Review by Amakusa42

"A Blend of Thief, Unreal, and Diablo."

Its a rare thing these days when a game tries to break a mold or try something new. The last truly orginal game was probably Zaxxon. Still, sometimes a game has the ability to shine thru the modern days of Lara Croft, Solid snake, and Millions of Everquest players (I'm a 5th level ranger myself. Gimmie a break, I just started).

a short while ago, a now defunct gaming company decided to re-invent the FPS genre in 2 ways. Thie first was an Underappreaciated game called System Shock, which melded the FPS and an RPG, and the other was Thief, the first stealth FPS, and the first TRUE thinking man's shooter. This company has since closed its doors (to much wailing and Gnashing of teeth), but its spirit and design live on.

Now comes a game designed to link these 2 concepts together. An FPS/Stealth/Action/RPG. Welcome to the world of Deus Ex.

Let get right off the ground and say this is some of the nicest grafics you can see just about anywhere today. Ion Storm obviously learned a few things after the abysmal Diakatana. This games is almost as much fun to look at as to play. everything from dirty streets to towering Buildings feel right at home. Heck there is more to do in ONE level of this game there there is in most OTHER FPS out there. Streets are filled with worthless garbage, like crates, bottles, and junk. more than almost any game to date, you FEEL like you are actually there.

Good voice acting, with the aid of a LOT of voice actors top this feeling off. Its not Outcast or Metal Gear quality, but its sure top notch. More to the point, the characters the voices speak for actually LOOK appropriate to the characters talking. Plus, they have facial expressions and features.

Music is also first rate, with some themes going thru you're head as you play. heck, I'd like to rip the music off the cd and play it on my own time.

gameplay makes this game shine though. With the ability to customize what you're character is skilled in, you can play a gun toting maniac, a sneaky Thief-like character, or a mix of the two types. infact, the ability to customize the look of the hero, along with selecting the skills he starts with, make for good replayability.

Choices you make in the game define how people will react to you. For example, lets say you approch this like a regular FPS. Fine. you go in, guns blazing, mowing gown wave after wave of gun-toting punk. Cool. This, however will make you seem bloodthirsty to a lot of the NPC's you will be interacting with, and they will judge you accordingly. A peacful NPC will chide you (including you're brother NPC), while an agressive type will congradulate you.

Similarly, if you take the stealth approach, the opposite will happen. Peace-loving npc's will applaud you're non-leathal tactics, and reward you accordingly. Also, some Npc's in the world will give you mini-objectives (like the manager of a hotel whom you save from a hostage situation. He will ask you to find his daughter), which either give you experience for you're skills, or access to equipment you cant get anywhere else.

This is where my gripes start though. For one, stealth is a little TOO difficult at times, making killing the only option. Also, some weapons say they have one effect, and dont have that effect at all. For example, the tranqualizer bow is almost useless. even though it fires darts which are SUPPOSED to knock someone out, they NEVER do, even with you're skill maxed in that particular class of weapon. perhaps other people's experience with this weapons has been diffrent, but after stealthily lining up a shot to the throat on this one guy (which took a good 2 minutes), the tranq dart did little more than force him to sound the alarm. The replay (cause i died a few seconds later) forced me to do a headshot with the stealth gun to progress. For this, my own brother chews me out.

also, some equipment in this game is practically useless due to its low usage time. Low Light gogles have a total usage time of about 8 seconds, which is useless when you are trying to dash across darkened rooftops surrounded by enemies who dont have this problem. I mean, I AM and agent of the future, dont I have batteries or something?

Still a great effort, and a must have for fans of all decent games.

Graphics-9
+ Detailed, sharp, and accurate. Cool lighting effects.

Sound-9
+ Cool music done by a pro. Above average sound effects.
- Stealth is hard trying to duck behind things, since you sometimes cant really tell where the bag guys are coming from. also, you're own foot noises sound just like the enemies, forcing you to jump at shadows.

Playability-7
+ A great Blend of 3 genres.
- Some Weapon issues, a lot of minor gripes that detract from the whole experience.

Replayability-9
+ Can go back and do things diffrently. almost as open-ended as Thief 2.

Controls-9
+ As responsive as an FPS can get.

Camera-9

Overall-9. Fans of Any types of the above games will love this.

Amakusa has turned into a homocidal maniac, and gone postal on some bums in Battery Park, level 3.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/26/00, Updated 06/26/00


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