Cover Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Dear Reader,

I don’t know why, but one of my favorite past-times is looking at cover art, and reviewing it. There’s a real and delicate art involved in reflecting the true soul of a title with pictures. Nothing is more satisfying than a good game with a cover that nails the feel of the experience (“Borderlands”), nor is there anything more distressing than a good game with a bizarre cover that completely misses the point (Mass Effect 2″).

So with the “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” cover art revealed, let’s take a look at how they did (after the jump, of course):

I like this one. The yellow/black color scheme is, I think, a tad overdone in this game in general, but at least they know the look they’re going for. The action of the image tells you a lot: we have Adam Jensen, striding towards us, shattering what was presumably a glass wall that stood erect a moment before. Is he shattering the world around him? Changing things by his very presence? Certainly, whatever wall he destroyed, it doesn’t look like he exerted himself doing it, which informs us his very presence is destructive.

He has a gun in his hand, but quite tellingly, it isn’t aimed upwards, so we know that traditional combat will not be the dominant focus of the title. The vague yellow light behind him is centered around his head, which gives us the impression that Jensen’s mind is a source of power. Obviously the setting is futuristic, but from the recognizable tenor of Adam’s clothing, we can infer a grounded future.

And of course, the oldest trick in the book, we can’t see his eyes. Characters whose eyes are hidden from us are mysterious, cryptic, we’re not sure what they want or what we think of them. While Jensen certainly doesn’t appear evil here, he lacks the Messianic blush that, say, Shepard would have in “Mass Effect” (the first one, which is one of my favorite covers ever, ignore the covers for 2 and 3). He’s our protagonist, to be sure, but nothing here says “noble.” This is a protagonist more than a hero.

I suppose I could criticize this cover for being a little safe, but I think it hits the major points it needs to: futuristic setting, cool and maybe dangerous protagonist with mind-powers, about to shake up the status quo. This cover works well and gives me a strong sense of the experience I might have.

Score: 8 (out of 10)


well, then lose some weight