Friday, 22 June 2012

Top 10 best areas of Titan Quest

This list I thought I’d base on one of my favourite action RPGs, Titan Quest. The game story takes place over a massive variety of locations, mostly in Ancient Greece, Egypt, Orient, and finally in the Underworld itself (if we include the expansion). Due to such big variety of different areas in the game, I thought I’d make a list of some of my favourite ones, mentioning why I picked them.

*Some mild spoilers ahead*

10) Tsakonian Ruins

This is one of the first places you encounter in the expansion Immortal Throne. The area has a theme and instantly starts to stand out from the previous 3 acts of the game. We find ourselves in a massive city-like area which had been long destroyed and taken over by vegetation, as well as various animal life forms, such as frogmen and walking trees. It is a very big and open location, requiring some time to explore.

9) The Great Wall

Although a very short part of the game, this is one of the memorable moments when you get to travel along the Great Wall, as it twists around the landscape, and destroy all the pengs which have landed on it. You even get to have a little boss battle on the Wall with the biggest of the pengs.

8) Obsidian Halls

This is one of the last areas of the original TQ, when you finally travel beneath the Wusao mountain, to where Typhon himself is being held. This last area of the Wusao caves looks very stunning as it’s entirely made of obsidian rock and features lava pools and fiery vents. The presence of big, dragon-like Sepulchral Wyrms adds to the intense atmosphere of this place.

7) War Camp in Parnassus

During fairly early parts of the game, whilst you are still in Greece, at one point you stumble upon an entire war camp of monsters. You get instantly overwhelmed by lots and lots of satyrs and then make your way to the Upper War Camp, which features semi-destroyed structures and lots of undead and ratmen. I found this location to be very atmospheric, especially when you get to the end of it and notice what appears to be a statue of a Cyclops. Just a bit further you also notice statues of people and probably start to realise that you are about to face the Gorgon sisters.

6) Chang’an city and palace

Apart from monster-infested open areas, we also come across lots of cities and villages. Perhaps my favourite one of those is city of Chang’an. Apart from being incredibly beautiful, it also has a couple of side quests. It had been taken over by the Terra Cotta soldiers, which in turn are controlled by a powerful mage, Bandari. Your job is to free the city and the palace from the threat.

5) Passage of Souls and bank of River Styx

This is simply one of those ‘Wow!’ moments. It is the part I look forward to every single time I reach it. Not because of the gameplay elements, but simply because of its moody atmosphere. Fairly early in Act 4 you locate the entrance to the Underworld. As soon as you proceed, you find yourself in a cave of sort with hundreds of souls flying about. It looks absolutely stunning. Before you know it, you are finally in Hades for the first time ever, not as a dead man, but as one of the living. Creepy music also heavily adds to the eerie ambience of this place. Right after you’ve left the Passage of Souls, you reach the bank of the River Styx and you see Charon’s boat. However, Charon himself is not there, and all the shades are waiting there anxiously and wondering if they will ever see proper afterlife. The first time I reached this part, I was really impressed, because virtually everything in it added to the creepy, melancholy atmosphere. What an awesome way to begin your journey through the Underworld!

4) Hades’ Palace

Hades’ palace is the final location you go to in the entire game (when counting expansion). This is when you’re done helping others and now going to fight the boss himself – you are about to face one of the gods! For a final area, Hades’ palace looks really cool. It has some pretty unique visual designs and looks like an enormous prison, going many levels underground. Apart from looking impressive, this place also has an intense music playing in it and contains monsters of many sorts, in particular the gigantes.

3) Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Now this is a particularly exquisite location in the game. It marks the very beginning of Act 3 and consists of a huge garden that sort of spirals upwards layer by layer. This garden is incredibly colourful, containing exotic plants, and mini-waterfalls which lead into streams with small bridges over them. The choice of enemies really fits this area and the music is great too. Overall, in my opinion, this is one of the most remarkable parts of the game.

2) Knossos Palace and Minoan Labyrinth

Towards the end of Act 1 our character travels to Crete where he/she must get to the Knossos Palace and in there to find an entrance into the Minoan labyrinth. I have to say the first time through I was really impressed with this location. It’s pretty big and looks gorgeous. It also features a new type of enemy at that stage of the game – automatons, as well as a secret boss in epic and legendary difficulties. Minoan Labyrinth I thought was done really well too and managed to keep the anticipation of facing the Minotaur really high.

1) Fields of Elysium

The top spot on this list I decided to give to the fields of Elysium in Act 4. In Greek mythology Elysium is the equivalent of Heaven, where the most heroic souls go after they die, and I think the game developers managed to successfully make this place look heavenly. Your hero gets to travel through picturesque garden-like areas, as well as tranquil fields with statues and overlooking the beautiful waterfalls, not to mention structures that look like Parthenon here and there. The music in this area is divine as well, perfectly fitting the heavenly environments. However, your hero is in Elysium not to rest and retire, but to fight an intense battle against Hades’ army of demons. This is a great part of the game not only for its stunning music and environments, but also simply because it’s epic as you get to help out well known figures such as Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ajax, Nestor, and Odysseus.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Top 10 Best Moments in Half Life 2

I thought I’d make a list of the best moments from the Half Life 2 series. Being an FPS game, Half Life 2 is all about immersing the player and making us feel like we’re experiencing the whole story from the point of view of the leading protagonist, Gordon Freeman. Half Life 2 and both of the episodes that followed have plenty of amazing, mindblowing moments. However, here I’ve chosen my 10 most favourite ones and also explained why I think these are the best parts of the series (which of the HL2 games it’s from is in brackets).

***WARNING! Some mild spoilers ahead!***

10) Battle at City 17 (HL 2)

Right after you step out of the teleporter with Alyx when escaping Nova Prospekt, Dr Kleiner tells you that it’s been an entire week that you’ve been gone and now the citizens of City 17 started an uprising against the Combine. It’s then that you step outside and see what happened to the city. It became a battle zone and you are now right in the middle of it. This is when you realise that you are about to witness some really heavy battles and use a lot of teamwork with the NPCs. Perhaps the part in this chapter that I enjoyed the most was when you, together with Alyx and a handful of citizens, had to defend a plaza from incoming Combine troops.

9) Pursuit in the Rail yard (HL 2: Episode 2)

This is a scene when you are being chased by a Combine helicopter through a rail yard. I thought this scene was really intense and made for a great chase scene in the game. Not only did you have to dodge the bombs dropped by the helicopter whilst driving, but also the zombies on the way as well. The scene ends with you assisting a group of rebels in destroying this helicopter by flinging its bombs back at it using a Gravity Gun.

8) The Long Elevator Wait (HL 2: Episode 1)

Perhaps one of really memorably chapters was ‘Low Life’ from Episode 1, when you along with Alyx had to make your way through the underground garages and fight off zombies and antlions. The finale of that chapter had you restoring power to the elevator that would eventually take you up to the ground level. However, as soon as you restore the power and begin to wait for the elevator to arrive, you had attracted every zombie in the vicinity to your location. I thought it was really epic to fight off a large group of zombies in partial darkness whilst desperately waiting for that elevator to arrive. This certainly can remind us of all those horror movies when the heroes have to prolong their doom as much as possible, except this time we are in their shoes.

7) Escort the Citizens (HL 2: Episode 1)

This happens nearly at the end of Episode 1, when you have to help Barney to escort the remaining citizens of City 17 to the trains so that they can escape the city. Perhaps what’s best about this scene is how it builds up (this is in fact true for most scenes on this list). You have to escort small groups of citizens at a time and you know that at any moment the Combine will appear and will try to stop you. Whilst delivering the first group of people, it’s incredibly silent. The words ‘calm before the storm’ have never been more suitable. Then it starts happening very gradually, with the faint sound of the approaching manhacks, and before you know it, you are fighting off squads of Combine soldiers and attempting to make sure every single citizen survives.

6) Silo Defence (HL 2: Episode 2)

This one was the finale battle of Episode 2, when you must make a stand against an approaching group of Striders, assisted with packs of Hunters. This was quite a tricky fight due to the fact that it was happening over a large area. There were 6 buildings, all with supplies, and Striders were coming from different corners of the map, so you had to quickly drive your vehicle to where they were coming from. Another tricky thing was that you first had to take care of the Hunters before attempting to blow up the Striders with the Magnusson devices. This battle requires some planning and the use of clever combat tactics by the player and is guaranteed to make you sweat for victory.

5) Ambush at the White Forest Inn (HL 2: Episode 2)

Another great scene that had a brilliant build up. Whilst driving through the roads and starting to approach the White Forest base, you and Alyx come across an Inn. However, everything is quiet. There is not a single sign of any life. And then, at one point, BAM, your car hits an invisible force field and within seconds Combine troops start coming out of everywhere. You and Alyx are forced to quickly run inside the Inn and to make a stand from there. Luckily the Inn is full of supplies. This scene is a really decent gunfight as you get Combine troops and Hunters coming from every direction - front doors, back doors, even trying to shoot you through multiple windows, and even attempting an entry through the basement.

4) Highway 17 (HL 2)

That’s right, the whole chapter. I thought this whole part of the game was great, starting from seeing light at the end of the tunnel as you make your way out of Ravenholm caves and ending with a fantastic lighthouse defence scene. For most of this chapter you drive a Buggy through the highway and have to make regular stops to engage in action, whether it’s simply to clean out some Combine troops from a small settlement, or to help some rebels out with a gunship attack, or to outrun packs of antlions, or to climb your way through a semi-broken bridge and switch off some force fields which are blocking your way. This whole chapter basically is a great ride, in particular the lighthouse defence scene at the end of it, during which we get to listen to perhaps the best music track in the game.

3) Meet the Hunters (HL 2: Episode 2)

This is one of those scenes that takes you by surprise. You and Alyx try to restore power to this very small station so that you can send a radio signal. However, as soon as you come out of the basement, you hear a bunch of Hunters just outside the building, peeking through the windows and preparing an attack. As you take your position, probably crouched in the corner somewhere, the Hunters begin to break into the room you’re in, and once they do, all you can do is to fight back. Since they are highly resistant to bullets, your best bet is to use your environment, which is incredibly fun. This is the first time you actually get to engage in a fight with them, making this their entrance scene, and a very cool one at that.

2) Assault on Nova Prospekt… with Antlions (HL 2)

Preparing to attack a high security prison? All right. Assault rifle? Check. Sniper crossbow? Check. Rocket launcher? Check. Bugbait?... O_o? That’s right. We are attacking a high security prison, which is owned by Combine troops, by using a bugbait. Long story short, with this bugbait, the antlions treat you as one of their high guards, so they listen to your every command and follow you everywhere, even into certain death. Now this is an incredibly fun part of the game, because it adds something new to the action as you and your little pet antlions fight the Combine troopers, first on the beach, then in the front yard of the prison facility, and finally inside the prison itself. Controlling all those antlions makes you feel like some kind of twisted sorcerer or evil genius.

1) Vortal Combat (HL 2: Episode 2)

Had to give number 1 spot to this scene, simply because it has the best build up of the atmosphere and a fantastic climax. In the early stages of Episode 2 you start making your way into the mines, where antlions made their nests, and come across sort of a little outpost inside the shack. This outpost is defended by two funny guys, Sheckley and Griggs, and one of the Vortigaunts, who is helping Alyx out. Now as soon as you arrive, Sheckley and Griggs inform you of the incoming waves of antlions and also about their genius defence system. Each of the four tunnels leading out of the ‘base’ has 3 lights next to it which act as warning signals. Now when antlion waves are approaching, the lights come on. Few antlions – only 1 light, moderate amount – 2 lights, and loads – 3 lights. With this in mind, you start facing incoming antlions, at first only smaller waves and then gradually larger ones. For the final wave you are joined by 3 more Vortigaunts who tell you that many many more antlions are still coming. As soon as they say that, 3 lights go off in EVERY tunnel and a really cool music track starts to play. You instantly realise that a serious battle is about to begin, at which point masses of antlions come from every direction, completely swarming the shack and forcing everyone to work as a team to fight them all off.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Deus Ex vs DX: Human Revolution

Back in 2000, ‘Deus Ex’ was one of the most revolutionary games, managing to add its own influence into the gaming world and to successfully fuse the RPG and FPS genres together in a single game. A few years later a sequel came out, ‘Invisible War’, which received very mixed reactions from critics and fans alike, and then for a long time the franchise was pretty much over… or so it seemed. There had been rumours of the 3rd instalment for a long while, and then finally in 2011 ‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ came out. Many consider it to be a much more successful addition to the series than ‘Invisible War’.

In this list I’ve decided to make a detailed comparison of the original ‘Deus Ex’ to the ‘Human Revolution’, tackling numerous aspects of the gaming experience. Has ‘Human Revolution’ managed to surpass the original, live up to it, or is it not even worthy of a rival? Well, let us find out.


1)      The Story

The first aspect I’ll tackle here is the story. A great story is pretty much one of the defining characteristics of the Deus Ex franchise. In my opinion both games managed to show a very accurate and at the same time intriguing view on a possible future, about greed and conspiracy, power and corruption.

 There were lots of nice twists and turns in both games, and although Human Revolution did great, I think the original Deus Ex’s story is almost unbeatable. Things such as completely changing sides undoubtedly had a strong emotional impact on many gamers out there. JC was pretty much thrust right into the thick of it. The choices he had to make, being torn between following his brother and quietly following orders without questions was a powerful emotional dilemma. And even after the choice was made, things were never the same. Revisiting UNATCO for example after the escape from MJ12 base, it was so different. You knew you wouldn’t be coming back there again. Some of those people you were working with you’d see for the last time ever. You would be forced to move on, make new allies.

 Human Revolution had its own emotional moments as well, especially when finding out the truth towards latter parts of the game, but I didn’t quite think those emotions were as powerful and acute as what I felt when I played the original for the first time.

Deus Ex +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (1) : Human Revolution (0)

2)      The Atmosphere

The atmosphere is affected by several aspects, such as the visuals, the soundtrack, good dialogue, intelligent enemies, and so on. However, I thought I’d make it as a separate category just to see how both games did in general in regard to how intense and immersive they’ve been. Needless to say, both Deus Ex and Human Revolution can certainly boast with their intense atmosphere. When I play either of those games, I feel like I am in there, in the game’s world, getting into the role, experiencing the events unfold, and making the decisions on behalf of the leading characters. Since both games have vastly succeeded in this, I’d have to say that in terms of atmosphere it’s a tie.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (2) : Human Revolution (1)

3)      Visuals

First thing to note is that the games are more than 10 years apart. Human Revolution obviously has way better and more realistic graphics. The characters look more lifelike, the environments have more detail, the cinematics are stunning, and so on. However, there is one trump card that the original can pull out. It has way better looking visual aesthetics. The environments and locations are all full of colours and nice colour contrasts, whereas Human Revolution is mostly limited to golden, brown, and black. Of course HR’s style makes it atmospheric, but then the original managed to be atmospheric too but without this sacrifice of the aesthetics. For that reason, in terms of visuals, I pick the original as the winner.

Deus Ex +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (3) : Human Revolution (1)

4)      The Soundtrack

Another feature that made the original so well-received was its amazing soundtrack, ranging from the main theme, to the various tracks playing during missions. Deus Ex music is simply unforgettable. Now, I think many fans were pleased that Human Revolution too had a fantastic soundtrack. Its main theme, Icarus, especially stands out, delivering masses of emotion just within those 3 and a half minutes. But Icarus is not the only good song on the Human Revolution soundtrack. There are plenty of other good tracks, most being quite atmospheric and perfectly suiting the dystopian feel of the game’s world. Weighing up both ends, I have to make this one a draw as well, since both soundtracks are mindblowing.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (4) : Human Revolution (2)

5)      The Protagonist

Now we’ll take a look at our leading protagonists – JC Denton and Adam Jensen. I think from their choice of attire, as well as witty dialogue lines, and general style, we can conclude they’re both really cool protagonists. They share a lot of similarities and both undergo big, emotional events that shape their outlook on the outside world and the people around them. So which of them has more depth and is more efficient at what they do? Well, even in this regard I think they are pretty evenly matched. Both have travelled the world and battled numerous foes to uncover a conspiracy and to change the course of events.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (5) : Human Revolution (3)

6)      Supporting Characters

So now we know the leading protagonists are pretty strong in both games, we should take a look at other characters. Have they been developed well too? After all, good supporting characters which have recognizable and relatable personality traits are important for the immersion into the game’s world. In the original we had JC’s brother, Paul, as well as other people working in UNATCO, and then we also had all sorts of powerful people, ranging from MJ12 to Illuminati. They all played a role and made an impression on the overall story. What about Human Revolution? Well, here it’s the same thing. We have well-developed co-workers – Sarif as a cool boss who really cares about the augmentation projects, Malik as a female helicopter pilot who is always there to support Jensen, Pritchard as the tech guy and his constant yet funny arguments with Jensen. And then we have other great characters too – the special ops assassins, the politicians, the billionaires. So to conclude, I think both games have fantastic supporting characters, all of which showed depth.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (6) : Human Revolution (4)

7)      General Combat Mechanics

All right, and now for action. On our journeys we’ve come across all sorts of enemies, obstacles, and the like. Well, this is where I definitely think Human Revolution made an improvement over the first game. Now you take cover during gunfights, which is very helpful. And the cover system itself is very well done, because you can easily move from cover to cover without problems, and you can also aim from cover at the enemies in front. This allows gunfights to be smooth and realistic. For this, Human Revolution gets the point.

Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (6) : Human Revolution (5)

8)      Stealth and Up close

Now then, undoubtedly many players choose to play stealthily through both games, and in fact these games do encourage this sort of gameplay more than all out run and gun. There are always multiple ways to solve problems and alternate strategies that can be taken to avoid an upfront encounter. This also brings us to the up close fighting. In Human Revolution, melee weapons were completely replaced and in their stead we have the takedowns. Now takedowns are really great, because they offer an instant kill or K.O to an enemy, providing they are right next to the protagonist. Most of these takedowns look really cool and stylish and greatly spice up the stealthy aspect of the game. In this regard I think HR had yet again made an improvement. The stealthy gameplay is great in both games, but the inclusion of takedowns earns Human Revolution a point.

Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (6) : Human Revolution (6)

9)      The Enemies

One of the most important aspects of any game are the enemies. They are the main challenge and therefore they have to be designed properly as well. They have to be interesting, diverse, and to keep the player on the toes. Let us take a look then at the great enemy selection of both games.

 In the original Deus Ex, we’ve had a massive variety of opposition. First of all the people – we had thugs, NSF troopers, UNATCO/MJ12 soldiers, as well as Men and Women in Black, and also Commandoes. Secondly, there were 5 types of bots (small security bot, medium security bot, large security bot, small spider bot, large spider bot), and lastly, we’ve also had the alien beings (greys, greasels, and karkians).

Unfortunately, in Human Revolution the variety was much smaller. In HR we’ve only really faced thugs, military men, and security bots. Sure, not all military men were the same, but they sure felt like they were. There weren’t distinct differences between them. In the original for example, you’d never mistake an MJ12 trooper for an MIB or a Commando, because they looked way differently and they also provided a different level of challenge/danger. In HR, most of these soldiers are just generic military men, the robots only come in 2 types, and there are no alien or other animal beings at all. The final level did provide us with a slightly different enemy type though, and that is why I like that level, but that is still not quite enough, because even then, those enemies were just people. To summarize, I think the enemy selection was better in the original due to the sheer diversity of who you encountered.

Deus Ex +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (7) : Human Revolution (6)

10)  The Boss Fights

This is perhaps the only area where Deus Ex series in general doesn’t put much emphasis on, and in a way I prefer it that way. Boss fights are more suitable for your typical adventure games and not so much for story-rich FPS RPGs as Deus Ex. In the original you faced a handful of bosses, but those fights could be tackled in another manner, and some of them could even be ignored completely. It wasn’t such a good idea to just go all out in those fights, unless you were loaded with heavy weapons and defensive augmentations.

 In Human Revolution you had to face a few bosses too, but these ones were compulsory. You couldn’t skip them or simply run away. Additionally, there were no alternate ways of dealing with these bosses either, apart from simply fighting them head on. In fact, this aspect of the game received a lot of criticism as it did not allow for stealthy solutions to defeating these bosses.

 Overall, I think boss fights are a weak point of both games and in a way I am glad they were not emphasized so much, so this one is simply a draw, because neither game really prevails over the other in this aspect.

No points

Total so far:
Deus Ex (7) : Human Revolution (6)

11)  The Locations

Now let’s take a look at the stages, or probably more accurate to simply call them locations. Both games have a mixture of locations. Some are cities where you converse with NPCs and do side quests, whilst others simply involve you to be constantly in action. I’ll have a look at both of them.

 Now both games certainly did a terrific job in the action locations. In the original, some of the most memorable action missions were The Airfield, VersaLife labs, The Cathedral, Vandenberg base, and of course the grand finale, Area 51. In Human Revolution there were a few memorable action missions too, although those were mostly in the second half of the game, missions such as Hengsha docks, Singapore facility, and Panchea. However, after looking at everything, I think the original had a lot more diversity in these locations and also the kind of tasks that needed to be done. Some of the places were simply unique, like the Ocean Lab for example, which completely deviated from the rest in its style due to the fact that you were all alone in an underwater facility overrun with alien creatures and rogue turrets. In HR, apart from the above mentioned, all the other action mission locations sort of seemed to be the same to one another.

 But let us look at the city locations as well, the times when we take a break from the intense action missions and do more investigating and such. In the original Deus Ex there were three such locations – Hell’s Kitchen (which you visited 3 times in total), Hong Kong, and Paris. All three of these were fantastic locations, especially Hong Kong, which was especially charming in its style. Human Revolution had only 2 cities, each of which you visited twice. Detroit I thought was done well, but Hengsha was a tad disappointing due to most streets looking the same and the city simply being too big, causing long, unnecessary walks whilst solving side quests. I wished there were more city locations in the game. Instead of visiting Detroit and Hengsha the second time, perhaps we could’ve had an extra city or two. So with both, city locations and action locations, I think the original Deus Ex beats Human Revolution.

Deus Ex +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (8) : Human Revolution (6)

12)  Hacking

One of the big aspects of gameplay of both games was hacking into security terminals and computers of various sorts, as well as locating codes and passwords. In the original, when infiltrating a base or facility of some kind, it was always fun to hack its security system and at times to even turn it onto your side. In the Human Revolution this aspect has been taken to a whole new level. Now in order to hack, one must play a mini-game and attempt to take over the security node before the system recognizes your presence and boots you out. This mini-game is such a major part of the gameplay that there are even items and augmentations to help you with it. And as for attaining codes and passwords, HR has done wonders here too. You no longer have to memorize the codes that you read in the pocket secretaries or from someone’s email. Now your protagonist remembers it in-game, which makes life a whole lot easier for us. So when it comes to hacking, Human Revolution definitely wins.

Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (8) : Human Revolution (7)

13)  Weapons and Items

Now this one is pretty tough, because there is a large variety of weapons and items in both games. In terms of variety I think they both did a great job. However, how good are these items? How effective are the weapons? How original and ingenious are these things?

 Let’s first look at the regular firing weapons. Both games have pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, which seem to be about the same in HR as in the first Deus Ex. But they also have a lot of other weapons. Both games have a crossbow. However, the original’s miniature version that fires tranquiliser darts is a lot cooler and more useful. Both games have a rocket launcher. Once again, the original’s GEP gun is much cooler and more intriguing. The original Deus Ex also has a far better sniper rifle. In HR, we have two sniper-like weapons – a regular sniper rifle and a transquiliser rifle. Sniper rifle is loud but deadly. Tranq rifle is non-lethal but silent. However, the original’s sniper rifle is both, or technically speaking it’s just loud and deadly at first, but one can equip a silencer to it. Now in HR, if one wants a silenced sniper rifle, they have to get one with the DLC. Tsk tsk. Sneaky. OK, well both games also feature weapons that another doesn’t. HR has a really cool magnum revolver and a heavy rifle (sort of like a minigun), both of which are nice additions. It also has a laser cannon and a PEPS gun, but let’s not get started on these, as they are kind of subpar. And the original… well that has a Flamethrower, which is a pretty sweet weapon. I am still kind of puzzled as to why this was not included in HR.

Melee weapons. Well, HR kind of replaced these with the option of making takedowns, which is a fair trade in my opinion. Although one cannot deny that the original Deus Ex had some really awesome melee weaponry, such as a retractable baton and the Dragon’s Tooth blade, not to mention the pepper spray.

Grenades. Both games sort of have similar grenade types here, so they are probably more or less even. Although one should take a look at functionality too. In HR there was a cool option to turn grenades into mines. I must say I thought that was a great idea. However, the original already allowed this option but without the need of acquiring mine templates. In the original, one could both - throw a grenade and to plant it on the wall like a mine.

And then we have all the other items, such as food, alcohol, buffs. I think with these both games did all right, though would’ve been nice if HR had those tech armors like the original had, things such as HazMat suit, Ballistic armor, etc.

To conclude, I think it’s a pretty close one, but the original wins out by a fair bit, because its weapons were a little bit more original and more interesting.

Deus Ex +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (9) : Human Revolution (7)

14)  Skills and Augmentations

Both Deus Ex games contain plenty of RPG elements. Skills and augmentations are pretty much how these elements are represented. A player gains experience points in-game by completing objectives and exploring so then he/she can use them to ‘level up’ so to speak. The idea of augmentations is the same in both games, but it’s executed slightly differently. In the original Deus Ex, we had two separate categories – the skills (natural abilities more or less) and the augmentations (the engineered/inhuman abilities). In Human Revolution, the two categories kind of merged.

Now there are many great skills to learn in both games. The original blew me away, and I was impressed that Human Revolution managed to deliver this feature in all its glory as well. To compare and to decide which one has better augmentations is a bit hard. The original Deus Ex had some really great ones, like the Aggressive Defence, Spy Drones, Synthetic Heart, all of which HR lacks, but on the other hand HR has some of its own new ones, like the Typhoon, Icarus landing, as well as abilities to punch through weakened walls, extend your inventory space, and a few others.

One more thing to note is that in the original the number of experience points and upgrade canisters was very limited and also some of the augmentations were mutually exclusive to each other. This meant that the player could not go for all available options and really had to decide hard on which he/she would need the most. In HR, one can pretty much gain most (if not all) of the available augmentations by the end of the game. Although this is a big difference, I can’t really say that one way is better than the other. The original allows for more replayability, but limits the player, whereas HR allows more freedom but also decreases the replayability.

So, after taking all these factors into account, both games are evenly matched when it comes to skills and augs.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

Total so far:
Deus Ex (10) : Human Revolution (8)

15)  The Endings

One of very distinct features that made Deus Ex stand out back in its time was the aspect of multiple endings. Not only was this option given, but it was executed spectacularly. In the final level of the game, the story goes such a way that each of JC’s allies ends up suggesting a different course of action, and so it finally comes down to JC having to make a moral decision, a decision which future of the whole planet would depend on. Each of the three endings carried a strong philosophical meaning behind it.

 Human Revolution certainly wasn’t going to miss out on this feature, and as a result we have multiple endings here too, except this time it’s done slightly differently. First of all, there are 4 endings rather than 3. Secondly, the endings do not require a separate quest path. The decision is actually made right after the final boss fight, literally with the press of a button. And thirdly, the ending cinematics are done differently. The difference was that instead of showing an animated, action-packed cinematic, we actually get to see lots of clips of real life people and places, and on top of it there is Jensen’s voiceover about his decision. The first time I actually was a bit disappointed with this approach, but after having viewed each of the four endings, this style grew on me and I was really touched. I think the combination of clips, Jensen’s strong words, and beautiful music really made the end of the game very powerful. Now which game did it better? This is a very tricky decision, because both games provided endings with strong philosophical concepts and very subjective themes. Because of that, one cannot call any ending a good ending or a bad. They’re all grey area endings, and this is why I loved them so much in both games. They were simply fantastic.

Deus Ex +1
Human Revolution +1

The Final Score:

Deus Ex (11) : Human Revolution (9)

Final Conclusion

So then, the scores tell us that the original Deus Ex slightly prevails (at least by my analysis), but the games have been evenly matched on many levels and Human Revolution certainly lived up to its predecessors and made for a great Deus Ex game. The original set the bar extremely high, reaching perfection of gaming pretty much, and to beat it would’ve been incredibly hard. However, Human Revolution, although didn’t beat it, managed to be a very worthy rival. It might’ve fallen down a bit when it came to variation and diversity of in-game material, but it managed to add some cool new features which greatly spiced up the gameplay.