Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut Review for Wii U

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut Review for Wii U

The Epitome of Human Evolution

Any Wii U owner craving an engaging, mature game for their Nintendo console need not wait any longer. Developers Eidos Montreal and Straight Right have crafted an absolutely stunning upgrade to their critically acclaimed 2011 cyberpunk title. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut is the definitive version, seamlessly integrating previously released downloadable content, enhancing the AI and boss battles, polishing the visuals, and making thus far the best use of the second screen on the GamePad of any Wii U game. Fans have successfully lobbied to have the Director’s Cut released for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, but the design was intended for the Wii U, making Nintendo’s console the ideal way to play.

But let’s recap the story for those unfamiliar with the series. The year is 2027, and the world is caught up in a moral and technological struggle. Cybernetic breakthroughs have given way to human enhancements that allow those wealthy enough to upgrade their bodies in every respect. Corporations in this field are vying for global dominance and using whatever means necessary to achieve their goals. You play as Adam Jensen, a former S.W.A.T. officer who now heads up security for Sarif Industries, a cybernetics corporation based in Detroit. During the prologue, the company’s headquarters is attacked by an unknown but highly organized rival faction. After suffering critical wounds, Adam is implanted with neural augmentations, cybernetic arms to replace his amputated limbs, and other upgrades that enhance his bodily functions. Pulled out of recovery leave, it’s now time for Adam to test his new capabilities and uncover the enemy behind the attacks.

As a stealth-action-RPG shooter, Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut gives you incredible flexibility in how you handle each mission. The hubs offer multiple paths to your objectives. Therefore, you can crawl quietly through air vents, sneak up on enemies to perform lethal or non-lethal takedowns, or hustle towards the mission marker, guns blazing. You’ll earn experience points for dispatching enemies (note: you get more for being stealthy and subduing non-lethally), meticulously searching the environment, and accomplishing objectives. Once you level up, you can spend newly acquired “Praxis Points” on abilities, which can be tailored to your play style. If you like hacking every computer terminal, there are upgrades that increase your success rate. Some upgrades allow you to move silently, even when running or jumping, while others increase your energy supply, allowing you to perform more takedowns before having to recharge. Some even improve your social skills, turning you into a human polygraph able to read the intentions of the opposing NPC, sometimes unlocking new dialog options, yet another way Deus Ex offers you choices.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut Screenshot

It’s a great game in its own right, but with clever integration of the Wii U GamePad, you’ll feel even more absorbed in the technology-laden future that is presented.

Called the Neural Hub, the GamePad provides you with plenty of different functions. Your grid-based inventory system allows you to manually organize items in order to maximize your finite space. You can read item descriptions and quickly use consumables, all with simple touch mechanics. You can also access your augmentation trees where you can view and purchase skill upgrades.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut Screenshot

During gameplay, the GamePad displays an area map with information that can be improved upon by purchasing associated augmentations. It offers more details than what would otherwise be placed in the corner of you heads-up display, but you can also access a larger map via the Neural Hub that allows you to scroll through all the areas of the complex you have previously navigated.

The world of Deus Ex is filled with lore through the form of e-mails and ebooks. Once obtained, these digital documents are filed in your Media Log, which can be viewed at any time. The Mission Log will list all your active objectives and the pertinent information for both main and optional missions. One new feature exclusive to the Wii U version is the Infolog. This function allows you to take snapshots of your surroundings, add text or doodles to the images, and even embed a brief voice recording to it. These Infologs will remain in the environment, allowing you to backtrack if needed and access your notes without opening a menu screen. You can also post Infologs to the Miiverse, filling the forum with tips, spoilers, or questions to other Wii U owners. I was actually surprised at how clear the voice recordings were, and it was neat to stumble into one while playing and hear my own voice tell me a note I had left about finding an access code.

But the GamePad does more than simply provide easier access to menu screens. It also plays prominently into the game’s hacking feature. The puzzle-like mini-game requires you to capture and fortify nodes while working your way through the network to the critical node. After each capture attempt there is a chance the security feature will launch a trace program, which begins a countdown for locking you out. Not only does having this heavily used feature on the touch screen make hacking a whole lot easier, but it also sucks you into the role of a covert spy all the more. The hacking skill not only works on computer terminals and door keypads, but also security cameras and sentry robots. This has allowed Eidos to retool the boss battles, giving you more options other than simply unloading cartridges of ammo on them to complete the mission. It was one of the biggest criticisms of the original game, and now feels much more in line with the rest of the game’s synergy.

Extras included in the Director’s Cut are a complete digital player’s guide, with interactive maps and a thorough walkthrough of every mission, as well as developer commentaries showcasing the hard work and ingenuity that went into putting this game together. Also, a New Game + mode has been added that allows you to restart the campaign with all of your augmentations intact: a wonderful inclusion considering how much this game begs to be replayed.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut Screenshot

The visuals have also seen some improvement, although not in every respect. Many of the effects, such as lighting, shadows, and anti-aliasing have been improved, which enhances the dark and cold tones of the rigid and mechanical future. However, the character models, particularly the facial gestures, are still rough and don’t do well showcasing the realism the rest of the game is trying to portray.

The synthetic music score is absolutely brilliant in Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut , sometimes to such subtle precision that I find myself staring at the title screen for several minutes listening to the quiet ambient melody that’s both beautiful and depressing before loading my game. Communications between Adam and his team via a cochlear implant device sound authentic, and weapon effects have just enough of a variation to make them believable as armaments a couple of decades down the road. Playing the game completely via the GamePad is just as exciting as on the television; however, the speaker quality is not nearly as good. Put on a good set of headphones, though, and you’ll feel that much more immersed in the world.

Overall, Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut is exactly what the Wii U needs right now. It is a series that has likely passed the Nintendo faithful by, and one that any mature gamer should take a look at. The story is gritty, the world is engaging, and the sheer scope of choices at your disposal makes for incredible replay value. All those standards aside, the GamePad functionality is where the cool factor lies. There’s so much to keep your fingers busy, and the visual design of the interface makes you feel like you’re wielding a futuristic, high-tech tablet with apps meant for a covert agent. The developers have dubbed this the ultimate edition of the game, and they are absolutely right.

The effects enhancements are noticeable improvements over the originals, but character models are still blocky and sterile. 5.0 Control
Movement and combat are fluid, and this is by far the best use of the Wii U GamePad. 4.7 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The orchestrations are sublime and edgy, the sound effects and voice work solid. Just remember to wear headphones when playing in off-TV mode. 5.0 Play Value
All the extra DLC and so many choices that you’ll thank the heavens for the inclusion of the New Game + mode. 4.7 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A DIVIDED NEAR-FUTURE: Discover a time of great technological advancement, but also a time of chaos and conspiracy. Mechanical augmentations of the human body have divided society between those who can afford them and those who can’t. Opposing forces conspire from the shadow to control the destiny of mankind: A human revolution is coming.
  • A PERFECT MIX OF ACTION AND ROLEPLAY: The game uniquely combines action-packed, close-quarter takedowns with intense shooting, offering a vast array of character augmentations and upgrades for the many weapons at your disposal. Unlock new abilities and increase you stealth, social, hacking, or combat skills: The game rewards all styles of play and approaches. Determine how you want your character to evolve, based on how you want to play the game.
  • CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES: Shoot your way through your enemies, sneak up behind them without being traced, hack systems to retrieve crucial information, or use your social skills to extract information from key characters–there are always choices, multiple approaches, multiple paths, and multiple tools at your disposal. Choose your playing style and face the consequences of your actions: You decide how the story unfolds.

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