Review by FiverROB

"Best Gaming Experience Ive Had"

Listen, these reviews are all subjective. One man's trash is another's treasure and all that. Still, I have a hard time trying to fathom how someone couldnt love this game.

1. Story (9.7/10):

The story here is great. Though we get plenty of atypical black and white type stuff, there is also lots and lots of juicy gray. I don't want to give too much away so I will just say its a very well done cyberpunk conspiracy story. The main character has the same sort of Marlowesque demeanor exhibited by Harrison Ford in Bladerunner with a little bit of Joe Friday mixed in and he is supported by an interesting cast of characters.

Now, even if you dont like conspiracy theories and all that jazz, this story may still be for you. The attention paid to atmospheric details (email systems, news briefs, etc) really adds to the immersion and can draw just about anyone in - if they approach it right. If you approach this game as an atypical shooter or just a stealth shooter, you will miss out on alot. Its best to take this game slow. Talk to the NPCs. Hack the computers and read the emails. Look at the news bulletins. If you just run past everything guns blazing screaming all gods are bastards, you wont see alot of that and definately wont come to fully appreciate all this game has to offer. So, basically, those with short attention spans need not apply but if you can appreciate quality story telling then you are in for a treat.

The story does have _some_ faults. While I dont mind linear storytelling, this game does give the player a few forced failures. I dont really like that sort of thing but it is understandable, I suppose, when you wanna tell some parts of a story. Anywho, this is a small pet peeve, so I will just detract a little.

2. Gameplay (9.5/10)

This is also one of the game's strengths. Like the story, there are many RPG aspects embedded in the gameplay. First and foremost among the gameplay strengths is the advancement system. The player can choose to advance from a variety of skills (like Weapons Skills, Hacking, Lockpicking, etc). Min/Maxing is discouraged by having skills cost an increasing amount to master as one invests in them. Similarly, the player can also install and upgrade ''augmentations.'' This augmentations are like spells in a typical RPG sense (some let you see through walls, others let you do more damage in melee, etc). You can turn them on and off and they consume bioelectric energy when used. Hell, you can even upgrade your weapons with weapons upgrade kits you find allover the place.

Levels are generally nice and large and one can complete objectives in a number of ways. Generally, there various ways (stealthy, combative, etc) to complete any given objective. This supports numerous playstyles and GREATLY enhances replay value.

The only reason this isnt higher is because I would have perfered some more side quests and, perhaps, some better aug balancing. Still, the faults are few and theres alot to love here.

3. Graphics (9.0/10)

By today's standards (May 2003), the animations and polygons are too few and the textures may be a bit blurry. Yet, the graphics still get the job done and would be acceptable, I think, even if it was released today. Also, the attention to detail (fairly interactive enviroment, plethora of placeables, etc) is quite impressive. I would go so far as to say that the graphics were so well done they please me more than some other titles released afterwards (such as NwN or Dungeon Siege - I still wonder at how some people think those games look good). The most important thing to remember here, though, is when Deus Ex first came out, these werent bad at all - they were great.

4. Sound (9.6/10)

The sound in this game is AMAZING. Everything from the enviromental sounds, to the music, to the voices are wonderful. The voices are especially amazing. Not only are the main characters voiced absolutely PERFECTLY but there are even loads and loads of voice tracks for NPCs. The only reason its not a perfect 10 is because I would have liked a more expanded soundtrack.

Overall (10/10)

What else can I say? This game is great. I would actually perfer to give this game a 9.8 or something (I dont believe in anything actually reaching nirvana-like perfection deserving of a 10) but since this site demands NO fractions, a ten it is.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/19/03, Updated 05/19/03

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