Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been one of my favorite games this year. I reviewed it on Xbox 360 earlier this year and proceeded to buy it on PC once it became available. I’ve played through the game more than once now and there’s just so much I like about it. However, most every critic, myself included, has complained about the boss battle encounters. The Missing Link DLC is a new chapter in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It’s a great side story that deepens the Human Revolutionstory and helps explain the endgame of Human Revolution, but best of all, it has a boss you can take out the way you like.
The Missing Link takes place after Adam jumps on the cargo ship in stasis bound for Asia. Adam is awoken via bludgeoning interrogation, strapped to a chair that has reset all his implants to “factory zero.” So you have no upgrades. The Missing Link is really more of a side-story than something tacked-on to the end of the game. It runs as a standalone game, paying no attention to your main Deus Ex: HM game saves or character builds. That said, there are enough Praxis points and weapons available in The Missing Link to let you build up in the way you like to adequately deal with the forces you encounter.
The gameplay in The Missing Link is nothing new. Hacking, sneaking, first-person shooting, third-person cover mechanics, takedowns and upgrades are all here from Human Revolution. The weapons and controls are all familiar as well, for the most part. There are a couple new weapons you can find through completing side-quests, like a vicious new rocket launcher. This lack of change is a good thing. Human Revolution’s mix of combat, stealth and more was one of the best parts of it. That hasn’t changed one bit.
For those of us that like to play a stealthy, hack-happy version of Adam Jensen, the boss battles are like trying to take down a tank with an iPad and Sneak Shoes. The bosses are powerful, frontal attackers that will tear through you in minutes unless you’re one of the few that built Adam for war rather than subterfuge. It was revealed that these bosses were designed by a third party rather than Eidos Montreal, the developers for the rest of the game. This time, Eidos took matters into their own hands and have delivered a boss that can be confronted head-on or taken down from behind. It isn’t the easiest stealth takedown, not by any means, so it still feels like a boss challenge when you do it.
The Missing Link carries forward the black and gold color scheme that dominated the art design of Human Revolution, nicely tying it into the original game. Much of the design is the same as in Human Revolution, but the environments you find yourself in are altogether new. This is possibly the largest design area I’ve seen in a DLC title. It begins on the cargo ship, but quickly takes you to a rather large secret base. These areas offer even more alternative routes than were seen in Human Revolution, catering to all styles of play even more than the original game.
The voice of Adam Jensen returns, though he’s the only returning voice cast member. It seemed a bit suspicious that not even Pritchard returned, his signal somehow blocked so you couldn’t communicate with him. The rest of the voice cast for The Missing Link performs very well, on par with the voice actors from the original game. The music is cut from the same cloth as Human Revolution as well, adding the same atmosphere and intensity you’ve come to expect from Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
It took me about six hours to complete The Missing Link, including all the side quests. Considering the original $60 game only lasted about 15 hours, getting six hours out of some $15 DLC should be rather impressive, but instead it speaks to the poor value Deus Ex: Human Revolution carried. The game can be played through in different ways, but it just doesn’t feel as satisfying to do so. Human Revolution offered many ethical and moral choices that could affect the game, The Missing Link features far fewer dilemmas and they only really affect some conversations and a discount with the game’s lone vendor.
As a huge fan of the original game, it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link. The story really adds to the already fantastic story of Human Revolution and the satisfaction of sneaking up and taking out the main boss from behind is one of the most cathartic experiences in all of video games. That said, at $15, this side story will only be for the most devout Deus Ex: Human Revolution fans. If you liked the original game, you’ll love The Missing Link.