Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut is One for the Fans - Preview

By Xavier Griffiths, October 17, 2013
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a well received game both critically and at retail when it released back in August 2011. Despite its apparent success, the game’s fan base was very vocal about some perceived shortcomings. The developers at Eidos Montreal took these criticisms to heart and incorporated many of them into the new Director’s Cut release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Originally announced just for the Wii U, the Director’s Cut was subsequently announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 because of fan demand. During New York Comic-Con I sat through a developer walkthrough and got some hands on time to test out some of the new control features. One complaint from the original release is that the HUD was too crowded. The dev team has addressed this complaint by moving many of the displays to a second screen.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was marketed as a game that let you play your own way, whether that was as a run and gunner, a hacker, or stealth specialist. Fans noted that this philosophy did not necessarily carry over to the game’s boss battles. The demo I tried out took place shortly before the first boss battle against Barret. Traditionally, this fight was a straight shootout which was detrimental to players that did not focus on that aspect of the gameplay. This time you can take on the encounter from a more tactical perspective. The developer representative showed off how Adam can now sneak through a ventilation system that was not featured in the original game. From there he hacked into the area’s camera system, allowing him to keep eyes on Barret from a distance. Next, Adam hacked turrets that would ordinarily shoot at the player but turned them on the enemy. From there he simply picked up the turrets and mowed down Barret in a hail of bullets. That is just one example of the ample additions and new options available to players.

The Wii U edition has some great exclusive features based around the gamepad. One of the biggest features is off-screen play. All of the controls and features are perfectly intact when playing on the gamepad. Another cool Wii U exclusive is the ability to throw back grenades using the touchscreen. A 2D grenade icon appears on the screen and you can toss it back towards the enemy with a swipe of your finger. One of the more impressive new maneuvers involves using the Gamepad’s motion controls as a sniper scope for more precise aiming. This requires holding the controller facing towards the TV screen and lining up with your target to fire off the perfect shot.

The Wii U version is not the only console version that gets in on the touchscreen fun. The PlayStation 3 version can use the PlayStation Vita as a companion screen or complete replacement for the Dualshock 3. The Vita’s analog sticks can be used for movement and aiming quite comfortably. The rear touchpad is used to compensate for the lack of extra shoulder buttons on Sony’s handheld. All of the touchscreen menus and options from the Wii U version are present here except for onscreen play and the grenade throwback ability. The PlayStation Vita can connect to the PlayStation 3 via wireless communication or USB connection with very little perceivable lag.

The Xbox 360 gets in on the touchscreen fun too with the Smart Glass feature. Using a tablet you can access all the augmented menus and screens. The developer even claimed that you can use a tablet to control the game completely through touch gestures, though their demo system was not ready at the time to show this off. Again the developers claim the touchscreen features made their way to the PS3 and 360 based on fan demand, which seems to have informed the entire development process of this special edition.

Other special features are common to all versions of the game. One of the extras included is developer commentary, which can be toggled on or off during gameplay. At special points in the game a small video square appears in the corner of the screen within which members of the dev team will provide insight into the design process. Another new addition is a digital strategy guide, accessible from the in-game menu. The last special feature is a making of video that goes in depth about the development process and lasts over 45 minutes. As has become standard with re-releases, all of the DLC from the original game is included.

Graphical improvements abound in this new edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The original game was a looker in its own right but this new edition marks a noticeable step up. In particular, the developer representative pointed out updates to the lighting and particle effects.

All in all, the developers claim that there are simply too many additions to release the title as mere DLC for the original game. Deus Ex Human Revolution Director’s Cut releases on October 22, 2013 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC.

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