Original entry posted: Thu Oct 6 03:39:04 2011
@ Sun Oct 9 06:04:21 2011 EST
I agree that Human Revolution has a more focused thematic underpinning when compared to the original Deus Ex, which scratches at legitimate and real political concerns about power, media, class, technology, and choice. Yet it fails to do what great science fiction does best: address head-on the core problems of contemporary society. Human Revolution reduces its scope to a singular emphasis on the theme of transhumanism through augmentation technology, and in doing so, burrows to its core rather than merely scratching at it. Transhumanism permeates everything, albeit in a very polarised fashion. For instance, nearly every pedestrian that Jensen addresses responds with their view on augmentation or some issue circling it.
This tightens its focus and allows for a more coherent reflection on contemporary society, even if a few parallels are reasonably ostentatious. While some may argue that this focus isn’t tightened as much as it is narrowed, it does close the gap between story and gameplay. It’s not often that a unified vision carries a game forward, but Eidos Montréal seems to have started from a strong thematic foundation and developed every aspect of the game from there.
And yes, Human Revolution's endgame ends up sorely undermining that underpinning. More on that here: http://playthroughline.com/scripts/deus-ex-human-revolution/