Review by JamarH8sU

"Good game, but still lacking"

Graphics 8
Map details are top-notch, lighting effects are nifty. Most ''special effects'' (guns firing, explosions, fire, etc) are pretty ho-hum, but that's really no big deal. The only thing that bothered me graphic wise in this game were the faces on characters. Eyes look flat, static and ''painted on'' and the mouth (though it moves correctly with speech) looks kind of weird too.

Sound YES
First, let me just say that, to me, sound in games are like tires on cars... all I really care is that they're there -- nothing fancy needed. That said, cats go meow, barrels go clang and I'm pretty sure I heard music while I went through this game.

Maps 5
This usually doesn't warrant it's own section, but the maps of DX2:IW deserve some distinction for being so damn bad. Most areas were small enough to keep an agoraphobic happy. With the exception of two levels (Antarctica and liberty island) being outside doesn't feel like being outside, Seattle is especially bad. I have to wonder if this was just a tactic used by the developers to keep the game going smoothly (large open areas can cause some choppiness frame-wise). The smallness also takes away from the realism of the game. It's hard to believe an apartment complex gets by with only 4 rooms and the penthouse to rent, or that a university can get by with one lecture hall, one lab, a reception desk and the deans office. And too often between these small levels are annoyingly long load screens when you pass from one area to another.

AI 6
Nothing special here. Hostile characters go into an ''alert mode'' when they hear or glimpse you... meaning they get their guns out and crouch-walk. AI attacks for most guards entail them throwing their grenade at you and shooting (the guard with flashbangs all seemed to forget what they were throwing and blinded themselves). Guards will stop chasing you if you run away far enough and settle in alert mode for awhile, then go back to normal.

What's really disappointing are the non-hostile reactions. Cops seem oblivious to half the events which should be considered crimes. I was caught by a SSC guard running around with a dead body in my arms... the guard went into alert mode, presumably looking for the killer (probably a scripted reaction for finding a body), but never paid me a second thought. Another time after using an explosive to open some lockers and a safe in a Government building a guard ran in, to investigate the loud sound, to find me looting the lockers and didn't seem to care. On top of that, no character in the game will stop you from robbing them blind -- you can steal a bartender's tips right off the counter in front of him and will barely draw a remark from him. ''This is you're last warning.... This is you're last warning.''

Gameplay 7
DX2:IW strives to give the gamer choices, but in this strive occasionally makes the choice too obvious. Sometimes it's as bland as putting a guard on your left and a vent on your right... kill the guard or sneak through the vent... it's a good thing you had all that training at Tarsus to figure this out! In fact, this game is too easy as a whole -- which, luckily, keeps you from staring at those long load screens. While fighting a group of several guards and robots, all armed with lasers and rocket launchers, the only threat posed to me was running out of ammo -- I was using the fast run biomod, which uses energy so slow I can do it all day, and while moving I was pretty much invincible.

Bio-mods are quite the saving grace in this area, allowing you to customize a specialized character to play with -- and adapt to your preferred playing style. Happily, the bio-modifications are much better implemented in DX2:IW than in the original, although half of them are almost exactly the same.

This is good a place as any to mention that this game is the only game I've seen on Xbox that can actually crash. Some people I've talked to say it happens all the time where as other don't seem to have the problem at all. Personally, it's happened to me about half a dozen times, with a brand new copy of the game and a one-year-old Xbox which has never had a problem with any other game. I find it quite appalling that ion/edios let this one slip by to the X-Box, which can never be patched like the PC version (which would defiantly be a smarter buy if you have a high-end computer). In fact, from what I can see it seems a lot of x-box DX2:IW players are suffering from ''patch envy.''

Rent or Buy?
Easy. Rent. Rule of thumb, if you have to read reviews always rent. Even when you've been waiting for a game to come out for years, have followed it's development from the beginning, and named your dog after the main character; rent first. Five dollars will get you fifty.

Anyway, rent this game because you can easily beat it in two to three days. Replay value is questionable; I personally will only replay it because I happen to own it (it was a gift... honest).

Replay value RENT
This game does have some replay value, but not as much as most people would have you think. Playing through again with different mods will have some appeal, but... well, rent first, it might not appeal to you as much after you beat the game (you'll get enough biocanisters to try maxing a few different mods). You can easily get at least 4 of the endings in one go by keeping a save before the final choice at the end.

Old Deus Ex players will say...
This game is just shorter, smaller and less varied than the first game. They took out skills completely, which just makes your character feel a little under-developed. The bio-mods seem a bit better thought out though. The maps are much smaller and the overall game is much shorter.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 12/18/03

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