Review by Ruku

"Flaws aside, a brilliant game"

Though no one will blame you if you're a bit turned off by the name “Ion Storm”, since mentioning Daikatana to fellow gamers will have them wincing in pain. However, skeptic or no, Deus Ex is indeed a fantastic game, despite some minor flaws…

PLOT

Conspiracy nuts and Sci-Fi fans alike will love the storyline. In Deus Ex, you play as JC Denton, a rookie special agent working for UNATCO, which is an international anti-terrorist coalition. As you progress, you find out some things about your superiors, and things change from then on in, putting you on the side of the people you were killing.

GRAPHICS

Graphics-Wise, the game won't make some of the games out now run with their tails between their legs anytime soon, but even then, the graphics are excellent. All the player/NPC models are extremely well done, with the best marks going to the humanoid models. The bots in the game are also well done, giving you that feeling of "Oh great, how in the hell am I supposed to kill that?". That doesn't mean to say that the other models in the game aren't done well, however. The creatures in the game look pretty good as well, even though they look like a Jim Henson job.

As for your surroundings, the different locations in the game are what I expected them to be in a futuristic game or movie. I think this is the best look at the world in a pre-apocalyptic state I've seen in a long time.

SOUND/MUSIC

As with practically anything released on the Unreal/UT engines, the hallmark of the game is the sound. The weapon sounds are pretty accurate, down to the clinking of the shells falling on concrete. The ambience and background sounds are also good, be it whether you're looking out to sea while drinking a beer, or in a bar, chatting up the bartender and ordering drinks.
There is an occasional "skipping" problem with the sound when the game is loading, or when there's too much happening, but other than that, the sound is flawless.

Ion Storm did well with the music, too. The music changes depending on the situation, which is a plus. If you've been spotted, the music changes to a high-tempo, to let you know that you'd better hide, or fight it out. Also, there never seems to be a piece of music that doesn't fit in with the surroundings, which is pretty good work on Ion Storm's part. The soundtrack is excellent as well, and you'll most likely be humming the theme every so often.

The voice acting, however is where Ion Storm faltered… Voice acting for the main characters is done fairly well, but it seems that they've decided to skimp when it comes to the ‘bit-players'… They all tend to either sound the same, or are given a rather corny, stereotypical accent (namely the characters of oriental origin)

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay is one of the hallmarks of Deus Ex, as it blends the elements of an FPS, and an RPG effectively. Before starting the game, you are given a set number of experience points to put towards certain skills. You gain extra points mostly for completing primary and secondary missions and finding hidden bonuses. You are also given a limited inventory, and the ability to keep logs of your progress. As for playing the game, it's standard FPS fare. The controls are a lot like that of Thief II's, come to think of it. In any case, FPS fans will feel right at home playing Deus Ex.

An added bonus is that –similar to games like Thief, System Shock, etc. there are multiple ways to complete missions, so you're not exactly stuck doing the same thing each time you play.

The layout of the game's HUD looks a bit cluttered, at first, but after going through the training course, it turns out to be pretty easy to get the hang of.
Nothing ever gets in the way, unlike other games, and the HUD icons can be switched to transparent, to save hassle.

The best part of the game is, that practically everything you can interact with. You can throw chairs across the room, smash pot plants, hack into ATM's, read newspapers and books, access your email account, turn on and off taps and showers, bypass security systems, and even use surveillance cameras. And if that's not enough, you can eat, drink, take drugs, smoke and even suffer the advantages or consequences of them. I do suggest you stay out of any firefights after making JC drink one too many beers, though.

People who play a lot of FPS's might notice the lack of multiplayer, unless you bought the Game Of The Year edition (or patched the original). In my opinion, the lack of multiplayer in Deus Ex doesn't make a difference, since there is way too much to do in the Single Player game. Upon time of this writing, I have tried out the multiplayer mode... and -although lacking, is fun to play if you're sick of the Single Player game.

Overall, despite the occasional flaw, Deus Ex should satisfy FPS fans, Cyberpunk fans, conspiracy nuts and RPG fans alike.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/24/04


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