"How could you do this Warren?"

''Deus Ex'' was a multi award winning, genre defining, immersive game that blew both RPG and FPS gamers away. It’s one of those few games that let you chose how you completed the mission, do you go in with guns blazing, do you sneak around and pick them off 1 by 1, do you break into their security systems and force their own robots against them or do you use explosives to make a shortcut? So now there is a sequel to this great game, such a team could only make it better right? You know, new graphics, bigger levels, more items right? Apparently not…

Visuals: This is really a mixed bag here, if you manage to actually get it to run then you could be in for some great lighting and shadow effects, that’s if you can get it to run. There seems to be a very big issue with crap appearing at any vertexes, even after I updated to the latest drivers (catalyst 3.10 for my Radeon 9600 Pro), updated to version 1.1 and made sure I had the latest directX it still didn’t work right, and with a 9600 Pro I should be able to run it at maximum but even when I turned the settings down to half my performance was only mediocre at best. Now I will bring up a very important fact, YOU NEED a graphics card that has pixel shader 1.1, this game wont run otherwise.

Audio: Once again, a mixed bag, the background music is acceptable but some of the voice acting is absolutely inexcusable. For example: take the most boring teacher/professor you have ever had and insert their tone of voice into this: “oh no… trouble…” what should be a guard yelling for backup sounded like someone who hadn’t slept in a week, completely monotone. Other voice acting can be good at times but it still isn’t impressive.

Game play: I’m sure you have all heard the analogy that visuals and audio don’t matter, its all about game play right? If you expect to find a vastly improved Deus Ex with a completely open ended story line, lots of weapons and ammo types and more skills then you should run away now, or keep reading, your choice but you will be disappointed. Everything that made Deus Ex win so many awards is, well, gone. One of my favourite past times was trying to fit as many weapons into my inventory as possible and still have room for the other stuff such as med kits. Now that is all gone, you have a 10 slot inventory which holds all your items (excluding weapon mods and biomods) at 1 slot to an item (that’s right, both the pistol and flamethrower use 1 slot) although some items do stack (all kinds of food stack under 1 slot).

Any Deus Ex vet will remember the hassle of trying to keep enough lock picks and multi tools to get you through the mission as well as still have enough inventory space. Now you have the luxury of having them together without having to sacrifice inventory space. Speaking of picks and such, you no longer have a up to 100% rating to work on, you now have a 1 to 3 rating, that’s the number of tools it takes, you guessed it, the entire skills system has been trashed, no more specializing, you’re a jack of all trades.

Even if you can live with the inventory we all remember being able to use multiple ammo types for different purposes such as taking out robots. Now not only do you not have to worry about switching ammo, you don’t have to worry about ammo at all and you can forget about reloading as well. Ammo is generic, you only have to keep up to stock and you DON’T HAVE TO RELOAD AT ALL. Come on, even doom had multiple ammo types, even wolfenstien 2 had multiple ammo types.

Unless I’m mistaken, an interview with Warren Spector stated that the first thing you would notice would be the increase in bio mod slots, well last time I counted Deus Ex had 10 and this has 6, wait, 1 is a flashlight so that leaves 5. Not only did they lie about there being more slots they also said there would be more mods, well, Deus ex had 2 possible mods for each slot and DX2 has 3, 9*2 = 18 5*3 = 15, looks like another lie to me. Not only does this suck, but the fact that you get 3 biocanisters before you even leave the first level only ruins the fact that they are generic like everything else in the game (you can use any canister for any mod). Most of the upgrades have returned from Deus Ex as well as a few new ''Black Market'' upgrades as well, these upgrades usually put emphasis on combat. Although you can switch upgrades by installing a new canister, I have no clue why you would want to.

The new weapon mods are actually the only thing in the game that’s better, nothing to complain about here, some of the new effects are really quite cool, like breaking glass silently, EMP shots and a few other things as well as some returning mods like accuracy (not needed) and damage increases.

In summary I would like to say that while this game has been hyped since the beginning of time, it lasts less than 10 hours and its not a very fun 10 hours at that.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 12/22/03


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