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I am considering starting to play Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Having seen the trailer and some gameplay footage, and having read mostly positive reviews, I am quite sure I will have a blast.

However, I have never had the chance to play any other games from the series. So I was wondering if I was missing out on any stuff that would somehow limit my understanding of the story of Human Revolution. In other words, would you advise me to play the first game and/or Invisible War before starting Human Revolution? Or will it be enough to read the plot from Wikipedia?

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Not exactly relevant to your question, but playing Deus Ex will be a good place to start exploring Deus Ex world –  Krom Stern Aug 24 '11 at 17:42
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Might be worthy of a mention, DX:HR is meant to be the introduction to the series for many people because its release is far more mainstream than the others. I'm fairly sure the developers have kept this in mind. –  user56 Aug 24 '11 at 17:51
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3 Answers

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Human Revolution is a prequel to the first Deus Ex so you won't miss out on any preceding storyline by playing HR first. However, HR is built on the same concepts (sneaking, finding alternate routes, talking your way out of problems) as the original and you might feel a little behind the curve since you're picking up the game concepts for the first time. And yes, you may miss some inside jokes about crawling around in ventilation ducts (it happens a lot in the first game, and a lot in HR as well).

Although I haven't finished HR yet, I expect it will tie into the events of Deus Ex (already there are some references to the future of nano-augmentation, a heavy plot point in the original) but you shouldn't miss out on these things, they'll just make sense when you play the original later on.

As for Invisible War, it takes place even later after the events of the original so you won't be missing out on any plot points there. In all honesty, some people don't really consider IW to be a proper sequel as it dropped or reduced a number of features that many people enjoyed from the original (most of which are back in HR). So don't feel bad if you don't play it, ever.

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Thanks. That was helpful. –  Edwin de Koning Aug 24 '11 at 20:01
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I'm hearing two questions, so I'll provide two answers.

Will missing earlier games limit your understanding of this one?

Skipping DX1 won't prevent you from understanding the core plotlines of DX3. In that respect I agree with others: you don't have to play DX1 or its sad, sad lesser sibling DX2 to play and understand its excellent prequel, DX3. It's not like some games (*ahem* Witcher 2 *ahem*) where you can play through the sequel but will be buried in an avalanche of unfamiliar names and plot points.

Would you advise me to play DX1 before DX3?

Yes, absolutely—if you have time and can look past the 2000-era graphics.

If you play DX1, I believe you'll have a deeper appreciation of DX3's plot, what's behind it, and the events it's setting up for the future. In other words, you'll be understanding a larger gaming universe rather than a stand-alone game.

As a long-time DX1 fan I really appreciate DX3's countless references to the original (characters, dialog, music, map design, even access codes!), and I have a better understanding of why things are happening and what they mean for the future.

Another option is to play DX3 and then, if you enjoy it, go back and play DX1 for the background. My concern with that: As awesome as DX1 was in 2000, and in many ways still is, DX3 is 11 years better technologically, and has also been designed to take into account DX1's quirks and failings. If I had played DX3 before DX1, DX1 would be much less fun and engaging. I'd be distracted by everything that DX3 improved on. And that would be a shame; I and many others consider DX1 one of the best games of all time (PC Gamer considers it the best).

So if you play DX1 first, you'll have have a fuller appreciation of many subtleties behind the DX3 story as you play. If that interests you, I'd take DX1 for a spin. But whichever way you roll, you're likely to have a great time with DX3.

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-1: I've down voted your answerI feel as if you don't answer the OPs question with regards to understanding the plot, and simply state that they "will enjoy the game". Your comparison touches on this, but I don't think it's enough to be classified as an answer. The second half of your answer doesn't add anything, and is just a game recommendation for Deus Ex. It doesn't answer the OPs question. IF you address the issues, I'd be happy to remove my down vote (and possibly revert it to an up vote :) ) –  Wipqozn Apr 3 '12 at 21:28
    
@Wipqozn Thanks for the suggestions. Fair enough. I was really answering what I felt were the OP's two underlying questions (letter of the question vs. spirit of the question). But I didn't make that at all clear. I've restructured my answer to clarify. –  Feral Chimp Apr 4 '12 at 15:46
    
Thanks, I've removed my down vote. –  Wipqozn Apr 7 '12 at 18:20
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prequel to the first game and shows the events that lead up to that of the first game. While there may be some hints and interesting pieces of information to be gleamed from it, you will not miss much if you didn't play the first two. I wouldn't recommend reading the plot of the original Deus Ex, it might be interesting to play that game after DX:HR to maintain the timeline perspective.

Disclaimer: I have not finished DX:HR yet, if I'm wrong please correct me.

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