“Deus Ex: Human Revolution”: The Nitpick

Senior Contributor
09.15.11

“Deus Ex” is one of those beloved games that fans just will never shut up about. Seriously. I’ve been hearing about how great this game is for more than ten years. But I was a little skeptical of the sequel, for two reasons: one, I hate stealth gameplay, and two, I’m only just getting back into FPS games.

“Human Revolution”, though, is pretty close to a perfect game. The game gives you enough ammo to make the occasional firefight a viable solution to a situation without making it just a slugfest, but it also doles out ammo for your attacks carefully enough that you have to change your strategy on the fly and think before you shoot. There was a moment where I got pinned down in a location by a squad of a dozen soldiers and managed, with a lot of quick saves, to take out the entire team using a variety of tactics and switching strategies on the fly.

It’s also crammed with little details and moments that tease the viewer, like an apartment chock full of references to the first game, or a terminal you stumble across that’s annoying and difficult to hack…and has nothing on it other than a 419 scammer email. This is a pretty funny game, and well written in most respects…

But there’s just one teeny, tiny little flaw…

The voice acting. Oh my sweet zombie brains the voice-acting.

Where to start? It’s horribly racist, for one thing. You meet Letitia The Ghetto Trash-Picking Lady fairly early on, and when you go to China, you discover that despite brilliant advances in integrating humans and machines, Chinese people still talk with a “NO TICKIE NO LAUNDRY” accent when they don’t speak perfect English. What makes this really egregious is that a lot of the Chinese bystanders just speak in Chinese, and you get subtitles. This was a problem they could have easily fixed: there’s no such thing as a translation aug?

Secondly, it’s badly recorded. Half this game sounds like it was recorded in Eidos Montreal’s bathroom or something: there’s way more echo than necessary and it just sounds bad a lot of the time. Adam Jensen’s voice is an auditory cliche at this point. At least the written dialogue is passable at worst and pretty good most of the time.

I file this under a nitpick because realistically, it won’t affect the gameplay: even the social sections are about gathering the facts or paying attention to what the game feeds you to choose the right dialogue path. It’s about the game.

Still, a black guy saying “What chu”? Seriously, Eidos? Seriously?!

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