Review by wrexsoul

"Best sneaking around yet. Not much else."

To start this review, I'll let it be known that I do not play many PC games, and that I mostly stick to console games. While some have good gameplay, most PC games lack the storyline and characters present on Playstation RPGS. After playing Metal Gear Solid over and over, I found myself wanting to play more stealth oriented games, and Syphon Filters prescripted battles did not deliver. Having heard all the hype around Deus Ex I decided to check it out, and see what the American PC gaming industry has been up to since Starcraft.

You are going to see alot of negative things about this game in the review, but suprisingly, overall it is a very good game.

Here we go...I will address different points of the game with headings like this:

[+/-] (Subject of discussion):

[-] Framerates:
The first thing I noticed in Deux Ex when I started playing was the choppiness, and after playing it a lot, I found this to be one of the ''graphic stability'' to be on of the games biggest flaws. On mid-high end computers the game
runs choppy at optimal graphics. After turning them down somewhat, there are still MAJOR medusa effect slowdowns whenever you look at high poly areas for the first time. This happens frequently and can often get you killed.

[-] Loading Times:
Another big flaw is the horrid loading times between areas. I don't know alot about hardware, but I thought that loading off of a harddrive was susposed to be faster than off of Playstations old CD reader, and most new well designed PSX games (ie: soul reaver) mask their loading times as to not halt gameplay at all. Deus Ex frequently slams to a halt for what seems like a full minute to load new areas.

[-] Level Graphics:
The cosmetic level design is very bland, with many empty box shaped rooms covered with distracting tiled textures. Most of these rooms also have fancy reflective floors. The shiney floor gimick does not make up for the bad design.

[-] Story:
I am going to ''spoil'' it right here. There are a bunch of identical groups with different names like MJ12, NSF, UNATCO, Illuminati, Triad and others. You become members of a few of them and everyone becomes traitors, and forms new groups and merges, and backstabs, and everyones trying to take over the world. Yes there are plot twists abound, that is if you call something as interesting as a bank merger a plot twist. Most players will find themselves clicking throug the dialouge, then checking their goals, and shooting anything that flags red. The plot is very unengaging compared to that of Metal Gear Solid and other obvious Playstation titles. The more organizations and backstabbings added into a plot does not make it better.

[-] Characters:
This is one of the things in the game that make it embarrising to play at times. Your main character is voiced by the actor who did Cornfred in ''Duckman.'' Only here he is seriously susposed to be ''cool'' with his emotionless low voice, instead of satirical in Duckman. The voice acting is hideous with the good majority of the characters. Good thing no one cares what they are talking about. Every time I say ''hey maybe I'll slow down and listen to these what these guys have to say,'' they talk about their drug addictions, or how they got laid in the backyard.

[-] Character graphics:
Not only do these guys sound and act poor, the good majority of unmasked characters look really goofy. It would be better if their mouths where just texture mapped onto their face, because everyone has their teeth clamped together and their lips randomly open in grotesque diamond shaped gaps. Everyone has ugly blue lines all over them. Character animation is stiff, lifeless, and funny looking. Oh yeah, here is the clincher, there are robot people with silver skin in tuxedos. They are called MiB's, I feel like kicking myself in the balls for even saying the phrase ''MiB.''

The only reedemable characters are the stock soldierA/B that sometimes say funny little things when you sneak up on them.

[-] Crates:
StC: 0 seconds

[+] Gameplay:
The gameplay in this sucker is VERY non-linear. You can pretty much do anything you want as long as you kill target X or get to place Y. Puzzles are seamlessly woven into gameplay. Instead of ''hit the right buttons'' puzzles, in this game the puzzles are ''how am I going to take out this group of guards'' or ''is there another way around this sentry robot.''

[+] Combat: The enemies combat AI is really bad, they pretty much run at you, and hit you no matter how much you are perpendicularly moving to their line of sight. They land hits from a hundred yards away the moment you enter their line of sight if they are aware of your presence. It is really fun however, to kill the guards with different means. Sniping, setting mines, or poisoning and running away. A lot of fun things you can do to this dimwitted guards.

[+] Level Flow:
This is one of the games good areas, the levels are huge, yet it is easy to find your way around. There are many ways to enter a compound to complete a mission. A lot of secret areas. Nice sniping spots. This is one of the things that makes this a good game.

[+] Stealth:
This is one of the games shining points. The stealth in this game is better than Metal Gear Solid. Enemies have to run to hit an alarm button on a wall. You can drop in behind people via vent and take them out quickly. Throw objects to distract guards and run past. Very fun stuff.

[+] Overall:
In the end, Deus Ex serves as proof that gameplay will always deliver. It doesn't matter if the game has a boring story, and it is ugly looking or even if it is poorly programmed; gameplay will make or break the game.

Should I get it?

Yes: If you have a fast computer, and you are into stealth
and sneaking around.

No: If it will require a major upgrade, or if you are looking for Frantic Action Feeling, or an engaging story.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/11/00, Updated 08/11/00

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