Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The Missing Link is a stand-alone (if we go by the original release) expansion for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In the Director’s Cut version of the game, this expansion is integrated into the main campaign of HR, not without some issues, though – bug and pacing-wise. The story of The Missing Link takes place during the campaign when Adam Jensen leaves the Hengsha harbor in a stasis pod. In the HR storyline, Adam is unaccounted for three days, and in this expanded narrative, we get to experience what happened to him during those missing days. Like the main game, this expansion is made by Eidos Montréal.
Instead of Adam making his way over to the secret facility unscathed, like how it was in the original campaign, he is now captured and taken aboard a mysterious ship – owned by none other than Belltower. Not too unsurprising perhaps, reflecting where Adam/you actually started this little pod journey. Adam is tortured and pressed for information on who he is and what he is doing there, but when things are looking the bleakest, he is suddenly released from the interrogation chair. An unknown benefactor with great hacking skills is also located on this ship ready to help Adam. And here you take over. You got to uncover what is happening on this clandestine black site and figure out who is helping you, and what his/her agenda is. Going by the story, the lore surrounding this ship, and another location later introduced, the implications are massive – at least for the main campaign.
There is so much cool information to take part in here, and the narrative in itself is superb. It’s probably the best mission if we do a comparison to the whole game with this expansion included in the evaluation, both story beats, and gameplay. Most of all, though, as mentioned above, is the lore stuff. If you take the time to explore, read notes and expand all the dialogue options there is some really juicy stuff to uncover here. A few secrets too, depending on your augmentation skills/selection. The cool thing is, stuff uncovered here, beyond expanding on the story and background information for Human Revolution – things here leads directly into the sequel Mankind Divided. From my knowledge, there isn’t anything else specified like this anywhere else in HR for the next game in the series.
The gameplay isn’t exactly different from the main title. Except that you start at a disadvantage. Since it’s a standalone game, you don’t retain any of your augmentations, which is explained in the story. In other words, you are starting out from scratch. This also provides a challenging opportunity if you feel inclined to try it. With this, I mean, it’s possible to run the mission without any augmentations, which will give you an achievement if you succeed.
What does feel different is the general ambiance, and tone of the setting which is also represented in the visuals. If you have played Metal Gear Solid 2, the tanker mission specifically, the atmosphere is basically copy pasted from that section. The golden shine is gone, but overall, the mood and the improved lighting make up for it. Then again, we are so far off the main story here, and the sinister atmosphere this expansion embodies might not have been suitable for it, because it sure as hell doesn’t feel like a golden age for mankind here.
Voice and sound are excellent as well, and the new characters are great, even if the main bad guy could be considered a bit generic, however, he works for the setting and a mini-boss type of character. I did enjoy listening to the newly introduced scientist lady, and the female commander. Overall, good job, and Adam sounds as he ever does!
I highly recommend giving this expansion a go. The gameplay is excellent, and the lore implications are massive, so if you like this kind of stuff, it’s a no-brainer. The story by itself expands the narrative too with many new tidbits of information. If you play the Director’s Cut, this segment of the game is already included, so you won’t be able to miss it even if you tried. But it can upset the balance of the main game, and from what I remember there are some bugs included with it too, like missing weapons when you go from the expansion to the main title again. What most upset people, though, is that the pacing suffers, and I can’t really blame them for thinking so. It’s a huge department from the central narrative (it lasts for a few hours), at a point when things were getting really interesting in the primary story. With that, I recommend the standalone version!
Thanks for reading.