Video Game Reviews

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Eidos Montreal/ Square Enix
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also on: Xbox 360, Windows
Street: 08.23
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is set in a cyberpunk world where cybernetic technologies are just emerging and are a major hinge in the story. You play as Adam Jensen, who is nearly killed in a terrorist attack, but is brought back to life with cybernetic implants. The combat, quests and missions are all fairly open ended, which is what sets the game apart. You could go into a building and decide to kill everyone, or you could sneak in without drawing your weapon. While there isn’t necessarily a correct way to play, it did seem like there were certain situations where stealth was definitely preferable. However, I tended to turn every situation into a shotgun massacre. While the open-ended nature of the game is good, I felt a little lost in its vastness and was especially puzzled at the beginning by the computer’s A.I. In an early mission, I was sent to investigate a body in the police station’s morgue and decided to get into the police station using the proper channels, having accurately deduced that the game would suck if I made enemies with the police. I made my way down to the morgue and examined the body and everything was awesome, but then I accidentally grabbed the body off of the examination table, setting the entire police force to kill. At that point, the game quick-saved and it took me over an hour to get out of the police station alive—which also happened to waste an hour of my real life. Besides a few of these tiny setbacks, the game was really good. If I were a dummy, I might even be tempted to say, “Viva la human revolución!” But I’m not. –Jason Young

Shadows of the Damned
Grasshopper Manufacture / EA
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also on: Xbox 360
Street: 06.21
Some gamers will pick up Shadows of the Damned expecting a game that reminds them of other Gochi “Suda51” Suda titles such as Killer 7 or No More Heroes. Considering EA’s aggressive promotion of the veritable development supergroup behind its production, such expectations are not unwarranted. Names like Shinji Mikami (creator of the Resident Evil series) and Akira Yamaoka (sound designer for the Silent Hill series) still hold considerable weight in the gaming community, and much of the early interest in the game was drummed up around their involvement. These expectations may betray some die-hard fans of Grasshopper Manufacture’s catalog, as SotD trades Suda51’s trademark absurdity for a few cheap laughs and some surprisingly fun gameplay. The crass humor and comic tone tend to complement SotD’s punk rock aesthetic, and while not every joke hits its mark, this game’s occasional miss is far more charming than irritating. Environments are full of detail, and even the high contrast of grainy, washed-out color against the off-black blues recall the look of old, low quality film. Sadly, many of the game’s bosses are exercises in frustration, and all of them last a little longer than they should. All considered, this is a game well worth playing through to the end, and will certainly appeal to anyone who enjoys games like Resident Evil 4 or vintage ’70s horror.
–Henry Glasheen