9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Many agreed that Deus Ex: Invisible War, released in 2003, was a poor attempt at capitalising on a sequel to the masterpiece that was the original Deus Ex. Roughly three years later, it struggled to wrestle with the Xbox’s hardware, while also being bland, blunt and repetitive in its approach.
Deus Ex took a break after that and eight years later we were introduced to Adam Jensen. Heavily augmented, grumpy, and bearing a big old chip on his shoulder, the player took control of Adam and all his wonderful abilities to get to the bottom of a mystery.
Some felt that Deus Ex’s reboot, Human Revolution, leaned far too much into the dark and moody stereotype of the cyberpunk genre. As well as moodiness, others felt that Human Revolution was just OK.
However, it took the immersive sim and stretched it as far as it would allow, most specifically in regard to combat. Sneaking, hacking, smooth talking and brute forcing could all play a part, not just individually, but in combination.
Personally, I feel it’s easy to look past Human Revolution, particularly nowadays when immersive sim elements have become so common.
Human Revolution showed that the genre didn’t need a hundred abilities, all with branching trees, to get you invested in the possibilities within the game’s levels.