Literature and Media in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex HR Lit

So I’ve been playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution this past week. As I was running around knocking people out, I took a good long look at the scenery and realized that the game had a lot of varied media.

Some of the things I saw were books, magazines and newspapers but there were also vast amounts of graffiti and pseudo-propaganda in the year 2027. Some things were raunchy, some interesting, some just plain cool.

The futurescape of Human Revolution is a similar yet largely exaggerated imagining of our modern situation. Advertising exists largely in propaganda form and corporations have become the true government, exacerbating the crisis between pure humans and augmented humans.

I took lots and lots of screenshots and here are some of my favorites.

Deus Ex HR LitThere are lots of e-books in Human Revolution. Lots and lots of them.

They do a good job in detailing the setting for a player thrust 20 years into the future. Most of the pieces I found were political in nature and the e-books themselves contained only two to three pages.

Perhaps we will all be reading three page books in the future. Oh and I suppose that the devices that store them will cost less than paper because I found these things everywhere.



Deus Ex HR Lit

Washing your hands in the bathroom?

That’s fine and all but don’t expect to be able to see how good your shades look on you. There are no bathroom mirrors in Deus Ex’s future. We will be inundated with ads even while we relieve ourselves.

Practicality is out the window, I highly doubt this will really happen. Perhaps ads will line the mirror but not to this extent.




Deus Ex HR LitThis is the image that made me want to write this article.

Charles Darwin’s evolutionary ideas turned biology and the rest of science on its head. I think that it’s fitting to see a book in Human Revolution refer back to Darwin.

Oh and this isn’t a reprint of Darwin’s original piece. I thought it was but I found out differently.

The title for that was “On the Origin of Species”.



Deus Ex HR Lit

The newspapers are really slick.

It looks a lot like a web page. There’s even an image slideshow (not unlike ours at GAMElitist) that flips between todays news stories to keep the paper compact and all on one page.

Oh and if you are wondering, I was the one who broke into the morgue. I’m not sick, it was a mission.




Deus Ex HR LitThere’s a Banksy running around in future China.

The game has all sorts of graffiti but none hold a candle to this piece. Be sure to look closely at this one, it’s definitely my favorite.

Now if only Mr. Brainwash surreptitiously placed an elephant into the game.





Deus Ex HR LitThis is a great shot of Detroit and shows a lot of the electronic billboards on display there.

Eidos has said that the game will have (or already does have) in-game advertisements. These will be placed on billboards currently advertising Eidos. I haven’t even noticed those billboards and I’ve been walking around snapping pictures of them so I don’t believe it will ruin the experience.

These billboards here will probably remain pure. They really bring you into the world. I hope that wasn’t too vague.


Deus Ex HR LitI saw this one in a Chinese subway station. The Hung Hua Hotel is a prominent building that I came across as soon as I found myself in China.

It’s something of a mix between strip club and love hotel.

And no, you don’t get to do anything like that. This isn’t God of War. You’re all serious and focused on your missions and such.




Deus Ex: Human Revolution is no slouch when it comes to immersion. There’s a lot of information in the game. I’m really quite enjoying Eidos Montreal’s masterpiece and expect I will be replaying it at least once.

I’ve only been to two of the city hubs so far in Human Revolution (I think out of a total of four) so this collection is far from complete. I may be adding more to the gallery below once I finish my exhaustive tour of the game.

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