Top positive review
Now if only it were backwards compatible...
on August 22, 2011
Here is one of those games that people either love for the sake of loving, love for the sake of being Deus Ex or hate with a fiery passion for the same reasons.
One of the biggest draws(and flaws) is the world and time this game is set in. As a direct sequel(flash 20 odd years) to the original Deus Ex we follow Alex D. in a world that(much like fall-out) follows EVERY ending of the previous game, something rarely ever seamlessly integrated but done exceptionally well in this game.
Story-Wise this one isn't as Machina or Freudian heavy, you're not really asked to understand big philosophy and while there is a touch of differing factions in the game they pretty much explain themselves, you don't need to go crawling through emails and books(E-Books, go figure.) to figure out what one faction will REALLY do or why someone wants to do something specific.
There is also the draw that you can either play the original and appreciate some of the subtle touches or not and not really miss anything, in fact, there tends to be more AHA moments for those who play this first, though, obviously this will spoil much of the original if you intend to play.
Graphics: For it's time the moving lips and body movements were actually well done, even stacked up to now this game looks pretty good. It's a pretty dark setting(even if the story isn't as dark as it could be) and that's not an easy sell for a graphics intense game.
Story: Despite being quite a bit simpler there is still that feel of really being in the Deus Ex world, up until you meet a certain spoiler it all plays out fairly well.
Now, on story, having said the factions were simple I will say that fulfilling your "destiny" actually prove to be a lot more...intellectual in understanding, it isn't easy to understand a certain factions true motives until you really open your eyes and ears for it, however, even having said that there are still not heavy philosophical debates. It's an absolute joy(if only I could debate "him" in real life) to hear a certain spoiler speak but it doesn't take away from the story if you don't fully understand something.
Gameplay: Here is where it shines, multi-pathed and multi-tasked you have the option of taking multiple routes through any and all of the game. You can play it straight run and gun, focus on "powers" focus on stealth, kill everyone or not kill a single person(and I mean not one). There is no real difficulty curve and even on hard it is fairly easy to adjust to the game itself, even if enemies are easy.
Given that this game was put out before radical AI changes were made that helped a player to enjoy a hardcore difficulty setting, do not expect a truly enjoyable difficulty setting, like all games of old the hardcore settings only serve to buff the enemies and damage. Though playing on the "hardest" difficulty setting can be quite rewarding.
Voice Acting: Some may disagree but for an Eidos game I felt the VA's did exceptionally well with the material they were given. Of note were Jay Anthony Franke, Terri Brosius, Alexander Brandon and of course Christopher Sabat and Laura Bailey. I can see how awkward the lines were that they were given and for the material they WERE given they added that extra feel.
Story: As much a con as a pro, despite one or two interesting philosophical view points there isn't really as much meat as a true Deus Ex fan would appreciate as compared to the original. Deus Ex is one of those worlds that is supposed to ask you what "grey" really means and help you to forge and understand different path's we take in the world. It is meant to ask and inform you that what we may consider "ideal" may not be the same to others', everything is just grey, something IW touches but never really explores.
Music: Not bad per se but nothing really jumped out to me. It all seemed a bit bland and, outside of the nightclubs I could swear I was almost playing the game on mute.
Sound: It goes with sound as well, while it can be forgiven for being dated, even back then there wasn't really any sense of "aura of dystopia" to the feel of the game, it was all just copy paste bland sound effects.