I've never really thought much of the Wii U as a platform for an intense first person shooter, but the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut has proved its worth.
To be frank, my Wii U has had fairly limited game time. Titles like Pikmin 3 and the new HD Zelda remake have been an enjoyable - but gentle - nudge towards the dynamic use of the GamePad controller and its built-in screen, however, and it's nice to see the Wii U coming into some serious action games.
The Year is 2027. Adam Jensen is a security specialist, whose job is to oversee the defence of one of America's most experimental biotechnology firms. But everything goes awry when a black-ops team break in and kill the scientists you were hired to protect.
Someone is trying to stop the advancement of science, which is seeking to control and enhance human evolution. Your job is to quickly discover who and why, as every choice you make will ultimately determine the fate of mankind.
This game first came out on PC, PS3 and XBOX 360 in 2011, and the Director's Cut aims to fix a few of the very small things that people didn’t like about it, or - according to Eidos Montreal - create ‘the ultimate edition of the game’.
One of the parts of the game to receive attention was the boss battles. Largely a first person stealth game, you spend most of your time crouched behind a box - nursing the few bullets or tranquilizer darts you have, against what feels like endless enemies.
Other than that, you’re hacking emails and gathering intel most of the time; so when you encounter the boss fights - which are extremely violent and require you to gun people down - you’re left feeling quite jarred.
The boss fight with Barrett is a great example of this; in the original, you were lucky to be equipped with a stun-gun and a few bullets - against a heavy military machine-gun wielding monster. All you really had to go on for cover was the pillars in the room and a few explosive barrels.
The Director's Cut, however, lets you move freely and gives you more of a fighting chance to get through it the first (or, more likely, second) time. There are also ladders to an upper level, where you can hack into turrets, crawl through air vents to get around Barrett, or even access a room stocking a variety of weapons.
From the moment I picked up the GamePad, I quickly felt overwhelmed with the amount of controls I had to get used to, and the lengthy info prompts through the game weren't really much help. The game generally assumes you will get comfortable with the controls the more battles you encounter. The GamePad makes it a little cumbersome to get your fingers where they need to be, but - to be fair on the designers - everything does make sense once you get used to it.
One annoying feature in the stealth mode is that when you execute a melee attack at close range, a short cutscene plays - showing your total dominance of whomever it is you've just bested. The screen cuts to a third-person view, and then shortly returns to first-person; this really takes you out of the moment. As the title is a collaboration between Eidos Montreal and Square Enix, it sometimes seems that each company read a different brief, leaving parts of the game - such as these takedowns (which were Square Enix's contribution) - feeling inconsistent with the rest of it.
Another thing I noted was the optional on-screen minimap radar was disabled at the start of the game. Instead, it sits in your lap, which can be awkward when you’re constantly glancing down to check guard positions.
The GamePad map does work well when you’re hidden, allowing you to analyse the rest of the room by swiping up and down, as well as managing your upgrades and inventory. One thing to note is the GamePad is not an iPad, and moving things around isn’t as smooth as your actions sometimes expect. The hacking mini-game in Deus Ex really suffers because of this, as does searching enemies after neutralising them. It’s just not fluid enough.
However, the game's storyline is really intense, which does push you to keep playing until the bitter end. Deus Ex lets you decide how to take on situations, unlike any other first person shooter I've played. Your character can have passive or aggressive reactions when talking to people, or even ignore them. Similar to the construction of the storyline in GTA V, you can charge in all guns blazing, or choose a completely non-lethal approach, leaving them with a killer headache when they wake up. How you take on each chapter is completely your choice.
The graphics seem little changed compared to the original. A few filters have been thrown in, but you wouldn’t even notice it if you weren’t looking.
I found Deus Ex to be very entertaining overall, but the lack of consistency with the first and third person camera angles, and the poorly conceived controls, do take their toll. This really isn't a game that you can just pick up and play. It does take a while to get the hang of things and really start making some progress, but if you keep at it, you’ll find yourself thoroughly pleased with the surprises and extra bits thrown in to the director’s cut.