Pros: Fantastic Story, Excellent Art Style, Good Range of Character Abilities, Large Hub Worlds, Brilliant Soundtrack, Great PC Performance
Cons: Lacked an extra Hub World, Not Enough Side-quests, Interaction with Civilians was Limited to special side-quest givers, Felt Rushed Along
I came into this game not knowing very much about it at all. I'd played Deus Ex and Invisible War almost 10 years ago (for the latter at least). I hadn't followed the development of this title and it was always something I'd kept meaning to look into. I spotted it in a shop for £13.99 and thought "oh yeah, that game" and bought it. On the way home I noticed it was as DX11 game which was a nice addition.
The story gets going right from the start. You start in your ex-girlfriend's office, Megan Reed, on your way to see your Boss, David Sarif. She's preparing to travel to Washington to showcase some of the fantastic breakthroughs in science her and her team have engineered, most importantly with human augmentations. She takes you through the science labs and you meet several key players of her team before taking the elevator up to Sarif's office. She splits off to get into a helicopter and you make your way to Sarif to reassure him your security measures will hold up, because Megan and her team are highly sought after... Then there's an explosion an an alarm. You're sent to investigate (since you're head of security) and discover a team of spec ops mercenaries butchering scientists in the labs, you managed to make it to Reed but not before a behemoth of a man throws you into a machine, leaving many internal organs hanging out, and then finally shooting you in the face. In the face! Next there is a cutscene where there is a team of doctors rushing to save your life and scrap out as much debris and organs as possible and heavily augmenting you... And so the game begins.
I got the game home and promptly installed it. There was a couple hundred MB update to download extra via Steam, once that was done I was playing. I was a little lost at first because I kept looking for characters I'd recognise from the previous games, but I quickly realised this was a whole new game in itself (and would see people I recognised later ). The first thing that struck me was the art style and soundtrack. These are not things I usually pick up on in an FPS game... but then this is not really an FPS game. Sure you can play it as a shooter if you like but you'd be missing a huge portion of the game. You have time to soak in the visuals and the score.
The gameplay reminded me heavily of Metal Gear Solid and I'm sure this is supposed to feel like that. There is even an Achievement called "Foxiest of the Hounds" a nod to FOXHOUND from Metal Gear Solid, of whom Solid Snake was a member of before he quit and they went rogue. The similiarities don't end there, but I don't think the dev team in Montreal created this intentionally and simple recogised later on that this was where they had gone.
When you start your first real mission after the prologue, David Sarif, your boss, asks you which way you want to proceed with you mission, do you want to be a lethal player, or a non-lethal player? Short or long range? These affect which weapons you start with (but you can collect the rest later in the game if you wish). This was a nod towards the previous Deus Ex games where you were encouraged to be a non-lethal player, but of course the choice was always yours.
As a Stealthy player most of my time was spent in cover, luring guards towards my position so that I could take them out using the takedown feature. You have two possible ways of taking out a guard, lethal and non-lethal. Both sets of take downs have roughly 8-10 different takedowns and all of them are bone crushingly cringe worthy. During one of the lethal takedowns Jensen uses his augmented robotic arms to spin his wrists around while holding someone's head... snapping their neck entirely and you hear every bone crunching. I'm not proud of this, but by the gods I loved that.
1:09 for the neck snapping goodness...
In relation to the Original Deus Ex
As a Prequel, this game contains almost none of the original players from Deus Ex and Invisble War. In fact, Invisible War isn't mentioned at all (to my recollection), but there are heavy mentions of Deus Ex. Spoilers abound: spoilers ;) (Click to show)
This is a fantastic game that is fairly well paced. Towards the end it can feel a little rushed as there isn't much to be doing and the enemies aren't as they used to be: spoiler (Click to show)
Some of the augmentations are out of place, for instance the analyse for hacking is useless as hovering the mouse over them shows you that anyway. I also feel like there was too much penalising people for going down the lethal route of gameplay. If you kill someone you get 10 XP ("Man Down"), Headshots give you another 10XP. Whereas a non lethal shot (stun gun, for example) gives you 20XP for "Merciful Soul" and another 10XP taking them down also. Non-lethal takedowns give you 50 per person, 125 if you do a double takedown, compared to just 30 for a lethal takedown and 80 for a double. I can understand the aversion to encouraging killing people, but when I can walk around the game headshotting civilians without much of a hindrance it seems daft to penalise people too much for killing guards.
Overall this is a player-focused game with attention to detail. I personally give this a 5/5
- Great Soundtrack
- Great Storyline
- Good range of moves
- Great Graphics - not dated like some have said
- Some augmentations are useless
- No "new game plus" mode to add replayability and allow you to play with all augmentations
- Some ragdoll effects seem out of place