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They feature prominently in trailers, and the arm blades slide out in the cutscene when Adam encounters the hacker at Sarif Industries.

How can I unlock the blades? Are they even implemented?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

You get them from the moment you are augmented (so immediately after the introduction sequences) and do not need to select an upgrade to use them.

Then you can use them when taking down an opponent in hand-to-hand by holding the takedown button instead of pressing it (which just knocks the target out).

As far as I know they have no other use.

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There is, however, one upgrade for them - The Reflexes upgrade, which allows you to knock out two foes with each use. – Raven Dreamer Aug 31 '11 at 21:52

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