Adam Jensen’s consciousness slowly fades in as he finds himself strapped to an EMP chair, negating his augmented abilities. An interrogation begins, and the first strength of Deus Ex: Human Revolution‘s first DLC experience, The Missing Link, becomes apparent. Adam escapes, and the second strength of The Missing Link becomes apparent. Adam fights or sneaks his way to the end, and the third strength of The Missing Link becomes apparent. Adam returns to his main story, and the failing of The Missing Link becomes apparent.
The first strength is the implementation of cause and effect: the consequences of choice. As Adam is interrogated by the Belltower operatives who intercepted him, your style of response will end up determining your character loadout once you escape. Violent, aggressive responses will result in Adam having a more directly aggressive loadout, with a focus on direct confrontation and shootouts. More subdued responses will result in Adam having a loadout better suited for stealth and finesse. Your choices in conversation will set the tone for the DLC’s play style.
The second strength is the return of the same gameplay you came to know and love from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. As with the main title, if you’re planning on sneaking your way through the game, there are multiple routes for you to take. There are vents galore, and both obvious and not-so-obvious paths to your goal. If you’re a more direct sort of personality, and like to make your presence known through the use of hot lead, the combat mechanics are exactly the same, from the first-person shooting to the third-person cover and more. The Missing Link doesn’t try to do anything new or comparatively inventive in the DLC, it simply brings you the same great gameplay, which really helps mesh it together with the main campaign.
The third strength is the way the boss battle was designed. In the original campaign, boss battles were pretty much just a hit point rush, and lacked the finesse of the rest of the game. In The Missing Link, the boss battle is gradually worked up to by fighting through multiple enemies. You are also in a position to actually use some of your strategic skills and abilities to battle the boss, rather than just being locked into a room and told to “shoot it out, bro.” It fits the nature of the game much better, and feels like Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The Missing Link is not perfect, however. It takes place within the confines of the main campaign’s timeline, so you would think that Adam’s upgrades and improvements up until that point would carry over into the beginning of the DLC. That’s a natural assumption, in my opinion. The Missing Link resets your upgrades, but provides you with a handful of Praxis points to start with, and the opportunity to earn more as you progress through the DLC. It’s fun to try a different skillset, but it doesn’t fit the basic flow of time. Consequently, your final loadout of upgrades at the end of the DLC does not carry over into the main campaign when you return to it; you find yourself with the same upgrade loadout that you had prior to the DLC. This gives the DLC a bit of a disjointed feel, and keeps it from fully integrating with the campaign’s timeline.
For 1200MSP / $15, you get an additional 5+ hours of playing through Adam Jensen’s world. You see more of the world, you expand the story, and you see an improved boss battle that really feels more like Deus Ex: Human Revolution than the boss battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Unfortunately, you also get a disconnect from the main campaign by the way causality doesn’t really seem to exist in terms of upgrades and items. If you can get past it, and come to terms with the fact that the campaign has no impact on the DLC, and the DLC has no impact on the campaign, then this is actually a decent purchase.
|Great story filling in main campaign gap|
Same entertaining gameplay as main game
Improved boss battle design
|No carryover from DLC to main game or vice versa|