Video Games

Briefly Noted: Enhance Yourself

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Deux Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal) casts players in the role of Adam Jensen, a grim security chief at a biotech corporation that specializes in human augmentation. Set in a bleak, William Gibsonesque future, the game kicks off when militant anti-biotech forces break into the headquarters of Jensen's company on the eve of a legislative hearing about biotech regulations. Jensen fends off the attackers but is injured and must be rebuilt with biological enhancements.

From there, players must uncover the truth about the break-in against the backdrop of an ongoing debate about the safety and ethics of human augmentation. The game's cast will be familiar to anyone who has followed such debates in real life—uncompromising anti-science radicals, moderates who favor regulation, self-interested political players, scheming corporate leaders, and apolitical scientists. The noirish story has no heroes, but it does strongly suggest the value of biotech. The key to winning: enhancing Jensen—and yourself. —Peter Suderman

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