Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link arrives hot on the heels of the latest entry in the Deus Ex series, presenting a new mini-campaign with its own story and challenges. It's certainly not a minor update by any stretch, and purports to fill in some vital missing information in the Human Revolution storyline. But is this all worth AU $17.95 (or 1,200 Microsoft Points)?
The Missing Link takes place after our macho Human Revolution augmented protagonist Adam Jensen has departed Hengsha, stowing away on board a ship. After being discovered and tortured by evil-guy Burke and clearly-a-double-agent Keitner, Adam escapes due to the machinations of a mysterious third party. The ship soon docks with a rig owned by private military corporation Belltower, which hides its fair share of conspiracy-soaked secrets and Adam finds himself investigating the facility to get to the bottom of them.
The story is an interesting diversion from the main campaign and it has some nice allusions and explanations for some of the elements in Human Revolution's final act. There's not a great amount of motivation for moving forward, as you already know basically how things turn out. The DLC is accessed from the main menu, rather than slotting into its proper place in the campaign, and thus the chances you'll have already finished the game before starting The Missing Link are pretty high.
It's better in a way if you have finished Human Revolution before starting The Missing Link, as this DLC strips Adam of all his augs and brings you back to square one. You're given a small amount of praxis points to allocate as you see fit, providing you with the opportunity to try out different augmentations and a different play-style than you may have used. If you gunned your way through the campaign, why not allocate some points towards a cloak system and smart vision for a stealthy approach, or put all your points towards getting the maximum level hacking upgrades for the many locked doors in The Missing Link? There's the scope to use any method you choose, but make sure to stick to one, as it's rare that mixing and matching too much will be of any benefit.
At around five hours in length, The Missing Link is a fairly decent chunk of Deus Ex gameplay. There's a constantly updating main objective to head towards, as well as a few secondary objectives that are optional but can yield useful benefits. There is also a bit of a difficulty bump, as there are several cheap locations where laser-detection fields and mines have been laid that are sure to annoy you and require near-constant saving, but guards also seem to have a superhuman-level of alertness, managing to spot Adam when he can't possibly be in sight or within hearing range. We're not sure if this is intentional or not, as there is a bit of a lack of polish to this DLC when compared to the main game, and various bugs do also crop up from time to time.
The Missing Link shares the same visual quality as the main game, with some nice special effects in the stormy ocean raging outside. However, most of your time is spent in rather boring and plain corridors on both the ship and the rig, despite a couple of multi-level areas, and there isn't a lot of variety. Since you're in a smaller enclosed environment than Hengsha or Detroit, there's a fair amount of backtracking as well, which given the higher difficulty can get a little grating. In terms of voice acting, The Missing Link certainly has some interesting accents on display, the authenticity of which we'll let you judge, but it holds up to Human Revolution.
At almost AU $20, The Missing Link isn't the cheapest DLC expansion out there, and works out to be around a third of the price of the full game (depending on where you've bought it from, of course). For a five hour experience that has a few interesting plot elements, its own mini-universe to experiment in and a decent challenge, it's not necessarily bad value. If you're aching to know what Adam got up to before the climactic finale of Human Revolution and aren't looking for anything too unique or different, The Missing Link is worth a download. Others may want to wait for it to go on sale, as while the connecting tissue of The Missing Link is solid, it's not incredibly necessary.
Worth buying? Maybe
Downloadable content ratings system
We've given a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'.
Yes means that the content is either great value or brings some substantial additions to the game, or possibly both.
Maybe means that the content may be fun while it lasts, but may either be too short or not enough to fully justify the price tag.
No means that we don't recommend downloading this insubstantial content.