Cyberpunk seems like a "forgotten genre" these days. I'm actually still waiting for a proper Shadowrun game ever since completing the one they made for SNES. Sure, there are plenty of futuristic shooter and action games, and no real shortage of sci-fi, but that reasonably-near-future, high tech cybernetics, hacking, megacorporations rule the world -style RPG or adventure game... there really haven't been any good ones 21a2 since the days of Deus Ex and System Shock.
The original Deus Ex, by Ion Storm, is a pure classic from the golden era of PC gaming, being the cyberpunk FPS-action-RPG that included a strong storyline that allowed multiple approaches to the problems at hand and had, for the time, a very solid conversation system that supported the obvious-yet-rarely-seen concept of making real story-altering choices along the way. At the time, this was somewhat revolutionary from a game that, at first sight, appeared to be just another first person shooter.
Deus Ex Human Revolution is a fully modernized prequel that surprisingly manages to capture most of the key elements that made Deus Ex notable. Set in 2027, 25 years before the first game, it tells a story of Adam Jensen who works as a chief of security for Sarif Industries - a megacorporation that is a key player in the new blooming industry of human augmentation. While original Deus Ex featured nanotechnology-based augmentations, Human Revolution features earlier mechanical augmentations.
It is somewhat hard to pigeonhole Deus Ex Human Revolution; it is a hybrid first person/third person shooter with considerable stealth gameplay elements, some role playing elements with character advancement through augmentation upgrades and meaningful, story-altering dialogue scenes. It is decisively not just a shooter - while you do have a wide array of weapons and can obviously shoot enemies, that is just one facet of the gameplay. I guess closest contemporary relatives would include games like the most recent Splinter Cell or, in some ways, Mass Effect. It isn't as "RPG" as Mass Effect and relies less on guns than Splinter Cell: Conviction, but that's the best I can do - there really is no contemporary games that would be very similar.
World of Deus Ex
The action starts off with an attack at the headquarters of Sarif Industries. The very first map acts as a tutorial; You have no HUD, no augmentations and are carrying just a single gun. Gameplay and UI elements are introduced one by one as you play and while the initial sequence looks like a generic shooter, you already have a choice - even if shooting the enemies in the face is the most obvious solution, there is actually no need to engage anyone in the first map. "Huh? Not shoot anyone? But this is a shooter!" It shows the core concept of Deus Ex Human Revolution - almost every problem or task has multiple equally valid solutions to it. In these dark days of linear cover-based shooters with canned events and options that boil down to "do I shoot this guy first or second?", this is quite remarkable. Games used to be like this and I'm glad they still can be.
Visually the first impressions are very good as the first level is very carefully polished with lots of detail, lots of environmental animations and triggered events. Map detail doesn't quite get up to this spec in all areas of the game, but first impressions count for a lot. This is probably a side effect of the very long development cycle of the game - as level designers spend years doing levels, they just naturally get better at it and this level happened to be done fairly close to launch.
As the introduction to the basic controls wraps up and the first map completes, the attack inevitably leaves many key scientists dead and Adam gravely injured. This concludes the prologue and the story jumps forward six months. David Sarif, founder and CEO of Sarif Industries decided that Adam can be saved and even made better. Yep, it is the Six Million Dollar Man story; "We can rebuild him". Large parts of Adam's body are replaced with cybernetic augmentations and eventually he's back on the job.
Initially Adam has a set of fairly nasty blades embedded to his mechanical arms, a cranial implant that includes infolink (two way communications without being heard) and a short range radar that shows any otherwise detected enemies around him, basic hacking augmentations for intruding computer systems and a retinal implant that provides a multi-function HUD. Numerous other augmentations are included but initially unavailable - they are unlocked as Adam "adapts to the augmentations". A workable explanation for experience points system.
Games: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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