Deus Ex Human Revolution is jolly good fun, and so well designed that it’s pretty intuitive to play. Having said that there are a few things that you may want to consider to make your play-through all the more enjoyable. Here are those things! They’re detailed below and fully spoiler free. Enjoy!

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Fully prepared? You will be once you read this!

As ever, we are not going to tell you what choices to make, that would suck. We’re just going to highlight a few key points of note and subtle gameplay issues to consider. Along the way we include relevant augmentations you may want to consider, although there are many we don’t mention (but then again there’s probably a reason we’ve left them out of this guide!). Obviously your play style may warrant you focusing on different augmentations, and that’s one of the great things about this game, but we humbly suggest you seriously consider the ones we mention, we really do think you’ll benefit from them, a lot!

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A little thought always goes a long way in Deus Ex…

General: Deus Ex Human Revolution provides considerable reward to thorough players. It is very much in your best interest to explore everywhere, hack everything and also, in this case, stealth the game. Stealth rewards you not only with additional experience points for each opponents “takedown”, but with significant bonuses for going totally undetected by foes, turrets and cameras through the entirety of any particular area. These bonuses can really add up to give more praxis kits, sooner and more frequently than a “run and gun” approach would. And as we all know “praxis means prizes” or, well, augmentation upgrades in this case. Considering this additional bounty, a great idea is to keep 2 or 3 praxis points in reserve if you can, these then allow you to flexibly upgrade Adam should you find you need an augmentation to make your life easier at any particular point in the game.

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Careful management of your augmentations is important…

Energy: Deus Ex Human Revolution, as it stands, is brutal on your energy. You must expect to play with a single energy unit for the vast majority of the game. Why? Because, whilst you can upgrade your energy “store” by multiple units, you only automatically recharge one of your depleted units. That is to say only your “first” unit will recharge itself. To have a second, third or fourth unit available you must consume an energy supplement of some sort. This gets “expensive” quickly as energy supplements are in limited supply. So it is best to play the game as if you only have one energy unit available and use supplements for emergencies only. The main uses of more than one energy unit are; when you need to “cloak” over a medium or long distance or when you need multiple activations of your Typhoon in short order.

We advise you always have 2 “stacks” of single energy supplements, the multiple energy supplement pickups are simply too bulky to carry around, and do not offer the flexibility of “unit by unit” usage. Due to this rather strange mechanic, having more than 2 energy units is actually a waste of your praxis points, if you have two you can simply consume an energy bar once the second energy unit has depleted and whilst having a third unit available can make this “juggle” easier it is certainly not required. For all these reasons the “Base Recharge” augments are strongly advised, if you’re only going to have one cell then make sure it’s recharging as quickly as possible!

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Low on energy? Low on options. Now where's that energy bar?

Bosses: Having a “power weapon” available and upgraded to take on bosses is a very good idea. “Power weapons” are always available just before any boss, in the worst case, but these are not upgraded versions, and that can make a big difference. Remember, you can’t “stealth” bosses, you must defeat them in direct, face-to-face, combat. To this end a Revolver upgraded with “Explosive Rounds” is a devastating backup as both the weapon itself and its ammunition take up little room in your inventory, and it packs a serious punch.

However, the best choice overall is definitely an upgraded Laser Rifle, as its beam fire and high damage, combined with the fact its ammo takes up very little inventory space, provide you with a fantastic “boss killer”. Rocket Launchers are available early on, but their ammo just takes up too much space to carry long term (not to mention splash damage), use and dispose of these as needed. Also, remember to use your environment wisely. Throwing explosive barrels, shooting electrical points in water filled rooms, dodging behind glass walls and using cover to take out defenses are all useful techniques against bosses, and are to be used in that order!

You can also make boss fights fairly trivial if you can afford to take the “Typhoon” augmentation and its upgrade. This single augmentation is definitely the most overpowered in the game. Not only will it clear a room for you if needed, but it will also shred bosses when upgraded. Whilst this will cost you 3 Praxis to use fully, it means you no longer need to worry about specific power weapons as most bosses can simply be “3 shotted” with the Typhoon. Again, as with most elegant solutions, it’s ammo is also very compact in your inventory. Just make sure you accumulate 10 units of ammo for it and top-up as you use them. The Typhoon is definitely Deus Ex Human Revolution’s “Get out of jail free card”.

Finally the “Damage Reduction” augmentations all further simplify both boss and other encounters allowing you that extra room to maneuver and preventing any single error from causing your demise, the “EMP Shielding” in particular putting you at great advantage against more than one of the bosses. Would you like extra armour? Erm, yes please!

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OK, I detect dialog may have broken down… stun gun anyone?

Hacking: Hacking isn’t just an excellent diversion from the core game, but can also provide huge experience and credit bonuses. The best approach to hacking is the “root attack” (wherein you directly attack the red “diagnostic subroutine” of each circuit) as it returns to you all the circuit’s goodies should you succeed. If the “root attack” option is unavailable (because the root is protected by a “one way path”) then one should always acquire the “critical path” first (The critical path is the shortest path from your entry into the system to a node directly before your exit point or points), then, should the system detect you as you try and grab the bonus data nodes, and counter-attack, you can quickly jump out of the system.

Never defend a node before the system detects you. Defending a node always carries a much higher chance of detection over capturing a new one, and realistically delivers only a minimal improvement in strength, only defend nodes once detected. So, only go for XP and Credit data stores once you know you have your exit covered, via the critical path. It is also worth noting that it is really not worth getting Hacking Intelligence augmentations as you want to take everything from every hack.

Finally, you should always hack a system, even if you have it’s access code. Using the code will mean you may miss out on considerable amount of extra experience points and credits. In light of the previous points, a high “Capture” skill is something to go for as soon as possible in our book, otherwise you are surrendering the chance to grab all those goodies!

Beyond just the Capture levels the “Domination” skills can turn you worst nightmare into a walkover. Turning cameras / turrets off / against your enemy and shutting down robots can make some of the harder areas a breeze. There is also much fun to be had in hacking a turret to turn it against your enemy and then picking it up, using the “Strength” upgrade, to use it as a portable chain gun! Finally the “Hacking: Stealth” augmentation(s) make the whole hacking thing fun as opposed to impossible, especially later in the game.

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If only it was always this easy… but at least it's always rewarding…

Grenades and Mines: Gas grenades are superb against multiple foes and EMP grenades are necessary to efficiently defeat robots as they can’t be “taken down”, so, you should always have at least 2 of each in your inventory. Mines are fun but are certainly not necessary, we suggest you simply use grenades directly. It’s also worth noting that a well placed EMP grenade can disable augmented bosses for a few seconds, a very, very handy additional benefit to carrying them. The “Punch Through Wall” augmentation is admittedly cool, but you can achieve exactly the same result with mines / grenades; all weak walls and most doors can simply be destroyed with grenades or even enough standard weapon fire, if you REALLY don’t want to hack them that is!

Takedowns: Takedowns are not only great fun to setup, perform and witness, but are also always totally silent, this means you can clear a whole room, one by one, without raising any sort of suspicion, as long as no one sees you do it. It is worth remembering that opponents do not have a very wide field of view at all and so you can sometimes take opponents down in what seems like it should be full view, and yet still go unnoticed. If in doubt, save your game and give it a go.

The developers obviously understand the power of takedowns so they often have opponents standing in pairs. In this case the best solution is the awesome “Reflex Booster” augmentation enabling “double takedown”, which comes highly recommended, but other options include; “dart and down” where you dart one of the pair and then takedown the other as they try and revive their colleague, gas grenades, stun-gun, or “bait and down” where you “lure” one of the opponents round a corner and take them down out of sight. It is often possible to bait just one of a pair of opponents, by quickly slipping in and out of their field of view and then retreating round a corner.

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That would be a double takedown… nighty night chaps!

Side Quests: Always do ALL side quests as soon as possible. You never quite know when you may be moved to the next “chapter” of the game , at which point all extant side quests are cancelled. This can really come back to bite you later in the game.

Exploration: Exploration is essential for providing additional experience and credits, and is often the fastest way to acquire the best weapons and ammo. Two of the best augmentations to help you maximise these benefits are “Jump” and “Move / Throw Heavy Objects” as these are very helpful in giving you access to concealed areas. A further point worth noting is that you should make sure that you open EVERY draw, of every desk and check every book shelf as credit cards, ammo and praxis kits are often hidden in a variety of locations, from the mundane to the downright sneaky!

The “Icarus Landing System” augmentation is worth a mention at this point as it not only provides further flexibility and access to otherwise impossible to reach areas, but also looks cool and offers a takedown option upon landing, which rivals the double takedown for “wow” factor, there’s just no sense of freedom like leaping from the top of a 4 story building and “Icarusing” down to street level. Finally the “Implanted Rebreather” should be considered, as despite it’s limited application, it adds to your overall exploratory options in addition to further hardening Adam against one possible type of attack.

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I'm not hiding! I'm "exploring"… although I think I may have been spotted?

Stealth: The “Cloaking System” augmentation(s) are very useful in a number of tight situations, and give you the ability to “skip” fairly large / complex sections of the game. It’s also a great way to enable the double takedown safely, as long as you don’t run out of energy! “Smart Vision” and “Stealth Assists” seem like they would be incredible, and they are a lot of fun, but not at all necessary, leave these until you have praxis to spare. Cloaking however allows you to conserve ammo and save time figuring out patrol patterns, and even to bypass some of the toughest scenarios you might otherwise face.

Interaction: The “Social Enhancer” augmentation can be very useful for controlling major NPC interactions, but not totally necessary. It does however assist in acquiring the “Silver Tongue” bonus which rewards you with a considerable amount of extra experience points, and it actually provides for outcomes not available through other dialog options. Definitely one to consider for the more thoughtful player.

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OK, definitely glad I'm playing on console, your PC looks just slightly better than mine…

Weapons: Concentrate weapon upgrades on single weapons, one significantly upgraded weapon is worth 3 vanilla ones. Having said that the “Carrying Capacity” augmentations can really take the pressure off in this regard, opening up the ability to carry far more and thus have more weapon / equipment options at any one point.

NOTE: Remember that if trying for the “Pacifist” and /or “Foxiest of Hounds” achievements, these start from the very instant you enter the game. Including the whole introduction / tutorial. This has caught many, many players out!

So, I hope you feel informed and ready for action, or, alternatively, excited about some things you can try in your next run-through. Anyway, there must be something I haven’t hacked yet, or a draw I haven’t yet checked… I’m off back to F.E.M.A. to have another look around…

– Richard “Rax” Burley