Out of all the panels I attended this weekend at PAX East, my favorite one was the Deus Ex: Human Revolution gameplay demo by Eidos Montreal. Community Manager Kyle Stallock, Game Director Jean-Francois Ducas, and Art Director Jonathan Jacques- Belletete took stage in front of a packed audience and showcased two portions of the game explaining key features along the way.
The first mission they played starts right after Adam Jensen undergoes augmentation implants. Like past Deus Ex games, you will have the option to choose your dialogue options and get information from your allies. You can also eavesdrop on the conversations of NPCs to get information such as passwords, enemy locations, and intel.
This mission involved Jensen sneaking into his boss's facility which has been overrun by terrorists and deciding whether to rescue hostages or not. Jacque-Belletete played this mission to show off the game's stealth gameplay. It is comparable to that found in the Metal Gear Solid series since Jensen can sneak behind a door, wait for an unsuspecting guard to approach him, and then quickly take him down with a choke hold. You can then drag the unconscious enemy to a hidden place so that others don't notice him and alert others. These enemies will wake up if found by others, so the only way to kill them is to pull of lethal take downs. These are bloody stabs to the back and are obviously louder than the non-lethal take downs, but they were awesome to watch and everyone cheered.
The game also involves hacking many terminals and doors to make your way through each level. Hacking takes you to a mini-game that involves creating a path to many blue orbs on screen and turning them on to reach the "finish line." You have a timer so you need to hurry before it reaches zero. You can use hacking augmentations or passwords you hear from NPCs if you don't want to try to hack them yourself.
In fact, the game has many alternate solutions so you if you don't have a specific augmentation or if you're running low on energy, you can always find some way to move forward. Using augmentations takes up your energy meter which can also get depleted if you touch electricity. Each time you level up, you also gain practice points which you can put into additional augmentations. You can also find kits that automatically give you points for new augmentations. Your health bar regenerates over time, but you can take pills that temporarily increase your maximum health.
Finally, Jacque-Belletete switched over to a more action-packed portion of the game to show off the many weapons you'll be wielding. I was very impressed by the visuals and the changes to your environment every time you shoot something. Flash grenades created a nice smoke that Jensen used as cover to shoot his enemies down with his combat rifle. Then, he destroyed a giant pane of glass and bits and pieces of it flew everywhere. For a minute, I thought the glass wouldn't break, but seeing it majestically crumble gave me hope that more environments would also be destroyable.
You won't be able to modify the look of Adam Jensen, and that's because the directors wanted to create an iconic character for their game. During the Q&A portion of the panel, someone asked if Jensen had any ties with Deus Ex's JC Denton. But no definite answer was given.
I was very impressed with graphics of the game and the amount of action-RPG elements that it had. It reminded me a bit of Mass Effect, but the cyber-rennasaince art style puts you in a completely different world that surprisingly takes place in 2027.
The game comes out August 23 and that's because Eidos wants fans to enjoy their summer and enjoy some sun. That's probably because there doesn't seem to be a lot of sun in the game.