The First Hour
The initial hour of the game serves as a tutorial while also introducing players to the game world, the main characters, and the impressive technology that exists in 2027. It also sets up the overarching plot, though it does so without granting the player direct access to augmentations, inventory decisions, hacking opportunities, or significant dialogue choices. As such, you won't get a chance to check out the game's intricacies until after you suffer through what can only be described as a near-death experience. More on this later.
As Adam Jensen, you are an ex-SWAT officer who has been hired on as private security for the biotechnology company Sarif Industries. The circumstances surrounding Adam's departure from SWAT aren't exactly clear, though the game and various NPCs that you run into make it clear that it had something to do with the events that took place at the "Mexicantown Massacre". Adam is no scientist himself, but he was romantically involved with Dr. Megan Reed, one of the most intelligent and influential scientists at the company (fun fact: Adam Jensen voice actor Elias Toufexis and Megan Reed voice actress Michelle Boack are married in real life). She's the one who landed him the job at Sarif Industries following his departure from SWAT, and based on what can be gleaned from some of the game's early dialogue, she may yet have some feelings for the protagonist. Either way, Megan is central to the game's plot, and that's how Adam finds himself involved in a global conspiracy of a grand scale.
The game opens up with an introductory cinematic featuring a mysterious group of individuals having a high-tech audio conference. Their discussion is purposely cryptic, but it's clear that these individuals are very concerned about a gene sequence that Megan has discovered, and are willing to go to any length necessary to keep Sarif Industries from releasing it to the world. Their discussion will immediately have you running several different conspiracy theories through your head, and if you're like me, you'll probably restart the game a few times just to make sure you catch every little facet of it. It's obviously impossible to decipher what it all means without additional information, but in any event, it sets the stage for what's to come.
From there, the game jumps to Adam and Megan in her office having a video conference with David Sarif about their plans to present this discovery to a group of politicians in Washington, DC and the security detail that will be needed to ensure that everyone arrives safely. David wants you to meet up with him to go over the plans, though not before you're given some time to do some detective work in Megan's office. This serves as your first opportunity to procure whatever information you can from the world around you - an ebook lying on Megan's couch gives you some very interesting background details about a "Patient X", a digital newspaper lying on her desk introduces you to the augmentation-friendly group called L.I.M.B. (Liberty in Mind and Body), and the emails on her computer reveal that the two of you have a dog named Kubrick, that her mother Cassandra is quite worried about her, and that she's concerned about whether or not the politicians in Washington will want to know how she acquired the first gene sample that's part of this big discovery. Predicting the future of human evolution through past mutations stored in the database of our mitochondria? The chemicals in Patient X's nervous system are undetectable by the human immune system? Patient X is now one or two steps ahead of the genetic curve? In the game's very first room, you're already able to assume that Megan was dabbling within a controversial and potentially dangerous area of research.
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