The year was 2011 and the Deux Ex franchise is being rebooted with Human Revolution. By 2012 I would proclaim it as my favorite game of 2011, a solid 9 out of 10 game. Before I jump into Mankind Divided, I’d like to reminisce on Human Revolution and talk about the one thing that could have made it a 10 out of 10 for me.
I’ve played through Human Revolution a total of three times. The first time I played it on normal difficulty, like I almost always do on first playthroughs. The second time I chose the highest difficulty. The third time I did the same as the second time but this time it was the director’s cut version. The one thing I wanted for my third playthrough was a higher difficulty setting. Where health and energy regeneration is disabled.
Throughout all my playthroughs I played as a stealthy Adam Jensen. On my third time I even gave myself a challenge. I decided that I would always clear the entire area of enemies without killing them. I’ll knock them out, pile them all on top of each other, so that when they wake up, they’ll think that they engaged in a spontaneous, amnesia inducing orgy.
Throughout the game, the player can find pills and granola bars to replenish health and energy respectively. But as a stealth player I never had any use for either. I figured that the Advil are for players who decided to try and play as a born and bred killer. The snickers are for people who are impatient.
Subduing a group of enemies was pretty simple. Find a dark corner, and something you can throw against a wall to make noise. With an enemy nearby, throw the object, and the enemy will come over to investigate. He will dismiss the loud noise by rationalizing that it must have been either the wind, gremlins, or nothing at all. Once he does and starts to walk away, sneak up and beat’em like he owes you money. After that you may or may not wait for the game to regenerate a bar of energy with the assistance of pornography. Repeat this process until all enemies are disposed of and arrange their bodies in whatever homoerotic positions you prefer.
If the game wasn’t so generous, I would have been forced to get creative, stock up on milky way bars, or I may have found myself going lethal to get through a section. Inventory management would have been more of a concern as well. I always tossed the Viagra and 5th Avenue bars I found on the ground, so I never had an issue with inventory space.
I’ve mentioned this before, but almost any game can only benefit from giving it’s players more control over how difficult a game is. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a game that is evidence of this. I believe that Deus Ex: Human Revolution squandered the opportunity to do the same.