Review by Error403
"Deus Ex In Sheep's Clothes"
Introduction- This game needs very little introduction to any serious PC gamer. It's the much hyped sequel to multiple Game Of The Year winner Deus Ex. The question is, does it live up to the hype?
Gameplay- The interface is unintrusive, but takes a little time to get used to. At first it seems to be quite the eyesore, but very quickly it becomes unnoticeable. Biomods and weapons can be accessed with the press of a button. Inventory, biomods, and data can be managed easily, as well.
Take note, however, this is NOT a Deus Ex expansion pack. Some gameplay elements are VERY different. Multitools/Lockpicks have been combined into one entity, ammo is unified, and other more tedious aspects of the original DX have been simplified. Don't get me wrong, though, these simplifications become unnoticeable after just an hour or so of game time. Some may say that it takes away from the gameplay to remove these elements, but in practice I was saying ''Oh man! I have 5 million of these that I don't need, and none of these other, very similar devices that I do need! What do I do!'' very few times though the game, and that's a good thing.
Skills, Augmentations, and Experience has all been meshed into the very excessive Biomods. You will find these canisters everywhere and the good of that is very subjective. Personally, it's a good thing because I can try out all those modifications without worry of a Biocanister dry spell.
Biomods themselves vary a wide range of skills, from nightvision, to regeneration, spy domination, speed, silence, cloaking... Shall I go on? The problem is, these useful mods conflict sometimes. Should I put that canister into super strength to get more inventory slots and more effective low-tech combat abilities, or put it into another modification?
When it comes down to it, this game is FUN. Pure, simple fun. This game won't win any Super Ghouls 'N Ghost awards for difficulty, that is for certain. Easy mode is very.. well.. easy. There is little challenge in most of the game because of the ample supplies provided. The elusive ammo of DX is now everywhere. 80% of the time my ammo meter was full.
Story- This is the REAL reason to buy this game. The story is the wolf under the sheep's clothes. This game pulled me in and didn't let go until I was finished every ending and had explored every aspect of it.
The story is in true DX style. Many tough choices need to be made, alliances made, side quests to do. You will be hard pressed to run from one side of town to the other without bumping into a quest or two to do.
Without spoiling anything, let me just say that this DOES tie very strongly into the original DX. From the factions to that damn soda machine. ''I asked for Orange!''
Graphics/Sound- This game is very beautiful. The lighting is good, and actually ADDS to gameplay in places, just as the physics and sound do. Running on carpet is different than on a tile floor, lights can give you away to gaurds, this game is very nice looking. Take note, however, that it is not 100% realistic looking, as the graphic are slightly cartoonish.
Voice acting is very well done. Not excellent as in Knights of the Old Republic, but not terrible as in Shenmue. This game is nothing spectacular in the field of voice acting, but the monotone voice of JC Denton from DX isn't passed down to Alex in any way. Voices have character and don't sound monotone or lethargic without reason.
Compatibility/Performance-This game is a real hog. On my Athlon2400+ with 512MB RAM and a Gf4Ti4400 I was still chugging in places on 800x600 with all AA and Aniso off. This game almost REQUIRES the useage of a tweak tool or .ini modification to get rid of performance issued, but once this is done, the game plays very well. I'd dare to say as well as DX did on my old Pentium3 450MHz when I first played it.
Load times are also needlessly abound on the PC version. It was even said that the maps were split to accomidate the 64MB of ram the Xbox has. This is quite a disappointment. Only a few minutes are spent in any area before another load time can be endured, and, while it was no problem for me, many people have problems with desktop crashes and other load problems.
This game is also buggy. I've had one desktop crash, two computer hard-locks, and have fallen through the floor of the map a couple of times. For me, these have not been game stopping bugs, but are annoying to an extent and at times can take away from the immersion of the story.
Replayability- You won't get much time from this game. My initial run was 8:30. That is pretty pitiful. I made it through DX in 13 hours and felt very satisfied. The story in DX2 could have certainly been stretched out to 10+ hours.
There is, however, some replay element to this game. My inital run found NO ''unique'' items, which are actually quite abound. Multiple biomod configurations/weapon mod useages yields a different experience on a second run through the game, and knowledge of what is to happen next helps to provide more fun in the completion of immediate tasks.
Final Recommendation-Buy this game!
1. You don't mind tweaking .ini settings.
2. Load times don't bother you.
3. You are crazy about Deus Ex.
4. You aren't clinging to the original Deus Ex user interface with all your might.
Also, do note, the demo is an indication only of GRAPHICS. Regionalized damage was added to the full game, and the ''story'' of the demo has nothing to do with the storyline of the full game at all.
If this game had no bugs, was more optimized for the PC, and was even 4 hours longer it would be a perfect 10, but I'm just not able to look past this many negitives just to get to the excellent story and familiar feel of the original, so this game gets a mere ''good'' rating of 8 from me. It satisfied me greatly, but at times angered me terribly. Bittersweet.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/06/03
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