Review by jeffman

"Not universally appealing, but still a solid game for a certain type of gamer"

Intro: I personally love this game, but that is not true for all. There are problems, (oh the problems!) but if you game like I do, then you will quickly forgive them. BUT if you are not like me, you may not and in that case you should definitely avoid this game.

Graphics: 8/10
A mixed bag. Some are very VERY good, and some are just barely passable. There are some serious textures and lighting in here, but there is also some bad looking character and gun models.

Sound: 7.5/10
It's okay. The music is somewhat immersive, and the voice overs are passable. It's no pulp fiction dialogue, but it gets the job done.

Story: 10/10
Just stupendous. I usually don't pay attention much to a game's story as they are usually cliche and worthless, but I quickly got caught up in Deus Ex's mysterious plot. Very confusing--very fun to try and figure out. There are little bits of info everywhere, and some people are not always truthful, which is virtually unheard of in games. Just amazing.

Environments: 9/10
Some complain that they are too small, but in all honesty, they are just fine. Load times are frequent, so if those are an issue for you, it might be a good idea to rent this first.

Gameplay part1,(technical): 5.5/10
This is where people get really pissed off about IW. If you can get past the problems I will soon list and think you can come to love what Gameplay part2 has to offer, then you'll probably like this game.
Okay, here we go.
First of all, the framerate is almost never bad, but when you get into a fight the game freezes for a second or two, almost like it is switching modes and it will then stutter a bit. This is VERY annoying, but it doesn't phase me that bad. Some people will get extremely vexed by this. To those people, I say: RENT OR AVOID!
Next up is the battle itself. This could be much better. Those looking for a tight FPS, look elsewhere. This is story and RPG first, shooter second. AI is subpar (not terrible, but not Halo). Enemies do not react realistically to gunfire (except the sniper rifle). Sometimes you cannot see your gun for a brief period of time, which is vexing. There is a lot here to complain about, but all in all, it gets the job done. It lacks polish, but it is still passable.
Those are the major complaints. I felt that I had to put them in a different Gameplay catagory, because it is only that bad only if you regard those aspects extremely high. Stuff like this can seriously rip a score down, but I seriously nearly instantly forgave all of these shortcomings which leads up to my next catagory...

Gameplay part2 (RPG and fun-factor) 10/10
This is the gameplay that I really care about. I can't say enough good things about how IW is played out. Just the fact that you have the ability to chose your destiny so completely and how you want to play... it's absolutely mind boggeling. It's so great in fact, that I couldn't bear to have all the bad stuff in the first Gameplay section tearing into the score of the gameplay that matters to me.
First off, Biomods. Simply amazing. How superb is it to be able to customize just what kind of superpowers you want to fit your gaming style. You can be super stealth man, or super computer hack man, or super powerful fighting man. And you can mix and match the different elements of all your Biomod choices. Spectacular.
Secondly, YOU PLAY AS A MERCENARY!! And it actually works! How I've longed for a game where I can play as a sort of cool assassin type who can pick and choose what he wants to do. It's so great. You can work either side (or even both) of two warring factions, neither one in the ''right'' or ''wrong''. Playing both sides or only one side or whatever you want is just so cool. Also you can do a huge number of side-missions to keep up your cash. These are so well done that you may actually feel guilty after some of them. And watch out! There are consequences for your actions!
Third and final! There are a ton of ways to complete every single mission! It's just incredible how the designers of this game made every mission practical for every type of player and how he wants to play. Stealthy, violent, hacker,; really these guys made it possible for you to have fun no matter how you chose to customize your character.
I love this part of the gameplay so, so much that it completely cancels the bad stuff for me. Its not like that for everyone, which is why I included Gameplay part1. I understand that there are problems. Still for a gamer like me, this game is nearly perfect.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/08/03

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