Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a huge success for Square Enix when it came out back in 2011, revitalizing a classic game franchise while introducing some new ideas that gamers were clamoring for. It also left room for improvement, which we figured the publisher would wait to apply in the inevitable sequel. Fortunately, we're getting a Director's Cut tailor made specifically for the Wii U and it appears to be the defining experience that fans of the series have been asking for.
The plot line is generally the same as the original Human Revolution, with cybernetically enhanced hero Adam Jensen fighting against dangerous forces in order to uncover a globe spanning conspiracy. As you might expect, Director's Cut is loaded with extra goodies that expand the storyline and the universe, as well as gameplay features that take specific advantage of the Wii U's GamePad controller.
One huge change to the game is that combat has been improved for the better. You're now able to take down enemies more easily without needing to fiddle with finicky controls. The boss fights have also been overhauled, since they were a low point the first time around. Though we weren't able to experience one of these with the limited hands-on we had with the game, it sounds like the developers have listened to the fans and are addressing that particular issue with this release. Some of the visuals in Jensen's cybernetic world have been improved as well.
The big thing with this Director's Cut on the Wii U is how you use the GamePad. There are a number of ways it becomes involved in the action and we managed to try them all out.
The first way the experience improved is the hacking mini-games. Rather than looking at these sequences on the TV, you use your finger on the touch-screen to draw items and successfully open doors and whatever else you might be breaking into. This leaves your TV screen free for the in-game action and lets you see any threats that may be coming your way while you're accessing the panels. There are baddies everywhere, so it never hurts to keep an eye out.
Those of you who also complained about the small map layouts in the original game will breathe a sigh of relief with the Director's Cut, as you can now use the GamePad as your map screen. The map is useful and highly detailed and you can tap on icons and also see where the enemies' sight lines are, helping you stay out of their way or take them down quickly depending on your style of play.
The game also lets you perform secondary functions using the GamePad, whether it's quickly looting an enemy or entering the neural hub enhancement screen to level up your skills without pausing the action. You'll earn upgrades throughout the game and immediately be able apply them to Jensen using this menu.
The GamePad also offers some functionality with combat. In some cases, you'll actually be able to pick up a grenade that an enemy throws at you and flick it right back at them with swipe on the GamePad. Weapon selection is also much easier, thanks to the in-game menu being displayed on the second screen. If you prefer to free up the TV, you can also shift the view right to your GamePad with off-screen play.
Perhaps the quirkiest addition to the game that we experienced with our demo was the new AR Vision mode. This allows you to hold up the GamePad to your TV screen and analyze enemies, rather than tapping a button on the controller to do it. You can get health read-out, condition, armor strength…everything. You can also aim and shoot with the GamePad if you prefer that over using analog sticks. On top of that, AR screenshots can be used as part of a social aspect of Deus Ex. This allows you to take pictures and leave them with notes for your friends to find. We didn't get a chance to try this, but it sounds like it could be real handy for those struggling with particular sections of the game.
Though Deus Ex is almost two years old now, Square Enix has managed to improve upon it with this Director's Cut especially when it comes to boss battles. We'll see how it fares when it hits store shelves and the Wii U eShop on May 7th.