The Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut on the Wii U improves the game in all the right ways
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The conversations Adam Jensen, security expert for a biotechnology company, has with his girlfriend about the work being done at Sarif Industries do a wonderful job of setting the stage for everything that comes next. There is much good to be done by fusing our bodies with cybernetic augmentations, but the applications for warfare are much more profitable.
Jensen is grievously wounded by an attack on the laboratory, and that technology is the only thing that brings him back. Suddenly the question of how much of ourselves we can lose and still be human isn’t quite so academic, as Jensen’s augmentations allow him to become a ruthlessly efficient killing machine.
Or, you know, not. The beauty of the game is that you can choose to go the non-lethal route by hacking and sneaking your way past the enemies. There are many different ways to build the character to suit your playing style, and the power of those choices has been emphasized by the remodeled boss fights found in this edition of the game. It’s finally possible to play the entire game relying on your non-combat skills; these battles no longer force the gun into your hand.
The bigger update in the Director’s Cut is the fact that, on the Wii U, you have the second screen of the game pad in your hands at all times. This leads to a few neat tricks, including the fact that you can actually watch the interface being “built” as Jensen goes through his surgeries in the opening moments of the game.
It takes a little bit of time to get used to moving your attention from the television in front of you to the small screen in your hands, but the ability to look at a map, or manage your inventory, or hack a locked door on the touch screen adds an extra layer of verisimilitude to these actions. It can be strange at times, as I often didn’t feel like I was “being” Adam Jensen as much as I felt like I was driving him. It also gives the game an oddly Robocop-like feeling in places.
The “Missing Link” DLC has now been placed into the game itself, and the story in that chunk of the game still feels more intimate and immediate than the game around it. Some of that punch may have been lost when the DLC was played as a standalone mission, so having this area of the game inside the core experience with all the necessary context improves the content itself and the areas immediately surrounding it.
There isn't quite enough here to justify a purchase if you've already finished an earlier version of the game, but this is the definitive version of the game if you're new to Human Revolution and happen to own a Wii U. The few flaws of an already-great title have been largely massaged out, the DLC is included, and the game pad adds another way to look at the world through the eyes of a man who isn't quite human, isn't quite a machine, and is trying to figure out what that means.
I envy players who are just now picking this one up.