Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut review: the perfect augment for the Wii U
When GameZone's Michael Splechta reviewed Deus Ex: Human Revolution back in 2011, the game was not without its faults. Boss fights could pretty much only be tackled one way, regardless of how you chose to play the game. That said, we praised the game for “its immense replay value, fleshed out storyline, interesting characters, multiple endings, and tons of choices,” as it earned a 9.0/10.
Now, Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut is upon us, available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and for the first time on the Wii U. With it comes some changes to the original game, but the meat of Director's Cut comes in the form of Wii U GamePad-specific features.
If you've played Deus Ex: Human Revolution already, there's not much that's different. The story follows Adam Jensen in a dystopian future, where a company named Serif Industries is working to unlock the full human potential. People replace their limbs and organs with robotic enhancements called augmentations. Of course, there are those that don't want to see this human evolution continue. Jensen is head of security for Serif Industries and a former S.W.A.T. Member. Six months after the “Purists” attack Serif Industries, taking out his love interest Megan Reed (who was on the verge of a scientific breakthrough) and nearly killing him, Jensen sports an augmented body that not only saved his life, but makes him a force to be reckoned with.
Human Revolution features an expertly crafted world that lets you play how you want. If you want to play sneaky and break your way into facilities without alerting the guards, you can do that. Want to complete every mission by hacking? Give it your best shot. Rather tackle enemies with guns blazing? Totally can. The problem with the original was that boss fights didn't allow for you to play the way you wanted. If you didn't want to defeat bosses using stealth, you couldn't. You had to use grenades and guns.
That’s changed now, as the boss fights feature remodeled areas to battle it out in. If you remember that first boss fight from the original Human Revolution, it took place in a one-floor square room with very little cover and the boss was only beatable by playing the way I mentioned. Now, it’s a two-floor area with vents to maneuver through, hallways, and computers to hack. If you want to play it sneaky, you totally can. Want to beat the boss without firing a bullet? Have at it. You can do it now!
While the visuals aren’t drastically different, Director’s Cut does have some reworked lighting and textures. The other big features of the Director’s Cut – before we get to the Wii U features – are the inclusion of the The Missing Link DLC, second-screen compatibility via SmartGlass or a PS Vita, New Game+ mode, a “Making of” video, and full developer commentary.
The Wii U difference
I reviewed Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut on the Wii U. Everything thing I’ve said in my review thus far goes for all consoles and PC, but the Wii U version has features that deserve to be addressed on their own.
For starters, the game looks really good on the Wii U. I still hold the PC version above it, but Director’s Cut on the Wii U is no slouch. What makes this game so great on Nintendo’s console are the GamePad features.
The GamePad is home to a ton of interactions, but most of the time it will display a full 2D map that shows enemies and the layout. This not only clears up screen space on your TV, but it upgrades the radar. In the original, it only displays enemies and the direction they face. Now you’ll be able to see what corners they actually hide behind. Using the stylus, you can also write notes, mark the map and draw enemy routes – so whether you’re going in loud or playing it stealthy, you can plan accordingly. This is also really handy for marking side quests and the locations of items. These features are also available on SmartGlass and the PS Vita, but having it on the same controller is so much nicer.
Other interactions, like looting bodies, equipping new gear and managing your inventory, are done via the GamePad screen as well. Could this have just stayed on-screen? Sure. Constantly glancing down at the GamePad screen can be a little tedious, but I liked it more. Also, hacking is a breeze on the GamePad. Hacking works exactly the same as it did before, but this time you’ll be tapping the touchscreen instead of using analog sticks and buttons. It is quite immersive and makes you feel like you’re actually hacking.
It’s not all sunshine and daisies with the GamePad, though. I’m not a huge fan of the analog sticks on the GamePad, and I felt that movement was a little too slippery. I lowered the sensitivity, but it only affected aiming. Movement was still a little fast for my liking. Nothing to do with the game, but it’s worth noting. Aiming with long-range weapons through the GamePad is a gimmick, and one I didn’t particularly care for. Then there’s the Smart Vision augmentation that uses the GamePad’s gyroscope and screen, where you hold the controller up and look through it. While it’s fun the first few times you do it, it becomes quite a hassle. Still, when you combine all of this with the fact that you can connect to Miiverse and leave Infologs for other players, you've got quite an impressive package.
If you’ve already played and beaten Deus Ex: Human Revolution the first time around, there’s not a ton that’s different. Unless you’re playing on the Wii U, the only real difference you’ll experience are the retooled boss fights. However, if you haven’t played Deus Ex, Director’s Cut is the way to go. It's easily one of the best games on the Wii U, and is an amazingly deep experience. There are a few too many gimmicks with the GamePad, but there’s so much that’s good about it that makes it easy to overlook what’s annoying.