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.