Eidos Interactive and Square Enix showed off a pre-alpha build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I got a chance to see their footage - and was heartily impressed. Eidos has developed a living world that, in the brief bits they showed, wove a story that would make BioWare green with envy - the game that redefined the modern science fiction RPG looks set to do it again with the tale of Adam Jensen, a security agent at a powerful biotech firm embroiled in a global conspiracy. It's 2027 - 25 years before the original game - and augmentations are widely available: cybernetic limbs, skin, and other organs are a regular sight on the streets and in combat, so expect hands that turn into gatling guns, elbows that sprout grisly spears, and other neat stuff.
Those augmentations were part of what made Deus Ex and Deus Ex 2 so memorable, but there are changes - notably regenerating health, although there are the equivalent of med packs for those who don't want (or can't afford) to wait for their HP to regen. The scope of the game is suitably epic, and while being able to interact with every NPC both directly and indirectly does indeed contribute to a living world, the combat/stealth/augmentation aspect plays a greater role in helping Deus Ex: Human Revolution stand apart from its scifi RPG peers. From a base of a clean shooter mechanic, Eidos Montreal has used augmentations and a truly imaginative array of human and cybernetic enemies to create combat situations that look set to raise the bar: you'll see through walls to find skeletons, punch through buildings with ease, and much, much more. You'll also be able to tackle obstacles with different tactics, if you prefer stealth or charisma over brute force.
The environments look simply amazing: think tiered island cities in which streets and buildings rest on the top of skyscrapers, golden sunlight, veils of smoke and over a hundred fictional brands with ads plastered everywhere, and a protagonist who's sexy as all hell. I mean, seriously, robot hands have never looked so hot (except maybe BSG's Anders).
Take a look at the trailer and you'll get a better feel than even during the demo - I have to say, it's one of the best trailers I've seen. Coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in early 2011.