Review by Masamunewielder
"Once again, the sequel proves far worse than the original"
Don't get me wrong, this game is pretty good. However, it cannot compare to the original. Deus Ex was far better than this mediocre follow up.
Gameplay - 5
The gameplay is far, far worse than the original. Ion Storm dumbed down the entire engine! Some examples:
The skill system was completely scrapped! And, because of this, there are no incentives to explore fully (the first one awarded exploration with skill points). Also, your character becomes not quite as unique as you could be in the first. You have perfect (or semi-perfect) aim with every weapon, and you can't get better at many things like lock picking and swimming. Which really bugged me; it took away part of the challenge. However, the skill system is slightly saved as some skills like hacking (ok, that's the only one I can think of) were turned into biomods.
Next, the universal ammo clip! What the **** is up with that!? How could you conceivably use the same ammo for each weapon!? Pistols should use bullets. Shotguns should use shells. But, instead, every weapon uses ''ammo''! Which leads to another problem. The ammo is pooled, so you might use up all your ammo on one weapon and think that you have more for another, but actually don't. If anyone understood that... Actually, that part's not a big deal, but it got me into trouble before I figured out it was pooled (I didn't have the instruction manual, if it was in there).
Other slight problems with gameplay: the HUD doesn't keep track of separate body parts, you can't take notes like you could in the first one, each weapon could only have one accessory (not like in Deus Ex, where you could have a scope and a laser on the pistol), etc. etc. Also, the game was too easy and short. It was much easier than the first. I also think that the stealth was a lot easier (but I haven't played the first in a while, so I'm a bit foggy).
The ups of the gameplay are pretty much the same as the original. Biomods allow for customization (although you'll max out halfway through the game). Though you can only have 1 biomod for each body part, which allows for specialization. Would you like to walk quietly or run faster? Also, the black-market mods are very cool. Bot Domination is awesome!
Story - 10
The story is this game's saving grace. It's really wide-open. At every major point in the game, you are given many choices of who to work for and what to do. Though, sometimes, they want you to do pretty much the same thing. For example, both the Order and the WTO want you to stop Leila Nassif. But the difference is the ways to go about doing it. The Order wants you to kill her and the WTO wants you to interrogate her. What's interesting, however, is that, even if you defy one of them, they still want you to work for them in the future. Also, many of your quests are the same thing, but it clusters up your notebook (where it shows the quests). Like, you could have ''Find a pilot in the Greasel Pit'' and ''Find Sid Black (the pilot) in the Greasel Pit.'' (Not exactly, but similar)
The sidequests are open and interesting as well. There are warring coffee stores and holographic pop stars for example. It's pretty fun to waste time doing the side quests if you're bored.
Graphics - 6
The graphics were awful! I had expected much better graphics from this, but I was really disappointed. Since I'm not really good at describing graphics, all I'll say is that they look like they're from a game from, like, a year ago.
Sound - 7
I really didn't notice the sound at all. But that also means that they weren't god-awful. They're average, I believe.
Play Time/Replayability - 7
Play time: At most, 8, maybe 10 hrs. It took me 7, and I did most of what could be done (except towards the end). Should have been longer. Much longer.
Replayability: Very, very high. Since you have so many choices, it's fun to go back and see what would have happened if you chose different routes through the game.
All in all, an ok game. Sucks compared to the original, pretty good if you don't consider the original. Obviously, since you can't rent a PC game, I'd say buy. Or borrow from a friend.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 01/15/04
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