Hands On: DXHR: The Missing Link

By Jim Rossignol on October 14th, 2011 at 4:25 pm.

What a shame.
Deus Ex: Human Revolutions’s first piece of expansion DLC turns up on the 18th, for the price of $14.99 USD, €10.99, or £8.99. I’ve been having a bit of a play, and I’ll be able to tell you a bit more – while attempting to dodge spoilers (there are few quite stealthy ones, but nothing fatal) – below.

The Missing Link is a conveniently pre-packaged idea for an expansion. Not tacked on the end, or a prequel, or even, really, some kind of irrelevant side-quest. Although it’s basically a standalone adventure, this afternoon’s worth of DLC takes place inside the timeline of the game we have already played. Basically – and this is a spoiler if you’ve not played the original – after you get locked inside the ship to find your way to the Belltower secret base, you are “off grid” for three days. You are not, as you might have assumed from playing the game, just in stasis for that time. Instead something happens: The Missing Link.


Yes, Jensen probably thought he was being very clever hiding in that cryotube thing, but it doesn’t work out, and you soon find yourself loose about the ship, along with plenty of hostiles. It’s back to crawling about in tunnels and snooping down corridors, but for the first part of the DLC, at least, this takes place aboard a ship – with some impressive on-deck sequences where you look out at stormy seas, and even a decent ambience of ship movement below deck as the great thing sways and groans in rough seas. When below deck, things are a little less interesting: identikit corridors and ladders, many corridors inexplicably blocked off with crates, with one route looking much the same as the next.

The first bit of the DLC I found a nightmarish challenge. Partly this is because you’ve been stripped of your kit and had your augs fried by the baddies, but it’s also partly because it’s tuned to the difficulty of someone who has been playing Deus Ex. I was a bit out of step with it, and bounced off the first few clusters of baddies quite awkwardly. Once I hit my stride, however, it was business as usual, and the elbow swords quickly got blood out of some stony-faced security guards.


And yes, I really do mean business as usual. The Missing Link doesn’t really add anything to the palette, although it does incrementally challenge the visual palette a bit by simply not being quite so gold. It’s a bit more grey, instead. Nevertheless there’s tonnes of content, from the conversations being had by guards to the heaps of incidental info in emails, ebooks and other items scattered around the maps. If there’s a disappointment with any of this it’s that some of the dialogue is a bit weak, and the voice acting that delivers it weaker still. Not consistently, but some of it made me go “hmm” when I heard it the first time, and then “erk” later on when I heard it again.

Things get more interesting when you get off the ship and dock at a base that – you have already been told – is a nasty place to be. (There’s actually a neat piece of tension involved with docking, as the ship’s public announcement system slowly narrates the docking, leading up to the climax of arriving at base full of enemies.) There are, however, some allies, and although disconnected from Pritchard and chums, Jensen does get some outside help.


I am not sure I want to say much more, because I’ll just end up walking all over this fragment of game. So two three observations to close: there’s an attempt to address the boss battle issue toward the end of this, with the player able to use a number of routes to overcome the challenge. It’s not perfect, but it is better. Secondly, it seems to react to violence much better than the main game. My slaughter of the ships denizens led to jabbering fear from NPCs in the base, which was refreshing. Lastly, I think you’ll get through this in about four hours, and it’s certainly not a vital addition to the tale of Adam Jensen. I couldn’t help enjoying it, of course, because it’s more DXHR.

So, as in Deus Ex, so in life, choose where to spend the points you earned…

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62 Comments »

  1. StingingVelvet says:

    Buying this no matter what as I am a rabid fan, but I think it’s $5 too much.

    • Ringwraith says:

      That’s what Steam sales are for!
      Steam is good for that unlike most DLC providers, especially PSN or Xbox Live, as they don’t really do sales much, or to anything like the discounts Steam does.

    • Ruffian says:

      me too and agreed.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      15 dollars is way too much for DLC.

    • tetracycloide says:

      It’s $15 to much but I liked the game to much and have to much disposable income to care. Normally I’d wait for a steam sale on the DLC pack but I can’t stop playing this game (200+ hours and counting).

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Basically they intentionally designed the game so that it would have a missing part that they can now sell you.

      Any $$$ is too much. I’m amazed people just no longer care. They literally had to think about this beforehand in order to allow this DLC to “slot-in” to the whole plotline etc, so this was 100% intentional.

      And nobody gives a damn anymore. Let the milk run milk on, I guess.

  2. Zyrocz says:

    Still think this one is a bit overpriced, but then again there aren’t really that many DLCs with price that matchs the content.

    • MrNice says:

      That’s actualy why they invented DLC so they could overprice content.

  3. Stevostin says:

    15$ for four hours. I had a dream of a land where DLC were less expensive per hour than the installation game, not more. Because after all, they’re also cheaper to produce per hour of gameplay.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    simply not being quite so gold

    Perhaps they saw one of those Cash-for-Gold ads

  5. airtekh says:

    I would probably enjoy it, but like others I think the price is a bit steep for the amount of gameplay on offer.

    I’ll wait for a discount.

  6. Desvergeh says:

    I have to admit I am a bit confused with how this supposed “missing link” fits into the plot of Deus Ex HR.

    **Spoilers**

    So Jensen gets into the pod, gets captured, breaks out, then goes onto infiltrate the base where Sarif’s scientists have been taken. Ok, but when he gets to the base he gets out of a pod, and the base appears to have no idea that there is a potential infiltrator. Seems a bit weird if the belltower troops had found him, detained him, and then Jensen had escaped from their captivity. Surely the first thing they would do is inform their superiors?

    The original plot made much more sense to me. Gets in the pod, gets out again at the destination. Sure, bit convenient, but certainly not the furthest stretch ever in a games story.

    I also remember a pretty big plot-hole later on in the game.

    So when Jensen uses the rocket to get to the ice-base (can’t remember the name of it) at the end of the game, I remember in the cut-scene that the guidance goes wrong or something. Rocket, with Jensen inside, then crashes into the sea. Next thing we get back control with Jensen safely at the ice-base. No comment is even made about his miraculous escape from a watery grave.

    This would have seemed a better place to put the DLC. He gets rescued by a belltower ship, to be taken to the ice-base to be “dealt with.”

    Or did I miss something?

    • Drheadcrab says:

      That parts for the 7th dlc.

    • tetracycloide says:

      I knew I couldn’t have been the only to notice the Deus Ex Machina Rocket of False Tension. I think they assumed the 5 min loading screen between the video and the start of the level proper would distract you and then forgot to fix it when they patched the loading times.

    • Xerian says:

      The place where the scientists are held is -not- the belltower headquarters, its mister-whats-his-names private facility. What I myself would prefer alot more over this DLC however, would be something touching “Adam”s past. Or atleast something that gives us another hub… Upper whats-its-name, anyone?

  7. Jnx says:

    So they’d have me pay 10 euros to continue an already finished story from the middle? Thanks but Jensen is in a happyland or something and can stay there.

    • Jeremy says:

      I agree.. I don’t have ever have much reason to purchase DLC that takes place in the middle of a game I’ve already finished. Personal preference of course, but I would much prefer something happening after the events in DXHR. There are a lot of unfinished story lines.

    • John P says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this mission was originally going to be in the main game but they started running out of time and it was going to be cut. But then some bright spark said, Hey, we can charge people 15 more dollars for this! And then he was promoted.

      Seems pretty obvious there was always DLC planned for this point anyway. If they can give Jensen a magic rocketman getup to fly to the Arctic in 6 seconds flat, the only reason to make him go to sleep on a long boat ride is to have something happen during the trip.

  8. kikito says:

    My take on dlcs is : wait until they release the “all dlcs in one big pack” pack … and it goes on sale.

  9. CaspianRoach says:

    There’s some good full length games for this asking price.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      No shit. I haven’t even bought “Bastion” yet, just because I think 15 dollars is too much for an indie game. I’m waiting for a sale.

      Yes, I admit I’m cheap. :-)

    • Tacroy says:

      Bastion is totally worth $25 for both the game itself and the soundtrack.

      Believe me, if you just get the game, you’re gonna want the soundtrack eventually.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I don’t doubt that it’s worth 15 dollars, I’ve heard good stuff. The only problem is that I have such a huge backlog of games to play, that it’s not worth 15 dollars to me at this time, as even if I bought it now I probably wouldn’t find time to play it until next March. If a game is on a super sale, or something, I pick it up and add it to the backlog, but it’s rare that I’ll spend full price–just because I really don’t need to. I have too many games to play as it is.

      The only games that I buy full price are the ones that I absolutely can’t wait to play–and this year that was only “Deus Ex” and “The WItcher 2.”

  10. Premium User Badge

    tikey says:

    I’m curious as how is it integrated into the game. I know it can be accessed from the main menu but, does it also happen if I get to that part of the game?

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      I too would dearly love to know the answer to this question.

  11. ResonanceCascade says:

    Well that’s a bit overpriced. Too bad I’m an idiot who’s going to buy it anyway. Damn.

  12. Sami H says:

    lol I thought this was free. Seeing as I paid £17 for the main game at launch which was 60h on the first playthrough, £9 for 4h is abysmal. Even if I had paid normal retail (£25-£30) it is still terrible value for money.

    I love DX:HR, but not this much.

    • leeder krenon says:

      if it took you 60 hours to play the main game, then i think it’ll take you more than the stated 4. as far as i am aware, 60 hours is way above average for completing the main game.

    • Sami H says:

      took me 60 as I explored everything, spoke to everyone, stole as much as possible, etc. And this was while grabbing the pacifist and the no-turret achievements. If this DLC can offer as much freedom then I may consider it when it drops in price. From the quick preview, it seems to be very focused on one thing (as expected), thus have less “other” things to explore.

  13. povu says:

    The biggest problem I have with it is that it’s not properly integrated into the main game. It’s supposed to take place at that specific gap in the story, and yet we are forced to play it on its own from the main menu.

    Kinda breaks the flow of the story, I really don’t get why they’ve chosen to do it like that.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It may have something to do with the way you start back with zero augs, and then can choose any build you want. There’s that whole “Build up a Brand New Adam” thing in the DLC marketing. It sounds like sort of a sandbox for experimenting with a different approach than you’re using in the main storyline.

      It does break immersion though. It’s like a shift into an alternate timeline or something, if you can’t carry the new enhancement spec back into the main story.

  14. Deano2099 says:

    Whoever said DLC was meant to be good value compared to the base game? It never is, and I don’t think anyone has ever claimed it is. It’s a premium product for people who want a little more of a game they really like.

    Yes, you can get three full indie games for that price, or three new games in a Steam sale. So go buy them instead then. But they’re not Deus Ex. If you want more Human Revolution, you have to pay the premium. If you don’t then that’s okay also.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I just miss proper expansion packs.

    • Zyrocz says:

      *sigh* DLC’s are what they are. Either small expansion packs for the game or content that was cut out so they could sell it to you after the release. They’re not meant to be “premium content” for the game’s fans, they’re meant to be more content for the original game. Therefore they should be compared to the original game’s content. Take Minerva’s Den as an example. This DLC contains enought content to justify the price, same goes for some of the Borderlands DLCs and GTA4 DLCs/Expansions. Capcom, SE, EA, Activision and Ubisoft however knows how to make money selling DLCs, not how to make good DLCs.

    • Avish says:

      “If you want more Human Revolution, you have to pay the premium.”

      Or just wait a few weeks for Steam’s Christmas sale and get it for half the price…

    • Deano2099 says:

      @Zyrocz

      GTA 4 and Borderlands DLC had nowhere near as much content relative to price as the main game. They were bigger, but so was the main game.

      I also miss expansion packs though. Alas I think between DLC and yearly franchise iterations they’re basically done.

    • GiantRaven says:

      ‘Whoever said DLC was meant to be good value compared to the base game?’

      Old World Blues. That is all.

  15. Bungle says:

    I quit playing when they put advertisements into the game I had already bought. I haven’t even finished the campaign yet. They’re insane if they think I’ll pay for DLC. Another good game soured by greedy business practices.

  16. Symbul says:

    I can’t get behind primo-price DLC for a game that was short on non-reused content. Just does not jive with me.

  17. Kleppy says:

    $15 seriously?

    Also, I didn’t feel the original campaign was missing any links, so to speak. It makes more sense that Adam just gets in the pod for a couple of days and then gets out at Panchea. This is a way too obvious money grab for my taste.

    edit: I mean Singapore

  18. Iskariot says:

    This is the worst kind of DLC.
    It tries to sell ripped content, that obviously belongs in the game’s main story as it is, months after we played through the game. To me this represents everything that is wrong with DLC. This is how DLC should NOT be made. A game’s storyline should not be ripped apart and sold piece by piece.
    This is a disgrace. It is offensive to me as a gamer and it is offensive to the art of game creation.
    I sincerely regret buying Deus EX HR on day one. If I had realized that Eidos was a disrespectful money grabber like Bethesda and Bioware, I would have waited for the complete GOTY edition and would have bought that for a tenner.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      If this were a sensible price, like half or less than what it currently is, I’d actually be glad that this is not part of the main game. The main game flowed just fine, really, it didn’t feel like this part was missing.

      It sounds like one of those levels that was inevitable in early FPS design where you are captured and have all your stuff nicked and have to escape and find it again, always a tedious section of any game. If cheap, I’d play it, because more DXHR, and also because I’m still waiting for a variation on this theme that’s not annoying.

      However, if DLC is so offensive, I’d seriously consider just not buying anything on release short of MP titles you must have for social reasons. Lack of patience is the underlying enemy in gaming. I am dying for a GOTY version of New Vegas to hit sales; I’m willing to wait for a game to become good value.

  19. Silphatos says:

    I never asked for this.

  20. John P says:

    It’s a shame this preview doesn’t discuss the level design a bit more. Is it more open than the original, or does it still funnel players through small space after small space, with a vent or two thrown in for the appearance of nonlinearity? Judging from the comment about crates blocking passageways, I’m guessing the latter.

    I don’t recall any crates blocking my path in Deus Ex 1′s superfreighter map.

    I can’t understand how a team making a Deus Ex game can turn a ship into a linear map. It’s a self contained area. Give us free run of the place. Let us go where we want. Give us a sandbox map. That’s what a Deus Ex game should do.

    Oh.

    Right.

    The story comes first for Eidos. I forgot.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @John P
      I don’t recall any crates blocking my path in Deus Ex 1′s superfreighter map.

      I think, your example just proves that Microfibral Muscle aug was useless in Deus Ex 1. And It was a bad design decision.

    • John P says:

      Uh no. This Deus Ex revisionism reaches absurd levels sometimes.

    • KenTWOu says:

      It doesn’t. They very well balanced it, especially when you figure out that you can move blocking crates even without ‘Move/Throw Heavy Objects’ augmentation. You know, the game has P.E.P.S. gun!

      While in Deus Ex 1 ‘Microfibral Muscle’ aug was pretty much useless, cause we have overpowered ‘Speed Enhancement’ aug, which increases both speed and jumping. Also falling damage was substantially reduced.

  21. qrter says:

    I’m susprised. I thought the DLC would be more about Jensen’s.. origins, so to say. That to me felt like the ‘missing link’ in the story, it’s only touched upon.

    (Although that might be part of another overpriced bit of DLC in the future.)

  22. Frank says:

    “Hands on”? Really? What happened to RPS’s endless supply of puns?

  23. Shooop says:

    $15 for only four hours worth of game time? There’s full-length games being sold for this much.

    Who the hell are they trying to fool?

  24. matrices says:

    Makes you realize how much of a bargain Bioware DLC can be. I loved this game but I’m not touching any DLC that doesn’t expand on the post-game story (i.e. Megan) for $15.

    • malkav11 says:

      Not really. It’s maybe a little worse price-to-content ratio than the Bioware DLC I’ve seen, but not much. They charge through the nose for little drips of content.. Hell, even Awakening, which may be the last true expansion we see for years to come, retailed for nearly as much as Dragon Age itself and contained perhaps a quarter of the content.

  25. Avenger says:

    I just realized this DLC starts just where I left off in terms of continuity. I must ask, I have just met *minor spoilers* Tong for the second time (he was getting a new implant that Jensen was tracking). And he pointed me towards a belltower base in which I’m supposed to find a ship and hop on it.

    Is this where this DLC starts? Do you think I should wait for a sale and get the DLC before continuing with the original game.

    I remember “missing links” in Assassins Creed 2 were pretty jarring. What’s the point in releasing a half-finished game?

  26. OcieRidg1564 says:

    giay nu
    We are very excited for Deus Ex: Human Revolution fans to be able to complete Adam’s journey in the game with The Missing Link DLC,” said David Anfossi, producer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution at Eidos-Montreal. “Gamers will be able to experience a vulnerable side of Adam like never before, which gives the overall game a whole new dimension. The Missing Link propels players into compelling gameplay, beginning with Adam being stripped of his use of augmentations, new, visually stunning environments and the continuation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s conspiracy rich story.”