What I’m Playing: Late August

30 Aug

Jensen watches Manning get eatin' by the natives!

The summer game drought has officially come to an end, with the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  Prematurely in fact!  I almost passed on DE:HR at release — planning to pick it up at a later date, after the fall deluge of games, and at a more reasonable price — but after reading the rave reviews and craving something to kick me out of the summer game drought funk, I immediately enacted Amazon Prime’s wonderful “Free Release Date Delivery”.

Peek-a-boo! I shoot you! Quietly.

Yes, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is very much an Action RPG game.  And while I will be the first to tell you I’m not the biggest fan of RPG’s, there’s something about Deus Ex that pulls me in, and makes me forget that I am not suppose to enjoy this type of game.  In true RPG fashion, you will have MANY branching conversations with people, read NUMEROUS lengthy emails on hacked computers, and will need to upgrade SEVERAL traits of your character, but the incredible, ‘Minority Report’-like future world, along with a big focus on ‘Metal Gear Solid’-esk stealth, and a soundtrack that could have been ripped from ‘Tron Legacy’, easily overshadow the tedious RPG elements.  DE:HR has an old-school feel to it.  Sure, it will hold your hand through the first few missions, to help you learn the lay of the land, but then, very abruptly, it’s up to you to figure out how to get from A to B; or whether you should do go do C instead.  And when YOU (not some on-rails story) decide to take on a certain objective, it’s up to you on how to approach it.  Go in the front door guns blazing? Sneak in through the fire escape without anyone knowing you were ever there? Or some hybrid of the two?  It’s completely up to you, and makes for a refreshing change of pace from all the on-rails, hold-your-hand games we have today.  Not that I don’t enjoy some of those titles, but it’s nice to have a little choice, and be forced to use a little brain power from time to time.

As of this writing, I have only exposed the tip, of this iceberg of a game.  It promises to be a lengthy game; and one that I may never see all of — even after completing the story. (Apparently, there are multiple endings)  I’ll have to update you at a later date, once I’ve completed it.

UPDATE:  To get a feel for the Deus Ex universe, here’s an early story trailer, and here’s the launch trailer, featuring gameplay.

LIl' Manning about to get a boo-boo.

The only other game I’ve picked up of late, is EA’s latest version of the annual franchise, Madden NFL 12.  Similar to Deus Ex, I wasn’t planning on picking up Madden this year.  In fact, I haven’t bought a Madden game since 2004, on the PlayStation 2 (TWO)!  But after some amigos decided to pick it up, I couldn’t pass on the chance to smack talk in something outside of Call of Duty, Battlefield, and SOCOM.  The whole “lockout, chance of losing football” thing may have also played into it; as I (like many others) have felt a stronger desire for everything football this year! My yearly pair of fantasy teams won’t be enough this year…  Bring on Madden!  Franchise play; online play; I plan to play it all.

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