Ef You Treyarch...

Plight of the Protagonist – Deus Ex: Human Revolution – 2011

Quote of the Year: "Women never fail to underestimate men"

In any story we all gravitate towards the Plight of the Protagonist. In the first season of  24 we spent a single day following Jack Bauer though one of the best theoretical “what would I have done if I was him?” situations. With Red Dead Redemption we took a ride with John Marston, a man with no choice but to go forward on hopes to have returned the only thing that matters to him. In the novel The Stranger by Albert Camus the lead is Meursault, a man so ernest and disconnected with everything we needed to finish the tale if just to know if he ever feels anything for anybody other then his own internal monologue.  All these characters have something about them, something that makes us want to experience their tales.

Above is promotional artwork of Adam Jensen the player character in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Jensen a man given great power and influence and Deus Ex is about what he does with that power. In every interaction and combat scenario he pull the strings. He can drive men to suicide or with a little reasoning alter their fate. He can walk into an industrial park guns blazing cutting down anybody that moves, or he can tip toe in the shadows and avoid conflict. The future world of Deus Ex is his to mold. An outsider would look at that picture and see some mechanical man drinking and having a smoke. I see a man with a large weight on his shoulders and having a brief moment solace and contemplation.

In the start I didn’t feel much for Jensen. Before becoming augmented he’s just a smokers voice who’s way too comfortable around his ex-girlfriend. His backstory is filled with hardship so he’s a man who never had it easy. After getting his ass kicked to the brink of death he becomes an over-augmented strongman for his professional superior. When the world opens up is when the game shines and the choices that need to be made slowly are revealed. By the end, the future world altering choice to some could look arbitrary but personally was cause for pause. Some might not like the way the ending is presented but from the eyes of Jensen it was a choice we made together.

By the end this was the first game in a long time I was sad reached it’s crescendo. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is made by adults for adults. Humor is supressed and the combat and stealth elements are not for the light of heart. This is another one of those games that I adored but it’s not for everybody. Much of the action is trial and error and playing on a Xbox 360 it felt at times I was looking at loading screens more then doing anything interesting (Note: Part of this is my own fault playing on “Hard”). The storytelling at times can be strange. Much of this game is what you make of it, maybe that is why I liked it so much? For a single player experience DE:HR did more of what I like about video games more then any other I can think of in years.

Note: This post was written back in September but was reworked slightly since then. Note the time of posting and one can see why it was pulled back.

Category: Video Games

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