• DLC Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link


    Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link

    Developer: Eidos Montreal
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
    Genre: Stealth/Action, Shooter, Role-Playing
    Rating: Mature
    Release Date: October 18th, 2011

    Eidos Montreal gives us The Missing Link, the DLC add-on to the cyber-punk thriller Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Missing Link promises 4-6 hours of additional gameplay and story, but the real question is whether or not The Missing Link truly augments game, or if players will avoid using a Praxis Point on this add-on entirely.

    Presentation
    The Missing Link centers around the three days Adam Jensen was out of radio contact after stowing away on a boat in Hengsha harbor. The ship is crawling with Belltower and it is no surprise you are found and captured. With all of his augments disabled, a factory reset Adam Jensen must now find a way to escape, restore his abilities, and continue his quest to find the people behind the Serif Industries attack. Daunting as though it seems, Jensen does have a mysterious ally in his escape, one that will guide him to unforeseen discoveries deep in the Belltower blacksite.

    Graphics
    Graphically, Missing Link is more or less the same as the main game. Weather effects are a new addition as the beginning of the DLC does feature some rain. An interview with Eidos also stated that the lighting effects would be improved in the DLC, but I didn't notice any changes, leading me to believe any changes in lighting to be minor. Also the same as before, characters still move like muppets. In fact it seems as if everyone has a neck augmentation that functions very much like the spring in a bobble-head toy. Dialog sequences usually show one or both characters over-acting in hilarious caricature, much like a Saturday morning cartoon.

    As far as level design goes Missing Link does get it right. With the entire mission taking place on a ship and platform in the middle of the ocean, one would expect the sights to be very mundane and repetitive. Eidos gives us the contrary with your typical ocean freighter interior turning into high-tech prison, and then turning into something just short of super-secret-mad-scientist-lair. A particular elevator ride also treats you to a sort aquarium show as you descend into the deep.

    Sound/Music
    Human Revolution's soundtrack was great and Missing Link's follows suit. I could hear a few tracks I didn't seem to recognize, leading me to believe a few more songs were recorded. They fit in perfectly with the game's espionage feel and cyber-punk setting.

    Elias Toufexis returns in his role as Adam Jensen, though he is the only character from Human Revolution to appear in Missing Link. The new characters treat you to every other accent not featured in Human Revolution, but by now I expect we are all completely used to these voice-overs.

    Gameplay
    Missing Link can be started at any time by accessing it from the Downloadable Content option in the game's main menu. Personally I would really like to have the option to play the DLC chronologically within the game, but I guess that wasn't quite on the table.

    The most emphasized part of the DLC, even in early interviews, is that upon starting the DLC you are given a clean slate to work with. That's right; all of Jensen's augs are disabled, leaving you without so much as a can-opener to your name. After a short amount of mandatory sneaking you are presented with some Praxis Kits and weapons to rebuild yourself. Whether this was a cheap way to avoid a character import function is debatable, but the fact remains the DLC is isolated from your main game entirely. Some players may relish the ability to experience new augments they passed up previously, while others may be annoyed at having to slowly recreate a character on the verge of perfection.

    Depending on how you feel about DLC, and what they should include, you may be disappointed with Missing Link content-wise. I was personally disappointed to discover this DLC adds nothing new to the gameplay experience. There are no objectives we haven't seen before, no gameplay mechanics we haven't used before, and no new type of enemies we haven't fought before. Oddly enough this includes bosses, as there are no discernible boss fights in Missing Link at all (I say this because thinking of the DLC's final confrontation as a boss fight will only disappoint you). There aren't even any rewards that transfer over into the main game as a result of purchase or completion of the DLC. In short, if you're only in it for the story you'll be pretty content.

    Despite all that the old adage of "don't fix what isn't broken" comes to mind as the same excellently executed action/stealth hybrid gameplay is back in full force. I still felt rewarded finding out all the different ways I could have reached my objective, some more direct than others. Gameplay still allows you to pick your play-style and follow it and gain experience from whatever that style may be. This experience was the single most appreciated thing about Human Revolution and I have to say regardless of what the DLC did not include, I'm very glad this was untouched.

    Lasting Appeal
    Missing Link makes good on its promise to add 4-6 hours of gameplay. A few side quests are included aside from the main quest that help with this. So at the very least your $15 gets you 4-6 hours of gameplay. With that in mind I can see replay value going one of two ways. Missing Link is really great for a very quick Deus Ex one night stand, so to speak. You can play through the entire DLC in an afternoon and experience most everything you could in the main game (everything except for boss battles and social battles). Because you have access to Praxis Kits right off the bat this is perfect for getting your fix without playing through the whole game, or perfect for testing an alternate build for Jensen without affecting your main game. On the other hand, the story oriented gamer need only play the DLC once (maybe twice for a slightly different outcome) and be done with it. If The Missing Link could have added some perks to the main game, like a few extra Praxis Kits or the ability to keep Burke's golden revolver upon completion, I could see the DLC becoming a more permanent staple to the Human Revolution experience.

    Conclusion
    The Missing Link provides a great experience, no matter how familiar that experience might be. The story does not seem "tacked on" at all, and it doesn't seem to create any conflicting plot elements (I checked, I actually played through the storyline again to make sure). My only real gripe is the $15 price tag is pretty steep, even more so when you consider it works out to roughly one dollar for every 20 minutes of play time (assuming you only play it once). Gamers on a budget may want to wait for a sale, but for anyone who loved the mystery, intrigue, and sci-fi thrill of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will not let down.

    Score:
    8/10
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Emily "Darkcamllama" Hatcher's Avatar
      A nice review. I was holding off on getting this due to the numerous other games I've purchased over the past few months. I'll probably get this for the holidays on a PSN card or something.
    1. Geno Anthony's Avatar
      Geno Anthony -
      Awesome!!!
  • Review Scale

    Score 10- Flawless Victory: A score not handed out to every game. Games earning this rare score sit at the very pinnacle of excellence. These games act as the examples for which all others should be measured with. They are instant classics from the beginning. These games not only deliver what was expected of it, but also exceed the player’s expectations. The game’s features are innovative and original. No game is without its absolute flaws, but the finished product you bring home surpasses the anticipation the game has formed. A day one buy is a must. The game you hold in your hands with this score is a video game jackpot.

    Score 9 - 9.5- Outstanding: Games earning scores such as these absolutely must be played. Games that achieve this high ranking do so because they define the genres that they are in. Flaws are few and barely noticeable. Features seen in the game have been renovated to provide something new and fresh. The story, gameplay, graphics, and lasting appeal are all fantastic and is reason enough to bring the game home and to enjoy with family and friends. Every penny you spend on the game is so worth it.

    Score 8 - 8.5- Great: Any flaw the game may possess is overshadowed by its fun factor. These games would be great for gamers to play. These great games appeal to gamers more and more outside its normal player base because of what it brings to the table.

    Score 7 - 7.5- Good: Flaws do exist in these games, but the positive features of the game can counterbalance the flaws. Additionally, players who are predisposed to liking a game of a particular series or genre with this score should enjoy the game. These are in no way bad games, and much fun can be had with them. An overall good game is worth taking a look at, whether you are willing to buy the game or rent it first. That or you can also wait for the game to reach a good price.

    Score 6 - 6.5- Decent: Games falling into this category may suffer from numerous flaws (for example, graphics or gameplay), but are still worth playing. Granted, the player should be aware that a game with these scores may not guarantee them full satisfaction.

    Score 5 - 5.5- Average: An average game is one in which a game’s features are neither good nor completely terrible. Instead, the finished product is manageable. Little has been done to hold the player’s interest. If anything, rent this game before you consider buying it so that you can at least get a feel for the game’s overall experience.

    Score 4 - 4.5- Poor: Games falling into this category may only keep gamers entertained for a short while. While the game may seem enjoyable for moments at a time, it can quickly grow old and may never be revisited again. The game’s overall function is lacking in quality and may not hold the player’s attention for long. The game leaves little or nothing else to return back to.

    Score 3 - 3.5- Bad: If any positive qualities about a game in this category exist, it is not enough to redeem the game for its shortcomings. Sure you may find yourself playing it, but for how long? You will wind up not giving the game a second glance.

    Score 2 - 2.5- Horrible: Games such as these may not be totally unplayable, they nearly are. Additionally, they may lack, or greatly suffer in, the fundamental functionality of the software as a whole. The game simply does not come close to meeting industry standards at the time of its release.

    Score 1 - 1.5- Appalling: Gamers should avoid this game at all costs. The game was clearly not ready to make its way to store shelves in its status. Save your money and find something else. See it in the bargain bin? No! Stay away! Keep moving and look for something else.