Hands-On Deus Ex: Human Revolution While Adam Is Still Fully Human

By Spencer . February 21, 2011 . 3:00pm


In the beginning of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Adam Jensen is an average security consultant. He was hired at Sarif Industries, an influential company pioneering human augmentation. Control temporarily switches to the player where you walk up to Adam’s ex-girlfriend, Dr. Megan Reed, for an on-rails tour of the facility. Using the right analog stick you can make Adam look around and scan the bustling lab.


Limbs with dangling circuits hang next to fluorescent lights. A pair of mechanical legs with no body attached run on a treadmill and compared against a non-augmented human. Through a window, you can see a demonstration of the Typhoon attack system where a robot throws explosive discs that knock down nearby dummies. Fellow scientist often ask Reed questions and interrupt the tour. Most have meek requests or come to Reed with reports on their research. Pritchard, a technical guru, is the exact opposite who approaches with an abrasive personality and speaks to Jensen in a condescending tone. The sequence ends at an elevator where you regain control of Adam. David Sarif, Adam’s boss, awaits on the top floor.


Sarif is an advocate of augmentation. He believes his research will enhance humanity, but other groups fervently oppose his company’s work. Since you control Adam he doesn’t have a set opinion at this point. He shrugs off Sarif’s discussion until their conversation is cutoff by an alarm. Adam rushes back to the lab area armed with a machine gun and unlimited bullets.



The lab is under attack and the only option is a firefight. Well, you can slip past enemies, but stealth is limited while the game explains the controls through a series of tutorial videos. Deus Ex: Human Revolution started with the cover system, which pops the camera out so you can see Adam. Press L1 next to an object and Adam will use it for cover. On screen prompts inform players you can roll to the next cover point by tapping the X button and pressing a direction to move. Hold X and move the analog stick to make Adam walk around a corner while staying under cover. It’s possible to pick up boxes and use them as makeshift cover points, but that was unnecessary in this area. Lab benches make great hiding spots. Using the boxes as a distraction was more amusing. Throw a box and enemies will inspect it giving you a chance to surprise them with bullets by holding down the R1 button. If you want to stay in cover you have to hold the L1 button down too. The screen’s contrast shifts to red when you get hit, but Adam still has auto-regenerative health even though he isn’t augmented.




Moving further into the lab, Adam watches through a window as a scientist is brutally killed by a man augmented with a gun arm called Barret. While Adam doesn’t know Barret yet, he appeared in another trailer strangling Adam. I tried to shoot the glass to save him, but the wall wouldn’t shatter. After crawling through an air duct and sprinting past another round of guards, I ran into a heavily augmented character. Like a beam of light, Fedorova slipped into an air duct above before I could open fire. She reappeared in the next room with a glass door separating us and maimed another scientist.


Once I stepped inside, Adam was overwhelmed by another augmented mercenary who threw him into a wall. Blood streamed down Adam’s face. He was left for dead, but saved by Sarif’s technology. Adam is unwillingly augmented with robotic arms in the game’s opening movie. We’ll have more about Deus Ex: Human Revolution and impressions of post-augmentation Adam later this week.

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  • Sounds interesting though I wonder what made the alarm go off! Cant wait to read more!!!!

  • Yui

    augmented gun arm

    omg, so obviously square enix

    Otherwise, thanks for finally putting up your playtest, Spencer! I’d been meaning to bug you about this for a week. So far, have you enjoyed it? Is it any good? :D

    • FireCouch

      Square Enix isn’t making this game, they are publishing it.

      • Ereek

        Unless I’m mistaken (and I might well be), the game is being developed by Eidos Montreal. And guess who owns Eidos?

        It’s not really a Barret reference, though.

        • There is a silly Square Enix reference in Deus Ex: Human Revolution though, which you will hear about soon.

          • I see really no point in both your article and this remark. This is just spoiling. And now it’s not only by going to youtube, the prologue is revealed almost fully.

            You can make a good preview (in this case not a step by step description) without spoils.

          • If everything is on YouTube, I see no point about shying away from spoilers? :P

            But, I will warn you not to read our second preview. I played through the demo multiple times and to better explain the cause/effect in Human Revolution we’ll spoil some of the intro on areas you’ll have to mouse over to see.

      • PrinceHeir

        well square visual works however are doing the CGI so they’re doing some work too you know :P

        can’t wait for this, sad i probably won’t see a full 3rd person camera view :(

        oh well will buy it Day 1 though :P Adam is just awesome :P

        i do hope if the customization is deep in this game, maybe they can implement some of it on The 3rd Birthday sequel on PS3? :)

    • I try not to give games a “Spencer stamp of approval” or whatever and just tell every one what happened. Plus I only played a small part of it so I don’t think I can give a fair answer.

      The game does get more interesting after the intro though…

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        A few questions, if you don’t mind:

        Is the 1st to 3rd person switch comfortable? I know you and the devs talked about it a while ago, but how does it feel in action? Does the camera switch back as soon as you go out of cover?

        Since you played the PS3 version, which is the version I’ll be playing if I play it, how does the game perform? Is the framerate stable or does it drop a lot? Screen tearing? It’s not gamebreaking either way for me but I worry because the PS3 version is usually a port.

        Other than that sounds exciting already.

        • Let’s see…

          The camera jumps right back into Adam’s head when you go out of cover or after a takedown. The shift is fast enough I didn’t really notice it. That’s probably a good thing.

          Hmm.. I don’t know if I have an honest “eye” for framerate. Unless the drops are really apparent, I usually don’t notice them. That being said there wasn’t any slowdown during the build, but this was still an early version of the game so things can change.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Cool. Thanks for notes.

  • Aoshi00

    Sounds cool, I just re-watched Robocop 1 & 2 on Netflix and got reminded again how violent they were, when Murphy was blown to pieces by shotguns before he was rushed to be enhanced as a cyborg..

    Is there an option for dual audio? Most likely no right? The Jpn voices were pretty badass :)

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Didja say Robocop? I love Robocop. Not as much as Terminator, but still what a classic. That scene you’re talking about is so shocking in how quickly and to what extreme extent that bust goes wrong. But his revenge at the factory is awesome… And his corny theme music is so memorable. 2 was a more than a little creepy though, with the family stalking and the robot drug estacy…

      Maybe Robocop is a secret outfit for Jensen…

      • Aoshi00

        Whoa, where have ya been, did you go on training or something, lots of people here missed you :) Yea, I just streamed both of them back to back, total classics especially the first one. Those scenes were pretty violent (and later the guy got burned by acid and looked like a melted werewolf and got splat), it was a mix of satire, quirkiness, and violence, no wonder they made such an impression on me when I was a kid, and later the evil dude turns out to be Red in That 70’s show lol.. the 2nd one was pretty creepy w/ the brain swapping w/ the eyes and spine and everything.. very cool cyborg concepts though, and the ED-209’s jerky movement was so scary, practical SFX FTW. In retrospect, for a Robocop, he wasn’t very well equipped though..Anyway, I like when the themes deal w/ problems of humans being turned into cyborgs… like how they are machines but still filled w/ human emotion..

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Haha, I’ve been… sorting things out in life… Moving, job, relationships, you know, the things everybody deals with from time to time. Good to see you though! My PSN is JinFei3 for reference, should have exchanged this earlier, though I’m hardly ever on and only for downloading PSN stuff (My friends irl were longtime xbx gamers).

          They sure don’t make movies like Robocop anymore (or Bladerunner), good thing we have cinematic sci fi games like these. That toxic waste mutation grosses me out every time I see it, worse yet he explodes into gooey chunks when the car hits him lol. Sometimes I wish they brought back those handcrafted, old fashioned special effects, silicon molds, stop motion and all… instead of doing CGI for everything. Or maybe they should remake Robocop as an anime. XD Indeed some actors get away with doing vastly diverse roles… reminds me of some anime voice actresses.

          Speaking of anime, have you seen Metropolis? It’s got what you’re talking about, and it’s one of my favorite anime films. Saikano’s springs to mind as well, but it’s depressing as hell…

          • Aoshi00

            I see.. yep, lots of things to deal w/ in real life :(.. cool, will add you later buddy, I usually just d/l stuffs from PSN or watch blu-rays on my PS3 too and mostly play games on 360..

            Stan Winston was definitely one of the best and he’s gone now. CGI is cool, but the more real stuff you see on the screen the more believable it is, so a mix is not bad either, I always appreciate SFX..

            I saw Metropolis it was okay, I’m not that big a fan of the Tezuka art style so.. even though it dealt w/ many cool sci-fi themes. I heard Saikano is very depressing, I saw a little of it back then and still haven’t seen the whole series even to this day.. the whole girlfriend of steel being a secret military weapon that sort of thing on a more realistic level..

    • Since this is being made for the West first, I’d say its doubtful, but I’ll be sure to inquire about this if I get a chance.

      • Aoshi00

        Cool thanks, it’d be cool if it does.. The US ver. of Castlevania Lords of Shadow was Eng only and Jpn ver was Jpn only.. but Jpn ver of Metroid had dual audio.. you never know w/ these things.. but most likely no like you said..

        • Ereek

          Not to be a spoil-sport, but most modern Western RPGs come in one language, depending on where it was created. I’d expect this to come with maybe French (Montreal) as well as English first, while I’d expect something like TW2 to have Polish dub, maybe German, as well as English, considering it was developed in Poland.

          My North American copies of Bioware and Bethesda games come in one language, though my European titles come with more. Depending on how much voiced text this has, it might be incredibly impractical to put multiple language tracks on the disk. For example, ME2 couldn’t even fit on a single 360 disk with two English voice tracks (M and F), let alone 2-3 languages.

          Unlike a lot of Japanese games (you used Metroid and Castlevania as examples) Western RPGs like this one can have a lot of options in its voiced text. Rather than one line, in a linear game, you can have 4-5 versions of the same line. This is even moreso in a game like this, where negotiation skill is considered an entire way to play the game.

          • Aoshi00

            yea, ME 1/2 did have a lot of dialogue choices, and there wasn’t even a Jpn dub in the Jpn ver. But the Jpn release for quite a few western games have Jpn and Eng audio like Heavy Rain, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Gears of War, Majin (well that’s made by Jpn more feels like a western game), etc, while the US release has the usual Eng/Spanish, or French, it depends on the audience. I replayed the different scenarios in Jpn after Eng for Heavy Rain and it was fun and felt refreshing, the Jpn dub was really good, and there were different choices/dialogue too.. later on I did buy the US ver too, not because of the other western languages, but because a couple scenes were censored, my collector in me wanted the complete ver :(..

            But for Bioware games like Dragon Age Origins I don’t think there was Jpn audio either even in the Jpn ver, or GTA IV. I guess it really depends on if they want to do it or not. Like S-E released two ver of CoD4 MW2 one was Eng w/ Jpn subtitle and the other was dubbed in Jpn. Even the Jpn Biohazard/Resident Evil Degeneration blu-ray had Jpn/Eng while the US ver has Eng/Spanish/French. The US ver of Astro Boy blu-ray didn’t have Jpn dub either.. So the Jpn ver of Deus Ex HR might have Jpn only or dual audio.

            I don’t think sound files really take that much space, the US ver. of Alan Wake had 7 languages for both text and audio including Jpn and that game has quite a lot of dialogue, maybe not as much as epic/massive RPGs like Mass Effect. Too bad Mass Effect didn’t get a Jpn dub treatment though, otherwise it would be pretty cool to play thru that in Jpn. If there’s a ver. that has both Jpn/Eng, I usually want to go w/ that as it’s more complete (other languages don’t matter much to me since I don’t understand them). I know someone who’s a huge ME fan and he played thru both 1 and 2 several times, he would’ve imported the Jpn ver too if they had Jpn dub..

  • hush404

    The game doesn’t have a release date anymore does it :(

    • Spring…unless during this Human Revolution event they gave a release date out…

      • hush404

        Amazon has it pegged for the end of June… wonder if there’s any truth to that…

    • It’s still coming out this year.

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