I'm really enjoying this segment of my Steam library, as I get to revisit and delve deeply into some of my favourite fictional topics - science fiction, trans / post humanism, and the cyberpunk trappings that cover the mechanics of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which I played, in full, for the purposes of this post.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, unlike Invsible War is a competent, narrative driven game full of exploration, complex mechanics (though they're still dumbed down compared to the original title in the series) - and it's got everything you want in a good story - action, suspense, tension, and pacing that makes you want to keep going on.
While there isn't a huge amount of sub quests to keep you entertained if you go away from the beaten path - there's enough there to flesh out minor characters, expand upon the lore, and give you lots and lots of evidence that there's more to this game than just your character and their interactions with the world.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution runs handsomely, but it is hamstrung by a very major flaw that games of its generation saw. You see, there's only so much space on a DVD or Blu-Ray disc - which led to animators and game studios stupidly pre-rendering cinematic scenes (in the game engine) and compressing them to all hell.
What results is a very jarring transition between beautifully rendered, crisp, high resolution environments and character models to blocky, compression artefact riddled bits of action and explosion that serve to drive the story forward. This is a problem even with games like Quantum Break, which famously streamed all of its FMVs to the console the player used.
In years to come, this means that the game will age very ungracefully. For now, it is a necessary evil, that can be tolerated. In future years, Deus Ex: Human Revolution's cinematics will be akin to a VHS tape played on a CRT television.
This point aside, there's a lot of gameplay here, and a lot of room for different approaches. You can engage most enemies via stealth, or go in all guns blazing. There's just enough alternate paths to make everything a viable option - and hacking feels like it is an absolute pre-requisite for most environments in the game.
You can pull of satisfying head shots, but the stealth mechanics feel a little broken - you can carry out a slightly botched stealth kill, but then have all the enemies (every single one of them, ever) instantly alerted to your presence and location. It would be nicer if this was handled in a similar way to the way in which stealth is handled in Metal Gear Solid, where the enemies attempt to call for help, not instantly use some sort of hive-mind-cybernetics to summon all their mates to your location.
I suppose that's a viable excuse for having half a dozen augmented soldiers descend upon your location, though. When they do, its often with comical stupidity, as they rank and file into an open door one by one to met by head shots from a pistol, shotgun, or any of the other wonderful weapons in the game.
Towards the end, you get to use the full repertoire of weapons in creative ways, and the game encourages you to keep changing weapons thanks to the limited amount of space. It also stops enemies dropping the sort of ammunition you require for more basic weapons, which forces you to rethink what you're going to use to suppress the enemies that come toward you.
There's so much on offer in the story, and each and every gameplay element compliments this, even the node based hacking. It's a very entertaining game, and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.
If you like to be "Told a Story" (as the easiest difficulty is called) - and like cybernetics, post-humanism or trans-humanist themes - or want something to tide you over until Cyberpunk comes out later this year, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a competent, entertaining game that will keep you engaged for about 15-20 hours.
The director's cut version also has a "new game +" mode, so you can turn your character into a literal god, and explore several alternate endings.
I do recommend this game.