Deus Ex: Human's Revolution's The Missing Link DLC, in theory, is the kind of DLC that gamers say they want: a full-blown extension of the game itself (i.e. not a random level that doesn't add anything), with story components and hours of gameplay. However, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a unique game in that the choices made compiled over time and affected the story of the game. The Missing Link DLC tries to strike a balance between extending DE:HR's story, continuing the influence of choice on story, and acting sort of like a standalone expansion so that gamers who beat the game won't have to start a new game just to experience it. The good news for Deus Ex fans is that The Missing Link succeeds in striking this balance, succeeds as an extension of DE:HR and is a worthwhile experience.
The Missing Link DLC gives gamers control over Adam Jensen once again, this time as he's been being held captive aboard a ship by mercenary group Belltower. Jensen finds himself without his augmentations and must escape a ship full of enemies, being guided only by a mysterious voice guiding him over a wireless connection. Jensen, while escaping, discovers a terrible truth regarding the purpose of the ship he's been held on and dedicates himself to finding a way to stop what's been happening aboard the vessel.
The Missing Link DLC's story, much to Eidos Montreal's credit, is very good. The Missing Link spares nothing by way of detail, conspiracy, choice, voice acting, or writing in its presentation. All of the story elements that kept gamers playing through to the end in the main game are present in The Missing Link and are also of the caliber that gamers received in the original game. The Missing Link is also one of the darker stories of DE:HR and has some difficult choices contained within it that will leave gamers considering the potential consequences of their decisions.
Gameplay-wise, The Missing Link is also dedicated to the standard set in the original game and has plenty of exploration available for gamers who choose to find every last room and hidden item. As a matter of fact, the amount of area available to explore in the DLC is quite large and complete with vents and back rooms with ladders as found in the original. DE:HR fans won't have to worry at all about whether or not they'll be able to explore as much as they did in the original game.
With Jensen stripped of his augmentations, though, he finds himself receiving Praxis Points on a limited basis to help him rebuild himself. Jensen being stripped of his augmentations does add a bit of difficulty curve that may have been absent later in DE:HR as gamers spent their Praxis Points and provides a nice challenge. Gamers may not be able to give Jensen most of the attributes he had in the original game, forcing them to reevaluate their strategies. Jensen's lack of augmentations encourages the creativity in approach to situations that was encouraged in the original game.
Speaking of creativity, The Missing Link ends with a boss fight that offers quite a few options for gamers to pursue and -- without spoiling anything -- is not lethal-only. Gamers who criticized the boss fights in the original game will find more to like here and more possible methods of victory that are more suitable to their play style. The boss fight here feels much more true to the style of DE:HR's gameplay and multitude of options than the bosses in the main game itself.
Two downsides exist for The Missing Link DLC: 1.) the amount of backtracking required in one point in the DLC and 2.) the price. The backtracking asked of players at one point in the game requires that players go back and forth, up or down level areas at least two or three times. The backtracking doesn't significantly impact the DLC as a whole, but can get a bit frustrating, especially with the loading points at security scanners. As for the price, fifteen dollars is quite a bit of money for DLC, especially one-fourth of the game's asking price. The Missing Link provides great value and Eidos Montreal did put quite a bit of work into this episode, but if this episode had been priced at ten dollars instead, it would've earned an easy instant recommendation.
The Missing Link DLC is a good episode of downloadable content that hopefully is indicative of what gamers can expect from future DLC for the game. Although not new or different compared to what's offered in DE:HR itself, the episode is a solid extension of both the story and gameplay. The backtracking may be a bit frustrating and the price might be a bit high, but those are minor negatives compared to the overall quality of The Missing Link. Fans of DE:HR looking for more of the gameplay experience they loved so much in the original will enjoy themselves plenty with The Missing Link.
A free, redeemable code for the DLC was provided by the publisher for review.
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