Ever since I was a small child I have played video games for hours on end. When I was young I had MAYBE 1-5 games at a time, though I only beat one or two games in my childhood in total. They were just harder back then, and they required you to play through the entire thing in one sitting. This continued until a few years into my Navy time. I just seemed to buy more games and never finish any of them. Then, a few years ago, something changed. It might have happened with Mass Effect, or it might have been the thousands of hours I poured into World of Warcraft (which sadly doesn’t have an “ending” or I would have beaten the damn thing hundreds of times by now). Truth is I’m not sure what happened exactly, just that I realized that I wanted to beat games. If I put the time into a game and it interested me I wanted to have the satisfaction.
This feeling led to me going back to older games. Games I had played when I was younger and just never got around to finishing. It let me playthrough, and finish, Morrowind and the Tribunal expansion (I haven’t started with Bloodmoon yet). I recently beat Gothic 3 (I doubt I’ll even play the Forsaken Gods expansion I own…), Dark Messiah: Might and Magic, Titan Quest and it’s expansion Immortal Throne and plenty more. Not to mention finishing most newer games I pick up (some quicker than others).
Where is all this leading? Into two different posts actually. The first (this one) is simply to announce I finally beat Deus Ex! I think it’ll be a month or two before I begin working on it’s sequel Invisible War. I just wanted to give some of my thoughts about the game. Keep in mind nothing I say is about the game in the context of when it came out. This means that while the graphics or sound may have been revolutionary at the time I will be describing how I feel they hold up in the year 2010.
Graphics:3/5: This being an older game, let’s start with the part of a game that ages quickest. The graphics in Deus Ex are a mixed bag. The faces in the game are done in a unique style that is interesting, but it makes everyone look like they have a muscular face. A really muscular face. The indoor environments are more than acceptable, and even good looking in some areas. The outdoors though is less enjoyable. Due to technical limitations at the time, the great outdoors can feel very closed in. The game takes place entirely at night, most likely so they didn’t have to deal with a horizon line. The “city” in the distance of some maps is obviously flat, but acceptable. Graphically the entire game suffers from what I like to call “PS2 Lighting”. It’s the same pitfall that EverQuest 2 suffers from. The lighting is flat and the scene is often made “dark”, whether that be from it being nighttime, to a heavy fog, in order to hide the limitations of the engine.
Setting (Story/World):5/5: The setting and story of Deus Ex is immersive and amazing. I know the game has been out for years but I won’t talk about the story too much as I don’t want to ruin it for people. Especially with the new Deus Ex coming out, and people going back to play the old ones. The story is set in the near future. The world is being taken over by corporations and there is a plague that may or may not have been created by the very people who are manufacturing a cure. You play as J.C. Denton, an emotionless (it seems) android, the most advanced type of android. You work for a company called UNATCO as security and counter terrorist activities (What?).
Gameplay:3/5: For those of you who don’t know anything about this game, the best way I can describe it is as a more in depth version of Mass Effect (gameplay wise). It is a First Person RPG with Shooter elements. The problem is that this tends to make people expect it to operate like a shooter. This expectation is quickly dashed the first time you run up to a group of enemies and fire six shotgun blasts into someones chest and you are quickly gunned down without having hurt anyone. Running and gunning is not really an option in Deus Ex, even toward the end when you’ll have upgraded many of your skills and augmentations. It is very much a stealth game, more akin to an RPG/Splinter Cell game than a shooter. That being said, once you get a feeling for the game it can be very enjoyable, as long as you play the way the game wants you to.
Sound:2/5: The first mark against Deus Ex is that, in order to not hear a high pitched whine or rumbling static constantly I had to download a mod that fixed it. After that the sound was acceptable. The footstep sound got annoying by the end of the game, and the gunshot sound was dull, but the voice work was pretty well done, even if the main character is monotone. I assume that is on purpose, like the Matrix.
Length:4/5: Deus Ex stretched on a little longer than it probably should have for me. At 26 hours I was very ready to finish the game, and I had no interest in going back in and seeing how I could have changed things. At 15 or 20 hours I would have been a bit happier.
Overall:4/5: I enjoyed the game, and it got me interested in the world and setting of Deus Ex. I’m interested to play the sequel Invisible War, and I can’t wait for the new game to come out, though I hope they allow for a less stealthy gameplay option.