Let’s face it – a full-price port of a two year old game is not the most exciting of prospects, especially when its a game that the vast majority of gamers have already played… but luckily for Wii U owners, this isn’t just your bog standard port.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut is being touted as the definitive version of the game, introducing amended and extended boss fights, upgraded graphics, improved enemy AI, new weapons and like all good director’s cuts – a complete running director’s commentary.
As this is a Wii U port, the other main feature of The Director’s Cut is obviously the full gamepad integration. If you’ve played Deus Ex before you’ll be pleased to know that the core Deus Ex experience is still very much intact. Aside from some iffy button layout choices (pushing in the analogue stick to zoom just feels bizarre) the Wii U gamepad fits Human Revolution like an augmented glove.
As you would expect with a Wii U redux, the gamepad is integrated into pretty much every aspect of the game. As well as the obvious ability to switch out weapons, manage your inventory and browse your various augmentations on the touchscreen, the gamepad doubles up as a rather handy map. When sneaking around, a quick glance at the gamepad below reveals not only your location and objective marker, but also shows the real time location of enemies in your area.
This may not sound like a particularly mindblowing new addition, but having this secondary real time map in the palm of your hands adds a whole new layer of tactical opportunity. This surprisingly intuitive map is one of the best implementations of a map system I have seen on the Wii U to date, and lends itself perfectly to a stealthy or non-lethal approach to a mission. I quickly found myself relying on the gamepad to show me which way enemies were walking and facing and then using their locations to carefully plan and execute some seriously satisfying silent takedowns.
When you’re quietly stalking your prey and aiming for that perfect headshot, this is fine, but when you get yourself in hairier situations with armed mercenaries attacking you from all angles, the change of screens is more of an unnecessary annoyance than anything else. The hacking mini game from the original has also moved to the gamepad,which plays almost identically to the other versions of Human Revolution, except this time you have the option to use the touch screen as well as hacking each circuit the traditional way.
While the visual upgrade isn’t drastic, the Wii U build certainly looked a bit clearer than the ps360 versions, with the visuals having a slightly pastel-like quality to them. Unfortunately the Wii U version was plagued with ‘jaggies’ due to what looked like a complete lack of anti aliasing – it will be a great shame if they don’t fix this by the time of release, as the slight visual overhaul is a welcome one. When triggering Jenson’s augmented typhoon explosion there was also noticeable slow down in the preview build, but with no confirmed release date as of yet, there is plenty of time for Straight Right to rub on the polish and get the game running at a buttery smooth frame rate.
Sadly there were none of the new revamped boss battles in this preview build so only time will tell how they turn out, however the AI definitely felt more coordinated and aggressive than in the original versions of the game. Aside from a rather brutal explosive powered magnum, the rest of the weapons in my arsenal were the same found in the original release of Human Revolution.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut is undoubtedly shaping up to be the definitive version of the game. The gamepad functionality seems to be surprisingly well implemented and the refined visuals, revamped boss fights and AI look to be welcome improvements to an already great game. It remains to be seen, however, whether the overall package will be polished enough to justify re-buying arguably the same game again at full price.
Regardless, if you somehow still haven’t gotten round to playing Human Revolution yet, this looks like it will be the perfect way to do it. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut is due out on Wii U in the second half of 2013.