On top of this, there's the sheer amount of dialogue and context-specific permutations to fit into the game. Rock Paper Shotgun produced a thoughtful analysis on the violent and non-violent approaches you can take with the game, and made an interesting point that binning off stealth and going for a full-on murder spree has a worrying lack of consequences to the gameplay.
While the main thrust of the plot is quite static, there are ripples in the narrative that manifest in the side-quests. Upset the police force (as we did on our PS3 playthrough) and your ability to fully explore their woeful investigation into the initial Sarif attack is compromised and you're unable to quiz an important witness. That this is acknowledged with specific dialogue is just one example of how the game adjusts to your choices, and factoring them all in could only have added to the already incredible burden of fitting this whole story onto a single 6.8GB Xbox 360 DVD.
There are compromises of course. The renderer is state-of-the-art in many ways, but does miss some post-processing elements we would have liked to have seen, such as camera and object-based motion blur (more on this later), and while the character artwork is perhaps a matter of taste, animation does feel a little lacklustre compared to what we've seen recently. The scarcity of storage also mans that the FMVs are of a fairly low quality, at odds with the pristine nature of the in-game visuals.
On top of that, loading times are some of the longest we've seen since BioShock and its sequel, which can be quite annoying when you die. Here's where the partial PS3 install gives an advantage up against a purely disc-based 360 experience, which can be quite tiresome, especially during the rock-hard boss battles. Top tip: free up 6.8GB of space on your 360 hard drive and make sure you install this game - it makes the loading process much more manageable.
As Tom Bramwell mentioned in the Eurogamer review, Deus Ex: Human Revolution isn't the perfect game, but the bottom line is that it offers so much gameplay, a wealth of beautifully realised features and so many possibilities that the less successful game elements don't really cheapen the overall experience. However, those looking for the best possible version may wish to consider a PC purchase, because the technological ambition of Eidos Montreal is sometimes at odds with the capabilities of the consoles. In short, yes, there are some frame-rate issues.
Generally speaking, with indoor environments, the code doesn't tend to have much problem reaching the target 30 frames per second (PS3 will even exceed this on a very rare occasion) but a cocktail of action and explosions can hit the frame-rate badly. In addition to that, certain environments incur their own hit on the engine too, and there's a sense that streaming in assets from the hard drive or DVD can also have an impact too.
To begin with, we'll kick off with analysis of where you really need sustained, consistent frame-rate: in the heat of battle. We've got a selection of six scenes here in a mixture of different environments, with the first clip being somewhat synthetic in nature: the outside of the police station appears to stress the engine somewhat on both versions of the game, so we picked a fight with the cops and let the carnage commence - think of it as a stress test featuring taxing environments and effects. The other five scenes are from other areas of the game where again we chose to fight with conventional FPS tactics instead of using stealth.
You'll have some ammunition issues to begin with, but you can play Deus Ex: Human Revolution almost like a straightforward shooting game once you've stockpiled some bullets, but as Tom Bramwell pointed out during the Eurogamer video talkthrough, you're not really going to get the most out of the game, and you're going to miss a lot of its really clever touches: the levels are masterpieces of design that reward curious and inventive players.
The analysis also demonstrates that if you choose to play Deus Ex like a conventional shooter, you may run into technological issues. The combination of your foes' body armour along with the strict limits on ammunition means that ideally you'd need to treat the game like a cover-based shooter, only popping out to go for the headshot. When frame-rate is compromised, following this strategy isn't easy at all and it's frustrating when the game doesn't give you the visual feedback you really need. In terms of which console version comes out on top, there really isn't anything in it at all - both of them can disappoint equally in terms of the impact on the way the game plays. But regardless, can we figure out if either version has any kind of performance advantage?