Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a hybrid of RPG, third-person stealth, and first-person shooter elements. As such, it’s rather complex in terms of approach due to its free nature in allowing players to choose how they want to play. You want to get through the game without killing anyone (other than bosses)? You can do that. You want to kill everyone you see? You can do that too. The choices you make throughout the game, in terms of approach and the sidequests you choose, greatly affect the game’s overall outcome, thereby allowing players to have several different experiences. If you played Heavy Rain, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Since the game is so diverse and in a sense, adaptable, the strategy guide for Deus Ex: Human Revolution had to be as well. As a result, FuturePress produced one fat tome that definitely presents all of the ins and outs in Adam Jensen’s world, and there are different strategies laid out for the three main ways you can approach each chapter: stealth, stealth combat (focused on non-lethal combat), and combat. The guide was fantastic in so many, many ways, but unfortunately, FuturePress’s typical design layout with the numbered maps made following along a little cumbersome, especially when the strategy referred to maps on previous pages.
If you’re familiar with FuturePress’s guides, then you know what I’m talking about, but for those who aren’t, let me explain. FuturePress is always great with supplying numerous maps in their guides. They typically present a large, overview map in the beginning of a chapter and then create smaller, individualized maps for each section you’re tackling. With each smaller map, they mark what locations they discuss in the written walkthrough with letters. This way, when they say, “Go to Position A,” you can look at the map and see exactly where they are talking about. There is actually a bit of a learning curve when it comes to efficiently using these maps with the walkthroughs, and it’s very easy to get confused as to where to go or figuring out where you are. Once you become used to it, it becomes second nature.
The problem with this style of maps in a guide like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, though, is that since there are literally three different walkthroughs for every section, logistics doesn’t allow each map to stay with each entire walkthrough.
As a result, sometimes you have to flip back and forth to see the specific locales that the walkthrough references. It doesn’t take away fromt he accuracy of the walkthroughs or the maps at all, but it does remove efficiency in quickly finding what you need to get back to the game, adds a bit of annoyance, and hinders the effectiveness of the guide’s layout.
I also found some trouble with the divisions of the walkthroughs. The routes and plans the walkthroughs provide greatly differ among one another. So if you try to follow the stealth path but get stuck about halfway through, it’s extremely rare to be able to simply flip over to the combat walkthrough and pick up right where you are. You can either try to finish the stealth route, load an earlier save and start over, or completely wing it. You can probably guess which option I picked rather often.
Everything else with the Deus Ex: Human Revolution strategy guide was flawless. I have not missed a single Praxis kit–unless I didn’t have the specific aug to go fetch it–and when I needed to pick up some extra nuke software, I easily found exactly which shop I needed. Not to mention, I know I wouldn’t have gotten half of the traveler experience without the guide’s help. Unless it’s a sidequest, I rarely stray from the main path in this game because I’m so focused on what to do next and I really try to do things stealthily. Without the guide safely telling me where I could go and how to do it without getting seen, I know I wouldn’t have been able to augment Jensen as much as I have.
To be completely honest, since stealth games are NOT my forte, I would have rage quit Deus Ex a long time ago if it weren’t for this guide. I really can’t recommend this strategy guide enough, but that recommendation comes with the caveat of be prepared for the walkthrough layout to be initially confusing and, at times, inefficient.