Too many games look like Call of Duty. They suffer from generic soundtracks, generic color palates, and uninspired environments. One game that bucks this trend is Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a unique game in its environments, colors, and sounds. The look and feel of this RPG separates it from the field, and makes the game a joy to play.
The environment of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an interesting juxtaposition of the clean buildings of Sarif Industries and other administrative buildings with the derelict streets of Detroit and other cities. This comparison effectively conveys the uneven wealth distribution in this near-future society. In addition, the world is perpetually dark, implying a dark time in humanity.
The unique environments in Human Revolution serve to emphasize the incredibly interesting color palate of the game, which relies on mostly on shades of black and gold, the same colors favored during the Italian Renaissance. This gives the game a really interesting look, and is a metaphor for the “renaissance” brought about by human augmentation, the main conflict of the game.
While the environments and colors in Human Revolution are very cool and unique, where the game really shines is in the soundtrack. Composer Michael McCann delivers one of my favorite video game soundtracks ever, with lots of electronic sounds like synths that are epic and somber at the same time. It sounds futuristic, but also attainable and not far off from contemporary genres, matching the near-future setting.
Overall, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a great game for many reasons, but one big one is the unique look, feel, and sound the game has that distinguishes it from a market of generic shooters and copycats.