There were certainly lots of great games release throughout the year, each satisfying different types of players, but, for me, some of the best moments of 2011 where those that I spent with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The title, coming from developer Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix, featured varied enough gameplay to make things feel refreshing, while adding just enough depth and complexity to honor its critically acclaimed predecessors, and wrapping things up in a gorgeous golden visual package.
I already praised the great gameplay mix in Human Revolution once before but it’s still worth highlighting just how impressive the Eidos Montreal’s achievement is.
The studio could have easily swayed in one direction or another, but it still managed, with the exception of those outsourced boss fights, to strike almost a perfect mix between first and third person shooting, great hacking minigames, a polished stealth system and an extremely varied conversation one, all being affected by the type of augmentations you chose for the protagonist, Adam ‘I didn’t ask for any of this’ Jensen.
You can go in guns blazing and kill everyone else while protecting yourself with armor augmentations, but you can also try and sneak your way through the battlefield, while hacking turrets or robots and making them do you bidding, thanks to some strategic upgrades, while avoiding some serious confrontations by using your charms and the social augmentation when engaged in conversations.
While most developers agree that games are blurring the lines between genres nowadays, Deus Ex: Human Revolution manages to do it in a careful way, borrowing from all of them while trying to shield itself from becoming too much of a shooter or too much of a stealth title.
This combination is hard to do, but the team at Eidos Montreal managed to deliver one of the best examples of how you can juggle lots of genres and still deliver a cohesive gameplay experience.