Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an action-role playing game. You play as Adam Jensen, a high-ranking security officer who takes down secret corporations with the aid of his advanced cybernetic implants.
Pro Amazing futuristic themes and visual style
Deus Ex: Human Revolution has a great aesthetic that fits with its setting and themes. The visuals have plenty of bright golds and harsh blacks, and many recurring instances of hard geometric shapes to match with the prevalence of augmented humans with cybernetics. Along with this rapidly expanding technology, the story delves into the angle of what would happen if corrupt corporations became more influential than the government, bringing up some tough parallels to the current year in the real world. The unique look of the game goes so well with the subjects it tackles, creating a cohesive and stylistic whole.
Pro Tons of ways to customize your playstyle
Unlocking and upgrading abilities gives you a great chance to tailor how you approach missions and explorations. There are certain perks that lean more toward stealth, like an invisibility cloak, and others that are more lethal-oriented, like a flashy area of effect ability that lets you take out surrounding enemies all at once. And there are other skills that give you a leg up in exploring levels, like boosting the amount of fall damage you can take to prevent death and reach secret locations. One player's build may be completely different from someone else's, adding replay value to experiment with unlocks.
Pro Conversations feel dynamic from your dialog choices
Speaking with major NPCs feels natural thanks to the dialog options you get to make. Each character has their own personalities and worldviews, so selecting certain options gives you the chance to move the conversation forward, make the person hand over something you need, or persuade them during debates.
You can choose to appease someone who has a dominant personality in order to get what you want from them, or you can intimidate someone with a weaker personality. There's even a cool cybernetic implant you can get that lets you read someone's personality and reactions to you to determine the best options to pick. This gives discussions a lot of weight and impact, making sure that your choices matter.
Pro You can take a lethal or pacifist approach to missions
You have total freedom in how you approach missions, mainly with whether you want to take the silent approach or go in guns blazing. Going with weapons such as stun guns, picking non-lethal knock-outs, and sneaking around through vents and hidden passageways makes up the pacifist methods. The more violent ways of playing include using deadly guns and abilities, killing enemies when you take them down, and generally running head-first into each mission. You don't have to stick with one or the other; if the situation calls for it, you can change things up as needed, keeping things interesting as you go along.
Pro Cool soundtrack
The music in Human Revolution is an amazing mix of synthwave and other electronic sounds. Each track that plays in the different locations you explore, such as Montreal and Singapore, make you feel like you're in a futuristic version of those places.
Even the more atmospheric tracks go a long way to set the mood in any given place, like the somber yet thoughtful track that plays in the main protagonist's home, giving you a moment to breathe after playing through the game's tense and exciting missions. The soundtrack absolutely does its job of setting the stage for wherever you're at while creating emotional memories of where each song plays.
Con Boring main protagonist
Adam is such a dull lead character. He's stereotypically gruff, he barely ever shows any emotion, and he seems quite disaffected by the game's events. Even though most of his arc revolves around his quest to save his ex-girlfriend, it's hard to get invested or care about either of them, since you don't see them interact that much except during the start of the game. Though there is a silver lining to his personality, since his unconcerned attitude leads to one particular line of his that's turned into a running joke online. But other than that, he's not a remarkable protagonist that you find yourself rooting for on a personal level.
Con Stiff character animations during cutscenes
It can be distracting to watch two characters speak during a cutscene. Aside from maybe Adam, everyone has such stiff and repetitive gestures and movements. Mouth movements don't sync up with voiced lines, making it look like the characters are just miming and faking their way through conversations. Depending on your tolerance levels, it's possible to tune out these annoyances and still enjoy the scenes.
Con You must be lethal during boss fights, even on a pacifist run
It's really disappointing that the game doesn't let you take a purely pacifist approach. You can sneak around all you want while making sure to only perform silent takedowns, but the moment you step into a boss room, all of that role-playing goes out the window. You have to kill the boss, no questions asked. It would have been nice to have the option to outmaneuver them instead and lead them into non-lethal traps. Thankfully, the devs addressed this issue in the sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but you still have to deal with it here.