So Deus Ex came out, and I’ve played the first area (Detroit) and a little of the second (Heng Sha) , and I’m now waiting to play more until my new GPU arrives (I’ve been playing it on the very lowest settings).
Still, my impressions are good. Like, really good.
Firstly, there are no trappings of it being a bad console port, which is something a few games fall victim to. I don’t know if it was developed primarily with the consoles in mind or the PC, but if it’s the former you can hardly tell at all. Decent graphical tinkering in the options, re-bindable keys (although I will say that quick-save/quick-load weren’t listed and I had to find out by pressing buttons that they were F5 and F8), and no cardinal sin of “press X to jump” appearing on the screen.
Secondly, it’s really polished and slick: something important to me. All the menus are easy to navigate, combat and cover works without any hiccups, and the interface is easy and clear enough that I was never confused as to where I needed to go. Something that surprised me is that the hacking minigame is actually fairly decent, as far as these things go. Memories of awful minigames in Mass Effect (1 and 2), Oblivion or Fallout for similar things make me grateful that Deus Ex has a relatively involved and interesting hacking mechanic.
Thirdly, and this is something everyone goes on about, the non-linearity is pretty amazing. I find personally that it’s not like there are a myriad of ways to approach a level (although this could be me being unperceptive), but that there are a few ways which you can approach which you can then take on in multiple ways (i.e. stealthy/non-stealthy, lethal/non-lethal). I’ve been going for a stealthy approach, using lethality only when necessary; taking people out without killing them and without being seen is supremely satisfying, I must tell you.
Lastly, and this is another fairly personal thing: the inventory is great. I love playing inventory-Tetris, no matter what the game. I don’t think there’s a game that couldn’t be improved by including it, to be honest (which is why Resident Evil 5 is so much worse than Resident Evil 4). Just imagine: Civilisation with inventory-Tetris. Surely that’d be the best game ever?
A few other things: graphics are fine (even on the lowest settings). There have been people complain about it looking ugly: I can’t see that, to be honest, but then I do currently play on a fairly mid/low-range rig, so perhaps I’m just used to abject ugliness infecting every game I play. The animation or certain characters is actually pretty terrible, however – the main characters are all fairly good, but some of the side-characters you’ll speak to seem to have movements and mannerisms which really don’t fit with what is coming out of their mouths: the worst offender being the hostage-lady in the first proper mission of the game. Whilst the sound suggested she was weeping in terror, the character’s face-model suggested some kind of stoic resignation which was completely at odds with the audio.
The boss battles: everyone’s said so, but they aren’t great. Frankly, they only suit the game if you’re going with a lethal approach, and I’d have thought that since this is one of very few games where you can be different and choose not to be lethal, alot of people will choose the other option which then makes the boss battles all the more jarring. Although perhaps I’m wrong, since something like 80% of players chose default-face man-soldier Shepherd in Mass Effect 2, or something similar.
Anyhow: Play this game if you can afford it and you like action-RPGs with a sci-fi setting and fairly decent plots. I score it great% out of 10 stars! Highly Recommended!