A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION is an M-rated game that earns that rating with plenty of violence and blood, drug and alcohol references, profanity, and suggestive dialogue. While the gamer can choose how to play (as a shooter or as a role-playing game), it's possible to shoot enemies from a first-person perspective and see blood spray out. Players will talk to prostitutes and visit brothels, hear profanity, and even watch the screen become blurred if their character imbibes in alcohol.
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What's it about?
Eidos Montreal's debut game, DEUX EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, is a cyberpunk-infused, action-heavy role-playing game (RPG). You play as Adam Jensen, a mechanically augmented ex-cop in the near future -- 2027 to be exact -- who is tapped to figure out why someone is trying to ensure humankind's evolution follows a particular path. While there's a lot more to the well-conceived plot, much of the focus is on the battle between the "Normals" -- those who are opposed to augmentation, can't afford it, or whose bodies won't accept the implants -- and the "Augs," about 20 percent of the world with cybernetic parts that give additional strength, smarts, and other abilities. As you visit futuristic versions of cities like Shanghai, Montreal, and Detroit, you'll see the game was likely inspired by films like Blade Runner and The Fifth Element (and perhaps RobotCop), as well as clothing and architecture influenced by the Italian Renaissance period. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in an 11 year-old series.
Is it any good?
This ambitious and immersive first-person RPG excels in almost every department, particularly in giving the gamer a choice on how to play. For example, there are multiple ways to approach each mission (through combat, stealth, hacking, and interrogating, for example), different paths to take in the level, and varied weapons (long- or short-range) and cybernetic skills (including cloak, X-Ray vision, and more). Or you can opt for a combination of styles, weapons, and skills; plus, it's an RPG so you'll choose what to upgrade over time. And while the story (and dialogue) might sometimes seem over-the-top, all your missions and actions feel relevant to the tale and not a weak excuse just to shoot people.
The side-missions, which vary on who you talk to, are also invariably linked to the plot. Helping out the gratifying, customizable gameplay and intriguing story and characters is an imaginatively designed world complemented by cinematic cut-scenes and a Hollywood-style soundtrack. Too bad the suspension of disbelief is sometimes broken with pop-up screens about the game itself; early on, in a helicopter ride, a message appeared thanking me for preordering the game and as a result I've got bonus weapons and levels to play with. Sigh. Overall, however, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an exceptionally fun -- but mature -- game that lives up to the coveted series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the theme of this game: whether humankind is really moving toward cybernetic implants. Is it that much of a stretch from today, when millions are walking around with mechanical organs and limbs? Will we eventually be "enhanced" with machinery and computers for vision, strength, and agility?
Families can also discuss the role of violence in video games. What is its impact?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: August 23, 2011
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Superheroes
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.