It didn't do everything right. Obviously, there were the boss battles. They required a narrow combat approach, playing to some of Deus Ex: Human Revolution's weakest elements. But those encounters were only disappointing insofar as they contradicted the fluidity of gameplay styles and approaches the rest of Human Revolution offered.
To paraphrase a certain unreliable narrator, you begin Deus Ex: Human Revolution as a wad of cookie dough, but after your first few hours you're made of wood -- or cybernetics grade titanium, as the case may be. You transition from cybernetic survivor, focusing on a few upgrades suiting a very particular playstyle, to a superhuman juggernaut with a full repertoire of options. You can be the badass you want to be, whatever that happens to mean.
But it's the world you move through that makes Deus Ex the achievement that it is. As a realization of a society on the precipice of chaos and discovery, Human Revolution focuses just as much on the human side of that equation. That humanity is viewed through the lens of Adam Jensen. His loss and rebirth are either the redemption or damnation of the human population at large, as determined by you and your behavior toward the people you meet and deal with.
Except for those boss fights.
Joystiq is revealing its 10 favorite games of 2011 throughout the week. Keep reading for more top selections and every writer's personal, impassioned picks in Best of the Rest roundups. The list so far:
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Saints Row: The Third
- Shadows of the Damned
- Dark Souls
- Gears of War 3
- Mortal Kombat