they were recorded in a hurry.

Multiplatform releases on Wii U have a tendency to slap a map or inventory on the GamePad and call it a day. While Human Revolution does pick some of the lower-hanging second-screen fruit, it’s clear that Eidos Montreal and Straight Right (of Mass Effect 3 Wii U fame) took the time to make the GamePad not feel like an afterthought (let’s not forget that Wii U was, for a long time, the only announced platform for the Director’s Cut). Certain portions of the game, like hacking and inventory management, are actually easier and more intuitive to navigate with touch than an analogue stick, and when playing off-screen the HUD is re-jigged to allow quick taps on the sides to access specific subscreens like current mission objectives, the map or inventory. However, it can feel a little silly and needless occasionally during combat, such as when aiming down a rifle’s scope suddenly redirects your focus to the GamePad screen for no apparent reason. With rare exception, the GamePad is integrated in an organic way so as to make it feel essential in the world — so much so, in fact, that the game doesn’t support the Pro controller nor a Remote + Nunchuk setup.

Human Revolution doesn't have a traditional multiplayer component, but isn't strictly a solitary affair. Jensen players across the world can take screenshots, draw on them and record short audio clips to share with friends — ostensibly to share secrets and clues a la Dark Souls, although it feels more like an enhanced Miiverse than anything. Regular ol' Miiverse support allows players to share screenshots and whatnot, and those who want to auto-spam their feed every time an achievement is earned are able to do so as well. (But, you know, don't be that person.)

The Director’s Cut is intended to be the definitive version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and with plenty of tweaks and additions it warrants the designation. A chief complaint about the original game is that the boss battles are incongruous with the amount of player choice that the game offers elsewhere — there was no way not to engage in a gunfight with them — which the Director’s Cut tweaks by gently altering the arena in which these fights occur and including hacking/non-shooty methods of winning. The boss fights aren’t exactly re-invented, but offering somewhat more flexibility in strategy is welcome.

Now on the disc is the Missing Link DLC as well as a full strategy guide, and an excellent new commentary track allows the developers to offer great insight and anecdotes on how the game came together. A Making Of documentary further scratches that itch, and a New Game+ mode is included as well. All of this plus the excellent GamePad functionality makes a really strong argument in favour of the Wii U edition as the most compelling version of the game.


It may be a two-year-old game, but whoever's idea it was to resurrect Deus Ex: Human Revolution for Wii U deserves a slap on the back and a raise of the glass. The original game may not have had the GamePad in mind at all when it was released in 2011, but this Director's Cut feels completely at home with it in 2013. No, not everything is fantastic, and much of which was already an issue the first go out — combat still feels like a lesser play style, predictably dumb AI doesn't do the game any favours, and some wonky voice acting can confuse the mood — but the few blemishes can't overshadow the sheer number of things that Human Revolution gets completely right.

Organic second-screen support, lovely new features and some welcome, if subtle, tweaks to an already fantastic title put Human Revolution at the top of the Wii U food chain. There just aren't many games out there quite like it.

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User Comments (89)



Hunter-D said:

Definitely one for the backlog!

Just read the conclusion but I already know that this is a good game. Will read the full review in the morning.



Salnax said:

A 2 year old port of a last-gen game from a Japanese publisher gets a Nintendo console port that takes advantage of the new system to its fullest?

It's Resident Evil 4 all over again!



PanurgeJr said:

I'm still upset that the game was delayed so that we could...wait for other people to play the game for $20 less. I'd happily pay $50 for this, but not when they're not asking everyone to.



Ailingforale said:

@Kroisos, You do realize that it was already out for the 360 and PS3 so a lot of them already own it. So that could be their justification... it still sucks, but I can understand. I'm going to be picking it up on Steam because they want to only charge me $10.

If I could use a mouse and keyboard on the Wii U, I would probably pick it up there. I got my hands on this at Pax and it played pretty dang smooth even for someone as terrible with dual joysticks like myself. I can't help it if I've got two left thumbs though...



Moose_4 said:

I have played about 90 mins and the game looks great, and i agree that its meant to be stealth. When i try a fire fight i hate pressing in the right analogue stick to see down the sight.



SCAR said:

I've only heard good things about this game. What bugs me the most is that it's $30 physical and $50 on the eShop. That's the first time I've had the option to buy the disc for cheaper than the eShop, but I like digital versions since it's just always on my system...

Decisions... I'll try to get this game in some form or another eventually.



Rezalack said:

When this was released Miiverse was spammed with nothing but people complaining about the price. People, if you haven't played this and don't own the other systems, I don't see what the problem is. It's still $10 cheaper than the original copy that everyone paid $60 for and was incomplete. The reason it's only $30 on other systems is because they're trying to tempt those people who have already purchased it into buying it again. If they could get away with it, they'd give it full price for them, too. That just wouldn't fly.

That being said.. I want this game, but I will buy it when it's on sale.



SCAR said:

My reasoning is based more on my outlook of digital vs. physical. I like digital better, but it's being offered for $30 by GameStop in comparison to the eShop digital version for $50.

I had originally thought it would be $50 at retail as well, but now I see that the game is $20 cheaper at GameStop which is literally the first time I've seen a game cheaper on disc for Wii U. Do you understand that I want the digital version even though it's more expensive?

It sounds that way. I think they just made the boss fights easier to understand and able to be beaten in more ways.



Shiryu said:

Ah, yes I was expecting a very high grade from you guy son this one. Since I never played the game back in 2011 I am loving every bit of it! Truly, a must have title for Wii U and another solid conversion by Straight Right (who also did "Mass Effect 3 Special Edition" on Wii U as is pointed out in the review). In case you are still undecided this is me playing it for the first time. Gotta get back into this!



alrighthearthis said:

I already own Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC but I imagine this will be another case like Batman: Arkham City where I go ahead and pick up the Wii U version cheap to see the differences the gamepad offers (also because I like playing games more from the comfort of my couch).



MAB said:

Playing through the DIGITAL 4 LYFE version ATM... I'm never buying disc games again because in the end you're paying for a cheap slower loading, lower framerate glitchfest version



Rezalack said:

I get what you're saying. I wasn't really aiming that at you in general, I was just refering to all the people raging on miiverse when it was released. I do think that digital version should be cheaper.



SCAR said:

Like @MadAussieBloke says, the digital versions tend to run better. That's why I like the digital versions. I don't have to leave my house, Deluxe Digital Promo, always having the game on the system without a disc, and a possible chance of enhanced DRM is why I always opt for digital whenever I can.

The only exception for disc is games that are only on disc for me. The price being cheaper at the store makes this decision alot more difficult, because I can get the game for $20 cheaper, or download the superior digital version with all the digital perks.



MadJay1664 said:

Deus ex is amazing I've been playing it loads! Can't stop exploring and time wasting XD



Nareva said:

I just ordered this from Amazon (US), it was the last copy available. This is also my first non-digital retail game. It looks like a great game that I'll play exactly once, so I'll finish it and promptly sell it.



Marshi said:

Its £25 in uk, I have it and its arguabley my best wiiu game. So its a 2 year old port,so what! Its a 2 year old port of one of the best games of the last few years, and just like the original deus ex took 2 years to come to the ps2 it was worth the wait. Anybody looking to improve 3rd party suport and has even a slight interest in stealth, sci fi or just a damn good story MUST buy this game



Zeargo said:

I am not going to bother reading it all, but I already own the game. I just wonder if it includes the touchiness of the tutorial screens and other of those similiar screens. Because that will be a negative for the review score.



MAB said:

@SCAR392 Exactamondo, so far I have got 16 download thingies in the deluxe promotion that equal to AU$112 (each code is $7 in Australia) and when you use them to download games they add more points towards more download codes. I downloaded ZombiU & Assassins Creed 3 while they're AU$17 even though I have the disc versions and found they run smooth and don't glitch like they did on disc... Now I will try and sell those inferior ones



sr388survivor said:

@unrandomsam Dunno if you played the original, but if you didn't the problem was that the whole game let you choose whether you wanted to be action or stealth and lethal or non-lethal. Then the boss fights would come up and be completely action based. So anyone playing stealth and non lethal would be stuck in a fire fight with no helpful upgrades and possibly no guns.
Now you can play the fights however you want, like the rest of the game.



Technosphile said:

It's on my Christmas list. Never played it before.

Is there a reason I haven't seen it anywhere at retail? Nobody has it. Is this another stupid Gamestop exclusive thing?



unrandomsam said:

@skjia I haven't played the original (I have played the original Deus Ex on the PC ages ago and quite liked it). I would choose action anyway over stealth every time.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@unrandomsam The boss fights in the original version were hard for all of the wrong reasons.

I played the PC version and I can tell you if you went stealth AND non-lethal you were pretty much screwed in the boss fights. Mostly cause people playing with that style wouldn't really pick up a lethal weapon in the first place. Doesn't help, that on the hardest difficulty, Jensen melts in like a second from gunfire.

Not to say that it's not doable but I had to expense every bit of non-lethal ammo I had + all of the non-lethal ammo in the arena AND all of the EMP grenades. I did not miss a single shot. At that point it became extremely tedious.

The original version is a good example of how to do outsourcing the wrong way (boss battles were outsourced to a 3rd party without any communication between studios).



CaPPa said:

I wasn't going to buy Deus Ex when they announced that it was releasing on the other systems for $20 cheaper. After finding out more about the game I've decided that I am going to buy it and I'm not so bothered about paying $50 for it either.

As I understand it, the game was specifically ported for the Wii U, has improved resolution, textures, lighting, reworked boss fights and GamePad features. On 360, PS3 (and even PC apparently) the game has been ported back from the Wii U again, which has resulted in the other versions having bad frame rates, blurry graphics and laggy gameplay. Quite simply you can pay $30 and get an inferior buggy version with awkward features or pay $50 and get the definitive version.

My only decision now is should I buy it retail or digital.



Tra_Venous said:

Just checked my activity log: I've booted up the game 15 times since I got it - 48 hours and 18 minutes, I beat the game on the highest difficulty, and have 48 of 64 achievements. I plan on starting a New Game + file soon, as well as turn on the developer commentary. The boss fights are much, much funner (though the first boss was the only one I found to be difficult in the original release, that barsteward was so unfairly tough) it was my fave game on PS3 (played it through about 5 or 6 times on that one) and now it's one of my fave Wii U titles (I currently own 20 Wii U games, not including eshop-only and VC)



RantingThespian said:

I never played any Dies Ex games, nor did I even know what they were about. But for some reason, I took a chance and bought this on release day.

I have to say, I LOVE IT! It's amazing! 9/10 easily!



uhhhhhhhh said:

after i heard that the smartglass features dont even work on xbox i find the 20 for enhanced built in gamepad features to be TOTALLY worth it and i 100% support it!!!



SCAR said:

I've been to GameStop 2 times today, and will be going back at midnight for COD Ghosts(which is only on disc for Wii U, BTW). I've seen it for $30 plenty of times just today, as a disc, so I can assure you such a deal exists.

I live in the mountain time zone, BTW.



SCAR said:

I think they're trying to compete against the digital versions, unless it was a pricing error.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

I see a lot of people complaining about the price and, indeed, I have to agree. I'll pay $30-$35 at most for this game when I eventually get it on Amazon.



brucelebnd said:

I'm sure it's a great game but it's not really what I'm interested in.

if Square enix wanted my money they should have ported Kingdom Hearts HD instead



J-Murdock said:

If anyone hadn't picked up this game from other platforms. I highly recommend you should or for the Wii U. It was my personal favorite game of the year in 2011. I own one on the Xbox 360 Augmented Edition that came with one of the best soundtracks to date. I also bought one from Steam as a gift to a friend.



chiptoon said:

I have this on PS3, but couldn't get into it. Its a shame, I love cyberpunk, but the gameplay itself just didn't click with me. Got so bored.



EaZy_T said:

I'll totally get this, but I'm going to have to wait a little bit. I would be able to pick it up quicker if it gets a sale price on the eShop. I want digital downloads now that I got an USB HDD.

I wish devs/publishers would look at more than week/month one sales figures to decide support for Wii U, I usually can't buy games right when they come out. I'll get the good games at some point in their first year or sooner.

Oh, and nice review!



luminalace said:

I am loving the game. Nothing like I've ever played and it gets you immersed in the world really well!



FishieFish said:

This is going to drop in price fairly quickly, since most people who have it all ready have it, or would rather have it on PS3/PC/360.

I'll probably wait until it hits the sub £10 mark.



Kolzig said:

Got it for 3.99€ from Steam because I owned the original and the DLC already, so I'll be playing this on PC at some point.

Most likely the Wii U version is best though, because it was first designed on Wii U, just like Rayman Legends.



Bliquid said:

Among the 10 best games of the generation.
Can't believe ppl complain about the price and then spend 5 bucks on lame NES games over and over.
This deserves every cent it asks and then some.



dumedum said:

Great, now do the AC IV and Batman: Origins reviews... and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.



taffy said:

Don't suppose NL would give the developers an interview, would be nice for the guys we worked on this to get their insight on a system which has been having a rough record so far.



valcoholic said:

played thru it 2 times, still interested as this is one of the greatest games of the past years. must play for anyone interested in cyberpunk, ghost in the shell, sci-fi, roleplaygames, action adventures, stealthshooters.



heathenmagic said:

Ahhhh......why did I get a Wii U am so hooked on it. Still got Xenoblade and last Story to play through too, and now this game to get! Where does all the time go haha



AJWolfTill said:

@SCAR392 @unrandomsam
Well I've only had the first proper boss fight but it was amazing. Until this point I hadn't fired a single lethal bullet but instead chosen to use stealth takedowns and stun guns. The boss kitted out with a minigun and an infinite stash of grenades slaughtered me if I didn't weave between cover looking for air vents and ladders. After hiding enough to hack three terminals hidden around the arena I had set up a gun turret death trap for him and lured him into it. Unfortunately these only took out about half of his health off before he blew them up. I then had to lob fire extinguishers, gas canisters and other exploding objects at him, including one of his own grenades to whittle away his health. As a last resort I whipped out a crossbow I had been saving for a special occasion and finished him off with a bolt to the crotch. There really are so many ways of dealing with this guy.

Also I haven't had any problems with the voice acting yet, the inhabitants of the world seem far more realistic and less repetitive than those in games such as the Elder Scrolls.



Kifa said:

I'm still getting that on PC. Higher resolution, DirectX 11 effects, 60 fps and mouse controls (which I've always preferred to analogue sticks in first person games), plust it will only cost me 4 Euros. I just can't justify paying the full retail price just for Gamepad integration...

Great review though, and it seems that Wii U finally got a solid port.



rastamadeus said:

"The quality of protagonist Adam Jensen’s cyberpunk caper the title deserves as big of an audience as it can get." I agree with that fully, one of my favourite games of recent years. Just a shame it'll sell about six copies on the Wii U like all third party games do (Monster Hunter aside).



SilentHunter382 said:

Even though I have the game already on the xbox 360. I'll have no problem rebuying the game for the improved boss battles and developer commentary.



element187 said:

Owning a PC, ps3 and a Wii U. The gamepad inclusion isn't worth the extra cash

And don't give me this BS that Wii U owners haven't played this, the vast majority of early adopters own multiple systems. Publishers seem to think people only have one system and proceed to base their strategy around it.

"Wii U owners? Why, they never played anything like this, not like it would run on the OG Wii. So let's charge them more money for having pleasure of playing the game for the first time, they will flock to it, trust me"

Then they are surprised the game bombs and blames it on the userbase. A userbase that owns multiple platforms. Eidos Montreal wasn't paying attention when EA priced ME3 at full price while at the same time releasing the trilogy on other systems for the same price. It's almost like they are intentionally trying to lure people away from the Wii U version.

If most Wii U owners only owned a Wii U these third party games would sell much higher numbers, instead of posting 10k to 20k in sales. Why they haven't done their own research, instead of assuming.



Unit_DTH said:

@SCAR392 Where is it $30 for the physical? Right now in the states it is $50 physical and $50 for digital, unless you are buying it for the 360 or PS3. It's worth every penny, just so you know. Preordered it, got it on launch day and have enjoyed every minute of it so far... More than I did on my 360 over two years ago.



Banker-Style said:

I never asked for this to come to Wii U, but I'm so so glad this did.
It's a masterful game,and probably my favourite game of the year so far.



JohnG said:

From what I have seen up to now on Wii U and 3DS is that physical copies are always cheaper than downloads.

It is £20 on Amazon!



Linkus said:

Great review of a great game. I bought it day one and I highly recommend it!



Quickman said:

This really is a great game, best 3rd party game available for Wii U at the moment IMO..



sdelfin said:

The problem with games like this and Mass Effect 3, which are more in line with the PS3 and Xbox360 style, is that a lot of people who have wanted to play it already have. It may not find much of an audience on the Wii U, but I hope it does.



tebunker said:

Great title definitely worth the $50. Seriously. Stop worrying about how much it costs elesewhere and just focus on what it will cost you to play the definitive version of the game. Well worth the price and the fact that it comes with the strat guide that you pull up on the gamepad mid game is awesome and WiiU only.

Also, I would not be surprised if this doesn't have a big retail prescence. Preorders generally drive what buyers order for systems. Gamestop seems to have ordered roughly 1 copy for every store in the states. You can just as easily go digital or get it on Amazon or any other website. I went digital for the 10 percent back. Again, if you are on the fence and can afford it, go get it, send the message you want these games



CaptainBones said:

This looks great, but I think I'll get the PC version instead. Games like these were meant to be played on PC.



JaxonH said:

My motto is, "a good game is a good game". Everything else is irrelevant.



juanwfzs said:

Getting it ASAP, but I just got Wind Waker HD ... Deus Ex will be next!!!! besides it looks like a great game and I haven´t played it before, i want to support 3rd party games like this on Wii U



andreoni79 said:

I don't know how is the situation in the rest of Europe, but in Italy the game is €45 ($60) at Amazon and €60 ($80) at Gamestop and other stores... Ouch!



Tetris911 said:

Great review and all but I just can't fork out $50 bucks for this since this game was already free for PS Plus members on the PS3 which was an excellent game. However, I might pick up the Wii U version if it ever drops around the $15-$20 price one via amazon in the future.



DarkKirby said:

I have to say to anyone who hasn't played this game, it's 100% worth the buy. Hands down the best stealth game I have ever played. But take the article writers advice, do not muscle your way through levels, as it is VERY easy to do so and pretty much ruins the game. The world feels incredibly alive like no other game I've played.



mid_55 said:

Not sure on the pricing in North America, but in the UK it's available new for £10-£15. Seems like a steal at that price.I prefer the physical disc versions, so I'm happy to get this at such a low cost.

I know there aren't a huge amount of top WiiU games yet but I've been busy enough with Mario World, Deus Ex, Mass Effect and Pikmin keeping me fully entertained on the gaming front over the last few months!



Musashi said:

I own it, but I haven't been able to sit down and play it yet. I've been to preoccupied with Hyrule warriors, Mario kart 8, and pikmin 3. Looks like I have something to look forward to.

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