Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link Review
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
North American Release Date: 10/18/2011
European Release Date: 10/19/2011
Trophies: Yes, 2 | 8
The Missing Link is the first DLC chapter in the transhumanist epic Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It takes place during the missing portion of Human Revolution's timeline: The period of time between Adam Jensen leaving Hengsha and arriving in Singapore. It follows the events of Jensen as he is interrogated and tries to escape a Belltower secret ops facility, where a nefarious plan involving capture civilians is underfoot. Adam finds himself caught between rescuing hundreds of civilians, exposing the truth, and finding out where Megan Reed is...
The Missing Link doesn’t add anything gameplay wise and, much like the Technical area; this is both a good and a bad thing. Since The Missing Link is just slightly longer than a level, you don’t feel like there is any time lost picking up the game. Everything is familiar and you will quickly be able to navigate the area, sneaking around and taking down guards. Shooting and combat mechanics work the same as well, very visceral and realistic as you are easily able to dominate your opponent in one-on-one combat.
The boat adds some new fun
At the same time the Missing Link doesn’t present any new or interesting gameplay ideas, something that would almost be expected considering you are exploring a black ops facility. There aren’t any additional augmentations or upgrades available to you and only two new weapons are introduced, both of which are modified versions of existing weapons.
The one thing that should be noted and is a marked improvement is the fact that the Missing Link does away with the one bad choice from Human Revolution: the manner in which boss fights were handled. It is actually possible to stealth through the entire game and perform takedowns on everybody non-lethally. While I did not find this particularly detestable because it fit in the story in Human Revolution, it is a clear improvement to present a boss fight that allows you to sneak through it and take down the boss.
Missing Link picks up shortly after Adam Jensen was caught in the shipping container after leaving Hengsha. Belltower is beating you to a pulp and trying to figure out who you are, clearly with your augments you are more than a stowaway. As a precaution they ‘reset your augments’ to ‘factory zero.’ From there you mysteriously are ejected from your cage and contacted by a mysterious force, what follows is trying to piece together where Megan Reed is while trying to get out of the Belltower facility.
This campaign is what DLC should be; the story is clearly independent but supplementary. In other words this doesn’t feel like a story that should have been in Human Revolution for the completeness of that story, it clearly feels like this bridged a gap and was a story independent of the main campaign. At the same time it feels like it fits in the over-arching narrative, it doesn’t feel like a tacked on affair. I was not a huge fan of the augment reset. I understand why they did it, and it was explained in the context of the story, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. I would have much rather had it import your augments from a save or even given you a fixed number of Praxis points at the start.
The game opens with Jensen's interrogation
From that point the game becomes a self-contained conspiracy tale relating to the events of Human Revolution, Jensen quickly finds out that Megan was indeed at the facility, but has left and that something sinister is going on at the facility relating to Nano-Augmentation. Its an interesting 4-5 hour tale that actually ties itself up very nicely and has a lot to do with bridging the gap between Human Revolution and the original Deus Ex.
As far as the actual content of the level itself goes, its a good switch from the Human Revolution levels. You get the same great path possibilities you had previously that assist in all the various gameplay styles.
The Missing Link continues with the same visual style that Human Revolution has. Everything is clearly identifiable, but has been given a futuristic twist. The unique environment here is a Belltower black ops facility out in the middle of the ocean. It presents some unique twists because the entire environment is much more cramped, but its also designed well because there are multiple paths everywhere and it facilitates both your stealth and combat aspects.
That being said, there isn’t any sense of expansion here. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, DLC should feel like it is very connected to the core game, but at the same time there should be some sense of uniqueness. This DLC doesn’t really have that, the characters are unique but the environment is not. This feels like any other Human Revolution level in both a good and bad way. There aren’t any new enemies or weapons to be seen here, and the visual changes aren't very distinctive. Its very similar in style to HR, just set on a boat.
I will commend Eidos in one regard though, this level doesn't feel like a level that could have been made in a level editor. There is alot of new texture work done here and quite a few new objects.
Missing Link is a 5-10 hour 100%. There are no difficulty-related trophies, and for the most part all the trophies are related to sensible and easily accomplished objectives. There are only 3 "difficult" trophies, the first is beating the entire Missing Link DLC without weapons or augments. The second is to takedown the last boss without being spotted, and the third is to accomplish a "happy median" result of one of the challenges without the choice being presented to you.
The Missing Link is worth playing. It bridges a critical gap in the Human Revolution canon and does a great job of developing Jensen's character. Unlike many DLCs nowadays this feels like DLC, the story content is clearly ancillary to the main tale. That being said I am not sure its length and depth warrant the price-tag. The DLC is little more than an additional level in terms of length and only features 4 missions.
- Expands on Human Revolution in one key aspect: You really can be all stealth or all run-and-gun.
- A short DLC, but has a lot of content to it in terms of story.
- Same great visual style that Human Revolution had, but its not expanded on at all.
Overall: 8/10 Great