Deus Ex: Human Revolution preview: Patient assault

Adam Jensen is a man with vengeance on his mind. The last time I met him in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I witnessed his transformation: a change fueled by violence and subsequently bestowing him with a wide range of augmentations and new, metallic body parts. And probably a pretty hefty medical bill. But he's finally found them; he's found the group responsible for doing this to him.

The complex they're meeting in is an unassuming building on the outskirts of Detroit, easily mistaken for one of the other derelict warehouses in the area that vagrants like to squat in -- if they're not discovered by the numerous armed patrolling guards, of course.

Being outnumbered, it's apparent that a stealthy approach is required for Jensen to succeed, and he's got some neat augmentations to help him during this particular gameplay segment (about 10 hours into the game). The cloak I so heavily relied on in the past is available, as well as sound-dampening tech for Jensen's footsteps, but there's also a pretty interesting skill I hadn't seen before. It allows Jensen to safely and silently float down from higher vantage points, preventing damage. The animation looks like it was ripped from the book How to Look Like Magneto.
%Gallery-122472% Jensen can employ cover -- now something players can set to toggle, based on some feedback Eidos Montreal received after the last set of previews. By sticking to walls, boxes and sneaking under some trucks, Jensen's infiltration of the building almost looks easy, until he reaches a door requiring keycard access.

Hacking is a major component of the game, and appears in the form of a mini-game where nodes must be captured before a sub-routine captures your user node. It's not as complicated as it sounds: you pick an icon, choose to hack it, then wait. Time to hack is based on a number corresponding to the difficulty of the node in question, and you're given a bonus should you capture the enemy user node. During this segment, Jensen earned a pair of viruses which can grant you instant success in hacking or slow down enemy users in the system.

Once inside the building, the goal is to get to an elevator; to get down into the bowels of the building. After sneaking past these last few guards and getting into the elevator, Jensen decides it's time to make his presence known. Brandishing an assault rifle with a new mod, the elevator doors open and ... there's a giant mech, one Jensen can't take down without some more powerful ordinance. He has to remain stealthy for just a little bit longer.

Surveying the room, Jensen spies a group of soldiers patrolling the perimeter around the mech, itself also in patrol mode. High above on a catwalk, there are two soldiers looking down at the room below -- the perfect place to initiate the attack. Sneaking upstairs is a snap, thanks to the camouflage augmentation, and once up top Jensen opens fire on the two and sets his sights on the enemies below.

Thankfully, the mech itself can't fit up a flight of stairs, nor can it seem to target Jensen for the time being. Using a new mod (one very similar to a Chimera weapon in the Resistance series, the Bullseye), Jensen makes quick work of the infantry below. When targeting via the scope, Jensen can use this mod to highlight enemies, marking them for bullets to home in on. He can then shoot away from the target and watch the bullet trajectory change in real time, homing in on their target. It's useful in a variety of situations: from behind cover; when dealing with mobile targets; and simply when Jensen's aim isn't the best.

Now it's just him and the mech and, luckily enough, a cache of explosive weapons, including an EMP grenade and rocket launcher. Using camouflage, Jensen sneaks over into the corner, raids the stockpile, and begins his assault on the mech. An EMP grenade immobilizes it while a follow-up rocket violently dismantles it. The mech is no more.

And neither is the demo, as this was the stopping point -- an explosive end to a gameplay section so steeped in stealth. But the great thing is that stealth isn't mandatory in that particular segment. It's up to you to play the game in the way they wish to play it -- even if that means not killing a single soul, which I was told is entirely possible in this prequel.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.