Saturday, 22 October 2011

DX: The Missing Link Review

The first DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution was just released and in a word, yes, it is worth your dollar. It's more of the same (which is a good thing), with new environments, brilliant characters and a slight but noticable graphical upheaval. Although it may sound like (and it is) you're paying for a part of the game that should have already been a part of the full game, the $15 admission isn't too high an asking price.

The Missing Link takes place during the three days Adam mysteriously goes off the grid after blowing up a port in Hengsha. Turns out Tong's advice in aiding Adam's investigation into Megan's death would be rough ride, though correct nontheless. You awake on a vessel, drifiting in and out of consciousness with two unfimilar faces infront of you. Beaten to pulp, tied to an EMP chair and for some reason half-naked, you have no recollection of how you got here or who-is-who. An so it's up to you to get to the bottom of yet another mystery.

The roughly six hour journey is a suprisingly intruging romp, filled with twists, truns, good dialogue and some wonderful characters. It isnt canon in the sense that it dosent affect Human Revolution's storyline, but what it does expand well on it's universe as a whole. As the DLC comes close to concluding, you'll be forced to make a decision that will play out an according ending. Unexpected (like a lot of other things), expect to spend more time than you would have thought trying to make the best choice. A much better and thought-filled ending sequence than HR, and it really is the most memorable part of the download.

Everything else is what you would expect of Deus Ex game. The envrionments are well designed, with nooks and crannies available to those who look hard enough and enjoy entering their large bodies into tight spaces (pun intended). Weather effects have also been given stronger effects, with the rain looking particularly nice and convincing. The addition of not having access to any sort of equipment or augmentations until you find your gear within the ship creates a nice opening touch. Not being the mechanical God you became in HR led to some intense moments, freshening up what we already know. If there's one thing The Missing Link absolutely nails though, it's the boss fight and how your actions affect other characters. Gone are the four copy-cats of the Beauty and the Beast club from MGS4. Without spoiling anything, what you have here can be completed in more ways than one. You can even ninja your way through. Contrary to HR's boss fights, it feels in place and you know why you're having the fight, instead of the 'fight-random-person-to-continue' mentality behind them. You're also given stronger feedback according to how you played through. Murdered even that poor soldiers cat? Expect a mental grilling. Saved everyone, even though you were given a choice between the two? The Mesiah really has returned.

All of this adds up to make The Missing Link a fun expansion and a joy to play. It's just a shame it wasn't alreayd a part of HR. Methinks the decision made in it could have greatly influenced the main storyline. It's pathetic on the developers, but wattayagonadoaboutit? It's worth your money, worth your time, worth your attention, but most important of all, it's a good sign of what's to come. That's right folk, more DLC! The game industry just continues to evolve for the better.

That was sarcasm, by the way...

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