Deus Ex was a first-of-its-kind game for me, one that artfully blended the RPG and FPS genres and bucked the "going in guns blazing" convention of PC shooters by encouraging stealth over straight action. Its story -- a tangled web of popular (albeit wild) theories -- sounded utterly asinine on paper, but the surprising grace with which it was told resulted in many a long night sneaking around the corridors of some shadowy "New World Order" complex, anxious for the next delectable little bit of conspiracy goodness. For me, Deus Ex was one of those seminal titles that showed that video games could transcend their station as mere kids' play and tell an engrossing story in a clever, intelligent way. Even to this day, I can't think of an FPS that has sucked me in quite as much as Eidos's masterpiece.
Despite my excitement, I do find myself in the unfamiliar position of worrying that with the 2009 acquisition of Eidos by Square-Enix, Human Revolution doesn't have a promising future. Keep in mind, this is the company that let Final Fantasy XIV get off the drawing board -- a game so terrible that it prompted not one, not two, but three apologies -- and let's not even talk about Mindjack. The trailer looks amazing (despite some laughable voice acting), but this sort of thing is Square-Enix's specialty, and as we've all learned from any number of insufferable movies, a dazzling trailer is no indication of a game's quality. It doesn't help that neither Warren Spector nor Harvey Smith, the creative brains behind the first two Deus Ex games, are involved in the project. All in all, that might not be such a bad thing. I for one didn't like Deus Ex 2; i felt the story paled in comparison to the original, it ran terribly, and the suspension of disbelief was pushed a bit too far by the ever-irksome "universal ammo" mechanic, introducing a sort of bullets-into-rockets alchemy that I wouldn't be able to get my head around even after eight days of wandering the desert on a peyote-fueled spirit quest.
I'm still holding out some semblance of hope for the game, if only for the sake of nostalgia. While the "evil corporations and corrupt governments" setup has become rather trite, and I've had enough dystopian stories to reduce me to a sobbing mess inside my room, mourning for a doomed humanity, I'm eager to revisit the world of Deus Ex once again. I'm curious to see the evolution of the world to the ruined state depicted in the original, and given that this is a prequel, hopefully some of my questions will find themselves answered in Human Revolution.