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Archive for September 1, 2011

Played Lately: “Deus Ex: Human Tolerance” or “Acceptance Doesn’t Come Naturally”

September 1, 2011 1 comment

I finally got my hands on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The first game, to this day, stands out in my memory as one of the greatest RPG’s ever made. The second game in the series, Invisible War, built a lot of hype and turned out to be a massive disappointment. This is the third game, released nearly 11 years after the first game, so understandably, I was a little skeptic and a little on edge. I have played the game for all of maybe 8 hours, but I am thoroughly impressed. The scope is grand, the story is well-scripted, the choices are plentiful and there is a certain elegance and grace to it that is seldom found in game.

One of the best things about Deus Ex: Human Revolutions is the parallels it draws to other human rights movements throughout human history. The year is 2027, and science has unlocked ways for the human body to be synthetically modified. Humans can replace limbs, chest cavities, eyes and just about every aspect of their physical bodies can be modified in a wide variety of ways. This process is called Augmentation, and people undergoing said procedure, willingly of unwillingly, are called Augs.

The game treats the Aug movement as a new chapter in human evolution, initially despised and hated by the masses, such as the extremist Purity First organization. The game throws fringe information at you in a variety of ways to elaborate on this concept:

  • A random pedestrian comments: “I bet you don’t have a lot of trouble finding a seat on the bus.”
  • There is a heavily augmented Nigerian singer, who is current on the “Steelskin” tour, trying to spread awareness about Augs.
  • Protests in front of LIMB clinics.
  • Organizations opposing Augs range from the reasonable (Humanity Front) to the extremist (Purity First).
  • Humanity Front was formed because in 2020, Antoine Thisdale, an off shore oil rig worker from Utah, loses his job as the demand for stronger and better augmented workers makes unaugmented workers obsolete. Thisdale, a completely healthy yet unaugmented man, sues for the right to amputate himself to have the same advantages his augmented competition would have. That is unprecedented depth in story right there.